Nifty Films Friday: Our Picks

by Dale Bond

Annnnnnnd it’s Nifty Films Friday! This week you’re in for a special treat. We asked the resident intern and grad assistant here at the Curriculum Materials Center to give us a list of some the films they find most interesting from the Films on Demand resource.

Films on Demand is a resource provided to KU students by Rohrbach Library. Films on Demand has thousands of films for students to peruse, and is easily accessible on or off campus.
If on campus, simply head over to

If accessing off campus, add to the beginning of the above link, or any Films on Demand link, and then log in using your KU username and password.


Modern Marvels: The Potato



It is among the most versatile, nutritious, and varied foodstuffs in the world. The potato is the ultimate comfort food. We’ll travel from the potato’s mysterious origins in the South American Andes to the ethnic enclaves of New York’s lower east side for some tasty potato knishes. In northern Maine we’ll discover a farmer of exotic potatoes: blue, green, pink, and dark purple varieties. We’ll reveal how large-scale potato producers in Idaho and Pennsylvania slice, dice, freeze, and dehydrate millions of pounds of spuds annually. We’ll learn how to mass-produce Tater Tots and kettle potato chips. Potato vodka now scores near perfection in international tasting competitions–and we’ll visit a Maine distillery at the top of their game. Finally, we’ll pay tribute to the iconic Mr. Potato Head, and then round out the show with an explosive visit to the makers of some of the world’s most sophisticated spud guns.
Inside Alcoholics Anonymous



This edition of Investigative Reports—the first video on Alcoholics Anonymous ever filmed by a producer outside of the umbrella of the AA organization—takes viewers inside AA meetings and the AA General Services Office, the overseeing body that assists the fellowship worldwide. Interviews with AA “old-timers,” AA’s managing director, leading national health authorities, and the organization’s outspoken critics provide a detailed and balanced look at an international mutual aid movement dedicated to achieving and maintaining sobriety.


Can We Live Forever?

Live forevers


This provocative episode of NOVA scienceNOW examines whether we can slow down the aging process, looks at the latest on human hibernation, and checks in with bioengineers and a computer scientist inventing ways to “keep us going” forever. Host Neil deGrasse Tyson also takes a lighthearted look at whether the tricks that have kept a 1966 Volvo running for 2.7 million miles can also help the human body go the extra mile.


Lost Cannibals of Europe



Cannibalism has long been considered a dark, if isolated occurrence in human history. Now science uncovers an ancient Germanic culture known for systematically consuming its fellow man. Witness the first of the Earth’s Neolithic farmers and the burial pit they left behind, found filled with expertly butchered human remains. Archaeologists have never seen anything like it. Is it possible that cannibals are hidden in Europe’s ancestral closet? An ongoing investigation into Stone Age farming communities in Germany prompts an excavation 15 miles from the border of France, where fertile topsoil conceals the remains of a culture’s gruesome relationship to the human body. A history of mass graves, surgical procedure, human sacrifice, and faith, this film explores the possibility of cannibalism’s emergence. Join the international team of experts who reopen the earth to understand the violent events as they played out seven thousand years ago.


Opium Brides

Opium Brides


Unexpected victims have been caught in the crossfire of attempts to eradicate Afghanistan’s flourishing drug trade: young farm girls. Afghanistan produces more than 90 percent of the world’s illicit opium. Opium farmers have long borrowed money from drug gangs, some with links to the Taliban, to subsidize their crops. Now, as the Afghan government destroys their livelihood in an eradication program, the farmers find themselves in a horrifying situation: repay their debts or give their daughters to drug traffickers, often to be used for sex. Award-winning Afghan journalist Najibullah Quraishi reports on the harrowing story of families torn apart and the collateral damage of the counter-narcotics effort in Afghanistan. Also in this program, a timely encore broadcast: FRONTLINE crosses the border into Pakistan, where correspondents Stephen Grey and Martin Smith go inside The Secret War against the militants. They uncover evidence of covert support for elements of the Taliban by the Pakistani military and its intelligence service, the ISI. At a safe house not far from where Osama bin Laden was killed, they make contact with one mid-level Taliban commander who tells FRONTLINE, “If they really wanted to, [the Pakistanis] could arrest us all in an hour.”


The Meth Epidemic



In the mid-1980s, chrystal meth posed a relatively small drug problem in the U.S. Then two Mexican drug runners began smuggling ephedrine—a chemical component without which meth can’t be produced—into California by the ton, and meth swept the nation. In a reporting partnership with The Oregonian, this Frontline documentary investigates America’s addiction to meth and exposes the inherent conflict between the illegal drug trade and the legitimate three-billion-dollar cold remedy business that depends on ephedrine.


The Men Who Made Us Fat: Part 2



Jacques Peretti investigates how the concept of “supersizing” changed our eating habits forever. How did a nation of moderate eaters start to want more? Perretti speaks with industry professionals to examine the story behind the introduction of value meals, king-size snacks, and multi-buy promotions. The program also explores developments in dietary advice and includes interviews with obesity experts.


The Pot Republic



FRONTLINE investigates the country’s oldest and most wide-open marijuana market. Is the federal government now moving to shut it down? Next, a story about “hotspotting,” in which medical care is focused on the hardest-to-treat to improve their health and dramatically reduce costs. Finally, meet a provocative group of young artists as they use art to challenge the status quo and ask Japanese society to rethink its way of life.


Modern Marvels: Corpse Tech



From saving lives through organ and tissue donation to providing keys to catch killers through forensic studies, the human body is host to a multitude of hidden secrets, even after death. A county coroner, funeral home director, forensic anthropologist, and an engineer help explain some of these postmortem activities.


Hunting the Anthrax Killer: History’s Secrets



On September 18, 2001, two anthrax-laced letters were mailed to major media companies in the U.S. Three weeks later, two more letters—addressed to prominent senators Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy—surfaced. In total, the attacks killed five people and made 17 unwell. Seven years later, this case—one of the biggest and most complex criminal investigations in U.S. history, and the only major bioterrorism attack on American soil to date—finally came to a close. The FBI concluded that one individual—government biodefense researcher and one-time lead scientist in the investigations, Bruce E. Ivins—was responsible for the 2001 anthrax mailings. They closed the case…but are they right? Ivins committed suicide just days before being accused. Is it possible he was a scapegoat in a case that will never be solved?


1 Response to “Nifty Films Friday: Our Picks”

  1. 1 High Arched Feet October 8, 2014 at 7:34 am

    I relish, cause I discovered exactly what I used to be taking
    a look for. You’ve ended my four day long hunt!
    God Bless you man. Have a great day. Bye

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