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The Private Life of Plants: Travelling

   1994    Nature
Sir David Attenborough reveals plants as they have never been seen before - on the move and dangerously devious. About the major problems of life - growing, finding food, reproduction - and the varied ways plants have evolved to solve it. Filmed from the plant's point of view, using computer animations, fibre-optics and unique time-lapse photography. The first episode looks at how plants are able to move". The bramble is an aggressive example: it advances forcefully from side to side and, once settled on its course, there is little that can stand in its way. An altogether faster species is the birdcage plant, which inhabits Californian sand dunes. When its location becomes exposed, it shifts at great speed to another one with the assistance of wind — and it is this that allows many forms of vegetation to distribute their seeds. While not strictly a plant, the spores of fungi are also spread in a similar fashion. One of the most successful (and intricate) flowers to use the wind is the dandelion, whose seeds travel with the aid of 'parachutes'. They are needed to travel miles away from their parents, who are too densely packed to allow any new arrivals. Trees have the advantage of height to send their seeds further, and the cottonwood is shown as a specialist in this regard. The humidity of the tropical rainforest creates transportation problems, and the liana-species Alsomitra macrocarpa is one plant whose seeds are aerodynamic 'gliders'. Some, such as those of the sycamore, take the form of 'helicopters', while others, such as the squirting cucumber release their seeds by 'exploding'. Water is also a widely used method of propulsion. The tropical sea bean Entada gigas has one of the biggest fruits of all plants and is dispersed by water streams. However, most plants use living couriers, whether they be dogs, humans and other primates, ants or birds, etc., and to that end, they use colour and smell to signify when they are ripe for picking.
Series: The Private Life of Plants

Andes

   2005    Nature
This edition features a spectacular journey along the Andes, the world's longest mountain range, stretching from the equator almost to Antarctica. In this harsh and unforgiving landscape, wildlife such as bears, pumas, condors and flamingos fight for survival in the numbing cold, ferocious winds and thin air.
Series: Wild South America

The World Set Free

   2014    Nature
This episode explores the nature of the greenhouse effect (discovered by Joseph Fourier and Svante Arrhenius), and the evidence demonstrating the existence of global warming from humanity's influence. Tyson begins by describing the long-term history of the planet Venus; based on readings from the Venera series of probes to the planet, the planet had once had an ocean and an atmosphere, but due to the release of carbon dioxide from volcanic eruptions, the runaway greenhouse effect on Venus caused the surface temperatures to increase and boiled away the oceans. Tyson then notes the delicate nature of the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere can influence Earth's climate due to the greenhouse effect, and that levels of carbon dioxide have been increasing since the start of the 20th century. Evidence has shown this to be from mankind's consumption of oil, coal, and gas instead of from volcanic eruptions due to the isotopic signature of the carbon dioxide. The increase in carbon dioxide has led to an increase in temperatures, in turn leading to positive feedback loops of the melting polar ice caps and dethawing of the permafrost to increase carbon dioxide levels. Tyson then notes that humans have discovered means of harvesting solar power, such as Augustin Mouchot's solar-driven motor in the 19th century, and Frank Shuman's solar-based steam generator in the 1910's. Tyson points out that in both cases, the economics and ease of using cheap coal and oil caused these inventions to be overlooked at the time. Today, solar and wind-power systems would be able to collect enough solar energy from the sun easily. Tyson then compares the motivation for switching to these cleaner forms of energy to the efforts of the Space race and emphasizes that it is not too late for humanity to correct its course.
Series: Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey

A Passage to India

   2004    Nature
Travelling from K2 in Pakistan to Ladakh in India. It is a short distance as the crow flies but, due to politics, a huge loop. He passes through the Sikh city of Amritsar, with its Golden Temple, and through Shimla with its Vice Regal Lodge, Gaiety Theatre and cosy half-timbered tea-houses. He then meets the 14th Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, where the Tibetan government is in exile.
Series: Himalaya with Michael Palin

Chased by Sea Monsters 2of3

   2003    Nature
You will feel a lot more comfortable about going out for a swim or an afternoon boat ride knowing that such behemoths are extinct today!The Dunkleosteus is school bus-sized armored fish with razor sharp bladed jaws for cutting through anything in its path. The mighty Liopleurodon is a true monster, largest and most powerful of the Pliosaurs. The deadly Mosasaurs where the real sea serpents of their day, and some where large enough to dispatch an adult tyrannosaur easily.
Series: Chased by Sea Monsters
Brian Cox Adventures in Space and Time
Brian Cox Adventures in Space and Time

   2021    Technology
Living Universe
Living Universe

   2018    Technology
The Nazis, A Warning From History
The Nazis, A Warning From History

   1997    History
The Nazis, A Warning From History
The Nazis, A Warning From History

   1997    History
The Last Dance
The Last Dance

   2020    Culture
Atom
Atom

   2007    Science
Fleetwood Mac Live in Boston
Fleetwood Mac Live in Boston

   2004    Art
Leaving Neverland
Leaving Neverland

   2019    Culture