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Summer of Soul

   2021    Art
This documentary is part music film, part historical record created around an epic event that celebrated Black history, culture, and fashion. Over the course of six weeks in the summer of 1969, just 100 miles south of Woodstock, The Harlem Cultural Festival was filmed in Mount Morris Park (now Marcus Garvey Park). The footage was never seen and largely forgotten--until now.
'Summer of Soul' shines a light on the importance of history to our spiritual well-being and stands as a testament to the healing power of music during times of unrest, both past and present. The feature includes concert performances by Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Sly and the Family Stone, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Mahalia Jackson, B.B. King, The 5th Dimension, and more.

Chapter 4: Mescaline

   2022    Medicine
The last episode explores Mescaline, the psychoactive molecule in San Pedro and peyote cacti, a sacred medicine that Native Americans have had to fight for the right to use. At the Indigenous practices there's always an elder, someone who knows the territory very well, who's presiding. There's usually a group, a community is involved, There's always an intention, a purpose to what you're doing, and you're treating it as sacred, in order to achieve altered states of consciousness, which contribute to worship in various ways, or celebration or healing.
But maybe all this is not so new to Western culture after all. In the old Greek histories of Eleusis, people who were initiated there got the drink, the kykeon, and then they had the illumination. The precise recipe is a mystery, but we know that the kykeon was a psychoactive brew that was used at the Eleusinian mysteries, a sacred annual ritual of enlightenment practiced by some of the world's greatest minds including Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. So why did this ritual come to an end more than 1,000 years ago? Was the possibility of illumination or achieving a higher consciousness considered threatening to the powers that be? Have the drug wars been merely an extension of that fear?
Psychedelics has a major part in how we can heal as a community, how we can heal as a city, and how we can heal as a country. The current renaissance of psychedelics could not come at a better time as the world confronts a crisis in mental health. But psychedelics have much to offer. The psychedelic experience changes the mind in ways that will help scientists better understand how it works. All these altered states allow us to probe what is the greatest mystery in all of nature. The emergence from mere matter of something as miraculous as consciousness. But an even bigger question is whether psychedelics might help us address the environmental crisis of how we think about our place in nature. One of the greatest gifts of psychedelics is how they reanimate the natural world, allowing us to perceive the subject, the spirit of all species, not just our own. And to feel a deeper sense of interconnectedness with nature.
Series: How to Change Your Mind

Chapter 1 LSD

   2022    Medicine
This highly anticipated psychedelic docuseries showcases what these substances teaches people about consciousness, dying, addiction, depression and transcendence. Filmmaker Alex Gibney and best-selling author Michael Pollan present it in four parts, each focused on a different mind-altering substance: LSD, psilocybin, MDMA, and mescaline. With Pollan as our guide, we journey to the frontiers of the new psychedelic renaissance -- and look back at almost-forgotten historical context -- to explore the potential of these substances to heal and change minds as well as culture.
The first chapter is a great introduction to the topic of LSD, from its 1943 origins to today's microdosing trend, for those who don’t already know a lot about the subject, and a fun and entertaining refresher on LSD for even experts in the field. The show takes us on a journey through the history of the powerful compound, from its discovery and its early medical use, to secret CIA mind-control studies, the counterculture and its banning, and finally to our current renaissance. It includes amazing clips of LSD’s inventor Albert Hofmann and powerful personal testimonies of individuals who have healed their suffering through LSD.
Series: How to Change Your Mind

Super Telescope: Mission to the Edge of the Universe

   2022    Technology
As NASA releases the first images from the James Webb Space Telescope, this film tells the inside story of the telescope's construction and the astronomers taking its first picture of distant stars and galaxies. Will it be the deepest image of our universe ever taken? The successor to Hubble, and 100 times more powerful, the James Webb is the most technically advanced telescope ever built. It will look further back in time than Hubble to an era around 200 million years after the Big Bang, when the first stars and galaxies appeared. Webb's primary mission is to capture the faint light from these objects on the edge of our visible universe so that scientists can learn how they formed, but its instruments are so sensitive it could also be the first telescope to detect signs of life on a distant planet.
The James Webb Telescope is an £8 billion gamble on the skills of its engineering team. It’s the first telescope designed to unfold in space – a complicated two-week operation in which 178 release devices must all work - 107 of them on the telescope's sun shield alone. If just one fails, the expensive telescope could become a giant piece of space junk.
From its conception in the late 1980s, the construction of Webb has posed a huge technical challenge. The team must build a mirror six times larger than Hubble’s and construct a vast sun shield the size of a tennis court, fold them up so they fit into an Ariane 5 rocket, then find a way to unfold them in space. This film tells the inside story of the James Webb Space Telescope in the words of the engineers who built it and the astronomers who will use it.

Fallout

   2022    Technology
In the last episode, despite disturbing revelations of wrongdoing at Three Mile Island before and after the accident, the utility fights to bring the plant back online. Its Unit 1 had its license temporarily suspended following the incident at Unit 2. Although the citizens of the three counties surrounding the site voted by an overwhelming margin to retire Unit 1 permanently in a non-binding resolution in 1982, it was permitted to resume operations in 1985 following a 4–1 vote by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
In 2017, it was announced that operations would cease by 2019 due to financial pressure from cheap natural gas, unless lawmakers stepped in to keep it open. Unit 1 shut down on September 20, 2019.
Billed as the worst nuclear incident in U.S. history, what’s particularly scary here is how close Three Mile Island incident came to becoming a national disaster. Without giving away the whole story, cost-cutting 'solutions' almost cause a catastrophic disaster.
Series: Meltdown: Three Mile Island

One Hour That Changed World: Moon Landing

   2022    Technology
The Moon Landing celebrates the historic 50th anniversary of Apollo 11, in a fresh and distinctive style. This inspiring documentary subverts usual conventions by beginning with the momentous event, exploring the preceding dramatic sixty minutes in granular detail.
Packed with surprising details which reveal a whole new perspective on the story of how humans landed on the moon, this documentary rewinds one hour before Neil Armstrong's famous footstep to reveal a whole untold story, hidden in the forensic moment-by-moment details driven by powerful footage from the time and authentic audio recordings from the capsule and the command module and mission control in Houston. In the last 60 minutes, the Apollo mission could fall apart. Without dazzling on-the-spot ingenuity, a 240,000-mile helpline to Houston, and almost unnatural abilities to remain calm under incredible pressure, the first step onto another world might not happen at all.
Cosmos

Cosmos

1980  Science
Reel Rock

Reel Rock

2014  Culture
The Great Acceleration

The Great Acceleration

2020  Technology
Planet Earth

Planet Earth

2007  Nature
Chemistry

Chemistry

2010  Science
Top Gear

Top Gear

2012  Technology