PBS To Launch New Amazon Prime Video Channel Next Month

Courtesy: PBS

PBS will launch a new Prime Video channel next month.

The network is scheduled to launch its PBS Documentaries channel on Aug. 4.  The channel will featured documentaries from PBS’ series, such as FrontlineAmerican Experience and NOVA.  Audiences can view a trailer for the new channel here.

Andrea Downing, Co-President of PBS Distribution, shared her thoughts on the coming launch of the new streaming video channel in a prepared statement.

“PBS is the leader of high-quality, compelling nonfiction entertainment, and the PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel is a natural addition to our current streaming offering on Prime Video Channels—PBS Masterpiece, PBS Living AND PBS Kids.,” she said.  “This channel will not only help bring engaging stories about life in all corners of our country to a new audience, it will provide needed revenues to sustain public broadcasting’s public-private partnership model for the benefit of all stations and the communities they serve,”

Documentarian Ken Burns, who most recently helmed the PBS documentary Country Music, and who has also helmed other PBS documentaries, such as JazzThe Vietnam War and Baseball said in his own comments that he was anticipating the channel’s launch,

“We had long hoped to be able to have all of our films available in one place so the public would have access to the body of work,” said Burns. “We’re thrilled that this is now possible thanks to the efforts of PBS Distribution and Amazon to launch the PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel and also through PBS’s Passport initiative that allows viewers to support their public television stations. Both will also contribute to the larger mission of PBS.”

PBS Documentaries is expected to have almost 1,000 hours of content available for audiences upon its launch.  Burns’ documentaries will be among that content, as well as Stanley Nelson’s documentary The Black PanthersVanguard of the Revolution.

Nelson shared his pleasure at the announcement of the channel’s launch through his own comments.

“I’m thrilled to see that my work will find a new home on this channel,” said Nelson. “PBS has become a premier destination for documentary programming in the U.S. and has been hugely invested in giving films by diverse storytellers and emerging filmmakers much-needed national exposure. I’m so glad that my film on the Black Panther Party, which can inform communities in our current historical moment, will be able to reach different audiences on this new service.”

Subscription to PBS Documentaries will cost $3.99/month with an Amazon Prime or Prim Video subscription.  It will only be available in the United States.

PBS Documentaries is just one of the ways in which audiences can view PBS’ documentary programs.  PBS also offers its own streaming service called Passport.  It allows people to pay a given fee to watch the network’s programs through its own website.

More information on PBS Documentaries is available along with all of PBS’ latest news at:

 

Website: http://www.pbs.org

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Twitter: http://twitter.com/PBS

 

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Animal Lovers, Biologists Everywhere Will Enjoy ‘NOVA: Cat And Dog Tales’

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution/WGBH

Almost 30 years ago this year, the timeless animated series Garfield & Friends presented one of its most notable shorts, “For Cats Only.”  The episode is a hilarious telling of the history of cats (and to a point dogs) on Earth.  It is a laugh riot story that while largely fictitious, apparently had some truths, according to PBS’ recently aired NOVA episode Cat and Dog Tales.  Released to DVD in May, NOVA: Cat and Dog Tales is its own telling of the history of dogs and cats.  That story, complete with revelations about some other items – also addressed in the noted Garfield & Friends short – makes for its own reason to watch this episode of NOVA.  It will be addressed shortly.  The program’s general presentation adds to the DVD’s presentation.  It will be discussed a little later.  The DVD’s average price point rounds out its most important elements.  All things considered, NOVA: Cat and Dog Tales a presentation that will appeal to any feline fanatic and canine companion.

NOVA: Cat and Dog Tales is a presentation that pet parents and pals alike will enjoy.  That is proven in part through its central story.  The story in question tells the history of cats and dogs and how they came to become humans’ beloved companions.  Now unlike in the noted Garfield & Friends short, audiences learn here that cats did not come from another planet, but in fact from Europe and Asia while dogs descended from wolves that had existed around the world for thousands of years.  At the same time though, that noted short apparently proves right about cats being domesticated according to his real life documentary.  The documentary points out that humans did not domesticate cats, but that in fact they domesticated themselves.  The same can be said of dogs, according to this program.  It points out in its central story, that dogs (like cats) domesticated themselves over time.  How each species’ domestication happened is interesting to learn in its own right.  Another item addressed in the overall story is that of whether cats and dogs actually love us or if they love the food that we provide.  Not to give away too much, but owners of cats and dogs alike should find no surprise in either revelation here.  All things considered, the overall story of feline and canine history is certain to keep audiences wholly engaged and entertained throughout each segment of the two-part program.

As noted, NOVA: Cat and Dog Tales is a two-part program.  This is important to note as it plays directly into the episode’s general presentation.  Rather than bundling everything together into a single, nonstop, two-hour presentation, audiences can watch each “story” in itself.  As a result, audiences won’t have to worry about feeling mentally spent.  They will then have an easier time remembering everything presented in each story.  This is something that audiences are sure to appreciate.  To that end, those responsible for making the decision to separate the segments are to be commended for that decision.  It proves to be just as positive as the program’s overall, in-depth story to the DVD’s overall presentation.  Together with the noted content, this element gives viewers even more to appreciate in the DVD’s overall presentation.  It is just one more aspect that audiences will appreciate about the DVD.  Its average price point rounds out its most important elements.

