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Seven Wonders of the New World

   2020    Science
The final episode of the series ponders the fate of planet Earth. Neil deGrasse Tyson opens with a reflection on science and those who help us understand it: 'We all feel the weight of the shadows on our future, but in another time, every bit as ominous as our own, there were those who could see a way through the darkness to find a star to steer by.'
The young Carl Sagan and Neil Tyson first discovered their passion for science at the NY World's Fairs of the past. We visit the dazzling Pavilions of the 2039 NY World's Fair, where problems we currently think intractable have been plausibly solved through public commitment and scientific imagination. And our baby is a woman now, with a baby of her own and a future bright with possibilities.
Series: Cosmos: Possible Worlds

Alien Planets

   2020    Science
Our universe reveals itself in ways we’ve never seen before, thanks to new discoveries in astrobiology. Today, the advent of cutting-edge observational instruments is shedding light on amazing facts about life and the universe. NASA's next-generation space telescope TESS (Exoplanet Survey Satellite) has begun its search for Earth-like planets belonging to other star systems. How many of these 'exoplanets' can host life, and what kind of life forms can evolve in these environments?
Series: Space Phenomena

Hunt for the Mars Aliens

   2020    Technology    HD
NASA's brand-new Mars rover is on the hunt for alien life, and with the help of cutting-edge engineering, scientists embark on a search for fossilized remains, which might prove the Red Planet was once home to a vast ocean and extraterrestrial life. Perseverance carries seven scientific instruments to study the Martian surface at Jezero crater. It carries several cameras and two microphones. The rover is accompanied by the helicopter Ingenuity, which will help Perseverance to scout for locations to study.
Series: Space Deepest Secrets

Humboldt Epic Explorer

   2020    History
In 1799, the German scientist Alexander von Humboldt embarked on a perilous journey of discovery across South America. It would take him to the deepest jungle near the Orinoco and to the heights of the Andes. His aim was twofold: to conduct the first scientific survey of South America and to discover how the natural world actually works — at a time when most scientists believed that the world was created less than 6,000 years ago. He later became a leading scientific figure and champion of the abolitionist movement in the US.
This extremely visual docudrama follows Humboldt’s extraordinary path. Travelling in Humboldt’s footsteps is historian Andrea Wulf, whose book on Humboldt became a worldwide bestseller. For good reason, since Humboldt’s ideas on the planet’s fragile web of life are as important today as they were 220 years ago.

Words on a Page

   2020    History
Writing itself is 5,000 years old, and for most of that time words were written by hand using a variety of tools. The Romans were able to run an empire thanks to documents written on papyrus. Scroll books could be made quite cheaply and, as a result, ancient Rome had a thriving written culture. With the fall of the Roman Empire, papyrus became more difficult to obtain. Europeans were forced to turn to a much more expensive surface on which to write: Parchment. Medieval handwritten books could cost as much as a house, they also represent a limitation on literacy and scholarship.
No such limitations were felt in China, where paper had been invented in the second century. Paper was the foundation of Chinese culture and power, and for centuries how to make it was kept secret. When the secret was out, paper mills soon sprang up across central Asia. The result was an intellectual flourishing known as the Islamic Golden Age. Muslim scholars made discoveries in biology, geology, astronomy and mathematics. By contrast, Europe was an intellectual backwater.
That changed with Gutenberg’s development of movable type printing. The letters of the Latin alphabet have very simple block-like shapes, which made it relatively simple to turn them into type pieces. When printers tried to use movable type to print Arabic texts, they found themselves hampered by the cursive nature of Arabic writing. The success of movable type printing in Europe led to a thousand-fold increase in the availability of information, which produced an explosion of ideas that led directly to the European Scientific Revolution and the Industrial Revolution that followed.
Series: The Secret History of Writing
Reel Rock
Reel Rock

   2014    Culture
Coldplay Live
Coldplay Live

   2012    Art
Planet Earth
Planet Earth

   2007    Nature
Myths and Heroes
Myths and Heroes

   2005    History
Natural World
Natural World

   2009    Nature
The Private Life of Plants
The Private Life of Plants

   1995    Nature
Wonders of Life
Wonders of Life

   2013    Science
The Great Acceleration
The Great Acceleration

   2020    Technology