Season 13 (5)

19 Seasons | 177 Episodes, 2 Unlocked

 44 Fast Food Tech
S 13 E 44

Fast Food Tech

Aired on Dec 26, 2007

Can fast food get any faster? Fast food joints in the US pull in $150 billion dollars in annual sales. Their mantra is “fast, consistent, and inexpensive.” Learn how they grow it, process it, freeze it, ship it, track it, fry it, flip it and pack it. Watch as hundreds of burgers, fries and shakes fly across counters and drive-thru windows at Carl’s Jr., Jack in the Box, Wendy’s and McDonald’s. Visit a potato-processing plant for the scoop on how fries are made and learn how Taco Bell’s founder developed the fast-food hard shell taco. Find out what the future holds for fast food technology.

 42 Most Shocking
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Most Shocking

Aired on Dec 10, 2007
It strikes without warning and kills in an instant. We fear its might even as we use it to save a life. Explore the electric shock in its numerous forms. Visit a modern day taser factor, uncovering the history behind these devices. Deconstruct a lightening bolt, which can travel up to 100,000 miles per second, and listen to the shocking tales from survivors of lightening strikes. From fences to eels, to the electric chair, we reveal the jolting truth about the electric shock.
 41 Rocks
S 13 E 41

Rocks

Aired on Dec 03, 2007

From the Stone Age to the Space Age, our world has been built from rocks. Visit the Johnson Space Center in Houston to examine America’s horde of moon rocks to determine how the planets were formed, and how old the solar system is. See how marble and granite are extracted, cut and polished. Do some blasting at a gravel pit, watch ore turn into steel and finally, learn how the Geysers in Northern California harness heat from rocks to create energy for 85,000 homes.

 38 Environmental Tech II
S 13 E 38

Environmental Tech II

Aired on Nov 12, 2007

Take a look at the innovations designed to hold off a global warming meltdown. Visit giant solar energy towers in Spain, install a rooftop wind turbine and ride in a car that runs on air. Will a daring attempt to remove carbon dioxide from our atmosphere by dumping iron in the ocean really work? Discover how everyone can go green with the flick of a switch.

 36 World's Sharpest
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World's Sharpest

Aired on Oct 11, 2007

It’s time to slice and dice! Take a cutting-edge look at the most amazing blades in the world, from the legendary sword of the samurai warrior with an edge sharp enough to sever a man’s arm in a single swipe, to industrial shredder blades capable of gobbling anything from a sofa to a fridge, to the precision slicing power of lasers and plasma.

Episode 35 Acid
S 13 E 35

Acid

Aired on Oct 01, 2007

It is the most widely produced chemical in the world and possibly the most dangerous. Take a look at the many uses of acid. See how the military harnesses acid to make the explosive “Comp B-4.” Visit a sulfuric acid plant to see how acid can take the stain out of stainless steel and learn how it can be mixed to dissolve precious metal. At the Heinz vinegar plant discover why acid’s sour taste is sweet. Finally, learn how acid loving bacteria in Yellowstone National Park may hold the key to a biological industrial revolution and meet a mad scientist who will demonstrate how acid can hollow out a penny and turn a hot dog to sludge!

 34 Deep Freeze
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Deep Freeze

Aired on Sep 25, 2007

Take a look at the technology of cold. Think your home freezer is “cool”? Try spending some time in a 12-story unit filled with 135 million pounds of ice cream. Enter Arctic vaults that store millions of different seeds and learn how scientists have mastered temperatures of -200 degrees F and below. Explore how the cold not only preserves and chills, but also shatters rubber tires, strengthens steel, and fuels rockets. Finally, visit Alcor, where researchers keep cadavers on ice in hopes of future revival.

Episode 33 Extreme Aircraft II.
S 13 E 33

Extreme Aircraft II.

Aired on Sep 20, 2007

Take a supersonic flight through a world of flying machines that are redefining our skies. Pull serious G’s in the U.S. military’s latest fighter jet: the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Riding shotgun in the lethal B-1B Lancer, and look close or you’ll miss the swarm of MAV’s (Micro Air Vehicles)–so small they are launched out of a backpack. The “vertical takeoff and landing” capable PAV’s (Personal Aerial Vehicles) may be the answer to the commuting needs of tired travelers. Then, discover how a commercial jetliner has been retrofitted into the biggest flying fire truck the world has ever seen.

