Charles Darwin • 2016 • episode "S1E13" Butterfly Effect

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Picture the last two hundred years without the publication of Darwin's "On The Origin of Species" -- how might the scientific conversation have developed? What were the influences in Victorian England during Darwin's youth, and how tenuous was his opportunity for sailing on the Beagle's voyage?

Butterfly Effect • 2016 - 2018 • 39 episodes •

Alexander Becomes Great

What if Alexander had not died at the age of 32? What if he had listened to advisors and returned to Macedonia instead of going on his worldwide conquest? How does the legacy of ideals and leadership left from Alexander's time resonate today?

2016 • History

Race to the Moon

What is the future of the human presence in space? How might things be different if there had not been a Cold War and a Space Race? What does humanity gain by venturing into our solar system...and beyond?

2016 • History

Martin Luther King Jr

What would the Civil Rights movement in the USA have been like if Martin Luther King, Jr. had not been motivating change? How does the legacy of the American Civil War still affect the American democracy?

2016 • History

King Philippe of France and Richard the Lionheart of England

A series of battles in France had an impact on modern day Europe and the fates of three countries down to our modern century. What might have happened if Richard the Lionheart had not been wounded? Or Philippe Auguste of France had fled the battlefield?

2016 • History

Confucius and China

The choices that Kong Qui, known in the West as Confucius, made during his career as a civil servant and administrator influenced an entire civilization. What if Kong Qui had been as opportunistic and corrupt as other officials? How might the fate of China and its worldview be changed?

2016 • History

Ghengis Khan

How did the events of his childhood shape the man who would become Genghis Khan? What impact did the Mongol invasions have on the history of Asia and on the psyche of Europe?

2016 • History

Chernobyl

The decisions of only a handful of individuals determined the course of the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl. What transpired over a few hours would have an impact on the local community, Russia, Europe and the globe.

2016 • History

Samurai

The shape of Japan's internal politics and the country's response to external influences for centuries can be traced back to the choices of two warlords and a decisive battle. What was the Edo Period and how did it mold Japanese society?

2016 • History

Einstein and the Manhattan Project

A famous scientist wrote to the President of the United States, and the face of war, and our world, was changed forever. How and why did humanity develop a weapon capable of almost total destruction?

2016 • History

Rome vs Barbarians

The untimely death of the Roman Emperor of the Western Empire and the poor decisions of the Roman Emperor of the Eastern Empire change the fortunes of the Roman Army in their battle with the Goths. And this changes the future of Europe.

2016 • History

The Internet

What if the source codes for the internet had remained with the US military, rather than being released to the world? How did our lives of unfettered internet access become a reality?

2016 • History

Birth of Rock

Elvis Presley paid $4 to record two songs for his mother and the rest, as they say, is history. But without Elvis, would rock and roll have gone the same route? And how have the many iterations of rock and roll developed and changed our taste and culture since the 1950's?

2016 • History

Charles Darwin

Picture the last two hundred years without the publication of Darwin's "On The Origin of Species" -- how might the scientific conversation have developed? What were the influences in Victorian England during Darwin's youth, and how tenuous was his opportunity for sailing on the Beagle's voyage?

2016 • Nature

Al Capone Child Of Prohibition

Unable to bring mob boss Al Capone to justice for many of the crimes ascribed to him, the US Federal government took a new tack to end the rule of gangsters in the Depression.

2017 • People

The Suffragettes Battle for the Ballot Box

In late Victorian England, women began to organize to gain the right to vote. The fight for women's suffrage lasted well into the early 20th Century.

2017 • History

Cortees at the Heart of the Aztec Empire

The encounter between the conquistador and opportunist Hernan Cortes and the indigenous peoples of Central America is one of history's tragic tales of greed, conflict, imperial weakness and superior weaponry.

2017 • History

The Gold Rush for a Fistful of Nuggets

Timing is everything, just look at what happened in 1848. How did the finding of gold in Sutter's Mill make an impact on the development of California and the history of the United States?

2017 • History

Cuba Nuclear Standoff

The Cuban Missile Crisis was one of the defining moments of the mid-twentieth century and of the presidency of John Kennedy. How did the two Cold War powers of the USSR and the USA come to the point of threatening nuclear war?

2017 • History

Black Death the Invisible Enemy

A disease that developed and killed within a few days decimates Europe and changes the course of history.

2017 • History

Istanbul from One Empire to the Other

Constantinople was a part of the Roman Empire, then became the seat of the Byzantine Empire and then was the imperial city of the Ottoman Empire. Here is the story of the fabled city and its history of power and conflict through the ages.

2018 • History

Aral a Sea for Cotton

The former Soviet Union collectivized many aspects of agricultural and industrial development in the 1950's. While some efforts were successful, others, like the cotton-growing around the Aral Sea, have proven to be an ecological nightmare.

