How did medieval engineers construct magnificent skyscrapers of glass and stone? Take a dazzling architectural journey inside those majestic marvels of Gothic architecture, the great cathedrals of Chartres, Beauvais and other European cities. Carved from 100 million pounds of stone, some cathedrals now teeter on the brink of catastrophic collapse. To save them, a team of engineers, architects, art historians, and computer scientists searches the naves, bays, and bell-towers for clues. NOVA investigates the architectural secrets that the cathedral builders used to erect their towering, glass-filled walls and reveals the hidden formulas drawn from the Bible that drove medieval builders ever upward.
The epic 3 billion-year story of how our continent came to be. From the palm trees that once flourished in Alaska to titanic eruptions that nearly tore the Midwest in two, discover how forces of almost unimaginable power gave birth to North America.
In 1948, a British pilot serving in Iraq acquired a clay tablet with an intriguing, 3,700 year-old inscription. The ancient writing tells the story of how the god Enki warns a Sumerian king named Atra-Hasis of a future flood that will destroy mankind; Enki gives him instructions for building a boat to save his family and livestock. If that sounds like a familiar tale, it’s because this was one of several ancient flood traditions that, centuries later, would inspire the biblical story of Noah. But the tablet’s inscription describes a boat very different from the traditional image of the Ark?it’s said to be circular and made of reeds. Is this nothing more than a fanciful myth? Or could such a reed boat have carried Atra-Hasis’ family of more than one hundred and his many animals? Join NOVA as a team of historians and expert boat builders investigates this fascinating flood legend and sets out to rebuild a tantalizing, ancient forerunner of the Ark.
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New clues to the greatest mystery in Arctic exploration–the Franklin Expedition to chart the Northwest Passage–are investigated after a Canadian team discovers one of Franklin’s lost ships.
The minute-by-minute story of the Fukushima nuclear crisis told by the employees who stayed behind after an earthquake and tsunami crippled the plant.
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spacecraft New Horizon’s historic flyby of Pluto, the culmination of a nine-year, three-billion-mile journey, reveals the first-ever detailed images of Pluto.
Long before 9/11, a far deadlier, little-known attack from the ocean depths struck our shores, lasting three-and-a-half years and claiming 5,000 lives. Now, famed undersea explorer Bob Ballard, discoverer of the Titanic, investigates the wreck of one of the attack craft, a German submarine that lies at the bottom of the gulf just a few miles off New Orleans. U-166 was part of Operation Drumbeat, a highly successful U-boat operation that caught East Coast cities and shipping almost completely unprepared. Ballard probes the wreck and unravels a dramatic mystery in the official story of the sub’s sinking.
Occupation & Resistance
It’s the finale “Occupation / Resistance” — in which this blogger finally realizes: Lucas is reprehensibly despicable.
Between the two-hour long stress of the “Terra Nova” season finale, and the power outages at Candlestick Park for Monday Night Football and the Pittsburgh Steelers game (don’t hate), tensions were running high for me as our time-traveling pioneers dug their heels into their prehistoric home and waged war against the future. And some of it was relatively legit.
This is not to say that the finale was a great episode, and the premiere was equally great, with simply crap in-between. Certainly not. Rather, the premiere offered a glimpse into a potentially great series that could occur, and the finale behaved like that series had happened. But of course, it hadn’t. The finale was as riddled with horrible plot holes as what had come before – why didn’t the colony prepare for the face that the invaders might use an explosive? But there were glimpses, certainly.
After the big speech to conclude last week’s episode, the entire population was prepared to fight for their new home. Unfortunately, they weren’t expecting the onslaught that came through the portal. It’s a great way to start the episode: strip your protagonists of all their advantages and have them claw their way back to freedom and safety. A far more exciting scenario than simply having Terra Nova wait for an attack for the entire first half of the episode, which I have to admit, was what I was expecting.
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Terra Nova is ramping up to what should be an exciting conclusion. “Within” resolves Skye’s spy arc while also setting the table for the two-hour finale next week. “Within” was the third straight episode in which I have more positive things to say than negative ones. Sure, that may be because the problems with each outing tend to be similar week in and week out, and nobody would want to read about that time and time again, but if Terra Nova gets a second season by FOX, I think it’s heading in a decent direction.
Even though this series is only ten episodes old, I’m already feeling completely fed up with this mole story line. After finding out the identity of the mole, it always makes you pay extra close attention to that character since you now know they have an ulterior motive, and Skye has been written very poorly in that regard. Why is it that the only time that Skye has ever acted cagey or suspicious is as soon as we know that she’s a mole? She wasn’t being all mysterious and asking Josh to lie for her before we found out she’s dirty, but now that we know about it she’s acting so incredibly obvious.
The biggest problem with this episode is that it’s basically a retread of the last outing. That one dealt entirely with Skye’s role as a spy and the majority of this episode treads that exact same ground, giving us no new information about Skye and her mother’s plight or any deeper emotional connection to the characters. All I could ask myself during this episode was why the writers decided that we had to have another full hour devoted to this story. It’s the same miscalculation the writers have made all season, they keep focusing on situations that require an emotional connection to the characters to work, but they have utterly failed to create any characters worth caring about so the stories can’t help but fall flat on their face.
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Now You See Me
Terra Nova continues toward the end of its first season order with tonight’s ninth episode “Now You See Me” and with it the Terra Nova mole is revealed while Commander Taylor and Sixer leader Mira struggle to survive together against vicious dinosaurs out in the wilderness, and young Zoe must say goodbye to the young Anklyosaurus she’s been caring for as a pet.
The decent amount of forward momentum Terra Nova generated in last week’s episode continues this week in “Now You See Me” as Taylor confronts Mira, Jim closes in on the mole and Zoe continues to prove her uselessness as a character. I’m sorry but I reached my breaking point with Zoe this week. I know the youngest Shannon child is meant to be cute and innocent but it’s that saccharine sweetness that’s made her unbearable as a character. Her wispy voice drives me crazy and it couldn’t be more obvious that the writer have no idea what to do with her.
Skye being revealed as the spy didn’t come as much of a surprise but she’s still a pretty good choice. Her relationship to Taylor gives her access to information not accessible by most and she seems to be able to get in and out of Terra Nova fairly easily. She’s also been fairly underused so it will be good to see her getting more involved in a story other than playing a potential love interest. However, it’s still a bit odd that the tree-dwelling Sixers have the upper-hand when it comes to specific tech and medicine. We’ve seen them contact someone from the future and now we learn that they are the only ones with the medicine needed to keep Skye’s mom alive. We can only assume that this is all due to the genius of Lucas and those back in 2149 spearheading the Sixers’ nefarious operation.
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