‘Command And Control’ Is An “Explosive” New Episode Of ‘American Experience’

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

On September 18, 1980 America narrowly escaped what could have been one of the worst nuclear disasters that it has ever experienced when a Titan II ballistic missile exploded in its silo in Damascus, Arkansas.  PBS recently profiled the near catastrophic event in a new episode of its history-based series American Experience titled American Experience: Command And Control.  This two-hour program is a visualization of author Eric Schlosser’s book by the same name.  It is a powerful presentation, too that is certain to keep its audiences enthralled just as easily as any big screen action thriller.  That is due in part to its story, its most important element.  The information that is provided within the story is just as important to note as the story itself in examining the program’s overall presentation.  The program’s dual presentation rounds out its most important elements.  Each element plays its own important part in the program’s presentation.  All things considered, they make this episode of American Experience a documentary that is certain to command and control any critic’s list of the year’s top new documentaries.

American Experience: Command And Control is the first great documentary of 2017.  This two-hour program is certain to command and control any critic’s list of the year’s top new documentaries all year.  That is due in no small part to the story at the center of the program.  The story at the center of this program follows the events that unfolded on September 18, 1980.  It follows the events almost hour-by-hour from the events ahead of the near catastrophe to the fallout (no pun intended) that followed from the event.  It is right up there with some of the biggest action flicks of the 20th century.  In fact, being a real life event and not overly embellished by Hollywood writers, it is even more enthralling. Speaking of Hollywood blockbusters, the story’s transitions are just like something that would be used in a major Hollywood production.  It is a minor element, but even as small as it is, it does so much to keep viewers entertained and engaged in the story.  It should also be noted that the story includes a rather scathing indictment of the military and its protocol as the story is told.  That indictment comes direct from those involved in the event.  It also presents a warning about the dangers of nuclear weapons and relying on nuclear buildup as it provides a history on the nuclear weapons accidents that happened before the Damascus accident.  It should be noted that considering the discussions that are raised by those involved in the accident, not every viewer will want to watch this story because of their views.  But those who are not so set in their ways will enjoy and appreciate this story and all of its elements.  Speaking of those elements, they lead into another important piece of the program’s whole, its information content.

The story at the center of AE: Command and Control is in its own way a key piece of the program’s presentation.  It is a story that is just as engaging as any Hollywood blockbuster of its kind, if not even better.  It is just one of the program’s key elements. The information that is presented throughout the story is just as important to note as the story itself.  Audiences learn over the course of the program’s two-hour run time that the 1980 incident was just one of a number of accident that had happened since the end of World War II.  There is mention of the H-Bomb incident in North Carolina and other accidents that happened before and after.  At the story’s end, audiences learn that between the Damascus incident and others, thousands of incidents had been reported by the military but not made public.  It is even revealed here that the Air Force tried to cover up the Damascus incident, which luckily didn’t turn out to be as bad as it could have been, but still could have been.  Thousands of people could have died not just in Arkansas but across the country had it been worse.  That the military didn’t initially tell the public about what was happening as it happened is understandable to a point.  It is also very troubling considering how bad the situation could have been and how many lives could have been lost.  Audiences also learn of how poorly the men involved in trying to stop the incident were treated by the military after the event as part of the presented informational content.  It probably wasn’t the first time the military has done its officers so wrongly, and definitely not the last time it has ever acted so wrongly toward those who wear the assigned uniform.  Between those revelations and other items presented throughout the program, audiences will find that the information presented throughout this program is indeed just as important to its presentation as its story.  It is not the last important element to note, either.  The program’s dual presentation rounds out its most important elements.

The story at the center of AE: Command and Control and the information that makes up the story are both key elements to the program’s presentation.  That is because of their ability to keep viewers engaged, informed, and entertained.  They combine make the program just as gripping as any big screen presentation crafted by any Hollywood screen writer.  As important as they are to the program’s presentation, they are not its only important elements.  PBS Distribution presents the program in both a standard hour-long presentation and a full two-hour presentation.  Why PBS Distribution would even go that route is anyone’s guess.  Perhaps that has to do with its use at certain levels in high school and beyond.  It is possible maybe younger high school-age viewers would only have an attention span for an hour-long presentation while older audiences would be more apt to sit the entire two-hours.  It would be interesting to find out why exactly the company went this route.  Regardless, giving audiences the option of the program’s hour or two-hour-long presentation is certain to be beneficial in one way or another depending on the setting in which each is used.  When this is set alongside the program’s story and its rich depth of information, it rounds out the program’s most important elements.  It joins with them to show once and for all why this program is such an interesting watch.  It is a piece that students and lovers of military history and history in general will appreciate.  All things considered, it is a program that will command and control any critic’s list of the year’s top new documentaries.

