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NOVA Season 6 Episodes

19 Episodes 1979 - 1979

Episode 1

Black Tide

Thu, Jan 4, 1979 60 mins

Studying the oil spill created by the Liberian-flag supertanker Amoco Cadiz, which went aground off Brittany in March 1978. Examined are the cleanup efforts along the shoreline; and the effects of the spill on wildlife, the environment, and the tourist and fishing industries. Also: a look at tanker safety and methods being tested to contain spills.

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Episode 2

The Long Walk of Fred Young

Thu, Jan 11, 1979 60 mins

A profile of Fred Young, a Navajo-born nuclear physicist who finds himself between two cultures. He discusses his estrangement from his cultural background, his uneasiness in white society and his career.

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Episode 3

A World of Difference

Thu, Jan 18, 1979 60 mins

Examining the renowned---and controversial---behaviorist B.F. Skinner, who believes that "environments control people." Skinner is seen on a visit to a cooperative in rural Virginia. Written and directed by Veronica Young; Jean Richards narrates.

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Episode 4

Cashing in on the Ocean

Thu, Feb 1, 1979 60 mins

Exploring how multinational mining groups are vying for manganese nodules on the floor of the Pacific Ocean. The major obstacle is a 1970 UN declaration that says no mining claims can be staked in international waters. Also: a look at ships being developed to retrieve the nodules, and scientists' efforts to explain how they were formed.

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Episode 5

Patterns From the Past

Thu, Feb 8, 1979 60 mins

Examining the lifestyles of the Q'eros Indians, who have lived unchanged in the Peruvian Andes for 3000 years. Their primitive means of constructing shelter, raising crops and weaving clothing are observed. Also: death and harvest rituals are shown. Richard Provost is the narrator.

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Episode 6

Invisible Flame

Thu, Feb 22, 1979 60 mins

"The Invisible Flame" examines the feasibility of hydrogen as a major energy source. Researchers discuss its potential as a pollution-free fuel; and show models of hydrogen-powered planes and trains, and prototypes of cars that can use hydrogen or gasoline.

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Episode 7

The End of the Rainbow

Thu, Mar 1, 1979 60 mins

"The End of the Rainbow" examines attempts to harness nuclear fusion. Included: the use of magnetic fields, and the testing of lasers.

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Episode 8

The Beersheva Experiment

Thu, Mar 8, 1979 60 mins

"The Beersheva Experiment" focuses on an Israeli medical school that's trying to increase the number of general practitioners by emphasizing greater contact with patients during the learning process. Students at Ben-Gurion University are seen visiting a nursing home and a maternity ward.

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Episode 9


Thu, Mar 15, 1979 60 mins

Archival film and stills make up a portrait of Albert Einstein, the German-born physicist whose 1905 and 1916 papers on relativity made him a scientific and international celebrity. He is seen traveling in Europe and the U.S. and speaking on anti-Semitism, atomic energy, civil rights and the arms race. Richard Kiley narrates the program.

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Episode 10

The Keys of Paradise

Thu, Mar 29, 1979 60 mins

"The Keys of Paradise" reports on enkephalins, substances produced in the brain that may someday be used to treat pain, depression and schizophrenia. Also: a look at the psychological aspects of pain, and speculation on potential connections between enkephalins and sexual pleasure.

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Episode 11

A Plague on Our Children

Tue, Oct 2, 1979 120 mins

Jason Robards narrates a probe of the controversy surrounding the use and disposal of toxic chemicals. This report focuses on dioxins and PCBs, substances currently banned in the U.S. Included: interviews with scientists and people exposed to the chemicals.

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Episode 12

Life on a Silken Thread

Tue, Oct 9, 1979 60 mins

A report on spiders uses time-lapse, slow-motion and microscopic photography to observe the arachnids. Included is a look at some of the more than 35,000 species, such as the poisonous black widow, the jumping spider and the spitting spider. Also examined are intricate and varied webs.

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Episode 13

Sweet Solution

Tue, Oct 16, 1979 60 mins

Sugar is "The Sweet Solution" to some energy problems, according to this report. Included are examinations of gasohol, a mixture of gasoline and alcohol fermented from sugar; the demand for sugar in developing countries; sugar-related health problems; and sugar substitutes.

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Episode 14

Race for the Gold

Tue, Oct 30, 1979 60 mins

How training and technology prime Olympic athletes. In East Germany, the women's swimming team is seen during a scientifically organized and controlled practice. In the U.S., computers are used to analyze marathoner Bill Rodgers' physique and running style and discus thrower Mac Wilkins' technique. Also: the effects of anabolic steroids on athletic performance.

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Episode 15

All Part of the Game

Tue, Nov 6, 1979 60 mins

Surveying sports injuries and their treatment. Profiled: pitcher Tommy John and hockey player Bobby Orr. The report also examines injuries among children and high-school football players; the importance of proper running shoes; and tests that may "predict" sports-related injuries. Hal Douglas is the program narrator.

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Episode 16

India: Machinery of Hope

Tue, Nov 20, 1979 60 mins

"India: Machinery of Hope" examines the negative impact of industrialization on Indian society and efforts to remedy the problem. Included: a look at businesses building factories that favor humanpower over automation; a visit to a sugar plant; an interview with former Prime Minister Moraji Desai. Renee Poussaint narrates the program.

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Episode 17

The Bridge That Spanned the World

Tue, Dec 4, 1979 60 mins

"The Bridge That Spanned the World" traces the erection of England's 200-year-old Iron Bridge, the first all-iron span. The report also examines the bridge's technology, including innovations at the Coalbrookdale foundry in the 18th century.

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Episode 18

Termites to Telescopes

Tue, Dec 11, 1979 60 mins

MIT physicist Philip Morrison comments on Jacob Bronowski's theory that animals adapt to their environments while humans shape environments to suit themselves, in an edited version of a May 1979 lecture honoring the late British scientist.

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Episode 19

Blindness: Five Points of View

Tue, Dec 18, 1979 90 mins

"Blindness: Five Points of View" profiles people faced with loss of their eyesight. Included: a librarian with an incurable disorder called rod-and-cone dystrophy; a diabetic undergoing surgery for a blood-clouded vitreous humor; and two glaucoma victims. Katherine Helmond is the program narrator.

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