Tag Archives: University Place

Celebrate African-American History Month with WPT!

A female college graduate smiles in a still from "Tell Them We Are Rising" Any day is a great day to recognize the many contributions that African-Americans have made to American history and culture. But February offers special opportunities to celebrate  and recognize African-Americans, both famous and not-so-famous, who have made a difference.

Read on for a selection of upcoming programs airing on WPT – and don’t forget our many offerings available anytime online.

Continue reading Celebrate African-American History Month with WPT!

“Making A Murderer” Attorney Dean Strang Discusses Another Historic Case

Have you watched Netflix’s Making a Murderer, the real-crime documentary series that explores the 2005 Manitowoc homicide of Teresa Halbach and subsequent conviction of Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey?

The series has inspired wide-ranging interest in the case that shook the state, as Avery had previously been released from prison after an earlier conviction for a 1985 sexual assault that was later proven to be wrong. The series has also made stars out of two of Avery’s Wisconsin defense lawyers, Dean Strang and Jerry Buting, who have now appeared regularly on national TV programs and are even going on tour for a series of theater conversations about the case. (This includes a March 18 event at the Riverside Theater in Milwaukee.)

Strang, a longtime defense attorney and professor at the UW-Madison and Marquette University law schools, is also a scholar on cases involving wrongful convictions. He even appeared on Wisconsin Public Television’s University Place in 2013 to talk about another historic case in which Clarence Darrow freed wrongly convicted men accused in a 1917 bombing of a Milwaukee police department. Watch that interview online, or on the PBS channel of your Roku or other digital device now.

6 Videos to Watch Online Now

According to my calendar, summer is officially here. Long days and nice weather might mean more time outdoors, but summer also means more free time to catch up on the TV you missed during the hectic winter months.

Here are some of most popular WPT videos you may have missed this past TV season. Watch ’em all for free anytime at wpt.org or on your Roku, Apple TV or tablet app.

Image of Wisconsin From the Air Title with setting sun over a Lake Mendoa
Watch “Wisconsin From the Air” now

Wisconsin From the Air
This aerial tour of Wisconsin landmarks and landscapes was the most popular WPT production of the season…by a long shot! With sweeping views of the Great Lakes, northern forests and the Mississippi River, and stunning shots of cities like Green Bay, Milwaukee and Madison, Wisconsin From the Air is one of the most breathtaking programs we’ve ever produced. Since it premiered in December, 2014, thousands of viewers have pledged their support for Wisconsin From the Air…Thank You! If you haven’t already, watch Wisconsin From the Air now. And, check out this behind the scenes video to see how the film was made.

University Place “The Value of Having Native Plants in Our Yards”
Most of us know it’s important to help native species thrive and to weed out the invasive ones. But why? For one, this informative lecture explains that native plants in your garden can offer an important food source for animals. Since Wisconsin’s deer seem to eat everything we plant, why not give them their preferred diet! On a side note… if you want to help out the smaller critters, check out the illustration “Plant These to Help Save Bees,” which identifies several bee-friendly plants and flowers. Follow that up with a quick visit to the Wisconsin DNR’s website to find out which ones are native to Wisconsin.

Oshkosh on Wisconsin Hometown Stories and Around the Corner
The little city on the west side of Lake Winnebago got some major attention on WPT this past year in Wisconsin Hometown Stories “Oshkosh,” which offers a look at the community’s rich history — a must-watch for anyone from the Oshkosh area. For a closer look at contemporary Oshkosh, be sure to watch Around the Corner With John McGivern’s visit to Oshkosh. If your summer travel plans include Oshkosh, this episode will serve as the ultimate visitor’s guide to the city’s liveliest restaurants and attractions.

Bronson Koenig pulls up for a shot during practice
Watch Bronson Koenig on “Wisconsin Life”

Wisconsin Life “Bronson Koenig”
Remember the Badgers Men’s Basketball team’s magical run to the Final Four?! La Crosse’s Bronson Koenig played a key role in the Badgers’ success last season. But, long before Koenig became a household name in Wisconsin, WPT’s Wisconsin Life caught up with him to see why he chose Wisconsin over several other top-tier schools. Watch the story now.

30 Minute Music Hour “Charlie Parr”
I’m stretching all the way back to last June with this one, but Charlie Parr’s performance on the 30 Minute Music Hour was our most viewed episode from the show’s sixth season. Watch Charlie Parr perform his unique style of country blues now on WPT, and check him out on tour this summer.

