Best-selling author Steven Johnson boards a submarine to discover what a lack of natural light means for a sailor’s working day and visits Heathrow, the world’s busiest airport, to try to get timings right at air traffic control. The story of getting a grip on time is full of curious garage tinkerers. One of them, railway clerk William F. Allen, was so exasperated by the chaos caused by the 8,000 local times zones in the U.S. that he fought tirelessly to standardize time into four zones. Learn how advancements in navigation, the way we work, technology and travel would have been impossible without the unsung heroes of time.
Wed, 10/15/2014 - 8:00pm
A kakapo, the world’s heaviest and only flightless parrot.
Alongside the fastest, strongest, smartest animals are nature’s misfits, odd, bizarre and unlikely creatures that at first glance seem ill-equipped for survival. Left at the starting line in the race for life, these are the apparent losers in the story of evolution, yet somehow they manage to cling to life and in some cases even thrive. “Animal Misfits” reveals some surprising details about how evolution really works, demonstrating that all animals are remarkably well-adapted to their chosen way of life.
PBS Arts Fall Festival
Fri, 10/17/2014 - 9:00pm
This production of Porgy and BessSM from San Francisco Opera stars bass-baritone Eric Owens as Porgy and soprano Laquita Mitchell as Bess in the turbulent story of a disabled man, the headstrong woman he loves and the community that sustains them both. John DeMain conducts the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus in this American musical theater staple set in an African-American community on Catfish Row in coastal South Carolina. Porgy and BessSM is based on the play by Dubose and Dorothy Heyward, with music by George Gershwin including the celebrated jazz standard “Summertime.”
Tue, 10/14/2014 - 9:00pm
Trace the history of women pioneers in the U.S. space program. Some, like aviators Wally Funk and Jerrie Cobb, passed the same grueling tests as male astronauts, only to be dismissed by NASA, the military and even Lyndon Johnson, as a distraction. It wasn’t until 1995 that Eileen Collins became the first woman to pilot a spacecraft. The program includes interviews with Collins, as well as Sally Ride’s classmates Shannon Lucid, Rhea Seddon and Kathryn Sullivan, and features Mae Jemison, the first woman of color astronaut, and Peggy Whitson, the first female commander of the International Space Station. The hour ends with the next generation of women engineers, mathematicians and astronauts—the new group of pioneers, like Marleen Martinez and Dava Newman, who continue to make small but significant steps forward.
Finding Your Roots
Tue, 10/14/2014 - 8:00pm
These three guests’ families have long been engaged in the battle for freedom and civil rights, but they had no idea that those principles were passed down through generations of ancestors. Ben Affleck’s mother was a Freedom Rider in 1964 and her roots include the 19th-century spiritualist Almon French, who attempted to heal the bereaved masses in the aftermath of the Civil War; NAACP president Ben Jealous learns the heroic story of his great-grandfather Peter G. Morgan, a free black man who was forced to purchase his own wife and family in order to keep them safe; and actress Khandi Alexander, who never knew who her grandfather was, learns that he may have been murdered in the Jim Crow-era South.
Mon, 10/13/2014 - 8:00pm
ANTIQUES ROADSHOW travels south to Jacksonville, Florida, where host Mark L. Walberg and appraiser Leila Dunbar head to the Norman Studios Silent Film Museum to discuss missing Richard E. Norman films. Highlights include a Laurel and Hardy “Swiss Miss” horn that was used as a prop in their 1930 film; a silver presentation cup, ca. 1780, that was gifted from Lafayette to Major General Nathaniel Greene during the Revolutionary War and is now valued at $25,000; and a Thomas Hart Benton oil on tin, ca. 1950, that was a gift from the artist to the guest’s father — Benton’s neighbor — and is now appraised for $125,000.
Mon, 10/13/2014 - 5:30pm
LOST TREASURE HUNT brings history alive for kids in a dramatic and fun way — as a modern-day animated adventure in which the main characters protect a lost artifact by outwitting the bad guys. In the fast-moving half-hour pilot, a mysterious clue from 1492 puts a great treasure in jeopardy.
By analyzing historical records and examining artifacts, Ava and Dex must solve a series of clues to stop the treasure from falling into the wrong hands. They travel to Italy, Spain and the Caribbean, deciphering codes and avoiding enemy spies and counter-agents along the way. As they close in on the treasure, they also discover little-known details about Christopher Columbus' landmark voyage.
The award-winning filmmakers behind Shrek, The Iron Giant and Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballsbring their experience telling compelling, multi-layered stories to LOST TREASURE HUNT.
Sun, 10/12/2014 - 9:00pm
After a difficult start, Lewis and Hathaway seem to have settled back into their former relationship, and Maddox has become integral to the team. Their abilities are tested as they investigate the brutal murder of Rose, an American Classics student. Suspicion immediately falls on a young professor who had recently broken off an affair with her, but as the detectives delve further into the case, they only find more secrets and murky motives.
How We Got to Now with Steven Johnson
Wed, 10/15/2014 - 9:00pm
Dirty water has killed more humans than all the wars of history combined, but in the last 150 years, a series of radical ideas, extraordinary innovations and unsung heroes have changed our world. Host Steven Johnson plunges into a sewer to understand what made a maverick engineer decide to lift the city of Chicago with screw jacks in order to build America’s first sewer system. He talks about John Leal, who deliberately “poisoned” the water supply of 200,000 people when, without authorization, he added chlorine, considered lethal in 1908, into Jersey City’s water and made it safe to drink. This isn’t only about the world becoming a cleaner place — the iPhone, the subway, flat screen TVs and even the bikini are the result of the valiant efforts of the unsung heroes of clean.