BEN FRANKLIN’S BONES/BIG BANG MACHINE/FORGOTTEN PLAGUE, THE/PENGUIN POST OFFICE/WORDWORLD: BIRTHDAY PARTY

“Big Bang Machine” is a look at CERN’s efforts to give your religious relatives enough fodder for several Holiday discussions. Who are we kidding” Scientific developments for those kinds are on their radar in the same way as gender politics. It only exists when it annoys them. The documentary is a quick jaunt through the hunt for the Higgs Boson particle. It’s a puff piece for the Hadron Collider, but it shows how close we are to unlocking the mysteries of the Universe.

“Ben Franklin’s Bones” is a documentary that speculates whether or not Ben Franklin murdered a ton of people. While it’s a surface level documentary about uncovering skeletal bones under Franklin’s former residence, the documentary doesn’t get much time to spread out past there. While the documentary clocks at an hour, the run time is spent digging deep into the matter. The A/V Quality is typical for past PBS documentaries.

 

Release Date: 3/17/2015

“Penguin Post Office” is a documentary about eco tourism. I guess that you can call it that. The British set up an observation area to monitor these Gentoo Penguins, but they also allow tourists to view them and purchase postcards. The concept is weird, but the hour long documentary manages to help sell the program to me. It’s the least of the recent documentary that I checked out, but it works.

“The Forgotten Plague” is a brief look at the history of tuberculosis. People tend to forget that it was the cause of death for 1/7th of the world’s historical population. By that, I mean that 1 out of 7 people that ever lived has died from TB. America got hit hard by the diseases due to cramped urban living conditions and our big push to spread the disease on our rapidly upgrading transportation infrastructure. It would be decades before real measures were taken to prevent spreading the disease and other means of disinfection. This documentary struggles to portray why TB was so important to the scope of human history.

Wordworld returns with the “Birthday Party” compilation. The shorts are fun and rather new to me. My daughter has been sticking to BabyFirst TV more than PBS recently. However, this is the kind of show that seems to be winning her back. While the program skews short with only five shows clocking in at an hour, it’s not like there is a ton of repeat value. Still, it teaches reading fundamentals to really young kids. I like that.

Release Date for all Titles: 03/17/2015

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