Stories by Jennifer Robinson
Best-selling author Steven Johnson relates the story of people who take us out of the dark and into the light. Hear about Edison’s light bulb, which he didn’t actually invent, and learn how an 18th-century ship’s skipper discovered a source of illumination by putting a kid inside a whale’s head. See how a French scientist accidentally discovered how to create neon light, leading to a revolution in advertising.
Best-selling author Steven Johnson considers how the invention of the mirror gave rise to the Renaissance, how glass lenses allow us to reveal worlds within worlds and how, deep beneath the ocean, glass is essential to communication. He learns about the daring exploits of glassmakers who were forced to work under threat of the death penalty, a physics teacher who liked to fire molten glass from a crossbow and a scientist whose tinkering with a glass lens allowed 600 million people to see a man set foot on the moon.
The first stage in the adventure of human flight began with daring inventors and aeronauts in 18th-century Paris, where a handful of brilliant and colorful pioneers developed all the essential features of today’s hot air and gas balloons. Their exploits fascinated Benjamin Franklin, who was serving in Paris as the American ambassador. To explore this burst of innovation, NOVA re-creates key flights, including the world’s first manned voyage on November 21, 1783.
Hear about the exceptional women — past and present — who have taken the world of business by storm. Told by female business leaders themselves, this is a candid exploration of what it takes to make it and a celebration of the extraordinary individuals who, over the course of 50 years, have proven — on Wall Street, in corporate America or business empires of their own — that a woman’s place is wherever she believes it to be.
Track American women’s increasing participation in war — from Vietnam to the present — as nurses, soldiers, journalists, diplomats and spies. Among those featured are Linda Bray, the first woman to lead troops into battle, and Valerie Plame Wilson, whose career was sabotaged after she was “outed” as a high-level spy. Viewers hear from war correspondents Molly Moore, Clarissa Ward and Christiane Amanpour about life on the battlefield.
ony Kushner delves into the history of the Holocaust to discover his ancestors’ fate; Carole King learns the origins of her family name and confronts the reality of the discrimination her ancestors faced in America; and Alan Dershowitz finds out that the first Hassidic synagogue in Brooklyn, started by his great-grandfather, played a secret role in WWII.
Hiphop artist Nas discovers a web of his slave ancestors and their intimate relationship with their slave master; award-winning actress Angela Bassett meets her ancestors whose slave family tragedy is rivaled only by a triumphant emancipation story; and presidential advisor Valerie Jarrett goes back in time over 200 years to meet a formidable line-up of free people of color - all of them are trailblazers.
Top Chef’s Tom Colicchio learns the hardships his family endured living in a tiny town in Northern Italy and celebrates the courage of his original immigrant ancestor, a man who crossed the Atlantic multiple times to bring the Colicchios to the United States; Ming Tsai, the child of immigrants who fled Mao’s Cultural Revolution, was raised to believe that his family’s Chinese past was obliterated by the Communists but finds instead that his roots can be traced back over 2000 years, yielding the largest family tree we’ve ever seen; and Aarón Sánchez discovers that his family’s treasured Mexican roots include people who were Spaniards, Africans, and Native Americans.
In this episode, test cook Bridget Lancaster shows host Christopher Kimball how to make Pork Pernil. Then, tasting expert Jack Bishop challenges Chris to a tasting of jarred medium salsa. And finally, test cook Julia Collin Davison shows Chris how to make California Fish tacos at home, and Bridget shares the test kitchen’s secrets to buying fish.
On the surface, London is a buzzing, modern metropolis — but underneath lies a secret, hidden world, all but forgotten by the millions of people above. This program uncovers 2,000 years of subterranean history: a world of ancient caves and perfectly preserved Roman remains; mysterious rivers and gruesome plague pits; impenetrable vaults and top-secret bunkers. Digging deep, the program unearths some of the most extraordinary stories of the darkest part of the city.
