PBS Unveils Animals’ Many Tricks In New Episode Of Nature

Courtesy:  PBS/PBS Distribution

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

Camouflage, ink jets, and body colors are just a few of the methods that animals use in their daily lives in order to escape predators. There are far more than just those few methods, too. And in Nature: Natural Born Hustlers–the latest episode of PBS’ hit wildlife series to hit DVD–audiences will learn about those and a number of other defense mechanisms that animals use in order to survive on a daily basis.

PBS and PBS Distribution will release Nature: Natural Born Hustlers on Tuesday, March 8th. The three-hour program sees animals use their adaptations for evading predators, tracking prey, and even for procreation. Each purpose for which animals use their adaptations is presented in its own three-hour-long segment separate from the others. The first of those segments, “Staying Alive” follows various animals as they use their adaptations in order to evade predators. “The Hunger Hustle” is the program’s second segment. It presents the various ways in which different types of animals use their adaptations to hunt prey. And in the third and final segment, “Sex, Lies & Dirty Tricks,” audiences see how animals use their adaptations in order to secure the survival of their kind. Viewers can check out a trailer for this three-part episode of Nature online now via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EBI2M6l4z3E.

Nature: Natural Born Hustlers will be available on Tuesday, March 8th. It will be available exclusively on DVD and will retail for MSRP of $24.99. It can be pre-ordered online now at a reduced price of $19.99 via PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=85258466&cp=&kw=nature+natural+born+hustlers&origkw=Nature+Natural+Born+Hustlers&sr=1. More information on this and other episodes of Nature is available online now at:

Website: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/PBSNature

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PBS Dominates The Documentary Ranks Again In 2015

The final hours of 2015 are officially here. And with the final hours ticking away, Phil’s Picks is helping you to pass the time with the last year-ender lists of the year for discussion. Phil’s Picks has already covered quite a bit of ground in the last week and a half or so of the year. But there is still a little bit of ground to cover before the final countdown begins. That ground includes the list presented here. As always, the Top 10 titles make up the main body of the list with the bottom five each receiving honorable mention. Enough rambling for now. Presented for your consideration dear readers, is the Phil’s Picks 2015 Top 10 New Documentaries.

PHIL’S PICKS 2015 TOP 10 NEW DOCUMENTARIES

1. AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: WALT DISNEY

2. SECRETS OF THE DEAD: BEN FRANKLIN’S BONES

3. THE SIXTIES

4. NOVA: NAZI ATTACK ON AMERICA

5. THE BOMB

6. NOVA: SECRETS OF NOAH’S ARK

7. SUNSHINE SUPERMAN

8. JACO

9. I’LL BE ME

10. DINOSAUR 13

11. AMERICAN HERCULES: BABE RUTH

12. MAGICIAN

13. I’M NO DUMMY

14. NATURE: INVASION OF THE KILLER WHALES

15. NOVA: LETHAL SEAS

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PBS Examines Avian Evolution In New Episode Of Nature

Courtesy:  PBS

Courtesy: PBS

PBS take audiences into the world of birds once again this December in a new episode of its hit wildlife series Nature.

This fall, PBS will release Nature: Big Birds Can’t Fly. It will be released Tuesday, December 1st. Over the course of the episode’s roughly hour-long presentation famed broadcaster and naturalist Sir David Attenborough examines why some of the world’s ten thousand plus species of birds don’t fly, unlike others. More specifically, he examines why larger species such as ostriches, emus, kiwis, rheas, and Cassowaries don’t fly. Attenborough’s research into why said birds don’t fly reveals a rather interesting find. It reveals that the ancient ancestors of these birds could fly. It also reveals how competition for resources and the eventual lack thereof might have in fact led to the evolution of the birds into their current state. Audiences can view a trailer for this episode of Nature online now via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXJ6Lj09lDo.

