Season 14 (5)

16 Seasons | 190 Episodes

 1 Milk
S 14 E 1

Milk

Aired on Jan 07, 2008

Got milk? Billions of pounds of milk are consumed worldwide on a daily basis. Milk is the basis for its own food group, and has been around since the dawn of mammals. Visit a farm with a milking parlor that looks more like a cow merry-go-round. Learn what pasteurization is really all about, and even milk a yak. Find out what those active cultures in yogurt are and discover if milk truly makes the body good. Wait until you discover just how many types of cows there truly are.

 2 Carbon
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Carbon

Aired on Jan 14, 2008

It is the chemical basis of all known life and yet this simple element is also the foundation of modern technology. Carbon burns hotter, cuts deeper, insulates more thoroughly and absorbs more fully than any other material. See why carbon is the key both in heavy-duty industries, as well as in tools like the graphite pencil, the charcoal water filter, and the diamond saw blade. Watch how carbon fiber, a material stronger than steel and lighter than fiberglass, is made into the fuselage of a new Boeing 787. Discover why “activated charcoal” is the material of choice for absorbing everything from toxic heavy metals in your drinking water to funky odors in your shoes.

 3 90's Tech
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90's Tech

Aired on Feb 07, 2008

The dot com decade opened up the information superhighway and for the first time, people could shop, search, and surf online with the click of a mouse. Take a trip back to the end of the 20th century and the beginning of today’s trendy technologies and see how the gadgets we can’t live without all started in the 90s. Learn about the science of creating an Internet search engine and explore how virtual pet toys were born.

 4 Superhighways
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Superhighways

Aired on Feb 28, 2008

Millions of drivers travel the world’s superhighways each year. See a multi-billion dollar expansion project in Houston, Texas where a stretch of superhighway is being widened to 20 lanes. Take a ride atop the High-Five, a 12-story, five-level interchange that’s become the latest Dallas tourist attraction. Then it’s off to China’s 28,000-mile National Trunk Highway System. Discover how a single distracted driver can cause a major traffic jam. Finally, play a cutting-edge video game that’s training emergency personnel how to unclog a clogged superhighway.

 5 World's Strongest III
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World's Strongest III

Aired on Mar 06, 2008

Witness some mind-blowing feats of strength starting with the world’s most powerful elevators–one lifts fighter jets, the other lifts a giant stage filled with acrobats. Discover the world’s strongest tire and the monster mine machine it rolls with. Take a 35-foot drop on the world’s strongest mountain bike. See the world’s strongest land transport vehicle that carries the Space Shuttle. Finally mix some drinks or chop a telephone into dust with the biggest and strongest home blender you’ve ever seen.

 6 Strange Weapons
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Strange Weapons

Aired on Mar 10, 2008

Modern arsenals have become much more sophisticated than bullets and bombs. Discover microwave-like rays that make the enemy flee when they feel the heat and laser weapons, mounted on trucks and airplanes that can blow missiles out of the sky. Some of the newest non-lethal weapons include a B.B. machine gun that can fire 150 pain-causing pellets a second and a flashing device nicknamed “the pukelight” that may make you lose your lunch. Finally examine ancient weapons that include a cutlery set containing hidden pistols and Ninja hand claws that would put the X-Men’s Wolverine to shame.

 7 Alaskan Fishing
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Alaskan Fishing

Aired on Mar 16, 2008

The Alaska Ocean is the largest factory-fishing boat in the US fleet. The crew’s mission: hunt down, catch and process 300 tons of Alaskan Pollock each day on the unforgiving waters of the Bering Sea. We travel with them on the last voyage of a long and grueling season. The crew reveals the inner workings of one of the most sophisticated and complex vessels afloat. It is half fishing boat, half floating factory, processing and flash freezing Alaskan Pollock as fast as its crew can catch it. To meet their seasonal quota of Pollock, the crew must overcome obstacles of weather, mechanical dangers aboard the sea-tossed ship and the wiliness of the fish themselves. Captain Scott Symonds takes us inside the amazing ultra-modern world of high stakes commercial fishing where a wrong decision on his part can cost not just the season’s catch, but also the lives of his crew.