American Experience: Command and Control is a work that students and lovers of military history and history in general will appreciate.  It is a work that is certain to command and control any critic’s list of the year’s top new documentaries.  That is due to its wholly engaging story.  The story presented here is just as enthralling as any major Hollywood action thriller with a similar plot.  Being that it is real life, it is even more enthralling than those movies.  The information that makes up the body of the program adds even more depth to the viewing experience.  It will educate audiences and potentially shock them at the same time.  That is because of the revelations that are made throughout the program.  That audiences are given the choice to watch the program in its abbreviated, hour-long presentation and its full two-hour theatrical presentation makes the experience even more engaging.  Each element plays its own important part to the program’s presentation.  All things considered, they make this episode of American Experience a program that will command and control any critic’s list of the year’s top new documentaries.  It is available now on DVD.  It can be ordered online now via PBS’ store both by itself and in a bundle pack with Schlosser’s book.  More information on this and other episodes of American Experience is available online now at:

 

 

 

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

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/AmExperiencePBS

 

 

 

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PBS’ New Tesla Profile Is An “Electrifying” New Episode Of ‘American Experience”

Courtesy: Public Media Distribution

Courtesy: Public Media Distribution

Nikola Tesla is one of the greatest minds of the 20th century.  It was thanks to his genius that the world enjoys the benefits of alternating current every single day.  That was his greatest accomplishment and certainly not his only accomplishment.  He was a brilliant person.  There is no doubt about that. But for all of his brilliance, he was also a troubled man, as is revealed in a recently released episode of PBS’ hit biography-based program American Experience.  PBS Distribution released American Experience: Tesla on DVD late last month.  The program follows the rise and eventual fall of one of the modern world’s greatest minds.  That story is the most important of the program’s elements.  It will be discussed shortly.  The information presented throughout the program is just as important to note as the program itself.  The interviews used alongside the story’s information round out the most important of the program’s elements.  That is because they further illustrate Tesla’s story even more richly.  Each element is important in its own way to the program’s overall presentation.  All things considered, American Experience: Tesla proves to be one more of this year’s top new documentaries.

American Experience: Tesla is one more of this year’s top new documentaries.  That should come as no surprise being that it is a product of PBS.  Quality programming is exactly what PBS is known for producing, and this program is no exception to that rule.  That is proven in part through its story.  The story takes audiences deeper into Tesla’s life and career than most have likely ever been.  It presents Tesla as the great mind that everyone has come to know him as being through their history classes at every level.  It also presents another side of Tesla that likely few have ever known or been taught about.  That side of Tesla is a man who was extremely naïve.  If he hadn’t torn up his royalty contract with George Westinghouse, he might have been remembered in a much different light today than he is remembered.  At the same time, though that might not be the case.  That is because, as is revealed in this new biography, he apparently suffered from at least one major mental disability—obsessive compulsive disorder—if not others that went undiagnosed.  It’s anyone’s guess if his many obsessive tendencies ultimately played into his downfall.  But considering how many tendencies he had, one can’t help but wonder if there might have been a connection between those tendencies and his ultimate failure.  Those tendencies will be discussed later in the discussion on the program’s information.  Connection or not, the story presented in this episode of AE is one that likely few have ever learned about one of America’s (and the world’s) most important figures.

