NATURE | The Story of Cats | Asia to Africa | Preview| PBS
The two-part mini-series “The Story of Cats” premieres November 2 & 9, 2016 at 8 p.m. (ET) on PBS (check local listings).

Cats have gone from the rainforests, to the savannah, to the mountain peaks all the way into the comfort of our homes. The Story of Cats premieres Wednesday on PBS. 

KQED POP: Sexy Harambe? The Most Popular (and Problematic) Costumes of 2016

What are the most popular (and most problematic) choices this year? KQED Pop’s Emmanuel Hapsis will tell you, but you might wish he hadn’t.

You can — I kid you not — dress up as a bound and gagged Kim Kardashian.

Who would dream up such a tasteless costume? A company called Costumeish, which in years past has also produced takes on Toronto mayor Rob Ford’s crack habit and Cecil the Lion. Due to pressure from people who still have a shred of empathy left, the company has decided to stop selling this particular costume. But fear not, insensitive people of the world; costumes like “Bruce Gender Olympian” and “Sexy Indian Woman” (tomahawk included) are still for sale.

If making light of Kardashian pain isn’t your thing, you can always dress like Harambe, the gorilla who was fatally shot at the Cincinnati Zoo.


Speaking of sexy twists on non-sexy things, you can now dress up as a sultry version of Twitter’s favorite undecided voter, Ken Bone.

But the award for Best Costume of 2016 goes to this man and his malfunctioning Galaxy Note 7 get-up.

See the full list at KQED Pop


New video!

New York City offers way too many art-viewing opportunities for us to cover in a single art trip video, so this time we decided to focus on the abundant public art around the city.


No Más Bebés: New PBS Documentary Reveals Population Control Of “Poor Who Cannot Adequately Feed Or Clothe The Children They Already Have”

Mothers like Consuelo Hermosillo were in labor when medical staff urged signed consent for a “life saving” treatment. Unbeknown to the mothers, doctors performed a tubal ligation, by clamping, cutting or burning of the fallopian tubes without disclosing the exact procedure.

A small group of Mexican immigrant women sued county doctors, the state and the U.S. government after they were sterilized while giving birth at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center during the late 1960s and early 1970s.


We’re not going to bury the lead here: Bob Ross’ hair was actually straight. Just ask his longtime business partner Annette Kowalski, who knew Ross better than anyone — he had just gotten out of the Air Force, and was unsuccessfully trying to make a living as a painter, she says.

“He got this bright idea that he could save money on haircuts. So he let his hair grow, he got a perm, and decided he would never need a haircut again,” Kowalski explains.

Before he could change it back, though, the perm became his company’s logo — Ross hated it. “He could never, ever, ever change his hair, and he was so mad about that,” Kowalski says. “He got tired of that curly hair.”

But viewers never got tired of Ross or his show The Joy of Painting. With his soft, hypnotic voice, he’d bring his viewers in close as he created 30-minute masterpieces — distant mountain ranges, seascapes, forest scenes, always with those happy little trees. He’d sling his palette around, blend the titanium white paint, whisper about his life in Alaska, then gently tap his fan brush to create a canvas full of fluffy clouds. With his partly unbuttoned chambray shirt, his halo of tight curls and his soothing demeanor, Ross was a fixture on PBS.

Re-watching the show decades later — it’s now streaming on Netflix — The Joy of Painting still feels like a personal art lesson. And yet the oil painter we spent so many hours with remains a mystery. Ross led a private life and did only a few interviews during his career.

The Real Bob Ross: Meet The Meticulous Artist Behind Those Happy Trees

Photos: Bob Ross Inc.

NOVA Next: Going Vegan Isn’t the Most Sustainable Option for Humanity

The vegan diet uses no perennial cropland, making it a less effective use of land than you might suspect.

Researchers found that the carrying capacity—the size of the population that can be supported indefinitely by the resources of an ecosystem—of the vegan diet is actually less substantial than two of the vegetarian diets and two out of the four omnivorous diets they studied.

Read more

You don’t have to separate these things with Jefferson. He can have written this incredible document and several incredible documents that we all believe in – and he s-u-u-ucks. Those are both true and those have to be both true. I think we really have to stop separating them because that’s where you get into trouble. That’s where you stop letting people be whole people. I disagree politically with a lot of rappers that I listen to, you know what I’m saying? There’s, like, rampant misogyny and homophobia in a lot of rap music. That doesn’t make them less brilliant rappers – they’re both true.
—  Daveed Diggs, speaking truth about how we should perceive Thomas Jefferson and other historical figures as well as how we should perceive people today, in the unsurprisingly excellent Hamilton’s America documentary from PBS.

It’s here! Watch the official trailer for HAMILTON’S AMERICA, premiering in just one month. Mark your calendars for October 21 and wait for it (wait for it)…