 8 Whiskey
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Whiskey

Aired on Mar 17, 2008

Known to Irish monks as “water of life”, visit some of the world’s finest distilleries to see how each country brews this thousand-year old spirit. Jack Daniels tells the secret of charcoal filtering, Jim Beam shows its premium bourbons and the art of blending is revealed at Canadian Club Whiskey. Cross the Atlantic to get the real deal at Jameson’s Distillery in Midleton, Ireland and in Scotland discover what gives Glenlivet its character. Meet some of the people who are lucky enough to sample whiskey for a living. Cheers!

 9 Bread
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Bread

Aired on Mar 24, 2008

It’s the basic source of nourishment for half the world–bread. Bake it, roast it, slice it, toast it–it’s a wonder that three simple ingredients, flour, water and salt, can be transformed into so many different shapes and tastes. From baguettes to pita, from corn bread to flour tortillas, every culture finds a way to make it and bake it.

 10 Gadgets 3
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Gadgets 3

Aired on Apr 04, 2008

Explore the hottest trends in gadgets, how they’ve evolved and where they’re going. See how the latest miniaturized, mobile gadgetry can fit all the technology that once filled an entire office into a single briefcase. Visit Brookstone, the ultimate gadget store. We’ll meet a gadget collector who’s turned his home into a gadget museum. And we’ll visit basement inventors who have developed everything from an iron you slip over your hand to smart appliances that talk back. Revisit some of the original gadgets like the corkscrew and zipper and see how some gadgets evolve into new forms. Discover which gadget inventors may hold tomorrow’s hottest new trends and learn why some gadgets succeed while others crash and burn.

 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.
Episode 11 Locomotives
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Locomotives

Aired on Apr 07, 2008

Zip through the French countryside at nearly 300 MPH on the TGV–the fastest locomotive in the world. Ride on the little engines that could as they guide giant ships through the Panama Canal. Watch two locomotives crash head-on as the federal government monitors safety. Descend 700 feet below the earth’s surface where mining locomotives move miners through a maze of tunnels. Then, it’s a “jiffy lube” for locomotives inside America’s largest maintenance shop. Finally, glide into the future with a locomotive that levitates on a cushion of air.

 12 Rats
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Rats

Aired on Apr 30, 2008

Feared by millions worldwide, rats are some of the most dangerous, destructive and useful animals on Earth. Ride along with a Terminix exterminator to get face to face with the creepy creature in a near rat infestation and see the great lengths we take to get rid of the pesky pest. Tour the Hacco Inc. rodenticide plant to see how tasty poisons are concocted. At the Taconic rat breeding facility, we’ll see how hundreds of thousands of rats are bred and raised in high-tech and controlled environments. Watch rodents compete in the Xtreme Rat Challenge at the annual American Fancy Rat show. We’ll trace their history and role as a vector of deadly diseases, but also explore how they have saved countless lives as lab rats. Scientists will show us how a remote controlled rat could be your savior in the near future.

Episode 13 Mad Electricity
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Mad Electricity

Aired on May 14, 2008

Nikola Tesla’s bizarre vision of the future brought him failure, but his genius electrified the world. Travel to Niagara Falls, where in 1893, Tesla installed his new system of Alternating Electrical Current known as AC–the same power we use today. Uncover the forgotten ruins of Tesla’s dream experiment—a huge tower on Long Island Sound he hoped would wirelessly power the world. Radar, death rays, invisibility devices and earthquake machines: Tesla claimed to have created them all. More than 100 years ago Tesla foresaw the need for alternative energies like geothermal and solar.

 14 Axes
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Axes

Aired on May 30, 2008

The axe is one of the world’s oldest, most dangerous and efficient cutting tools. Watch as competitive lumberjacks and Jills chop through 12-inch logs in a matter of seconds. Visit one of the nation’s largest axe manufacturers to see hot metal forged into a modern axe. Take a swing with a Vikings’ battleaxe and then see which knight would win in a fight of sword versus axe. Learn why the Native American tomahawk is making a comeback as a modern tactical weapon. Finally, see how the classic fireman’s axe has evolved into a trailer full of high tech rescue tools.

