A E T N Logo
Support The Programs You Love DONATE NOW

AETN Exploration Wednesday: Cuba, Neanderthals and Volcano Doctors

Posted on 09 Jan 2013

"NOVA: Decoding Neanderthals" 

This AETN Exploration Wednesday, visit Cuba – nature’s accidental Eden, decode what happened when the first modern humans encountered Neanderthals and find out how volcanologists predict eruptions. “Nature” kicks the evening off at 7 p.m.

For decades, Cuba’s wild landscape was passed, untouched, while its Caribbean neighbors altered their ecological riches. In “Nature – Cuba: The Accidental Eden,” learn what happens as Cuba’s priceless, well-preserved treasures are about to face an onslaught of tourism. Already on the rise, most experts predict that the country’s tourism traffic will double when the U.S. trade embargo ends. What will happen to the island nation’s stunning biodiversity – including amphibians, reptiles and the most biologically diverse freshwater fish in the region – without their historic safeguards? “Nature” explores at 7 p.m.

Next, on “NOVA,” find out what happened when the first modern humans left their African homeland and entered Europe in “Decoding Neanderthals” at 8 p.m. When these early ancestors arrived in the new continent, they found they were not alone: The stocky, powerfully built Neanderthals had already lived there for thousands of years. What occurred when the two first met? The question tantalized generations of scholars and seized the popular imagination. Then, in 2010, a team led by geneticist Svante Paabo  announced stunning news. Not only had they reconstructed much of the Neanderthal genome, but their analysis showed that “we” modern humans had interbred with Neanderthals, leaving a small but consistent signature of Neanderthal genes behind in everyone outside Africa today.

Finally, tune in to our new series, “Life on Fire,” at 9 p.m. which explores how, whether in the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Columbia, Chile, Italy or Iceland, countries that are home to active volcanoes face threats to their populations every day. With the constant possibility that lava, ash, gas, natural bombs and avalanches could slide down the gaping mouths of the rock giants, volcanologists are asked to anticipate and warn citizens to avoid widespread disaster. These individuals are asked to be prophets – analyzing the volcanoes’ slightest tremors. And, around the world, these volcano doctors use their tools and knowledge in an attempt to protect those who live beneath the earth’s fiery peaks.



“Nature – Cuba: The Accidental Eden,” 7 p.m.

“NOVA: Decoding Neanderthals,” 8 p.m.

“Life on Fire: Volcano Doctors,” 9 p.m.



Win Tickets to See “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Live” in Fort Smith
Looking for a grr-ific family treat? We’re giving away four tickets to “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Live” on Sunday, Oct. 2! Enter to win four seats to the show by telling us about your family’s favorite Daniel Tiger lesson by midnight on Sunday, July 31.


FOI Notice: AETN Commission Conference Call July 25
Members of the will meet via conference call Monday, July 25, at 4 p.m. to discuss current events and activities. This is an open meeting, and the public may request teleconference information.


5 Ways to Celebrate Summer Learning Day
With local and national applications - and even some fun prizes to win - we’re thrilled to celebration National Summer Learning Day Thursday, July 14, and to support academic growth for all of our PBS KIDS all season long! From special events and contests to new episodes and more, read on for five ways to celebrate National Summer Learning Day with AETN PBS KIDS.


Learning for summer — and beyond! - AETN PBS KIDS ScratchJr Camps
This summer, AETN was proud to host PBS KIDS ScratchJr Camps, made possible by PBS KIDS and support from the Verizon Foundation, to help Arkansas students between the ages of five and eight get started with Creative Coding! Read on to learn more about how our Conway campers learned to create and express themselves with technology (and how you can download the FREE PBS KIDS ScratchJr App to get started at home) after the jump.


Win an “I Can Readathon!” Event Kit - July Facebook Contest
Have you been visiting new worlds, traveling to times past and future, and meeting new friends from the farthest realms of imagination by reading with the kids in your life summer? We have another exciting chance for you to help them fight the summer slump and win a Harper Collins “I Can Read” event kit by entering our July I Can Readathon! Facebook Contest. Enter to win by noon on Thursday, July 28, for a chance to host a summer reading party for 20!