Understanding

Understanding

1998 - 2010, Other
Helping people understand their world better.

Episode Guide

  • Understanding - Widgits (Season 1 Episode 62)
    Season 1 Episode 62:

    Widgits

    A tour of factories reveals how items as diverse as tractors, lipstick and robots are produced.

  • Understanding - Tunnels (Season 1 Episode 61)
    Season 1 Episode 61:

    Tunnels

    From subways to storage.

  • Understanding - Money (Season 1 Episode 60)
    Season 1 Episode 60:

    Money

    Money may be the most powerful tool humans have ever invented.

  • Understanding - Gizmos and Widgets (Season 1 Episode 59)
    Season 1 Episode 59:

    Gizmos and Widgets

    A high-speed tour of how everyday gizmos and widgets are produced, revealing how artificial intelligence is changing the face of factory production.

  • Understanding - Fat (Season 1 Episode 58)
    Season 1 Episode 58:

    Fat

    Obesity.

  • Understanding - Archaeological Mysteries (Season 1 Episode 57)
    Season 1 Episode 57:

    Archaeological Mysteries

    Remnants of a floating stone city; sandstone dwellings in canyon cliffs; huge, patterned lines in the desert.

  • Understanding - Iraq (Season 1 Episode 55)
    Season 1 Episode 55:

    Iraq

    Cutthroat politics shape Saddam Hussein; rivalries of Iraq's Kurds, Sunnis, Shiites.

  • Understanding - Paranormal (Season 1 Episode 53)
    Season 1 Episode 53:

    Paranormal

    Tales of the paranormal have intrigued civilizations throughout history.

  • Understanding - Obesity (Season 1 Episode 52)
    Season 1 Episode 52:

    Obesity

    The body has a set weight that it strives to maintain.

  • Understanding - Paranormal (Season 1 Episode 51)
    Season 1 Episode 51:

    Paranormal

  • Understanding - Power of Genetics (Season 1 Episode 49)
    Season 1 Episode 49:

    Power of Genetics

    The ramifications of Dolly the cloned sheep, DNA forensic work and genetic engineering for society in the next century, deemed the Biotech Century.

  • Understanding - Asteroids and Comets (Season 1 Episode 47)
    Season 1 Episode 47:

    Asteroids and Comets

    The history of near misses and visions of killer rocks in the sky; the mission to land the first spacecraft on the Eros asteroid.

  • Understanding - Thrill Seekers (Season 1 Episode 45)
    Season 1 Episode 45:

    Thrill Seekers

    Skydivers; wave-riders; wing-walkers.

  • Understanding - Evolution (Season 1 Episode 44)
    Season 1 Episode 44:

    Evolution

    Scientific evidence supports Charles Darwin's theory of evolution, but controversy surrounds it.

  • Understanding - Amazing Brain (Season 1 Episode 43)
    Season 1 Episode 43:

    Amazing Brain

    The brain's intricate organization is revealed through real-life stories.

  • Understanding - Cyberworld (Season 1 Episode 42)
    Season 1 Episode 42:

    Cyberworld

    People imagine what life may be like 20 years from now.

  • Understanding - Mysteries of Memory (Season 1 Episode 41)
    Season 1 Episode 41:

    Mysteries of Memory

    Mysteries of memory, including amnesia, gifted memory, the fear of Alzheimer's and memories lost and recovered.

  • Understanding - Future Wars (Season 1 Episode 40)
    Season 1 Episode 40:

    Future Wars

    War.

  • Understanding - The Amazing Brain (Season 1 Episode 39)
    Season 1 Episode 39:

    The Amazing Brain

    High IQ; partial brain removal; 3-D imaging.

  • Understanding - Traffic (Season 1 Episode 38)
    Season 1 Episode 38:

    Traffic

    Car travel becomes increasingly hazardous.

  • Understanding - Murder (Season 1 Episode 36)
    Season 1 Episode 36:

    Murder

    New brain imaging techniques are providing doctors and scientists with information which could help identify people who are prone to kill others.

  • Understanding - Pyramids (Season 1 Episode 35)
    Season 1 Episode 35:

    Pyramids

    Symbolism of pyramids; construction and alignment secrets.

  • Understanding - Risk-Takers/Thrill Seekers (Season 1 Episode 34)
    Season 1 Episode 34:

    Risk-Takers/Thrill Seekers

    Thrill-seeking behavior plays a vital role in human culture.

  • Understanding - Caves (Season 1 Episode 33)
    Season 1 Episode 33:

    Caves

    Exploring caves deep below the Earth's surface and examining how caves are formed.

  • Understanding - Air Traffic Control (Season 1 Episode 32)
    Season 1 Episode 32:

    Air Traffic Control

    The complex and well-choreographed system of air traffic control allows for the safe navigation of 200,000 airplanes each day.

  • Understanding - Skyscrapers (Season 1 Episode 31)
    Season 1 Episode 31:

    Skyscrapers

    The world's tallest structures are designed to handle high winds, earthquakes and fire.

  • Understanding - Ice (Season 1 Episode 30)
    Season 1 Episode 30:

    Ice

    Scientists assess global warming's effect on the world's ice; cryobiologists study animals that survive freezing temperatures.