The average price point of NOVA: Cat and Dog Tales is $19.32.  That price is obtained by averaging price listings through Amazon, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Books-A-Million, and PBS’ online store.  That is a price point that will not break anyone’s budget.  The same can be said of most of the separate listings.  While PBS’ listing, and that of Barnes & Noble Booksellers’ listings exceed that average, they are not by much.  Meanwhile, the listing of $24.99 at Books-a-Million once more far exceeds the average.  Amazon, Walmart and Target each have the lowest price listing at $16.99 while Best Buy’s listing of $17.99 also comes in below that average.  It is not the least expensive listing, but is still less expensive than the average, proving once again that for the most part, the price for this DVD is not prohibitive for any viewer(s).  Considering all that the DVD offers in terms of its content and how said content is presented, it makes the DVD even more affordable and worth the price – save of course for that one noted listing.  Even with the listing at Books-A-Million noted, audiences should keep in mind that regardless of the retailer from which they buy the DVD, at least a portion of the price paid will go to benefit PBS.  That is always important to note considering how little funding PBS gets from the federal government.  Keeping all of this in mind, NOVA: Cat and Dog Tales proves itself to be a DVD that pet parents and pals alike will appreciate.

NOVA: Cat and Dog Tales is a presentation that animal lovers everywhere will enjoy.  That is due in part to its central story, which presents the history of cats and dogs and much more.  The manner in which the overall story is presented adds to the appeal of the DVD’s presentation.  Considering all that the noted items show in themselves and collectively, audiences will agree that the DVD’s average price point is money worth spending.  Each item noted here is important in its own way.  All things considered, they make NOVA: Cat and Dog Tales a presentation that any animal lover will enjoy.  It is available now.

More information on this and other episodes of NOVA is available at:

 

Websitehttp://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/NOVApbs

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/novapbs

 

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 http:///philspicks.wordpress.com.

‘NOVA: Look Who’s Driving’ Will “Drive” Plenty Of Discussion Among Audiences

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution/WGBH

Just because we can, should we?  That is the basis of Look Who’s Driving, another new episode from PBS’ hit science-based series NOVA.  Having originally premiered on PBS last year, the episode was released on DVD in January.  The hour-long episode is an insightful look at the evolving technology of driverless vehicles and the divide that it has created among proponents and opponents.  That story and how the topic is examined serve as the foundation for this episode of NOVA and will be addressed shortly.  The program’s pacing plays its own part in its presentation, and will be addressed a little later.  Keeping all of this in mind, the DVD’s average price point proves just as much a positive as the DVD’s other noted items.  It will also be discussed later.  Each noted item is important in its own way to the whole of the DVD’s presentation.  All things considered, they make NOVA: Look Who’s Driving a presentation that paints a thorough picture of the future of transportation on America’s roads.

NOVA: Look Who’s Driving is a thorough and rich examination of the possible future of transportation on America’s roads as it relates to automated vehicles.  The story featured within this documentary opens with the story of a bicyclist who was killed when an automated car hit the cyclist, who was walking with her bicycle across the road while the car’s driver was busy looking at her cell phone.  From that point on, the discussion begins on the growing presence of automated vehicles on the nation’s roads and the issue of responsibility that drivers have as they ride in the vehicles.  Audiences will be interested to see just how many companies are working to this day, to create fully autonomous vehicles.  Additionally, brief comments are made through the story about not only safety concerns, but also concerns about the potential economic and ecological impacts of increasing numbers of automated vehicles on the planet.  Again, these notes are brief, so they make for a good starting point on deeper discussions on said topics, but the bigger discussion featured in the story is whether there is a place or even a need for autonomous vehicles.  Officials with many of the companies that are working to create said vehicles are interviewed throughout the course of the program.  While they allege that autonomous vehicles will make the nation’s (and world’s) roads safer and driving easier, none of those noted officials ever actually provide any solid proof to support their allegations.  Officials with two companies – Uber and Tessla – declined to take part in the investigatory program, as is noted in the documentary.  Ironically, those companies are the ones whose vehicles were shown to have been involved in at least a handful of fatal wrecks that involved automated vehicles.  The opponents to self-driving vehicles are also interviewed, so there is no bias featured in this documentary.  Their comments and the hard evidence shown throughout the program showing all of the complications that companies face in trying to make automated vehicles a full reality prevents anyone from trying to claim bias one way or the other here.  Keeping all of this in mind, the program’s central story in itself more than ensures audiences’ maintained engagement and entertainment.  It is just one part of what makes the program such an interesting presentation.  The program’s pacing adds to the episode’s strength.

The pacing of NOVA: Look Who’s Driving is important to note in its own right, as it is a counterpoint of sorts to the extensive discussion that takes place throughout the course of this episode of NOVA.  There is a lot of data presented throughout the episode that explains all of the concerns related to the matter of self-driving cars.  From the stories of people connected to the noted fatal, incidents to the clearly pointed concerns about cars not being fully intelligent – this in itself can lead to discussions on concerns about computers going from being AI to sentient, especially with the concept of “training” computers that run said vehicles – to the economic and ecological concerns, a lot of ground is covered here.  Add in the arguments made by the proponents of self-driving vehicles and even more ground is covered, even without any real substantive evidence supporting their allegations.  Considering all that is presented on both sides of the overall discussion, there is so much to follow.  Luckily, those behind the episode’s editing and general writing served to keep its pacing solid from start to end.  The result is a program that flows cleanly from one discussion point to another throughout the episode, and in turn ensures viewers’ engagement and entertainment that much more.  Keeping all of this in mind, the pacing works with the episode’s story and proves without doubt, the program’s overall success.  While the episode’s overall content leaves zero doubt as to its success, said content is not all that will appeal to audiences.  The DVD’s average price point rounds out its most important elements.

