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Arthur takes on the autism spectrum

Marc Brown's Arthur series about a curious aardvark started with the bedtime stories he made up for his own children. Each one of the Arthur books contains Easter Eggs in the form of the author's children's names.

Hugely popular, the series of books spawned an animated show on PBS. In the 13th season of the show (beginning April 5th), Arthur and his pals will make a new friend, Carl. Carl has Asperger's. Still not sure what that is? That's okay, let Brain explain it for you.
posted by misha on Mar 15, 2010 - 155 comments

Contact is the secret, is the moment, when everything happens. Contact....

From 1980 - 1988, a science education series called 3-2-1 Contact ran on PBS. Produced by Children's Television Workshop, the series was geared toward an older audience than other popular CTW offerings Sesame Street and The Electric Company, and focused on teaching kids about science, math and the world around them. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jan 25, 2010 - 79 comments

Trans-Siberian Railway

Trans-Siberian Rail Journeys...follows the route of the Trans-Siberian Railroad which connects the newly opened regions of Russia, China and Mongolia. The seven-day train trip begins in Moscow and ends in Bejing. Also includes Russian archival footage that traces the 25 years (1891-1916) that it took to build the railroad. (PBS, 1996, 2 hours)
posted by vronsky on Jan 19, 2010 - 12 comments

'Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free

If you're of a certain age, you might've seen Simple Gifts: 6 Heartwarming Holiday Stories on PBS in the late 70s or early 80s. Maybe you enjoyed it as much as I did, or maybe you still will.

Prologue, by Maurice Sendak.
1. A Memory of Christmas part one, part two
2. Lost And Found
3. Excerpted from Orlando, The Great Frost part one and part two
4. My Christmas, as told by a young Teddy Roosevelt
5. December 25th, 1914 (You might otherwise know this event from the video for Paul McCartney's "The Pipes of Peace.")
6. No Room At The Inn part one, part two
posted by kimota on Dec 24, 2009 - 4 comments

New South China Mall

An eccentric Chinese entrepreneur built the world's second largest shopping mall in a rural area with no airport and no freeway. Today, that mall stands almost completely empty. [more inside]
posted by shii on Dec 22, 2009 - 43 comments

"We know what happened because he said 'yes'"

Last week on Bill Moyers Journal LBJ tapes were presented detailing Lyndon Johnson's decision to escalate American involvement in Vietnam. Moyers connected these tapes with the current U.S. administration's quest for a solution in the Afghan War. [more inside]
posted by IvoShandor on Nov 27, 2009 - 88 comments

Happy Birthday, Big Bird!

As you may have noticed from Google this morning, today is the 40th Anniversary of Sesame Street! New seasons are in production including the newest muppet, Abby Cadaby, but today is a day for our old friends. Videos a plenty to fuel your nostalgia.
posted by grapefruitmoon on Nov 4, 2009 - 72 comments

"I knew there was an element of danger, but the job had to be done."

Inside Chernobyl Sarcophagus (1996). Deep inside the sarcophagus, a remarkable group of Soviet physicists is at work in levels of radiation that would be considered almost suicidal in the West. [more inside]
posted by Monsters on Oct 4, 2009 - 42 comments

Get your Saturday morning on

Saturday morning cartoons were once a staple of American television, but by the year 2000 they had all but disappeared. Of course, the Internet never forgets. Case in point: Cartoon Network Video -- a free, searchable, ad-supported service that provides hundreds of full-length episodes of classic shows like Dexter's Laboratory, Cow and Chicken, Courage the Cowardly Dog, Johnny Bravo, Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, and The Powerpuff Girls, as well as current offerings and scads of shorter material. Too recent for you? Then give Kids WB Video a whirl -- it does the same thing with the same interface, but for older programs like Looney Tunes, Tom and Jerry, The Flintstones, The Jetsons, The Smurfs, Scooby-Doo, Thundercats, and the original Space Ghost. If you're in the mood to learn (and don't mind some live-action), PBS Kids Video has educational fare such as Arthur, Wishbone, and Zoom. And don't forget about Sesame Street, The Electric Company, Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood, The Magic Schoolbus and Schoolhouse Rock! Now if only we had some Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs...
posted by Rhaomi on Sep 22, 2009 - 160 comments

But you don't have to take my word for it.

