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  • The Navigators / Pathfinders of the Pacific – Sanford Low and Boyd Estus (1983)

    The Navigators / Pathfinders of the Pacific – Sanford Low and Boyd Estus (1983)

    Navigation on the open ocean has been a grand challenge for Humanity. Vikings used Icelandic feldspar chrystals called sunstones enabling detection of the direction of the sun through polarizing light. Chinese used magnetic compass. Calculation of the longitude was an immense problem. Celestial objects have been used by almost all seafarers globally. Polinesians mastered the star compass technique and carried it to a new level in Human history. “The Navigators” was co-directed by Sam Low and Boyd Estus covering the […]

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  • Domestication as a Signature of Human Nature / One Man and His Dog – BBC (1985)

    Domestication as a Signature of Human Nature / One Man and His Dog – BBC (1985)

    Johnny Wilson and his dogs earned their fame when they won BBC2’s One Man and His Dog competition. Here in this short clip we see a remarkable section from the program that highlights a signature of one of the hallmark characters in Human nature: Domestication. Domestication expanded Human abilities beyond the natural boundaries. Note that domestication in animals almost always starts with selection of “behavior”. Using this unintentional primary cue as a starting point Humans in different parts of the […]

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  • Welcome to the Anthropocene – a Film About the State of the Planet – UN Rio+20 Summit (2012)

    Welcome to the Anthropocene – a Film About the State of the Planet – UN Rio+20 Summit (2012)

    Due to Human activities our planet has now reported to have entered into a “no analog state”. This means our planet has never experienced fast changing present-day conditions in its geological and evolutionary history. The closest geological event to what is happening now is known as (PETM) Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum. PETM took place 56 million years ago. Changes happening now is way too fast, much faster than those in PETM. We are indeed in a no analog state in ecological […]

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  • Great Moments in Science with Dr Karl – Karl Kruszelnicki – Royal Institution (2015)

    Great Moments in Science with Dr Karl – Karl Kruszelnicki – Royal Institution (2015)

    Dr. Karl Kruszelnicki is an Australian science communicator with an amazing talent for concatenating subjects with a free-associative style. Just watch his whirlwind lecture full of interesting and eccentric facts and learn…

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  • Kon-Tiki Expedition – A Test of a Hypothesis for Human Gene Flow (1950)

    Kon-Tiki Expedition – A Test of a Hypothesis for Human Gene Flow (1950)

    Kon-Tiki was a legendary expedition that was carried out in 1947 by Norvegian anthropologist Thor Heyerdahl. The expedition tested a hypothesis whether Pacific Islands could have been colonized from Americas and thus wanted to demonstrate that waterways were not barriers but means of transportation and gene flow for human populations. Peopling of the Pacific is a fascinating story. The Polynesians were without question the greatest open ocean voyagers in the human history. They built double-hulled canoes and traveled over the […]

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  • Learning to Live on the Moon – PBS

    Learning to Live on the Moon – PBS

    Energy flows, nutrients cycle. This is how we can define working principles of an ecosystem in a nutshell. Our planet has a very complex land-air-water interaction and we are only beginning to understand the behavior of these systems by simplifying them in enclosed systems such as Landscape Evolution Laboratory (LEO). Due to its proximity, the Moon appears to be the most convenient celestial body to colonize. The Moon is so close that it can even occasionally get shielded by the […]

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  • City Farms – KQED/QUEST (2013)

    City Farms – KQED/QUEST (2013)

    On the forefront of Good Food Revolution Will Allen of Milwaukee demonstrates a working Urban Farm. He defines his effort as establishing oasis in a “food desert”. The program prepared by QUEST gives a brief biographical sketch and highlights from the project. Following a significant career in basketball, Allen decided to go back to farming. In 2008 he was granted a prestigious MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant for his influential contributions to the urban agricultural practices. “The Great Migration transformed the […]

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  • Kars Ardahan Documentary – Alkım Ün (2007)

    Kars Ardahan Documentary – Alkım Ün (2007)

    Director of the KarsArdahan documentary is an emerging Turkish documentarist Alkım Ün. In 2009 he received an award in Boston Turkish Film Festival with this production. Alkım Ün has a degree in biology education and has a particular talent in “reading the landscape” with the eyes of a biologist. Just before the project he had made lengthy observations on wildlife of the region. Kars – Ardahan Plateau is a biologically and geologically distinct region of Turkey. It sits between two […]

