AMERICAN FILM INSTITUTE
Film, even from its silent days in the 1920s, has proven to be an art form particularly suitable for handling intimate psychological subjects. It is a medium of observation, the almost clinical recording of human behavior, with every nuance of expression and gesture enhanced in the close-up. As a highly controlled flow of images, film is uniquely able to reflect the flux of mental and emotional experience. Madness, which raises basic questions about the nature of these experiences, has been a very popular subject for filmmakers. For the film artist, madness is a subject that probes the darkest and most hidden side of our being.
In 1930 an Iowa artist named Grant Wood asked his sister and his dentist to pose for a painting, a tribute to the tough rural stock of America. He dressed his sister in a simple frock, a white collarheld close around her neck by a brooch. The dentist he outfitted in overalls, a band collar shirt, buttoned tight around the throat, a dark business jacket. He posed the couple, board stiff in front of a plain house. The man, transformed by art into a Midwestern farmer, grips a pitchfork and stares straight ahead. The woman looks away. The resulting painting, called American Gothic, became one of the most enduring images of the decade, an icon of the spirit that survived the hard times of the Depression.
Giant snakes have a reputation of being aggressive. The anaconda measures over 16 feet and weighs 180 pounds. Its mouth is like a clamp and an animal struggling to get free only sets the grip tighter. At the same time it sets its bite, the anaconda loops its powerful coils around its victim and begins to squeeze. The process takes little more than a second, hardly enough time to react.
Far to the south lies a land of dazzling snowfields, crystalline glaciers, and dramatically carved ice mountains soaring above an untamed frozen wilderness. There are no human sounds in this land of primeval beauty, only the wild cries of birds, seals, and whales echoing across a vast expanse of land and sea. Experience the wonders and grandeur of a land where few have ever set foot as we discover the world’s last frontier — the great White Continent. This special voyage takes place during the austral summer, when the weather is best, temperatures are moderate, and days are long. Penguin chicks are hatching and it is common to see elephant seals along the beaches.
Whether one comes by air, sea, or land, the visitor to Athens enters a metropolis. It’s a huge city … an urban sea, surging around a few outcroppings of rock … a sea which spreads a little farther with each passing year. Built around the remains of antiquity, the modern city of Athens has sent its long straight avenues pushing out beyond its own limits, particularly across the plain leading to the sea.
On August 9th it was announced over the Missouri’s public address that an atom bomb was dropped on a Japanese city. The description of the enormity of this weapon and the massive damage it caused horrified just about everyone aboard. There followed a series of “false peaces.” Air strikes had been routinely launched on August 15th, but an announcement was made that we were attempting to recall the planes. The Japanese had finally accepted our peace terms, and the war was over. There was shouting and cheering when the news came over the Missouri’s public address, but several thousand men crowded together in a wartime battleship…
THE BALLISTIC MISSILE DEFENSE PROGRAM
The Ballistic Missile Defense Program, regarded by some U.S. agencies as the benchmark of effective technology transfer, has initiated spin-offs of 23 new businesses, produced 115 patents and 125 joint venture and licensing agreements, and claims a direct link to more than 114 new products or systems on the market. The former Strategic Defense Initiative Organization has developed an aggressive technology transition program over the past eight years, fueled initially by strong support from visionary SDIO leaders in the mid-1980s.
A western narred bandicoot scampers through dense scrub and thickets after nightfall, searching for food. The little marsupial adeptly unearths insects and roots with its sharp foreclaws, and with its long nose probes the sandy soil and crevices for seeds and herbs. During the day, the solitary bandicoot nestles into a shallow nest to sleep, undetected beneath a cover of gathered plant or seagrass litter. This species is no longer found on the mainland, and now exists only on two island nature reserves, where it is protected from introduced predators and habitat changes.
In our next segment, we visit individual stadiums, explore tales of the classic teams, legendary stars, and the devotion of the American baseball fan. First stop: Yankee Stadium, home of the team America loves to hate and breeding ground for a host of superstars and legends. Back at the Hall of Fame in the World Series room, we explore the lives of ordinary men with extraordinary skills. And look at how and why Americans have elevated such men to mythic places in our folklore. Chicago, Illinois — in America’s foremost sports city, our first location is Comiskey Park, the oldest standing major league ballpark in America.
The beaver builds its lodge out of intertangled twigs and sticks; as freezing weather nears, they plaster their lodge with mud, making a concrete layer that no predator can break through. During the early nineteenth century, the beaver pelt was the single most valuable commodity; the pelt being used for robes, coats, clothing trims, and top hats.
One of the biggest misconceptions about belly dancing is that its purpose is to entertain men. It’s not—it’s actually used to entertain women and for fertility rites. It’s been portrayed in hieroglyphics on the pyramids; it’s one of the oldest recorded dances in history.
BIG FORK MONTANA: ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT – CITY CONFIDENTIAL
In 1997 it was hard not to believe in Big Forks dark side. The ruthless murder of a well-known resident stunned the town. The crime loomed over this bayside village for months, as the astonishing facts about who was behind the killing came to light. Big Fork Montana, an isolated outpost on the shore of Flathead Lake, a rustic village whose shutters are continuously rattled by an ongoing real estate boom, but behind the for sale signs and story book façade exists the old Big Fork a genuine sort of place found only in the mountain west.
Most strongholds in the Border region employed groups of mercenaries known as reivers (or Raiders). These highly motivated soldiers would organize bloody Border raids to loot and kidnap; indeed to be visited by such a raiding party coined the phrase, “to be bereaved.” Once an individual was taken, he was dragged back to the castle, shacked and lowered through the hatch to the pit below.
Contrary to popular opinion frogs aren’t just selective eaters feasting only on flies. Take the bullfrog for example, they’ll eat spiders, scorpions, rodents, snakes, fish and just about anything else that passes in front of them.
BUREAU OF ENGRAVING & PRINTING
If you’ve ever looked closely at one of the bills in your wallet, you will have noticed that each bill has green Treasury Seals and serial numbers, as well as black Federal Reserve Seals and District numbers. The presses at your left are overprinting this important information, in sequential order, on each bill while it is still in one sheet containing 16 bills. One hundred of these sheets at a time are then stacked into a plexiglass tray. There is a small suction cup underneath the counting device, making sure that the count is accurate and that no sheets have stuck together.
50 years ago, businessmen were folk heroes. You and I may think the first Henry Ford was an eccentric with a distinctly comic side — but our grandfathers didn’t. At the turn of the century, a certain class of business figure enjoyed a degree of public admiration that Americans of that period offered to very few of their politicians. Over the years, but especially since World War II, that unqualified admiration has evaporated. The trouble has little to do with the conduct of business, and everything to do with the present stage of American technology.
Dry thorn forest consists primarily of cacti. Among these is Opuntia moniliformis, known locally as alpargata, which may reach a height of twelve feet. Neoabottia paniculata, which may grow thirty feet high, is a tree cactus with a smooth trunk and spiny branches at the top, while Pilocereus polygonus is a shorter, many-branched tree cactus. A very spiny cactus called Leptocereus weingartiana creeps across the ground or climbs on other vegetation.
An early Caribbean traveler recorded the “rare kinds of fishes” he tasted at Barbadian tables this way: “Mullets, Macquerels, Parrot Fish, Snappers, Crabs, and Lobsters.” Like him, today’s island visitors relish the opportunity to taste fresh seafood with exotic names, and equally exotic preparations. Some of the Caribbean seafood dishes merely seem exotic because, forced by limited food supplies to be resourceful, islanders eat many species that are ignored or underutilized in the States.
“CARTED AWAY” – SPECIAL INTEREST STORY
In an all-out effort to clean up the city’s streets, San Francisco’s public works department inaugurated operation scrub-down. Three times a day, city workers move through a 30-block area, cleaning the pavement with high-pressure hoses, rousting squatters and taking away shopping carts filled with refuse and personal belongings.
Operation scrub down is the brainchild of Mohammed Nuru, a Nigerian who worked for years as an advocate for San Francisco’s homeless and who says he believes you don’t help people by encouraging them to live on the streets. Nuru says his crews remove between 200 and 500 carts from the streets every day.
John Viola, a civil right attorney for the “coalition of the homeless,” says the numbers are nothing to cheer about. But Nuru objects when Viola talks about the carts and possessions as confiscated property, and claims that only abandoned carts are removed from the streets and sidewalks where they present a safety hazard.
In 2002, HBO’s cameras went inside Nevada’s Moonlite Bunny Ranch for the first time – and brought viewers a never-before-seen look inside an actual legal brothel in the USA year later, in Cathouse 2: Back in the Saddle, HBO returned for another intimate look at the “working girls” who pleasure men (and women) for pay – including footage of actual trysts. And in 2005, HBO viewers got an extended reservation to the Ranch with the first season of Cathouse: The Series (note new title change), featuring 11 sizzling
editions. Proving you can’t get enough of a good thing, Cathouse Season Two returns in 2007 with the first of six monthly episodes, “Hot to Trot.” The series gives fans a fresh and fast-paced look at the familiar and new girls who work at the Ranch, as well as some of the johns who visit. The series sheds light not only on the numerous joys and challenges of working at a legal brothel, but on the therapeutic benefits that customers take with them after a stint at the Ranch. Still thriving after 50 years, the Moonlite Bunny Ranch is arguably the most famous brothel in the state that pioneered legal prostitution. Since brothels were legalized in many Nevada counties in 1972, the state has become a sexual mecca for red-blooded, law-abiding Americans looking to live
out their fantasies in places like the Bunny Ranch, which is located at the end of a dusty road about 35 miles south of Reno.
They are hunters, with muscles taut, and eyes fixes on their intended prey. They are gentle, with fluid movement and a sensitive touch. They are regal, with a lineage that goes back to worshiped ancestors during the time of the Pharaohs. They are introspective, aloof, unpredictable, affectionate, comical and mischievous. They are cats.
Nestled in the rolling hills of the Connecticut River Valley, Chester is a lovely New England village. The charming winding roads, interesting shops, and friendly people greet the visitor and resident alike. Originally know as Pattaquonk Quarter, Chester was settled in 1692. Many mills sprang up as settlers established permanent homes and Chester became the Fourth Parish of Saybrook. By 1836, it became an independent town. Travel in the early days was by river, so the ship-building industry was an important part of the town’s beginnings. Several modern marinas now dot the riverfront, as well as two yacht clubs.
CHICAGO JAZZ ENSEMBLE
Founded by the late Jazz Composer William Russo, the Chicago Jazz Ensemble specializes in the repertories of Duke Ellington, Stan Kenton and other great bands that have forged the American big band Jazz Heritage. Before our show begins, we take you on a journey spanning the history of the Chicago Jazz scene, and honoring the cultural history of this club.
It began as an obscure movement and grew to become the single largest religion in the history of the world — moving from the streets of Jerusalem to the far reaches of the globe. This is the incredible story of the people who, despite persecution, founded a religion, redefined God and changed the world forever.
CHINA’S MEGA DAM
Employing over forty thousand people, it’s China’s biggest project since the Great Wall. From the groundbreaking to the completion of the world’s largest ship locks, this film chronicles the progress and price for the world’s biggest and most controversial dam. This is the story of the Three Gorges Project. China’s Mega Dam!
