Examining the evolution and technology of balls used in sports. Included: a tour of the Wilson Football Factory in Ohio; the Rawlings baseball factory in Costa Rica; the National Soccer Hall of Fame in Oneonta, N.Y.; and the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. Also: a segment on the ancient Mesoamerican ball game, juego de pelota.
Modern Marvels: Environmental Tech takes us from the prairies of Saskatchewan to a Manhattan skyscraper as we explore the 21st Century's cutting-edge "green" technologies in action. The documentary looks at how human ingenuity takes on our most daunting environmental crises, from global warming and deforestation to resource scarcity and nuclear waste. Technological solutions include: carbon sequestration; converting carbon dioxide to algae-based biofuels; "green" building techniques and materials; using bioremediation to neutralize deadly uranium waste; creative ...
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.
Weapons of mass destruction, from the nuclear to the biological, are examined. Included: a computer-generated depiction of a dirty-bomb attack in Seattle. Also: how scientists identify biological agents; and suicide bombing-prevention strategies.
One of man's greatest accomplishments: dams, are explored. The history of dams from construction to demolition as well as their impact on the environment. Construction of embankment dams and larger Hydroelectric dams such as Three Gorges, Hoover, and Grand Coulee are explored. Also featured are the positive impact beavers and their dams have on nature and the havoc man made dams wreak if one collapses.
Since its discovery in the 19th Century, modern welding has allowed us to `dream big.' 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.
What do remote controlled robots, polarized glasses, Tempurpedic mattresses and metallized blankets have in common? They are all civilian inventions among the thousands derived from technologies used in space exploration.
What does it take to rate as "the world's strongest"? You'll find out on this episode of Modern Marvels. We'll be in the line of fire with life-saving boron carbide body armor, strong enough to stop high caliber rifle bullets at close range. We'll go airborne with MegaFly, a giant ram air parachute with the strength to deliver record-shattering payloads with pinpoint accuracy.
Dotting the Interstates, they're overlooked by some and longed for by others. They're truck stops, and today they're bigger and better than ever. Modern Marvels: Truck Stops explores how these mega pit stops have catered to heavy haulers since the Mom and Pop stops of the 1920s all the way to todays high-tech travel centers. Step into the shoes of a trucker at the worlds largest truck stop; fuel up, chow down, grab a spritz, catch a flick, and even stop by the dentist. It's a city unto itself. Get a tour of the truckers' lavish rolling living quarters, and see how ...
Humans flush it, cows dump it, and two million ton machines scoop it from the ground. Without it one third of us would starve. Modern Marvels: Fertilizer tours the places that harness the vital nutrients that enrich the soil...that grow the crops...that feed us.
From the giant cheese factories of Wisconsin to the goat farms of Northern California, Modern Marvels: Cheese reveals how this amazing commodity (whether sliced from a pungent, moldy block, or sprayed from a can) is made.
They have the sharpest teeth known to man, but only bite on command. They brought down the forests and built up the pyramids. Some have used them to torture, others to cure. They're a cut above for construction, salvage, demolition - and they even make music.
At one time, it was more valuable than gold, but now it helps define modern life. In Modern Marvels: Aluminum we'll stretch it, pound it, melt it, and even make a foam from it. We'll see how aluminum is made from a powder and molted into massive 30,000 pounds ingots.
It's America's favorite flavor. We eat over three and a half billion pounds of it each year. It satiated the ancients and built modern-day empires. From the equatorial fields, to the factories of moguls, and the kitchens of artisans.
Think vacuums are just for sweeping floors? Think again. On this episode of Modern Marvels we'll see giant-sized vacuums that clean up after disasters like 9-11 and Hurricane Katrina. Beneath the blue Hawaiian sea we'll meet The Super Sucker, an underwater vacuum that saves coral reefs by suctioning up invasive alien algae.
They're designed to capture...and often kill. But they don't always harm their prey; traps are often necessary to the survival of a species. Modern Marvels: Traps is the exploration of a device as old as humanity itself. We'll trap 400 lbs. Black Bears with West Virginia Division of Natural Resources biologists.
Forget everything you thought you knew about the cold because Modern Marvels: Deep Freeze takes the technology of cold to the extreme. Think your home freezer is "cool"? How about a 12-story ice box filled with 135 million pounds of ice cream? Take a tour of arctic vaults that store billions of seeds and learn how scientists have mastered temperatures of minus 100 degrees Fahrenheit... and below. See how engineers turn the gases we breathe into ultra cool liquids and blistering cold solids. Explore how the cold not only preserves and chills, but shatters rubber tires,...
It feeds on metal, dissolves skin and bone, and packs a punch in nearly every military explosive. It's perhaps the most dangerous substance known to man. Yet it's the most widely produced chemical in the world. Modern Marvels: Acid gets a rare peak at how the military harnesses acid to make the explosive `Comp B-4'.
What is the world's sharpest? For severing through an enemy warrior, it's the Katana blade of the Samurai. We'll craft one of these swords from scratch to reveal the secret of its legendary cutting ability. Then we'll put it to the test. We'll also visit Cutco Cutlery, where professionals there hone steel to an edge they claim is the sharpest for chopping food in your kitchen.
A steam pipe explosion rocks New Yorkers on a summer day in Midtown Manhattan. Boston's Big Dig highway project suffers a major setback when sections of a tunnel ceiling fall onto the roadway. Rush hour in Minnesota turns deadly, as a bridge plunges into the Mississippi River.
CORN is a chameleon that has found its way into over 3,000 different items. Discover how hundreds of tons of sweet corn make it from the field to a sealed can within mere hours at Lakeside Foods in Wisconsin...how corn is transformed into clear plastic packaging (ironically to hold food) at NatureWorks in Nebraska ..
It is said that the pig is as smart as a three-year-old human. The pancreas, heart valve and intestines of the pig have been transplanted into human bodies, yet the primary use of the pig is for food. Watch the pig transform into bacon, ham, ribs and sausage, using a high tech water knife, at Burger's Smokehouse in Missouri.
From the Stone Age, to the Space Age, we've built our world from rocks. Modern Marvels travels to America's horde of moon rocks located at NASA's Johnson Space Center. These rocks give us clues as to how the planets were formed, and how old the solar system is.
Be Afraid. The dangers associated with Electric Shock are 100% real. It kills and injures thousands each year. Yet in the last 100 years we've corralled its power to create marvelous devices. In this episode we'll explore the stunning ways that electric shocks occur - from lethal prison fences to the slippery shock of an Electric Eel.
They're the meat in our sandwiches and slices of American pop culture. Modern Marvels: Cold Cuts will take you behind the deli counter to reveal the secret ingredients in boloney. Watch a master sausage maker craft salami, and pile it on at Carnegie Deli with their famous mile-high pastrami sandwich.
Fast food joints dominate the American landscape to the tune of $150 billion dollars in annual sales. They churn out meals for the masses with the mantra "fast, consistent, inexpensive". We'll 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 of course, the Mac Daddy of fast food...McDonald's.