PBS Taking Audiences To The Dead Sea In New ‘NOVA’ Episode

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

The Dead Sea is dying, but not everybody is ready to let one of the planet’s great natural wonders go dry.

In a new episode of its hit science-based series NOVA, the slow decline in the sea’s level is examined along with the efforts to save the sea.  Scientists, engineers and political leaders have devised a way to try and save the Dead Sea — construction of a large desalination plant.

If the plant works, it will connect the Dead Sea with the Red Sea.  Success would not only save the Dead Sea but also play a crucial role in political tensions and water shortages in the Dead Sea region.

NOVASaving The Dead Sea is scheduled for release July 16 on DVD and Digital.  It will retail for MSRP of $24.99, but can be pre-ordered now 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

 

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PBS Taking Viewers “Back To The Moon” In New ‘NOVA’ Episode

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

With the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission nearing, PBS and PBS Distribution are marking the occasion with a new episode of NOVA.

NOVABack to the Moon is scheduled for release July 30 on DVD and Digital.  the program focuses on the future of space travel while also looking back at the history of the efforts to reach the final frontier.  It looks at the missions planned for the future of space flight, from the moon to the asteroid belt.

The program also also looks at the resources that might be available in space as mankind looks to the stars.

NOVABack to the Moon will retail for MSRP of $24.99, but can be pre-ordered now at a reduced price of $19.99 at 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

 

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New ‘NOVA’ Episode To Tell New Military History Story

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

PBS has added another new story to the history of warfare with a new episode of its hit series NOVA.

NOVAThe First Horse Warriors is scheduled for release July 16 on DVD and Digital.  The story at the center of this episode of NOVA examines the history of horses in combat.  While horses were originally used for trade purposes and to herd livestock, they eventually became a key part of warfare around the world.

This new episode of NOVA examines when horses first became so crucial to military campaigns.  It does so by taking viewers to the grassy plains of Kazakhstan, where wild horses still roam free today and nomadic herders follow their traditional way of life.

Researchers using archaeology, and genetics work to solve the question of when horses first went from peaceful purposes to those of war.  In the process, the research also uncovers a once lost group of warriors who used horses in their campaign across Europe. That same group, the research finds, is the ancestors of millions of people worldwide today.

NOVAThe First Horse Warriors will retail for MSRP of $24.99, but can be pre-ordered now at a reduced price of $19.99 via 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 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 Celebrating Moon Landing Anniversary With New ‘AmEx’ Episode

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

July 20, 1969 is one of the most important dates in the history of space flight.  It was on that day that the first human stepped foot on the moon.  This year marks 50 years since that landmark even happened, and to celebrate the history-making event, PBS Distribution will release a new episode of American Experience in the form of American ExperienceChasing The Moon.

American ExperienceChasing The Moon is scheduled for release July 9 on DVD and Blu-ray.  The three-part, 360-minute (six-hour) story is spread across three discs on each platform.  brings the story of the moon landing to a whole new generation of viewers.  It does so without any narration, using instead, real, vintage footage and interviews with those who played key roles in the moon landing, such as Buzz Aldrin, Frank Borman, Bill Anders and Poppy Northcutt to tell the story.

American ExperienceChasing the Moon will retail for MSRP of $34.99 (DVD) and $39.99 (Blu-ray), but can be pre-ordered now at a reduced price of $29.99 (DVD) and $34.99 (Blu-ray) through PBS’ online store. A bundle package featuring the program on Blu-ray, a coffee table book and mug is also available for $74.99.

More information on this and other episodes of American Experience is available online at:

 

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

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/AmExperiencePBS

 

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Viewers Will “Find” ‘Finding Your Roots” Fifth Season Appealing

Courtesy: PBS

The fifth season of PBS’ popular genealogy-based series Finding Your Roots is officially available on DVD.  Released late last month, the three-disc set is a good offering, though is sadly lacking in at least one area, its packaging.  This negative will be discussed a little later.  Before touching on that topic though, it would be best to discuss one of the set’s positives, and that is the season’s guest list.  It will be addressed shortly.  The set’s average price point is another of its positives.  It will be discussed later.  Each item noted here plays its own key part in the whole of Finding Your Roots: Season Five.  All things considered, this latest season set from PBS’ popular series is another presentation that fans of the series will enjoy.

The fifth season of PBS’ popular genealogy-based series Finding Your Roots is another presentation that fans of the series will enjoy.  That is due in part to the season’s guest list.  This season’s guest list once again presents a wide array of celeb guests.  From NFL great-turned TV host Michael Strayhan to author George R.R. Martin to comedian/actress Sarah Silverman to broadcast journalist Ann Curry and more, this season reaches across the celeb spectrum.  There are also appearances by Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio, just to name a couple of well-known figures from the world of politics.  Reaching from across the celebrity community is nothing new for FYR.  The series has profiled well-known figures from across the various celebrity worlds as far back as its debut season. What is even more interesting about the celeb profiles is the note of each person’s humble family roots.  So many of the celebs featured this season have ancestry that is anything but upper class.  Rather, their ancestors were more often than not, humble immigrants who came from nothing – both in America and other parts of the planet – to start the lives in America that eventually made way for the show’s guests.  It serves as a reminder that at their *ahem* roots, the celebrities that the show’s guests are themselves just ordinary people.  They are no greater than the rest of us, and they and their families are just a portion of what truly makes America great, not the hate spewed by some about the nation’s diversity.