The DVD’s average price point is right at $19.  That price is obtained by averaging prices from Amazon, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Books-A-Million and PBS’ online store.  While some of the listings — $14.98 at Amazon and Target; $17.55 at Walmart; $17.99 at Best Buy – are below the noted average price, others — $19.99 at PBS’ store; $22.74 at Barnes & Noble Booksellers and $24.99 at Books-a-Million – exceed that point.  Considering that PBS’ listing is just barely over the average price point, it is still relatively affordable, meaning once more, the listings at Barnes & Noble Booksellers and Books-A-Million are once again the most expensive.  The other listings are all prices that audiences will not mind paying, considering again that noted average price point.  They are price listings that will not break any viewer’s budget.  What’s more, considering the fact that the overall program will remain timely for the foreseeable future, this means that it is a DVD that audiences will not find themselves selling away or even donating.  Keeping that in mind, this price point once again proves without doubt why, coupled with the program’s content, the DVD is well worth the purchase and the watch.  It will certainly “drive” plenty of people to start their own discussions on the topic, leading it to be one more of this year’s top new documentaries.

NOVA: Look Who’s Driving is a presentation that is well worth viewing.  It covers a very hot button issue without all of the typical talking head figures.  Yes, the proponents are there from the companies that are working to create autonomous vehicles, and so are their opponents.  It’s not one of those typical news style talking head programs.  Rather, it is a full-on investigative piece whose overall story will keep viewers watching through that presentation style.  The program’s pacing adds even more reason for audiences to watch.  The DVD’s relatively affordable price point rounds out its most important elements.  It is a point that will not break audiences’ budgets.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the DVD’s presentation.  All things considered, they make NOVA: Look Who’s Driving one more of this year’s top new documentaries.  It is available now.

More information on this and other episodes of NOVA is available at:

 

Websitehttp://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/NOVApbs

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/novapbs

 

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 http:///philspicks.wordpress.com.

Forget Dinosaurs, ‘NOVA: Rise Of The Mammals’ Tells A Much Needed Post Dino Pre-History Story

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution/WGBH

Everybody loves dinosaurs, right?  Okay, well if not everybody then lots of people.  From movies to television, people of all ages love dinosaurs.  The reason for that popularity is anyone’s guess.  They are so popular that Discovery Channel is even launching a new paleontology –based reality TV series Friday titled Dino Hunters. For all of the popularity of dinosaurs, it seems that few if any movie and television companies have ever actually focused on what happened after the age of dinosaurs.  That is until recently.  Late last year, PBS became one of the rare companies to examine the aftermath of the extinction of dinosaurs in a new episode of its hit science-based series NOVA titled Rise of the Mammals.  The episode was subsequently released on DVD in January.  The program is an interesting starting point on the discussion of what happened after dinosaurs died off.  It serves as the primary element to examine in this episode and will be discussed shortly.  The bonus content featured with the episode.  It will be discussed a little later.  Considering the overall content featured in this DVD, its average price point is a cost that audiences will find acceptable to pay.  This will also be addressed later.  All three items noted here are key in their own way to the DVD’s presentation.  All things considered, they make NOVA: Rise of the Mammals a presentation that while brief, is a welcome continuation of the story of the dinosaurs’ extinction.

NOVA: Rise of the Mammals is an engaging new episode of PBS’ hit science-based series that audiences of all ages will *ahem* dig.  Yes, that terrible pun was intended.  The program’s success is due in part to the episode’s central story.  The story in question is that of the effort by paleontologists to find out what happened after the extinction of the dinosaurs.  The story centers on one young paleontologist in particular who started his career before he was even an adult.  It tells of his efforts to do what few have ever done, find proof of the time when dinosaurs went extinct and of the flora and fauna that survived.  Audiences will be interested to learn of how difficult that task was until a chance discovery was made at a museum.  That underlying story will be left for audiences to discover for themselves.  From there, the story, ensures viewers’ engagement and entertainment as the young paleontologist goes on his quest to find said evidence.  It goes without saying that he makes the hoped for discoveries, which has gone on to lead to other important scientific knowledge about what happened as Earth finally started recovering from its literal and figurative darkest time.  The story may not have the bombast of its Hollywood counterparts, but is still just as engaging and entertaining as those movies and TV shows.  To that end, it gives audiences more than enough reason to watch this episode.  The story is just one of the elements that makes NOVA: Rise of the Mammals such a worthwhile watch.  The bonus content that accompanies the story adds more interest to the program’s presentation.

