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Modern Marvels

Season 14 Episode 5


Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Feb 11, 2007 on The History Channel
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Episode Summary

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. Explore how Earth's ice originated and recount how ice age glaciers sculpted North America. 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. 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.moreless
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    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


    • TRIVIA (8)

      • The Laurentide ice sheet created Lake Agassiz, the largest lake in Earth's history. It covered an area the size of Italy, stretching from Manitoba east to Quebec and south to Minnesota and North Dakota.

      • Americans buy 86 million tons of packaged ice annually – generating sales of $2.5 billion.

      • The largest iceberg ever confirmed by satellite broke off from Antarctica in 2000. Dubbed "B-15," it was 185 miles lone and 23 miles wide, covering an area nearly the size of Connecticut.

      • At an Allied conference in 1943, Britain's Lord Mountbatten fired a bullet into a pykrete block to demonstrate its strength. The bullet ricocheted off the block and grazed the pant leg of American Fleet Admiral Ernest King.

      • In April 1986, a severe hailstorm in Bangladesh killed 92 people. One hailstone weighed 2.25 pound – as much as the combined weight of six billiard balls.

      • Eleven of the National Hockey League's thirty teams share their home arena with a basketball team from the NBA. The ice rinks lie beneath a layer of insulation under the courts.

      • In 1936 director Frank Capra shot snow scenes for the classic film Lost Horizon in a Los Angeles ice house. Its sub-freezing temperatures ensured the authentic look Capra sought – misty breath visible from the actor's mouths.

      • The rings of Saturn, 170,000 miles n diameter, consist almost entirely of water ice. The ice is comprised of fragments ranging from a fraction of an inch to the size of a house.

    • QUOTES (1)

      • Narrator: It helped spawn life on Earth, sculpted our landscape and destroyed the Titanic. We bag it, manicure it and use it was the world's most massive lens. Without it we'd perish yet it could someday help extinguish us. It's time to chill with Ice, on Modern Marvels.

    • NOTES (1)

      • Commentators:

        Richard Zamboni
        President, Frank J. Zamboni & Co.

        Mike Peterson
        Zamboni Resurfacer Operator

        Mary Albert, PhD
        Cold Regions Research & Engineering Lab

        David Cole, PhD
        Cold Regions Research & Engineering Lab

        Pamela Conrad, PhD
        Astrobiologist, JPL/NASA

        Donald Yeomans, PhD
        Astronomer, JPL/NASA

        Shelton Johnson
        U.S. Park Ranger

        Fraka Harmsen
        Professor of Geology, Cal State Fresno

        Pete DeGrandis
        Branch Manager, Union Ice Company

        Gene Lehman
        Cedar Falls Historical Society

        Todd Hinkley
        National Ice Core Laboratory

        Freeman Ralph
        Director, Ice Engineering, C-CORE

        James P. Delgado, PhD
        Maritime Archaeologist

        Robert M. Morse, PhD
        Professor Emeritus, Physics, University of Wisconsin

        Francis L. Halzen, PhD
        Professor of Physics, University of Wisconsin

        Steve Ackerman, PhD
        Meteorologist, University of Wisconsin

        Laird Macdonald
        State Farm Insurance Building Technology

        Tom Ratvasky
        Aerospace Engineer, NASA

        David Sheldon
        Facility Engineer, NASA IRT

        Kurt Warren
        Maintenance Manager, Olympic Oval

        Paul Nahrwold
        Speed Skater

        David Dinger
        Track Manager, Utah Olympic Park

        Gary Matevossian
        Ice Sculptor

        Leslie Tamppari, PhD
        Phoenix Project Scientist, NASA/JPL

        Bob Pappalardo PhD
        Principal Scientist, NASA/JPL

        Albert Haldemann, PhD
        Mars Scientist, NASA/JPL

        Robert Anderson, PhD
        Research Scientist, NASA/JPL

        Peter Brewer, PhD
        Senior Scientist, MBARI

        Edward T. Peltzer, PhD
        Senior Research Specialist, MBARI

    • ALLUSIONS (0)