Season 11 (10)

19 Seasons | 177 Episodes, 2 Unlocked

 60 Nature Tech: Hurricanes
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Nature Tech: Hurricanes

Aired on Dec 30, 2005

They’re nature on a rampage. The size and intensity of hurricanes make them the most feared and destructive of all storms. Explore how hurricanes start, how scientists track them, and how if at all possible they can be stopped. Take a ride on a hurricane “chaser” plane as it flies directly into the eye of hurricane Wilma, collecting important barometric pressure and wind velocity readings. In this hour we’ll also track the historical highlights of hurricanes, and the history and development of such important hurricane research tools as radar and weather satellites. We’ll delve into the construction of buildings that weather hurricanes better than traditional structures and examine how modern skyscrapers are built to stand up to hurricane force winds.

Episode 59 Walt Disney World
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Walt Disney World

Aired on Dec 25, 2005

Journey underground and backstage at the technological marvel that is Walt Disney World. Enter a make-believe world spanning some 27,000 acres, brought to life by cutting-edge technology. What was once Florida swampland now boasts the world’s largest theme park. The ride technology ranges from space-age centrifuges to enhanced motion vehicles powered by 3,000 PSI of hydraulic pressure. And hundreds of audio animatronics brought to life through the power of pneumatics, hydraulics, and electrical systems. Walt Disney World is made up of four separate theme parks, each with its own innovations: the 107-acre Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney-MGM Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The four parks are all part of a megaplex of a resort. Twice the size of Manhattan, it was the final vision and crowning achievement of a man who spent more than 40 years pushing the limits of technology to create entertainment magic: Walt Disney.

 57 More Hardware
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More Hardware

Aired on Dec 06, 2005

From the common hammer to complex electronic devices, tools represent technological breakthroughs. Some revolutionized entire industries, while others simply made life easier around the house. Explore the ingenious evolution of hardware.

 56 Da Vinci Tech
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Da Vinci Tech

Aired on Dec 04, 2005
The inventions of Leonardo da Vinci.
 55 The Lumberyard
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The Lumberyard

Aired on Nov 30, 2005
Plywood and pressed wood; exotic woods; recycled and antique wood.
 52 Engineering Disasters 17
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Engineering Disasters 17

Aired on Nov 02, 2005

It’s another chapter of complex, deadly and controversial engineering failures, using 3-D animation, forensic engineering experts, and footage of the actual disasters to understand what went wrong, and how disaster has led to improvement. In Sun Valley, California, weeks of record rain turn a crack in the middle of a street into a 200-foot long sinkhole. Months later, rain led to the Laguna Beach, California landslide, which destroyed 11 homes and caused millions in damage. On May 23, 2004, four people were killed when the roof of the new Terminal 2E at Charles de Gaulle International Airport in Paris collapses. Other disasters: the 1931 crash of Fokker F-10 passenger airplane with coach Knute Rockne aboard; the sinking of the coal ship Marine Electric off the coast of Virginia; and the blinding reflection of the new Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles.

 51 Mountain Roads.
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Mountain Roads.

Aired on Oct 28, 2005
Join our journey along monumental feats of engineering that preserved America's natural wonders while paving the way towards her future. Travel the Donner Pass in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, site of a dark chapter in US history. Today, crews use the latest technology to keep I-80 open during the worst winter storms. Enjoy the view while traveling to the summit of Pike's Peak in Colorado, inspiration for America the Beautiful. The "Going-to-the-Sun-Road" slices through Montana's majestic Glacier National Park, crossing the Continental Divide and allowing motorists unsurpassed views of mountain scenery. Outside Denver, the Eisenhower Memorial Tunnel, carved through mountain rock, united eastern and western Colorado. And the Blue Ridge Parkway, which took 52 years to complete, snakes through large, scenic swatches.
 47 Sugar
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Sugar

Aired on Sep 14, 2005

The sugar industry came of age on the backs of slaves toiling in Caribbean fields, and British desire to control production of sugar and its byproduct, rum. Sugar also played a surprisingly critical part in America’s battle for independence. Tour a sugar plantation on Maui, Hawaii to get an inside look at how cane sugar is produced today and learn how the sugar stalks are put through an extensive process of extraction and purification–and how a ton of harvested cane results in 200 pounds of raw sugar. Learn the technology behind creating the sweetener in all of its permutations, including corn syrup, brown sugar, powdered sugar, and cube sugar, and how it’s used in candies, soda, and sauces as well as more exotic uses such as in pipe tobacco and processed meat.