Nature: Big Birds Can’t Fly will be available Tuesday, December 1st exclusively on DVD. It will retail for MSRP of $19.99. it can be pre-ordered online now via PBS’ online store at a discounted price of $17.99 at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=72882196&cp=&sr=1&kw=big+birds&origkw=Big+Birds&parentPage=search. More information on this and other episodes of Nature is available online now at:

Website: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/PBSNature

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

PBS Takes Viewers To Africa In New Episode Of Nature

Courtesy:  PBS/PBS Distribution

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

Ever since January of 1990, the trade of ivory from African Elephants was made illegal around most of the world. While the ban outlawed not only the trade of tusks from those elephants but the killing of said animals, it also failed to outlaw both actions in every part of the world. Up until 2014 poaching elephants and selling their tusks was still legal in Botswana. This allowance led to a dramatic decrease in the African Elephant population. And despite the ban finally having been put in place, poachers still continue to kill elephants and take their tusks in the African nation. This fall PBS’ hit wildlife series Nature delves into the overt actions of those poachers and the efforts being taken to stop them and protect African elephants while the elephants themselves try to go about their lives and thrive in the new episode Nature: Soul of the Elephant.

Nature: Soul of the Elephant will be released Tuesday, November 24th. It will be exclusively on DVD. The roughly hour-long program follows film makers and conservationists Dereck and Beverly Joubert as the pair travels the path of a river in Botswana’s Selinda Reserve, the home to some seven thousand-plus elephants, and documents the lives of the elephants that call the reserve home. The duo’s journey is both enlightening and at times perilous. It is also shocking as the pair discovers that despite the ban put into effect last year, there are still people out there looking to make a profit even if it means breaking the law. Nature: Soul of the Elephant will be released on DVD on Tuesday, November 24th. It will retail for MSRP of $19.99 but can be ordered at a discounted price of $17.99 online via PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=71368906&cp=&sr=1&kw=nature+elephant&origkw=Nature+Elephant&parentPage=search. More information on this and other episodes of Nature is available online now along with all of the latest Nature news at:

Website: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/PBSNature

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phi’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

PBS Follows The Lives Of Animal Orphans In New Episode Of Nature

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

This fall PBS and PBS Distribution will release two more episodes of its hit wildlife series Nature. The first of the pair, Nature: Nature’s Miracle Orphans, will be released Tuesday, November 10th.

Nature: Nature’s Miracle Orphans follows a group of orphaned animal babies as they are raised by their human “parents” in hopes of one day returning them to the wild so that they can live normal adult animal lives. The program takes viewers from Australia to Costa Rica as they watch the young animals interact with their human “parents.” It follows each animals’ growth complete with their ups and downs. The DVD will retail for MSRP of $19.99 but can be ordered online direct via PBS’ online store at a discounted price of $17.99 at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=70936816&cp=&kw=nature+natures+miracle+orphans&origkw=Nature%3A+Nature%27s+Miracle+Orphans&sr=1. Audiences can get a glimpse at the new episode online now via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXnUlpa8FM4.  More information on Nature: Nature’s Miracle Orphans and other episodes of Nature is available online now at:

Website: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/PBSNature

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Nature: Owl Power Another High Flying Hit From PBS’ Hit Wildlife Series

Courtesy:  PBS

Courtesy: PBS

PBS is the last bastion of truly worthwhile programming.  Is it getting redundant yet?  No?  Ok.  What is one of television’s best networks if not the single best network on television today, it has continued to live up to its reputation time and again throughout the first half of 2015.  Its release this past March of Nature: Owl Power is just one of so many examples of how it has maintained that reputation.  Nature: Owl Power is just one of so many wonderful episodes of the hit series made available to audiences so far this year.  The central aspect of its enjoyment lies in the fact that it isn’t just another wildlife documentary.  It focuses on owls, yes.  But that focus is centered on a pair of individuals that have established a sanctuary for the purpose of raising owls and helping those that might need special assistance.  It is through their story that audiences are presented with the “powers” of the different owl breeds.  That dual presentation is but one part of what audiences will appreciate in this episode of Nature.  As with so many episodes of Nature, the cinematography stands out once again in this episode.  It will be discussed at more length later.  Last but hardly least noting of this episode is the use of graphic illustrations to better explain the “powers” that owls utilize in order to survive on a daily basis.  The graphic illustrations make clearer why their “powers” are so extraordinary.  Together with the work of the episode’s cinematogaphy and its central premise, Nature: Owl Power in whole proves to be an episode of Nature that *ahem* soars.  Yes, that bad pun was fully intended.  It is one more episode that proves why Nature is the best wildlife program on television today and in larger part why PBS again remains the last bastion of truly worthwhile programming on television today.

