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URLwire for Wednesday, Febraury 25, 2004  
Thirteen/WNET Launches Innovation Online, Companion Site for 
New PBS Series
The interactive companion to the new Innovation series from Thirteen/WNET New York illuminates the “How” And “Wow” of life-changing technologies – and inspires web surfers to think outside the box.
“There are many facets of innovation,” said David McCarthy, co-producer of INNOVATION ONLINE.  “It takes egos, politics, success, failure, passion, energy, and serendipity to bring a concept to reality.  Individuals, communities and even entire societies are impacted every step along the way.  Our site was designed to highlight not just the process of discovery, but the human side of it as well.”
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From the spire of the world’s tallest skyscraper to the underground world of espionage, Thirteen/WNET New York’s new PBS series, INNOVATION, explores the brilliant minds and dramatic stories behind many of the technological advances that are touching and changing our lives.  Now, an online companion to the eight-part series takes INNOVATION beyond the TV screen and puts it into our own hands.

INNOVATION ONLINE, at, enhances and builds upon the themes explored in the broadcast series and related topics.  Take a virtual tour of Shanghai 101, which could soon become the tallest building in the world, or learn how to assemble a bionic leg.  Ever thought about becoming a spy?  Take the “Could You Be a Spy?” quiz and see if you have the right stuff.  

Learn how tools of weaponry evolved from sticks and stones to surveillance aircraft that fly themselves.   Read special reports and original essays, and then vote for your favorite innovation from the past 100 years.  Or, play video clips featuring recording artist Moby, physicist Michio Kaku, robotics professor Cynthia Breazeal, and others describing their personal “sparks of innovation.”  

And if all this innovation leaves you hungry for more, follow the links to a wealth of additional resources – or submit your questions to the “Ask the Experts” area, where scholars, scientists and others in the know will respond to your queries.

“There are many facets of innovation,” said David McCarthy, co-producer of INNOVATION ONLINE.  “It takes egos, politics, success, failure, passion, energy, and serendipity to bring a concept to reality.  Individuals, communities and even entire societies are impacted every step along the way.  Our site was designed to highlight not just the process of discovery, but the human side of it as well.”

The INNOVATION broadcast series, narrated by Billy Crudup, spotlights technological advances in aircraft design, the emerging field of stem cells and regenerative medicine, espionage, bionics, fiber optics, skyscrapers, weaponry, and lie detection.  The series premiered on Tuesday, February 10 on PBS.  Local broadcast schedules can be found at INNOVATION ONLINE along with details on INNOVATION outreach events taking place at science centers and museums across the country.  There is also an area for teachers offering lesson plans for project-based learning, as well as a downloadable version of the 36-page Sparks of Innovation magazine.

The companion site for INNOVATION is produced by Thirteen Online, the award-winning Web site of Thirteen/WNET New York.  Producers are David McCarthy and Brian Brunius.  Director of the Interactive and Broadband Division for Thirteen is Anthony Chapman.

Major funding for INNOVATION is provided by Siemens USA, a leading global electronics and engineering company, and by the National Science Foundation.  Additional funding is provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations.  The series is a production of Thirteen/WNET New York in association with Carlton International.   At Thirteen, Beth Hoppe is executive producer, Jared Lipworth is series producer and William R. Grant is executive in charge.

Thirteen/WNET New York is one of the key program providers for public television, bringing such acclaimed series as Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, Charlie Rose, Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly, Wide Angle, Stage on Screen, Secrets of the Dead, and Cyberchase – as well as the work of Bill Moyers – to audiences nationwide.  As the flagship public broadcaster in the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut metro area, Thirteen reaches millions of viewers each week, airing the best of American public television along with its own local productions such as The Ethnic Heritage Specials, The Thirteen Walking Tours, New York Voices, and Reel New York.  With educational and community outreach projects that extend the impact of its television productions, Thirteen takes television “out of the box.”  And as broadcast and digital media converge, Thirteen is blazing trails in the creation of Web sites, enhanced television, CD-ROMs, DVD-ROMs, educational software, and other cutting-edge media products.  More information about Thirteen can be found at:

If you'd like additional information please feel free to contact Lisa Batchelder, Kathleen Kaan, or Meredith Fleischman Tiger at the below numbers/addresses:

Batcheld(-at-)  (212) 560.2074
Kaank(-at-)  (212) 560.3026
Fleischman(-at-) (212) 560.4919

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Headline/link: Innovation Online Launched by Thirteen/WNET for New PBS Series

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