 45 HMS Victory
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HMS Victory

Aired on May 26, 2007
Re-enactments of events illustrate recollections about warship HMS Victory.
Episode 44 Wiring America
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Wiring America

Aired on Aug 31, 2005

We begin with electrical linemen perched precariously out a helicopter door, repairing 345,000-volt high-tension power lines. They are part of an army of technicians and scientists we’ll ride, climb, and crawl with on this episode. They risk their lives so that we can have the services we take for granted–electric power and 21st century communications. They lay and maintain the wire that connects us one to another, as well as America to the rest of the world. The hardwiring of America is a story that is nearly two centuries old. And though satellites and wireless systems may be challenging the wire, it’s not dead. Fiber optic cable, lines that transmit light, became a player in information delivery in the late 1970s. We may be entering a “wireless” age, but the infrastructure of wires laid by visionary scientists and industrialists are still vital to America. Wire technology will be with us, continuing to provide service, well into the next century.

 41 The World's Fastest
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The World's Fastest

Aired on Aug 24, 2005

Perhaps no field has experienced the revolution in velocity more acutely than transportation. We look at five blazingly fast technological marvels that have pushed the speed limits to the very edge, each with its own unique and dramatic history: the world’s fastest production car (Sweden’s Koenigsegg CCR); the world’s fastest train (the Maglev in Shanghai); the world’s fastest boat (The Spirit of Australia); the world’s fastest roller coaster (the Kingda Ka) and the fastest thing on earth (the Holloman High Speed Test Track), used to test highly sensitive equipment for many branches of the government and commercial clients.

 37 Dredging
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Dredging

Aired on Aug 03, 2005
Dredgers clear and deepen ports for vessels that carry megacontainers.
 36 World's Biggest Machines 4
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World's Biggest Machines 4

Aired on Aug 02, 2005

From a giant machine press that stamps out an entire car body to a 125-ton chainsaw that cuts through the world’s hardest rock; from a huge telescope that glimpses the ends of the known universe to the world’s largest rock crusher. Join us for a workout of the world’s largest machines, and take a long look through the lens of the world’s biggest optical telescope, the Keck Observatory, atop 13,800-foot Mauna Kea in Hawaii.

Episode 33 Cowboy Tech
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Cowboy Tech

Aired on Jul 20, 2005

Today’s cowboy plants one boot firmly in the traditions of the Old West and the other in the world of modern technology. Beginning in the 19th century, the era in which the American cattle industry boomed, we examine cowboy technology. Learn how North American cowboys converted saddles, ropes, spurs, and other equipment originally developed by the Spanish, into tools of the trade perfectly suited for the developing cattle industry. And see how the invention of barbed wire revolutionized the cowboy’s world. Step into the 21st century with today’s cowboys who use computer chips, retinal scans, DNA evidence to round up cattle rustlers, and high-tech digital-imaging devices to aid in shoeing horses…and ride ATVs as often as their horses. In the world of rodeo, witness today’s cowboys as they utilize advanced theories of genetics and artificial insemination in an attempt to breed the perfect bucking bull.

 31 Edison Tech
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Edison Tech

Aired on Jun 28, 2005
Thomas Alva Edison successfully files more than 1,000 patents.
Episode 27 The Cape Cod Canal
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The Cape Cod Canal

Aired on Jun 15, 2005
In a battle against the ferocious Atlantic or safe passage through waters where ships wrecked and lives were lost, it was an engineering feat that many believed impossible.
 26 John Hancock Center
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John Hancock Center

Aired on Jun 08, 2005

Explore how a young architectural team conceived of an innovative 100-story, multi-use tower in the heart of Chicago.

Episode 24 Civil War Tech
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Civil War Tech

Aired on May 25, 2005

America protects its homeland with the most technologically advanced military force ever conceived. Although they fight 21st-century battles worldwide, the technology unleashed is directly descended from a war fought more than 140 years ago. This episode explores how the War between North and South was the first modern war, and the technology used in it was a quantum leap beyond any previous conflict. The machine gun, aerial reconnaissance, advanced battlefield medicine, instantaneous communication, ironclad ships, even the first aircraft carrier were all innovations developed during the Civil War. We’ll investigate improvements in weapons, sea power, transportation, troop conveyance, food processing, medical care, and telecommunications. At a time when the nation was divided, Civil War technology revolutionized the way war was waged. Today, those technological milestones have evolved to ensure that our modern military has no equal in the world.

Episode 22 Glue
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Glue

Aired on May 18, 2005

The use of glue spans human history, from Neolithic cave dwellers who used animal glue to decorate ceremonial skulls to modern everyday glues and the super glues.