(Intro to Discovery Channel’s Feature)
If you’re young at heart, you might dream of working in a candy or chocolate factory. Oh, how sweet it would be. Well, at least for a little while.
Less than two years later, General William Tecumseh Sherman scorched a path of destruction across Georgia that ended with the capture of Savannah. In December of 1864, Sherman offered the port city to President Lincoln as a Christmas gift. Union victory was near.
CLEVELAND BOTANICAL GARDEN
Comprising 3,400 shimmering glass panels, the new conservatory at the Cleveland Botanical Garden resembles a giant three-dimensional jigsaw puzzle. The spectacular structure, the centerpiece of a $37 million expansion, encompasses two unique ecosystems. These diametrically opposed environments house many unusual animals and more than 350 species of plants.
THE COLUMBUS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
When most people think of the majors, the first thing that comes to mind is probably a favorite baseball team. But Columbus, Ohio is home to a different kind of major team … The Columbus Symphony Orchestra. The CSO attained major symphony orchestra status in 1988, from the American Symphony Orchestra League, the top category for orchestras in the United States. The designation signified that the CSO’s budget, number of full-time musicians, and repertoire could be considered in the same category as other orchestras in the U.S., such as Pittsburgh, New York, and Chicago. During the past seven years…
COMMERCIAL BUILDINGS ENERGY CONSUMPTION
In the moderately populated but energy-intensive U.S., buildings consume 36% of the country’s energy supply and each year run up an energy bill of nearly $200 billion. Commercial buildings alone have an annual bill of $80 billion. Aside from being expensive, energy takes a tremendous toll on the environment; the energy that powers our appliances and heats, cools and lights our buildings produces 500 million tons of carbon dioxide a year, with two tons of carbon for every person in the U.S. Yet studies show that the energy efficiency of buildings could double by 2010, cutting carbon emissions in half and saving $100 billion a year.
Today, desktop computer designs are flirting with clock speeds of 300 MHZ, unheard of just a year ago. However, to keep a computer’s design both simple and affordable, its system bus–where the memory and certain peripherals hang out–typically dawdles along at a fraction of the processor’s speed. Because of the design and cost constraints, it’s going to be difficult for even faster systems to realize significant gains in performance.
THE COMPUTER AS WEAPON
In the American Civil War, it was the rifle. In the 1944 Allied invasion of Europe, the tank. In the Cold War, the I.C.B.M. When military historians look back on the 21st century U.S. Army, they’ll probably agree that the weapon that made the most difference, was the computer. Instead of outnumbering the enemy with massive forces and firepower, the armies of the future will outsmart foes with computer technology. Computers will enable troops to access enemy positions more precisely, attack them more rapidly, and even kill more efficiently. The computerization of the battlefield is one of two technology trends that military experts…
CONGO GORILLA FOREST
Congo Gorilla Forest provides its animals with a rich, physical environment, but it doesn’t stop there. The vision behind “Congo Gorilla Forest” is important to more than the gorillas. It’s a powerful experience for every visitor who comes to see them. This exhibit is about presenting all of us with choices. A revolutionary component gives visitors a choice about how their entrance fee should be spent. Presenting them with a variety of field projects to support. They are helping save gorillas, which are under threat in the wild. Every day gorillas are killed as part of the bushmeat trade. The commercial hunting of forest animals, for food. Lowland Gorillas are being forced to the edge of existence. Day after day, this express train travels into the capital of the Republic of Cameroon. It’s carrying bags of slaughtered wildlife from the forests. As it arrives, traders drop the bags of bushmeat down outside the market. It’s illegal, but there’s seldom anyone around to do anything about it. And it’s not just happening in Cameroon. Scenes like these are repeated in cities around Central and West Africa. As long as people have lived in African forests, they’ve hunted for food, but while they once hunted to feed themselves, their families and local communities, many now hunt to supply an ever-growing urban demand for what has become ‘status’ food.
Like animals in the ark, most of us march through life two by two. Though about half of first marriages end in divorce, we still believe that pleasure comes in pairs. Even first couples famous for their foibles-Franklin and Eleanor, Jack & Jackie, Bill and Hilary have taught us that every relationship has its own raison d’être, its own learning curve and its own risks and rewards.
THE CRESTED SCREAMER
Suddenly the most aggressive of the marshland birds appeared…a Crested Screamer. The Crested Screamer is remarkable for his strident cry and his skin which had thousands of tiny air sacs beneath the surface that increase its ability to float. Although his feet are not webbed, he struts effortlessly through the fields of water hyacinths like a curt quarrelsome prince.
CROATIA’S NATIONAL PARKS
The squirrel like door mice often move into the safety of abandon woodpecker holes. The door mice have made their nest within, where their babies sleep safe and sound on a soft bed of leaves. This loft nursery has the practical advantage of being near the open-air larder, with seasonal produce within easy reach.
CYCLONE OF BANGLADESH
The cyclone of November 12, 1970 in Bangladesh is widely considered to be the worst natural disaster of the 20th century. Between 300,000 and 500,000 residents of this dangerously poised, ecologically unsound country were killed by a combination of wind and water.
This grand structure was built in Hellenistic times and modified by the Romans in the 2nd century. On these stepped seats crowds would cheer on gladiators in the era of Roman blood sports. The ruined city of Koreon has been a key in Cypriot history since the Neanderthal times. Today it is the island’s most spectacular archaeological site.
The callous invasion of August 20, 1968 seems to us much more than simply another Czech disaster–or simply an invasion at all. August 20th sees but the latest step in a macabre dance in which the Czech people have been whirled since 1918, the year they declared themselves a republic. There appears, in our view, a horrifying rhythm: From shadow to liberty, they dance…again into shadow, then brief liberty, and shadow once again. A last, brief flourish of liberty, and then–August 20th, 1968. It is a sadly poetic cycle, seemingly without end.
DECODING NAZI SECRETS
By mid-1940, the German Army had conquered all of western Europe. Hitler was tightening the noose around Britain. In the Atlantic, German U-boats were decimating Allied convoys, threatening to cut off Britain’s only lifeline. But Churchill had a secret weapon, the strangest military establishment in the world. Crossword fanatics, chess champions, mathematicians, students and professors, Americans and British, all came here with one common aim: to unlock the secrets of the Enigma, a machine that concealed Germany’s war plans in seemingly unbreakable code. If Enigma could be penetrated, everything Hitler plotted would be known in advance. At Bletchley Park there unfolded one of the most astonishing exploits of the Second World War. Many here had never seen a code before, yet it was their job to find a way to crack Enigma. In the process, they devised ingenious codebreaking machines that were forerunners of the modern computer. But everything they did remained classified for 30 years.
The deer approaches the opening, unaware of the cougar’s presence. Slowly and quietly, Shuka creeps toward his prey. Hearing a twig crack, the deer turns and faces impending danger. There is no time to run before the six-foot-long, 200 pound make cougar pounces on its back and bites its neck. The deer, a favorite food of the cougar has met its match. He has fallen victim to the balance of nature.
DESIGN FOR HUMANITY AWARD
In a world of so much rhetoric and so little action, the discovery of real achievement, gives us hope that life on this earth may be changed for the better — that if a small group of individuals with some good ideas, a sincere desire to help other people, and a lot of hard work can succeed in bringing a community back to life, it may serve as an inspiration for all of us to follow in their footsteps. Throughout the United States, for the past several decades, virtually all of our cities have experienced considerable decline — most visibly, in their historic areas. Politicians, city planners, and other interested parties have discussed the problem endlessly…
Today, seventy percent of the world’s rough diamonds pass through the central selling organization the ESO, established by Debiers at Charterhouse Street in London. To regulate the flow of diamonds and maintain stability of prices on the world market, diamonds are first classified and valued. Here, along the north wall, in natural light, expert’s sort stones into more than five thousand different categories; based on size, shape, quality and color.
Diamonds are pure or nearly pure carbon, blessed with three extraordinary qualities: First, a diamond is the purest of earth’s gemstones, composed of a single unadulterated element. Second, it is the hardest transparent substance known to man. However, sharp impact may cause damage to a diamond. Third, a diamond has unique powers of light reflection. When cut to proper proportions, it gathers light within itself, sending it back in a shower of fire and brilliance.
These qualities make a diamond ring the perfect symbol of engagement. To support the promise behind the eternal symbol, every Tiffany & Co. solitaire diamond comes with a Tiffany & Co. Diamond Certificate that is your guarantee of quality.
DISCOVERY CHANNEL – “When Dinosaurs ruled the earth”
In nature, disaster is a constant companion and death comes in many guises. Dinosaurs now trapped by the fire flee in panic. Most will survive, but for the creatures that parish, the conflict is over. For those that remain what lies ahead is 30 million years of evolution. Triggered by unseen forces the environment will gradually change and so will the dinosaurs that live here. In the distant future the offspring of the young femikas will grow bigger, weirder and even more perplexing. The raptors will stay small, agile and quick, but they’ll get smarter and the kin of the Stagasours will become the most famous creature in North America.
The evidence that birds descended from dinosaurs — indeed are dinosaurs—has become conclusive for most paleontologists and evolutionary biologists. The theory had fallen out of favor in the early 20th century because, although theropods and birds share a great many features, no dinosaurs appeared to have a furcula, or wishbone.
They were awesome creatures, the great reptiles of eons and eras past. To modern eyes, they appear magnificent … grotesque … and terrifying. And in fact, it seems inconceivable that their dominance of the planet could ever have ended. But end it did … at the hands of an even mightier adversary: Change. It was, of course, Nature that dealt the severest blows. Over the yawning ages, the great beasts were beset in turn by drought … by flood … by fire … and ultimately, by ice. Nimbler, more resourceful species were able to adapt to these catastrophically shifting conditions, and survived. But the colossal reptiles were simply too ponderous, too inflexible to adapt.
Carrying out a 1,500-year-old tradition, this woman prepares to dive for abalones, sea cucumbers, sea urchins, and octopuses at Cheju Island off Korea’s southern tip. Cheju’s female divers, known as “haenyo”, begin honing their skills at the age of ten, learning to dive as deep as 60 feet and to hold their breath for up to two minutes. As recently as the 1930s they numbered more than 20,000. Now only about 3,000–most in their 50s and 60s–remain, as their better-educated daughters find work that is less physically demanding.
Gliding with uncanny grace, bottlenose dolphins pass the scalloped shadow of a mountain peak in Fiordland, New Zealand’s largest national park. Fiordland’s dolphins may spend their entire lives in a single fiord — denizens of an isolated world as dramatic above water as it is below. The jutting fist of Mitre Peak snags a passing cloud high above Milford Sound. Rising more than a mile up from the sea, this peak is the icon of a land with a history of transient seekers — for sealskins, gold, the glory of discovery, and the solace of untrammeled wilderness.
This spectacular display of airtime by these dusky dolphins actually has a practical purpose. These are scouts looking for food. And this is only half the operation. Here’s the underwater scout patrol. Sending out dolphin sonar pings to locate a meal. The first dolphin airborne patrol does its best to stake out the banquet.
