Latest Documentaries

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Hack Your Health: The Secrets of Your Gut

Delve into the digestive system with this lighthearted and informative documentary that demystifies the role gut health plays in our overall well-being.

2024 • Health

Our Changing Planet Series 3

In the third year of this seven-year project examining the issues facing the planet’s most threatened ecosystems, Dr. M. Sanjayan visits the Maldives to take an in-depth look at coral reefs and the urgent efforts to help them survive climate change.

S3E1 • 2024 • Nature

M.C. Escher: Journey to Infinity

The life and work of M.C. Escher is presented primarily through his own words in the form of his writings being read against a backdrop of images associated to him, including archival footage of himself and images of his drawings. Many further details are provided by surviving family members. Escher himself considered what he did being caught between the worlds of art and mathematics - he not very good at either - his drawings always having an element of geometry. He made a conscious decision to work in monochromatic black and white realizing that he would be missing being able to convey ideas that are inherent with color. The evolution to two of his later periods is discussed, namely his series of drawings of the human eye, and what would become his ultimate fascination, that of the concept of infinity, whether it be real, as in the circle or the study of a man viewing a picture of himself viewing a picture of himself and so on, or perceived through illusions, such as his never-ending staircase. The documentary is buttressed by commentary from fan, musician Graham Nash who believes his brilliance has not yet been fully appreciated. Further Information

2021 • People

The Universe is Full of Aliens!

We often assume that advanced technology will make it easy for aliens to colonize space. But what if space exploration is always difficult, no matter how advanced you are? Let’s travel back in human history, to the colonization of Oceania over 5000 years ago, to find parallels between ancient explorers and extraterrestrial civilizations.

In a Nutshell • 2024 • Astronomy

The Second Viking Age

The mid-10th-century reign of Harald Bluetooth as king of a newly unified, powerful and Christianized Denmark marked the beginning of a second Viking age. But the reign was not to last with the Normans finally winning the English Kingdom in 1066. We look at the final days of the Viking empire.

S1E6Vikings: The Rise and Fall • 2022 • History

The Wild West

Political turmoil in Norway leads a voyage of discovery west. The Vikings discover Iceland where they established lasting settlement. Further exploration from Iceland leads to the discovery of Greenland and to the shores of Newfoundland, making them the first Europeans to discover America.

S1E5Vikings: The Rise and Fall • 2022 • History

The Fall of Francia

The siege of Paris in 885 was the culmination of the Viking invasions of Francia. We look at the persistent Viking attacks on Francia and the enduring presence of the Scandinavians on the Frankish Empire and beyond.

S1E4Vikings: The Rise and Fall • 2022 • History

As Far East as Baghdad

The "Silk Road" opened up a world of trade for the Scandinavians in the East. Seeking further wealth, the Vikings known in the East as "the Rus" attacked Constantinople in 860. The Rus became a permanent and feared fixture in the Byzantine Empire.

S1E3Vikings: The Rise and Fall • 2022 • History

The Great Heathen Army

The Siege of York occurred from 866 when the Great Heathen Army laid claim to the Northumbrian capital of York. We look at the major battles, players and strongholds of the York battle and how the Vikings later came to control much of the 9th Century England.

S1E2Vikings: The Rise and Fall • 2022 • History

The Road to Lindisfarne

An attack on a small religious community on the holy island of Lindisfarne in AD 793 heralded the start of the Viking Age of conquest and expansion. For 200 years, the longships from Scandinavia threatened all of Europe. But it was far from their first attack. We reveal how the Vikings' reign of terror began in Scandinavia.

S1E1Vikings: The Rise and Fall • 2022 • History

Ukraine: Enemy in the Woods

Follows a Ukrainian battalion on the frontline of the war against Russia, filmed by the soldiers themselves as they try to defend a vital railway line, the capture of which would enable Russia to mount a direct attack on Ukraine's second largest city Kharkiv. The film examines the lives of the 99-strong military company as they face sustained Russian assaults, presenting a ground-level view of the war through the eyes of the troops fighting it.

2024 • History

PBS American Experience - The Cancer Detectives

The story of how the life-saving cervical cancer test became an ordinary part of women's lives is as unusual and remarkable as the coalition of people who ultimately made it possible: a Greek immigrant, Dr. George Papanicolaou; his intrepid wife, Mary; Japanese-born artist Hashime Murayama; Dr. Helen Dickens, an African American OBGYN in Philadelphia; and an entirely new class of female scientists known as cyto-screeners. But the test was just the beginning. Once the test proved effective, the campaign to make pap smears available to millions of women required nothing short of a total national mobilization. The Cancer Detectives tells the untold story of the first-ever war on cancer and the people who fought tirelessly to save women from what was once the number one cancer killer of women.

