PBS specials on scientific wonders, a PlayStation game that projects monsters, a book on Madame Curie, and more recommendations.
Courtesy of Powderhouse Productions
Tune into the smartest night on TV Feb. 9 when the PBS science show "NOVA" offers three brainteaser programs in a row. Beginning at 8 p.m., "How Smart Are Animals?" looks at surprising new findings about the furry, finned, and flying creatures around us. "Making Stuff Smarter" at 9 p.m. examines startling new inventions, including "smart" clothes. And at 10 p.m., "The Smartest Machine on Earth" peeks inside IBM's supercomputer, which will face off with human brainiac and "Jeopardy!" superstar Ken Jennings.
Train and battle monsters – with your bedroom as the arena. "Invizimals," for the PlayStation Portable, uses a camera to scan your home for "invisible" monsters that only your PSP can detect. The game, out now, is a charming dip into augmented reality – the idea of layering computer graphics atop real-time video. For a less boys-will-be-boys example, "EyePet" projects a cuddly critter that reacts to your motions.
blues, AMERICAN STYLE
Few voices in American roots music are as distinctive and convincing as Gregg Allman's. "Low Country Blues," his first solo turn in 14 years, finds him in fine, growling form as he teams up with the ubiquitous producer T. Bone Burnett for a collection of vintage blues. With a quiet, reverb-drenched backing band laying down the grooves, Allman steps up and delivers on classics like Muddy Waters's "I Can't Be Satisfied" and Skip James's spooky "Devil Got My Woman." Georgia's native son knows his blues.