The first stage in the adventure of human flight began with daring inventors and aeronauts in 18th-century Paris, where a handful of brilliant and colorful pioneers developed all the essential features of today’s hot air and gas balloons. Their exploits fascinated Benjamin Franklin, who was serving in Paris as the American ambassador. To explore this burst of innovation, NOVA re-creates key flights, including the world’s first manned voyage on November 21, 1783. A descendant of the Montgolfier brothers, who invented the hot-air balloon, will join a team to build an accurate replica of the fragile paper and canvas craft using 18th-century tools and materials. NOVA evokes the thrilling and daunting prospect that the balloon pioneers faced as they left Earth for the first time.
Best-selling author Steven Johnson considers how the invention of the mirror gave rise to the Renaissance, how glass lenses allow us to reveal worlds within worlds and how, deep beneath the ocean, glass is essential to communication. He learns about the daring exploits of glassmakers who were forced to work under threat of the death penalty, a physics teacher who liked to fire molten glass from a crossbow and a scientist whose tinkering with a glass lens allowed 600 million people to see a man set foot on the moon. The link between the worlds of art, science, astronomy, disease prevention and global communication starts with the little-known maverick innovators of glass.
Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga team up for a special concert from the stage of Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater in New York City, performing selections from their collaborative classic jazz recording, Cheek to Cheek.
An heirloom watch incites sales, seduction and sorcery at the Paradise. The protagonists find themselves in new roles.
A coach races up to a country house with a hysterical passenger shrieking, “Murder!” What better way to continue Jane Austen’s immortal novel Pride and Prejudice? This delicious homage to Austen, adapted from P.D. James’ clever whodunit, stars Anna Maxwell Martin (“The Bletchley Circle”), Matthew Rhys (“The Americans”), Matthew Goode (“The Good Wife”) and Jenna Coleman (“Doctor Who”). Elizabeth and Darcy never knew marriage would be like this!
In Part One: Six years after the end of Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth and Darcy plan a ball — with fatal consequences. A family enemy takes charge of the case.
ANTIQUES ROADSHOW stops in Jacksonville, Florida, where host Mark L. Walberg and appraiser Arlie Sulka visit Flagler College to look at Louis Comfort Tiffany stained glass windows. Highlights include a NASA “Mercury 7” signed photo, ca. 1960, that was gifted to the guest by her Air Force father-in-law; an 1862 Abraham Lincoln signed document, given to the guest’s great-great-great-uncle by Abraham Lincoln as part of a commission to abolish slavery and is now valued at $50,000 to $75,000; and a Tiffany & Co. gold necklace. ca. 1875, with strong Japanese influences and appraised for $55,000 to $60,000.
Trace three guests’ roots into the heart of slavery, revealing that there is no singular narrative and challenging preconceptions of an era that profoundly shaped our nation’s sense of itself. Hip-hop artist Nas discovers a web of his slave ancestors and their intimate relationship with their slave master; award-winning actress Angela Bassett meets ancestors whose slave family tragedy is rivaled only by a triumphant emancipation story; and presidential advisor Valerie Jarrett goes back in time more than 200 years to meet a formidable line-up of free people of color — all of them of trailblazers.
Hear about the exceptional women — past and present — who have taken the world of business by storm. Told by female business leaders themselves, this is a candid exploration of what it takes to make it and a celebration of the extraordinary individuals who, over the course of 50 years, have proven — on Wall Street, in corporate America or business empires of their own — that a woman’s place is wherever she believes it to be. Some of the featured business leaders include Ursula Burns, the CEO of Xerox and the first African-American woman to head a Fortune 500 company; Sallie Krawcheck, Wall Street powerhouse and current owner of the global networking platform for women, 85 Broads; Cathy Hughes, radio and television personality and the first African-American woman to head a publicly traded corporation; lifestyle mogul and business magnate Martha Stewart; and Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, whose provocative book, Lean In, ignited a national conversation about women, feminism and equality in the workplace.
When World War I began in 1914, the air forces of the opposing nations consisted of handfuls of rickety biplanes from which pilots occasionally took pot shots at one another with rifles. By 1918, the fighter had become an efficient killing machine with a growing strategic impact on the outcome of the war. With the help of aviation buffs dedicated to bringing back classic WWI fighters, NOVA joins the team as they uncover the secrets of some of aviation’s most colorful and deadly early flying machines and explores how their impact played a key role in the nightmare slaughter of the Western Front.
Best-selling author Steven Johnson relates the story of people who take us out of the dark and into the light. Hear about Edison’s light bulb, which he didn’t actually invent, and learn how an 18th-century ship’s skipper discovered a source of illumination by putting a kid inside a whale’s head. See how a French scientist accidentally discovered how to create neon light, leading to a revolution in advertising. Dispelling the myth of the individual “eureka” moment, Johnson reveals that teamwork and collaboration led the way to the most transformative ideas. Whether changing our genetic make-up, altering the world’s sleeping patterns, transforming architecture, taking us into space or triggering one of the great social reforms in American history, the pioneers of light have made themselves indispensable throughout human history.