Drift nets can be deadly for many ocean creatures who become entangled in an invisible “wall” of netting. Along the U.S. East Coast, a swordfish drift-net fishery has historically entangled large numbers of marine mammals, including the highly endangered North Atlantic right whales and six species of dolphins. When the death rate of marine mammals is unacceptably high, the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1994 requires the creation of a team composed of scientists and representatives of the fishing industry, environmental organizations, and state and federal agencies.
James Joyce once said that he wanted to create a picture of Dublin so complete that if the city one day disappeared, it could be reconstructed entirely from his book Ulysses. He succeeded. The spirit of James Joyce is evident everywhere in bustling, booming modern Dublin, from the bronze statue of him leaning casually on his walking stick at the intersection of busy O’Connell Street and Earl Street to such famous landmarks as St. Stephen’s Green, University College, and the Martello Tower in the nearby suburb of Sandycove. With a bit of imagination and some good walking shoes, you can virtually step into the pages of Ulysses to follow Leopold Bloom on his fictional 18-hour odyssey through Dublin on June 16, 1904.
Home over the centuries to great writers like Jonathan Swift, George Bernard Shaw and James Joyce. Dublin has always been a center of the arts. Now, with the still roaring Celtic Tiger economy to support it, Ireland’s Capital City is the bustling home of ever-burgeoning business, important cultural institutions, lively nightlife and a youthful, energetic population of both natives and newcomers.
All around the world mountains are on the rise. And in few places does this happen more swiftly than in highly populated Southern California, where shifting tectonic plates cause periodic catastrophe. Each earthquake raises the mountains a few inches sometimes feet, which makes the place a Mecca for geothermologists like Dr. Frank Wireick.
But the mountains here are falling as fast as they are rising. Days of rain sometimes trigger a disaster called a rotational slide, because it moves along a subsurface plain like jelly sliding from a spoon. In this small town along the coastline, most residents were warned of the dangers before moving in, but chose to live here anyway due to the panoramic view.
EARTHQUAKES – NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC
Pulled and pushed by forces deep within the planet, the Pacific plate is sliding northwest past North America at an average of about 2 inches a year – roughly the same rate as fingernails grow. But movement along the fault usually occurs in bursts. Along most of the fault, the colder, more rigid rocks near the earth’s surface resist the plate motions. Eventually, enough strain develops along a segment of the fault to overcome the resistance. Then, in geologic terms, that stretch of the fault “breaks,” “fails,” or “ruptures” and segment of the crust riding the Pacific plat surges north, creating an earthquake. In the magnitude 7.7 San Francisco earthquake of 1906, which killed more than 3,000 people, a 270-mile-long segment of the San Andreas from south of San Juan Bautista to Cape Mendocino surged northward as much as 21 feet in a few seconds. Half a century earlier in 1857, during a similar but little known 7.8 quake, much of coastal , southern California drifted north.
To modern eyes, the people of ancient Egypt seem bearers of some higher civilization…whose sources lay in another world. While populations elsewhere, still in their infancy, were groping their way out of the stone age, the Egyptians seem to have been born adult. They soon broke through the barriers of human possibility, six thousand years ago, almost in virtue of experiences sustained in some other extraordinarily civilized world. The fact that other people developed at much slower rates, reinforces the feeling that the people of the “planet Egypt” anticipated the history of the world by two thousand years.
Egypt has always been a land of mystery and magic — a land different from all others, difficult to understand, apart and alien, yet strangely fascinating. It was the most self-contained of all the countries of the ancient world; it lived its own life, practiced its own religion, and made up its own government with hardly any outside interference either from or upon other civilizations.
Bonding over the mineral-rich mud in the hole at their feet, an older female places her trunk into a juvenile’s mouth. Elephants dig relentlessly with their tusks and trunks in the muck at Dzanga Bai, mining the substrata for salt and other minerals to supplement their diet of leaves, bark, grasses, and fruit.
With notoriously bad eyesight, forest elephants tend to follow their trunks, using the appendage as a blind person might use fingertips on a stranger’s face–to identify, visualize, gather clues, communicate. From infancy, elephants entwine their trunks in play, establishing bonds of kinship while storing vital information–from smells and texture to the muscular strength of their playmates. Later these games become more aggressive, especially among males, which grapple and joust with each other in order to establish dominance.
For may immigrants, the voyage to Ellis Island meant selling all personal possessions plus additional debt, just to buy the fare. After weeks crowded into the claustrophobic steerage of a ship on the stormy Atlantic, Ellis Island represented the final hurdle to The American Dream.
The notion of England as a gentle, fabled land freeze-framed some time in the 1930s when community life revolved around the post office, the country pub and the local vicarage has been erased by the juggernaut of the late-20th century and vast suburban sprawl. The heralded ‘new’ Britain, led by Labour PM Tony Blair, is being transformed from Thatcherite bleakscape into post-Diana cuddledom: the Queen and Prince Charles are coming on folksy, the Spice Girls are the new face of feminism and a couple of rude brothers with monobrows are the biggest posterboys around. Still, a country that gives a wig-wearing ex-junkie balladeer a knighthood must be doing something right.
Yesterday, millions of people were seduced by an offer of love online. Today, the cyber promise was a joke — with a new e-mail offering humor. But for those who responded, the joke was on them. The e-mails contained a destructive computer program — referred to as a worm, which is a type of virus. The so-called love bug was first detected in Asia and rapidly spread through electronic mail across the globe. Experts believe it may have started in the Philippines by a 23-year old computer hacker nicknamed spider.
ENTERTAINMENT IN WARTIME
It was farewell to all the worries and cares of the day. When the Paramount Theatre opened its doors, we forgot about names like Hitler and Mussolini. It was time instead to unwind and dream a little. The Paramount introduced new young singers like Frank Sinatra, and showed films with big stars like Clark Gable and Betty Hutton. These were the times that tried mens’ souls, but the glitz and glamour of Hollywood kept us distracted and entertained. We retained our perspective, and most importantly, allowed ourselves to hold on to a national sense of humor.
Saving endangered species is a big job shadowed by big questions. Can we preserve them all? Should we even try? Researcher Erin Hagen doesn’t have the answers. For now, she’s doing what she can to help just one: the Juan Fernandez firecrown, a showy, highly curious hummingbird that hovers on the edge of extinction. The firecrown lives only on Robinson Crusoe Island, more than 400 miles off the coast of Chile.
FARMING AND PESTICIDES
Roundup’s active ingredient, Glyphosate, is the most popular pesticide in the United States, partially because of the persistent rumor that it is benign. Roundup is relatively safe – it’s not as bad as, say, depleted uranium – but that doesn’t mean you want to go pouring it on your pancakes. Roundup was found on lettuce five months after it was applied. Not the most healthful salad dressing – although it may be fat-free. A recent study conducted by the U.S. Environmental Agency exposed some interesting information regarding its toxicity. 1. Roundup is manufactured by Monsanto, a company responsible for transforming the face of agriculture through genetically engineered seed. Monsanto, which ahs become something of a poster child for coldhearted corporate evil, developed and patented seeds resistant to Roundup so that farmers could apply the herbicide to their fields with no fear of killing mature crops. The majority of soybeans grown worldwide is now genetically modified, despite a poor understanding of the possible long-term implications. Genetic drift is putting organic farmers out of business, traditional seed stocks are dying out, and meanwhile roundup sales have risen and Monsanto is suing farmers for patent infringement – including farmers who never bought the “Round-up Ready” seeds but whose fields were infected through pollen drift.
FILMMAKING IN AMERICA
As she lifted her lamp beside the golden door to this new world, another lamp was about to light — a new invention called a movie projector. It would illuminate a world of dreams. Dreams shared by Liberty’s anonymous millions, a few of whom would become the rulers of Hollywood’s fantasy world. In the picture palaces built by Zukor, Fox, Mayer, and others, the new Americans would find at last a common tongue in which to share their hopes and yearnings for a better life.
FILMMAKING IN AMERICA 2
“The cinema has no boundary; it is a ribbon of dream,” Orson Welles said. It is a dream that knows no earthly border. The whole world has treasured it, storing away the image of Fred Astaire gliding across a ballroom floor … Clark Gable sweeping Vivien Leigh up in his arms on a stairway to heaven … Ingrid Bergman getting on that plane to Lisbon … Garbo laughing … Chaplin crying. The whole world watches each year as Hollywood rewards its own with Oscars. People still crowd premieres to see the stars, hurry to watch the movie crews on location all over the world. And in every country, people line up to see their favorite American films, new and old.
FIRE AND THUNDER
In the past 150 years the tall grass prairie- the easternmost portion of the Great Plains – has been all but erased. Now, in the Flint Hills of Oklahoma, on land too rocky to plow, the nonprofit Nature Conservancy is transforming 37,000 acres of ranchland into the largest expanse of tall grass prairie yet set aside. This labored process has already proven its value – over 300 buffalo have returned, to graze and roam.
The interior attack is one of the most effective fireground tactics. But to succeed, it means getting inside the building fast. This frequently means forcing entry. In our first program, we discussed conventional forcible entry — that is, forcing entry by using a flathead axe — into a structure where access is locked, blocked, or non-existent. Conventional entry using these tools relies on prying tactics. And while prying doors is still an important skill that every firefighter must master, the alarming rise in crime in this country, combined with advanced lock technology and increase security consciousness, have made prying tactics slower and less effective.
FIRES — NEWS STORY
The Cerro Grande fire began as a “controlled burn”… Designed to limit the power of future wildfires by burning away brush from uninhabited rocky areas. But low humidity and sustained high winds of up 60 miles per hour — fed the flames and spread the fire over more than 47,000 acres. Today, about 60 percent of the fire is contained. More than 1000 firefighters — some from as far away as Montana and Oregon — continue to battle the blaze, which has cost nearly $4 million to fight … And caused about a billion dollars in damages.
FOOD & WINE
Whether you’re a professional sommelier or a budding gourmand, vacations built around the culinary arts are a perfect way to immerse yourself in a country or region. After all, you can learn as much about the history and ethos of a people from the methods and ingredients used in their cooking as you will from anything found in a book. Not to mention that culinary tours are perhaps the most, well, civilized way to travel. Yet they’re still very much adventurous–not ones that elevate your heart rate or give you an adrenaline rush, but ones that still pose a challenge to your senses.
The real enjoyment of visiting France does not come from an appreciation of its art or architecture, but from the enjoyment of the natural beauty of its people. The spirit of France is evident in every city and in every town. The French have a knack for enjoying life to the fullest, and you can sense it everywhere! Strolling down the Champs Elysee on any evening transforms one instantly into a sublimely romantic setting, complete with laughter, romance, the distant sounds of clattering dishes, and the wonderful aroma of freshly baked French breads.
In France, every road leads to splendid food. From Flandres to the Pays Basque, from Normandie to Nice, from the Ardennes to southernmost Bigorre, the worthy hexagon is unequaled in its flavors. But more than that, it is a store of fine ingredients which produce not only thousands of good recipes, but also the rich fragrances steaming from a simmering pot in a homely country inn, the aroma of sausages and hams hanging in a corner of an alpine chalet in winter, the characteristic iodine and seaweed scents in a bustling seaside port.
Perhaps the most amazing thing about the animals of the Galapagos, is not how they look, but that they seem to know no fear of humans. Most of the Galapagos Islands have no permanent human settlements. Still, people have stopped to visit throughout history. But we remain enough of a rarity here that instead of running away, most animals move in for a closer look.