The bonus content that is featured with the home release of NOVA: Rise of the Mammals is noteworthy because it isolates specific aspects of the program that can be used as educational points for perhaps high school and college level courses.  The high school level discussions are noted because as the episode shows, there are students within that age range who are interested in paleontology.  One of the three topics addressed in the bonus content is that of concretions.  Audiences learn through the isolated segment, which is also featured in the program’s story, what concretions are and how they are formed.  Viewers learn that they are made in a manner similar to that of general fossils, just with some variation.  The even more brief discussion on finding flora in the concretions adds its own tiny touch to the presentation while also serving as another starting point for another discussion makes for its own share of interest.  The examination of the work done on the bluff where the extinction line was discovered is worth its own note, too.  All things considered, the noted bonus content is not necessarily unique from its source material, since it is all included in the story itself, but having specific topics isolated for more direct discussion points in classrooms is noteworthy in its own right.  Together with the DVD’s central story, the overall content gives audiences plenty of reason to watch.  Keeping all of this in mind, the DVD’s average price point proves to be its own positive.

The average price point of NOVA: Rise of the Mammals is $18.69.  That price os obtained by averaging prices from Amazon, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Books-A-Million and PBS’ online store.  Once again, audiences get a DVD here from PBS that stays below the $20 mark.  In other words, audiences will not break their budget in purchasing the DVD for the most part.  Unlike other previously released NOVA DVDs, there are fewer listings that exceed that average.  The lowest price — $15.29 – comes from Amazon and Target.  Walmart, for once, does not have the lowest price, listing the DVD at $17.27.  Even despite this, the store’s listing is still below the average, so that is notable in its own right.  Best Buy’s listing of $17.99 is just below the noted average price while Barnes & Noble Booksellers and PBS’ listing of $19.99 are just over said price.  Books-a-Million once again far exceeds the average price at $24.99.  Simply put, for the most part, audiences can purchase this DVD at a relatively affordable price, save for that one listing at Books-A-Million, that will not break budgets.  Any copies not directly sold by PBS, but through other retailers, will still see a portion of said sales go to PBS.  To that end, audiences will still be supporting PBS no matter what they do.  That is the most important aspect to note.  Keeping the DVD’s relative affordability in mind along with the presentation’s content, each element does its own part to make the DVD appealing.  All things considered, they make NOVA: Rise of the Mammals another interesting addition to PBS’ ongoing “Rise of…” series of NOVA episodes.

PBS’ latest addition to its ongoing “Rise of…” NOVA episodes (the series includes titles, such as Rise of the Rockets, Rise of the Drones and Rise of the Robots) is another engaging addition to said series of episodes.  That is proven in part through the episode’s central story, which finds its main figure on a journey to find out what happened following the extinction of the dinosaurs, rather than just doing what everybody else does, looking for dino skeletons.  The bonus content featured with the story adds its own interest because of its ability to serve as starting points for so many classroom discussions on the noted topics.  The overall content featured in the DVD makes the DVD’s average price point notable in its own right.  The price in question once again stays below the $20 mark, meaning it will not break any viewer’s budget.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the DVD’s presentation.  All things considered, they make NOVA: Rise of the Mammals another enjoyable addition to NOVA’s “Rise of…” episodes and another equally engaging episode of NOVA.  It is available now.

More information on this and other episodes of NOVA is available at:

 

Websitehttp://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/NOVApbs

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/novapbs

 

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 http:///philspicks.wordpress.com.

‘NOVA: Decoding Da Vinci’ Will Appeal To Students, Lovers Of Art, Anatomical Sciences

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS/WGBH

It goes without saying that Leonardo da Vinci is one of the greatest minds of his time and possibly of all time.  His paintings , few as they are, continue to evoke discussion and great emotion from people from around the world.  His scientific advancements were centuries before his time, showing even more, his incredible mind.  Now in a new episode of its hit science based series NOVA, titled Decodind Da Vinci, PBS examines how da Vinci’s interest in science and art played directly into one another, leading to what are some of the greatest paintings of all time.  That story in itself is more than enough reason for audiences to view this episode of NOVA.  While the program ensures viewers’ engagement an entertainment, hindsight in watching the program makes the show’s title slightly problematic.  This will be addressed a little later.  Even with that problematic titling, the DVD is still worth the purchase, considering its average price point, which will also be discussed later.  Each item noted plays its own important part to the program’s presentation.  All things considered, Decoding Da Vinci becomes a presentation that will appeal to art and science students and lovers alike.

NOVA: Decoding Da Vinci, another recent episode from PBS’ hit science-based series, is an interesting presentation.  It is a work that will appeal to those with an interest in and knowledge of art and science alike.  That is due in large part to the program’s overall story.  The story in question shows how Leonardo da Vinci’s interest in art and science intersected and the role that his scientific mind played into his artistic vision.  It is not an overly broad presentation, either.  It especially focuses on the connection between da Vinci’s interest in science and how it played into his most famous painting, “The Mona Lisa.”  Along the way, the program takes audiences into da Vinci’s study of human anatomy in relation to his art while exhibiting anatomical drawings that da Vinci created and their influence even today on biologists and scientists who study anatomy and anatomical science.  One of those individuals praises da Vinci for some of his drawings while also candidly saying his drawing of the female reproductive system was quite off.  That moment with bring laughter from any viewer.  That is the case due to the revelation of why he made the drawing in the fashion in which he did.

