Modern Marvels - Season 16

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Wednesday 10:00 PM on The History Channel Premiered Jan 01, 1995 In Season

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Episode Guide

  • Top Ten
    Episode 19
    6/17/10
    9.0
    We can't live without them and yet they didn't even exist a couple of decades ago. We'll count down our list of the top ten technological innovations of the last generation. Have they made human existence exponentially better, or more fragmented and precarious? Tune in to find out what they are, and how they've impacted our lives.moreless
  • The Real National Treasure
    6/10/10
    0.0
    Where in Washington D.C. is the nation's most incredible treasure chest? It's a library unlike any other in the world--the U.S. Library of Congress. Explode the myth that this 200-year-old institution is simply "where members of Congress borrow books." Viewers are taken beyond the magnificent Jefferson Building Great Hall into the secret vaults where more than 600 miles of shelves hold 130 million items, many of them priceless treasures--from George Washington's hand-written diaries to Galileo's first images of the moon to the original camera film of the movie Frankenstein. See how a staff of 4,000 catalogues protects and preserves these treasures and distributes them globally via a new World Digital Library.moreless
  • Doors
    Episode 17
    6/6/10
    0.0
    Take a look at the tallest doors in the world at the Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center. Visit a company that makes blast doors and bulletproof doors. Learn about the surprisingly complex process involved in making home doors, as well as what goes into those commercial entries and exits we use everyday--the revolving door and the turnstile. At the Southwestern Foundation for Biomedical Research, enter through an airlock into their level 4 biohazard lab. The Cleveland Federal Reserve doesn't even send people into their vaults; its robots go in and out. Try some aviation entries and exits--the jet way used to board a plane, the airplane emergency exit procedures we hope to never use, and ejection seats, the fastest exit anywhere. Then, an engineering firm that designs hidden doors will take viewers to see a few of their secret entries. Finally, take a quick look at doors that go nowhere, at the Winchester Mystery House.moreless
  • Super Steam
    Episode 16
    5/27/10
    10
    It's full steam ahead when we drop in at Jay Leno's garage as Jay fires up two of his classic steam cars and takes viewers for a couple of rides. Jay also shows off his 11-ton steam engine built in 1860, back when pigs had to be slaughtered to keep it lubricated. In northern Nevada, fire up a coal burning boiler and get a 100-year-old steam locomotive chugging across the rugged landscape. In New Orleans, board an authentic paddlewheel steamboat. Trek to the Southern California desert where geothermal steam rushes up from the ground and drives electricity producing turbines, powering over 300,000 homes. In New York City, find out why manmade steam surges into some of the world's most famous skyscrapers. Steam clean some very dirty machines, and do a little laundry, too. And ride a steam-driven carousel and play with some strange, steam-powered robots that are part of a movement called--what else--"steampunk."moreless
  • Keep Out
    Episode 15
    5/20/10
    9.0
    Either someone has something to protect, or it's dangerous in there. Challenge the world's best safecracker to defeat a bank vault, and see the methods a bank uses to protect its money and tellers. Travel to New Mexico to find out how the government plans to keep people away from a nuclear waste site for the next 10,000 years. Tour Master Lock to see how padlocks and combination locks are made, as well as how facial recognition, irises, and even vein structure can "unlock" biometric locks. With Customs and Border Protection, watch how officers stop illegals and contraband from entering the U.S. Tour a company that specializes in making products like steel nets to keep out people and vehicles. Visit a command center that monitors all airspace in and around the U.S. Finally, see how cages and other deterrents tell sharks to KEEP OUT!moreless
  • Breaking Point
    Episode 14
    5/13/10
    9.0
    Get ready to examine points of failure in ultra slow motion. Watch drivers crash cars and trucks at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety to find their breaking points, and to find the breaking points of the crash dummies inside. At Underwriter's Laboratories, fire rounds at bullet proof glass until it breaks, and see how long it will take experts to breach a safe using more and more powerful tools. Watch as lithium-ion batteries catch fire and blow up at Sandia National Laboratories. At Arizona State University, find the breaking points of steel, concrete--even Kevlar jet engine containment systems. See how a bike helmet guards against the skull reaching its breaking point, then fire high-speed projectiles at Oakley's sport glasses and military grade goggles to see if they survive. And at Black Diamond, scale a rock face with a professional climber to find the breaking point of the carabineers and chalks upon which his very life depends.moreless
  • Big & Small
    Episode 13
    5/6/10
    9.0
    Size does matter. We'll size up the biggest of machines, and their smallest counterparts. First we go to France to find out what goes into assembling the world's largest jetliner, the Airbus A380. Then, fly with microjet pilots in the world's smallest jets. Witness a race between a huge Boss Hoss 425 horsepower motorcycle and an 18 inch tall pocket bike. Take the world's smallest production car for a ride and see just how many choir members we can fit into a super-sized limousine. See a mammoth Caterpillar front loader in action, in an open pit coal mine, and dig up the backyard with a loader that's no bigger than a lawnmower. Finally, walk inside an enormous diesel engine powering an 80,000 ton container ship and eyeball a tiny one driving a five pound model airplanemoreless
  • Super Ships
    Episode 12
    4/29/10
    9.0
