Mini-docs

This selection of Retro Report videos are all under 5 minutes long.

Image from Xenophobia in the Age of COVID-19
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Xenophobia in the Age of COVID-19

Scapegoating immigrant groups in times of disease outbreak has a long history.
Image from How Biden vs. Sanders  Echoes a 1964 Republican Party Split
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How Biden vs. Sanders Echoes a 1964 Republican Party Split

Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden are the icons of an ideological split among today’s Democrats, echoing a similar split in the Republican party of 1964.
Image from Our Appetite for Beef Is Growing. So Are Climate Worries.
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Our Appetite for Beef Is Growing. So Are Climate Worries.

Scientists warn that to slow climate change, we need to change how we farm and what we eat.
Image from Coronavirus Quarantine: Are There Lessons From A Nurse Who Challenged One For Ebola?
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Coronavirus Quarantine: Are There Lessons From A Nurse Who Challenged One For Ebola?

Coronavirus has public health officials scrambling to put
quarantines into effect. The 2014 Ebola outbreak may have some lessons.
Image from How Oscar Speeches Became So Political
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How Oscar Speeches Became So Political

Oscar night, long a showcase for Hollywood glamour, has also become a platform for film stars to pitch a rainbow of political causes.
Image from Political Memes: The Rise of the Political Meme in Politics Today
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Political Memes: The Rise of the Political Meme in Politics Today

Political memes are being deployed to share opinions, similar to how editorial cartoons were used in the past – but with one important difference.
Image from Impeached: How Presidents Handled it -- Trump vs. Clinton.
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Impeached: How Presidents Handled it -- Trump vs. Clinton.

How can a president continue to govern with an impeachment trial looming? President Clinton and President Trump adopted very different strategies.
Image from Google Workers Walked Out Over Harassment. A Year Later, What’s Changed?
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Google Workers Walked Out Over Harassment. A Year Later, What’s Changed?

Sexual harassment. Discrimination. Workplace inequity. Google’s employees demonstrated against unfair practices. But has anything changed?
Image from "No" on Impeachment Unites Today's GOP. In the 1950s, a Renegade Dared to Break Ranks
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"No" on Impeachment Unites Today's GOP. In the 1950s, a Renegade Dared to Break Ranks

Breaking with party unity can be costly. In the 1950’s, Senator Margaret Chase Smith of Maine faced backlash after she condemned Joseph McCarthy, a fellow Republican.
Image from Boxers Confront Brain Injuries, Their Most Challenging Foe
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Boxers Confront Brain Injuries, Their Most Challenging Foe

For many boxers, once the punches stop, the real fight starts.
Image from Can Driverless Cars Predict How Pedestrians Will Behave?
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Can Driverless Cars Predict How Pedestrians Will Behave?

As self-driving cars move closer to becoming a reality on our streets and highways, can engineers create software able to predict human behavior and keep pedestrians safe?
Image from Trump, Measles, and a Study That Fueled Fear
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Trump, Measles, and a Study That Fueled Fear

President Donald Trump has long been a critic of childhood vaccines – but then he suddenly changed course, urging parents to vaccinate their children.
Image from Life After Columbine
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Life After Columbine

Sean Graves was told he would never walk again after being shot during the attack at Columbine High School. This is the story of what happened next.
Image from Columbine at 20: Media Attention and Copycat Killers
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Columbine at 20: Media Attention and Copycat Killers

Twenty years after Columbine, we examine the impact the attack has had on today’s youths – and how the media has more recently shifted its coverage of school shootings.
Image from How Segregation Influenced Evangelical Political Activism
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How Segregation Influenced Evangelical Political Activism

While abortion is often cited as the motivation behind evangelical Christians becoming politically active in the 1970s, there’s another little-known reason that involves the IRS and segregated schools.
Image from How an Underground Abortion Network Got Started
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How an Underground Abortion Network Got Started

It started with one request. A friend’s sister was pregnant and suicidal. Before long a clandestine group called Jane was created to help women in Chicago with illegal abortions.
Image from Anita Hill Testified in 1991. But How Much Has Changed?
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Anita Hill Testified in 1991. But How Much Has Changed?

