My Top Five: Science Shows

I’ve always loved science (even though it was never my best subject in school) and PBS has always been a great source for science programming. Over the decades, I’ve watched quite a few, from kids shows designed to educate and entertain to award-winning hard science fare designed to provoke the thoughts and expand the mind. So which ones are my favorites? It was tough to choose but I winnowed it down to MY TOP FIVE SCIENCE SHOWS. Here they are…

5) NEWTON’S APPLE. It ran for fifteen seasons and tackled everything from dinosaurs to ethnobotany. Perhaps it was a kids series but hosts Ira Flatow, Peggy Knapp and David Heil made it fun for the adults watching. Plus, you’ve got that Kraftwerk theme.

4) NOVA. PBS’s flagship science series has brought incredible worlds to our TV screens since 1973. Whether its inside the human reproductive system or a look back at the development of our continent, NOVA has explored science in all its forms and introduced viewers to science intelligentsia like Neil deGrasse Tyson, Brian Greene and Janna Levin.

3) BILL NYE THE SCIENCE GUY. If you were a kid, you loved the fast-paced, manic world of Bill Nye. If you were an adult, you appreciated any show that got children excited about science – and you were kinda jealous that a show like this didn’t exist when you were a kid. The fact that Nye is now an elder statesman of science education only increases the cool factor. Hey, science ruled then and it still rules today! Continue reading


And The Winner Is…

Once again, PBS receives a few accolades of note as PBS programs were honored with seven News & Documentary Emmy® Awards, more than any other organization. The 39th Annual News & Documentary Emmy Awards were presented on October 1 at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall in New York City.

PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger said, “Audiences are hungry for high-quality programs that bring light to the pressing issues of our day. PBS continues to be a trusted beacon of education and inspiration for all Americans.”

The PBS’ News & Documentary Emmy® Award winners are:

Outstanding Science and Technology Documentary

FRONTLINE “Abacus: Small Enough to Jail”
Outstanding Business and Economic Documentary Continue reading

Hey, It’s Photo Friday!

Do you know what this is? Seriously, I’m asking because I wasn’t sure. It’s been out back behind our station for years, possibly decades, and I’ve always regarded it as a piece of equipment that serves a function yet what function that was escaped me.

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It looks like a huge satellite dish and that’s what it is essentially. I asked one our veteran engineers for the scoop and here’s what he said:

It is used to bring feeds from non-PBS satellite. We have a 6.1 M antenna and a 5.5 M antenna that are the primary receiving antennas for non-PBS feeds. The “backyard” 3.7 M antenna is supplemental and has a limited view of satellite arc but it has been used in the past especially during election coverage.

So there you have it. Still slightly more tech-speak than I’m used to or capable of understanding (trust me – UNC-TV engineers are working on a completely different level than those of us who work in programming) but I get the basics. We have towers and dishes and all sorts of sending and receiving apparatus around here (after all it is a television station) so you can be certain any piece of equipment with which you are unfamiliar does indeed serve a vital purpose.

Super Vision!

When it comes to technology, I’m still kind of an 90s guy trying to catch up with the aughts, but I just saw that the PBS Kids Super Vision App is now available for the Apple Watch and that seems very cool. Super Vision is a free app that allows parents a real-time engagement with their child’s media time. I think everyone should understand the value of that.


Super Vision and a host of educational apps are available at PBS Kids.