The story that is presented at the center of American Experience: Tesla is a fully engaging presentation for audiences of all types.  It will interest anyone studying the history of electricity and electrical appliances.  It will also interest students and teachers from middle school on through college level classes as well as history buffs in general.  That is because it shows a side of Tesla that is rarely taught at any level.  While the story itself is so important to the overall presentation of this episode of AE, it is not the program’s only important element.  The information that is presented throughout the hour-long program is just as important to note as the story itself.  That’s because the information presented in the story is what keeps the story interesting.  One of the most interesting pieces of information presented in this story is the revelation of how Tesla first became interested in electricity. The program reveals that Tesla first became interested in electricity as a child one day as he was petting his cat.  That story in itself is certain to surprise audiences.  Just as surprising is the revelation of Tesla’s naivety.  Viewers will learn here that Tesla died penniless of his own doing.  This is despite his genius.  Tesla allegedly, in his short sight, tore up a contract for royalties for his AC patent that could have made him rich beyond belief.  But because of that immaturity and naivety, he would eventually enter a downward spiral from which he would never escape.  Also of interest is the revelation that Tesla suffered from obsessive compulsive disorder.  He didn’t suffer from just one obsessive tendency, either.  Those tendencies included things like staying only in rooms divisible by three when he stayed at hotels (no, that’s not a joke), avoiding human touch and having issues with germs among other issues.  There is no way to definitively connect that issue to his eventual downfall.  Though, making claims late in his life that he had received communication from Mars likely didn’t help any.  It also might have pointed to other potential mental issues along with things like sending packages to Mark Twain after Twain’s death and something having to do with feeding pigeons (yes, feeding pigeons).  Taking all of this into consideration, one still might not be able to definitively connect his obvious mental issues with his downfall.  But it definitely gives ground to a theory that there could have been a connection between his mental issues and his downfall.  One has to wonder at the same time, if OCD had been officially diagnosed during Tesla’s life, and that aside, what could have potentially led to those problems.  Those are definitely matters for another episode of AE that could focus on Tesla.  Hopefully the people at PBS will take that less than subtle hint and look into doing just that.  That aside, it should be clear by now just how important the information presented in American Experience: Tesla is to its story.  It paints a picture in this story, of a man that few people know about or about which few have ever known.  Even with that in mind, it should be clear why this program’s story and its information are both so important to its presentation.  They are just two of its key elements to note, too.  The interviews included in the story add even more insight to the program, and in turn depth and enjoyment.

The story at the center of American Experience: Tesla and the information presented therein are both important in their own right to the program’s overall presentation.  That is because both by themselves and collectively, they present a picture of Tesla that is and has been rarely presented at any level.  They combine to present Tesla both as a brilliant figure, but also as a man with a troubled mind.  It is very possible that troubled mind could have played a part in Tesla’s downfall.  While it can’t be definitely proven, the number of tendencies that he presented in his adult life form a solid base for a theoretical connection between those tendencies and his downfall.  Keeping all of this in mind, the story presented in American Experience: Tesla and its information are both clearly important to its presentation.  However, they are not its only important elements.  The interviews included in the program are just as important as the program’s story and its information.  That is due to the extra depth that they add to the story.  Viewers get to hear from academics and scientists who have deep knowledge of Tesla and his life throughout the program.  Their personal insight into Tesla and his legacy is so important because they explain much of what is in the program in layman’s terms.  This makes the noted information more accessible, and in turn enjoyable, to everyday audiences.  That accessibility is the finishing touch to a program that is already interesting just because it presents one of the world’s greatest minds in a rarely presented portrait.  When this added, easily accessible insight is joined alongside the program’s story and its information, the end result is a program that for many will prove both engaging and shocking (bad pun fully intended).  They also collectively support the statement that this episode of AE is one of this year’s top new documentaries.

American Experience: Tesla is one of 2016’s top new documentaries.  It is also more proof of why PBS remains the last bastion of truly worthwhile programming on television.  That is evidenced primarily through the program’s story.  It is not the standard Tesla story with which most audiences might be familiar.  It presents Tesla both as a man with a brilliant mind and a troubled mind.  Considering all of the information about that troubled mind—which is another one of the program’s key elements—it can at least be theorized that his troubled mind could have played a part in his downfall.  While the story presented in this episode of AE and its information are both key to the program’s presentation, they are not its only important elements.  The interviews included in the program are just as important to note.  That is because they make the program more accessible for everyday audiences through their layman’s explanations of the story’s information.  Each element is clearly important in its own right to the program’s presentation.  All things considered, American Experience: Tesla proves to be one of 2016’s top new documentaries and a truly “shocking” presentation.  It is available now and can be ordered online direct via PBS’ online store.  More information on this and other episodes of American Experience is available online now at:

 

 

 

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

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/AmExperiencePBS

 

 

 

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.

