kottke.org posts about PBS
Twenty-five years after its first airing on PBS, Ken Burns has remastered his epic documentary, The Civil War, and PBS will be airing the new version all this week, starting tonight. The remastered series will also be available on Blu-ray in October.
The next Ken Burns PBS long thing will be a seven-part series on the Roosevelts (Theodore, Eleanor, and Franklin).
This seven-part, fourteen hour film follows the Roosevelts for more than a century, from Theodore's birth in 1858 to Eleanor's death in 1962. Over the course of those years, Theodore would become the 26th President of the United States and his beloved niece, Eleanor, would marry his fifth cousin, Franklin, who became the 32nd President of the United States. Together, these three individuals not only redefined the relationship Americans had with their government and with each other, but also redefined the role of the United States within the wider world. The series encompasses the history the Roosevelts helped to shape: the creation of National Parks, the digging of the Panama Canal, the passage of innovative New Deal programs, the defeat of Hitler, and the postwar struggles for civil rights at home and human rights abroad. It is also an intimate human story about love, betrayal, family loyalty, personal courage and the conquest of fear.
Fall 2014. (via @tcarmody)
'Llectuals is like Gossip Girls or 90210, except it's on PBS and for English majors. Girls Gone Wilde! (thx, matt)
Set thy TiVos: 49 Up, the latest in a series of documentary films in which the same group of people are interviewed every seven years, is on PBS tonight.
It's a cruel trick to confront people with the cold reality of the past. Despite that, some enjoy being in the film and claim it as a thing to treasure; others take part under sufferance, persuaded that the films are unique and we should finish what we started. I thank them all for their generosity and courage in making these films possible.
Watch the trailer. (thx, mark)
As those of you who love slow pans over black and white photography are already aware, Ken Burns has a new documentary coming out on PBS on Sept 23. The War "explores the history and horror of World War II from an American perspective by following the fortunes of so-called ordinary men and women who became caught up in one of the greatest cataclysms in human history" in 7 episodes spanning over 15 hours. A 26-minute video preview is available on the PBS site and the DVD is already available for pre-order on Amazon.
I love YouTube. This is a video clip of a chef pulling noodle dough, doubling it over 12 times until the noodles are unbelievably fine. The clip is from a 1987 PBS science show that I watched once when I was 14 and I've remembered it ever since as one of the simplest, coolest, and most concrete illustrations of mathematics I've ever seen. (via seriouseats)
 Ooh, watching science shows on PBS at 14....how popular was I in school?
Caught the first episode of Wired Science on PBS last night and it wasn't so bad. It's like Wired magazine, but on TV. If you missed it, the entire show is available online.
"The Mpemba effect is the observation that, in some specific circumstances, hotter water freezes faster than colder water." I remember hearing about this on an old episode of Newton's Apple, but I think they never really got to the bottom of it on that show, which was highly disappointing to me at the time.
I posted a link to this earlier, but after watching the first two hours earlier this evening, I must strongly caution against missing Eyes on the Prize on PBS this month. Using nothing more than archival film footage, on-camera interviews, period music, and a narrator's voiceover, the stories of Emmitt Till, the Montgomery bus boycott, and the desegregation of southern schools riveted me to the couch like few viewing experiences have. As compelling as the history of the civil rights movement in America is, the production of the film deserves some of the credit for its power. To hear the stories of these momentous events told by the participants themselves, without embellishment, is quite extraordinary. From a media perspective, watching Eyes on the Prize gives me hope that we can survive the era of the crescendoing musical scores and 20-cuts-per-minute editing and still tell powerful, engaging stories without worrying about window dressing. I won't soon forget the calm determination in the look and voice of Moses Wright or Mississippi governor Ross Barnett thundering away about segregation.
(For me, Eyes is also a nice companion piece to my twin obsessions of late, The Wire and The Blind Side, both of which deal with contemporary race relations in their own way. The PBS web site for the film lists dozens of resources for further exploration of the topic...does anyone have any specific recommendations for books about the civil rights movement? Lemme know.)
Update: Thanks for the recommendations, everyone...I posted a listing of them here.
Must see/TiVo TV: for the first time in years, PBS is airing Eyes on the Prize, a 14-hour series on the American civil rights movement. (via steve)
You can watch the entire program of Frontline's The Last Abortion Clinic online. "With states across the US passing regulations limiting access to abortion, does Roe v. Wade still matter?"
PBS has put up a companion web site to the Nova program on Einstein airing in October. Features include audio clips of several physicists describing e=mc^2 to non-physicists.
PBS will be offering an online-only show called NerdTV starting this fall. The series will feature "PBS technology columnist and industry insider Robert X. Cringely's interviews with personalities from the ever-changing world of technology".
WSJ: we should fund PBS, but remove anything remotely liberal. "But real history, meaning something that happened in the past as opposed to the recent present, with which PBS, alas, cannot be trusted."
Great list of favorite memories from Sesame Street. I'd completely forgotten about the noo-ne-noo-ne-noo typewriter. I'm gonna be humming that all day now.