Watching Television Can Make You Smarter

Well, sometimes. Okay, rarely. But here are a couple of entertaining shows that can.

Ape Genius Fascinating stuff. Ape Genius is a one-hour Nova special about the intelligence of apes and humans. The show was written, directed, and produced by John Rubin, a friend of mine from Cambridge. He did an amazing job on this show, which recently won a 2008 Peabody Award.

You can watch Ape Genius online here. (Note for when you watch: I would never have been smart enough to use water as a tool . . . )

The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance I couldn’t believe how addictive this series was. I worked all weekend, but I still had to watch all four episodes nearly back-to-back. It’s comprised of 4 one-hour episodes about the Medici family, their plots and intrigue, and, more importantly, the amazing artists and scientists who flourished under them. Really, you’ll be riveted.

The PBS website for the show is here, but unfortunately the show isn’t available there for viewing. The series is available through Netflix to watch on your computer or rent on DVD. Otherwise beg, borrow, or steal it!

Yes, I know I sound like a PBS groupie. I’m hoping they’ll pay me for this ad. I hear they’re loaded.

2 responses

  1. Oh, I remembered two more good ones:
    Ghost in your Genes, about epigenetics and human health. Fascinating. Watch it here:

    Also, the John Adams miniseries by HBO (available on Netflix)
    It’s a dramatization and probably not entirely accurate, but I still came away learning a lot. Did you know that Adams was the lawyer for the British soldiers who fired in the Boston Massacre?

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