In coordination with the discussion on da Vinci’s art, the program also takes time to examine his specific painting style and uses that discussion in the examination of the painting of Bacchus.  It has long been believed that the painting is one of da Vinci’s, but the examination of his painting style reveals that the artwork may well in fact not be one of his works.  That revelation is tied back to da Vinci’s focus on human anatomy, too.  Between this discussion, that of his interest in science, and how the two topics correlate (and even the paints that he used) make for a fully engaging presentation.  While the overall presentation of Decoding Da Vinci will keep viewers engaged throughout its 53-minute run time, the story featured therein does not fully work with the episode’s title.

The very title Decoding Da Vinci hints at mystery and some kind of unknown about Leonardo da Vinci.  That very word “decoding” means uncovering something unknown.  However, there is no real mystery or unknown information per se here.  The closest that the program comes to any mystery is the discussion on whether the painting of Bacchus is one of his works.  The discussion on the ties between da Vinci’s scientific and artistic interests is more lecture than mystery.  Keeping that in mind, the title is problematic in this case, but it does not make the episode unwatchable by any means.  It is just something is in need of some attention.

Taking into consideration the depth and breadth of information shared through Decoding Da Vinci’s story, it makes the DVD’s average price point an item that will appeal just as much to audiences as the DVD’s content.  The average price point for NOVA: Decoding Da Vinci is $19.35.  That price, which once again is below the $20 mark, is obtained by averaging prices at Amazon, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Books-A-Million, and PBS’ online store.  Once more, the only price listings that exceed that point are from Barnes & Noble Booksellers and Books-A-Million.  Their price listings for the DVD are $22.74 and $24.99 respectively.  Meanwhile, the lowest and most common listing of $16.59 comes from Amazon, Walmart and Target.  Best Buy’s listing for the DVD is $17.99 while PBS’ listing is $19.99.  So, while PBS’ price point is once again above the average price point for one of its DVDs, that exception is still only barely above the line.  Making exception for the two outstandingly overpriced listings at Barnes & Noble Booksellers and Books-A-Million, the rest of the listings are largely either below the DVD’s average price point or right at that point.  In other words, the DVD’s cost will not break any viewer’s budget.  It’s another positive for this episode of NOVA in its home release.  When considered along with the DVD’s content, the DVD in whole proves to be another positive offering from PBS and PBS Distribution.

PBS Distribution’s home release of NOVA: Decoding Da Vinci is an episode of NOVA that will appeal to audiences.  That is due in part to the DVD’s central story, which examines the connection between Leonard da Vinci’s scientific mind and his artistic mind.  On the surface, that connection seems simple, but as this story shows, the connection is quite deep.  Considering the depth and breadth of that content, the DVD’s average price point serves as its own motivation, by connection.  The only negative to the DVD’s presentation is its title, and even there, that negative is not enough to make the DVD unwatchable.  Keeping all of this in mind, NOVA: Decoding Da Vinci proves itself another example of what makes NOVA such a respected and popular series.  More information on this and other episodes of NOVA is available at:

 

Websitehttp://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/NOVApbs

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/novapbs

 

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 http:///philspicks.wordpress.com.

‘NOVA: Why Bridges Collapse’ Is A Good Companion Piece To ‘NOVA: Operation Bridge Rescue’

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution/WGBH

Early last year, PBS Distribution presented an episode of NOVA titled Operation Bridge Rescue in which the story was told of a group’s efforts to rebuild the Blenheim covered bridge in New York State after it was destroyed by a hurricane in 2011.  The story also focused on efforts in China to protect existing ancient covered bridges from the elements.  That dual presentation is a story that while maybe not the stuff of blockbusters, is still an engaging and entertaining work.  More than a year after that episode of NOVA was released to DVD, PBS Distribution has released a companion piece of sorts to that episode with the recently released episode Why Bridges Collapse.  This episode of NOVA continues the theme of preserving bridges that was featured in the aforementioned episode Operation Bridge Rescue, and builds on that theme by taking the story in a new direction.  This will be addressed shortly.  The episode’s secondary story, which addresses the concerns about the nation’s aging infrastructure, is another important element to address.  It will be discussed a little later.  When these two elements are considered together, they make the DVD’s average price point such that audiences will not mind paying said cost.  Each item noted here is important in the overall presentation of NOVA: Why Bridges Collapse its own engaging presentation and an equally interesting companion piece to Operation Bridge Rescue.

PBS’ recently released NOVA episode Why Bridges Collapse is an engaging new look at America’s aging infrastructure.  Specifically, it is an engaging new chapter in the look at the matter of the world’s aging bridges.  This topic was already addressed last year in another episode of NOVA, Operation Bridge Rescue.  This episode essentially picks up where that aforementioned prior episode left off.  It left off with the happy ending of the reconstruction of the Blenheim Covered Bridge, which was destroyed by mother nature in 2011.  This episode continues the discussion by turning the attention to bridge collapses that happened not because of mother nature, but because of age.  One of the bridges in question – the Morandi Bridge, located in Genoa, Italy – serves as the basis for the discussion.  The episode follows authorities’ efforts to find out why the bridge collapsed in 2017, claiming more than 40 lives in the process.  Along the way, audiences are also reminded of the tragic collapse of the Interstate 35 West bridge in Minneapolis, MN that happened in 2007 and the equally tragic collapse of the Silver River Bridge in1967 in Point Pleasant, WV.  No, there is no mention of the alleged Mothman here.  Rather, that story finds that an aged portion of the bridge is what led to the collapse.  In the same vein, it is also found that aging (and improper construction) is what led to the collapse of the I-35 bridge in Minneapolis.  These revelations eventually lead to the same finding in the collapse of the Morandi Bridge in Genoa, Italy.  As it turns, out, poor construction of that bridge led to corrosion over the decades since its completion.  That corrosion eventually led the noted supports to break, and to the bridge’s collapse.  In the same manner, improper construction of the I-35 bridge in Minneapolis led to the corrosion and weakening of that structure to happen at an increased rate than otherwise would have.  Corrosion was also found to be an issue in the Silver River bridge collapse.  Simply put, aging of the bridges, and lack of proper attention to the structures is what ultimately led to the tragedies.  This brings things full circle back to Operation Bridge Rescue.  It has to be assumed that those who rebuilt the Blenheim Covered Bridge took that issue into consideration in their construction efforts.  This discussion in itself more than makes this episode of NOVA engaging.  When it is tied into the episode’s secondary topic, that of the need to address the nation’s (and world’s) aging infrastructure, it makes the episode even more interesting.

