PBS' premier science series helps viewers of all ages explore the science behind the headlines. Along the way, NOVA programs demystify science and technology, and highlight the people involved in scientific pursuits.
Wednesday, May 29 at 9:00 p.m. Manhunt - Boston Bombers
At 2:50 p.m. on April 15, two bomb blasts turned the Boston Marathon finish line from a scene of triumph to tragedy, leaving three dead, hundreds injured and a city gripped by heartbreak and terror. Less than five days later, the key suspects were identified and apprehended, with one dead, the other in custody. How did investigators transform the chaos of the bombing into a coherent trail of clues, pointing to the accused killers? NOVA follows the manhunt step-by-step, examining the role modern technology — combined with old-fashioned detective work — played in cracking the case. Given hundreds of hours of surveillance and bystander videos, how did agents spot the bad guys in a sea of spectators? Why couldn’t facial recognition software I.D. the criminals? How much could bomb chemistry analysis, cell phone GPS, infrared imagery and crowd sourcing reveal about the secrets behind this horrific crime? With the help of top criminal investigators and anti-terrorism experts, NOVA explores which technological innovations worked — and which didn't — in the most notorious case of today, and how the world of crime fighting could be transformed tomorrow.
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Wednesday, May 29 at 10:00 p.m. Oklahoma's Deadliest Tornadoes
On May 20, 2013, a ferocious F5 tornado more than a mile wide tore through Moore, Oklahoma, causing 24 deaths and obliterating entire neighborhoods. It was the third time an exceptionally violent tornado had struck the city in 14 years. Yet predicting when and where such killer storms will hit still poses a huge challenge. Why was 2011 — the worst ever recorded tornado season that left 158 dead in Joplin, Missouri —followed by the quietest ever year of activity prior to the Moore disaster? Can improved radar and warning technology explain why fewer died in Moore than in Joplin? And will tornadoes get worse as Earth's climate heats up? In this NOVA special, meet scientists in the front ranks of the quest to understand extreme weather events. Also meet storm survivors whose lives have been upended, and learn how we can protect ourselves and our communities for the uncertain future.