Four and a half billion years ago, the young Earth was a hellish place, a seething chaos of meteorite impacts, volcanoes belching noxious gases, and lightning flashing through a thin, torrid atmosphere. Then, in a process that has puzzled scientists for decades, life emerged. But how? Join mineralogist Robert Hazen as he journeys around the globe. From an ancient Moroccan market to the Australian Outback, he advances a startling and counterintuitive idea—that the rocks beneath our feet were not only essential to jump-starting life, but that microbial life helped give birth to hundreds of minerals we know and depend on today. It's a theory of the co-evolution of Earth and life that is reshaping the grand-narrative of our planet’s story.
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.
In a far cry from the steamy jungles of Rwanda or the icy waters of the Arctic, British naturalist Sir David Attenborough has donned a necktie and met with US president Barack Obama to discuss climate change and the future of the planet. The two met at the White House — a place the naturalist had never yet explored — on Sir David's 89th birthday in May to film the interview". It was the first time the respected wildlife filmmaker had met an American president and he seemed a little awed by the experience. Mr Obama, who grew up watching Sir David's programs, seemed equally thrilled. The president has the environment and climate change on his radar and is anxious to see progress made as his presidency comes to a close. He faces stiff opposition from Republicans in Congress on his plans to tackle climate change, but remains determined to make changes before leaving office. "I don't have much patience for anyone who denies that this challenge is real," he said. "We don't have time for a meeting of the Flat Earth Society." Sir David, who has been called "the godfather of natural history TV" by the BBC, brought to the meeting six decades dedicated to sharing the wonders of the natural world with television audiences. After initially being rejected for television because his teeth were deemed "too big", Sir David went on to make his Life on Earth television series, which has been watched by more than 500 million people worldwide. His name is now synonymous with nature, conservation and wildlife. During the television interview, the men discussed global warming, renewable energy and how children and young people hold the key to reversing the damage.
What's your idea of the perfect birth? Do you want every medical intervention known to science or do you want to go it alone, without the help of a doctor or midwife? And what about after birth? Perhaps you'll hang on to your baby's placenta and carry it around with your newborn until it dries and drops off naturally? Or maybe you'll decide to eat it by whizzing it up into a smoothie? This film follows four pregnant women all making very different choices around their births, all determined to do it their way." 37-year-old Jo plans to deliver her baby completely alone on board her barge, without the assistance of any medical professional. By contrast, 34-year-old Anna is opting to sidestep the pains of labour and book in for a c-section at the Portland Hospital in London. Anna wants all the medication available and she doesn't want to feel a thing. There are plenty of unusual plans for after the birth too. In Devon, 33-year-old Lisa plans to lotus birth - she'll leave her baby's umbilical cord attached to its placenta and she'll keep it fresh by dusting it with salt, rose petals and lavender oil. 35-year-old Kati from Manchester is going to whizz her afterbirth into a smoothie and consume it over a number of days. She hopes it will help her stave off post-natal baby blues and bounce back as quickly as possible. Fending off bewildered looks and concerns from friends, family and medical professionals, each woman is going against convention to have the birth she wants. There are free and frank discussions between mums and daughters and decisions to go against medical advice. So does breaking with the norm and sticking to your guns pay off? And what really is the perfect birth?
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