NOVA: Season 2 (1974 - 1975)


Season 2

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Air date: Nov 3, 1974

"Why Do Birds Sing?" Ornithologists explain that birds sing to attract mates, proclaim territorial rights and warn other birds of impending danger. Some offspring learn tunes from their parents. Other birds are said to chirp in dialects.

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Air date: Nov 10, 1974

How living organisms---from insects to humans---communicate by scent. Among the phenomena surveyed: animals whose chemical secretions, when scented by the opposite sex, trigger an impulse to mate. Also: ways in which people rely on their sense of smell without realizing it.

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Air date: Nov 17, 1974

"The Hunting of the Quark," a subatomic particle believed to be even smaller than electrons. This report traces attempts to prove that quarks exist, an investigation that involves the use of huge particle accelerators that can isolate an atom's components.

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Air date: Nov 24, 1974

Sleep is the subject of this report. Among the insomniacs interviewed is a man who sleeps only 15 minutes a night. Also: how factors such as drugs and extended periods of isolation affect a person's sleeping habits.

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Air date: Dec 1, 1974

Focusing on a geological survey team as it tours San Francisco Bay aboard a floating laboratory. The scientists are seen studying the effects of landfills and pollutants on the area's ecological balance.

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Air date: Dec 8, 1974

Cro-Magnons painted on cave walls 10,000 years ago. Examples of their works are seen at an excavation in the Dordogne section of France, unearthed in 1868. The site has also yielded implements carved from bone and statuettes of pregnant women.

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Air date: Dec 15, 1974

Schools of giant starfish that can devour vast areas of coral reef. Known as the Crown of Thorns, the starfish are observed in the Red Sea, where English biologists first learned they are natural predators of coral.

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Air date: Jan 5, 1975

Warfare changed dramatically with the introduction of airplanes. Nova explores this added dimension and the effect it had on combat in Nova: War From the Air. When the military got wise to the advantages of burgeoning technology, scientists were sought out to design weapons of destruction. The most damaging of these was the bomb, which could be dropped out of a moving airplane. Nova introduces actual war footage when it discusses this advance. The PBS program also looks at the creation of bombs from the ground up. A summary of the strategies behind high-altitude warfare rounds out the presentation.

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Air date: Jan 12, 1975

A report on biological clocks believed to regulate bodily functions and mental efficiency. Humans, rodents and insects are seen as subjects of laboratory experiments.

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Air date: Jan 19, 1975

Reviewing the use of the insecticide DDT. In World War II, DDT was credited with saving lives by killing plague-carrying insects. Also: how some insects have built up an immunity to DDT.

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