Wisconsin Foodie “Cheese Days”
Food is a perennially popular genre on Wisconsin Public Television and among all the episodes of Around the Farm Table and Wisconsin Foodie that aired this past season, this episode all about the annual Cheese Days celebration in Monroe was among the most viewed online…for obvious reasons!

Enjoy these and more videos streaming now at wpt.org. Have a favorite episode that’s not on the list? Let us and everyone else know by sharing it in the comments.

Preview Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies

I’ve watched a half dozen or so of the stories on cancerfilms.org that document how people cope with cancer, and each story ends with this statistic: 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women will get cancer. Each time I read this fact I feel its weight and am reminded that every one of us will either endure an intimate battle with cancer at some point in our lives or know someone who has to fight the battle.

Ken Burns presents Cancer The Emperor of All Maladies logo
Airs March 30 – April 1 at 8 p.m.

Cancerfilms.org is the home of the new documentary Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies. The film airs March 30 – April 1 on Wisconsin Public Television, and the website is full of great content available to watch now.

While the film presents a comprehensive history of cancer, from its first description in ancient Egypt to the “war on cancer” in the ’70s to the gleaming laboratories of today’s research institutions, this film is unlike most from Ken Burns. Cancer is more than just a history documentary. Three films in one, it also weaves in a scientific and investigative report, and an engrossing an intimate vérité film.

The real-life stories will give the 1 in 2 men and the 1 in 3 women dealing with cancer an outlet for their grief and anger, and will help them make sense of what seems like a hopeless situation. And for the families and friends of cancer patients, it will offer a better understanding of cancer’s impact, the treatment process and what’s going on in the minds of our loved ones.

In short, Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies will give people a better understanding of cancer and will enable them to feel more comfortable talking about it. To quote Ken Burns, “As much as you want to move away from it, you have to move toward it.”

Start your journey now. Visit cancerfilms.org now to see several inspirational stories, like Pam Cromwell’s “Fight Cancer on Your Own Terms” and Angelo Merendino’s “Life in Pictures” which documents the final weeks of his wife’s life.

Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies, a new three-part, six-hour television event, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Siddhartha Mukherjee, premieres 8 p.m. Monday, March 30 on WPT and will be available to watch online at video.wpt.org.

See what’s being done to fight cancer at the University of Wisconsin. Watch innovative lectures on University Place from Wisconsin Public Television.

The Most Watched Shows of 2014

The year’s end always brings on an abundance of “top 10” and “best of” lists. With thousands of videos streamed this year, we thought it’d be fun take a nostalgic look at some of the most popular videos on wpt.org this year.

By the numbers, here are some of the videos you watched most in 2014.

Without a doubt, Sewing With Nancy was the most streamed show, due, in part, to a loyal audience that extends far beyond Wisconsin. Among the hundreds of videos, “Sew Simple With Rectangles and Squares, Part 1” was the favorite in 2014.

30-Minute Music Hour ranked among the favorites this year thanks to Charlie Parr. The Duluth singer/songwriter performed his mix of steel guitar country and bluegrass for a live audience in Madison last summer.

Several films in the WPT Documentaries series made the list of favorites this year. “Jerry Apps: A Farm Story” and “A Farm Winter With Jerry Apps” continued to log views, as did “Being Hmong Means Being Free” as well as “Menominee History,” which is part of WPT’s new collection of Tribal Histories.

From state legislative races to the race for governor, Here and Now and WisconsinVote.org kept viewers informed throughout the election season with weekly reports and statewide candidate statements. And, fracking continued to make headlines in Wisconsin. Frederica Freyberg’s 2012 report on the booming sand mining industry in Western Wisconsin remained among the most viewed in 2014.

At the start of the year, WPT introduced the new TV series Wisconsin Life in partnership with Wisconsin Public Radio. The series showcases Wisconsin’s most interesting people and places. Some of the favorite stories were “State in Law,” “Milwaukee Gymnast,” and “Barn Quilts.”

And in December, WPT premiered another new film that invited viewers to soar over Wisconsin’s treasured landscapes. Wisconsin From the Air delighted viewers during the recent winter membership drive. The response from WPT viewers was overwhelming and resulted in a most successful membership drive. Thank you to all for your gifts of support!

University Place continued to spread education across the state and beyond by adding over 100 new videos to its collection this year. The most popular video in 2014 featured “Miracle on the Hudson” co-pilot Jeff Skiles sharing his story of the successful landing of a U.S. Airways flight on the Hudson River.

We said farewell to The Wisconsin Gardener’s Shelley Ryan this year and remembered her legacy as viewers gained knowledge – from identifying wild parsnip, to fighting tree and shrub disease and attracting hummingbirds — for growing in Wisconsin.