 15 Most Dangerous
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Most Dangerous

Aired on Jun 06, 2008

Discover that the deadliest snakes, sports and weather events are closer and more treacherous than you think. Travel to the slopes of Mt. Rainier, America’s most dangerous volcano, and find out why 100,000 people could be in serious trouble. Watch where you step, because the most dangerous snake in the U.S. slithers in great numbers and has a short temper. Learn where the most dangerous weather phenomenon, the tornado, can cause the most damage. We’ll look for protection for the most dangerous hits football can muster.

Episode 16 Super Hot
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Super Hot

Aired on Jun 09, 2008

Explore the world of extreme temperatures. See what happens to Pyroman, a life-size mannequin, as he is exposed to over 3,000 degrees F. Visit Underwriters Laboratories and see how common household appliances can go lethal. Follow geologists as they take lava samples from the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii. Finally, journey into a fusion facility in San Diego, California and watch as scientist’s heat plasma to over 200 million degrees F in hopes of someday creating an inexhaustible power source.

 17 Corpse Tech
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Corpse Tech

Aired on Jun 20, 2008

Do you ever wonder what happens to your body after you die? You might be surprised to discover that the human body is host to a multitude of hidden secrets. Discover how coroners and forensic anthropologists use a body to both save lives and catch killers. Visit the University of Tennessee’s famed “Body Farm,” a crematorium, and one of the largest tissue banks in the United States.

 18 Ice Cream
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Ice Cream

Aired on Jun 23, 2008

From the gelato of Italy, to the French Pot process of the 1800s, to the numerous assortments of frozen delights being served up today, learn the history of this delicious dessert. Visit factories at Dreyer’s, TCBY and the Joy Cone Company where ice cream, frozen yogurt, and the cone, roll off the assembly line. Get the scoop on how Ben & Jerry’s come up with their crazy ideas and watch as one of their madcap inventors creates a new flavor, just for us.

 19 Bathroom Tech II
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Bathroom Tech II

Aired on Jun 30, 2008

Bathroom technology; Kohler makes a digitally controlled shower complete with steam, music and LED chromatherapy; manufacturing sinks; “uncloggable” toilet; the engineering behind low-flow showers and toilets.

 20 Crashes
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Crashes

Aired on Jul 10, 2008

Explore collisions that shake our world from the astronomic to the subatomic. Discover breakthroughs that could make the deadly sport of professional auto racing safer and visit a motorcycle crash test facility and examine two-wheeled accidents in detail. Meet a skydiver who survived a crash to earth from 11,000 feet. An asteroid crashing to earth could destroy our planet–watch as NASA’s Near Earth Asteroid Tracking team hunt down dangerous asteroids. Finally learn about scientist’s who are creating crashes with colliding subatomic particles in the world’s largest machine. Will they unlock the secrets of the universe–or accidentally open a black hole?

 21 Underwear
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Underwear

Aired on Jul 17, 2008
Brief history of undergarments; the evolution from itchy woolen union suits to comfortable briefs and boxers; socks with special threads to prevent odor; fire retardant underwear; the bra industry.
 22 Coin Operated
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Coin Operated

Aired on Jul 24, 2008

Every 15 minutes, Americans insert over 3.5 million coins into vending machines. We’ll visit a sprawling factory that mass produces the latest in high-tech vending machines, and a small company that makes a giant gumball machine that holds 40,000 gumballs. Then, there’s the dreaded parking meter, including new ones that can take credit cards and text message for help when they are being robbed or vandalized. We’ll visit America’s last pinball factory, and see what strange coin operated fare kept people amused 100 years ago. Is coin counting Coinstar the ultimate coin operated machine? We’ll follow their coins all the way to a Brinks warehouse. Our last stop is Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanized Museum, housing some of the weirdest coin-op machines ever invented. If seeing a life-sized, robotic old man vomit is your idea of entertainment, drop a couple of quarters into “Dr. Ralph Bingenpurge”. Now, that’s money well spent.