2024 • Health

Recommended Documentaries

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Prediction by the Numbers

Predictions underlie nearly every aspect of our lives, from sports, politics, and medical decisions to the morning commute. With the explosion of digital technology, the internet, and “big data,” the science of forecasting is flourishing. But why do some predictions succeed spectacularly while others fail abysmally? And how can we find meaningful patterns amidst chaos and uncertainty? From the glitz of casinos and TV game shows to the life-and-death stakes of storm forecasts and the flaws of opinion polls that can swing an election, “Prediction by the Numbers” explores stories of statistics in action. Yet advances in machine learning and big data models that increasingly rule our lives are also posing big, disturbing questions. How much should we trust predictions made by algorithms when we don’t understand how they arrive at them? And how far ahead can we really forecast?

NOVA PBS • 2018 • Math

Transilvania - Part II

The second leg of the journey through Transilvania. We pick up our journey in the fields just outside the scenic village of Crit.

S1E6Flavours of Romania • 2018 • Travel

Inside the Social Network: Facebook's Difficult Year

Facebook is a company that has grown from nothing to be worth half a trillion dollars in just 15 years. Today nearly a third of all humans are using it, and yet we rarely get to see the people actually in charge of the biggest social network in the world. The company has suffered a series of deepening scandals and intense media scrutiny. In 2018, their mission - to connect everyone on the planet - seemed to be going dramatically wrong. Data leaks, fake news and hacks on user security were threatening to destroy everything Mark Zuckerberg had built. Yet throughout this difficult time, the company allowed the BBC’s flagship science strand Horizon to follow key members of the team trying to fix the problems and secure the platform. This film goes behind the scenes and follows the teams inside Facebook. It tackles difficult questions, like how our data is used and what content should and shouldn’t be on the site, but also shows how Facebook works, what the teams are doing to secure it, and reveals a hidden technological playground, where some of the smartest engineers in the world are being hired to build systems and technology no one has built before.

Horizon • 2019 • Economics

The Deep

David Attenborough narrates a natural history of the oceans to uncover the strange, otherworldly creatures living in the depths of the ocean.

S1E2Blue Planet I • 2001 • Nature

The Nuclear Option

How will we power the planet without wrecking the climate? Five years after the earthquake and tsunami that triggered the unprecedented trio of meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, scientists and engineers are struggling to control an ongoing crisis. What’s next for Fukushima? What’s next for Japan? And what’s next for a world that seems determined to jettison one of our most important carbon-free sources of energy? Despite the catastrophe—and the ongoing risks associated with nuclear—a new generation of nuclear power seems poised to emerge the ashes of Fukushima. NOVA investigates how the realities of climate change, the inherent limitations of renewable energy sources, and the optimism and enthusiasm of a new generation of nuclear engineers is looking for ways to reinvent nuclear technology, all while the most recent disaster is still being managed. What are the lessons learned from Fukushima? And with all of nuclear’s inherent dangers, how might it be possible to build a safe nuclear future?

NOVA PBS • 2017 • Economics

Volcano

A look at how without volcanoes, there would be no life on Earth. Although destructive, magma from the planet’s molten core builds land, and mineral-rich ash from eruptions fertilises the surface.

S1E1A Perfect Planet • 2021 • Nature

Nature Documentaries

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Indonesia

In Indonesia, Simon visits a village of sea gypsies and meets tribespeople who want to adopt him.

S1E2Equator with Simon ReeveNature

From the top of the food chain down: Rewilding our world

Our planet was once populated by megafauna, big top-of-the-food-chain predators that played their part in balancing our ecosystems. When those megafauna disappear, the result is a "trophic cascade," where every part of the ecosystem reacts to the loss. How can we stay in balance? George Monbiot suggests rewilding: putting wolves, lions and other predators back on top -- with surprising results.

TED-EdNature

Creepy Crawlies

The ultimate guide to invertebrates, with key biological themes to show a wide range of species. Chapter 1: The Bug Buffet Bugs are the base of the food chain, food for just about everything else, but to start the process, they too must eat. Just like the bigger animals of the plains, there are grazers, scavengers, and predators that hunt them, termites growing fungi, and bees making their own honey. Chapter 2: Breeding Rutting deer and flirting love birds might be what we think of with animal courtship, but even bugs need to breed, and they face all the same challenges of winning a mate and raising their young. Some display, some caress, others fight. There are even insects that care for their young. Chapter 3: Army Few creatures have complex levels of regimented society as social insects. Bees, termites, ants, and wasps can form armies to help them build elaborate homes, defend their territories, grow their own food, raise their young and hunt their prey.

