NOVA: Season 18 (1991)


Season 18

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Air date: Oct 2, 1990

This episode of the PBS award-winning science show Nova takes the viewer sleuthing in a maze of computer connections and Internet sites. Clifford Stoll, an astrophysicist and one-time Berkeley hippie, investigates a computer crime. He tracks down a data thief who has been stealing material from military and research computers. His detective work takes him inside CIA and KGB systems, and into an international spy ring involved in passing sensitive information to the KGB. The strange saga is both exciting and humorous.

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Air date: Oct 9, 1990

"Neptune and its largest moon, Triton, are examined via photos taken by Voyager 2 in 1989. Narrated by Patrick Stewart.

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Air date: Oct 16, 1990

Charting the Voyager 1 and 2 journeys, which yielded clues about Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Included: volcanic activity on Jupiter's moon, Io. Patrick Stewart narrates.

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Air date: Oct 23, 1990

A report on chemical weapons includes U.S. and Soviet soldiers training to defend against chemical attack; Iraq's use of poison gas; issues raised by stockpiling and disposal.

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Air date: Oct 30, 1990

The blimp was once looked upon as a luxurious and safe answer to air travel. This global view was changed dramatically with the tragedy of the Hindenburg, and blimps were relegated to the advertising world and occasional duty over sports stadiums. Today, the images of exploding blimps are being dispelled, and there is new interest in these airships, which include cyclocranes and zeppelins. In The Blimp Is Back, Nova takes an in-depth look at what scientists regard as remarkable possiblities. Technology has created innovative changes in the blimp, and future uses could include research over the Amazon and police surveillance.

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Air date: Nov 6, 1990

Since they can't be prevented, the best defense against earthquakes is the ability to predict them. And while this once seemed like an impossible task, many scientists believe it to be an attainable ability. This television documentary looks into the efforts of geologists who are trying to predict earthquakes and discusses the results of past attempts. Produced by Nova, this program was originally broadcast in 1990.

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Air date: Nov 13, 1990

A report on so-called "smart" weapons such as missiles and bombs with computerized sensors. Included: comments from military officials and weapons specialists; and author Tom Clancy ("The Hunt for Red October").

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Air date: Nov 20, 1990

The overall elephant population has been steadily declining, with numbers in Africa falling by more than half between 1980 and 1990. Though the zealous efforts of conservationists to stop poaching are beginning to show results, have the conservationists overreacted? Has the move to control poaching brought irreparable harm to cultures who depend on elephants for survival? Is the global ban on ivory trade in the best interest of all involved? Nova looks at these and other thorny questions in the ongoing controversy in Can the Elephant Be Saved?

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Air date: Nov 27, 1990

In "We Know Where You Live," writer Erik Larson traces the trail of junk mail from direct marketer to the mailbox. Included: comments from industry officials and the president's special advisor on consumer affairs.

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Air date: Dec 4, 1990

High in the Andes, filmmaker Wolfgang Bayer studies the four "native South American camels": the alpaca, vicuna, guanaco and llama. Peter Thomas narrates.

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