When one sees the title of the Nature episode Owl Power, one can’t help but think of something used by the Kratt brothers in the hit PBS Kids’ series Wild Kratts.  Ironically enough, in doing so one isn’t that far off.  That is because in the high flying episode released on DVD and Blue-ray late this past March, audiences learn that the adaptations utilized by the different breeds of owls could in fact be considered powers of sorts just as much as adaptations.  Audiences will learn that owls’ faces aren’t flat to just be flat.  That design actually serves a certain functionality.  Just as intriguing to learn is that some breeds of owls actually have ear holes at different spots on their heads.  Again, this is not some genetic abnormality.  Even this serves a purpose for owls.  The purpose in question is one centered on owls’ ability to hunt their prey.  Even the design of owls’ wings serves a purpose, as audiences will learn.  Their design allows in many cases for near silent flight.  There are also some breeds whose wings allow virtually silent flight, increasing their hunting ability dramatically.  These are just some of the “powers” that audiences will learn owls use every day (and night) in their daily survival.  They really are intriguing “powers.” Those that have always had an interest in owls but never known that much about them will agree with that sentiment.  Of course they are just part of the central premise of Nature: Owl Power that makes this episode so enjoyable.  The discussions on owls’ “powers” comes as the program focuses on a pair of “bird parents” that have established a sanctuary for them.

The adaptations of owls put on display in Nature: Owl Powers give viewers plenty of reason to watch the program.  They are just one reason that audiences will enjoy it.  The discussion on the various “powers” used by owls on a daily basis comes as the program focuses on a pair of individuals that have established a sanctuary for owls.  The sanctuary was established for the purposes of raising owls and helping heal those owls that need the assistance.  Audiences will be interested to see that not only does the pair raise owls and help heal them but it also goes out into the community and educates people about owls and their “powers.”  In other words, they aren’t just a couple of people working in some facility.  Rather they are giving back to the communities that have helped keep their facility running.  Viewers will thoroughly enjoy seeing the true love that the pair has for its fine-feathered friends and its dedication to getting them to the point of living on their own in the wild.  Especially moving is the revelation of one of the owls that the pair raised having grown up and flown off on its own.  The pair shows the same emotion for that bird as a parent of a child would when said parent moves out and takes on the world for the first time.  It is a touching moment and one of the best of the program.  It is also one more example of why the central story presented in Nature: Owl Power is such a solid point in the overall scheme of this episode.

The story at the center of Nature: Owl Power and the “powers” themselves that are displayed throughout the course of the episode’s roughly fifty-three minute run time make for plenty of reason for viewers to watch this episode of Nature.  Collectively though, they make up just one reason that it proves itself worth the watch.  The cinematography used throughout the course of the episode is just as worth noting in the show’s enjoyment and success.  Specifically speaking, the cinematography used in this episode allows audiences to see owls in action both at regular speed and slowed down.  The slow motion presentation of the owls in flight is the real star of the program’s cinematography.  The slow motion used throughout the program allows viewers to see just what makes owls’ wings and their sharp talons such impressive adaptations as well as the rest of their adaptations.  What is most impressive about the use of the slow motion photography is the fact that it is used so sparingly across the program.  It would have been so simple for those behind the cameras to be less than sparing with this element.  But thankfully they didn’t go that route.  The end result is an element that becomes just as integral to the program as the rest of the program’s camera work.  The natural backdrops that are used in the regular speed flight scenes are just as impressive as the footage shown in the slow motion footage.  The backdrops in question are typically countryside backdrops.  There is something about the juxtaposition of the owls in flight to their natural habitats that audiences will truly enjoy.  Whether for that element of its cinematography or for the slow motion footage, the cinematography in whole that is presented in Nature: Owl Power proves even more why this episode of Nature is well worth the watch and another impressive piece proving once more why Nature remains today the leading series of its kind on television.