 32 Batteries
S 13 E 32

Batteries

Aired on Sep 19, 2007
Mixtures of metals and caustic chemicals that make our tech, tools and toys surge with energy. Visit the world's most powerful battery in Fairbanks, Alaska--13,760 hulking cells humming with 5,000 volts (Don't touch it!) ready to help the city survive power outages. Then it's off to Energizer's mammoth North Carolina production facility to see how machines churn out one million D-cells every day. 6,831 batteries are packed in the sleek Tesla Roadster, a new electric sports car that can speed from 0 to 60 in just 4 seconds. Let's take a ride. And your own car battery? We'll show you the ingredients that manufacturers pour into it--from sulfuric acid to a substance aptly called "mud". And we don't forget nanobatteries--those microscopic marvels that may some day power nanorobots. That Fantastic Voyage of a submarine in the human blood stream is suddenly a plausible reality.
 31 Traps
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Traps

Aired on Aug 27, 2007

Trapping black bears with West Virginia Division of Natural Resources biologists; trapping and releasing feral cats left stranded in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

 30 Vacuums
S 13 E 30

Vacuums

Aired on Aug 23, 2007
What kind of vacuum do you need for a real disaster? Where is the largest vacuum chamber? What's the rarest home vacuum collectible?
 29 Bedroom Tech
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Bedroom Tech

Aired on Aug 13, 2007
We spend one-third of our lives in the bedroom. Explore the technologies that help to ensure we wake up on the right side of the bed.
 27 Sticky Stuff
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Sticky Stuff

Aired on Jul 30, 2007

Bees do it. Chemists do it. Even Photocopiers do it. And if it’s not done enough, the world will become unglued…literally. From Velcro hooks to Gecko feet, making things that stick is no easy task. Come revel in the oozing, seeping mystery of a sticky rubber–25 years in the works–that lets an athlete climb a 200 foot stone wall; or a roll of tape so strong it sticks together skyscrapers, even in winds of 240 MPH. We’ll also see how electrostatics makes cling wrap cling, bee glue stuck ancient mummies together, and how the tar that trapped Woolly Mammoths now seals our roofs.

Episode 26 Aluminum
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Aluminum

Aired on Jul 25, 2007

This useful metal was once considered more valuable than gold. Watch as aluminum is stretched, pounded, melted and turned into foam. Did you know that aluminum is made out of a powder? Visit the widest rolling mill in the world where skins for the largest jets are made, then it’s off to NASA to observe how aluminum is used to make reflective mirrors for telescopes. Discover the process of making aluminum foil and learn why aluminum baseball bats are better than wood.

 25 Saws
S 13 E 25

Saws

Aired on Jul 18, 2007

Sink your teeth into the razor sharp world of saws. Cut across the centuries to discover how the Egyptians arduously sawed stone as compared to modern saws that slice through limestone like butter. Saws have been used as instruments of torture and tools for surgery. They are imperative for construction, salvage, demolition, and they even make music. Whether they have teeth of steel, carbide or diamond, you will be on the cutting edge of successful sawing.

 23 Fertilizer
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Fertilizer

Aired on Jun 20, 2007

Fertilizer–without it two thirds of the world would starve. It makes our lawns grow greener and our crops grow taller. Take a tour of the places where the essential nutrients that feed the soil are harnessed. Dig deep in a phosphate mine, sniff around a sewage treatment plant and get dirty in a trough teeming with seven million worms. Finally, learn about a war that was fought over the control of bat poop!

 22 Truck Stops
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Truck Stops

Aired on Jun 13, 2007

Catering to more than twenty million truckers, truck stops are bigger and better than ever. These mega-pit stops are essential to the trucks and truckers that haul eight billion tons of freight annually. Tour the world’s largest truck stop that offers fuel, food, parking, private showers, a movie theater, a dentist office, and a barbershop. Look at how 18-wheelers can power up their rigs with a high tech parking lot hookup called IdleAire; complete with heat, air conditioning, a telephone line, a computer with high speed internet, and of course satellite TV. We’ll also see how 30,000 gallon underground diesel storage tanks are manufactured. And we’ll weigh and inspect a truck while it’s barely slowing down. In an interview with Willie Nelson, we’ll explore one of the most unique truck stops in the United States and the revolutionary fuel it sells: biodiesel.

 21 70's Tech
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70's Tech

Aired on May 30, 2007

The 1970s were a decade of excess. Dust off your mirror ball, put on your leisure suit, and rediscover the gadgets of the era. Play PONG with its inventor and learn how this simple game created a billion dollar empire. Texas Instruments engineers explain how the technology behind the Speak & Spell ended up in our cell phones. Discover how Mr. Coffee became America’s favorite breakfast buddy, and how Polaroid engineered a film that magically developed right before your eyes. Climb aboard the Concorde and learn how Britain and France trumped the Soviet Union and the United States in a race for supersonic air supremacy.