 23 Secrets of Oil
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Secrets of Oil

Aired on Jul 31, 2008

Rubber, Plastic, Nylon, Aerosols, Resins, Solvents, and Lubricants–none can exist without oil. If we stopped driving our cars tomorrow, America would still need five million barrels of oil a day. Visit Vulcan Materials, where oil tanks are emptied into massive double-barrel mixers to make asphalt and then continue to the Rolls Royce Aerospace Facility where complex jet fuels are blended. Travel back to the 1870’s to see how an unemployed whale oil salesman turned a greasy oil-drilling by-product into a household staple: Vaseline. Finally discover how cutting-edge recycling techniques can breathe new life into used motor oil, and where a number of renewable fuels and technologies take aim at oil sovereignty.

 24 Iron
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Iron

Aired on Aug 14, 2008

From the spear, axe, and sword to today’s high tech arsenal, iron weapons have revolutionized warfare. Visit the mines of Minnesota and discover how iron ore is extracted and made into steel. Learn how military-metallurgists create the latest weapons and demonstrate their firepower. Discover iron super magnets, and study the biggest iron magnet of all–the earth! See how iron oxide plays a significant role in creating paints for cars and houses and ink for tattoos and the dollar bill. Finally, it’s off to the Moon and Mars to mine iron in space.

Episode 25 Wheat
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Wheat

Aired on Aug 21, 2008
How wheat feeds the world; wheat becomes everything from bread to beer; a custom harvester follows ripening wheat fields from Texas to North Dakota; exporting wheat; grinding grain into flour; Widmer Brothers Brewery; Wheatware.
 26 Dangerous Roads
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Dangerous Roads

Aired on Aug 28, 2008

Take a ride along some of the world’s most dangerous roads. From Bolivia’s “Death Road,” to California’s fog-shrouded Highway 99, find the danger that waits behind every blind curve. Visit the Federal Highway Administration’s test laboratory to see what’s being done to make roads safer in the U.S. Finally, ride along in extreme four-wheel drive trucks with some adrenaline junkies that drive boulder-strewn trails just for the fun of it!

 27 Mold & Fungus
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Mold & Fungus

Aired on Sep 18, 2008

Learning about various fungal organisms that live in the human body, grow from the ground, float in the air, and help create some foods and beverages; professional remediators battle millions of green invaders in a moldy home.

 28 Lead
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Lead

Aired on Oct 09, 2008

A versatile yet toxic metal, lead has served mankind for 6,000 years. Explore the vast mines where heavy machinery extracts and refines lead. Visit a car battery factory that makes a superior battery from pure lead. See how a team of experts safely remove harmful lead products from homes and businesses. How can a metal as dark as lead make lead crystal not only sparkle, but manage to stay transparent?

 29 Corrosion & Decomposition
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Corrosion & Decomposition

Aired on Oct 13, 2008

According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, the aging U.S. infrastructure is in danger of collapse. Learn about a company in Missouri that uses a trench-less technology to rebuild corroded sewer pipes from the inside out while engineers at General Motors Proving Grounds lead the battle against corrosive road de-icing salts. See how a bioreactor in Florida turns mountains of garbage methane gas. Finally, discover how the tiny termite is teaching us how to turn agricultural waste into ethanol at a fraction of the current cost.

 30 Bulls-Eye
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Bulls-Eye

Aired on Oct 20, 2008

From LAPD’s sharp shooters to Army snipers, discover what it means to be armed and accurate. Learn how ancient ballista and trebuchet could repeatedly strike their targets. Find out how the Phoenix Lander will navigate to its target some 422 million miles away. See a nine ball expert hit several bulls-eyes, sometimes with the same shot to run the table. Finally, watch as Cirque de Soleil’s daring artists are both projectile and target as they perform their breathtaking feats.

 31 Halloween Tech
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Halloween Tech

Aired on Oct 27, 2008

Halloween has become a six billion dollar industry. Go behind-the-scenes at Knott’s Berry Farm’s 35th annual Halloween Haunt. Learn how to apply Hollywood grade monster make-up, watch scary latex masks cranked out by the thousands and discover which costumes are past and present winners. See the most extreme jack-o-lanterns ever made, find out how hundreds of gallons of fake blood are manufactured and finally visit a haunted house with an annual attendance of over 50,000.

 32 The Horse
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The Horse

Aired on Nov 19, 2008

A celebration of the horse, the animal that helped mankind change the world; the thoroughbred racing industry in Kentucky; how a Minnesota logging company uses real horsepower; a Colorado program pairs horses and prison inmates.