The cinematography incorporated into Nature: Owl Power and the episode’s central story work together to make this episode another impressive episode of television’s top wildlife series.  They still are not the do all end all for this episode.  The graphic illustrations that are incorporated into the episode, alongside its cinematography round out the elements that make this episode worth the watch.  The illustrations in question clearly outline why the makeup of the different own breeds’ bodies make them “super-beings” of sorts of the animal world.  Audiences will see clearly how the “imbalance” of some owls’ ear holes actually turns their hearing into virtual radar and how the flat makeup of their faces actually heightens the effect of their hearing.  Viewers will also get to see how owls’ eyes give them “super-sight” so to speak.  It’s just one more of so many graphic illustrations used throughout the program that make it an interesting watch that is well worth viewers’ time.  Together with the episode’s cinematography and the two-part main presentation it rounds out the reasons that Owl Power proves to be so worth the watch.  All three elements together prove this episode to be one that “soars” above so many other aviary-based wildlife programs out there today.

Nature: Owl Power is a soaring hit of a documentary and another impressive episode of Nature.  Whether through its central story, its cinematography, or its graphic illustrations, it shows in more than one way why it is such an impressive presentation.  It is available now on DVD and Blu-ray and can be ordered online direct from PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/search/index.jsp?kwCatId=&kw=owl%20power&origkw=owl+power&sr=1.  More information on this and other episodes of Nature is available online at:

 

Website: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/PBSNature

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Penguin Post Office Is Another Impressive Edition Of PBS’ Nature

Courtesy:  PBS Distribution/PBS

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS

Throughout the course of its three decades plus on the air PBS’ hit wildlife-based series Nature has taken audiences to some of the most stunning spots around the world.  It has also taken viewers to some of the world’s most desolate regions throughout its now decades-long run.  Those journeys around the world have produced episodes that have time and again proven why Nature remains today the leading series of its kind even today.  That includes the series new episode Penguin Post Office.  This episode was recently released on DVD.  It is another interesting episode of the long-running series.  Though, it should be noted that there is some content in this episode that some viewers might find tough for younger viewers to handle.  So viewer discretion is advised in this episode.  That aside, the information shared in this episode is still one of its most important aspects.  The cinematography exhibited throughout the episode is just as crucial to its enjoyment and success.  Whether for the footage capturing the daily life of the Gentoo penguins or for the footage of their habitat, there are plenty of impressive visuals for audiences in this episode.  The program’s pacing is also noteworthy.  As is the standard with Nature, this episode’s pacing is rock solid.  The presentation moves at a pace that won’t leave anyone behind or leave anyone feeling like they need a program to know what’s going on.  When that element is set alongside the episode’s impressive camera work and its writing, all three elements show clearly why Penguin Post Office is yet another impressive episode of Nature.  In turn, the episode in whole shows once more why Nature is television’s leading wildlife-based series and why PBS remains, yet again, the proven last bastion of truly worthwhile programming.

