NOVA: Season 1 (1974)


Season 1

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Air date: Mar 3, 1974

Filming the inside of a bird's nest or an insect-eating plant is the specialty of four filmmakers who demonstrate their techniques in this documentary. Included: photographed breeding habits of sticklebacks, a species of freshwater fish.

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Air date: Mar 10, 1974

The Colorado River, which once flowed to the Gulf of California, now ends some 20 miles inland. Scientists blame the river's stagnation on two dams built along it. This report assesses the damage to this natural resource and examines preventions to similar errors.

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Air date: Mar 17, 1974

"Telepathic" dolphins and "singing" whales are the stars of this documentary, which investigates the behavior of both sea mammals. Also: efforts to prevent whale extinction.

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Air date: Mar 24, 1974

Does life exist on other planets? A U.S. space project that may answer the question is the subject of this report, which examines the building of one unmanned craft slated to land on Mars in 1976. Interviewed: astronomer Carl Sagan ("The Cosmic Connection").

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Air date: Mar 31, 1974

Filmmaker Brian Moser lived among the Cuiva Indians in South America. The result is this documentary about the tribe and a way of life that may disappear as civilization encroaches.

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Air date: Apr 7, 1974

How the use of anesthesia in the l9th century changed the course of medicine. In dramatizations by actors who are actually physicians, pioneers in this field are seen experimenting with "laughing gas" (nitrous oxide) in dentistry, and administering chloroform during childbirth.

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Air date: Apr 14, 1974

The remnants of an exploding star, witnessed by Chinese astronomers in A.D. 1054, are believed to comprise the Crab nebula. Scientists explain what they have learned about this phenomenon, which emits vast amounts of energy in the form of radio waves and X-rays.

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Air date: Apr 21, 1974

How do homing pigeons find their way home? This report investigates research into the complex guiding system of birds. Scientists are shown using radar to trace migration patterns.

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Air date: Apr 28, 1974

Human guinea pigs are the subject of this report on the ethics of medical experiments. Examined: the possible abuse of convicts and the mentally disabled, two groups commonly used in tests; and experiments conducted on Jews in Nazi concentration camps during World War II.

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Air date: May 5, 1974

How scientists taught a chimpanzee to communicate with sign language. The chimp's progress is traced, from her first words to "conversations" with humans. Also: research with Lana, a chimp who communicates in sentences by pushing coded keys sequentially on a computer console.

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