Most garage doors fall into 2 categories roll-up, or sectional doors and swing up or one – piece doors. Both get their lifting power from coiled metal counterbalance springs and require only minimal human or motorized effort for their operation.
For garden lovers, few pleasures equal roaming the aisles of a nursery. Here’s how to make the best use of your time and get the most for your money. As you walk through the nursery, you’ll discover that plants are available in three forms: balled-and-burlapped (typically bigger trees and shrubs with burlap wrapped around the root balls), bare-root (usually hedge plants and roses), and in containers (annuals, perennials, and smaller shrubs and trees). Plants are also grown differently: Some are kept in fields, some in containers, and some start out in fields and are then transplanted to containers to be sold.
THE GEOGRAPHY OF THE WEST
Endless sea of grass, rugged, towering mountains: forest of incredibly tall conifers: dramatic desert landscapes- these are just a few of the images that spring to mind when we think of the West. For centuries. “the west” meant new land to be explored and settled by the European conquerors, immigrants, and their descendants. Likewise for centuries, what Americans called the West kept expanding and moving westward as explorers and settlers discovered the vastness of their new homeland.
A GIANT MINI SUPERMARKET – SPECIAL INTEREST STORY
This may look like the front of a vending machine. In fact, to make a purchase, all you do is dial a code and a robot sales clerk does the rest.
Instead of just sodas or crackers, this machine offers more than five hundred items – like panty hose, shampoos, lotions, pacifiers, tooth paste, batteries – even dog food. Need to stock up the fridge? No problem. The automatic supermarket stocks all the essentials – eggs, milk, juices, ham, cheese, yogurt, fresh fruit, cake mix, bread, rice, cereal, pasta, a variety of frozen foods, and just about anything else you can think of to complete your shopping list. The automatic store offers almost every luxury you can think of – wine and liquor, cigarettes, even chocolates. About the only thing this store can’t do is carry your grocery bags for you. But the customers don’t seem to mind – and squeezed into just 500 square feet, this curious little shop just may be the convenience store of the future.
If you’ve never seen a live giant squid, don’t despair. Neither has anybody else. But this huge, ugly cephalopod–60 feet long, with eight grasping arms and two longer tentacles, a sharp beak and a pair of staring eyes–has been found dead a number of times, with bodies washed up at beaches around the world. The beast (known in Norwegian legend as the kraken) also appears in the pages of such novels as Moby Dick and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and has given sustenance to any number of sea-monster tales.
The Gobi desert of Central Asia is one of the earth’s most desolate places. It’s million square kilometers of sand dunes, sculpted badlands, and saw toothed mountains are alternately scorched by Summer’s high latitude sun and frozen by Winters Siberian winds. It’s not a place to explore unprepared. Crossing vast uninhabitable areas, between a sprinkling of oasis, requires planning akin to the siege tactics for scaling a Himalayan peak or traversing the Antarctic Continent. There are few maps and satellite navigation is of limited help to a traveler trying to choose among the deeply rutted, wildly crisscrossing roads that wander as unpredictably as the nomadic settlements they connect. Even a modern day expedition runs the risk of shortages of water, fuel, and food. Getting lost is not merely frustrating but a matter of serious danger.
GOJI JUICE. THE HIMALAYAN HEALTH SECRET
If you have not yet heard of goji, you are not alone. While it has occupied an important place in traditional Asian medicine for countless generations, the use of its nutritional benefits have remained a mystery to most of the world.
Across the African continent another population of Gorillas evolved. Their habitat straddles the volcanic ranges that join Zooganda and the democratic republic of Congo and spreads into the lower mountain forest. It gets chilly in the mountains; their shorter limbs and shaggy hair help protect them from the cold. They travel mostly on the ground; their feet are more like our own. It was these gorillas that an American sculptor and naturalist named Carl Ackley came to collect in 1904. Specimens to be stuffed and mounted for the American Museum of Natural History.
GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK
The youngest of the Rocky Mountains, the Teton Range is a spectacular sight. Enhanced by glaciers, deep canyons, snowfields, and lakes, the range shoots up suddenly, with no foothills around it. The three Tetons – South, Middle, and Grand – lure casual tourists and serious climbers alike, year round.
GREAT SHIP WRECKS
In 1916, the hospital ship Britannic was rocked by sudden, massive explosion and sunk in less than an hour. Was it bad luck or something more sinister? It would be 60 years before the world’s most intrepid undersea explorers began to unravel the mystery. While Titanic is the most infamous of all ship disaster the fate of her sister ships, Olympic and Britannic were similarly tragic. From the beginning, the histories of these three ill-fated liners were joined by a series of mysterious coincidences.
Twelve degrees north latitude is a great address in the Caribbean. Far south of the path of hurricanes and most cruise ships, Grenada quietly remains a place where abundance is still in abundance. The 12-by-21 mile island so overflows with natural endowments–healthy coral reefs, solitary beaches, and mountainous rainforests–that you don’t care if the way to them is over roads under construction. If you’ve ever wondered what the splendors of some more smoothly paved islands must have been like 50 years ago, Grenada fills in the blanks.
What are the characteristics of the guerilla marketing as opposed to traditional marketing? Guerrilla marketing differs in twelve ways:
1. Traditional marketing uses as big a budget as possible; guerrilla marketing substitutes time, energy and imagination for money.
2. Traditional marketing is geared to big businesses with a big dream but, not a big bankroll.
3. Traditional marketing marketing measures effectiveness with sales; guerrilla marketing, and profits.
As America enters the next decade, it does so with an appalling legacy of gun violence. The 1980s were tragic years that saw nearly a quarter of a million Americans die from handguns — four times as many as were killed in the Vietnam War. We began the decade witnessing yet another president, Ronald Reagan, become the victim of a would-be assassin’s bullet. That day, Press Secretary James Brady also became a statistic in America’s handgun war. Gun violence is an epidemic in this country. In too many cities, the news each night reports another death by handgun. As dealers push out in search of new addicts…
Halloween is a festival of Scottish-Irish origin, held on All Hallow’s Eve, the night of October 31. Elements of the customs connected with Halloween can be traced to a Druid ceremony in pre-Christian times. The Celts had festivals for two major gods — a sun god and a god of the dead, called Sanhaim, whose festival was held on November 1, the beginning of the Celtic New Year. The festival of the dead was gradually incorporated into Christian ritual. In the 9th century, a feast in honor of all the saints, “All Hallows”, was fixed on November 1, and in the 11th century, November 2 was specified as All Soul’s Day to honor the souls of the dead.
Located between Cuba and Puerto Rico, the island of Hispaniola is divided between the nations of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. At 18,792 square miles, the Dominican Republic is nearly twice as large as its immediate neighbor, and it has the distinction of encompassing both the highest and lowest elevations in the Caribbean. Its highest point, Pico Duarte, rises 10, 417 feet above the sea, while a little more than one hundred miles to the south, Isla Cabritos, an island in Lago Enriquillo, lies 131 feet below sea level.
HISTORY CHANNEL – Sixteen Street Baptist Church Bombing
September 15, 1963, the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham Alabama – as worshipers fill the sanctuary, nothing can prepare the congregation for the horror to come. 12 sticks of dynamite are set to detonate beneath a nearby stairwell. A phone rings in the church office; “Three minutes.” The bombers had issued their warning; the countdown has just begun to one of the most shocking crimes in the civil rights era. The bomb goes off and pandemonium breaks out in the streets as onlookers rush to help. Killed in the blast are Denise McNare, Cynthia Wesley, Kell Robinson and Addie Mae Collins. Their murders are the latest violence to rock Birmingham, one of the most segregated cities in the nation. Birmingham is a place where the Klan has detonated so many bombs in black neighborhoods; the city’s nickname is bombing-ham. The police chief Bull Connor has his troops set attack dogs on black demonstrators. Where firemen pummel young protestors with fire hoses; And now on top of all that, a place where children are murdered in church.
Ireland is a land of wild seacoasts and misty rolling hills — so green that it is sometimes called “The Emerald Isle.” Whitewashed cottages with thatched roofs dot the countryside. The Irish people are known for their wit, imagination, spirit, and hospitality. Ireland lies west of Great Britain, between the Irish Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. The island is divided into two parts. Most of the island is the independent Republic of Ireland, often known as Eire. The northeastern region, Ulster, is part of the United Kingdom. The capital of the Republic is the ancient city of Dublin. A gentle region of hills, loughs, and rivers stretches across central Ireland to the west coast.
IRELAND: A HISTORY BY ROBERT KEE
Since the 1960s, the world’s headlines have repeatedly focused on the problems of Northern Ireland. But these latest confrontations are only the most recent response to Britain’s 800-year presence in Ireland. In this unusually graphic and detailed short history of Ireland, we set out to disentangle fact from myth, events from emotions. Combining documentary evidence with a wealth of pictorial material, we will trace the emergence of the five principal groups involved in Irish history.
They were the first large wave of immigrants to land in nineteenth-century America, arriving poor and desperate, uprooted strangers in a strange world. They fought to belong, to survive, and to get ahead, as would all newcomers to America. They endured the hardships and insults that beset all immigrants. They were mostly country folk and they became mostly city people. They were at the bottom of the social ladder and they struggled upwards. They are the Irish – more than four and a quarter million of them who came to the United States between 1820 and 1920.
As unlikely as it seems, many people will enter and win money in the Irish Sweepstakes. This lottery is illegal in the United States, yet as much as 30 million dollars are spent on it annually by citizens of the United States. While postal inspectors, the U.S. Treasury, the FBI, as well as state and local police are all out to stop the, it seems that most of their efforts have failed.
Religion, politics, passion, history, social injustice, and a standing army are not the ideal ingredients for a ‘get away from it all’ holiday. But these are the things that draw thousands of visitors to Israel every year. This is ‘where it happened’, a land that grips at the imagination of every Christian, Jew and Muslim in the world, and inflames a fair few of them to hatred and violence. It’s the intangibles of Israel – standing in the footsteps of gods, breathing the air of the messiah – that bring people here.
JOY OF PIGS
Welcome to the world of pigs. Forget what you’ve heard about them and take a fresh look at these animals. You’ll discover that they are wonderful creatures, remarkable products of evolution, though, in some cases, by human design. Their unusual looks and their untidy eating habits have given them a bad reputation. Actually, they are fit, smart, and extremely adaptable.
After 11 years in the too-warm, shallow 20-foot depths of his tiny 90-by-43-foot tank, Keiko suffered from skin lesions caused by a papillomavirus, as well as from digestive problems and a compromised immune system. Since being ripped from his family pod, Keiko has been transported from Iceland to Canada to Mexico, and finally to the United States. He has learned tricks, starred in the movie “Free Willy”, captivated a formidable number of children, suffered what some thought might be terminal health complications, and become the symbol for the plight of captive marine animals. On September 9, 1998, the most famous orca in the world went home.
