The sea level in Venice has increased drastically in the last century or so, threatening the very existence of the city. Global warming and the harmful effects of tourism have amplified the phenomenon of acqua alta (sudden rise in sea level), rendering the traditional responses of inhabitants obsolete. It is urgent to act today. Projects conceived in laboratories across the globe are joining forces to save the city. These include RAMSES, a 3D modelization of the lagoon produced using lasers, which analyzes rises in water level; and MOSE, a series of movable dams costing over 4 billion euros, intended to block the sea in case of acqua alta. The film will take us on this extraordinary journey, the technological and scientific struggle for the survival of Venice, a survival that has been in doubt from its very construction.
Can new engineering techniques help prevent deadly bridge collapses? In 2018, Italy’s Morandi Bridge collapsed, tragically killing 43 people. For 50 years, the iconic bridge had withstood the elements—and stress from ever-increasing traffic. What went wrong that fateful day? And how can new engineering technology protect bridge infrastructure to prevent such tragic failures in the future? Through eyewitness testimony, expert interviews, and dramatic archival footage, NOVA investigates the Morandi disaster and other deadly bridge collapses.
The Singularity, or the arrival of superhuman intelligence, has been described as both the “rapture of the nerds” and inevitable. Futurist and philosopher Jason Silva explores the ways in which this radical transformation may occur through biotechnology, nanotechnology and artificial intelligence.
2016 • Technology
The World Trade Center and Sears Tower were record-setting skyscrapers made possible by cutting-edge engineering innovations, but just as these American icons set new standards in construction, dark and insidious forces were poised to undo it all.
Gordon Welchman was one of the original elite codebreakers crucial to the allies defeating the Nazis in World War II. He is the forgotten genius of Bletchley Park. Filmed extensively at Bletchley Park, the centre for codebreaking operations during World War II, this documentary features the abandoned buildings where thousands of people worked tirelessly trying to crack the codes, Hut 6, where Welchman pioneered his groundbreaking work, and the machines that Welchman helped design.
2015 • Technology