    Take a journey into the world of super sized, super strong, super unique ships. The Scripps Institution of Oceanography takes viewers out to sea to see how their FLIP research vessel flips a full 90 degrees, sinking over three quarters of its 355-foot length. In Miami, go behind the scenes of one of the largest cruise ships in the world. In California, step onboard the Navy's newest, most advanced transport ship and take a spin in one of America's strongest and greenest tugboats. In Boston, venture into the frigid world of an LNG carrier, transporting enough natural gas to power a million homes for an entire week. In Maine, hop on "the Cat," the fastest car ferry in North America--it's a huge twin-hulled catamaran. Finally, learn how a ship that looks like an enormous spider on water may someday save livesmoreless
  • Helicopters
    Episode 11
    4/22/10
    9.0
    In Alabama, fly with the Apache Longbow, the deadliest helicopter in world, and learn how to fly the Blackhawk, one of the most sophisticated and versatile helicopters in world. Then climb aboard a Coast Guard helicopter as a team trains for water rescues in the Gulf. In California, see how the immensely popular Robinson helicopters are hand-made and how the police use them to catch fleeing criminals. In Tennessee, learn how million dollar Bell helicopters are customized with everything from bars and entertainment systems to state of the art navigation. Then it's off to Arizona to see how anyone can build their own affordable helicopter in their garage. Finally, learn how drone helicopters that can shoot a movie or take out an enemymoreless
  • Deliver It
    Episode 10
    4/15/10
    9.0
    Got something strange to deliver? From pizza to packages, we'll show you how it's packed, labeled and shipped. Head down the highway carrying gigantic wind turbine blades. See how UPS got China's invaluable terra cotta warriors to a Los Angeles art museum. Deliver luxury yachts aboard a submersible carrier ship. Ride to the track with prized thoroughbreds on their own special jet. Want dinner and a movie? Sounds like a visit to Netflix headquarters and Papa John's Pizza. Ride radical with bike messengers in New York City, and deliver a donor kidney to a waiting hospital. Take a tour of the UPS Worldport hub in Louisville, Kentucky, a mammoth center with delivery docks for 100 jets, and handles 1.2 million packages a day.moreless
  • Hot & Spicy
    Hot & Spicy
    Episode 9
    3/18/10
    0.0
    Chili head alert! It's time to get hot and spicy. First we'll take you to the home of sizzling Tabasco sauce--McIlhenny Company of Louisiana, and to McCormick in Baltimore, Maryland--the leading spice manufacturer in the world. Then, head down south to see who likes it hot at the Southern Mississippi Chili Cook Off. At the Chile Pepper Institute, taste the rare "Bhut Jolokia," the hottest Chile pepper in the world, and learn about the chemical substance capsaicin, which gives the "Bhut" and other popular peppers their tongue-burning heat. At Sol Toro restaurant in Connecticut, owned by basketball great Michael Jordan, customers need to sign a waiver to dine on their sizzling dishes. Go to the manufacturers of horseradish, wasabi and mustard to find out how their roots and seeds deliver their own distinctive blazing burn. Using the same heat many savor, we'll demonstrate the powerful punch of pepper spray as a weapon.moreless
  • Beans
    Beans
    Episode 8
    3/11/10
    7.5
    Follow the soybean from field to refinery with CHS, Inc. as they convert billions of soybeans into vegetable oils, flour, and soy meal. These products, in turn, end up in salad dressings and margarines, baked goods, animal feed and even bio-fuel and plastics. Pay a visit to the Kelley Bean Company which cleans 80,000 pounds of dry beans per day. B & M Baked Beans stirs up some New England tradition by baking beans in steel kettles and brick ovens. Then, Italian chef and bean lover Cesare Casella whips up a few bean dishes using rare heirloom beans, some of which cost $35 per pound. For dessert, Japanese pastry makers prepare traditional bean-based confections with the azuki bean. Fry up some falafel and puree some beans into a paste called hummus with the most widely consumed legume in the world...the chickpea. Last but not least, the makers of Beano explain how it works to prevent that unfortunate bean byproduct: gas.moreless
  • Start to Finish
    Episode 7
    3/4/10
    8.5
    What does it take to turn twenty tons of steel into top-notch vehicles in less than a day? How does a pile of lumber become a million dollar home in a mere week? Every process, from beginning to end, is a unique and incredible adventure. From the fiery birth of high tech golf clubs to the cataclysmic end of old buildings... get ready to race from Start to Finish.moreless
  • Chrome
    Chrome
    Episode 6
    3/2/10
    0.0
    At 4 State Trucks in Missouri, the Chrome Shop Mafia adds some truckers' "bling" to a big rig as viewers tour its treasure trove of chrome. In Illinois, learn just how automotive parts get their luster in a complex electroplating process.
  • Winter Tech
    Episode 5
    2/11/10
    9.0
    From building cutting-edge competition venues to the latest sports science training, winter sports use more technology than ever.
  • Tuna
    Tuna
    Episode 4
    2/4/10
    9.0
    It's the most popular fish in the American diet. From the school lunch box--to the high end sushi bar--to the outdoor barbecue, tuna crosses all demographic lines.
  • The Potato
    The Potato
    Episode 3
    1/28/10
    9.0
    It is among the most versatile, nutritious, and varied foodstuffs in the world, the potato is the ultimate comfort food.
  • Eggs
    Eggs
    Episode 2
    1/21/10
    9.0
    Each year in the U.S., 280 million hens lay 80 billion eggs, one of the world's most affordable sources of protein. Chart the journey of the egg from henhouse to breakfast table, from massive traditional Iowa farms, where millions of eggs move from hens to delivery trucks without being touched by human hands. See how powdered eggs get made and what happens to the billions of whites and yolks that go their separate ways.moreless
  • Dirt
    Dirt
    Episode 1
    1/14/10
    0.0
    See how thousands of tons of dirt transform a stadium into a Supercross course, slog into a secret bog to collect the special mud that every major league team relies on, join in the down and dirty fun of mud wrestling at a state fair, see how modern adobe and stunning rammed-earth homes are made.moreless
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