Whether you grew up checking out books like Louis the Fish and If You Give a Mouse a Cookie from the library every week, or you just know Steve Horlick's iconic theme song, you're probably familiar with Reading Rainbow, which ends its 26-year run today. [more inside]
posted by uncleozzy on Aug 28, 2009 - 67 comments

The politics of healthcare reform

Bill Moyers' discussion with two expert analysts of health care, Trudy Lieberman, director of the health and medical reporting program at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, and Marcia Angell, senior lecturer in social medicine at Harvard Medical School and former editor in chief of the New England Journal of Medicine.
posted by semmi on Jul 25, 2009 - 100 comments

One hundred and one Muppets

How well do you know your friends from Sesame Street? Scroll over this illustration of 101 Muppets to find out their names, a brief bio, and the season in which they appeared. Slimey is still my favorite.
posted by kimdog on Jul 14, 2009 - 49 comments

You can still turn this back into a happy little Meta

Bob Ross Streaming live. [more inside]
posted by kathrineg on Jul 6, 2009 - 34 comments

Many Left Uncounted in Nation's Official Jobless Rate

Paul Solman examines how the number of jobless people who fall outside of official unemployment counts (video) offer a different picture of the nation's economic recovery. Transcript here. [more inside]
posted by gman on Jul 3, 2009 - 41 comments

A chicken in every post

The Natural History of the Chicken which recently aired on PBS is now available in 6 parts on youtube.. 1/6 [more inside]
posted by acro on Jun 22, 2009 - 18 comments

Frontline on the frontline.

Children of the Taliban. [more inside]
posted by gman on May 17, 2009 - 38 comments

At last, the present is getting Soul!

Soul! New York City PBS affiliate WNET have digitized 9 episodes of Soul!, a early 1970's live music program, providing a groovy video interface with chapters to break down each hour long episode. [more inside]
posted by myopicman on Apr 23, 2009 - 20 comments

PBS Video on demand

To celebrate its 40th birthday, PBS has loaded - and continues to load - tons of content into its new, slick, Coverflow-ish on-demand site. Full episodes of American Experience, American Masters, Frontline, Great Performances, Masterpiece Theater, Nature, Nova, the NewsHour and a bunch more are now online.
posted by jbickers on Apr 22, 2009 - 44 comments

Voices and Visions

Voices and Visions explores -- through interviews, archival footage, and readings -- the lives and works of some of America’s greatest poets. Newsweek called the series "the most ambitious, most expensive and most accomplished series of films ever made about American poetry." Elizabeth Bishop 1::2::3 l T.S. Eliot 1::2::3::4 l Robert Frost 1::2::3 l Wallace Stevens 1::2 l William Carlos Williams 1::2 l Ezra Pound 1 l Langston Hughes 1::2 l Marianne Moore 1::2 l home
posted by vronsky on Apr 7, 2009 - 8 comments

Their names are WHAT and WHY and WHEN/and HOW and WHERE and WHO.

Read all about it! Discover all the news! Read all about it! Track down all the clues!
With interesting people there's a mystery to be solved! An adventure is unfolding, so why not get involved? Come on and
READ ALL ABOUT IT.
Young Chris is left an old coach house by his missing uncle. As he and his two friends fuddle with the lock, a strange figure watches. The kids do not yet know the building is the entrance to a mystery that spans time and space! Aided by Otto the IBM Selectric robot typewriter and Theta the spooky as hell talking viewscreen, they will find that the concerns of an alien tyrant reach into the government of their own town. (24 of 40 15-minute episodes, including the entire first season, of this early-80s TV Ontario-produced "educational" show are on YouTube.) [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Apr 5, 2009 - 20 comments

Rat Att-att-att-attack! (You oughtta know by now...)