PBS Uncovers A Little Known Piece Of American History In A New Episode Of AmEx

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

On January 10, 2017, PBS Distribution will take viewers 36 years into the past to a date that while insignificant to most, is much more important to a select few in a new episode of American Experience.

PBS Distribution will release American Experience: Command and Control on Tuesday, January 10. The film follows the events of September 18, 1980, when America almost suffered one of the worst nuclear catastrophes in its history.

It was on that date that a Titan II ballistic missile housed at a complex in Damascus, Arkansas almost caused what would have been one of the nation’s worst nuclear disasters.  The events began when maintenance on the rocket by two men when horribly wrong after a socket from one of the men’s wrenches fell 70 feet down the silo and punctured the missile.

When the rocket was punctured, highly flammable rocket fuel leaked from the missile.  The fuel filled the silo, and over the next eight hours, officials worked to keep the missile, which had a warhead 600 times more powerful than the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima, from exploding inside the silo and causing potentially unheard of damage.

The missile was powerful enough to destroy much of Arkansas and spread radioactive fallout across the East Coast.  Being that nothing of that caliber had ever happened before then, the Air Force had no procedures in place to handle the situation.

The two-hour program mixes into its central story the secondary story of America’s nuclear weapons program from WWII through the Cold War.  It is based largely on recently declassified documents.  In turns it asks some very powerful and important questions, making audiences really think about the nation’s nuclear arsenal.

American Experience: Command and Control will be released Tuesday, January 10.  It runs two hours and will retail for MSRP of $24.99, but can be pre-ordered now at a reduced price of $19.99 via PBS’ online store.  It is also available there in a combo pack that includes author Eric Schlosser’s book on which the program is based.

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

 

 

 

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

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/AmExperiencePBS

 

 

 

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 Presents Tesla Bio In New Episode of ‘AE’ This Fall

Courtesy: Public Media Distribution

Courtesy: Public Media Distribution

PBS Distribution has announced it will release another new episode of its hit bio series American Experience this fall.

American Experience: Tesla will be released Tuesday, November 22nd.  The new episode of the hit series examines the life of genius Nikola Tesla.  Tesla is revered today as one of the great minds of the 20th Century.  What few people know, though is that Tesla died penniless and unknown.  This new episode of American Experience discusses that and much more throughout its hour-long run time.

Tesla originally rose to fame for creating what would eventually become the basis for the world’s major power grids.  But what few people know of Tesla is that he didn’t stop there.  As this episode of American Experience reveals, he had much more that he wanted to address including the wireless transmission of messages and pictures, and utilizing renewable energy sources among so much more.

For all of his ideas, that were obviously ages ahead of his time, Tesla never received the fame nor fortune that he so rightly deserved.  That is all discussed in this new episode of American Experience, from his fallout with Edison to losing out on countless millions due to a deal gone bad.

American Experience: Tesla will be available on Tuesday, November 22.  It will retail for MSRP of $24.99.  Audiences can view a trailer for this episode of American Experience online now here.  It can be pre-ordered online now via PBS’ online store at a reduced price of $19.99.

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

 

 

 

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

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

 

 

 

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.

American Experience: Space Men Reaches Its Own Great Heights

Courtesy:  PBS/PBS Distribution

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

Neil Armstrong.  Buzz Aldrin. Virgil “Gus” Grissom.  Every American knows their names.  Their names are taught from childhood up through adulthood.  That is because of their accomplishments during their time as astronauts with NASA.  They are just a few of the names that put the National Aeronautics and Space Administration on the map over the course of its now nearly sixty years in operation.  For all of the history that has been taught about NASA and its famed astronauts through the years, one part of NASA’s history that hasn’t been so widely taught at any level is its very roots.  Thanks to PBS, though audiences recently received a healthy introduction to NASA’s roots in a new episode of its series American Experience titled Space Men.  This new episode of American Experience delves into NASA’s earliest roots, explaining the men and the tests that helped form the foundation of today’s space exploration efforts.  It will be available next Tuesday, April 19th on DVD.  For those that were not lucky enough to catch it in its initial broadcast on their local PBS stations, there is plenty to appreciate about this episode of American Experience beginning with its story.  The story, as already noted, focuses not so much on NASA’s more commonly discussed era but its earliest roots.  This will be discussed shortly.  As with so many other PBS presentations the interviews, pictures, and footage that are used to advance the story and better illustrate it add even more to its presentation.  This will be discussed later. Last but hardly least of note is the program’s pacing and overall organization.  The two elements work in partnership with one another.  Together with the program’s central story and its overall content, each of the elements combine with one another to make American ExperienceSpace Men mandatory viewing for history buffs and space history buffs alike whether in the home or in the classroom.

