YEAR: 2018 | LENGTH: 1 part (29 minutes)
DESCRIPTION: Hundreds of thousands of homeowners thought they had been saved when the government took over their mortgages during the financial crisis. But ten years on, the former Northern Rock customers are still trapped on high interest rates and now their mortgages have been taken over by an aggressive private equity fund. Reporter Andy Verity meets the families who say they have been sold out by their own government. – source
YEAR: 2017 | LENGTH: 1 part (53 minutes)
DESCRIPTION: Call somebody a “bird brain,” and you’re not delivering them a compliment. But as NOVA shows, birds turn out to have advanced problem-solving skills that we usually assume are unique to humans. Watch astonishing tests of avian aptitude: parrots that can plan for the future, jackdaws that can “read” human faces, and crows that can solve multi-step puzzles with tools like pebbles, sticks, and hooks. Could these just be clever tricks based on instinct or triggered by subtle cues from their human handlers? To rule out any doubts, NOVA puts feathered Einsteins through their paces and reveals skills that even three- or four-year-old children have a hard time mastering—such as putting off one reward now to get a bigger one later. From this revolution in thinking about our feathered friends, the conclusion seems irresistible that bird brains see the world in ways that aren’t so different from our own. – source
YEAR: 2013 | LENGTH: 1 part (93 minutes)
DESCRIPTION: The film features Closed-circuit television footage from several of the jewel heists attributed to the Pink Panthers, who are credited with over 300 jewel thefts throughout the world. Interspersed throughout the documentary are interviews with various personas such as crime experts as well as anonymous interviews with persons claiming to be members of the Pink Panthers. Smash & Grab also features several segments that follow Mike (Tomislav Tom Benzon), Mr. Green (Daniel Vivian), and Lena (Jasmin Topalusic), fictionalized depictions of members of the Pink Panthers. – source
YEAR: 2018 | LENGTH: 1 part (42 minutes)
DESCRIPTION: There is growing demand in the western world for organic food. But do consumers always get what it says on the label? How can authenticity be verified? Is organic food automatically healthier? Consumers are prepared to pay a significant premium for it. There are currently, however, no reliable tests for distinguishing organic from conventionally produced food. Farmers need to invest a great deal of time, energy and money to qualify as a producer of organic food. There is no proof, however, that organic food actually contains fewer contaminants than conventionally farmed products. There is no such thing as pollution-free food, and there are currently no tests available for reliably distinguishing between organic and non-organic food. That opens doors for lucrative labeling fraud, which in turn explains why there are far more organic eggs on the market at Easter than at any other time of the year. The statistics clearly suggest manipulation, but it is hard to obtain evidence due to the differences between the two production processes appearing to have little effect on the quality of the product. Irish dairy farmers, for instance, are not allowed to label their milk “organic” because the pasture land where their herds spend more than 300 days a year are treated with mineral fertilizers. Because cows are themselves bioreactors, however, the milk they yield contains no trace at all of fertilizer. On average, conventional Irish milk contains more omega 3 fatty acids and antioxidants than organic milk from Germany. The reason is the fodder; German organic farms may use only concentrates and silage as supplementary feed to increase milk output – which impacts negatively on the quality of the milk. This documentary looks at researchers who are studying potential ways of reliably distinguishing between organic and conventionally produced food. And that is no easy task. Nearly every foodstuff requires a specific test. But one thing is certain: organic farming makes a major contribution to human welfare – by helping to mitigate climate change, protect the groundwater, conserve nature and promote animal welfare. – source
YEAR: 2014 | LENGTH: 1 part (47 minutes)
