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Netflix Instant: Five NOVA Episodes You Should Watch

I had a deprived childhood and did not have cable until six months before I left for college (where I hardly watched TV) so some nights choices were limited on the ole’ boobtube. This lead to watching PBS from time to time, mostly when they had the science based NOVA on. Yeah, I was cool. My favorite and most eye opening to this day was a String Theory episode back in 2004 or 2005. I still picture the little string images and to this day the ideas still make my brain hurt. Sadly, that episode isn’t on Netflix although I think it’s on the NOVA website along with hundreds of others. Netflix has 20 or so episodes from the past year or two including these 5 great NOVA episodes currently on Instant.


nova spy factory episode box coverThe Spy Factory: Nova

Director: C. Scott Willis

Starring: Jay O. Sanders (Narrator)

Run Time: 53 minutes

Year: 2009

It’s mostly about how the agencies in the United States, CIA, FBI and NSA, don’t communicate well enough and fucked it up prior to 9/11. Not too much about “spying” like I thought it would be. Still interesting and worth an hour of your time if your into 9/11, the government or “Oh wow, we really fucked that up, sorry guys” but the agencies don’t actually say that because they just don’t say anything. Towards the end they get into the specifics of some of the spy tactics with phones and internet which is interesting but scary at the same time.


nova becoming human episodes box coverBecoming Human: NOVA

Director: Graham Townsley

Starring: Lance Lewman, Zeray Alemseged, Ralph Holloway, Donald Johanson, Daniel Lieberman, Rick Potts

Run Time: 51 minutes/episode, 3 Episodes

Year: 2009

Want to learn more about the evolution of humans? Want to have your mind blown about the age of the earth and our ancestors? Want to understand why we don’t actually look like Chimpanzees now? Watch this three part series that explores new fossils, the brain of our ancestors and what actually caused us to split, form wise, from other Apes.


nova extreme ice episodes box coverExtreme Ice: NOVA

Director: Noel Dockstader

Starring: Jay O. Sanders, James Balog

Run Time: 53 minutes

Year: 2009

Extreme Ice Nova follows a photographer, James Balog, who records the beauty and disappearance of the Arctic ice and glaciers. It’s goes over the basics of how glaciers work, how they melt and what it means for the future. However, there is a lot of unknowns that scientists are still trying to find out and it poses some of those questions. It’s worth it just to see the stunning pictures, videos, and time lapse images of (melting) ice.


nova secrets beneath earth episode box coverSecrets Beneath the Ice: NOVA

Director: Noel Dockstader

Starring: Lance Lewman

Run Time: 52 minutes

Year: 2010

Another ice based Nova but this one takes place in Antarctica. It follows a group of researchers who are on a drilling exploration in different parts of the Great Ice Covered Southern Contient. The goal is to find out as much as they can about the history of earth and its freezing/melting patterns by using cylindrical tube sections of ice and earth going as deep as 4000ft. They find some new and interesting information about melt periods and volcanic activity. Please watch if you are convinced climate change is a elitist left wing conspiracy.


nova flight 447 episode box coverCrash of Flight 447: NOVA

Director: Kenny Scott

Starring: Jay O. Sanders

Run Time: 52 minutes

Year: 2010

Weather? Super Cool Liquid Water? Electronics? Poor flying? All of the above? Or maybe you are a Fox News watcher and can’t be convinced this wasn’t some “brownie” who hates “freedom”. Either way, it’s interesting to go through the different possibilities with some of the best experts in the field of aviation, including aviation crash detectives.  Who knows if we’ll ever know for certain, the reason this A3330 Airbus going from Rio de Jinero to Paris, landed in the Atlantic.


Posted by on August 30th 2011

Mike is the owner and operator of 20 Something Awesome.