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Fractals Hunting the Hidden Dimension

   2010    Science
The ultimate adventure in scientific inquiry, this fascinating program follows the exploits of a small group of pioneering mathematicians who discovered a whole area of study that is revolutionizing all branches of understanding in the world: fractal geometry. Fractals are most recognized as a series of circular shapes with a border surrounded by jagged "tail-like" objects. The program, aimed at the average viewer does a fine job of explaining the background of fractals, first by beginning with the story of Pixar co-founder, Loren Carpenter's work at Boeing, developing 3D terrain from scratch using fractals. From there the program starts at the beginning with an introduction to Benoit Mandelbrot and his revolutionary work. The explanations are full of solid factual information but never talk above the level of a viewer who has some understanding of basic mathematical principles. Once the concept is presented the program spends the rest of the time showing how prevalent the fractal is in life. For a program about a mathematical concept, "Fractals" is very engaging, showing how the process was applied to special effects as far back as the Genesis planet from "Star Trek II" all the way to the spectacular finale on Mustafar in "Star Wars: Episode III." I found myself astonished at how fractals were the source of the lava in constant motion and action during the Obi-Wan/Anakin fight. What is more amazing is when the program delves into practical applications such as cell phone antennas, and eventually the human body. For the average person who enjoys watching science related programs, even on a sporadic basis, "Fractals" will prove to be a very worthwhile experience. The program is well produced, integrating talking head interviews (including some with Mandelbrot himself) with standard "in the field" footage. The structure of the program is very logical and never finds itself jumping around without direction. In simplest terms, this is a program as elegant as the designs it focuses on.

Ghosts of the Abyss

   2003    Technology    3D
Director James Cameron returns to the site of the 1912 wreck of the RMS Titanic. With a team of history and marine experts he embarks on an unscripted adventure back to the final grave of 1,517 people. Using two small, purpose-built remotely operated vehicles, we can see inside the Titanic and with the help of CGI, view the ship's original appearance superimposed on the deep-dive images. Throughout the movie, there are re-enactments of events that are discussed that use CGI recreations of the interior of the Titanic. The documentary was named one of the Best 3D movies ever by Rolling Stone.

Great Cathedral Mystery

   2014    Art
The dome that crowns Florence's great cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, the Duomo, is a masterpiece of Renaissance ingenuity and an enduring source of mystery. Still the largest masonry dome on earth, it is taller than the Statue of Liberty and weighs as much as an average cruise ship. Historians and engineers have long debated how its architect, Filippo Brunelleschi, kept the dome perfectly aligned and symmetrical as the sides rose and converged toward the center." More than four million bricks could collapse at any moment -- and we still don't understand how Brunelleschi prevented it. To test the latest theories, a team of U.S. bricklayers will help build an experimental "mini-Duomo" using period tools and techniques.

Invisible Universe Revealed 25 years of Hubble

   2015    Technology
25 years ago, NASA launched one of the most ambitious experiments in the history of astronomy: the Hubble Space Telescope. In honor of Hubble's landmark anniversary, know the remarkable story of the telescope that forever changed our understanding of the cosmos and our place in it". But amazingly, when the telescope first sent images back to earth, it seemed that the entire project was a massive failure; a one-millimeter engineering blunder had turned the billion-dollar telescope into an object of ridicule. It fell to five heroic astronauts in a daring mission to return Hubble to the cutting edge of science. Hear from the scientists and engineers on the front line who tell the amazing Hubble story as never before. This single telescope has helped astronomers pinpoint the age of the universe, revealed the birthplace of stars and planets, advanced our understanding of dark energy and cosmic expansion, and uncovered black holes lurking at the heart of galaxies. For more than a generation, Hubble's stunning images have brought the beauty of the heavens to millions, revealing a cosmos richer and more wondrous than we ever imagined. Join us for the story of this magnificent machine and its astonishing discoveries.

Legends of Flight

   2010    Technology    3D
A film that will not only delight and entertain the aviation enthusiast but also educate and inspired renewed interest in aviation by the traveling public, the media and young people who may ultimately aspire to a career in aviation. It dramatized the design challenged, the financial risks and the many lessons learned from a century of aviation trial and error, bringing us to the dawn of a new era of revolutionary aircraft, the 787 Dreamliner and the A380". The film will focus on the 787 to facilitate audience understanding of the dynamic design differences between the two latest aircraft technologies. Search aviation history for the ultimate flying experience with some of today's greatest pilots. See how the airplanes of the 20th century helped influence the radical new design of 21st century aircraft. See how high tech manufacturers around the world use modern technology to coordinate the design and construction of new aircraft. Fly in the cockpit with chief test pilot, Mike Carriker, as he takes the new 787 Dreamliner on its first test flight.
Lost Kingdoms of South America
Lost Kingdoms of South America

   2013    History
Life In Cold Blood
Life In Cold Blood

   2008    Nature
Life in the Undergrowth
Life in the Undergrowth

   2005    Nature
Nuremberg: Nazis on Trial
Nuremberg: Nazis on Trial

      History
Cosmos 2014
Cosmos 2014

   2014    Science
Becoming Human
Becoming Human

   2010    History
Nature Great Events
Nature Great Events

   2009    Nature
Wings
Wings

      Nature