NOVA: Season 30 (2003)


Season 30
NOVA

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Episodes

Air date: Sep 3, 2002

Killer Disease on Campus is a documentary about the deadly illness known as meningitis. Most commonly suffered by children under the age of five and young adults, meningitis is one of the deadliest diseases. This film explains how a bacteria called meningococcus causes the disease, and details how doctors have fought to learn more about this illness in order to prevent it from taking additional lives. This is a fine film for those with an interest in the topic.

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Air date: Oct 1, 2002

An episode of the science series Nova, Mysterious Life of Caves takes the viewer into caves from around the world. Some of the locations captured in this documentary are inaccessible to anyone other than scientists because of their dangerous structure and the chemicals they possess. This is an informative, entertaining video for anyone with an interest in the subject matter. Teachers may find this film useful in the classroom setting.

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Air date: Oct 8, 2002

Chronicling a 2000 archaeological dig at Zeugma, an ancient crossroads city on the Euphrates River in eastern Turkey that was destroyed about 250 A.D. by invading Persians. The archaeologists (a French team) have just six weeks to find whatever they can because a nearby dam is nearing completion and will soon flood the area. That means digging with bulldozers and hoping for the best. But they get lucky. They find a magnificent 14-room villa and in it an even more magnificent 200-square-foot mosaic depicting Greek myths.

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Air date: Oct 29, 2002

Galileo Galilei was one of the first truly revolutionary men of science; between 1585 and 1638, this pioneer was one of the first to employ mathematics to determine laws of motion, develop a telescope to help chart the heavens, observe the movements of stars and planets, and declare that the Earth moved around the sun, rather than the sun around the Earth. While many branded Galileo as a dangerous heretic in his day, today he's regarded as the father of modern physics and astronomy. Galileo's Battle for the Heavens stars Simon Callow as the great scientist; he reconstructs and re-creates many of the crucial moments in Galileo's career, and explains the methods behind his pioneering work. The film also examines letters Galileo wrote to his illegitimate daughter in which he discusses his personal feelings about his work and the measures taken to silence him.

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Air date: Nov 12, 2002

A scientist discovers a innovative method for forecasting volcano eruptions in this installment of PBS' Nova. Bernard Chouet has been studying the inner workings of Popocatepetl, which looms over densely populated Mexico City, and he believes he's found a combination of seismic events that spell certain eruption for it and other volcanoes around the world.

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Air date: Nov 19, 2002

This volume of the PBS series NOVA investigates the past, present, and future of the water problem in Venice, Italy. Under the real and constant threat of sinking, this historic city of famous art and architecture is involved in conflicting methods of dealing with the high levels of water. The program discusses the geography and reasons behind the flooding, as well as measures other countries have taken to prevent their own sinking problems. The conclusion offers a debate about the effects of the mobile floodgate development and other means of controlling rising sea levels.

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Air date: Nov 26, 2002

"Orchid Hunter" explores the appeal of the world's largest plant family by following a young Englishman as he risks life and limb in Indonesian jungles to find a new species to name after his grandmother. "You have to go someplace dangerous, because no one else goes there," says Tom Hart Dyke, the hunter, who was held hostage by Colombian guerrillas on an earlier hunt. The hour also examines the orchid business in a visit to a Florida "factory." Hart Dyke could buy for $25 a flower he rappels to find in the jungle, but he suffers from what New Yorker writer Susan Orlean calls "a love sickness." "Orchids," she says, "are the sexiest flowers on earth."

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Air date: Jan 7, 2003

The remote-controlled spy jet code-named Predator is the focus of this episode of Nova. Used in the U.S.'s battle with the Taliban in Afghanistan, the Predator introduced a new method of fighting: pinpoint, GPS-aided, maximum-accuracy bombing of specific targets.

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Air date: Jan 14, 2003

The federal government devotes extensive time, effort, and money to the search for soldiers who went missing in -- and are presumed dead from -- battles dating back to the 1940s. This episode of PBS' Nova focuses on the search for the men of Bomber 31, a plane which was supposed to fly from the Arctic Circle, loaded with bombs intended for Japan, and was never seen again.

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Air date: Sep 30, 2003

Tracing efforts to uncover (literally) a work by the Greek mathematician Archimedes, who figured out the basics of calculus in the third century B.C. Trouble is, the work that proves it was lost for some 800 years. That work---"The Method"---was lost when a 12th-century monk who needed blank parchment covered over a 10th-century copy of it. This palimpsest was discovered in 1906, but in terrible shape, and it's up to scientists and scholars working under the auspices of Baltimore's Walters Art Museum to restore Archimedes' words and charts. They contain, says narrator Jeremiah Kissel, "ideas so advanced they could have altered the course of Western science."

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