 20 Engineering Disasters of the 70's
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Engineering Disasters of the 70's

Aired on May 31, 2007

To err is human… But when the error results in the loss of life, it’s a disaster. Learn about one of the most mysterious maritime disasters of the decade–the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald. Was it possible that the nation was on the brink of war due to a faulty circuit board? What caused the Buffalo Creek Dam disaster in West Virginia? Finally, delve into the explosion of a super tanker in Los Angeles harbor. With the aid of 3-D animation, forensic engineering experts, and footage of the actual disasters, an in-depth look can be taken of what went wrong, and how the disasters have led to industry improvements.

 19 World's Strongest 2
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World's Strongest 2

Aired on May 23, 2007

What does it take to rate as “the world’s strongest”? Watch as life-saving boron carbide body armor, strong enough to stop 9mm machine gun bullets at point-blank range, is put to the test. Visit the world of Monster Trucks and watch BigFoot in car-crushing action. For a demonstration of lifting might, head dockside with a super-strong mobile crane capable of hoisting a 600-ton mega-yacht and toting it through a boat yard without a scratch. The Super-Shredder is a metal recycling monster that can gobble up 6 junked cars a minute.

 18 60's Tech
S 13 E 18

60's Tech

Aired on May 16, 2007

Take a groovy ride back to the freewheeling days of the 1960s and recall the technological happenings that helped shape the decade. Television went from black and white to color. Satellite broadcasting made coast-to-coast live broadcasts possible. Transistors made radios portable, computers downsized and telephones began switching from rotary to touch-tone. The 60s also brought along the Ford Mustang and other hot wheels. For fun, there was slot car racing, etch-a-sketch, the superball, and lava lamps. The decade gave us quite a technological rush, with the introduction of concert sound, psychedelic light shows and the birth of the rock festival.

 17 It Came from Outer Space
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It Came from Outer Space

Aired on May 16, 2007

Discover how essential space travel technologies have journeyed back to Earth with surprising and indispensable commercial applications. For example, paint that can withstand the heat of reentry now protects our steel-framed high-rises from collapsing in a fire. Batteries that can take a sports car from zero to 60 in four seconds also keep our satellites in orbit. The oxygen tank used by firefighters to save countless lives is just like the one used by our astronauts during the Apollo missions. These and many ordinary objects are traced back to their NASA roots, where they originally had the right stuff.

Episode 16 Welding
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Welding

Aired on May 09, 2007

It was a science first conjured amid the fiery ovens of ancient blacksmiths; today more than 50% of all U.S. products require some form of welding. Whether via electricity, flammable gases, sonic waves, or sometimes just raw explosive power, welding creates powerful bonds between metal unmatched by any other joining process. From high atop emerging 60-story towers on the Las Vegas strip to oil platforms hundreds of feet below the ocean, discover how welders forge the backbone of civilization. Learn about exciting new applications: how sound waves create bulletproof welds for contemporary body armor; the technologies behind robotic welding systems; and the knee-rattling impact of an explosion weld, the most powerful method of all.

 15 Modern Marvels : Deep Sea Salvage
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Modern Marvels : Deep Sea Salvage

Aired on May 02, 2007
Driven by the need for deep sea rescue and salvage capabilities, the US Navy Diving and Salvage Programs have gathered together a highly skilled team of divers, scientists and engineers, who have been involved in some of the most exciting and dangerous salvage operations ever undertaken.
 14 More Military Movers
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More Military Movers

Aired on Apr 18, 2007

Soldiers, machines, and supplies are only effective if they arrive at the battlefield in time. Explore the history and the technology behind the machines that do the heavy moving in times of war. The V-22 Osprey is designed to combine the best qualities of a helicopter with the best qualities of a fixed-wing aircraft. For all of its ingenuity and promise, the Osprey has had a tumultuous development period. These controversies will be examined as Osprey advocates explain how the aircraft’s shortcomings have been worked out. Take a look at the Boeing CH-47 Chinook helicopter–a versatile, twin engine, tandem rotor, heavy lift copter that is a major military workhorse. Also spotlighted are LMSRs, which are some of the largest non-combatant ships in the military. Reaching nearly a thousand feet in length, they are capable of carrying an entire U.S. Army task force.