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  • 48 Cantones: The Mayan Forest – Thomas & Julian Moll-Rocek (2014)

    48 Cantones: The Mayan Forest – Thomas & Julian Moll-Rocek (2014)

    In their documentary, Thomas & Julian Moll-Rocek explore the Mayan Cosmovision. For Meso-Americans this is a worldview that integrates the structure of space and rhythms of time into a unified whole. In Guatemala’s western mountains, in the state of Totonicapán, a large community forest has prospered for centuries adjacent to densely populated valleys. The Mayan forest cover the hills and the mountain ridge. The management of local resources by the Mayan community provides a counter-argument for the ‘tragedy of the […]

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  • What’s Really Warming Up Our Planet? NASA – SVS (2015)

    What’s Really Warming Up Our Planet? NASA – SVS (2015)

    NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio (SVS) produced yet another visual to show how industrial and natural factors have been contributing to the global warming. These factors are wobbling of Earth’s axis, solar activity, volcanoes, land use, ozone pollution, aerosol pollution, greenhouse gases and their combined effects. The case is rather clear. Combined effects of man made factors follow the trajectory of warming closely. Since 1880 our planet warmed 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit and continues to increase. The atmospheric carbon concentration has passed […]

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  • If a Tree Falls: The Mozambican Forest at Risk – Mike & Sam Goldwater (2010)

    If a Tree Falls: The Mozambican Forest at Risk – Mike & Sam Goldwater (2010)

    “If a Tree Falls: The Mozambican forest at risk” is a documentary film produced and directed by Mike and Sam Goldwater. The project was commissioned by IIED – the International Institute for Environment and Development exploring the validity and application of the United Nations Collaborative Program on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries abbreviated as REDD. The documentary was shot in the Northern Mozambican province of Nampula. The film portrays an example for the tragedy of […]

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  • Popped Secret: The Mysterious Origin of Corn – Nathan Dappen & Neil Losin – HHMI (2015)

    Popped Secret: The Mysterious Origin of Corn – Nathan Dappen & Neil Losin – HHMI (2015)

    Domestication of plants and animals is a key transformation in recent Human evolutionary history leading to sedentary farming societies. Domestication of Maize particularly followed a different trajectory from the agricultural crops of the old world. This HHMI documentary tells how the ancestral wild grass called Teosinte was domesticated to evolve into Maize. In the old world, most domesticated grasses had a surprisingly similar “first step” that paved the way towards agriculture. In old world grasses including rice, wheat, barley and […]

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  • Landscape Evolution Observatory (LEO) – Biosphere 2

    Landscape Evolution Observatory (LEO) – Biosphere 2

    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better. -Samuel Beckett- Biosphere 2 started as quite an ambitious challenge. It crammed five biomes into 3 acres of sealed facility and tried to create a mesocosm experiment. It was a “ship-in-a-bottle” style miniaturization of ecosystems; a tiny little man-made Hawaii in the Arizona desert (Hawaii is the only place on our planet where all biomes of the world, excepting Arctic Tundra exist). Biomes of the Biosphere 2 were […]

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  • Grass: A Nation’s Battle for Life (1924)

    Grass: A Nation’s Battle for Life (1924)

    Filmed on location between Turkey and Iran, Grass is an amazing first ethnographical account of nomadic Bakhtiyari people. The subjects of this film later also were revisited by landmark documentaries like the “Harvest of the Seasons” episode of the Charles Bronowski’s Ascent of Man series in 1973. Similarly, Akira Kurosawa’s 1975 film Dersu Uzala, centered around an aboriginal Nanai tribesman and Werner Herzog’s Happy People (2013) are productions in this tradition. The film is contemporary to Robert Flaherty’s Flaherty’s Nanook […]

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  • A Tribute to Jacques-Yves Cousteau: Cries from the Deep (1981)

    A Tribute to Jacques-Yves Cousteau: Cries from the Deep (1981)

    Ever since the publication of his first book titled “The Silent World” in 1953 Jacques Yves Cousteau has generated multiple waves of inspiration worldwide. A documentary produced under the same title won the prestigious Palm d’Or award at Cannes Film Festival in 1956. This is a rare achievement among nature documentaries. Cousteau’s second big hit arrived in 1965 with another production titled World Without Sun documenting activities of six crew members living in Continental Shelf Station II at 10m depth […]

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