 21 Heavy Metal: PT Boat.
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Heavy Metal: PT Boat.

Aired on Dec 17, 2004
Pound for pound, the Patrol Torpedo (PT) boats were WWII's most heavily armed fighting boats. Screwed and glued together on a hull made of wood, these 50 tons of fast fighting fury were hated by the Japanese who nicknamed them "The Devil Boats of the Night". With their three powerful marine engines and speedboat designs, they took on the enemy at close quarters with greater frequency than any other type of surface craft--from firefights with coastal barges to protecting the invasion fleet at D-Day. And they attacked the enemy from the freezing seas of the Aleutian Islands to the treacherous waters of the South Pacific. Using unique archive film, reenactments, and extraordinary interviews, here is the story of how this wooden wonder struggled for early recognition, but through the brilliance of its design, daring of its missions, and courage and sacrifice of its crews would play a major part in WWII.
 20 Bricks
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Bricks

Aired on May 11, 2005
Fallen civilizations' brick-and-mortar structures defiantly stand against time and the elements.
 19 Paint
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Paint

Aired on Apr 27, 2005

From the Impressionist canvas to the Space Shuttle…from customized hotrods to the brilliant orange hue of the Golden Gate Bridge or tiny electronic devices–paint is one of our most ubiquitous products. And paint adds more than just pigmentation. It’s a crucial engineering element, protecting ships from water corrosion, stovetops from heat, and the Stealth Bomber from radar detection. In homes and businesses, it provides a balanced spectrum of light and protects surfaces from wear. In this colorful hour, we discover how this marvel of chemistry and engineering is made, and how it is applied. Come see what’s beneath the surface as we reveal one of man’s most ingenious methods of defeating the elements and adding spice to life!

Episode 17 The Basement
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The Basement

Aired on Apr 26, 2005
Venture down that creaky staircase to explore the most misunderstood room in the house! From Pompeii to Pittsburgh, the dark, cool, and forlorn spaces beneath our living quarters have always contained things that helped us live comfortably.
Episode 14 Deadliest Weapons
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Deadliest Weapons

Aired on Mar 16, 2005

In this fiery hour, we profile five of man’s deadliest weapons, focusing on the inventors, battles, and dark technology behind their lethality. We begin with the deadliest bomb ever created, the Tsar Bomba–a 50-megaton nuclear bomb with a yield thousands of times greater than the one dropped on Hiroshima. During WWI, technological advances in weaponry led to the deaths of over 8-million, and one of the deadliest killers was the machine gun. In WWII, the use of incendiary bombs killed hundreds of thousands of people. Another deadly invention of WWII was the proximity fuse, or VT fuse, that allowed artillery to detonate within a predetermined range of an enemy target. Finally, we examine VX nerve gas, thought by many to be the deadliest chemical agent ever created and suspected to have been used by Saddam Hussein with devastating results. We’ll visit Edgewood Chemical BioCenter, which plays a large role in protection and detection for our troops in Iraq.

 8 Sub Zero
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Sub Zero

Aired on Feb 23, 2005
U.S. South Pole Station; Polartec Clothing; snowmobiles and Sno-Cats; ice-breaking ships; LC-130 transport plane; robot explorer; glycoproteins.
Episode 7 George Washington Carver Tech
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George Washington Carver Tech

Aired on Feb 15, 2005

One of the 20th century’s greatest scientists, George Washington Carver’s influence is still felt. Rising from slavery to become one of the world’s most respected and honored men, he devoted his life to understanding nature and the many uses for the simplest of plant life. His scientific research in the late 1800s produced agricultural innovations like crop rotation and composting. Part of the “chemurgist” movement that changed the rural economy, he found ingenious applications for the peanut, soybean, and sweet potato. At Tuskegee Institute, Dr. Carver invented more than 300 uses for the peanut, while convincing poor farmers to rotate cotton crops with things that would add nutrients to the soil. A visionary, Carver shared his knowledge free of charge, happy in his Tuskegee laboratory where he could use his gifts to help others.

Episode 6 The Butcher
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The Butcher

Aired on Feb 08, 2005

In a carnivorous world, a butcher is a necessary link in the food chain, carving a carcass of unsavory flesh into mouthwatering cuts. We trace the grisly trade’s evolution–from yesteryear’s butcher-on-every-corner to today’s industrial butcher working on a “disassembly” line. We tour the infamous remains of the Chicago Stockyards, where Upton Sinclair, Clarence Birdseye, and refrigeration changed butchering forever; witness high-speed butchering; and travel to a non-stop sausage factory. And if you’re still squeamish, a USDA inspector offers the lowdown on HACCP–the country’s new system of checks and balances on everything from quality grading to E. coli, Salmonella, and Mad Cow Disease. Finally, we visit the last bastion of old-school butchering–the rural custom butcher, who slaughters, eviscerates, skins, and cuts to his customer’s wishes.

 4 World's Biggest Machines 3
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World's Biggest Machines 3

Aired on Jan 26, 2005

Giant, flame-breathing robots; floating fortress; diesel engine with 108,000 horsepower.

 3 Nature's Engineers 2
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Nature's Engineers 2

Aired on Jan 18, 2005
Earth's non-human inhabitants use tools, build intricate structures and perform complex procedures.
 2 The Arch
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The Arch

Aired on Jan 12, 2005
The arch is one of the strongest and most versatile structures made by humans.

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