American ExperienceSpace Men is mandatory viewing for history buffs and more specifically space history buffs alike.  This applies just as much in a home setting as in a classroom setting.  The main reason for this is the program’s story.  Rather than present the all too commonly discussed topic of the “Space Race” this program instead focuses on NASA’s earliest roots. Ironically though, it is noted early in the program’s roughly hour-long run time that even in NASA’s infancy it was in fact engaged in a space race of sorts with the Russians.  However in that time the race in question was quite different as it was just to see who could get a balloon higher into the stratosphere.  That is just one of the interesting tidbits that are revealed about NASA’s early life in this program.  Audiences also learn that if not for the concerted efforts of certain parties, America’s efforts to reach space might not have progressed beyond that original record setting balloon journey.  That is because more than once, government officials though that what would go on to be called the “Man High Project” wasn’t worth the funding.  That’s not all that audiences learn about.  They learn about the men that made everything happen, beginning with the man called “The fastest man on earth”–thanks to the tests that he underwent–Dr. John P. Stapp.  His dedication to keeping America’s earliest astronauts safe was truly laudable, as audiences will learn in watching this story.  There are also profiles of Joseph Kittinger, Davis Simons, and Clifton McClure, the men that piloted the aptly titled Man High Project in each of its flights.  This and s much more is presented in American ExperienceSpace Men’s central story.  Altogether it is more than enough reason for history buffs and space history buffs alike to watch this new episode of PBS’ history-based series.  It’s just one part of the program that makes it well worth the watch, too. The interviews, pictures, and vintage footage that are incorporated into the program add to its presentation.

The story at the center of American Experience: Space Men is in itself plenty of reason for history buffs and space history specialists alike to check out this program.  It’s just one part of what makes the documentary worth the watch.  The combined interviews, pictures, and footage that are incorporated into the episode are just as important to it as its story.  The interviews are so important to the episode because they help tell the story both from a third person perspective at times and at others from a first hand perspective.  In other words it is told collectively and wholly from the point of people who are very knowledgeable about the story and whose passion for the story is just as obvious.  The footage of the Man High project and the projects that preceded them will take viewers right back to those early days of NASA’s attempts to reach space.  The pictures that work alongside that footage add even more interest to the story and help to advance it even more.  Both of those elements, when set against the program’s interviews, will keep viewers just as engaged and entertained as the movie’s story being that they tell the program’s story.  Keeping all of this in mind, the story and its overall content are not the only important and notable of the program’s elements.  Its collective pacing and organization are just as important as its story and associated content.

There is plenty to say to the positive about American Experience: Space Men as has already been noted in the discussions about the program’s story and its overall content.  As important as both elements are to the whole of the program they are not the episode’s only important, notable elements.  The program’s collective pacing and organization are just as important to the episode’s presentation as its story and associated material.  Being that it has so much ground to cover its pacing is relatively solid from beginning to end.  Audiences will agree in watching through the program it never short-changes viewers at any point or even spends too much time on one subject or another.  Each moment in the story receives just enough attention to the end that audiences will never feel lost or bored.  In the same vein the program’s organization will keep viewers just as engaged.  The whole thing starts at the story’s end in order to set it all up.  From there, it rewinds back to the story’s beginning and sets the stage for the achievements to come.  Again through it all, no one moment receives too much or too little time.  The end result is a roughly hour-long program that is loaded with little known history and that in turn is certain to introduce many audiences to a whole new part of NASA’s history.  That is especially the case when the program’s pacing and organization are set against the episode’s story and its associated content.  All things considered American Experience: Space Men proves in the end to be a presentation that, once again, proves to be well worth the watch among history buffs and space history specialists.  It is yet more proof of why PBS remains today the last remaining bastion of truly worthwhile programming on television.

