"Becoming Human" was an eye-opener of a website a decade ago, and it inspired an eye-opener of a public-TV documentary series that made its debut on PBS' "Nova" last year. The TV shows, like the website, traced the scientific tale of how ancient primates gave rise to the human species — not through a sudden spark, but through a transition that took millions of years. Now "Nova" is rebroadcasting the series, with the final part airing on PBS next week. But you don't even have to wait that long to skip ahead: All three hourlong shows are freely available for watching online.
For more perspectives on human evolution, check out "The Human Edge," a series of online and audio reports from NPR. Or this Q&A in The Guardian about "The Artificial Ape." Or this review of "Almost Chimpanzee," a new book that sizes our species up against our closest kin in the animal kingdom.
You can even check out our "Before and After Humans" interactive, which was created in 2005 to accompany my story about the possible paths for future human evolution. How the Web has evolved in the five years since then!
Here are some more weekend explorations on the Web:
Every week I try to link to something howlarious from the Cracked website, and this week's offering is "The Five Strangest Things Evolution Left in Your Body."
Ooh! Ooh! Special-effects guru Douglas Trumbull offers teaser videos for some pretty interesting projects, including a "Making of '2001'" documentary that allows him to walk right into scenes from the classic science-fiction movie.
Looks like Trumbull is also planning to get serious about the UFO phenomenon ... which fits right in with the "he said, she said" set of UFO commentaries that stirred up such a fuss this week. What? You haven't read them? Check it out, and read some fresh UFO stories as well. The truth is out there. ...