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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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  • Leonardo Da Vinci the Anatomist – Nature Video

    Leonardo Da Vinci the Anatomist – Nature Video

    Leonardo da Vinci transformed natural sciences by his careful observations, experiments and illustrations. He distinguished himself in the harsh world of the Medici ruled 16th Century Florence in the aftermath of the fall of Constantinople. In this video by Nature Magazine, Senior Curator Martin Clayton exlains three of Leonardo’s most intriguing anatomical studies. Today, Leonardo’s drawings kept in solander boxes in the Print Room in the Royal Library at Windsor Castle. A selection of his drawings is on display in […]

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  • Secrets of the Hive – Why Puerto Rico’s Killer Bees Stopped Killing – Smithsonian Institution (2015)

    Secrets of the Hive – Why Puerto Rico’s Killer Bees Stopped Killing – Smithsonian Institution (2015)

    Secrets of the Hive is a Smithsonian Institution documentary directed by Dennis Wells. It focuses on the decline of the honeybees and reviews potential solutions to restore pollination service provided by these important domesticated insects. A major emphasis of the documentary is on the Africanized honeybees. These bees are a result of a failed experiment that started with good intentions in Brazil. Researchers in 1950s wanted to introduce the genetic vigor lost in honeybees due to domestication. Trials to selectively […]

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  • Before Mars – Novo Mundo (Episode I) – National Geographic (2016)

    Before Mars – Novo Mundo (Episode I) – National Geographic (2016)

    A defining feature of Human nature is exploration. We are hard wired with curiosity. It instinctively drives us to wonder what is behind the next hill. On planetary scale the Moon and the Mars are the nearest objects of interest in this endeavor. In this half-dramatized docu-feature film the National Geographic is aiming to inspire explorers that will colonize Mars. The mini-series takes place both in the future and in the present day. Episodes include interviews with influential people in […]

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  • The Antikythera Mechanism: The Two-Thousand-Year-Old Computer – Mike Beckham (2012)

    The Antikythera Mechanism: The Two-Thousand-Year-Old Computer – Mike Beckham (2012)

    Antikythera Mechanism is one of the best demonstrations of human intellect attempting to understand nature systematically. The contraption is most certainly a very complex device. It is an impressively accurate “analog model” of our then earth-centric universe. Science gives us prediction power and Antikythera Mechanism is an excellent example for how astronomical observations can be defined mathematically to reconcile lunar and solar calendars and predict eclipses with hourly accuracy using 27 gear pieces. It uses the Metonic Cyle first implemented […]

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  • Virtual Reconstruction of the Antikythera Mechanism – Michael Wright & Mogi Vicentini (2009)

    Virtual Reconstruction of the Antikythera Mechanism – Michael Wright & Mogi Vicentini (2009)

    Trying to predict future is one of the characteristics of Human nature which ultimately gave us the scientific method. Antikythera Mechanism is one of the best demonstrations of human intellect attempting to understand nature systematically. The contraption is most certainly a very complex device. It is an impressively accurate “analog model” of our then earth-centric universe. The Antikythera Mechanism was built like a clock. Trains of interlocking gearwheels controlled the movements of a minimum of seven pointers perfectly tracking the […]

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  • Voyage of Darwin’s Beagle – Episode 1: One Small Step For Man (2009)

    Voyage of Darwin’s Beagle – Episode 1: One Small Step For Man (2009)

    Beagle: In Darwin’s Wake is a commemoration of 150th anniversary of the publication of Darwin’s book “On The Origin of Species”. Almost 180 years after Charles Darwin’s journey circumnavigating the world, a crew of authors, artists, and scientists follow in his footsteps. Journalist and presenter Lex Runderkamp, biologists Dirk Draulans and Sarah Darwin (who is the great-great-granddaughter of Charles Darwin), the artist Anthony Smith and the writer Redmond O’Hanlon are accompanied by a number of invited guests whose backgrounds are […]

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  • Voyage of Darwin’s Beagle – Episode 2: Low Life on the Ladder of God (2009)

    Voyage of Darwin’s Beagle – Episode 2: Low Life on the Ladder of God (2009)

    When Darwin set foot in Rio de Janerio he witnessed the brutality of slavery. Brazil is a melting pot of genetic diversity. All fossil and genetic evidence points that Africa is the home continent where modern Humans originated about 200 thousand years ago. As Humans spread and colonized new continents genetic diversity eroded gradually proportional to the distance away from Africa. Loss of genetic diversity was because of joint effects of two well understood genetic phenomena known as population bottleneck […]

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  • Voyage of Darwin’s Beagle – Episode 3: The Last Frontier (2009)

    Voyage of Darwin’s Beagle – Episode 3: The Last Frontier (2009)

    Fish are cold blooded animals and this property make them very efficient in terms of biomass accumulation. For this reason ecological trophic levels in aquatic systems can be much higher than terrestrial systems. The documentary film The End of the Line by Charles Clover mentioned in this episode draws attention to the problem of overfishing. About 400 million years ago, the Falkland Islands were part of the supercontinent of Gondwana, located between southern Africa and what is now Queen Maud […]

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  • Voyage of Darwin’s Beagle – Episode 4: The Final Countdown (2009)

    Voyage of Darwin’s Beagle – Episode 4: The Final Countdown (2009)

    “In the wake of Beagle” series brings back the adventure/science mix documentary programs reminiscent of those of Cousteau. Expeditions carried out on a ship and underwater filming was a signature in Cousteau’s filmmaking. This episode prepares the audience for the next episode filmed in the Galapagos Islands. Darwin developed his insight towards evolving species in that volcanic archipelago. Galapagos islands are largely affected by long-term seasonal fluctuations that known as El Nino/La Nina cycle. A few events Darwin witnessed in […]

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  • Voyage of Darwin’s Beagle – Episode 6: Toolbox of Survival (2009)

    Voyage of Darwin’s Beagle – Episode 6: Toolbox of Survival (2009)

    In Australia the arrival of Europeans profoundly effected the biology of the continent through introduction of non-native species that are reproducing and invading at an unprecedented rate. Australian biologists call it “extinction calamity” since the continent has lost one in ten of its native mammals species in the past 200 years. The effects of climate change is also evident with severe droughts and wild fires. A large fraction of Australian vegetation is serotinous that is adapted to disperse their seeds […]

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