Penguin Post Office, PBS’ latest home release from its long-running wildlife-based series Nature is yet another impressive addition to the series’ extensive history.  The episode presented here shows itself to be so interesting and impressive primarily through its writing.  More specifically, the information shared through the course of the episode lies at the center of the episode’s enjoyment and success.  The information in question is so interesting because it focuses more on the Gentoo penguins that populate the Antarctic Peninsula at which Port Lockroy sits.  Audiences will be interested (and shocked) to learn that these penguins aren’t exactly what people think.  They are very territorial birds willing to go so far as to kill other penguins just to protect their territory.  And the male of the species apparently is not the most faithful creature, either.  Audiences might actually find themselves laughing as one male Gentoo penguin is busted with a female that is not its mate by the noted penguin’s mate.  It’s like an animal version of a soap opera.  For all of the eye-opening behavior of the penguins at Port Lockroy, audiences will be just as interested to see how devoted the penguins are to their young and how innovative they are.  Having seemingly no means to build nests, the Gentoo penguins actually dive beneath the waves and gather stones for their nests.  The stones aren’t just any stones, either.  They are the stones that are just right for the given penguins’ nests.  It really shows a relatively high level of intelligence among these birds.  The same can be said of their protective nature.  Though, that level of intelligence is debatable among the male of the species.  Yes, that bad joke was fully intended.  But in all seriousness, the ability of penguins to think at such a level (and to react accordingly regardless of the situation) shows quite a high level of intelligence.  Such intelligence is put on display throughout this episode.  It shows clearly why the writing portion of this episode’s presentation is so important to its enjoyment and success.  Again, it should be noted that some of the material shared throughout the course of the program might be considered questionable for younger viewers.  That aside, older viewers will still find all of the information shared about the penguins to be quite interesting.  It makes Penguin Post Office well worth the watch within itself.

The information shared throughout the whole of Penguin Post Office makes a solid foundation for the program.  It’s just part of the whole that audiences will appreciate about this episode of Nature, though.  The cinematography presented in this episode is just as noteworthy as the information that makes up the program’s foundation.  There is plenty of footage of the Gentoo penguins building their nests and interacting.  Some of the footage might be difficult to stomach, though.  As noted, some of the material shared might be unsettling for younger viewers.  That is tied directly in to the cinematography.  On a more positive note, the footage of the Antarctic peninsula is stunning.  Audiences get to see the massive icebergs set against the gentle blues and greys of the peninsula’s waters and rocks. They get to see the penguins diving for the rocks that make up their nests.  They also see the penguins defending their territory from one predator in particular.  Those wanting just a glimpse into the camera crew’s exemplary work can see it for themselves via the program’s trailer, which can be viewed here.  It shows better than any amount of words could ever do in showing the camera crew’s outstanding work; work that proves itself one more reason that audiences will especially enjoy Penguin Post Office.

The writing and cinematography incorporated into Penguin Post Office are both important elements in their own right to the program’s enjoyment and its success.  Both elements provide their own important piece to the whole of the episode that collectively will keep viewers engaged from beginning to end.  That is the case even in some of the more unsettling moments included in the feature.  For all of their importance to the program in whole, they are not all that makes Penguin Post Office work as well as it does.  The program’s pacing should be noted here, too.  Those behind Nature have maintained a certain standard in regards to the pacing of the series’ episodes throughout its three decades-plus run on PBS.  That standard is maintained just as well in the case of this episode as in every other episode that has come before.  At no point in the program will viewers feel lost or left behind.  Ample time is given to each portion of the program’s body.  The result is a near hour-long episode that will leave audiences surprised at how little they really knew about penguins and especially about the Gentoo penguins.  It rounds out the ways in which Penguin Post Office proves itself yet another insightful and entertaining episode of television’s leading wildlife-based series.

Penguin Post Office boasts plenty of positives across its nearly hour-long run time.  The information shared on the Gentoo penguins is within itself quite insightful.  It gives an in-depth look at just one breed of penguin that populates the world.  The cinematography incorporated into the series presents a stark and stunning landscape the few ever get to see.  The pacing of the program in whole will keep audiences engaged and in turn allow them to more thoroughly enjoy and appreciate the noted writing and cinematography. All things considered, Penguin Post Office proves to be a program about which plenty of people will want to write home (another bad joke fully intended). They serve to show why PBS remains today the last true bastion of truly worthwhile programming on television. Penguin Post Office is available now on DVD. It can be ordered online direct from PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=57130986&cp=&kw=penguin+post+office&origkw=penguin+post+office&sr=1. More information on this and other episodes of Nature is available online now at:

Website: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/PBSNature

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.