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NOVA: DIRTY BOMB 4 p.m. Saturday, March 26 AETN (Comcast Ch. 3, Broadcast Ch. 2) Though we’ve resolved to stop dashing to the basement every time a scowling Homeland Security drone appears on television, we still can’t help but worry about the dirty bomb. A conventional explosive wrapped in radioactive material, a dirty bomb won’t “go nuclear” but it can spray radiation for blocks, rendering the blast zone “hot” and unusable for generations. Here, Nova goes in search of the scourge of our times, trying to see just how easy it would be to gather the materials needed for a dirty bomb, and how difficult it would be to smuggle such a bomb into the U.S. INVASION IOWA! 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 29 Spike TV (Comcast Ch. 63) Just when you thought reality TV producers couldn’t slip to an even lower rung on the evolutionary ladder (right now, they’re hanging in there just above foot fungus, but a hair below your average College Republican) along comes a show like “Invasion Iowa!” In this four-parter, William Shatner and a faux crew of movie makers descend on the small town of Riverside, Iowa — a town which is the self-proclaimed future birthplace of Star Trek’s captain James T. Kirk. Mr. Shatner and crew are supposedly there to make a science fiction movie about invading space aliens. Their actual mission: to film the locals making asses of themselves trying to get famous. KRAKATOA 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 29 AETN (Comcast Ch. 3, Broadcast Ch. 2) What with Mount St. Helens rumbling again and the world due for yet another major volcano eruption, it might be a good time to look to the past at how disastrous the awakening of one of these sleeping killers can be. In 1883, on the Indonesian Island of Krakatoa, the volcano that gave birth to the island blew. In all, 36,000 people in the area died from burns, falling rock, or inhaling the poisonous gases that spewed forth from the crater. What’s more, due to a thick cloud of ash the volcano lofted into the atmosphere, 1883 would be known as “the year without a summer” — a year which saw snowfall in the United States in every month of the year. Here, with the help of experts and scientists, PBS recreates this natural disaster.
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