The matter of addressing America’s (and the world’s) aging infrastructure is noted in this episode, but is limited to a minimum.  Even with that limitation, it is still there.  Politicians on both sides of the aisle have talked for ages about the need to address America’s infrastructure (including bridges), but sadly for all the talk, no action has resulted.  Bridges are economic lifelines for nations around the world.  They ensure that people and goods can get to where they need to go every day, but unless governments at every level actually address the concerns surrounding bridges, these tragedies are likely to continue happening.   So while the comment made here about making sure bridges are cared for is brief, it is an important portion of the program in its own right.  It is a starting point in much-needed discussions on getting our nation’s infrastructure updated.  Hopefully those discussions will lead to actual action regardless of which side of the aisle that action comes from.  Keeping this aspect of the program in mind, it works alongside the program’s overall story to make the episode that much more engaging.  Keeping all of that in mind, the episode’s primary and secondary content makes the documentary well worth the watch.  They also make the DVD’s average price point positive.

The average price point of NOVA: Why Bridges Collapse is $19.44.  That price  was obtained by averaging prices from Amazon, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Books-A-Million and PBS’ online store.  The lowest list price among the listings was $16.79 (Amazon, Walmart, and Target).  The price went up from there, coming in at $17.99 at Best Buy, $19.99 at PBS’ online store, $22.74 at Barnes & Noble Booksellers and $24.99 at Books-A-Million.  While Barnes & Noble Booksellers and Books-A-Million once again break the average price point for a PBS DVD, PBS’ own price is just barely over that point, making it a worthy choice for consumers.  What’s more, save for the two noted higher-priced listings, most of the listings don’t break the $20 mark.  That means that once again, save for the two noted outlets’ listings, audiences will not break the bank when they purchase the DVD.  What’s more, the money spent on the DVD will go back to PBS, if only a portion when purchased through retailers other than PBS.  Keeping this in mind along with the impact and value of the DVD’s content, all three items come together to make this latest addition to PBS’ bridge-centered NOVA episodes another positive presentation both by itself and in conjunction with its companion program, Operation Bridge Rescue.

NOVA: Why Bridges Collapse is a positive new episode of PBS’ hit science-based series that will appeal to anyone having anything to do with the world of engineering and to audiences in general.  That is proven in part through the program’s primary content, which tells the story of how construction and age is what leads to so many of America’s (and the world’s) bridges collapsing.  The secondary content – the message about the need to address that aging infrastructure – adds to its interest.  That is because it is a message that the world’s leaders (especially America’s elected officials) need to hear.  All of this together makes the DVD’s average price point of less than $20 a cost that audiences will appreciate.  It is a point that is affordable for any viewer.  Keeping that in mind along with the DVD’s primary and secondary content, the whole of the DVDs presentation proves another successful offering from PBS.  The DVD is available now.

More information on this and other episodes of NOVA is available online now at:

 

 

 

Websitehttp://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova

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‘NOVA: Mysteries Of Sleep’ Will Keep Audiences Awake, Engaged

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution/WGBH

Broadcast news agencies love using stories about the importance of sleep to fill space on slow news days.  The little 30-second blurbs always say pretty much the same thing from one station to the next:  Sleep affects people’s weight; It impacts overall health and people’s performance at school and work. The problem with these stories is that they never go into any real depth about the relation between sleep and said issues.  Now thanks to PBS, audiences are getting a deeper look into the mechanics of sleep in a new episode of its hit science-based series NOVA, Mysteries of Sleep.  Released May 19 on DVD, this episode of NOVA delves into how the brain works both with and without sleep, and why sleep is so important for everyone.  That aspect forms the foundation for this episode.  The transitions that are used throughout the program play their own part to the program’s presentation and will be discussed a little later.  The program’s pricing rounds out its most important elements, considering the content and way in which that content was presented.  Each noted item is important in its own way to the whole of the DVD.  All things considered, no mystery is left why this documentary will engage and entertain audiences.  As a matter of fact, it will do anything but put audiences to sleep.  Yes, those awful puns were wholly intentional.