 33 The Turkey
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The Turkey

Aired on Nov 24, 2008

The turkey is the centerpiece of Thanksgiving dinners and one of the dumbest birds in the animal kingdom, but it has managed to survive since the dinosaurs; Butterball factory; turkey hunting; dining on turkey testicles and eggs.

 34 Salt
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Salt

Aired on Dec 01, 2008

It’s the only rock we eat, and we need it to live. History has shown that those who have salt rule the world–and today, this versatile substance has 14,000 known uses. Travel to a salt mine 1,800 feet below Lake Erie where workers blast salt from a massive deposit spanning four states, to an evaporation facility near San Francisco where machines harvest salt from the briny ocean. Visit a Florida restaurant that offers 40 different varieties of salt…and journey to New York to explore salt’s surprising number one application: de-icing snowy winter roads. See how a high-tech desalination plant removes salt from ocean water, producing 25 million gallons of drinkable water every day. And if it’s speed you’re after, look no further than a natural drag strip in Utah made of pure salt.

 35 Car Wash
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Car Wash

Aired on Dec 08, 2008

Americans hit the car wash 2 million times a day–at a cost of $25 billion dollars a year. From tunnel systems to in-bay automatics, we’ll go beyond the suds to see how car washes are built to clean. We’ll get wet inside the largest car wash in the U.S.–a seven acre mega facility complete with a dog wash, chapel, and barber shop. We’ll head to a car wash manufacturer where electric eyes are trained, auto conveyers are built, and mega vacuums suck up bowling balls. We’ll learn some tips on how to clean our cars at home. Watch as we plaster a $160,000 Porsche with tar, glue, egg, bird droppings, and a bucket full of sludge… and then challenge a detailer to get it off. Cleaning radioactive waste from a train? No problem, if you go to the Energy Solutions rail car wash. Then, it’s off to see how car manufacturers design and build vehicles to survive the car wash.

Episode 36 Retro Tech
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Retro Tech

Aired on Dec 19, 2008

Rummage around in your garage. You’ll likely find remnants of gadgets past–a typewriter, analog TV, LPs, film cameras and brick-sized mobile phones. These products served us well and we remember each one with nostalgic fondness. We’ll take a trip down memory lane to examine how these oldies-but-goodies worked and find out how more advanced tech superseded them. At the Palm Corporation in Sunnyvale, California, we’ll follow the evolution of hand-held tech. At the Houston Chronicle, we’ll learn how the print edition of a major American newspaper coexists with its online edition. A car aficionado will compare what’s under the hoods of a classic 1968 Shelby Mustang and a spiffy 2009 model. We’ll witness a vinyl resurgence at Rainbo Records in Canoga Park, California. A TV expert from Best Buy, a typewriter collector and a futurist forecast what might fall by the wayside next. And when it does, we’ll find out how to safely recycle that outdated equipment.

 37 Super Human
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Super Human

Aired on Dec 22, 2008

Do normal humans actually possess the ability to have super powers? In Utah, see how a man can strap on an exoskeleton and lift hundreds of pounds with virtually no effort. In England, visit “Mr. Cyborg,” a man with the ability to control machines with merely a thought. In California, see a man glide through the sky like Superman, then it’s off to Atlanta, Georgia to see how engineers have found a way to help people glide through the water like Aquaman. Learn how scientists at the University of Texas are building artificial muscles that are 400 times stronger than our own, and in Las Vegas, strap on velocity motion stilts for a little bionic high jumping and high speed running.

 38 Measure It
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Measure It

Aired on Dec 23, 2008

How do you weigh a whale? We go to Shamu’s Tank at Sea World to find out. How does your speedometer work? Off to GM’s test track for the answer. We’ll look at the five most common areas of measurement in our everyday lives: distance, time, speed, weight, and temperature. We visit the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to find out where common measurements come from and how standards for those measurements are set. Next, we’ll go inside Stanley Tools where we’ll see how they guarantee every measuring tape gives the right distance every time. And while we’re measuring time, we’ll learn why a $5 kid’s watch is more accurate than a $10,000 luxury brand.

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