adapt

NOVA
Mystery of Easter Island

 

A remote, bleak speck of rock in the Pacific, Easter Island, or Rapa Nui, has mystified the world ever since the first Europeans arrived in 1722. How and why did the ancient islanders build and move nearly 900 giant statues, or moai, weighing as much as 86 tons each? And how did they transform a presumed paradise into a treeless wasteland, bringing ruin upon their island and themselves? NOVA explores controversial recent claims that challenge decades of previous thinking about the islanders, who have been accused of everything from ecocide to cannibalism. Among the radical new theories is that the islanders used ropes to “walk” the statues upright, like moving a fridge. With the help of an accurate 15-ton replica statue, a NOVA team sets out to test this high-risk, seemingly unlikely theory – serving up plenty of action and surprises in this fresh investigation of one of the ancient world’s most intriguing enigmas.

 

NATURE
Meet the Coywolf

 

The coywolf, a mixture of western coyote and eastern wolf, is a remarkable new hybrid carnivore that is taking over territories once roamed by wolves and slipping unnoticed into our cities. Its appearance is very recent – within the last 90 years – in evolutionary terms, a blip in time. Beginning in Canada, but by no means ending there, the story of how this new hybrid came to be is an extraordinary tale of how quickly adaptation and evolution can occur, especially when humans interfere.

 

PBS HAWAI‘I PRESENTS
The Land of Eb

 

This fictional story is set in the stark volcanic landscape of one of the most remote communities on Hawai‘i Island – Hawaiian Ocean View Estates. Jonithen Jackson portrays Jacob, a Marshallese immigrant father and grandfather, who struggles to provide for his large family. When Jacob overhears a cancer diagnosis from his doctor he keeps the news to himself, forgoing treatment in favor of working to pay off his property which he plans to pass down once he’s gone. Sensing his end, Jacob turns a small video camera on himself and begins to record his story – and that of his people, the Marshallese. The film is a contemplative look at a community in Hawaii still struggling to recover from the effects of the nuclear age. It is a profoundly realistic portrayal of one man’s unwillingness to let go of his dignity and the hope he has for his family’s future.

 

NOVA
Vaccines: Calling the Shots

 

Diseases that were largely eradicated in the United States a generation ago – including whooping cough, measles and mumps – are returning, in part because nervous parents are skipping their children’s shots. Go around the world to track epidemics, explore the science behind vaccinations and discover the risks of opting out.

 

NOVA
Inside Animal Minds: Bird Genius

NOVA Inside Animal Minds: Bird Genius

 

Today, researchers are discovering that some creatures have mastered skills purportedly restricted to humans. Many are bird brains. Meet a cockatoo with a talent for picking locks; a wild crow on a mission to solve an eight-step puzzle; and a tame raven who can solve a puzzle box so quickly that his performance has to be captured with high-speed photography. Are these skills really evidence of high intelligence or just parlor tricks, the result of training and instinct?‌ To find out, NOVA tests the limits of some of the planet’s brainiest animals, searching for the secrets of a problem-solving mind.