PBS launches a new season of “Exploration Wednesdays,” the smart and popular science and nature-based programming block, beginning October 10, 2012.
These nights kick off on KCPT with NATURE at 7pm, NOVA at 8pm and the magazine series NOVA scienceNOW, with new host David Pogue, at 9pm.
November 7, 2012
Nature: Animal Odd Couples
Despite the odds, there are countless stories of the most unlikely cross-species relationships imaginable: a goat guiding a blind horse; a doe who regularly visits her Great Dane surrogate mother; a juvenile gibbon choosing to live with a family of capuchins, and so on. Instincts gone awry? The subject has mystified scientists for years. Now, NATURE investigates why animals form these special bonds. Informed by the observations of caregivers and noted scientists Temple Grandin and Marc Bekoff, the film explores what these relationships suggest about the nature of animal emotions.
NOVA: Mystery of Easter Island @ 8pm
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? NOVA explores 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.
NOVA scienceNOW @ 9pm
Have you ever wondered what’s going on inside an animal’s head? How do they see the world — and us? Is your dog really feeling guilty when it gives you that famous “guilty look?” Do pigeon brains possess “superpowers” that allow them to find their way home across hundreds of unfamiliar miles? David meets — and competes — with a menagerie of smart critters that challenge preconceived notions about what makes “us” different from “them,” expanding our understanding of how animals really think.
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