Category : Technology

Looking back at Pearl Harbor and tales of survival

Pearl Harbor: Into the Arizona is available now in ultra HD 4k, HD and standard definition on CuriosityStream.  In this powerful documentary, an expedition team explores the inside of the USS Arizona 75 years after it was destroyed at Pearl Harbor, exposing never-before-seen artifacts and stories of survival.

Resting on the murky ocean floor of Pearl Harbor is the USS Arizona, one of the most sacred war graves known in the world.  When the seasoned battleship was destroyed by a surprise Japanese attack 75 years ago in Pearl Harbor, over 1,000 men aboard the ship lost their lives in the blink of an eye.

America was forever changed by the events of this day, a day that has lived in infamy throughout time.  The attack on Pearl Harbor was the single incident that pulled America into World War II, changing the course of history.  Today, the remains of the USS Arizona serve as a memorial to the American people, and is a stark reminder about the consequences of war.  Each year, thousands upon thousand of tourists visit the USS Arizona to see a glimpse of our nation’s past.  But to the survivors of the attack, the USS Arizona represents something much deeper.  It’s a symbol for all those who paid the ultimate price for their country, an event which should never be forgotten.

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Donald Stratton, USS Arizona Survivor

Survivor Donald Stratton was one of the few men stationed on the Arizona to survive the attack.  For the past 75 years, he’s been waiting for the opportunity to see inside the ship he was once stationed on.  Its current state remains a mystery to him, and to the world.  There isn’t a day that goes by where Don doesn’t think about what happened on December 7, 1941.  While the USS Arizona has changed drastically over the years, Don relives key moments of his life as he explores inside the sunken wreckage, a sight he never thought he would see again.  Don gets one last chance to see items from his past:  a desk stationed in the admiral’s quarters; a well-preserved suit hanging in a closet of a sailor’s room; and even glimpses of the ship’s teak deck, which Don walked on during the attack.  The discoveries made during the expedition are moments that makes Don’s journey complete.

“Some of the personnel did survive, and I was one of them. I think about it every day…how many people didn’t make it that day.”

– Donald Stratton, USS Arizona Survivor

The expedition isn’t just for survivors of the attack.  It’s for the families who lost loved ones as well.  A woman who’s uncle died aboard the ship gets a chance to see the final resting place of her beloved family member…a moment of recognition that her family won’t soon forget.

 

Watch the trailer below and watch the full documentary here.

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A New Kind of Capitalism

Conscious Capitalism is an exclusive, original CuriosityStream documentary that explores a new twist on the system that fuels wealth and industry in America and for many countries around the globe. Thought leaders, along with the leaders of two corporations — Whole Foods Market and Waste Management — provide an insider’s look at the new face of capitalism.

It used to be that business was about profit, no matter the cost to employees, community and environment.  In our newest documentary, producer Dan Birman asks viewers to imagine a world where a different model operates.

Birman is shining the spotlight on conscious capitalism, the idea that companies can do things differently.  “If a company starts with a purpose, then all other things start to fall in place,” Birman said.  Businesses that subscribe to this idea would choose to reduce the disparity in wages between their managements and employees, be more environment-friendly, and charge fairer prices.  Thus, they build sustainability by gaining the trust of consumers and the community.  Birman admits, “It sounds utopian in some respects, but it’s a great model to at least discuss.”

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“If a company starts with a purpose, then all other things start to fall in place.”

Let’s put this into context.  Have you ever paid a visit to your local Whole Foods and noticed that the employees seem happy and knowledgeable about their product?  That could be attributed to the fact that Whole Foods has revolutionized employee relations by focusing on team member engagement, empowerment, job satisfaction and fair wages, driving down its turnover rate to just 14%, compared to the 47% grocery industry average, according to John Mackey, CEO and co-founder of Whole Foods Market, who is considered by many to be one of the fathers of the conscious capitalism movement.  Plus, get a behind-the-scenes look at how Waste Management, North America’s leading provider of comprehensive waste management and residential recycling services, is protecting the environment while also generating $13 billion in revenues from lines of business that include recycling, landfill renewable natural gas projects, landfill gas-to-energy projects and carbon sequestration in landfills.

The film not only highlights these success stories, but also gives viewers insight into the four pillars of conscious capitalism and why this new way of doing business works in the modern economy.  I think you’ll find it particularly timely, given the upcoming transfer of power in the U.S. administration and the big question of what is going to happen with the economy.