"Once every 48 years, forests of the bamboo known as Melocanna baccifera go into exuberant flower in parts of northeast India [a process called Mautam]. And then, like clockwork, the event is invariably followed by a plague of black rats that spring from nowhere to spread destruction and famine in their wake. For the first time on film, NOVA and National Geographic capture this massive rat population explosion in the kind of vivid detail not possible in 1959, when the last invasion occurred." Airing tonight at 8PM on your local PBS station, or catch it online here beginning tomorrow.
posted by billysumday on Feb 24, 2009 - 47 comments

Words Are Made of Letter People

The Letter People started as a collection of vaguely trippy drawings by illustrator Elizabeth Callen in the early 70s, but viewers of Midwestern PBS in the 70s and 80s might have learned to read from the Letter People puppet show produced by PBS station KETC in St. Louis. Set in the black void of "Letter People Land", the show allowed each character to introduce him or herself with a song, from the laid back, Carole King vibe in Miss A's song, to the bizarre sound collage of Mr. X (audio with fan-made video). And of course cashing in on the nostalgia craze, the new and improved letter people without references to junk food or the pesky marital status of the vowels. [more inside]
posted by Thin Lizzy on Feb 21, 2009 - 34 comments

The Beginning Of The End.

Frontline: Inside The Meltdown. Synopsis here. [more inside]
posted by gman on Feb 20, 2009 - 47 comments

PBS: Arthur

Despite being a kid's show on PBS, Marc Brown's Arthur series is still the favorite of many older viewers for its elaborate parodies and references to things like the Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Law and Order, Harry Potter, and even South Park.

Wicho262 is busy posting episodes on Youtube, while some misguided fans attempt to create an Arthur of their own...
posted by mmmleaf on Feb 15, 2009 - 17 comments

it's good to be a banksta

Simon Johnson on Bill Moyers [1] (and, prolifically, making the public media rounds on npr [2]) tackling the bailout of the American Oligarchs, a.k.a. banksters... [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Feb 14, 2009 - 16 comments

Can you say Hero? The Life and Times of Mr. Fred Rogers

Can you say Hero? The Life and Times of Mr. Fred Rogers One of the most influential people ever to grace television, Mr. Rogers was a neighbor to millions of children across the US. His legacy has left a long lasting impression on the fabric of society. With today's children being force fed Hanna Montana, and Joey 101, wouldn't it be nice if we could go to the kingdom of make believe, just one more time?
posted by Heliochrome85 on Feb 11, 2009 - 57 comments

India

The Story of India : PBS HD
posted by vronsky on Jan 12, 2009 - 28 comments

Great Chefs, Great Cities

"Great Chefs is the oldest cooking/travel series on television and cable, and among the largest. The programs are seen around the world, and now they're available to you here." 80 videos, 3 chefs/recipes per episode. Ballottine of Sole Sauce Emeraude -- Chef Andre Soltner, Lutece l Corn Flan w/Smoked Salmon -- Chef David Burke, Park Avenue Cafe l Sweet and Sour Quail Peruvian Style -- Chef Stan Frankenthaler, East Coast Grill. (recipes from the entire series available for pdf download here)
posted by vronsky on Jan 6, 2009 - 14 comments

Confused about the cosmos? Can't tell a planet from a star? Then give us just five minutes, and we'll show you what they are.

"Some people hustle pool; some people hustle cars. Then there's that man you've heard about, the one who hustles stars!" Greetings, greetings, fellow stargazers! Looking toward your computer screen today, you'll find Jack Horkheimer: Star Gazer, a five-minute show that has been in weekly production for over thirty years, airing in-betweensies on many PBS stations. Contrary to the cheeky bio on Jack's website, it wasn't always easy for Jack to "keep looking up!" This 9/19/1982 Miami Herald article reveals that he grew up as a sickly boy, eventually meandering to Florida to stumble into his avocation and vocation as Director of the Miami Space Transit Planetarium, only to watch his life's work almost crumble due to a PR nightmare. Since then, however, things have been much better: Star Gazer (originally called Star Hustler, then changed in 1997 due to internet search engines leading people to Hustler Magazine's website) has been nationally syndicated since 1985 (and internationally since 1989), chalking up over 1500 episodes. A book of his monthly cartoons has been published. The Astronomical League sponsors The Jack Horkheimer Award for Exceptional Service by a Young Astronomer. (2008's winner.) So whether you find Jack avuncular or creepy, Jack Horkheimer is, to many, the face of popular backyard astronomy. [more inside]
posted by not_on_display on Dec 16, 2008 - 37 comments

P.O.V. - Inheritance

Imagine watching Schindler's List and knowing the sadistic Nazi camp commandant played by Ralph Fiennes was your father. Inheritance is the story of Monika Hertwig, the daughter of mass murderer Amon Goeth. Hertwig has spent her life in the shadow of her father's sins, trying to come to terms with her "inheritance." She seeks out Helen Jonas-Rosenzweig, who was enslaved by Goeth and who is one of the few living eyewitnesses to his unspeakable brutality.