  • Understanding - Sleep (Season 1 Episode 29)
    Season 1 Episode 29:

    Sleep

    How sleep patterns and habits can be modified and manipulated to suit the individual.

  • Understanding - Weather (Season 1 Episode 28)
    Season 1 Episode 28:

    Weather

    Chasing tornadoes with the Vortex Project; the NOAA's Space Environment Center examines the solar cycles and meteorological currents.

  • Understanding - Race (Season 1 Episode 26)
    Season 1 Episode 26:

    Race

    Scientists claim there is no scientific validity to race, but history and culture have proven racial differences are real.

  • Understanding - Fire (Season 1 Episode 25)
    Season 1 Episode 25:

    Fire

    The explosive power of fire; agents search for a serial arsonist; land managers use fire to maintain the health of a forest.

  • Understanding - Genes (Season 1 Episode 24)
    Season 1 Episode 24:

    Genes

    Genetic engineering; Dolly the sheep; forensics; gene-based drugs; temperament and health; ethical considerations.

  • Understanding - Odds (Season 1 Episode 23)
    Season 1 Episode 23:

    Odds

    Taking chances; perceiving the odds; compulsive gamblers; adaptive systems and artificial intelligence.

  • Understanding - Extraterrestrials (Season 1 Episode 22)
    Season 1 Episode 22:

    Extraterrestrials

    The mission of the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute; director Barry Sonnenfeld describes how aliens are created for the movies.

  • Understanding - Memory (Season 1 Episode 21)
    Season 1 Episode 21:

    Memory

    Research of the memory illuminates amnesia, Alzheimer's disease and gifted memory.

  • Understanding - Bridges (Season 1 Episode 20)
    Season 1 Episode 20:

    Bridges

    Exploring the various ways bridges are used and why some bridges are light and elegant while others are massive.

  • Understanding - Space Travel (Season 1 Episode 19)
    Season 1 Episode 19:

    Space Travel

    Astronauts, scientists, engineers explore the future of space travel.

  • Understanding - Electricity (Season 1 Episode 18)
    Season 1 Episode 18:

    Electricity

    Electricity powers life from the brain to the heart.

  • Understanding - The Senses (Season 1 Episode 17)
    Season 1 Episode 17:

    The Senses

    An examination of the biological processes that allow humans to see, hear, smell, taste and touch.

  • Understanding - Bacteria (Season 1 Episode 16)
    Season 1 Episode 16:

    Bacteria

    Mankind's battle with bacteria; future technology.

  • Understanding - Cars (Season 1 Episode 15)
    Season 1 Episode 15:

    Cars

    The evolution of cars, their impact on society, industry pioneers and possible features of future automobiles.

  • Understanding - Laughter (Season 1 Episode 14)
    Season 1 Episode 14:

    Laughter

    Laughing patterns; how the brain processes a joke; spontaneous laughter infects an African community; the art and craft of humor.

  • Understanding - Flight (Season 1 Episode 13)
    Season 1 Episode 13:

    Flight

    Author Tom Clancy; actor John Travolta; jets; fighter planes.

  • Understanding - Cities (Season 1 Episode 12)
    Season 1 Episode 12:

    Cities

    A look at the world's most vibrant cities, from the archaic subway systems of New York and London to the contemporary landscape of Brasilia, the capital of Brazil.

  • Understanding - Time (Season 1 Episode 11)
    Season 1 Episode 11:

    Time

    Perceptions of time; biogenesis; time to newborn babies; time in religion, science and the arts; Einstein's theory of relativity.

  • Understanding - Uncertainty (Season 1 Episode 10)
    Season 1 Episode 10:

    Uncertainty

    The world of quantum mechanics; uncertainty of a world in constant flux.

  • Understanding - Oceans (Season 1 Episode 9)
    Season 1 Episode 9:

    Oceans

    Interview with explorer Thor Heyerdahl; scientific knowledge of the world's oceans.

  • Understanding - The Universe (Season 1 Episode 8)
    Season 1 Episode 8:

    The Universe

    Explaining the universe; new discoveries.

  • Understanding - Computing (Season 1 Episode 7)
    Season 1 Episode 7:

    Computing

    Narrator Candice Bergen explores the often abstract and invisible inner workings of computers.

  • Understanding - Television (Season 1 Episode 6)
    Season 1 Episode 6:

    Television

    The technology that makes television work and how certain photographic shots are reached. Narrated by Candice Bergen.

  • Understanding - Beauty (Season 1 Episode 5)
    Season 1 Episode 5:

    Beauty

    Humans perceive beauty in nature, the arts and themselves; the science behind beauty.

  • Understanding - Magnetism (Season 1 Episode 4)
    Season 1 Episode 4:

    Magnetism

    Magnetic forces; effect on life; technology.

  • Understanding - Viruses (Season 1 Episode 3)
    Season 1 Episode 3:

    Viruses

    The discovery of viruses, the development of vaccines and the workings of the human immune system.

  • Understanding - Volcanoes (Season 1 Episode 2)
    Season 1 Episode 2:

    Volcanoes

    Lava junkies, victims and volcanologists have varying perspectives on volcanic power.

  • Understanding - Sex (Season 1 Episode 1)
    Season 1 Episode 1:

    Sex

    Origins and future of sex; in-vitro fertilization; genetic engineering; computer sex.