 13 Yard Tech
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Yard Tech

Aired on Apr 12, 2007

In the 21st century, turf grass is the number one crop grown in the U.S. When suburbia exploded after World War II, turf became the defining characteristic of nearly every yard. First, it’s off to the research greenhouse facility at The Scotts Company to learn how grass seed is bred for special characteristics. Then pay a visit to the Toro Company, a big name in lawnmowers. The Rain Bird Company and its automatic sprinkler systems is the life giver to thirsty lawns across the country, and The Davey Company specializes in moving trees in excess of one million pounds. Finally, take a trip to California Waterscapes and watch as a crew installs a waterfall and koi pond.

 11 Dams
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Dams

Aired on Mar 28, 2007

They block the force of a river, produce enough electricity to power cities, move water over hundreds of miles and irrigate fertile valleys. Dams prevent floods and produce “green” energy. We’ll visit a hydroelectric dam, the most technologically advanced type of dam, and a dam in Brazil that is five times the size of the Hoover Dam. At the Utah State University Water Research Laboratory Hydraulics Lab in Logan, Utah, we watch a model of a dam crumble beneath tons of water and discuss how future dam failures can be averted. We will learn how dams adversely affect river systems and as a result, there are many proponents of dam removal.

 9 Barbarian Battle Tech
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Barbarian Battle Tech

Aired on Mar 04, 2007

Barbarians and technology, maybe they’re not such a contradiction after all. It’s the bow that nearly brought down Rome, and the suspension system that revolutionized the chariot. Barbarians built the forts that held out invaders, and forged the axe that named a country. We’ll see inside the shop of one of the world’s finest metal workers as he shapes iron ore into a classic Celtic sword. With 21st Century animation we’ll rebuild a 2600 year-old hill fort–and show that protecting a village was as easy as digging a ditch. Finally, the designers of “Rome: Total War: Barbarian Invasion” reveal how they devised a system that accurately recreates the great barbarian battles. Which weapons scored best? The results may surprise you.

 8 Weapons of Mass Destruction
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Weapons of Mass Destruction

Aired on Feb 21, 2007

From the unimaginable power of nuclear bombs to microscopic anthrax spores, we reveal who possesses these nightmare weapons and explore the danger posed by terrorists with deadly technologies. Using the latest computer technology we see an on-screen representation of the radioactive plume that would result from a mock dirty bomb attack in Seattle. We will learn how bio-agents are discovered and understand the technology currently used to identify and prevent suicide bombings. Weapons of mass destruction have made the world a dangerous place but we will find out how technology can assist us as we strive for lasting solutions.

 5 Ice
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Ice

Aired on Feb 11, 2007

The solid form of life’s precious elixir–has played a key role in fashioning our history and is making its mark as an unusual tool of technology. We’ll explore how Earth’s ice originated and recount how ice age glaciers sculpted North America. Our cameras take an inside look at Colorado’s National Ice Core Repository to see how ice drilled from Antarctica and Greenland is an invaluable archive of past climate, and at a Canadian research lab experts demonstrate the dynamics and dangers of icebergs. We’ll see how Greenland’s massive ice sheet may be sliding faster than ever toward the sea. Take a look at how scientists are using Antarctica’s ice as a gigantic lens to probe the secrets of the universe and ride aboard everyone’s favorite ice resurfacing machine, the Zamboni machine. Other highlights include the search for extraterrestrial ice and a trip inside the studio of a chainsaw-wielding artist as he sculpts a masterpiece.

 4 Pumps
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Pumps

Aired on Feb 07, 2007
Since 200 BC, when the Greek Philosopher Archimedes created a device for lifting water, the pump has been synonymous with transporting Earth's most precious resource.
 3 Canning
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Canning

Aired on Jan 31, 2007

It’s the unsung essential of modern life. Canning is the method of a preserving and packaging food, without which civilization would never have ventured beyond the local food supply. It changed the way the world eats and revolutionized the food industry. There are self heating and self cooling cans, microwaveable cans, ozone safe aerosol cans and cans that store nuclear waste. We will explore where canning has been, where it is now and where it is going in the future.

Episode 2 Environmental Tech
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Environmental Tech

Aired on Jan 24, 2007

From the prairies of Saskatchewan to a Manhattan skyscraper we’ll see the 21st Century’s cutting-edge “green” technologies in action. New technologies such as carbon sequestration and bioremediation take on our most daunting environmental crises, from global warming and deforestation to nuclear waste and resource scarcity. See how blue-green algae are converted into automotive biofuel and methane from decomposing garbage is turned into clean-burning natural gas. Finally, we’ll see how trees and other natural environments can be used as engineering materials to control flooding and rejuvenate dying rivers.

 1 Balls
S 13 E 1

Balls

Aired on Jan 17, 2007
The Wilson Sporting Goods football factory; Rawlings' Costa Rica baseball factory; the National Soccer Hall of Fame; the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

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