Posts Tagged 'PBS'

Science at home: The Pluto Files

by Katie Bowell, Curator of Cultural Interpretation

I suspect that someday, when I’m not yelling at the neighborhood kids to get off my lawn, I’ll gather them ’round and tell them how, when I was their age, Pluto was a planet.

The demotion of Pluto from full planet status in 2006 surprised me, and I will admit to a pang of sadness upon realizing that my mnemonic device of “My Very Excellent Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas” would no longer work (“My Very Educated Mother Just Said Uh-oh, No Pluto?”). However, I didn’t begin to imagine just how much Pluto’s removal from our Solar System roster would upset the public and divide the scientific community.

Tomorrow, March 2nd, PBS premiers The Pluto Files, the inside story to “the rise and fall of America’s favorite planet” based on Neil deGrasse Tyson’s book of the same name. If the program is anything like it’s preview, it should be a funny and interesting look at the little planet that was.

In addition to the program, PBS has released several short videos interviewing major news broadcasters on their opinion of Pluto and Neil deGrasse Tyson. Watch the clip below to hear Brian Williams proclaim that Tyson is not the boss of the Solar System, or him.


The Botany of Desire documentary

by Katie Bowell, Curator of Cultural Interpretation


A new PBS documentary, The Botany of Desire, premiered last night. Based on Michael Pollan’s book of the same name, the documentary follows the history of four domesticated plants: tulips, marijuana, potatoes, and apples, and looks at the ways those plants have “used” humans to help disperse them across the world and outcompete other plants. This incredible story, told from the plants’ points of view, blends history and science to tell tales of plant-people interactions spanning thousands of years. If you didn’t have the chance to watch it on television, have no fear! It’s available for free on the PBS website.

P.S. Read the book, too, it’s excellent!

“We Shall Remain”

by Katie Bowell, Curator of Cultural Interpretation, Fort Collins Museum

Tonight on PBS, the American Experience’s “We Shall Remain” starts at 8pm (Mountain Time). To quote from the PBS website, “We Shall Remain is a groundbreaking mini-series and provocative multi-media project that establishes Native history as an essential part of American history. Five 90-minute documentaries spanning three hundred years tell the story of pivotal moments in U.S. history from the Native American perspective.”

The previews and sneak peaks on the website look fantastic, so check it out. Also, take a look at the “Reel Native” section of the program’s website — the films in this project are some great examples of personal history.

And bonus points if you can see the allusion to another iconic American image in the series’ poster.

March 2023

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