Watch the trailer below and watch the full documentary here.  Stay curious, everyone.

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You’ll Never Look at the Internet in the Same Way Again

DIGITS is available now in ultra HD 4k, HD and standard definition on CuriosityStream. The worldwide exclusive, original 3-part documentary series takes viewers on a journey into the history of the Internet with exclusive interviews and behind-the-scenes insight into the remarkable technology that now permeates our lives.

Today marks a very exciting day for CuriosityStream, with the release of our groundbreaking new documentary series, DIGITS. We have been anticipating this series since it was included as part of our suite of original 4K content when our founder first announced CuriosityStream to the world. But today, the show’s relevance is even higher.

“DIGITS is a perfect example of the smart, deep dive programming we offer.  The series takes the time to delve into the past for context, and then it examines the present for implications affecting us now.  And finally, it taps into expert predictions to help shape our thinking for the future.” – John Hendricks, Founder and Chairman of CuriosityStream.

 

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Originally described as “a history of computers and the Internet,” the final product delivers on that front, plus it has evolved into something heavily influenced by one major issue that we all face in today’s online world: cyber security. Viewers are taken on a fascinating look at the Internet, exploring the potential applications—and risks—of innovations like virtual reality, artificial intelligence and 24/7 surveillance. The series is hosted by Derek Muller, who knows a little something about digital media and online engagement, as the creator of the YouTube science channel Veritasium, followed by close to 4-million subscribers. In DIGITS, Muller leads the conversation, which features interviews with co-founder of the Internet Vint Cerf and former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

“When you think about the fact that your washing machine is a computer and can be used to attack other computers within your own home network—your laptop, your tablet, your phone…or better yet, when your toaster gets connected to the Internet, think about who has the capability to turn that on. This brings us to this big question of, ‘well what do we do about it?’” – Edward Snowden, former NSA contractor

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With today’s headlines of hacked emails and cyber security attacks becoming the norm, it’s almost impossible to keep up with what is private and what is personal anymore. Just think about it. What if someone was able to recover a decade’s worth of private information and documents that you’ve submitted online? What could they do with it? Adding to the uncertainty is the fact that we are now relying on the Internet for everything – from our phones, to our entertainment viewing, to our watches, to our fitness trackers to our household appliances.  So, what happens to all of that information that we provide when we register and engage with these devices? And, how might the laws in different countries protect their citizens’ rights to privacy in different ways?

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DIGITS isn’t all dark – in fact, many moments in the series are quite fun and even humorous. But it also provides valuable information that we hope will spark conversations by everyone who tunes in about what it means to be an informed and responsible digital citizen in the 21st Century. Welcome to 2017, folks.

Watch the trailer below and experience the entire 3-part series here, only on CuriosityStream.

Michael Hammerstrom is CuriosityStream’s Manager of Marketing and Engagement. Follow him on Twitter @mhammerstrom.

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In the Classroom with CuriosityStream

As back to school season gets underway, we were curious about how teachers are engaging with our content. We had to look no further than our members to learn that many students just might get a taste of CuriosityStream in their classrooms this year. Today, we hear from Todd Johnson, a Teacher and Media Specialist from Winnipeg, Canada about how CuriosityStream might make an impact in his school this year. And we like what we’re hearing!

Being a teacher, I am always looking for up to date/engaging media material to share with my students. I teach Social Studies and Science in the middle years (grades 6-9).

Upon first discovering CuriosityStream, I must admit that I wasn’t really thinking of it as a tool for a classroom. I was just more excited to explore and discover on my own, and then to share that knowledge during our science and history discussions. I tweeted out a few links to videos and it was mentioned to me on Twitter that maybe CuriosityStream might be valuable in the classroom, so I started thinking about what that might look like.

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Now, from my teacher lens, I have a whole new perspective. Many of the subjects that we explore in class are covered on CuriosityStream with relevant, HD, high quality programming. Typical videos in a science catalog are expensive and can become outdated quickly. Videos on YouTube have ads, not to mention may not be credible and/or appropriate. CuriosityStream provides an ever-growing catalog of high quality videos – many that align to science and social studies – covering topics that our 15-year old textbooks have yet to discover.

“CuriosityStream provides an ever-growing catalog of high quality videos – many that align to science and social studies – covering topics that our 15-year old textbooks have yet to discover.”