Next, for no apparent reason, the killer whales abruptly dive and leave the scene. The sperm whales, however, continue to hold their formation. Soon, four female killer whales come charging in, this time from about a quarter mile out. At one hundred yards, they lunge high out of the water, shoulder to shoulder, in the synchrony of practiced pack hunters. Circling rapidly around the rosette, they stay just beyond the reach of those dangerous tails. One cuts in and locks her jaws onto the side of a sperm whale. Flashes of white show below the surface as she spins around, tail pumping, trying to wrest a mouthful of flesh. As fresh blood again colors the surface, two more killer whales join the attack. After a brief flurry, the attackers again retreat and the sperm whales shore up their formation. The air is filled with the smell of flesh and oil, and they huddle in a gathering cloud of their own blood, which hints at the unseen damage below.
LAMBERT CASTLE MUSEUM
Lambert Castle was built in 1893 as the home of Catholina Lambert, the
self-made owner of a prominent silk mill in the city of Paterson, New Jersey. Constructed in the Medieval Revival architectural style, Mr. Lambert’s dream was to build a home reminiscent of the castles in Great Britain that he remembered from his boyhood years.
Lebanon is an Arab republic on the eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea, and the only Middle Eastern country with a large Christian community. It is bounded on the north and east by Syria and on the south by Israel. Lebanon is a narrow strip of land dominated by the Lebanon Mountains, for which it is named. The country is about 130 miles long and 20 to 60 miles wide, and has an area of 4,015 square miles. Lebanon is divided into five provinces: Beirut and the immediate environs of the capital city; Mount Lebanon, North Lebanon, and South Lebanon, which lie along the Mediterranean and include the Lebanon Mountains; and the Biqa.
LEGENDS OF COMEDY DOCUMENTARY
The motion picture, a child of our 19th century scientific curiosity that grew up under our 20th century noses, this child first caught our eye with scenes of daily life like this Easter parade at the turn of the 20th century. But movie makers soon realized there were subjects that would attract a larger audience and increase the take. For only five cents you could visit a nickelodeon and see the true wonders of turn of the century America.
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS – A BRIEF HISTORY
The Library of Congress was established by an act of Congress in 1800 when President John Adams signed a bill providing for the transfer of the of the seat of government from Philadelphia to the new capital city of Washington. It was housed in the new Capitol until August 1814, when invading British troops set fire to the Capitol Building, burning and pillaging the contents of the small library. Within a month, retired President Thomas Jefferson offered his personal library as a replacement. Jefferson had spent 50 years accumulating books and his library was considered to be one of the finest in the United States.
LIFE ON EARTH
Just as Einstein changed the way we understand time and space, and Freud changed the way we understand the workings of the human psyche, Charles Darwin changed forever the way we look at natural forms. The shapes of bodies, of finches’ beaks and fishes’ fins, were not fixed at some moment of creation; rather, forms evolved and were altered by circumstance. “Life On Earth” is a great collection of individual stories, natural histories that, while sounding Kiplingesque–how the snail got its shell, how the bacterium got its DNA–give us a deeper appreciation of the world and our place in it. This episode of Natural History shows how scientists continue to interpret the narratives embodied in natural forms.
LOCKED AWAY & FORGOTTEN: WOMEN PRISONERS NEED MORE SUPPORT
The female prison population has more than doubled in the past decade, outpacing the rise in the number of incarcerated men. If this rate holds steady, a woman born in 2001 will be six times more likely to spend time in prison than a woman in jail now will get arrested after they’re out. Without crucial support programs women return to prison again and again. Thanks to bad luck, bad judgement, or a toxic combination of the two, nearly 100,000 American Women will strain to catch a glimpse of the fireworks from behind bars.
LOCKHEED SPACE STATION
For more than three decades, mankind has explored the mysteries of the universe from a vantage point in space. Now we’re turning space into a practical place to work. By the year 2010, NASA’s space station is scheduled to give science a permanent platform in orbit. A place where researchers can examine our world from a unique perspective, and experiment under conditions of extreme temperature and weightlessness. In zero gravity, compounds can react in ways not possible here on Earth. Scientists can create better medicines, more durable plastics, and stronger alloys made of metals that resist mixing under gravity’s pull. The Space Station will also…
For almost a century, the great ships were forgotten. Then, in 1985, an underwater explorer named Robert Ballard, found the most luxury liner of them all. And we began to remember them again. This is the story of the rise and fall of the great ocean liners, and one man’s journey to encounter them again.
LOTTERY– NEWS STORY
Millions of people tuned in last night to see if they had picked the lucky numbers. At stake: a jackpot worth 363 million dollars. An estimated 30-40 million Americans bought tickets for the so-called big game — a lottery sponsored and managed by seven states — Georgia, Virginia, Illinois, Michigan, Maryland, new jersey and Massachusetts. The prize amount kept growing when earlier drawings failed to produce winning tickets — but last night there were two.
M.A.C. MATTE LIPSTICK
In the ’80s there was a strong underground influence in makeup that came from nightclubs in cities like London, N.Y. and Toronto. M•A•C was the first to recognize the trend and developed a matte lipstick that would fulfill the need. Word spread quickly about the wearability and the fantastic range of colors M•A•C offered. The popularity of matte lipstick skyrocketed when Madonna wore Russian Red Lipstick – she loved the intense colour. The rest is history.
The Maya were great observers and interpreters of the planets. Their pantheon included figures like the Nine Lords of the Night. Their gods might be human or animal or a combination of the two. The Maya believed the world would end every 52 years, and their lives and ideas were shaped by this central perception of time, as an expression of pure force. There was no united Mayan kingdom … only warlike city-states. Their languages were related, but mutually incomprehensible. During the Classic Era…a Golden Age of trade…the Maya were one of the most advanced civilizations.
THE MAYA 2
The land of the Maya spread from parts of Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala in the south, to Belize and Mexico in the north. It was covered with hundreds of small kingdoms, each with its own unique history. The heartland of what scholars call the classic Mayan civilization lay in the southern lowlands. It is there that our story takes place, starting at the site where scientific excavations first began – Copan.
The meadow is full of life. Tall, yellow wildflowers called Goldenrod grow in the meadow. In the morning, a hungry, green grasshopper nibbles on a wildflower. Nearby, a big, brown toad is watching. Soon, the hungry toad catches the grasshopper with his long, sticky tongue and eats him right up. Toads can do that. At noontime, the toad is resting. A snake slithers by. The long, hungry snake see the toad and eats him in one big bite. Snakes can do that. In the afternoon, a hawk flies over the meadow. She spies the snake below. She swoops down and catches the snake with her feet. Hawks can do that. At sunset, the hawk shares the snake with her hungry chicks. It’s the end of a long day of eating in the meadow. And it all began with wildflowers.
Castles were the biggest part of life in the medieval period. Kings, Lords, and Knights lived in these structures. They were used for multipurpose. Family living, government and royalty lived within the castle walls. During the medieval period, they had vicious, bloody wars, During an invasion from neighboring villages the only first line of defense would be their castle.
Like most other Mediterranean cities, Athens must be seen by day, but experienced by night. This is the time to enjoy ones self and meet people. Parties go on ’til dawn. The Greek government is trying to impose early closing hours in the interest of daylight productivity, but this initiative has been very unpopular.
It is almost impossible to imagine life today without metals. All our forms of transport are made of metals: cars, trains, and ships are made of steel, which is made from iron. Aircraft and spacecraft use aluminum and titanium metals. Parts of houses such as nails, screws, guttering, window frames, roofing materials, and door handles are made from metals that include iron, steel, aluminum, zinc, and chromium. The precious metals gold and silver are used in jewelry. Metals have a number of common properties that enable them to be so widely used. These properties are: they conduct electricity well, for example, copper and aluminum are used to make electrical wire and power transmission lines; they conduct heat well; they are malleable.
Motorcycling has never been more popular. Today more than seven million Americans own a bike and our strong economy is driving up sales to record numbers. In fact new bike sales are up 66 per cent from 1992. And they’re not cheap. Take this one…a Harley-Davidson Heritage Soft-tail Classic. It sells for about 18 thousand dollars. That without the leather jacket. Bikes and bikers are back in vogue and battling a tarnished image. For nearly fifty years American bikers meant gangs and the most powerful, most feared gang of all the Hell’s Angels So-called outlaw gangs are still around. But who are today’s bikers? And what is really behind our new fascination with the road rebel?
Long before anyone thought movies could be art, a new generation of thinkers and artists had begun to explore the principles of motion pictures for analogies to their own innovations in philosophy, science, painting and literature. What interested these early-twentieth-century modernists was movement, and the relativity and multi-dimensionality of space and time. The invention of cameras and projectors to record and reproduce images of motion coincided with the development of modernism, and in some cases may have fostered it.
Music has been an important part of almost every culture on Earth. Folk heroes, seasonal and cultural events, and religious ideas are celebrated in music and song. Some societies use music in their traditional healing methods. Mostly, however, music has become an important way of passing on tradition and entertaining. Music is organized sound. The difference between noise and musical notes is that the sound waves producing the notes are regular and repetitive, while those making noise are random. We can call almost any group or series of notes that we like “music.” The development of technology applied to music has produced…
MYSTERY ON EVEREST
On June 6, 1924, George Leigh Mallory, at left, and Andrew Irvine set out with experimental oxygen bottles from Camp IV high on Mount Everest. Two days later they vanished in a bank of clouds. Were they the first to stand atop Everest? The discovery of Mallory’s body answers some questions, but the riddle endures.
The Napa Valley stands arrogantly in the center stage of California, just as France dominates the wine-lands of Europe. It was the Napa which forged the modern California wine industry, and which acted as the magnet drawing money, ambition and genius from other walks of life; and it set standards against which not only the rest of California but also the rest of the world have to measure up. The Napa was the obvious starting point for any fledgling winemaker, because its climate had long been considered ideal for grape-growing—free from frost dangers, with average rainfall, rich soil, and a very long, reliable ripening period of hot but not sweltering days. These conditions make for regular crops of perfect grapes, which allow the winemakers to exercise all their skills and passions on molding the grapes into their own personal style of wine.
Among the thousands of pictures of planets and moons, perhaps the most memorable was recorded on February 14th, 1990, when Voyager I approached the edge the solar system…then turned back toward the sun.
NASA SPACE SCIENCE: A VIOLENT HISTORY OF TIME
From mother Earth, the night sky can look peaceful and unchanging, but the universe as seen in gamma-rays is a place of sudden and chaotic violence. Using gamma-ray telescopes, astronomers witness short but tremendously intense explosions called gamma-ray bursts, and there is nothing more powerful.
No one is sure what causes gamma-ray bursts. Favored possibilities include the collision of two neutron stars or a sort of super-supernova that occurs when extremely massive stars explode. One thing is certain: gamma-ray bursts happen in galaxies far, far away — so far away that the distances are called “cosmological,” beyond ordinary comprehension.
Think about this: When you look up at the night sky, you are looking at the ultimate history book – one that goes back to the very beginning of what we call time. And each star is a chapter in the book. You are not really seeing the stars as they are now. You are looking at stars as they used to be when their light left them long ago. And the deeper we peer into space, the farther back in time we are looking. In fact, light from the galaxies farthest away is billions of years old.
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC VIDEO
For a century, National Geographic has participated in and chronicled many of the world’s greatest explorations – unlocking the secrets of the oceans, lifting men into the stratosphere, and mapping the very boundaries of the earth, sea and sky. Now you can relive some of the most significant expeditions in history.