Watch television’s longest-running performing arts anthology to enjoy the best in music, dance and theater. In this episode, Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga team up for a special concert from the stage of Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater in New York City, performing selections from their collaborative classic jazz recording, "Cheek to Cheek."
A coach races up to a country house with a hysterical passenger shrieking, “Murder!” What better way to continue Jane Austen’s immortal novel "Pride and Prejudice?" This delicious homage to Austen, adapted from P.D. James’ clever whodunit, stars Anna Maxwell Martin (“The Bletchley Circle”), Matthew Rhys (“The Americans”), Matthew Goode (“The Good Wife”) and Jenna Coleman (“Doctor Who”). Elizabeth and Darcy never knew marriage would be like this!
Highlights include a NASA “Mercury 7” signed photo, ca. 1960, that was gifted to the guest by her Air Force father-in-law; an 1862 Abraham Lincoln signed document, given to the guest’s great-great-great-uncle by Abraham Lincoln as part of a commission to abolish slavery and is now valued at $50,000 to $75,000; and a Tiffany & Co. gold necklace. ca. 1875, with strong Japanese influences and appraised for $55,000 to $60,000.
Highlights include a Babyland Rag topsy-turvy doll, ca. 1905, composed of both a Babyland Rag doll and a Steiff bear; a diamond Art Deco bracelet watch, purchased 30 years ago for a few hundred dollars and now estimated at $10,000 to $12,000; and Robert E. Lee’s own map of critical battle areas around Richmond, brought to the ROADSHOW by a descendant of General Richard Stoddert Ewell, now worth $50,000 to $100,000.
This production of "Porgy and Bess" from San Francisco Opera stars bass-baritone Eric Owens as Porgy and soprano Laquita Mitchell as Bess in the turbulent story of a disabled man, the headstrong woman he loves and the community that sustains them both. John DeMain conducts the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus in this American musical theater staple set in an African-American community on Catfish Row in coastal South Carolina. "Porgy and Bess" is based on the play by Dubose and Dorothy Heyward, with music by George Gershwin including the celebrated jazz standard “Summertime.”
Alongside the fastest, strongest, smartest animals are nature’s misfits, odd, bizarre and unlikely creatures that at first glance seem ill-equipped for survival. Left at the starting line in the race for life, these are the apparent losers in the story of evolution, yet somehow they manage to cling to life and in some cases even thrive. “Animal Misfits” reveals some surprising details about how evolution really works, demonstrating that all animals are remarkably well-adapted to their chosen way of life.
In this episode, best-selling author Steven Johnson boards a submarine to discover what a lack of natural light means for a sailor’s working day and visits Heathrow, the world’s busiest airport, to try to get timings right at air traffic control. The story of getting a grip on time is full of curious garage tinkerers. Learn how advancements in navigation, the way we work, technology and travel would have been impossible without the unsung heroes of time.
HOW WE GOT TO NOW, a new six-part series co-created and hosted by best-selling science and technology author Steven Johnson ("Where Good Ideas Come From," "Everything Bad is Good for You"), examines the fascinating stories of the unlikely people whose ideas have made our modern world possible. The series looks at the little-known stories of the men and women who came up with revolutionary innovations that have had far reaching consequences beyond their original intent and play a role in just about every aspect of our daily lives. The ideas are broken down into six themes that encompass the pillars of modern civilization: Cold, Time, Light, Clean, Glass and Sound.
FRONTLINE investigates the widespread use of antibiotics in food animals and whether it is fueling the growing crisis of antibiotic resistance in people. Also this hour: An exclusive interview with the family of a young man who died in a nightmare bacteria outbreak that swept through a hospital at the National Institutes of Health.