Trailer. | PBS P.O.V. - Inheritance home page. | Interview with the filmmaker. | Watch the full film online. (December 11, 2008 - January 4, 2009.)
posted by Fuzzy Skinner on Dec 10, 2008 - 14 comments

Hobo Matters

There had been hobos in the United States since there had been trains and liquor. Which is to say, always. [Semi-SLYT] [more inside]
posted by jckll on Nov 6, 2008 - 25 comments

Sharpen your pencils!

Mark Kistler has spent over two decades inspiring kids to pick up their pencils and draw. If you're a child of the 80s, you'll remember him as Commander Mark, host of The Secret City Adventures on PBS—some episodes of which are conveniently archived on YouTube for your nostalgic viewing pleasure. [more inside]
posted by greenie2600 on Oct 26, 2008 - 15 comments

Ghostwriter. What a trip.

He's a ghost, and he writes to us: GhostWriter. In 1992, PBS launched a new TV show designed to teach 7-to-10 year-olds to love reading and writing. The show initially featured a team of 5 characters (Rob joined the team a few episodes later, and by the end there were a few additional characters) in Brooklyn, NY solving mysteries. It had cameos by Julia Stiles, Spike Lee, and Samuel L. Jackson and one of the characters even had her own music video. So what happened to it? Well, it's available on VHS, but has not been released on DVD. Don't worry! There's an online petition!
posted by lunit on Oct 21, 2008 - 41 comments

Decisions, decisions...

The Choice 2008 is the newest report from PBS's Frontline. It examines the backgrounds, both personal and political, of John McCain and Barack Obama. You can also watch the entire two-hour show on YouTube.
posted by aheckler on Oct 21, 2008 - 34 comments

"...market fundamentalism for the last 25 or so years. And now that world is collapsing... "

Bill Moyers interviews George Soros on the financial crisis. Soros discusses market fundamentalism and the causes of the current crisis, as well as what can be done, and how this meltdown will change the global economy. (via The Big Picture) [more inside]
posted by [expletive deleted] on Oct 11, 2008 - 44 comments

Art In The Twenty-First Century

Art:21 - art in the twenty-first century is the only series on television to focus exclusively on contemporary visual art and artists in the United States, and it uses the medium of television to provide an experience of the visual arts that goes far beyond a gallery visit. Fascinating and intimate footage allows the viewer to observe the artists at work, watch their process as they transform inspiration into art, and hear their thoughts as they grapple with the physical and visual challenges of achieving their artistic visions. 72 featured artists: 300+ video clips: youtube page: examples - Janine Antoni: Eleanor Antin: Alfredo Jaar: Ann Hamilton: Sally Mann: Matthew Barney: Matthew Ritchie
posted by vronsky on Sep 29, 2008 - 13 comments

This one's for the history nerds

The Brothers Warner premiering nationally via PBS this week. From Rin Tin Tin to Eastwood, the story of the original Hollywood independent filmmakers.
posted by ms.jones on Sep 23, 2008 - 6 comments

Give me your coded, your rfid tagged, your addressed masses

As simple as a typo. Your vote in the 2008 U.S. election won't [2:00-9:00] count if voter caging parties can help it. Vote caging works basically like this - (1) Send do-not-forward mail to the address listed on your registration. (2) If it comes back return to sender, your registration is challenged and can be thrown out without notice. "A challenged voter will likely cast a provisional ballot....Nearly a third of all 1.6 million provisional ballots cast in 2004 were thrown out." Previously (somewhat). [more inside]
posted by cashman on Sep 8, 2008 - 82 comments

Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood not included in weekday program services this fall

