Stream Your Education Online at Netflixposted by Mark on July 20th, 2010
Online movie rental pioneer Netflix is shifting its focus more and more to streaming video online through your computer, video game system or other streaming device. But did you know that among the thousands of movies and TV shows available on Netflix are scores of educational options on virtually all of the most popular college majors? Here are some examples. Now, if anyone busts you for “goofing off” on Netflix, you can tell ‘em you’re trying to earn your degree…
From the 1856 discovery of Neanderthal man’s ancient bones in Germany to elaborate hoaxes and theories ahead of their time, this History Channel video examines key breakthroughs in the quest to determine humanity’s origin. For more than 150 years, scientists have sought the missing link, and this documentary chronicles the search fueled by Charles Darwin’s controversial hypothesis, stunning archaeological finds and compelling scientific data.
Peter Weller takes audiences back 5,000 years to meet the world’s first structural engineers — the architects of Egypt’s great pyramids — in this presentation that provides a revealing look at the world’s first superpower. Bringing ancient civilization to life with cutting-edge digital graphics and interviews with Egyptologists, the program examines these freestanding marvels through the eyes of the pharaohs who commanded their construction.
This edition of the series from the A&E Channel gives you an inside look at the homes created by renowned American architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Wright designed many structures throughout the country, but the homes he built for himself are widely considered to be his crowning glory and truly representative of his unique style and vision. This vision and creativity are on display as you tour these magnificent dwellings.
If you really want to see the sculptures in the famed Louvre museum but can’t quite afford the airfare, this interactive tour is a decent substitute. This program explores the most prominent sculptures in detail and talks about the cultural circumstances surrounding their creation. Works include “Slaves of Michelangelo,” “The Horses of Marly,” “The Venus de Milo,” “Bulls of Khorsbad,” “Cupid and Psyche,” “Ramses II” and “Mary Magdalene.”
Renowned astronomer and author Carl Sagan explores the mysteries of the universe in this award-winning series, presenting fascinating and controversial insights into astronomy, biology, religion, evolution and more. With a focus on mankind’s place in the grand scheme, universally speaking, Sagan takes viewers on an educational intergalactic journey through topics such as the Big Bang theory, early civilizations, purported UFO abductions and more.
The stuff of dreams — not just the content, but the circuitry and neurological coding, too — is the subject of this penetrating “Nova” inquiry into the most mystifying of human activities. Researchers are taking a variety of investigative tacks, from “eavesdropping” on sleeping rats to methodical studies of thousands of dreams, in an effort to fill in the blanks of understanding. Their findings give tantalizing glimpses of the mind at rest.
Filmmaker Robert Greenwald delivers a no-holds-barred documentary on Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News cable channel, which has been criticized in certain quarters as running a “race to the bottom” in television news. Featuring interviews with a range of media experts, the film offers an in-depth look at the dangers of burgeoning corporations that take control of the public’s right to know and explores Murdoch’s ever-expanding media empire.
This penetrating documentary from director Billy Corben pulls out all the stops to explore the many dimensions of Miami’s cocaine-trafficking boom of the 1980s, as told by the smugglers, cops and average citizens who were there. The film is an unflinching study of Miami’s most notorious and lethal vice — from how the drug was moved and its financial impact on the city to the havoc and violence that followed in its wake.
German filmmaker Doris Dörrie documents a summer in the life of renowned Zen practitioner and cook Edward Espe Brown as he teaches culinary classes in Zen centers in Austria and California, revealing the role food plays in our bodies and spirits. Informative, provocative and funny, Brown serves up a unique combination of inspiring wisdom and kitchen skills that will raise even the most demanding foodie to new spiritual and gastronomic heights.
Filmmaker Bertrand Normand’s fascinating documentary profiles five outstanding Russian ballerinas from the prestigious Mariinsky Theatre (the renamed Kirov Ballet), following them from grueling rehearsals to flawless performances around the globe. Dancers in the spotlight include gifted 18-year-old Alina Somova, the newest Mariinsky ballerina, along with Svetlana Zakharova, Evguenya Obraztsova, Diana Vishneva and Uliana Lopatkina.
By way of IMAX technology, be transported below the ocean’s surface to an amazing underwater world, as explorers Howard and Michele Hall dive on a coral reef in the pristine waters of the South Pacific. With Jean-Michel Cousteau, deep reef scientist Richard Pyle and Fijian diver Rusi Vulakoro, the team explores and captures on film one of the most beautiful places on Earth…in all its fragile splendor. Liam Neeson provides narration.