PBS’s NOVA documentary Mysteries of Sleep is an intriguing investigation into the connection between sleep and its impact on the brain’s operation.  This investigation forms the foundation for this episode of NOVA.  Throughout the course of the roughly 53-minute program, the investigation shows the impact of sleep on the brain in different fashions.  Audiences see the impact of sleep on memory in one case, using the developing mind of children for the example in this discussion.  In this case children who had naps immediately after taking part in a memory exercise did better remembering words and toys from the exercise than children who either waited to take a nap or did not take a nap at all.  Another way in which the connection between sleep and mental health was examined was an exercise involving rats.  Rats were subjected to brief electric shocks after hearing an equally brief high pitched tone.  The purpose of the study was to discover the impact of sleep on people with post traumatic stress disorder.  The result of the study was that the rats who slept immediately after the shocks actually responded better to hearing the high-pitched tones than the rats who stayed awake.  The scientists who conducted the study admitted they did not like going that route in using the rodents, but it helped to understand how perhaps humans suffering from PTSD might actually benefit from having more sleep.  It is an interesting concept.  It’s just one more of the ways in which the program keeps audiences engaged in the program’s overall examination of the impact of sleep on the brain.  In yet another case, audiences learn that the brain does not necessarily go just through a REM sleep and deep sleep phase, but rather multiple instances of each phase throughout the course of the night, adding that the reams we have at night could in fact be the subconscious’ way of addressing thoughts and concerns that we have during the day.  Given, that is not exactly a groundbreaking statement.  This is something that has been known for some time.  However, the firsthand interview that is presented to drive home the statement gives the discussion more grounding.  Between this discussion, the others addressed here and the others not noted but that are presented in the program, the overall content in this presentation makes it one that puts those little TV news blurbs completely to shame and keeps viewers completely engaged from beginning to end.

While the content featured in NOVA: Mysteries of Sleep ensures audiences will not themselves fall asleep, the program’s transitions do their own part to keep audiences engaged, too.  As the various topics addressed throughout the course of the program are addressed, the transitions between those topics remain smooth.  From talking about the reality that the brain is actually quite active during sleep early on to the eventual discussion on what exactly is sleep to the examination of how sleep might help people suffering from PTSD recover to how sleep impacts memory, the program manages to smoothly transition from one item to another seamlessly.  Early on, that noted transition on the discussion of the brain’s activity during sleep and what is sleep, is bolstered by in-depth examinations of what the brain does during each stage of sleep and the different stages of sleep.  This helps audiences understand each concept while forming the foundation for the bigger program.  As the program progresses from the discussion on how sleep impacts memory, it moves just as smoothly by turning the attention on discussions of ways people can better get sleep.  That transition and discussion ensure audiences’ engagement just as much.  Eventually the program transitions to its final discussion in which it is stressed that we as living beings need sleep and why.  It points out the negative impact of lack of sleep and transitions from there to hope for people who can’t get the best sleep by examining possible therapies for those people.  Eventually, the program reaches its finale in which the statement is made that sleep is important for everything that we do and we must protect our sleep.  A lot has been noted here.  The big and small of things here is that the program’s transitions are solid from the program’s start to end.  Those transitions, together with the program’s content, fully insure audiences’ engagement and entertainment from beginning to end.  Keeping all of this in mind, the program’s average price point proves to be money well-spent.

The average price point for NOVA: Mysteries of Sleep is $19.84.  That price is obtained by collecting price listings from Amazon, Target, Best Buy, Walmart, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Books-A-Million, and PBS’ online store.  PBS’ price listing is just barely above that point, listing the DVD at $19.99, while Barnes & Noble Booksellers and Books-A-Million are both well above that average at listings of $22.49 and $24.99 respectively.  Amazon and Walmart offer the DVD at the lowest price, $17.70.  Target and Best Buy are just above that listing, at $17.99 each.  What should be noted here is that the majority of the retailers list the DVD at a price that is just below the $20 mark.  In other words, it is largely being listed at a relatively affordable price that will not break anyone’s budget.  In fact, that is about on par with the price range for most normal DVD listings, save for the listings at Barnes & Noble Booksellers and Books-A-Million.  To that point, the money that audiences will pay for this DVD is affordable and well-spent considering the content featured herein and the depth of said content.  Keeping all of this in mind, NOVA: Mysteries of Sleep becomes a presentation that will appeal as much to average audiences just as much as to students studying neuroscience and those scientists already studying the concept of sleep.  It is a presentation that will do anything but put audiences to sleep.  It is available now.  More information on this and other episodes of NOVA is available at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/novapbs

 

 

 

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

PBS Takes On Sleep Science In New ‘NOVA’ Episode

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution/WGBH

Much has been said and studied in the world of sleep science throughout the decades.

News agencies nationwide use stories of sleep as space fillers on slow news days all the time.  Now a more reputable source, PBS’ NOVA takes a deeper dive into the science of sleep in a new episode scheduled for release Tuesday on DVD.  The episode, Mysteries of Sleep, examines the benefits of good sleep and consequences of not so good sleep.

Additionally, it presents research on how something, such as pink noise, can possibly have a positive impact on sleep, and how sleep impacts children’s ability to learn.