DESCRIPTION: Decreasing costs of materials and tools, and the availability of all kinds of information mean everyone can become a maker, developer or entrepreneur. Is this the start of a new industrial revolution? Rapid technological developments have not only made knowledge available to everyone, but the tools to invent and produce are now at our fingertips too. A new generation of inventors and makers that have taken matters into their own hands and are innovating and producing in attics, sheds and small local laboratories. Will it lead to a democratisation of innovation and fabrication or should we fear what the new makers are up to in their own high-tech laboratories? And what does it mean for our economy? Hobbyists and mechanics always existed, but recently they have it easier than ever. Assisted by the rise of digital manufacturing and the unlimited amount of knowledge accessible through the internet, anyone can now create and develop what was previously reserved for large factories and research laboratories. Large organizations like NASA seek technological innovation at fairs like the Maker Faire, where the growing group of creators showcase what they’ve manufactured at home. And that is increasingly high level. For example, where 3D printing provided especially funny ornaments, Amsterdam designer Joris Laarman has designed a chair that’s easy to print. At Shapeways, you can print everything you want, from plastic to metal and all sorts of new shops and trade have arisen. But digitization does not end up with making things alone: The analysis of genetic material has become so cheap in recent years that Do-It-Yourself’s laboratories arise. Everyone can learn, for example, to manipulate bacteria genetically. What will the world look like when everyone can develop and make physical products without the need for major investments? According to Jeremy Rifkin, author of the book “The Zero Marginal Cost Society”, it will lead to a new economic revolution, in which capitalism, as we know it, will play a much smaller role..- source
YEAR: 2014 | LENGTH: 1 part (94 minutes)
DESCRIPTION: A feature documentary about two filmmakers who set out to interview El Chapo Guzmán, leader of one of the biggest drug cartels in history. Before his capture in 2014, El Chapo had been on the run from the US and Mexican governments for over a decade — and after his July 2015 escape from prison, he’s now on the lam once again.- source
YEAR: 2018 | LENGTH: 1 part (60 minutes)
DESCRIPTION: To find out, Michael Mosley embarks on Britain’s largest ever trial to investigate the placebo effect.
He is heading to Blackpool to gather 117 people suffering from backache – one of the leading causes of chronic pain – before trying to treat them with nothing but fake pills and the power of the mind. One in five people in the town sufferers from chronic back pain, which is far greater than the national average.
Working with experts from the University of Oxford, Michael will discover that the placebo effect is more than just a medical curiosity. The brain is actually capable of producing its own drugs and these can be more powerful than prescription painkillers.
Michael’s volunteers come from all walks of life, but they have all suffered with bad backs for years and feel their conventional medication has failed them. They think they are taking part in the trial of a powerful new painkiller, but their blue and white capsules actually contain nothing but ground up rice.
Can this fake treatment make a real difference? And how will the volunteers react when Michael reveals the truth?
Pictured: Dr Michael Mosley with his volunteers from The Placebo Experiment on the promenade at Blackpool- source
YEAR: 2018 | LENGTH: 1 part (90 minutes)
DESCRIPTION: Anatomist Alice Roberts embarks on an audacious scientific stunt – to rebuild her own body from scratch, editing out errors left behind by evolution; to create the perfect body. With the help of one of the world’s best virtual sculptors, Scott Eaton, and top SFX model maker Sangeet Prabhaker, Alice creates a life-size model of the perfect human body, to be revealed in front of 150 people at London’s Science Museum.
Through natural selection, animals have evolved incredible biological designs, from supersharp senses to superpowered limbs. Alice is on a hunt to find the very best designs the natural world has to offer and use them to fix the flaws in our own human anatomy.
By meeting leading medical and animal experts, Alice finds out what the body’s biggest problems are, and how amazing adaptations in the rest of the animal kingdom could provide inspiration for her perfect body. Using incredible CGI to morph her existing body into new forms, she demonstrates how rethinking our bodies could overcome millennia of natural selection.
Finally, in an epic reveal, Alice unveils the life-sized model of her perfect self in the Science Museum. There, in front of an audience, Alice meets the ‘perfect human’ version of herself for the first time.
Ambitious, audacious and packed with cutting-edge science, Can Science Make Me Perfect? With Alice Roberts challenges everything you thought you knew about the perfect body. – source