After 40 years of national broadcasts, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood will be removed from PBS' weekday program service this fall. The current situation is that PBS beams the show to member stations as part of its children's programming block Monday through Friday. Most (63%) stations air it. Starting in the fall, PBS stations won't receive the show daily but rather one episode per week will be sent. This summer, PBS stations that still want to play the the show during the week will have an opportunity to receive a season's worth of episodes to stockpile. But receiving and scheduling those episodes requires effort. [more inside]
posted by k8t on Jul 28, 2008 - 33 comments

PBS falls on hard times

'Llectuals. The fresh new PBS show about honor students learning love at Heidegger High School.
posted by plexi on Jul 27, 2008 - 48 comments

Nutrition's his mission, good health's his goal

Remember John Burstein? Since 1975, he has been educating children (including many of us!) about the human body and the importance of health and nutrition in a rather unique way. Like many superheroes before him, he dons a form-fitting suit and transforms into a shocking alter ego... the living anatomical reference, Slim Goodbody! [more inside]
posted by Mael Oui on Jul 6, 2008 - 30 comments

Health Inequalities

It's like gunning the engine of a car. The recent documentary Unnatural Causes examines the health consequences societal inequalities have on people. The PBS series has a couple dozen embeddable video clips exploring atomic testing, Native American Health, Latino Health and more. One clip examines why when African women come to the U.S., within one generation, their daughters suffer higher rates of premature babies and poorer birth outcomes. One group is putting hundreds of millions of dollars into alleviating health disparities in 14 communities across the country. [more inside]
posted by cashman on Jun 9, 2008 - 11 comments

Because It Is There

PBS's Frontline has just released Storm Over Everest, a new report that chronicles the 1996 Everest disaster. The story was most notably told by Jon Krakauer in his award-winning book Into Thin Air, which ignited a flurry of letters (pun definitely intended) about the roles of guides and Sherpas on the mountain.
posted by aheckler on May 14, 2008 - 17 comments

Anchors Aweigh

"Carrier is not the story of a ship, it’s the story of shipmates." The 10-part documentary series, filmed by 17 filmmakers, focuses on eighteen people during a six-month deployment overseas on the aircraft carrier, the USS Nimitz. The series premieres tonight on PBS. Opening of Episode One [6:02] || Preview of The Series [26:47]. Crew interviews and other clips. [more inside]
posted by ericb on Apr 27, 2008 - 62 comments

Does the Nucleon come in Cherenkov blue?

Car of the Future, NOVA's latest episode, is fully online and includes a slew of extras including CC-licensed content, a brief historical overview of "innovative" automobiles, Amory Lovins flogging his Hypercar concept, the Car Talk guys making nuisances of themselves, and much more. (It's no Design for Dreaming, but really, what could be?)
posted by cog_nate on Apr 24, 2008 - 21 comments

Sick Around the World

Sick Around the World, the newest documentary piece produced by PBS's Frontline asks: "Can the U.S. learn anything from the rest of the world about how to run a health care system?" Having previously shared a Pulitzer Prize with The New York Times, and produced such quality programs as Bush's War, this should be well worth a mere hour of your time.
posted by aheckler on Apr 15, 2008 - 144 comments

We're friends now!

PBS Frontline explores Growing Up Online. Here's what they learned.
posted by miss lynnster on Jan 31, 2008 - 43 comments

Mubetubafubiltuber

Write ZOOM, Z-double-oh-M, Box three-five-oh, Boston, Mass, OH-two-ONE-three-FOURRRR! [more inside]
posted by not_on_display on Jan 2, 2008 - 57 comments

Sesame Street video archive

Sesame Street video archive from Sesame Workshop itself, searchable and keyword-tagged. It's not quite comprehensive (yet), but includes many Monsterpiece Theatre, Kermit's News Flashes, and Ernie & Bert sketches. [more inside]
posted by cerebus19 on Jan 1, 2008 - 28 comments

WGBH makes historic videos available online

"Open Vault provides online access to unique and historically important content produced by public television station WGBH for individual and classroom learning. The ever-expanding site contains video excerpts, searchable transcripts, a select number of complete interviews for purchase, and resource management tools." (Requires QuickTime) [more inside]
posted by OmieWise on Dec 6, 2007 - 13 comments

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