One of the great parts of CuriosityStream is that there are lots of shorter videos. I think the days of rolling in a TV and having all students watch a video for the entire class are gone. First of all, most students use this as a time to check out, asking questions like: “Do we have to take notes?” Really what they mean is: “Can I take a nap?” Instead of the old way, students can sit down with their own device in a corner of the classroom and watch a video that is relevant to their studies. Or we can project a quick video using my device or laptop and projector. I see these videos as inquiry starters. Instilling a literal “curiosity stream” in our students is what we are trying to do as educators any way, and from what I’ve seen, the quality content available in CuriosityStream could become a significant part of a classroom environment.

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More and more these days, as a teacher, I find myself searching for ways to get students more involved in their own learning. To get students active, I often have my class set up in centers and students will rotate through to investigate topics that interest them. This is where I see CuriosityStream fitting into a classroom environment. It could be a resource in a center where students watch a pre-selected video, or search through the library to find a video related to their topic of research. Perhaps instead of having a worksheet of questions, a potential idea would be to have students generate five questions from one of the videos and then carry out research afterwards to answer some of them. Or they could create a quick presentation using an app on their own device, summarizing their learning from what they explored. CuriosityStream allows students the opportunity to browse an engaging library of short clips that are relevant to their subject area. I often use apps such as Socrative, Kahoot or ISpring Quizmaker, I could see it being a fun activity to show a quick clip followed by questions using one of these educational apps. Admittedly, I’m really just brainstorming ideas, but I’m excited to try this year and see where it leads us. I look forward to integrating CuriosityStream content this year and I’m positive that new ideas for how to leverage this service will generate from my students and fellow educators.

In just a few minutes of searching, here are a few CuriosityStream documentaries that line up with our curricular outcomes here in Canada:

Deep Time History

Deep Time History – Grade 8 Social Studies

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Inside the Human Body – Grade 8 Science

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Journey of the Universe – All Grades/subjects

Dark Matter

Cosmic Front: Dark Matter – Grade 9 Science/Astronomy

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Rebuilding Ancient Rome – Grade 8 Social Studies

 

This is just beginning to scratch the surface for how CuriosityStream might be used in a classroom. I will make it a goal this new school year to provide some more concrete examples of how CuriosityStream could become an invaluable classroom resource. Join me by starting a free trial if you’re not yet a member and exploring the content.

 

Todd Johnson

Todd Johnson is a Teacher, Media Specialist and proud CuriosityStream member from Winnipeg, Canada. Follow him on Twitter @mrj_rwp.

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A Rendezvous With The King Of Planets

NASA’s Juno orbiter is speeding toward Jupiter with a flyby expected on July 4th.  Leading up to that rendezvous, CuriosityStream is giving viewers an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look into the story behind the mission to the gas giant.  Destination: Jupiter is a new, short-form documentary available now on CuriosityStream, in ultra HD 4K, as well as HD and standard definition.

The Juno Mission is one of the most highly anticipated planetary explorations to date.  Scientists hope it will help reveal the mysteries of Jupiter’s violent storms, its composition and formation, as well as uncover some secrets about our own planet Earth.

Destination: Jupiter chronicles the inside story behind the ground-breaking mission, featuring interviews with its chief scientists, as well as captivating CGI produced by NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio.  Also, get a sneak peek at some of the state-of-the-art technology on board the spacecraft that will help it power through and survive Jupiter’s severe high-radiation environment—the harshest in the solar system.



 

And stay tuned in with CuriosityStream.  On July 4th, Juno is expected to officially catch up to Jupiter and enter its orbit.  Mission scientists will be anxiously awaiting the first signal of success… a communication that will take 48 minutes to travel back to Earth.  And in the coming days, CuriosityStream and Destination: Jupiter will bring you the nail-biting action from mission control at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

If we’ve peaked your curiosity about other destinations in our solar system and you’re ready to dive deep into the mysteries of the galaxy, you’ll enjoy CuriosityStream’s Destination: Pluto, an original, 13-part series following the New Horizons mission from its inception to its close encounter with the dwarf planet, as well as Destination: Mars, a 5-part series chronicling a bold plan to land humans on the red planet.

Enjoy the adventure, and stay curious!

 

 

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CuriosityStream Debuts David Attenborough’s Light On Earth

Memorial Day weekend ushers in the summer season and the time outdoors that comes with it. As you enjoy getting out in nature this summer, CuriosityStream’s nonfiction documentaries will be there to help guide you.  Whether you prefer chilling at the beach, hiking and camping in national parks or simply spending an afternoon in your own backyard, there are always opportunities to reconnect with your natural surroundings and appreciate the breadth and depth of Earth’s wonders.

