Posted in: Evolution, Science
The Link: Uncovering Our Earliest Ancestors
Meet “Ida,” the small “missing link” found in Germany that’s created a big media splash and will likely continue to make waves among those who study human origins. In this documentary paleontologist Jorn Hurum, who led the team that analyzed the 47-million-year-old fossil seen above, suggests Ida is a critical missing-link species in primate evolution. The fossil, he says, bridges the evolutionary split between higher primates such as monkeys, apes, and humans and their more distant relatives such as...
Posted in: Psychology, Science
The Lobotomist
Early in the 20th Century, individuals who suffered from mental illness had little hope of recovery. Psychiatric medications had yet to be discovered, and the afflicted were often locked away in overcrowded asylums. In 1935 a radical new medical procedure, called a lobotomy, was being performed on the most severely mentally ill. Initially this form of brain surgery appeared to offer hope for patients by lessening the severity of psychotic symptoms. This is the gripping tale of Dr. Walter Freeman, who in 1936...
Posted in: Science, Space
The Mars Underground
This film captures the spirit of Mars pioneers who refuse to let their dreams be put on hold by a slumbering space program. Their passionate urge to walk the soil of an alien world is infectious and inspirational. This film is the manifesto of the new space revolution. Leading aerospace engineer and Mars Society President Dr. Robert Zubrin has a dream. He wants to get humans to the planet Mars in the next ten years. Now, with the advent of a revolutionary plan, Mars Direct, Dr. Zubrin shows how we can use...
Posted in: Educational, Science
The Molecule That Made Our World
Oxygen – we all need it, we can’t live without it. It’s integral to life on this planet. And it’s probable that, as you watch this film, you will be breathing in an oxygen atom that was also breathed by Genghis Khan – or by the first ever apes to stand upright on the plains of Africa. The oxygen that we breathe is made from two oxygen atoms joined together – O2. They were first joined more than 3 billion years ago by the earliest blue-green algae to evolve. Since then, both together and apart,...
The Mystery of Empty Space
Get ready to re-think your ideas of reality. Join UCSD physicist Kim Griest as he takes you on a fascinating excursion, addressing some of the massive efforts and tantalizing bits of evidence which suggest that what goes on in empty space determines the properties of the three-dimensional existence we know and love, and discusses how that reality may be but the wiggling of strings from other...
Posted in: Science
The Mystery of the Human Hobbit
Is the hobbit a new human species or nothing more than a modern human with a crippling deformity? On the far-flung island of Flores, in the Indonesian archipelago, a team of archaeologists happened upon a tiny 18,000-year old skeleton. It was no more than a meter tall. They assumed they have found the remains of a young girl. But other signs suggested she was in fact much older. They had discovered one of the smallest human adults ever found. As the dig continued, the evidence unearthed got stranger. The...
Posted in: Biology, Science
The Mystery of the Jurassic
For years scientists have been trying to find the mysterious evolutionary master key responsible for transforming the dinosaurs into world-beaters. In the early Jurassic, 200 million years ago, they were a relatively small group of primitive creatures. By the late Jurassic, 50 million years later, they had become the magnificent array of carnivores and giant plant eaters that would dominate the planet for millions of years. In between lies the mysterious period of the middle Jurassic in which all these changes...
Posted in: Educational, Science
The Nine Months That Made You
Horizon explores the secrets of what makes a long, healthy and happy life. It turns out that a time you can’t remember – the nine months you spend in the womb – could have more lasting effects on you today than your lifestyle or genes. It is one of the most powerful and provocative new ideas in human science, and it was pioneered by a British scientist, Professor David Barker. His theory has inspired a field of study that is revealing how our time in the womb could affect your health, personality, and...
Posted in: Science, Society
The Pleasure of Finding Things Out
The Pleasure of Finding Things Out was filmed in 1981 and will delight and inspire anyone who would like to share something of the joys of scientific discovery. Feynman is a master storyteller, and his tales – about childhood, Los Alamos, or how he won a Nobel Prize – are a vivid and entertaining insight into the mind of a great scientist at work and play. In this candid interview Feynman touches on a wide array of topics from the beauty of nature to particle physics. He explains things that are hard to...