On Wisconsin Foodie, eager viewers dined with host Kyle Cherek at Ishnala in Wisconsin Dells. A new season of “Foodie” adventures premieres Jan. 8 on WPT, with new episodes already available to watch online. Also in the food and travel category, Around the Farm Table gained popularity in its second season this year as host Inga Witscher made egg soufflé with guest Michael Perry.

If you missed any of the above videos, don’t worry…all these and more are available to watch for free at video.wpt.org. Ring in the New Year by watching some of your favorites. And, if you don’t see your favorite video on the list, tell us what it is in the comments.

Thanks for watching, and happy New Year!

The Story of 'The Roosevelts' Continues Online

For many public television viewers, a seven-night TV viewing marathon came to a close Saturday with the final on-air broadcast of The Roosevelts: An Intimate History.

The critics praise for The Roosevelts
The critics loved Ken Burns’ film.

For anyone who didn’t sprint to the finish (myself included) there’s still time to watch Ken Burns’ latest documentary online. Watch all seven episodes of The Roosevelts now through Sept. 28 on wpt.org or on your Apple TV, Roku, Xbox or Amazon Fire. But don’t delay much longer, all seven episodes are only available until Sunday, Sept. 28. (After that, the series will be available for purchase on iTunes, Amazon and Google Play).

If you’re already through watching and want more history documentaries, there’s a whole world of video waiting in the archives at wpt.org. For example, if Episode 2 of The Roosevelts left you wanting to learn more about TR’s achievement in building the Panama Canal, you can check out American Experience “The Panama Canal”.

To get you started, here’s a list of documentaries and clips, segmented by each Roosevelt episode, that dive deeper into the history of major events in which Teddy, Franklin and Eleanor were a part of. If you know of additional Roosevelts-related video, please share it in the comments below.

Episode 1: 1858-1901 “Get Action”
TR’s famous “Rough Riders” fought in the Spanish American War. PBS’ Latino Americans looks at the expansionist ideals that led to the United States’ involvement in Cuba. For more on the “Rough Riders” look to member station KNME’s report, “Rough Riders in New Mexico.”

Episode 2: 1901-1910 “In the Arena”
American Experience “The Panama Canal” tells the complete story of how the Panama Canal connected the world’s two largest oceans and signaled America’s emergence as a global superpower.

Episode 3: 1910-1919 “The Fire of Life”
When TR abandoned the White House, President William Howard Taft carried on with similar progressive policies and even broke up Standard Oil, owned by John D. Rockefeller. For more, watch “The Rockefellers” from American Experience.

Episode 4: 1920-1933 “The Storm”
In 1921, FDR was diagnosed with infantile paralysis – polio. Once nearly eradicated, polio appears to be making a comeback in 2014. PBS NewsHour reports on this modern public health emergency.

Episode 5: 1933-1939 “The Rising Road”
FDR’s New Deal led to public works projects throughout the nation, including the Camp Madison Civilian Conservation Corps, which completed the nation’s first prairie restoration on the University of Wisconsin Arboretum. Learn more about Camp Madison CCC and Aldo Leopold from In Wisconsin. Also, hear Woody Guthrie sing “The Great Dust Storm” in the intro to another great Ken Burns film, The Dust Bowl.

Episode 6: 1939-1944 “The Common Cause”
TR and FDR both served as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, and both championed strong military defense budgets during their time in the post. University Place “Science and Engineering in WWII takes a look at technology and design of two aircraft that helped the U.S. and its allies win World War II.

Episode 7: 1944-1962 “A Strong and Active Faith”
After FDR’s death in 1945, Eleanor Roosevelt never lost sight of the goals she and her husband fought for and in her later years championed for civil rights and women’s rights. She even hosted her own TV show, Prospects of Mankind with Eleanor Roosevelt on PBS member station WGBH. Watch ER’s conversation about the Peace Corps and public service with President Kennedy.

 

George Takei: A Pioneer of Television

Star Trek‘s George Takei is one of the stars featured on tonight’s episode of Pioneers of Television: Breaking Barriers at 7 on WPT.

In this engaging 2012 University Place conversation, Takei spoke with WPR’s Norman Gilliland about his life and groundbreaking career as a Japanese-American actor.

UW and Your Inner Fish

The new three-part series Your Inner Fish premieres tonight following all-new episodes of Nature and NOVA, and the series has strong connections to the University of Wisconsin. The executive in charge of the project is Sean B. Carroll, Allan Wilson Professor of molecular biology, genetics and molecular genetics at UW-Madison.