As January pounds the northern states with ice and snow, birds huddle under the protection of spruce boughs for the night, and rabbits sleep in grass-lined burrows under spreading yews. In the southeastern and southwestern states, January doesn’t have the same chilling power, and wildlife there can still forage through the year-round greenery.
Green spaces are easily taken for granted, yet their great expanses unobtrusively support human existence. Among many other things, they furnish essential raw materials, renew soils, and prevent erosion, shelter animals that pollinate crops and control agricultural pests, purify our air and water, and help regulate climate. Because many of these ecosystem services, as scientists call them, have no traditional market value, their long-term protection is often ignored in favor of short-term profits.
These are the men and women of Network News. Researching their stories, editing their reports, and reaching literally millions of homes at any one given time. One doesn’t become a network news anchor overnight. Today’s anchors were yesterday’s correspondents, scurrying for major stories whenever and wherever they could be found. But Network News is different. You’ve got to have a strong sense of style, of who you are, and your own special charismatic niche. These qualities usually make themselves known after years of experience and hard work. Be it a manner of speech, a type of body language, or style of dress, the Network News anchor has developed a trademark that is unmistakable in the industry.
NEW LONDON LEDGE LIGHT
At first sight, New London Ledge Light makes the onlooker wonder whether he or she is seeing a lighthouse or a Victorian mansion adrift on the ocean. The square, three-story brick structure has granite trim and a mansard roof on the then fashionable Second Empire style. The Lighthouse Board ordered construction in 1909, because the New London Harbor Light was judged inadequate to the needs of the harbor by many captains. Since New London Harbor Light guarded the western side of the mouth of the Thames River, the new light was built roughly halfway between the eastern and western sides. In 1987 the Ledge Light was automated. Still in use today, it has been leased by the U.S. Coast Guard.
NEW YORK HARBOR
This is the gateway of gateways. Walt Whitman called New York Harbor “the great place of the western continent, the heart, the brain, the main spring of the New World.” To enter the harbor is to enter America. In fact, it is the Golden Door to new life, the outward and visible sign of the covenant America has made with the world … a monument guarded by a monument … The Statue of Liberty.
When Isaac Newton was inspired by a falling apple at his Linconshire home to ponder the concept of gravity in the 1660’s, he couldn’t have known how far from England that tree’s fruit would fall. Direct descendants of Newton’s original tree, which died in the early 1800’s currently flourish in locations as disparate as India and Gaithersburg, Maryland. York University in Toronto, Canada is the latest place where Newton’s apple has taken root. Retired in botany Professor Michael Boyer helped plant three trees outside York’s physics building. “We hope they will inspire students and give them a modern-day connection to Newton.” He says.
The story of Niagara Falls is not a straightforward tale, but one of rises and falls. It is a story of fear and affection, genius and lunacy, virtue and greed, romance and passion. Niagara is a tale of ongoing sound and fury that begins with miles of quiet. The waters of 4 Great Lakes flow gently along the Niagara River, marking the border between the U. S. and Canada. At the point where the massive water suddenly divides, two immense waterfalls plunge 20 stories down, diving into a roiling pool of water 200 feet deep.
Standing proud and magnificent on the banks of the legendary Nile is the only remaining Wonder of the Ancient World; the Great Pyramids and Sphinx at Giza. Travel to the edge of the desert plateau with your guide Omar Sharif, for an ancient unprecedented look into the secret passageways and chambers of these colossal and mysterious monuments. Mysteries of the Pyramids will answer some of the darkest questions that have haunted man for century upon century.
NOBEL PEACE PRIZE / UNITED NATIONS
For one hundred years, the Norwegian Nobel Committee has sought to strengthen organized cooperation between states. The end of the cold war has at last made it possible for the U.N. to perform more fully the part it was originally intended to play. Today the organization is at the forefront of efforts to achieve peace and security in the world, and of the international mobilization aimed at meeting the world’s economic, social and environmental challenges.
NORTHERN NEW ENGLAND
What resident of Northern New England has felt anything but longing while driving the byways of the region and gazing upon the connected farmhouses that punctuate it? The connected farmhouse, in its classic and practical beauty, testifies to the courage, fortitude, and imagination of our forebears in their unavailing struggle to turn the area into an agrarian paradise.
NUCLEAR WASTE DISPOSAL
More than thirty years of scientific study have confirmed how to safely and permanently dispose of high-level nuclear waste. The used nuclear fuel, in the form of ceramic pellets, would be sealed inside layers of steel; put in carefully engineered structures at least 1,000 feet underground, within dry rock formations that have a long history of geologic stability; and monitored closely. According to the National Academy of Sciences, “there is a strong worldwide consensus that the best, safest, long-term option for dealing with high-level waste is geologic isolation.”
NYC STUFF EXCHANGE (Dept. of Sanitation)
The NYC Department of Sanitation collects about 72,000 tons of trash and recycling from NYC residents and institutions every week.
The goal of NYC STUFF Exchange is to help reduce the city’s waste by encouraging
New Yorkers to find a new home for gently used items that might otherwise be discarded as trash.
Now let’s take a closer look into the folks who oversee NYC STUFF and see just how much of a change they have made.
Apes are extremely intelligent – even more so than monkeys. They appear to work through problems in the same way that humans do. The orangutan is one example of an ape that has performed several complex tasks in research centers – such as solving puzzles, using sign language, and learning to recognize symbols.
December 7th, 1941. The pictures tell the story. Most of the Pacific Fleet is in ruins in the waters of Pearl Harbor. America’s military might has been dealt a severe blow. How could this surprise Japanese attack have happened? We found part of the answer in a story we worked on back in 1961. This was our portrait of the man who spied on Pearl Harbor. Our story begins with an arrival in Honolulu, and the return of a spy. Aboard this jet from Tokyo is a man who has not seen this island for twenty years. His last view came a few weeks after the attack on Pearl Harbor, an attack he helped make possible.
PLANES, TRAINS, AND A VINTAGE CAB
It wasn’t exactly as elegant as “Around the World in 80 Days.” There were no hot-air balloons to fly, no elephants to ride. None of us looked half as good as David Niven or Shirley MacLaine. Instead, you might think of it as the reality-based version of “Planes, Trains and Automobiles,” in which three newspaper reporters set out yesterday…
Interior heat churns our living planet to self-renewal and drives its crustal plates. Earthquakes occur at their boundaries. Where an ocean ridge marks a spreading zone, upwelling molten rock makes new seafloor. Magma can also break through a plate at a hotspot, building volcanoes that plate motion carries away. When plates collide, continental crust crumples into mountains and the seafloor dives, creating a deep trench.
At the beginning of the century, Leyden Street and the Town Square were the center of town activities in Plymouth. The Town Square had the old elms planted in 1784, the First Parish Church with its bell cast by Paul Revere in 1801, and the Town House. Leyden Street was near the Town Brook and had been the first street built in Plymouth. By 1800, early settler’s homes were replaced with new, larger ones extending from the Town Square to the waterfront. In 1900, Plymouth’s population had grown to about 8,000, and there were nearly 1,500 houses. Its citizens were ethnically and culturally diverse; in fact, a little over 30% of the population was foreign born.
When the Gallaudet University women’s basketball team plays, it’s always the other side who’s got the handicap. This was clear even before Wayne Coffey, sportswriter and self-avowed basketball fanatic, had the idea that following the Lady Bison around for the 1999-2000 season would make a great story. A year earlier, this Division III school had qualified for the NCAA Tournament for only the second time in Gallaudet’s history –finishing the season 24–6, and only two games out of the Final Four. These results would be a coup for any university sports program, but in this case, the showing goes way beyond mere triumph –for the Bison attend the world’s only university for the hearing impaired. Every member of the women’s basketball team is deaf. The result of Coffey’s observations, documented in his book, Winning Sounds Like This, makes clear from the start that deafness, like brown eyes or long limbs, is just one of the many attributes that define this group of remarkable young women.
It was late 1956, and millions of Americans sat transfixed before their televisions, watching two men locked in soundproof booths pull facts, names, and dates out of their memories to answer questions worth thousands of dollars. One competitor was Charles Van Doren, a handsome 32- year-old English instructor at Columbia University. The other was unglamorous, working-class Herbert Stempel, a 29-year-old “human computer” from New York City. The wildly popular show on which they staged their battle of wits was “Twenty-One”.
Radiation is a form of energy, released in waves called “electromagnetic waves.” The different types of electromagnetic energy fall into categories according to the size of their wavelengths. Radiation includes gamma rays, x-rays, ultraviolet rays, microwaves, visible light, infrared light, radio waves, television broadcast waves, and radar waves. Radiation at the lower end, gamma rays and x-rays, is called “ionizing radiation,” which means that it involves a change in the structure of atoms when the energy is released. Non-ionizing radiation, the higher end of the scale, does involve a change in atomic structure.
RADIO CITY MUSIC HALL
For many children in New York, Christmas meant the yearly extravaganza at Radio City Music Hall. For some kids in other areas, the holiday season meant Santa Claus and decorated fir trees. But in New York, it was Radio City … the huge resplendent hall, the Rockettes, and the reenactment of the Living Nativity scene, complete with wise men and suspended angels, live camels, and finally, a jubilant rendition of “O Holy Night.” The show itself, then only a half-hour long, was accompanied by a motion picture, usually something starring June Allyson, Esther Williams, or Jane Powell.
The world’s largest tropical rainforests are in South America, Africa, and Southeast Asia. Rainforest are characterized by high rainfall. Tropical rainforests receive from 60 to 160 inches of precipitation that is fairly evenly distributed throughout the year. The combination of constant warmth and abundant moisture makes the tropical rainforest a suitable environment for many plants and animals. The hot and humid conditions make tropical rainforests an ideal environment for bacteria and other microorganisms. Because these organisms remain active throughout the year, they quickly decompose matter on the forest floor. The decomposition of leaf litter adds nutrients to the soil. But in the tropical rainforest, plants grow so fast that they rapidly consume the nutrients from the decomposed leaf litter. As a result, most of the nutrients are contained in the trees and other plants rather than in the soil.
Rainforests are home to two-thirds of all the living animal and plant species on the planet. It has been estimated that many hundreds of millions of new species of plants, insects, and microorganisms are still undiscovered and as yet unnamed by science. Rainforests support a very broad array of mammals, reptiles, birds and invertebrates. Rainforests are also often called the “Earth’s lungs”. Tropical rain forests are called the world’s largest “pharmacy” because of the large amount of natural “medicines” discovered there. For example, rain forests contain the basic ingredients of hormonal contraception methods, cocaine, stimulants, and tranquilizing drugs. Rain forests play an important role in maintaining biological diversity, modulating precipitation infiltration and flooding, increasing scientific knowledge and in the spiritual well-being of humans. Such ecosystem services are of use to humans without the need for any modification or management of the forest itself.
In the living room of the future, a man gestures from the couch. A robot rolls over and asks what he wants. Tea, he says. Another robot in the kitchen pours a cup and hands it to the wheeled humanoid, who, guided by sensors in the floor and furniture, delivers it without spilling a drop. This, say researchers, may be how many elderly are cared for in a decade or two: in their homes, by robots. But first, let’s take a look at the first robots in history.