NOVAMysteries of Sleep has a run time of one hour.  It will retail for MSRP of $24.99, but can be pre-ordered at a reduced price of $19.99 through PBS’ online store.  More information on this and other episodes of NOVA is available at:

 

Website: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/novapbs

 

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

There’s No Mystery Why ‘NOVA: Dead Sea Scrolls Detectives’ Is Worth Watching

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS/WGBH

Counterfeiting is big business.  From people making fake money to knockoffs of various clothing and apparel items to even fake paintings and more, counterfeiters work hard to separate people from their money and cheat them in the process.  For all of the counterfeited items that are out there, one might never expect someone to go as far as to counterfeit some of the most significant artifacts in history, but sadly, even that happens.  In the new episode of its new hit science-based series NOVA, Dead Sea Scrolls Detectives PBS examines the counterfeiting of fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls and how the fakes are found.  This story is the most important of the episode in its recent home release, and will be discussed shortly.  The firsthand explanations of how the fakes are created and uncovered adds even more interest to the DVD’s presentation.  It will be discussed a little later.  The overall content featured in the DVD makes its average price point such that audiences will not mind paying.  When this is considered along with all of the content, the whole of this episode of NOVA proves to be a presentation that leaves no mystery as to its appeal.

NOVA: Dead Sea Scrolls Detectives is a presentation whose appeal is wide to say the least.  That is proven through a variety of clues, just one of which being its primary content.  That content, its story, goes a long way toward making it well worth the watch.  The story takes audiences in to the history of the Dead Sea Scrolls’ discovery and the eventual trend of people capitalizing on the importance of the scrolls.  Audiences will be surprised to learn the lengths to which counterfeiters have gone and will go to trick people.  Just as interesting to learn through the interviews is that apparently there’s a code among some overseas in terms of identifying the counterfeiters.  It truly is disturbing to see that there are those who are willing to protect counterfeiters.  As the story progresses, audiences discover the reach of the fakes and how easy it is for counterfeiters to get away with their crimes, and the lengths to which experts will go to uncover those fakes.  The story in whole will appeal not only to biblical experts and theologians, but to fans of crime dramas.  Those behind the episode should be applauded as it would have been so easy for them to go over the top with this and make it something that it was not.  Luckily, that did not happen here, and in turn, it ensured audiences would remain engaged throughout from start to end.

While the formatting of NOVA: Dead Sea Scrolls Detectives and the story itself do a lot to make this episode of NOVA worth the watch, those collective elements are just one part of what makes the program so interesting.  The firsthand displays of how the counterfeit fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls are identified will keep viewers engaged and entertained, too.  The segments showing how the writing on the parchments is so closely scrutinized are enlightening to say the very least.  Listening to the investigation into the writing and something as minute as the salt crystals on the parchments shows the painstaking lengths to which counterfeiters will go to trick people.  It really is a good starting point in discussions on how forensic science works.  The reaction by the victims and the investigator to the revelation of which fragments are fake adds even more interest to this aspect of the episodes.  The further investigation into how a burned scroll was “brought back to life” adds even more interest to the presentation.  Seeing how technology can be used to virtually unravel and read parchment that is otherwise destroyed shows how far technology has advanced for this and other purposes.  That display alone is eye-opening and will assuredly keep viewers engaged.  Keeping in mind the engaging and entertaining primary and secondary content featured in this documentary, it makes the presentation’s average price point such that audiences will not mind paying that price.

The average price point of NOVA: Dead Sea Scross Detectives is $19.49.  That price was obtained by averaging prices listed at Amazon, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Books-A-Million and PBS’ online store.  Barnes & Noble Booksellers did not have the DVD listed at the time of this review’s posting.  The only listings that exceed that average are at Books-A-Million, at $24.99 and PBS’ store, $19.99.  PBS’ store listing barely breaks that cap, too.  The most commonly-listed and least expensive pricing is $17.99.  It is listed at Amazon, Walmart, Target and Best Buy.  Simply put, the pricing for this DVD is affordable and worth the price at that considering its content.  It doesn’t even reach the 420 mark for the most part.  To that end, audiences will find this aspect just as appealing as the content featured within the DVD.  All things considered, consumers and audiences will agree that through investigation, it becomes clear that NOVA: Dead Sea Scrolls Detectives proves to be an enjoyable new episode of one of PBS’ best series.

NOVA: Dead Sea Scrolls Detectives is one more example of why PBS’ hit science-based series is such a popular program.  That is proven in part through the program’s primary content, it’s story, which focuses on the lengths to which some people will go to create fakes of anything.  The secondary content, showing the work put into stopping counterfeiters from defrauding consumers and people in general adds even more interest to the program.  The whole of the primary and secondary content makes the DVD’s average price point relatively affordable and welcome for audiences and consumers.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of this presentation.  All things considered, they make NOVA: Dead Sea Scrolls Detectives anything but a mystery in terms of its appeal.  More information on this and other episodes of NOVA is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/novapbs

 

 

 

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

PBS Presenting New Da Vinci Profile In New ‘Nova’ Episode

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS/WGBH

PBS will present a new profile of legendary artist and inventor Leonardo da Vinci this month in a new episode of NOVA.

NOVADecoding da Vinci is scheduled for release Tuesday on DVD.  The new episode of the network’s hit science-based series examines, on the 500th anniversary of his death, how he created his artworks and inventions. From dissecting humans to to studying optics to developing some of the earliest flying and war machines and the creation of his famed painting, the Mona Lisa, the program goes into depth examining his work.

NOVADecoding da Vinci will retail for MSRP of $24.99 and can be ordered at a reduced price of $19.99 through PBS’ online store.  More information on this and other episodes of NOVA is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/novapbs

 

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