The guests featured in this season of Finding Your Roots build a strong foundation for the series’ DVD presentation.  They and their stories are more than enough reason for audiences to take in this season from start to end.  While they do plenty to make this season as appealing as its predecessors, the season is not without at least one notable flaw.  That flaw is the lack, once again, of any episode guide.  There is no episode guide printed anywhere inside or outside the set’s box or on the discs and their on-screen menus.  Given, there is a guide – of sorts – in the on-screen menus, but the problem there is that the episodes have titles instead of guest lists.  This is not the first time that this has been an issue for the series’ DVD releases, either. It goes back as far as the home release of the series’ second season, and has been an issue ever since.  On the surface, some might think this aesthetic issue is not overly important, but it is in fact quite important to the show’s home presentation.  Not having an episode guide means viewers have to take extra time going through DVDs and/or searching episode listings online to figure out which guests are featured on which discs.  This wastes viewers’ time as they try to decide which episodes to watch.  Simply knowing which guests are featured on which disc will help viewers make their decision which episode to watch much faster.  To that end, yes, this is an aesthetic element, but even as menial as it seems to the set’s overall presentation, it is still quite important in its own way.  Maybe if the show reaches Season 6, those responsible for assembling the season’s DVD sets will take this into account.

While the lack of an episode guide is of at least some concern to the overall presentation of Finding Your Roots’ fifth season, it is not hardly enough to make the season unwatchable.  It just would have been nice to have had that element, which is so commonplace in most TV series’ DVD and BD box sets.  There is one other positive to note in examining the set’s overall presentation – its average price point.  The set’s aver age price point – using listings at PBS’ store and those of Amazon, Target, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble Book Sellers and Books-A-Million – is $30.38.  Considering that so many triple-disc sets from other series’ range between $35 and $40, such an average price point is not that bad.  The least expensive listing is at Amazon, at $24.73, while the most expensive is listed at Books-A-Million, at $39.99.  Best Buy and Barnes & Noble’s listing of $27.99 is the most common listing, at $27.99, which is also the midway point of the price listings.  Regardless of whether consumers purchase this set from the Best Buy (which is clearly not the best buy in this case), from Target or even Amazon, a portion of that money still goes back to PBS.  Add in the fact that this season features more than a dozen more interesting celebrities and engaging, entertaining stories, the noted price range is not too bad.  It easily could have been far more expensive from one retailer to the next, but thankfully was not.  Keeping all of this in mind, Finding Your Roots: Season 5 proves to be another welcome offering from PBS.

The fifth season of PBS’ popular ancestry series Finding Your Roots is another good offering from the network.  It features another mass of celebs from across various professions.  Their stories serve as a reminder that they are not celebs, but are in fact on the same level as us.  That is evident through the stories of each guest’s family history.  The set’s average price point is, in comparison to multi-disc sets from other series, relatively affordable.  Those elements combine to offset the set’s one negative of no episode guide, and in turn, make the set another appealing offering for the series’ fans.  Finding Your Roots: Season 5 is available now.  More information on the series is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.pbs.org/finding-your-roots

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/HenryLouisGates

 

 

 

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PBS Succeeds Again With Its Latest ‘Nature Cat’ DVD

Courtesy: PBS Distribution/PBS Kids/PBS

Early this year, PBS Distribution released another new collection of episodes from PBS Kids’ hit series Nature Cat in the form of Nature Cat: Nature Cat & Mr. Hide.  This latest collection of episodes – another four-episode presentation – is yet another success for the network.  That is especially the case considering that its episodes, which promote outdoor activity and learning, were included in a disc that was originally released in the dead of winter.  Now with summer only days away, those pro-outdoors stories – which form the foundation of the disc’s presentation – are even more timely in their presentation.  They will be discussed shortly.  The biology lessons tied into each story add to the stories even more, and will be discussed a little bit later.  The disc’s average price point put the accent to the disc’s presentation and will also be discussed later.  Each item noted here is key in its own way to the whole of Nature Cat & Mr. Hide.  All things considered, they make this DVD another success for PBS, PBS Kids and PBS Distribution.

Summer vacation is here or almost here for students across America.  While school is either out for summer or almost out, it doesn’t mean the fun and learning have to stop.  Nature Cat: Nature Cat & Mr. Hide offers young viewers plenty of entertainment while also educating those audiences.  That is done in part through the pro-outdoor stories featured in each of the disc’s four episodes.  From playing a game of hide and seek against Ronald and a group of other cats to exploring nature to learn about organisms that light up at night (and light up the night) to frolicking with some friendly dragonflies to enjoying a game of beach volleyball, the episodes featured in this disc do plenty to promote outdoor activity in the warm weather.  With any luck, young viewers will take that promotion for healthy, active lifestyles, and allow it to inspire them to move more while also learning about all that nature has to offer.  Speaking of learning about all that nature has to offer, the science lessons that are incorporated into the pro-active lifestyle stories add their own positive element to the DVD’s presentation.