Accusations by Professor Christine Blasey Ford against Judge Brett Kavanaugh in his Supreme Court confirmation hearing, have us looking back at Anita Hill’s 1991 testimony in the hearing of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas.
Image from Surviving Heroin
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Surviving Heroin

After surviving four heroin overdoses, Heather Wetzel hopes she can stay clean for her daughter.
Image from Life as the World's First Test Tube Baby
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Life as the World's First Test Tube Baby

On July 25, 1978, Louise Brown became the first ever so-called “test-tube baby.” Her birth was one of the biggest media stories of the 20th century, and she became famous just by being born.
Image from Crumbling Bridges: US Infrastructure 10 Years After Minneapolis
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Crumbling Bridges: US Infrastructure 10 Years After Minneapolis

A tragic bridge collapse in Miami echoes a similar event in Minnesota over a decade ago, one of the first signs of America’s growing infrastructure problem.
Image from The Rise of SWAT: How Cops Became Soldiers
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The Rise of SWAT: How Cops Became Soldiers

As police have become more militarized, the role of SWAT teams has morphed – from use in emergency situations to fighting the drug war.
Image from Anorexia and Suicide: A Mother's Fight for Change
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Anorexia and Suicide: A Mother's Fight for Change

Kitty Westin shares the story of her daughter, Anna, who killed herself after struggling with anorexia for years.
Image from Louis Armstrong And The Black Celebrity's Dilemma
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Louis Armstrong And The Black Celebrity's Dilemma

As America’s jazz icon, Louis Armstrong was seen as a smiling, easygoing entertainer. But in 1957, he invited controversy by speaking forcefully on behalf of his fellow African Americans, putting him in a position familiar to many Black athletes today.
Image from Isolated Tribes
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Isolated Tribes

Today, there are approximately 100 tribes in the Amazon rainforest that have not interacted with the modern world. A hundred years ago, there were many more. Co-produced with PBS, American Experience, we look at the delicate situation these tribes find themselves in.
Image from What Jesse Owens's Story Tells Us About Sports and Politics
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What Jesse Owens's Story Tells Us About Sports and Politics

NFL players have been derided for injecting politics into the country’s favorite sport. But, when convenient, America has also celebrated black athletes for acting as political emissaries.
Image from Trump's Medicaid Positioning Echoes the Controversial Welfare Reform of the 90s
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Trump's Medicaid Positioning Echoes the Controversial Welfare Reform of the 90s

During his campaign, Donald Trump vowed not to cut to entitlements, but then reversed himself saying he would, and additionally would turn more control over to the states. We take a look at what happened to another entitlement, welfare, when the states took over.
Image from The Back Story on Bad Forensic Science
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The Back Story on Bad Forensic Science

With the Trump administration’s move to end a commission investigating flaws in forensic science, Retro Report looks at the history of one now-challenged method: hair analysis.
Image from Mr. Pilates
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Mr. Pilates

Did you know, the origins of the Pilates workout stem from WWI? Learn more about the fitness regimen Joseph Pilates developed in a British internment camp in this collaboration with PBS, American Experience.
Image from Freeman Dyson
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Freeman Dyson

We’ve teamed with PBS’ American Experience to take a look back at Freeman Dyson, who explored whether interplanetary space travel could be made possible by harnessing the power of a nuclear bomb.
Image from Signal Repair
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Signal Repair

“The equipment ranges from the early 1900s to up to date present time.” Our collaboration with PBS, American Experience takes a look at the Boston “T” – the oldest subway in America.
Image from Nikola Tesla Was a Hundred Years Ahead of His Time
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Nikola Tesla Was a Hundred Years Ahead of His Time

Wireless power seems cutting edge, but it was actually pioneered more than 100 years ago by Nikola Tesla. We’ve teamed up with the American Experience to explore how Tesla’s technology is being used today.
Image from Fair Housing
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Fair Housing

Has the government done enough to stop housing discrimination?
Image from Life After Welfare
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Life After Welfare

Twenty years ago, welfare reform was signed into law, promising needy families a path out of poverty. This is the story of Tianna Gaines-Turner, a former welfare recipient, who still struggles to make ends meet.
Image from LSD and Cats Image from Growing up Gygax - The Son of D&D's Creator
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Growing up Gygax - The Son of D&D's Creator