Perhaps along your summer journeys, you too will have questions.  Why does a firefly light up at dusk?  How does a millipede benefit from its own nighttime luminescence?  What causes those radiant, nocturnal tides in tropical waters?

These questions and more are explored in CuriosityStream’s exclusive debut of David Attenborough’s Light On Earth (available to U.S. subscribers).  This special 4K production utilizes new camera techniques to capture never-before-seen footage of bioluminescent phenomena, guided by the world’s foremost naturalist, Sir David Attenborough.

“In the oceans, and on land, living creatures of many kinds have harnessed the power of light in extraordinary ways: to mate, to lie or even to hide under a cloak of light. Yet with the latest cameras and technology we are only beginning to understand the lives of luminous creatures. There remain many mysteries. But what a beautiful world they create… and what a beautiful world awaits the scientists of the future.”  — Sir David Attenborough

The film represents the first collaboration between CuriosityStream’s in-house production studio and Terra Mater Studios (David Attenborough’s production partners). However, it is not the first association between CuriosityStream’s founder, John Hendricks, and Sir David Attenborough.

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Elizabeth Hendricks North & Sir David Attenborough, Smithsonian, May 2015

I recently had the pleasure of meeting Attenborough and hearing him reminisce about co-productions years ago between BBC and Discovery Communications, which my father, John Hendricks, also founded and led as Board Chairman until 2014.  The legendary British naturalist is as lively and curious as anyone I have ever met, and his animated story-telling had us all rapt.  Attenborough’s energy and enthusiasm is boundless, as you will see for yourself in Light On Earth.

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This bioluminescent mushroom emits light 24 hours a day, but is captured like never before using brand new camera techniques in CuriosityStream’s Light On Earth.

 

It is my hope that this film (and future wildlife films) continue to inspire wonder about the planet and engage the next generation of naturalists.  As David Attenborough’s Light On Earth magnificently conveys to viewers, we live on a planet with many mysteries waiting to be uncovered and better understood.

 

 

 

Let your curiosity guide you this summer.

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Elizabeth Hendricks North is President and CEO of CuriosityStream. Follow her on Twitter @ehendricksnorth.

 

Watch a preview of Light On Earth :



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CuriosityStream now on Apple TV

Enjoying your new 4th-gen Apple TV?  Make sure to look for CuriosityStream in the brand new app store!

All of your favorite science, tech, history and nature documentaries from CuriosityStream are now available on the device, which features a touch and Siri-enabled remote and a revamped user interface.

When Apple unveiled the new Apple TV last year, CEO Tim Cook talked about how the logistics of the television experience hadn’t changed that much in decades.  He said, “We believe the future of television is apps.”  We couldn’t agree more!

Of course, you can also find the CuriosityStream app on the other top streaming devices, including Roku, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV and Android TV.

And of course, we still support earlier model Apple TV devices via AirPlay.

Check in with our CuriosityStream help center with any questions, and as always, stay curious!

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Marking A Milestone

Today marks CuriosityStream’s first anniversary!

My father [Discovery Channel founder, John Hendricks] debuted the world’s first ad-free, nonfiction streaming service on March 18, 2015 and ever since, our small, hardworking team has been quite busy.  We have licensed or personally produced over 1,300 programs (more than 500 hours of quality, nonfiction documentaries) and launched streaming apps across RokuChromecastAmazon Fire TVAndroid TV as well as Android and iOS.  In late September, the service went global, opening access to CuriosityStream in 196 countries worldwide.  For inquiring minds, we’ve learned that Scandinavia and Australia have been our best international markets to date.  A special shout-out to our Norwegian, Danish, Swedish and Australian members!

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In December, CuriosityStream’s partnership with Amazon distributed our documentaries via Amazon Prime’s SVOD service and our CuriosityStream Gift Cards proved to be popular holiday items and are available 365 days a year.

The early months of this year have seen us introduce a personalized recommendation engine (matching users to each other for smarter program suggestions), debut another 30 hours of outstanding documentaries and incorporate a discounted pricing structure.  Now members may save 16% a year by switching to an Annual Plan; visit Your Account page to make this change to an existing subscription.  Our Sign Up page also features this discounted payment option for 12 months of service.

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I couldn’t be more proud of our dedicated team of talented producers, brilliant engineers and a host of other consummate professionals that continue to refine the world’s leading online, nonfiction destination.

