Wednesday, May 2 at 9:00 p.m.
Smartest Machine on Earth
Smartest Machine on Earth chronicles NOVA’s unprecedented, behind-the-scenes access to IBM researchers as they develop the technology for Watson, the state-of-the-art computing system, named after company founder Thomas J. Watson. The film examines the technological feats and hurdles necessary to develop “Watson,” the challenges artificial intelligence researchers face in mimicking the human thought process, and potential
applications for the future.
Wednesday, May 9 at 9:00 p.m.
In April 2011, the worst tornado outbreak in decades left a trail of destruction across the U.S., killing more than 360 people. Why was there such an extreme outbreak? How do such outbreaks form? With modern warning systems, why did so many die? Is our weather getting more extreme — and if so, how bad will it get? In this NOVA special, get a look at the science behind the last year’s outbreak, meeting those affected and the scientists striving to understand the forces behind the outbreak. Could their work improve tornado prediction in the future? Learn how we all can protect ourselves and our communities in the future.
Wednesday, May 9 at
Hunt for the Supertwister
A powerful tornado is a terrifying phenomenon that continues to defy decades of scientific efforts to predict it. During one of the worst tornado seasons on record, a NOVA camera team chased across the Midwest, capturing hair-raising footage of highly destructive twisters in action. But this is much more than just another “extreme weather” show, focusing on the efforts of two scientists at the University of Oklahoma to develop radically different approaches to forecasting twisters. With jaw-dropping 3-D graphics generated by the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, “Hunt for the Supertwister” features spectacular footage of terrifying twisters and gives viewers a front-row seat to the risky and thrilling art of storm chasing.
Wednesday, May 23 at 9:00 p.m.
Killer Subs in Pearl Harbor
NOVA joins an exclusive dive beneath the waters of Pearl Harbor to trace new clues to the historic sinking of the USS Arizona. 1,177 crew members perished in the dramatic 1941 sinking of the storied battleship — the greatest loss of life in United States naval history. For decades, it has been thought that the Arizona was brought down by fire from Japanese aircraft. But the discovery of a Japanese "midget sub" far from the scene of the battle raises new questions about the Arizona's final hours. Severed into three pieces and dropped in 1,200-foot-deep water outside of the harbor, the sub matches four other vessels discovered in shallower water closer to the harbor entrance. Each of the four vessels were equipped with a pair of torpedoes, but only the torpedoes of the fifth sub are still missing, apparently fired at an unknown target.
Wednesday, May 23 at 10:00 p.m.
Missing in MIG Alley
NOVA follows the poignant and sometimes harrowing efforts of the family members of some WWII pilots to trace what happened to their loved ones who went missing more than a half-century ago. The program combines forensic detective work with an in-depth look at why the Sabre and the MiG acquired their reputations as legendary fighting machines. With the help of dramatic reconstructions, rare archival footage and interviews with veteran aces, NOVA puts viewers in the cockpit to experience the lethal split-second duels in the skies over MiG Alley.
Wednesday, May 30 at 9:00 p.m.
Venom: Nature’s Killer
Venom scientists are in a race against time. Inside the bodies of many creatures, evolution has produced extremely toxic cocktails, all designed for one reason: to kill. It took millions of years to perfect these ultimate brews of proteins and peptides, and we have only just begun to discover their potential. Now, the race is on to collect and study them before the animals that produce them disappear. But how does venom do its deadly work? NOVA reveals how venom causes the body to shut down, arteries to bleed uncontrollably and limbs to go black and die. But nature’s most destructive and extreme poisons could contain the building blocks for a new generation of advanced drugs that could treat heart attack, stroke, diabetes, obesity and cancer.
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