2021 • Nature

Compulsive Communicators

The final episode deals with the evolution of the most widespread and dominant species on Earth: humans. The story begins in Africa, where, some 10 million years ago, apes descended from the trees and ventured out into the open grasslands in search of food. They slowly adapted to the habitat and grew in size. Their acute sense of vision led to them standing erect to spot predators, leaving their hands free to bear weapons. In addition, the primitive apemen also had stones that were chipped into cutting tools. Slowly, they grew taller and more upright, and their stone implements became ever more elaborate.

13/13Life on Earth • 1979 • Nature

What Was The Miller-Urey Experiment?

The Miller-Urey experiment was the first attempt to scientifically explore ideas about the origin of life. Stanley Miller simulated conditions thought be common on the ancient Earth. The purpose was to test the idea that the complex molecules of life (in this case, amino acids) could have arisen on our young planet through simple, natural chemical reactions.

Stated Clearly • 2015 • Nature

Putting Flesh on Bone

2nd prog in series about fossils. David Attenborough investigates some fossil mysteries - could pterodactyls fly? And why did trilobites have such good eyes?

S1E2Lost Worlds, Vanished Lives • 1989 • Nature

Lifehack Documentaries

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When Genes Mix with the Wrong Environment

The Dunedin Study has identified a fundamental developmental mechanism that completely rewrites the nature versus nurture argument. It is a genetic switch which is thrown by life events , nature loads the gun but nurture pulls the trigger. This episode tracks the hunt for the mechanism using three specific examples - violence in men, depression, and cannabis induced schizophrenia

S1E3Predict my Future: The Science of Us • 2016 • Lifehack

Why We Love Disaster News

Why are we so captivated and fascinated by news stories about disasters? Is it ghoulish and voyeuristic? Not at all...

The School of Life • 2015 • Lifehack

The God Delusion

The God Delusion explored the unproven traditions that are given as fact by religious faiths, and the extremes that some followers take them. Dawkins argues that faith is not a way of understanding the world (described as "non-thought"), and is opposed to modern science which tests hypotheses and builds theories to describe the world.

2006 • Lifehack

The nerd's guide to learning everything online

Some of us learn best in the classroom, and some of us ... well, we don't. But we still love to learn, to find out new things about the world and challenge our minds. We just need to find the right place to do it, and the right community to learn with. In this charming talk, author John Green shares the world of learning he found in online video.

TED • 2012 • Lifehack

The Science of Marital Misunderstanding

In Japan, one couple gets divorced every 2 minutes. Often, the wife initiates the split. Many women say their partners don't understand their feelings, while many husbands seem unaware of the daily stress this can create. The latest research suggests that common marital misunderstandings are rooted in differences between the male and female brain. The problems couples experience today are the result of millions of years of evolution. This program uses findings from neuroscience to explore the issue, and suggests ways for couples to strengthen their bonds.

2017 • Lifehack

Randoms! Documentaries

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Twin Suns: The Alien Mysteries

Planets that orbit two suns instead of one might be deadly hell worlds, but new discoveries reveal that sci-fi star systems with binary stars might be optimal places for alien life.

S6E2How the Universe Works • 2018 • Astronomy

Voyagers

Travel along with the Voyager spacecraft as they traverse the solar system on their planetary expedition spanning over three decades. A film by - Santiago Menghini

2016 • Astronomy

Legacy of the Sages

At Göbekli Tepe, the oldest known megalith in the world, Graham questions if simple hunter-gatherers alone could have built such an advanced structure.

S1E5Ancient Apocalypse • 2022 • Environment

Lucknow to Kolkata

On an epic railway journey from Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh to Kolkata in West Bengal, Michael Portillo uses his Bradshaw's 1913 Handbook of Indian, Foreign and Colonial Travel, published when the British Raj was 55 years old, to chart a course through India's history from the days of The East India Company to the dawn of independence. In Lucknow, Michael tastes the famous local kebabs before seeking the truth about 1857 Siege of Lucknow, a key moment in the rebellion which precipitated the end of the East India Company's grip on India and the start of direct British rule.

S1E4Great Indian Railway Journeys • 2018 • Travel

Israel

Israel serves up a palatial family estate, a pastoral property that filters the elements, a house built on a cliff and a home with three gardens.

S2E8The World's Most Extraordinary Homes • 2019 • Design

Why you shouldn't trust successful people's advice

10 Ways to be successful... that's bullshit :)

2016 • Lifehack