American Experience: Space Men is another edition of PBS’ history-based series that is well worth the watch by its specific audience and history buffs in general.  This is thanks in part to the episode’s story.  It tells a part of NASA’s story that is rare (if ever) taught at any level of education and even known by audiences.  To that end it will keep audiences engaged and entertained.  The program’s content is just as certain to keep viewers engaged.  The program’s combined pacing and organization rounds out its most notable elements.  All things considered these elements work together to make American Experience: Space Men a program that reaches its own *ahem* heights for history buffs and space history specialists alike.  It will be available next Tuesday, April 19th and can be ordered online direct via PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=89071786&cp=&sr=1&kw=american+experience+space+men&origkw=american+experience+space+men&parentPage=search.  More information on this and other episodes of American Experience is available online now at:

 

 

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

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/AmExperiencePBS

 

 

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.

Audiences Will Really “Dig” New NOVA Episode

Courtesy:  PBS

Courtesy: PBS

PBS has spent ample time in the last number of years or so examining the roots of today’s human civilization.  Programs such as NOVA: Becoming Human (2010), NOVA: Decoding Neanderthals (2013), and First Peoples (2015) have collectively presented an in-depth history of human evolution and civilization throughout the species’ history.  Late last year, PBS made yet another addition to that already extensive stable of programs with the release of NOVA: Dawn Of Humanity in November 2015.  The recently released two-hour program complements those programs quite well and is another piece that students and lovers of history and archaeology will equally appreciate.  The central reason that both audience groups will appreciate it is its subject matter.  It is another piece on the history of humans.  But it is far more specific in terms of its subject matter.  That will be discussed shortly.  The program’s presentation in terms of its makeup is another reason that it is worth the watch.  Last but not least of note in this latest evolutionary science selection from PBS is the material that makes up the body of the program.  Each element proves important in its own right to the program’s overall presentation.  Altogether they make NOVA: Dawn of Humanity yet another impressive new offering from NOVA and PBS.  Together they show why NOVA remains the best science-based program on television today and why PBS remains the last bastion of truly worthwhile programming.

NOVA: Dawn of Humanity is another interesting addition to PBS’ current series of programs centered on the evolutionary sciences.  It is more proof of why NOVA remains today the leading science-based series on television and why PBS remains today the last bastion of truly worthwhile programming on television.  It proves this centrally through its subject matter.  It is, as noted, not the first of PBS’ programs that has ever been centered on human evolution.  However, unlike those programs, this program is less broad in terms of its subject matter.  It is focused centrally on the discovery of remains in a cave in South Africa.  The remains in question are some of the most eye-opening that scientists have located to this day.  That is because, as is posited through interviewers and general discussion, they form skeletons that prove to be even closer to humans than any previously discovered remains elsewhere on Earth.  The program examines the significance of this revelation in relation to the link between humans and hominids in full depth.  It also examines how the remains got to their final resting place and how that plays into the remains’ link to humans.  That in itself is quite interesting to learn.  This is just a portion of the program’s centralized discussion that makes it so interesting for students and lovers of history and archaeology.  There is more tied into that discussion for audiences to discover themselves.  It is also just one part of the program in whole that makes it worth the watch.  The manner in which the two-hour program is presented is just as important as the subject at its center.

The subject matter that sits at the center of NOVA: Dawn of Humanity is in itself a largely important part of the program’s overall presentation.  That is because it is far less broad than topics presented in previous PBS presentations centered on evolutionary sciences.  Instead of focusing on the overall topic of human evolution, this program focuses on the discovery of remains that could potentially be the closest link to humans of any ever found.  While this is important to note of the program’s overall presentation, the manner in which the topic is presented is just as important to note as its subject matter.  NOVA: Dawn of Humanity comes in at a total run time (TRT) of roughly two hours.  That is double the time of the typical episode of NOVA.  Over the course of that time, audiences get two seamless segments.  The first segment focuses mainly on the discovery of the skeletal remains in the Rising Star cave, the history of the cave, and the overall importance of the find.  They even learn that the cave was first discovered during the South African Gold Rush of the late 1880s yet apparently untouched by the men that discovered it.  That in itself is fodder for a whole other episode of NOVA.  It begs the question what did they find that led them to just walk away from it.  The second segment focuses mainly on the efforts to extract the remains.  Audiences will laugh at the rather specific requirements that were listed for those that applied to take part in the excavation.  Applicants had to have certain measurements (specifically be rather petite) because of the tight spaces that had to be navigated in order to reach the cave.  What’s more the very fact that the job was posted via Facebook and received such huge response is just as interesting.  Of course it was just as interesting and surprising to the man that posted the job.  That is just part of what makes this segment so interesting.  There is also the excitement of those involved in the excavation in being part of it.  This includes the project’s head.  There is, again, much more for audiences to enjoy.  Through it all the two segments are connected seamlessly from beginning to end.  There is no one segment separate from the other.  It is all one presentation.  Yet the separation point is still clear.  And being so clear, it’s almost like it isn’t even there.  That subtlety ensures that audiences will remain engaged from beginning to end.  It’s one more way in which NOVA: Dawn of Humanity proves to be another interesting episode of NOVA.