Trace the history of women pioneers in the U.S. space program. Some, like aviators Wally Funk and Jerrie Cobb, passed the same grueling tests as male astronauts, only to be dismissed by NASA, the military and even Lyndon Johnson, as a distraction. It wasn’t until 1995 that Eileen Collins became the first woman to pilot a spacecraft. The program includes interviews with Collins, as well as Sally Ride’s classmates Shannon Lucid, Rhea Seddon and Kathryn Sullivan, and features Mae Jemison, the first woman of color astronaut, and Peggy Whitson, the first female commander of the International Space Station.
In the second season of this Peabody Award-winning series, Vivian Howard, proprietor of Chef and the Farmer restaurant, explores Southern cuisine with a chef’s modern sensibilities. As Vivian and husband Ben Knight introduce viewers to the farmers and cooks of the American South, they also celebrate their twins’ third birthday and open a second restaurant, the Boiler Room.
Ben Affleck’s mother was a Freedom Rider in 1964 and her roots include the 19th century spiritualist Almon French, who attempted to heal the bereaved masses in the aftermath of the Civil War; Benjamin Jealous, former president of the NAACP, learns the heroic story of his great-grandfather, Peter G. Morgan, a free black man who was forced to purchase his own wife and family in order to keep them safe; and actress Khandi Alexander, who never knew who her grandfather was and learned that he may have been murdered in the Jim Crow South.
A beautifully cinematic, character-driven documentary, "Bully" puts a human face on the devastating impacts of the most common form of violence experienced by young people in the nation. At its heart are those with huge stakes in the issue: five kids and families whose stories each represent a different facet of America’s bullying epidemic.
Highlights include a Laurel and Hardy “Swiss Miss” horn that was used as a prop in their 1930 film; a silver presentation cup, ca. 1780, that was gifted from Lafayette to Major General Nathaniel Greene during the Revolutionary War and is now valued at $25,000; and a Thomas Hart Benton oil on tin, ca. 1950, that was a gift from the artist to the guest’s father — Benton’s neighbor — and is now appraised for $125,000.
Test cook Julia Collin Davison uncovers the secrets to perfect Chocolate Angel Pie. Then, tasting expert Jack Bishop challenges host Christopher Kimball to a tasting of processed egg whites. Next, test cook Bridget Lancaster uncovers the secrets to making Black and White cookies at home. And finally, equipment expert Adam Ried reveals his top picks for cookie sheets.
Alt.rock superstar Beck performs. The genre-hopping singer/songwriter plays songs from his album "Morning Phase" and some of his greatest hits. The set list includes "Black Tambourine," "I Think I'm in Love," "Don't Let It Go," "Lost Cause," "Blue Moon," "Dead Melodies," "Say Goodbye," "Waking Light," "Loser," "Girl," "E-Pro" and "Where It's At/One Foot in the Grave."
Douglas Carter Beane’s acclaimed Tony Award-nominated play "The Nance," produced by Lincoln Center Theater, stars stage and screen actor Nathan Lane. The play tells the story of Chauncey Miles (Lane), a headline nance (a parody of a gay man) in the twilight of New York burlesque’s era, who is homosexual.
From the port of Kusadasi, we wander the streets of ancient Ephesus, soak in a natural spa at Pamukkale, learn why the dervishes whirl at Konya, munch lunch in a Turkish pizzeria, and cruise the Mediterranean on a traditional Turkish gulet from Antalya. Turkey is a mighty nation whose ancient heritage, Muslim faith, and western ways are coming together...and we'll see how.
In December 2013, in a small village in West Africa, a young boy died from the dreaded disease, Ebola. Over the next nine months, the virulent killer would claim more victims than all previous Ebola epidemics put together. And for the first time, the disease escaped the isolated, rural villages where it had first appeared and traveled in infected patients by air to densely populated cities in several African countries. As the epidemic threatens to spiral out of control, NOVA reports from the hot zone, where courageous medical teams struggle to cope with a flood of victims, to labs where scientists are racing to test vaccines and find a cure.