Additionally, John Hawks, associate professor of anthropology at UW-Madison, was an advisor to the series and UW-Madison graduate, Laura Helft, is a senior researcher at Tangled Bank Studios, the production company behind the series.

In a UW-Madison article, which details Carroll’s involvement in the series, Carroll discusses the series saying, “There is a lot of discovery there, in the context of essentially how our bodies have modified over the years from our fishy ancestors.” Tonight’s episode, for example, traces the ancestry of our own hands and arms back to the fins of Tiktaalik, a primeval fish that crawled onto land.

University Place, Wisconsin Public Television’s lecture series, has recorded episodes with the other scientists involved with Your Inner Fish. In 2010, John Hawks talked on the existence of the Neanderthal during the course of human evolution. And in a 2011 lecture, then Ph.D. candidate Laura Helft gave a whirlwind tour of plant pathology called “When Microbes Attack, Plants Fight Back.”

The thought-provoking night of TV begins at 7 with all-new episodes of Nature and NOVA followed by the premiere of Your Inner Fish. If you need more reason to tune in tonight, I give you Chris P. Bacon, part of Nature “My Bionic Pet.”

Explore More From WPT at Wisconsin Science Festival


Watch all of the Wisconsin Science Festival live streams in this video window starting Thursday evening. Find full details and schedule below!

This weekend, the Wisconsin Science Festival will fill venues across Wisconsin with fun-filled learning events for everyone to enjoy. Join Wisconsin Public Television – one of the event’s partners – to engage your mind and explore new ideas in the fields of science, engineering and technology.

The event, which runs from this Thursday-Sunday, has dozens of events around the state, with many located at UW-Madison. Be part of WPT’s panel of innovators in education at noon Saturday in the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery. Join experts from Sesame Workshop, NOVA, the UW-Madison School of Education and The Waisman Center to learn how young minds can learn science in new ways.

Our colleagues at WPR will be on hand throughout the week, too, with a special presentation by Science Friday host Ira Flatow at 7 p.m. Thursday night and a live on-location broadcast of the radio program Friday afternoon at 1. And, WPR’s 9XM Players present a live radio drama, “Forbidden Planet Decoded,” Saturday night at 8.

Those are just a few of the great presentations across Madison and around the state. Explore the full lineup at wisconsinsciencefest.org.

If you can’t make it to the event in person, WPT’s University Place will be live streaming the following presentations so that people across Wisconsin and around the world can take part in the learning fun. Check back here starting Thursday to watch the following lineup of presentations live on the Web.

University Place Wisconsin Science Festival Live Streaming schedule

Thursday, Sept. 26
7:00 – 8:30 p.m. Science is Sexy (lecture)
Ira Flatow, Host of Science Friday, National Public Radio

Friday, Sept. 27
7:00 – 8:30 p.m. Chemistry Imagined: Connecting Art and Science (lecture)
Roald Hoffman, Author, Nobel Prize Winner and Professor Emeritus, Dept. of Chemistry, Cornell University
Vivian Torrence, Visual Artist

Saturday, Sept. 28
12:00 – 1:30 p.m. The Preschool Genius: Teaching Math & Science to Early Learners (panel)
Rosemarie Truglio, senior vice president of education and research at Sesame Workshop
Rachel Connolly, education director at NOVA
Anita Wager, assistant professor at the UW–Madison School of Education
Ed Hubbard, assistant professor at the UW–Madison School of Education and the Waisman Center
Michael Harryman, WPT (moderator)

2:30 – 4:00 p.m. The Poisoner’s Guide to Life (lecture)
Deborah Blum, Professor, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, UW-Madison

8:00 – 9:00 p.m. Old Time Radio Drama: Forbidden Planet Decoded (live performance)
Norman Gilliland, WPR
9XM Players

How Rain Might Be Keeping Mosquitoes at Bay

It seems counter intuitive, but the recent torrential downpours that have landed on much of Wisconsin might actually be keeping those dastardly mosquitoes away. Have you noticed a decrease in the itchy bites that are usually synonymous with Wisconsin summers?

Longtime Wisconsin Gardener bug expert and UW-Extension entomologist Phil Peliterri talked to the Wisconsin State Journal about this year’s mosquito population. While the northern part of the state is seeing their usual nighttime swarms, it is actually the rain that has covered much of the rest of the state that might be keeping those bug bites at bay. Read why in today’s article by Rob Schultz.

Then, watch Peliterri talk about the ways changes in Wisconsin’s climate are affecting the kinds and amount of insects in various parts of the state in the University Place lecture below.

Watch The Bugs Have Gone Crazy – Ep. 762 on PBS. See more from University Place.