The science lessons that are tied into each of the DVD’s four featured episodes are just as diverse as the pro-active lifestyle stories themselves.  The disc’s title episode features a lesson about camouflage.  It’s hardly the first time that viewers have been treated to a lesson about the ways in which prey use colors and patterns in nature to keep from being eaten by predators.  It has been discussed in Wild Kratts, another hit PBS Kids show.  It has also been discussed on PBS’ popular wildlife series Nature more than once.  In the case of this episode, viewers learn specifically how creatures, such as frogs and deer use camouflage to hide from predators.  Nature Cat ends up searching for ways to camouflage himself in a neighborhood-wide game of hide and seek that involves, what else, a dog hunting cats.  “The Glow Games” finds Nature Cat and his friends having to find three different bioluminescent life forms before Ronald.  The episode’s title gives a hint about one of the living, light-creating creatures that Nature Cat and company find.  Another of the bioluminescent creatures that the group finds is a popular summertime creature of the night.  It will be left for audiences to discover on their own.  The third is perhaps the most unexpected.  It will also be left for viewers to discover on their own.  Overall, the beings that Nature Cat and company discover are diverse in their own right.  “The Shell Game” takes audiences to the beach and teaches about invertebrates with the introduction of another of Nature Cat’s friends, a hermit crab who has outgrown his shell.  The crab tells Nature Cat and company that if he can’t find a new shell, he can’t help them face Ronald and his team in a game of beach volleyball.  It goes without saying that such a plot point is original in comparison to Nature Cat’s other episodes and to episodes from other wildlife-based series animated and otherwise.  “Enter The Dragonfly” entertains right from its title, which is a spoof of the famous 1973 Bruce Lee martial arts flick Enter The Dragon.  There’s no martial arts featured in this episode, despite that pun.  Rather, the story has a rather medieval vibe as Ronald is sent on a quest to become one of the Knights of Nature.  In the process, he – and viewers – learn the life cycle of a dragonfly.  That can easily serve as the starting point for lessons about the life cycles of other semi-aquatic animals, such as frogs, toads and salamanders.  By now, the diversity in the science lessons featured in this DVD’s episodes should be obvious.  That diversity goes just as far as the episodes’ pro-healthy lifestyle lessons to making this DVD a joy for audiences of all ages and kinds.  Keeping all of this in mind, the DVD’s average price point proves to be more money very well-spent.

The average price point for Nature Cat: Nature Cat & Mr. Hide is $5.67, using price listings at Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Amazon, Barnes & Noble Booksellers and PBS’ online store.  The most commonly listed price, listed at Walmart, Amazon and Target, is $4.79.  The most expensive listing, $6.99, is at PBS’ store.  The DVD was not listed at Books-A-Million’s website at the time of this review’s posting.  Regardless of which retailer one uses, the money spent on this DVD will still go back to PBS even if purchased from a retailer other than PBS.  What’s more, the fact that the DVD’s average price point of less than $7 is one that clearly will not break any consumer’s budget, whether ordered online or in store.  The content noted in the DVD through this review proves the money spent on the DVD is well-spent.  All things considered here, Nature Cat & Mr. Hide becomes a presentation that proves to be yet another success for PBS, PBS Kids and PBS Distribution.

PBS Distribution’s recently released Nature Cat DVD, Nature Cat & Mr. Hide is another welcome offering from what is another welcome addition to PBS (and PBS Kids’) program lineup.  That is proven in part through stories that promote active lifestyles in each episode.  The science lessons that are tied into the stories add to each episode’s interest, too.  The DVD’s average price point is anything but a budget buster.  Rather, it is money well-spent, considering the breadth and depth of the DVD’s overall content.  Each item noted here is important in its own right to the whole of Nature Cat & Mr. Hide.  All things considered, they make this DVD yet another positive offering from the still very young series.  It is available now.  More information on the DVD is available along with plenty of Nature Cat activities, printables, episodes and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.pbskids.org/naturecat

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

 

 

 

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.

‘Finding Your Roots: Season 5’ Scheduled For Release Tuesday

Courtesy: PBS

The fifth season of PBS’ hit series Finding Your Roots comes to DVD Tuesday.

Finding Your RootsSeason Five follows the ancestral paths of 23 more celebrities from various areas.  From the literary world to the world of politics to the worlds of comedy, television and movies, audiences are presented with even more histories that show you never know who you are unless you find your own roots.

Among the most notable of the celebs featured in the fifth season of Finding Your Roots are individuals, such as Sarah Silverman (Wreck-It RalphWreck It RalphRalph Breaks The InternetSchool of Rock), Facebook Executive Sheryl Sandberg and politician Paul Ryan.  Others featured in this season include, but are not limited to: actor Kal Penn, journalist Lisa Ling and Marco Rubio.

Finding Your RootsSeason Five will retail for MSRP of $39.99, but can be ordered now at a reduced price of $34.99 at PBS’ online store. Its run time is listed  at 600 minutes.

More information on Finding Your Roots is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.pbs.org/finding-your-roots

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/HenryLouisGates

 

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.