The disappearance of Flight MH370 stunned the world. In an era of smart-phones and GPS, how could a 270-ton passenger jet vanish into thin air? It was a rude awakening for all of us, showing just how far we are from the world we imagined we lived in — in which every move is monitored all the time. NOVA tells the inside story of the search for Flight MH370 and meets the key players, from all corners of the globe, who have spent months searching for the lost plane.
This half-hour documentary follows a year in the life of 11-year-old Kimberly Torrez. Living steps from the border in Nogales, Mexico, Kimberly crosses each day to attend school just across the line in Arizona. Kimberly’s unemployed father, stricken with Hepatitis C, needs a liver transplant; Kimberly’s mother desperately awaits the visa that will allow her to live in the U.S. with her American children if her husband dies. A slice-of-life portrait told through Kimberly’s eyes, the film illuminates the changing face of America through the story of this one family.
Three iconic American storytellers who have spent their lives chronicling the lives of others all the while knowing almost nothing about their own family history: Ken Burns confronts the reality of his southern ancestors’ role in the Civil War, including Confederate soldiers who were held captive and a slave-owning Virginian; Anderson Cooper, the scion of one of America’s most storied families, the Vanderbilts, longs to know more about his father’s Southern roots, including the story of an ancestor murdered by one his slaves; and Anna Deavere Smith learns the epic story of her great-grandfather, Basil Biggs, a free black man and former conductor on the Underground Railroad.
Follow the women of showbiz, from the earliest pioneers to present-day power players, as they influence the creation of one of the country’s biggest commodities: entertainment. Hear from actress-producer-activist Jane Fonda, who at 75 is playing a sharp, sexy and powerful media mogul on the award-winning series THE NEWSROOM; television powerhouse Shonda Rhimes, who created GREY’S ANATOMY and SCANDAL; screenwriter Linda Woolverton, who re-imagined the traditional Disney princess by making Belle ("Beauty and the Beast") a self-possessed, strong-willed young woman.
Test cook Julia Collin Davison revives a classic recipe, Holiday Strip Roast. next, tasting expert Jack Bishop challenges host Christopher Kimball to a tasting of country ham. Then, test cook Bridget Lancaster shows Chris how to make olive oil Potato Gratin. And finally, Chris teaches a cooking class all about olive oil.
The film explores a horrifying era in Indonesian history and provides a window into modern Indonesia, where corruption reigns. Not only is the 1965 murder of an estimated one million people honored as a patriotic act, but the killers remain in power. In a mind-bending twist, death-squad leaders dramatize their brutal deeds in the style of the American westerns, musicals and gangster movies they love — and play both themselves and their victims.
Highlights include a third edition of Gone With the Wind with a false inscription; signed Muhammad Ali training shoes that are appraised for $15,000 to $20,000; and a Cartier sapphire and diamond ring that was purchased at a Knoxville estate sale for less than $15,000 and is now valued at $40,000 to $60,000.
Kevin Whately and Laurence Fox return for a seventh season of the beloved Inspector Lewis series. Hathaway has been promoted to inspector after an extended break from the force, and Lewis is enjoying retired life until he’s asked to team up with his old colleague again. With their partnership renewed under altered circumstances, the duo continues to solve crime in the seemingly perfect academic haven of Oxford.
The 35th season of THIS OLD HOUSE begins in Boston’s oldest neighborhood: Charlestown. Kevin and Norm highlight Charlestown’s historical importance, from colonial times through WWII. The new project is part of a cluster of 1850s-era Greek Revival houses tucked into the backside of Bunker Hill. Homeowner Angela Daigle shows Kevin features she loves, but also the outdated kitchen and poor organization of space that she’d like to improve.
On the eve of the release of their new album, "9 Dead Alive," the incomparable Mexican guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela performed at Upper Manhattan's Hispanic Society of America for an episode of LIVE FROM THE ARTISTS DEN. The two virtuoso musicians played a dazzling 12-song set in the century-old museum's Sorolla Gallery, surrounded by the 14 paintings that make up Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida's masterwork "Vision of Spain," a celebration of the country's diverse customs. It was a breathtaking setting for Rodrigo y Gabriela's unique fusion of musical genres, a mix of melodic beauty and percussive fury which drove the 300 invited guests into clapping, stomping glee.