What do you do when you’re hundreds of billions of dollars in debt and still counting? That’s what “Frontline” seeks to find out in this episode that explores the impact of the growing national deficit on President Obama’s plans for this country. Enlisting commentary from financial experts and government finance insiders, the program explains why our national debt has soared and offers solutions for reducing it.
Debunking commonly held notions about the rite of passage known as the college experience, this PBS documentary follows 30 students and their teachers along the path of higher education, from admission to graduation, and exposes the disappointment, disorientation and deflation many students feel — in both public and private schools. This revealing study also addresses the quality and readiness of America’s future work force.
You’ll marvel at some of the most impressive engineering feats from around the world with this fascinating Discovery Channel series. Each episode features a major project involving moving massive amounts of earth or erecting enormous structures. Topics include widening the Panama Canal, tunneling under the Alps, building a network of immense floodgates in Venice, constructing a gigantic Danish container ship and rebuilding the Oakland Bay Bridge.
Charles Dickens’s timeless tale of love and ambition is brought to life in this “Masterpiece Theatre” adaptation of Great Expectations. Pip (Ioan Gruffudd) grew up under very difficult circumstances, but strives to become a success as an adult, even if it means betraying those who secretly care for him. He also wants to woo the distant Estella (Justine Waddell) with the help of the eccentric Miss Havisham (Charlotte Rampling), but is she worth it?
Through breathtaking cinematography and personal stories from locals, delve into the people, culture and landscape that make up China, and witness the enormous changes happening in a civilization that dates back more than six millennia. From a rice farmer in a rural village to a construction magnate in Shanghai, viewers will meet a broad cross section of China’s people that will illuminate the richness of modern life in this wondrous country.
As William Tecumseh Sherman memorably said, “War is hell” — no matter what the era. George Kennedy hosts this comprehensive study of U.S. wars that moves chronologically from the 1700s to the 21st century. Using a variety of illustrative techniques — including animated maps, film clips, costumed reenactments and period paintings — together with straightforward narration, the program examines the origins and outcomes of each conflict.
Director Eric Chaikin’s insightful documentary explores the complexities of the U.S. legal system while tracing the journey of six prospective attorneys who are preparing for their fearsome bar exams. Chaikin talks with legal eagles Alan Dershowitz and Mark Lanier to help demystify the judicial process. In addition to high-profile lawyers, the film also features commentary from television’s Nancy Grace and comedian Eddie Griffin, among others.
The search for a vaccine that would eradicate polio was a quest that frustrated the brightest minds in medicine. But in the early 1950s, a young American doctor named Jonas Salk made a revolutionary breakthrough that forever changed the world and ultimately saved millions of lives. Through interviews with both polio victims and scientists, this installment of the History Channel’s “Modern Marvels” series illuminates Salk’s dramatic discovery.
Acclaimed filmmaker Ken Burns celebrates jazz, the “most American art form,” in all of its incarnations over the decades — from its origins in blues and ragtime through its evolution into swing, bebop and fusion. The series follows the growth and development of jazz from the gritty streets of New Orleans to the Lincoln Gardens on Chicago’s Southside, the hallowed place where Louis Armstrong first won fame.
Using cutting-edge computer-generated imagery to recreate prehistoric times, this Emmy-winning miniseries was originally shown on the BBC. Combining science, art and a goodly amount of imagination, the series, narrated by Kenneth Branagh, brings to life the Cretaceous, Triassic and Jurassic periods, showing the world through the eyes of the dinosaurs that roamed the earth. Each episode focuses on an individual dinosaur or family of dinosaurs.
Acclaimed documentary filmmaker Ken Burns directs this look at the most important and least understood branch of American government — the U.S. Congress. The film takes an in-depth look at the popularly elected Legislative branch of our government and explores how it functions, outlining its past and present strengths and weaknesses. You’ll also learn about some of its famous historical figures, as well as contemporary members and events.
A thorough examination of love in all its forms, this captivating PBS documentary endeavors to counteract the misconception often expressed in our culture of passionate romance as the highest or most important type of love. Hosted by actor-playwright-author Anna Deavere Smith, a series of interviews and personal stories explore the parent-child bond, brotherly love, divine love, marital love, love of community and more.
World-renowned naturalist David Attenborough — considered the father of the modern nature documentary — headlines this collection of programs that explore the planet’s most fascinating animals and most breathtaking landscapes. Attenborough travels around the world to get up-close footage of polar bears, leopards and other amazing creatures, and visits stunning locations such as the ice caves of Europe and South America’s Angel Falls.