With our direct membership model, CuriosityStream may exhibit quality, ad-free documentaries exclusively for lifelong learners.  This leaves the service unencumbered by the interests of advertisers, a concern that sways programming away from the rich depth of scientific and intellectual inquiry.  By remaining ad-free, CuriosityStream preserves a simplicity of purpose: deliver affordable content that enriches, enlightens, enchants and thereby empowers curious humans to better understand our world.

Thank you so much for your support in this first year.  Stay tuned and stay curious!

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Elizabeth Hendricks North is the President & CEO of CuriosityStream. Follow her on Twitter @ehendricksnorth.

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A Rocket Man back on Earth

NASA has a lot to celebrate this week.   First, a birthday of sorts. On March 3rd, 1915, the United States Government created the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics… an agency to spearhead aeronautical research.  Over 40 years later, in 1958, that agency officially became NASA.

And today, one of NASA’s most well known ambassadors is back on Earth.  Astronaut Scott Kelly returned this week from his nearly year-long post on the International Space Station… making him the U.S. astronaut holding the record for both consecutive days in space (340) as well as total number of days (520.)

His journey was well documented on social media.  With the hashtag #YearInSpace, Kelly regularly posted pictures of his extraordinary view – from stunning sunrises to the ultimate aerial shot of an epic snowstorm.

Kelly’s mission was part of a groundbreaking study on the long term physical and psychological effects of living in outer space, in anticipation of NASA’s goal to send a manned mission to Mars by 2035.  That roundtrip journey would take more than 2 years.  While in space, Kelly self-administered a battery of tests. The results of those, and of the testing now being done back on Earth, are being compared to the same tests run on his twin brother, retired astronaut Mark Kelly.

Scott Kelly is a true Rocket Man, like many of the pioneers who came before him, who left this Earth to explore the unknown.  Their inspirational stories are told in Rocket Men, featured on CuriosityStream now.  Here’s a preview.

 

And, congratulations to modern day Rocket Man Scott Kelly, for a successful mission and his safe return home.

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A Powerful New Tool Set for Humanity

“In the near future, every object on Earth will be generating data including our homes, our cars, even our bodies. Almost everything we do today leaves a trail of digital exhaust, a perpetual stream of text, location data and other information that will live on well after each of us is long gone. We are now being exposed to as much information in a single day as our 15th century ancestors were exposed to in their entire lifetimes.

But we need to be very careful because in this vast ocean of data there is a frighteningly complete picture of us—where we live, where we go, what we buy, what we say. It’s all being recorded and stored forever. This is the story of an extraordinary revolution that’s sweeping almost invisibly through our lives.”

That powerful opening statement sets the stage for a fascinating in depth look at the dramatic new era of “big data.”

The Human Face of Big Data, a critically acclaimed documentary based on the best-selling book of the same name by executive producer Rick Smolan, is premiering this week on CuriosityStream.

Smolan is an award-winning photojournalist and creator of the epic Day in the Life series. He was also a 2015 Curiosity Retreat Luminary, engaging our audience with real life stories about how the explosion of big data is affecting all our lives.

Smolan says healthcare is likely to be the area of this revolution that impacts people’s lives first.  Who hasn’t gone to the Web to diagnose their own illness?  Those searches, and the data behind them, have a dramatic impact.



 

Other stories include a fascinating experiment by an MIT researcher, revealing a breakthrough theory about how children acquire language.  And a story about how the explosion of digital information shared on social media is transforming how we respond to disasters like the Haitian earthquake and Hurricane Sandy.

But is all this for better or for worse?  Every new technology raises that question.  And big data certainly has a dramatic impact on our privacy and our future, as we each evolve into virtual human sensors.

Smolan says, at the beginning of this project, he was skeptical.  Could the big data revolution really be more transformative than the Internet?  He says he is now a convert, convinced that big data could turn out to be the most powerful tool set we have to address the widespread challenges facing our species and our planet.

The documentary has already toured several film festivals, and was honored with the Jury Prize for “Best Cinematography” at the Boston International Film Festival.  And the U.S. Department of State selected the film to be shown at embassies and consulates around the world as part of the American Film Showcase.

The Human Face of Big Data is now premiering on CuriosityStream for our subscribers. And you can hear about Smolan’s own quest to learn more about the big data revolution in his 2015 Curiosity Retreat lecture here, and in a ‘behind the scenes’ look at The Human Face of Big Data here.

And then you can begin to decide for yourself about the impact of this new set of technologies on humanity and on you.

 

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