The star-studded special celebrates the trailblazing music series’ 40th anniversary. With guest hosts Jeff Bridges, Matthew McConaughey and Sheryl Crow, the two-hour broadcast features memorable moments from the show’s remarkable run, anchored by some of the brightest stars in the show’s history returning to the AUSTIN CITY LIMITS stage for incredible performances. Highlights include legends Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt, Foo Fighters, Emmylou Harris, Kris Kristofferson, Gary Clark Jr., Lyle Lovett, Alabama Shakes, Buddy Guy and more performing in celebration of AUSTIN CITY LIMITS’ legacy as an American music institution over the last four decades.
The Egypt of the Great Pyramids, the Sphinx and the Valley of the Kings was an empire of indomitable might. Then, around 800 BC, the impossible happened. Kush, a subject kingdom from the south, rose up and conquered Egypt, enthroned its own pharaohs and ruled for nearly 100 years. In "Rise Of The Black Pharaohs," National Geographic explores the mysterious Black Pharaohs—the Nubian kings—whose reign has become legendary among Africans and written off as heresy by early archaeologists who refused to believe that dark-skinned Africans could have risen so high.
Three of America's greatest athletes whose determination and love of sports were deeply shaped by their families, but who were all cut off from their true origins. Billie Jean King learns the true story of her grandmother, who had always kept the secret of her orphan birth. Derek Jeter confronts his own ancestors’ lives as slaves and discovers that they were owned by a white man named James Jeter - the source of the Jeter name and Derek's 3rd great-grandfather. Rebecca Lobo finds out that her Spanish ancestor fought side by side with a famous revolutionary and was forced to flee Spain because of his democratic ideals.
Every fairy tale has its sequel. On the brink of happiness at the end of last season, retail genius John Moray and his “little champion,” Denise, find true love a bumpy ride indeed, as Katherine and her new husband scheme to wreck their lives. Joanna Vanderham stars as Denise, with Emun Elliott as Moray, Elaine Cassidy as Katherine and Ben Daniels as Katherine’s moody, malevolent spouse.
Highlights include a collection of personal letters from Amelia Earhart to the guest’s aunt that feature Earhart’s entrepreneurial and self-promotional sprit; Joseph Delaney drawings, circa 1950, purchased from the Knoxville artist’s own home for $20 each and now valued at $2,000 to $3,000; and two Jacob Maentel watercolors, circa 1835 and larger than average, that are appraised for $60,000 to $80,000.
"American Graduate: Let's Make It Happen" is a public media initiative - supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting - to help students stay on the path to on-time high school graduation and future success. "American Graduate Day 2014" is a broadcast and outreach event dedicated to engaging our country around the dropout crisis with special celebrity guests, relevant spokespeople and compelling stories from the students themselves.
LIVE FROM LINCOLN CENTER: Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street In Concert With The New York Philharmonic
The New York Philharmonic’s acclaimed production of Stephen Sondheim’s iconic musical thriller, staged in March 2014 to a sold-out crowd at Avery Fisher Hall, tells the story of the eponymous barber who, with his romantically inclined landlady, Mrs. Lovett the piemaker, seeks vengeance on what he considers a merciless world. The remarkable cast features bass-baritone Bryn Terfel in the title role and Academy Award-winning actress Emma Thompson as Mrs. Lovett, with Christian Borle and more. Audra McDonald serves as host.
In the village of Ferne Basset, an elderly resident is found drowned after a violent attack. Meanwhile, at the Corn Exchange in Causton, a local amateur dramatic production of Amadeus reveals a backstage world of intrigue, passion and gossip — and a whole new meaning to the term "corpsing" when there is a second murder.
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