A vivid red on the coat and an arc of white hairs radiating from the face mark the Zanzibar red colobus. Extremely long feet allow this monkey to leap prodigiously in the treetops; however, as forests disappear, and in the absence of a major predator, this tree-dwelling species also spends time on the ground. Females have just one infant every three to five years. Because of this low reproductive rate, a restricted range, a steadily shrinking habitat, and mortality from roadkills, the red colobus on Zanzibar Island is one of Africa’s most threatened species.
Rome in the year 2000 is expecting 13 million visitors in the great Jubilee of the Incarnation of Christ, to take place at St. Peter’s and other basilicas. The Mayor of Rome has promised that restoration of many monuments will be finished in time for the celebration…
Roses prefer a sheltered, sunny spot and well drained soil; but otherwise, these paragons are surprisingly easy going and will succeed in most gardens or backyards. In fact shrub roses will flourish on quite light, even poor soils. It is important to give your roses a really good start. This means some digging. So whether you are planning to plant a single rose or a large bed, it is advisable to double dig so the subsoil is well broken up, especially if drainage is less than perfect.
Royal Jelly is one of the most amazing food substances found in nature. It’s not honey or pollen. It is actually the food of the Queen Bee, and her longevity can be traced to her exclusive Royal Jelly diet. She lives almost six years, while worker bees, which eat only honey and pollen, live about six weeks! Astoundingly, If you take a Queen Bee off her diet of Royal Jelly. She lives only six weeks just like a worker bee! And this rare and remarkable substance cannot be duplicated in a lab; it can only be harvested in nature.
SAILING AROUND THE WORLD
For the serious sailor, crossing the ocean is the ultimate challenge. The most intrepid even attempt to sail around the world alone. One was Lisa Clayton. She did it in 1995. But others have survived the ocean under more extreme circumstances. And sometimes it wasn’t by choice. In November 1942, a British merchant ship was torpedoed by a German U-boat. The crew…
THE SAVAGE SEAS
It may be hard to believe, but our climate today is mild. Since the last Ice Age just 10,000 years ago, the sea and the sky have conspired to keep that ice at bay. The oceans bring us our weather. But more than that, they are part of a vast and mysterious system that keeps our whole climate in balance- a balance that keeps life on earth possible, and can just as easily take it away. The waterspout is a vivid demonstration of sea and sky in partnership; a small example of the volatile system that creates weather on earth. It seems as if the sea is being sucked into space. In fact, the funnel is just a swirling cloud. Only the bottom 20 feet is seawater. Inside there is nothing but air.
Up to two feet across from tip to tip, sea stars pry open mussels and clams with their muscular “arms,” although they are not above scavenging a meal as well. Brittle stars, their more slender cousins, capture live fish, squid, and crabs with highly mobile, graceful arms. Omnivorous sea urchins scrape the surface of kelps and algae-encrusted rocks with an elaborate jaw apparatus, named Aristotle’s lantern for its first describer. Sand dollars, which are basically flattened sea urchins, burrow through sediment in search of microorganisms that dwell on sand grains. Other echinoderms filter small creatures from seawater: the swaying arms of sea feathers, deep-water sea lilies, and some brittle stars reach out to capture tiny plants and animals floating by.
Legend tells … of a time long ago … when the first group of Polynesian sea ferries set ashore on this distant world. This paradise, home of the unification of two great powers — the sky and the sea — this land of gentle winds and soothing rains, where giant mountains lifted their heads in fiery display and made it home. Let’s go diving in a place that features an unrivaled collection of World War II shipwrecks. The fastest growing corals and sponges in the world, and unlimited diving from one of the world’s largest diving ships, the U.S.S. Thorfin. If you haven’t guessed by now, we’re talking about diving Truk Lagoon. The Fuji Kawa Maru, one of the most popular dive wrecks, was built in 1938 as a combination cargo and passenger ship.
Snakes belong to a group of animals called reptiles. Every snake has a long legless body covered with scales, and the tongue that constantly flickers in and out of it’s mouth. By contracting and expanding their muscular bodies snakes can move very quickly in S-shape waves along the ground or in the water.
King cobras hunt at dusk for birds, rats, lizards, and other snakes. They kill their prey by biting and injecting their deadly venom through two fangs in the front of their mouths. The venom goes straight into the blood stream of the victim and either paralyzes or kills it.
The race is on to install solar panels in American homes thanks to generous government incentives such the $3.2 billion solar initiative California launched in January. Despite the minuscule amount of solar power generated today — roughly one-thirtieth of 1% of all the electricity produced in the U.S. — recent technological advances and a continued decline in the price of solar systems are prompting more homeowners to ask if this renewable energy source is now worth the investment. Analysts say they
are still crunching the numbers when it comes to deciding whether residential solar systems, also referred to as photovoltaic or PV systems, make economic sense. The answer hinges on how much and how fast solar can cut a homeowner’s utility bills and thus how long it takes to pay off the initial investment to add solar panels to a home.
Solder is a metal alloy, made by combining tin and lead in different proportions. Here the proportions are equal, so it’s known as fifty-fifty solder … fifty percent tin and fifty percent lead. A sixty-forty solder would consist of sixty percent tin and forty percent lead. You can find these percentages marked on various types of solder available, and sometimes only the tin percentage is shown. The striking fact about solder is its low melting point. Pure lead has a melting point of 325 degrees Celsius … pure tin, a melting point of 232 degrees. But when you combine them into a 50-50 solder, the melting point drops to 216 degrees …
During the dry season in southern Africa, any pool is bound to be a center of life as thirsty and dusty beasts gather to drink, bathe, or wallow. But a water hole can also be an arena in which any lapse of attention may leave one creature open to attack from another that has come not only to drink but also to feed.
SPACE SHUTTLE CHALLENGER
January 28th, 1986. America was shocked by a bolt out of the blue…a devastation that shattered the U.S. Space program. On January 28th, 1986, as school children looked skyward, the space shuttle challenger flight, with it’s crew of seven ended in disaster.
Sri Lanka can be divided into four regions: the central highlands, the southwest, the east, and the northern lowlands. The central highlands, with an average elevation of more than 5,000 feet, dominate the island’s relief. The terrain consists of high mountains and plateaus, narrow gorges, and deep river valleys. Near their center is the highest point on the island, Pidurutala Peak, which is 8,281 feet. The southwestern region is also mountainous and contains a continuation of the Rakwana mountain range of the central highlands. The eastern region is an undulating plain dotted with isolated hills.
There was a good dollop of whimsy in the nineteenth-century creative mind, and when it came to designing floral and scenic decorative glass, it was easy to extend the quest for realism into the realm of animal forms. Birds are perhaps the most popular animals depicted, which is interesting, given the difficulty of effectively rendering their sharp beaks and long, thin legs.
Known variously as the Seven Sisters, the Seven Virgins, and the Daughters of Atlas, the Pleiades (plee-uh-dees) have been held in high esteem through the ages. Temples in ancient Greece were built to face them, as was a passage leading from the Great Pyramid at Giza. In Japan, the Feast of Lanterns is a remnant of ancient rites honoring these stars. (The Japanese word for the cluster is, by the way, subaru, which is why the stars figure in the car company’s logo.) The entire star swarm is enveloped in a faint, diffuse cloud–apparently dust and perhaps larger particles that reflect starlight. In Locksley Hall, Tennyson wrote that the Pleiades glitter like “fireflies tangled in a silver braid.”
SURVIVAL STORY INTRODUCTION
Thanks to the classic movie “JAWS”, the story of the Indianapolis is known to millions as the worst shark attack of all time. But behind the Hollywood legend, lies one of the most extraordinary survival stories of WWII.
The elegant and powerful sword is the pinnacle of all blade implements, the culmination of blade making technology. Though it’s construction is more complex, it’s role is far simpler than the ax or knife, each only part-time weapons. The sword is a killer, through and through.
A synthetic material is one that does not occur naturally. Some synthetics are the result of bringing chemicals together in an artificial environment and putting them through a controlled process. Plastic and nylon are examples of this group of synthetics. Other synthetics include synthetic fuels and diamonds. A synthetic material, such as synthetic diamond, is made by using knowledge of how chemicals and physical forces work in nature to produce the real diamond. The synthetic form uses some of the same chemicals and sets up ways of mimicking nature to create an artificial or synthetic equivalent of the real thing.
What really made the long, lonely stretches of the tall grass so attractive, was the domesticated seed from the old grasslands of Eurasia, wheat. Especially hard red winter wheat. It grew in spectacular fashion in the harsh climate of the middle third of North America.
Set within a lush, tropical landscape, Thailand is a theater of cultural and sensual contrasts for the visitor. The long, rich heritage and abundant natural resources of this proud Buddhist nation jostle for space within the dynamism of a country undergoing economic boom and bust. In turns zestful and tranquil, resplendent and subtle, Thailand is always compelling.
TIS THE SEASON TO BE SMURFY
Ah, Smurfs. Little. Blue. Different. Plus, you have to like any language in which the word smurfy can be substituted to mean pretty much anything. In Hanna-Barbera’s 1987 holiday treat, Papa, Brainy and the gang set out to foil a yuletide thief –who looks and sounds a lot like Gargamel.
THE TOBACCO INDUSTRY
For 400 years, tobacco has been a pillar of American enterprise. But now it faces the most sustained assault since the Surgeon General in 1964 first declared smoking a health hazard. The danger attributed to cigarettes moved to a menacing new plane recently when the Environmental Protection Agency declared second-hand smoke responsible for as many as 9,000 deaths annually. Efforts to ban smoking have expanded exponentially: The Labor Department has proposed a broad ban on smoking that would affect 70 million workers; sweeping new no-smoking edicts are being enforced at military installations and in giant fast-food chains like McDonald’s.
Tornado ( from the latin word tornare-“to turn”) is the most violent storm nature produces. Essentially it’s a vortex of destructive whirling winds with uprushing currents of great lifting strength. The speed of a tornado can reach as high as 500 miles an hour. The dynamic force of these wind currents results in a partial vacuum at the center of the funnel which exerts and explosive effect as it passes over structures.
Nothing like it in the world is the story of the men who built the transcontinental railroad-the investors who risked their businesses and money; the enlightened politicians who understood its importance; the engineers and surveyors who risked, and lost, their lives; and the Irish, Chinese, defeated Confederate soldiers, and other laborers who did the backbreaking and dangerous work on the tracks. The U.S. government pitted two companies-the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific Railroads-against each other in a race for funding, encouraging speed over caution. At its peak, the work force approached the size of Civil War armies, with as many as 15,000 workers on each line. The surveyors, the men who picked the route, were latter-day Lewis-and-Clark types who led the way through the wilderness, living off buffalo, deer, elk and antelope.
T-REX: SCIENCE CHANNEL
A new generation of paleontologists are rewriting the history of T-Rex. New technological developments have made it possible for us to step back early 65 millions years. And for the first time ever scientists are able to determine the sex of a T-Rex. And you thought dinosaurs were extinct. T-Rex. Only on the Science Channel. A world without science is a world without history.
