8:00pm – Thursday, June 10 on ABC1
Burning Down the House More than 80 percent of houses lost to bushfires are built within a hundred metres of bushland.
Australia wide, more than half a million houses are built within this distance. Living close to nature has its obvious appeal, but as bushfires are set to increase in frequency and severity, the risk of homes being lost to fire grows greater each year. Much research has been conducted in the search for fire-resistant materials and and designing fire-resistant houses. But, burning and analysing building materials in the lab, or sifting through the ashes after a bushfire has done its work, can only reveal so much. Far more can be learned by collecting data as a house is actually burning.
Mark Horstman travels to the NSW south coast where for the first time, a unique science lab sets out to replicate a bushfire’s attack on a house.
Rectangular Stadium The most recent addition to Melbourne’s football stadia is made for games played on rectangular pitches such as soccer and rugby – sacrilege in the city known as the home of Aussie Rules. But the remarkable thing is the stadium’s geodesic structure. The beauty and elegance of the geometry is underpinned by the effective distribution of forces, which allows the structure to be both lightweight and self-supporting. Graham Phillips takes a bird’s eye view of the stadium during the critical stage of removing the temporary supports.
Quoll School There are four species of Australian Quoll, two of them are listed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, IUCN, as either critical, or vulnerable to extinction. The Northern Quoll’s preference for Bufo marinus, the Cane Toad, isn’t helping its chances of survival. In order to wean them off this deadly diet, a research team at Sydney University has started a Quoll school.
On the menu are enough cane toad sausages to turn them off toads forever.
Cheatin’ Chickens Human affairs of the heart can be complicated, but scientists from the Macquarie University Animal Behaviour Lab are now discovering that the humble chook has a complex love life too. Gift giving, illicit affairs, and sneaky deceptions are all part of their world. The flap of skin below a rooster’s beak is more than mere adornment – hens are attracted by the wobble of a cockerel’s wattle. And, the hens are not beyond playing favourites by choosing to mate with the best provider. Jonica Newby braves the chicken run to bring you the ‘Catalyst Guide to Picking Up…Chicks’.