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A remote, bleak speck of rock in the middle of the Pacific, Easter Island, or Rapa Nui, has mystified the world ever since the first Europeans arrived in 1722. How and why did the ancient islanders build and move nearly 900 giant statues, or moai, weighing up to 86 tons? And how did they transform a presumed paradise into a treeless wasteland, bringing ruin upon their island and themselves?
Find out with announced it will release NOVA: Mystery of Easter Island.
NOVA and National Geographic explore controversial recent claims that challenge decades of previous thinking about the islanders, who have been accused of everything from ecocide to cannibalism. Among the radical new theories is that the islanders used ropes to “walk” the statues upright, like moving a fridge. With the help of an accurate 15-ton replica statue, a NOVA team sets out to test this high-risk, seemingly unlikely theory–serving up plenty of action and surprises in this fresh investigation of one of the ancient world’s most intriguing enigmas.
Four years ago, the presidential candidates agreed that climate change was a critical issue demanding urgent attention. But that national call to action has disappeared and in the past four years public opinion on the climate issue has cooled. This election cycle, the presidential candidates barely discussed climate change. And new studies find that only about half of Americans believe global warming is caused by human activity. What’s behind this dramatic reversal? In Climate of Doubt FRONTLINE correspondent John Hockenberry explores the inner workings of the movement that changed the debate on climate change.
In numerous interviews that took him across the country, Hockenberry discovers how climate skeptics mobilized, built their argument, and undermined public acceptance of a global scientific consensus. Tim Phillips, President of Americans for Prosperity, explains how the movement was able to find a voice and gain momentum as the economy failed, “We got up a hot-air balloon, put a banner on the side of it that said, cap-and-trade means higher taxes, lost jobs, less freedom. And we went all over the country doing events and stirring up grassroots anger and frustration, concern.”
Climate of Doubt describes the individuals and groups behind an organized effort to attack science by undermining scientists, and to unseat politicians who say they believe there is current climate change caused by human activity. Andrew Dessler, a climate scientist at Texas A&M, says, “I fully expect that after this program airs I’ll get another FOIA request for all of my emails with you. And you know, I’ll just deal with that. As a climate scientist, I think a lot about the future. It goes with the job. And I want to make sure that in 50 years or 100 years or 200 years, nobody could ever say we didn’t warn them.”
Take an unforgettable adventure along the historic and epic Mississippi River with The Mighty Mississippi With Trevor McDonald. Starting at the Gulf of Mexico, Sir Trevor’s journey leads him to encounter a dazzling array of characters and stunning locations.
At approximately 2,320 miles long, the Mississippi, often referred to as “Ole Miss,” represents the heart of America. It’s the prism through which the story of America’s past and present can be told. Today the Mississippi has turned the U.S. into one of the greatest food producers in the world.
“Ole Miss” is also responsible for bringing together the different music styles and influences that lead to the birth of rock n’ roll. Stepping away from redneck, backwater stereotypes, Sir Trevor will show you how the Mississippi is still influencing lives and culture today.
When Ronald Reagan entered office in 1981, unemployment was high, interest rates were skyrocketing and the nation was plunging into a recession. Meanwhile, the Cold War was escalating as both Soviet and American leaders fired heated rhetoric from behind their podiums of power. The Reagan Presidency, a three-part series, offers an in-depth study of Reagan’s work in the White House as he dealt with these tumultuous circumstances.
Hour one features domestic issues ranging from candidate Reagan’s controversial post-convention speech in Philadelphia, Mississippi; to tax decreases, tax increases, social security reform, immigration reform, tax reform, farm policy, and the president’s appointment of the first female Supreme Court Justice.
Hours two and three of focus on the Reagan administration’s foreign policy with detailed analysis of the role both Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev played in bringing an end to the Cold War.
Two years in the making, Cuban Missle Crisis: Three Men Go to War reveals how three President John F. Kennedy, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev and Cuban leader Fidel Castro– grappled with the most dangerous two weeks in human history, when countless events outside their control threatened to ignite a nuclear holocaust that could have ended human civilization.
On October 22, 1962, Kennedy informed the world that the Soviet Union was building secret missile bases on the island of Cuba, 90 miles off the shores of Florida. The events of the next tension-filled 13 days, known as the Cuban Missile Crisis, struck fear across the globe as the world teetered on the edge of nuclear war.
Bringing to life the three central figures in the crisis, the film explores the roles each played during these most dangerous of times, set against the human stories of ordinary men in the field, such as the first-ever interview with the Soviet soldier who shot down the U2 piloted by U.S. Air Force Major Rudolf Anderson on the worst day of the crisis. The film also features revealing interviews with key witnesses from inside the Kremlin, the White House and Cuba, along with revelations from recently declassified Top Secret documents.
A complete picture of the events of those 13 days has only recently emerged after countless declassified documents were released from Soviet, American and Cuban archives. Extraordinary revelations have come to light about Castro’s role and how, at the height of the crisis, he suggested the Soviets consider striking first, fearing that Cuba was doomed no matter what unfolded. Also emerging are remarkable details on a series of rogue incidents outside of Kennedy or Khrushchev’s control, each of which came within a hair’s breadth of triggering all-out conflict.
Can science help catch crooks? Join host David Pogue as he gets down to the nitty gritty with scientists pushing the limits of technology to solve horrific murders, and prevent crimes using the latest techniques in Can Science Stop Crime? This episode of NOVA scienceNOW features the four intriguing stories.
Pogue fans will also relish his look at human intelligence. How do you get a genius brain? Is it all in your DNA? Or is it hard work? Is it possible that everyone’s brain has untapped genius – just waiting for the right circumstances so it can be unleashed? Watch as host David Pogue meets people stretching the boundaries of what the human mind can do in NOVA scienceNOW: How Smart Can We Get?