2018 • History

The Fall of Quebec France Loses America

The battle between the French and English for the French territory of New France hinges on the presence of the British navy. And the Battle on the Plains of Abraham is tipped to Great Britain by the solidly trained soldiers of the British army. This changed the landscape of North America.

2018 • History

The Fronde

In the 17th century, a long period of civil war in France and war across Europe, rebellious members of the French Parliament, dubbed The Fronde, defy the monarchy and this defiance does not end well for them...and changes the history of France.

2018 • History

The Olympic Games a Mirror to Society

How did one man succeed in relaunching the Olympic spirit and turn the Games into a global event?

2018 • History

Gutenberg

In the 15th century, an inventor in a workshop in Strasburg came up with a machine that would eventually change the history of the entire world and shake a religion to its core. The choice of the first work to be printed is an astute one: Saint Jerome’s Latin version of the Bible.

2018 • History

Dunkirk Resist at All Costs

The dramatic story of the defense of France against Hitler's invading army in order to enable the desperate evacuation of over 300K men of the British Expeditionary Force and Allied troops across the English Channel to safety in 1940.

2018 • History

Kursk: The USSR Strikes Back

In the spring of 1943, after the successive failures of Moscow and Stalingrad, the armies of the Reich go on the offensive again. Considered the greatest tank battle in History, this event represents a real turning point of World War II on the Eastern Front.

2018 • History

Vikings: Assault on the Frankish Empire

While the Viking raids have come one after another in the Occident for almost a century, in November 885, hundreds of Scandinavian boats sailing towards Burgundy present themselves before the walls of Paris and besiege the city.

2018 • History

Deepwater: An Ocean of Oil

Rented by the BP oil company to drill an oil well in the Gulf of Mexico, the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explodes on April 20, 2010, before sinking into the ocean and causing a gigantic oil spill. At issue: negligence in the maintenance and in the tests carried out.

2018 • Environment

Cook in Pursuit of the Southern Lands

In 1415, the Portuguese launch an era of explorations that will lead to the European discovery of the world. The competition is intense between France and the United Kingdom for the possession of North America and the West Indies for the Indian colonies, but also for Science.

2018 • History

Champollion: Unravelling the Mysteries of the Stone

In July 1799, during the French Campaign in Egypt and Syria, the French soldiers of lieutenant Bouchard discover by chance at Rosetta a large black stone. It is, in fact, the fragment of a stele engraved in honor of King Ptolemy V, including three writing systems: Greek, Demotic, and hieroglyphs.

2018 • History

Gandhi: The Force of Willpower

In May 1893, a man is thrown out of a train, on the platforms of the train station of Pietermaritzburg, a little city of South Africa, for daring to sit in a first-class compartment. This young Indian lawyer is named Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.

2018 • People

Lawrence of Arabia: For a Fistful of Sand

1916, the Great War, far away from the trenches, in the sand of the Middle East, war has a very different face. With a handful of intrepid men, Thomas Edward Lawrence leads the revolt of the Arabs alongside Sharif Hussein, against the Ottoman Empire.

2018 • History

Apartheid: The Spiral of Fear

August 5, 1962, South Africa. After several months on the run, the Black leader Nelson Mandela is arrested by the South African police and incarcerated in Robben Island, a fortress-like jail off Cape Town. He doesn’t know it at that time, but it is only the beginning of his penitential ordeal.

2018 • History

Augustus: Emperor of the Republic

At the end of a succession of civil wars which have weakened the Roman Republic, Caesar proclaims himself dictator for life. However, on March 14, 44 BC, he is assassinated by conspirators in the name of the Republic.

2018 • History

Carthage: Romes Rival

In 814 BC, the exiled Phoenician queen Dido founds the city of Carthage on the African Coast. The city develops and takes the lead of a maritime empire based on trade. Carthage dominates the Western Mediterranean. But in the third century BC, she finds herself opposed to the Roman Republic.

2018 • History

Miners: Fodder of the Industrial Revolution

University of Glasgow, England, 1763. A young engineer tries, in vain, to fix a steam engine before finally understanding what is wrong with it. James Watt still doesn’t know it but he will soon revolutionize the world of industry.

2018 • History

Encyclopedia: Dare to Know

July 31, 1784, Paris. Denis Diderot has just passed away and with him, the memory of the biggest editorial epic of the Age of Enlightenment: Encyclopedia, or a Systematic Dictionary of the Sciences, Arts, and Crafts.

2018 • History

Dien Bien Phu: a Losing Battle

Since the end of the 19th century, Indochina has been a flourishing colony, the gem of the French Empire. However, the Second World War turns everything upside down. At the end of the war, the Viet Minh movement announces its independence.

2018 • History

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5/6Catalyst: Series 18 • 2017 • Nature

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S50E14The Nature of Things • 2011 • Nature

What Is Life? Is Death Real?

So what is the difference between you and a rock? This seems like an easy, even stupid question. But even the smartest people on earth have no idea where to draw the line between living and dead things.

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Tidal Forest of Africa

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