By 1929, patronage on the nation’s street railways was showing an alarming decline. True, part of this was due to both the automobile and the Depression, but a formidable factor was the trolley itself, by then considered old-fashioned. It was unattractive, it was noisy, it was slow. Many efforts were made to produce an ideal street car by builders and transit companies. Some of these productions were quite unconventional and closely resembled busses of the time. None had any lasting success. Finally, in mutual desperation, traction company executives joined together to call a conference. Its purpose; to develop a radically new streetcar without the objectionable features of the cars then in use. A million dollars was earmarked for the project, which was directed by Professor C. F. Hirschfield of the Detroit Edison Company. It was believed that a non-streetcar man would have fewer preconceived ideas on a subject demanding an entirely fresh outlook. The President’s Conference Committee went to work, testing everything imaginable to find a “better way to do it.” Acceleration, brakes, lighting, heating, seating, ventilation, noise, springing – everything about a trolley was probed and thoroughly studied.
During the breeding season, male wild turkeys gobble, strut, and preen their iridescent feathers, all to attract the attention of eligible mates. But apparently the single most attractive feature to females is not a male’s power suit or macho strut, but his snood–a fleshy appendage above his beak that can stretch to twice its ordinary length during courtship. And not only do females prefer long snoods, but according to Northeast Louisiana University behavioral ecologist Richard Buchholz, males assess the snood lengths of other males before engaging in battle.
We’re off to Turkey, where Europe meets Asia in a whirl of color, an unforgettable mix of old and new! This fabled gateway to the orient beguiles the traveler with an exotic blend of sites and sounds and smells and tastes. 3,000 years of history comes to life in Istanbul. The city was once the capital of the world’s hottest cultures. We’ll visit architectural wonders, including magnificent mosques, ornate palaces and the sultan’s legendary harem. We’ll also visit Istanbul’s famous bazaar to look for a deal on carpets.
There are only five central Italian regions, but these are fittingly acknowledged to constitute the very heart of Italy – and they are all very different. Tuscany is the most famous, an ancient, mellow and harmonious landscape characterized by a graceful way of life. From Tuscany come the best bread and the purest extra virgin olive oil, as well as the classic chianti wine.
Tuscan cuisine has a centuries-old tradition to protect. Gourmets from every age have praised its specialties and appreciated their consistent excellence. In palace and farmhouse, in the hills and on the seashore, it was practically impossible to find a meal that was lacking in grace or was in some way defective.
UNDERSTANDING HUMAN SECURITY
The vast majority of scientists agree that global climate change will be one of the main challenges in the next century. This, along with population stress, pollution, and the growing ‘income gap’ threaten the most basic principles of human security—principles such as access to food, water, and shelter. Competition over these resources is a huge potential source of instability.
In 1941, President Franklin Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill signed a “Declaration by United Nations,” proposing a set of principles by which the countries of the world could work together for peace and security. The notion of a “United Nations” continued to evolve until, in 1945 in San Francisco, the UN we know today was created. Since it was chartered, the UN has deployed more than 45 peacekeeping forces, negotiated more than 170 settlements that ended regional conflicts, and established vital humanitarian relief and environmental programs. It has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize three times.
Urbanization is the occurrence of unequal growth in cities, and it is happening throughout the developing world. During this decade, developing country cities will need to accommodate 180,000 new urban dwellers each day – that is more than one million a week. It is estimated that there are currently 837 million slum dwellers in the developing world, with a majority being children. At the projected rate of growth the number of slum dwellers will increase to approximately 1.5 billion by 2020, resulting in the urbanization of the poor and the young. Some of this growth is from in-migration, but a substantial percentage of it is from population growth of residents already living in cities.
In 1946, ventilation standards for U.S. buildings were reduced by two-thirds — from an exchange rate of 30 cubic feet of air per minute per person, to a rate of 10 cubic feet of air. The old ventilation standard — enforced by law in 22 states — was swept aside by a new architectural concept: the mechanically ventilated building. Wartime advances in heating and air-conditioning had convinced designers that sealed, climate controlled buildings were not only possible — but desirable. Still, you could open a window if you needed to. With the first world energy crisis in 1973-and-4, however, the drive for “hermetically sealed” buildings began in earnest.
A volcanic vent is an opening exposed on the earth’s surface where volcanic material is emitted. All volcanoes contain a central vent underlying the summit crater of the volcano. The volcano’s cone-shaped structure, or edifice, is built by the more-or-less symmetrical accumulation of lava and/or pyroclastic material around this central vent system.
In Haiti, where survival has often depended on family and community support systems, Vodoo is family oriented, community based, and ultimately charitable. The basic rituals of Voodoo are ceremonies during which the many spirits are fed offerings; afterward the food is shared with the hungry. Still, Voodoo does have a sinister side: black magic, rites designed to bring good to oneself and harm to one’s enemies. Traditional Voodoo priests reject black magic, believing it entails making a pact with the devil or with evil spirits, which in time will drag down and destroy the practitioner.
THE WAR OF THE WORLDS
On this day in 1938, Marians invaded Grovers Mill, NJ—at least that’s what one and one-half million radio listeners believed. H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds was performed in the style of a news alert on CBS by 23 year old Orson Welles and his Mercury Theatre troupe.
WHALES AND PEOPLE
Mods Peter has chosen a grueling line of work. Whales are among the hardest of all animals so study. And the arctic is an utterly unforgiving environment in which to work. Mods Peter and his team are here to put satellite tags on the whales. Only then can they hope to chart the bowheads travels through the arctic. It’s brutal, bone chilling work, but exhilarating.
THE WHITE HOUSE
If you thought you could get invited to the White House, say, for a state dinner, would you give it a try? After all, you’re paying your share for the spreads they put on there, so you’ve got a right to be halfway curious about what they’re like. And in case you’ve got a friend who keeps lording it over you that the mayor shook his hand at the last Lion’s Club picnic, a White House invitation might prove a handy equalizer. The fact is that White House invitations, as impressive as they may be to most people, are not all that impossible to come by. Every year, the White House hosts scores of dinners honoring foreign dignitaries on state visits.
The “wildflower meadow in a can” idea suddenly zoomed into prominence almost as soon as the idea of including wildflowers in managed landscapes came into being. Sealing seeds in a can is a good idea, provided the cans are stored at cool temperatures. At the very least, seeds can be protected from undesirable humidity. But the weakness of the approach is in the fact that too many irresponsible retailers jumped onto the bandwagon and encouraged the idea that all the purchaser had to do was go home and scatter the seed just anywhere.
Witchcraft is also called Wicca, or alternatively, The Craft. This previously underground religion has much to teach every human about survival and about the ethical use of natural innate powers.
WOMEN JOINED BY MURDER
On a muggy night in June 1964, two tiny girls lay asleep in their separate beds, 38 miles apart, while a blue station wagon sped down the road between their Mississippi communities. Their strange terrible connection: Angela’s father, James Channey 21, was at the wheel of the car, while some of the men Donna trusted most in the world were plotting to kill them. That violent night left a legacy that would echo for decades to come. Prompted partly by national outrage over the murders, Congress passed the Voting Rights Act of 965, which outlawed racial discrimination at the polls. As the fortieth anniversary of the Mississippi murders loomed, Glamour brought together these two women at the spot where the execution took place. They approached the day with trepidation and finished it with the understanding and resolution they’d long been seeking.
After World War II, the Soviet Union bit off a large chunk of Eastern Poland and compensated for it by moving Poland’s border with Germany westward. When the German territories of Silesia and Pomerania thus became Polish, more than 3 million Germans fled or were expelled, but hundreds of thousands of ethnic Germans remain. In a series of post-war treaties, including the Helsinki Final Act of 1975, signed by 35 states, West Germany has promised not to challenge the new frontiers of Europe. But Bonn insists that the final agreement must await a peace treaty formally ending the war, a step that the Cold War prevented.
November 12, 1941–Russian Winter Takes Toll on German Soldiers
On this day, the temperature on the Moscow front plummeted to twelve degrees centigrade below zero. For the first time, Soviet ski troops were launched into action. For many German soldiers, frostbite emerged as an unexpected, crippling foe. SS General Eicke reported back to headquarters that conditions were so bad, soldiers in his Death’s Head Division were actually wounding themselves to escape further military service.
Particularly frustrated among his ranks were ethnic Germans—soldiers of German culture and language who came from outside Germany. But native Germans themselves were beginning to feel the bleakness of the Russian campaign. Since entering the Soviet Union four months earlier, the Death’s Head division had suffered almost 9,000 casualties, more than half its initial strength. Meanwhile, back in Berlin, Hitler discussed his plans for Russia…
WORLD WAR II
Someone else knew about “Operation Orient” in Washington, Ambassador Oshmima’s message home were being decoded and read. In Toyko, Prime Minister Tojo and the Japanese government were cautious about accepting Operation Orient. The army was still smarting from its defeat in Manchuria. The imperial navy favored seizing the oil rich European colonies in Asia but believed America would intervene. They decided the first priority was to cripple the American Navy’s ability to stop them.
WORLD WAR II 2
The Nazi attack petered out by January. When it finally ended, the front lines were almost the same as they had been in December. But the Battle of the Bulge cost Hitler nearly a quarter of a million men, a big chunk of his armor, and all hope of defending Germany against the coming attacks from both east and west. The American airborne’s last hurrah in Europe came on March 24, 1945. That day, paratroops and glider infantry of the 17th Airborne landed near Wessel, Germany. It was the biggest Allied airborne operation of the war. With nearly 1700 transports and tow planes, and over 1500 gliders, it took almost 3 hours to land all the men.
WORLD WAR II CANADIANS
The documentary you are about to see is the story of Canadians who fought in France in the Summer of 1944. In this account, actors portray some of the soldiers from both sides. The words they speak are based on letters and diaries, and interviews with those who survived. Today’s Canadian army has also helped reconstruct some of the key moments in the battle for Normandy, a battle that was every bit as bloody and tragic as the worst of the First World War. This documentary series is dedicated to the 46,542 Canadians who gave their lives for their country in the Second World War.
Yale University was founded in 1701 as the Collegiate School, in Killingworth, Connecticut. In 1716, the school moved to New Haven and, with the generous gift by Elihu Yale of nine bales of goods, 417 books, and a portrait and arms of King George I, was renamed Yale College in 1718.
The Yellow River is China’s most important river in the North. The soil along much of the river is yellow in color, and that’s what gives the river its name. As we cruise down the Yellow River. . . look closely at the mulberry leaves that grow along the banks. You may find them covered with silkworms. Their cocoons are spun into shiny threads,
which will be woven into beautiful cloth called silk.
See that tough, woody looking grass? That’s bamboo. Bamboo forests have been cut down in the past to make room for houses, but now China is working to protect the bamboo, which is essential to the diet of panda bears.
In the northern part of the park, large stretches of grass and sagebrush spread across the mountains and valleys. Similar to the prairies, this habitat provides an excellent home to the badger and her new family. They see light, for perhaps the first time. A strange new world for them. And they stay close to their mother at first. But growing bolder, they begin to explore on their own.
THE ZAMBEZI RIVER
The Zambezi river is 1,700 miles long from its source to its mouth on the shores of the Indian Ocean. It was formed during the volcanic upheavals of the Jurassic period about 150 million years ago, when an old river was split into two. The Zambezi is the fourth-largest river in Africa. It rises in northern Zambia, and flows southwest into Angola before turning back into Zambia and heading south.