Dungeons and Dragons co-creator Gary Gygax’s son explains what life was like in a household where D&D took center stage.
Image from Junot Díaz and the D&D Revolution
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Junot Díaz and the D&D Revolution

Why Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Junot Díaz says playing Dungeons and Dragons was a revolution.
Image from Remembering Kitty
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Remembering Kitty

More than 50 years after Kitty Genovese’s murder became a symbol of urban apathy, her partner, Mary Ann Zielonko remembers Kitty’s life and impact.
Image from Teaching Robots to do Easy Stuff is Still Hard
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Teaching Robots to do Easy Stuff is Still Hard

The robotics team from M.I.T recovers from disaster at the robot Olympics.
Image from Machine trains self to beat humans at world's hardest game
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Machine trains self to beat humans at world's hardest game

Image from Hillary Clinton and the Superpredator
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Hillary Clinton and the Superpredator

Wondering what the Hillary Clinton/superpredator brouhaha is all about? Here’s the cliff notes…
Image from When Dreams Fly
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When Dreams Fly

More than 40 years ago, Pierre Sprey set out to build the ultimate fighter jet.
Image from Bliss Point: How Food Companies Make Us Crave Their Products
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Bliss Point: How Food Companies Make Us Crave Their Products

How did food companies get us to crave their products? They discovered the “bliss point.”
Image from Is the Key to Obesity All in Your Gut?
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Is the Key to Obesity All in Your Gut?

Is there a hidden cause of obesity? A professor at Stanford thinks the answer might lie with the 100 trillion microbes living in our bodies.
Image from The Unexpected Science of Exercise
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The Unexpected Science of Exercise

Does exercise really make you lose weight? One scientist went to Africa and found an unexpected answer.
Image from Being in the Bubble
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Being in the Bubble

The curious origin of a political metaphor.
Image from Leaving NFL Over CTE Concerns Made Chris Borland Football's Most Dangerous Man
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Leaving NFL Over CTE Concerns Made Chris Borland Football's Most Dangerous Man

He’s been called the most dangerous man in football. Not for what he’s doing on the field – but what he’s saying off of it. A new series of original Retro Report short docs produced for Facebook.
Image from Legendary Cartoonist Al Jaffee Recalls Comic Book Censorship
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Legendary Cartoonist Al Jaffee Recalls Comic Book Censorship

Cartoonist Al Jaffee has been causing mischief at MAD Magazine for decades and at 94-years-old, he’s as irreverent as ever. A new series of Retro Report short docs produced for Facebook.
Image from When Politicians Blame Bad Behavior on Pop Culture
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When Politicians Blame Bad Behavior on Pop Culture

Every so often, Congress holds a hearing on the perils of pop culture. The “peril” has evolved from comic books, to rock and hip hop music, to violence in video games, but the proceedings follow a script.
Image from Why Pinball Was Banned for Decades
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Why Pinball Was Banned for Decades

Pinball was illegal? Really?
Image from Separated from Parents as a Child, Argentine Man Finds his Family
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Separated from Parents as a Child, Argentine Man Finds his Family

The story of one man’s search for his identity after his parents disappeared during Argentina’s military dictatorship.
Image from Sisters Search for Lost Brother Separated by Argentine Dictatorship
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Sisters Search for Lost Brother Separated by Argentine Dictatorship

Flavia Battistiol has turned to social media in hopes of being reunited with the sibling who disappeared in 1977, when the military junta ruled Argentina.
Image from The Doctor who Identified Shaken Baby Syndrome
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The Doctor

The pediatric neurosurgeon who first identified shaken baby syndrome has a surprising take on the very syndrome he’s credited with discovering.
Image from The Lawyer
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The Lawyer

A mini-doc about the anatomy of a shaken baby case from the perspective of defense attorney Adele Bernhard.
Image from Searching for Better Answers
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Searching for Better Answers

On the heels of a national measles scare, Google announced that it is refining its search results for hundreds of medical conditions to show only vetted resources and web sites.