Top 10: Films on Demand, November 2013


Films on Demand is an online streaming video subscription available to all Clayton State students. Last month users were busy watching the following top 10 titles:

10. Infectious Diseases: More Mobility, Greater Danger (31 mins)
Illustrating connections between globalization and the spread of disease, this program uses data-mapping to assess the potential impact of deadly viruses-including the much-feared and adaptable avian influenza. Outbreaks of bird flu in the Netherlands and West Nile virus in New York City illustrate the increasing mobility of exotic pathogens in an era of frequent international travel and dynamic global migration. Presenting detailed information on virus tracking and the horrific effects that many epidemics have on livestock as well as on people, this video illuminates a new front line in the battle between humans and their microscopic enemies.

9. Peter the Great (32 mins)
Emperor of All the Russias, Peter the Great launched the transformation of his nation from a medieval society into a Western-style European power. Expert analysis by Professor Lindsay Hughes, of London University’s School of Slavonic and Eastern Studies, and historian Dr. David Moon-plus lush dramatizations of Peter as a child and an adult-emphasizes his sweeping reforms in the areas of government, military science, industry, commerce, education, culture, and even religion. From Peter’s fascination with all things Western, to his convoluted ascension to the throne, to his victory in the Great Northern War, this program neatly sums up the fascinating life of one of European history’s most dynamic figures.

8. The National Parks: America’s Best Idea—A Film by Ken Burns—Part 3, “The Empire of Grandeur” (1915-1919) (114 mins)
In the early 20th century, America had a dozen national parks, but they were a haphazard patchwork of special places under the supervision of different federal agencies. This episode traces how the conservation movement pushed the government to establish one unified agency to oversee all the parks. This led to the establishment of the National Park Service in 1916. Its first director, Stephen Mather, launched an energetic campaign to expand the NPS and attract more visitors. It was Mather who protected the Grand Canyon from encroaching commercial interests and established it as a national park, rather than a national monument. Part of the series The National Parks: America’s Best Idea.

7. The Worst Job in the World: The Bhangis of India (28 mins)
Indoor plumbing is rare in rural India. This program introduces viewers to two Dalit families who, for generations, have cleaned the excrement from their villages’ open-air latrines with their bare hands. But flush-toilets don’t necessarily free untouchables from their role; a young man who manually removes waste from the sewers of Hyderabad is also interviewed, along with Bezawada Wilson-a hereditary latrine cleaner-turned-activist determined to free all Bhangis from what is arguably the worst job in the world. Wilson interjects a lone ray of hope into what is otherwise a depiction of a singularly bleak way of life. Some content may be objectionable.

6. Medicine: Ancient Discoveries (50 mins)
We often think of modern medicine as only really beginning at the Renaissance—but we’re wrong. The Edwin Smith Papyrus is an ancient textbook on surgery that dates back to about 1600 BC. It is full of details on the examination, diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis of numerous ailments. This film looks into the grisly but brilliant surgeries of the great ancient physicians to witness three procedures common at the time but which would not be attempted successfully again for nearly 2,000 years.

5. Kids Behind Bars (29 mins)
Too young to drive, but old enough to kill. What happens to children convicted of felonies? How and where are they incarcerated? Can they be helped? And does their punishment really fit their crimes? In this program, judges, legal counsel, law enforcement officers, academic experts from Emory and Rutgers Universities, the Director of the Institute for Minority Health Research, and others examine the trend in the U.S. toward trying children as adults and discuss efforts being made to understand their violent behavior.

4. Essentials of Faith: Islam (24 mins)
The Five Pillars of Islam-belief in one God, praying five times a day, fasting, giving to charity, and going on pilgrimage-guide all Muslims. But cultural and political influences have shaped the observance of the faith in various ways from country to country. This program explores the beliefs of four Islamic leaders and scholars who communicate penetrating insights and observations on the contrasts and continuity within their religion. Interviewees include Imam Abdul Sajid of the Al-Hijrah Trust, chef and TV show host Michael Bukht, prominent London banker Kosser Sheikh, and Professor Haleh Afshar, a lecturer in politics and women’s studies at the University of York.

3. Religion in Hindu India (53 mins)
From ritual ablutions to ceremonial cremation, the religious life of a Hindu is intimately associated with the spiritual properties of water and fire. This program steps off the beaten path for a journey with two sadhus as they visit holy locales, witness religious rites, and, in general, immerse themselves in Hindu culture as it is exists in the religion’s motherland, India. The Festival of Shivaratri, in Benares, and the Festival of Holi, in Mathura, are featured, along with devotional and secular activities in Allahabad that follow the official conclusion of the Kumbh Mela. Contains nudity associated with Nagas, male warrior ascetics.

2. Inferential Statistics (36 mins)
Who said statistics were boring? Using magic and circus motifs, this program demonstrates the significance of probability theory and the importance of using the correct test to analyze research data.

and the number 1 Films on Demand video for November is:

1. Supply and Demand: Christmas, a Case Study (50 mins)
In the industrialized world, Christmas means megabucks to the businesses that can create a fad or spot a trend. Filmed from a U.K. perspective, this program illustrates the annual scramble of key holiday-related industries-toys, video games, music CDs, luxury items, Christmas trees, and holiday foods-to catch the seasonal wave and ride it to high profits. But which products within each category will capture shoppers’ attention? The dynamics of-and glitches in-the global supply and demand cycle are thoroughly covered, factoring in the effects of brands, product licensing, advertising, research and development, and offshore manufacturing.

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