The subject matter presented in NOVA: Dawn of Humanity and the overall presentation of the subject matter are both key elements to the program’s presentation.  As important as they are to the program they are not all that audiences will appreciate.  The material that makes up the program’s overall presentation is just as important as its subject matter and its subtly segmented presentation.  The material that makes up the body of the program includes the standard interviews with those closest to the subject, of course.  They discuss the importance of the find both in regards to its historical importance and to its importance in today’s current scientific community.  There are also graphic depictions of the “evolutionary tree” depicting the link between the different branches of mankinds’ evolutionary links.  It helps to better illustrate the connections and why they are so important.  There are also some reenactments incorporated into the program’s presentation, too.  They help to better illustrate the historical importance of the find.  Together with the interviews and the graphic elements, all three work together to make the material within NOVA: Dawn of Humanity its own important element in the program.  That important element is set against the program’s general presentation and its subject matter to make it in whole a program that lovers and students of history and archaeology will equally enjoy.

NOVA: Dawn of Humanity is not PBS’ first time delving into the world of evolutionary science.  However it is still an interesting program regardless.  That is thanks in large part to its subject matter.  Unlike previous programs centered on the subject, it is more centrally focused on one topic.  The program’s general presentation is just as important in its overall viewing experience.  The material used to make up the body of the program rounds out its most notable elements.  Each element is important to the whole of the program in its own way.  Altogether they make NOVA: Dawn of Humanity a program that every lover and student of history and archaeology will appreciate just as much as PBS’ previous evolutionary science programs.  It is available now and can be ordered direct via PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=61808036&cp=&sr=1&kw=nova+dawn+of+humanity&origkw=nova+dawn+of+humanity&parentPage=search.  More information on this and other episodes of NOVA is available online now at:

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PBS Examines The Secrets Of Noah’s Ark In New Episode Of NOVA

Courtesy:  PBS/PBS Distribution

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

The story of Noah’s ark and the great flood is one of the most well-known of the stories from the bible. As well-known as that story is, it is apparently not the only story of its kind. In 1948, a 3,700 year-old clay tablet was discovered in Iraq by a British pilot. The tablet bore an inscription that told a very similar story that involved a god named Enki and a Sumerian king named Atra-Hasis. The story was quite similar except for one specific detail. That detail was the ark that Atra-Hasis was instructed to build. Now in a new episode of its hit science-based series NOVA PBS examines and tests the ark that the king was instructed to build as well as the story presented in the ancient tablet. That episode, NOVA: Secrets of Noah’s Ark, is available now on DVD.

NOVA: Secrets of Noah’s Ark is available now on DVD. The nearly hour-long program compares the biblical story of the flood and the ark to that of the flood and ark described in the ancient tablet. Along the way, the scientists featured in the episode examine circular-shaped watercraft used by many people of the region where the tablet was found as a starting point for their research on Atra-Hasis’ ark. They even put the ark described in the Sumerian tablet to the test with their own scale model of the outlined watercraft. It is a circular craft rather than the elongated one believed to have been used by Noah. And instead of the building material used in the biblical ark, the Sumerian ark was built of reeds. Viewers get to see the ark come to life so to speak in this episode and even see for themselves if it floats. Audiences can check out a trailer for this episode of NOVA online now via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LO90K99BGg4. The DVD can be purchased online now via PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=70936866&cp=&kw=secrets+of+noahs+ark&origkw=secrets+of+noah%27s+ark&sr=1. 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/NOVAonline

Twitter: http://twitter.com/novapbs

 

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