Modern Marvels

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

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  • Season 20 (2)
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  • Season 14 (26)
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  • Doors

    Full Episode

    S 16 : Ep 17 - 6/6/10

    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

    Full Episode

    S 16 : Ep 16 - 5/27/10

    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

    Full Episode

    S 16 : Ep 15 - 5/20/10

    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

    Full Episode

    S 16 : Ep 14 - 5/13/10

    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

    Full Episode

    S 16 : Ep 13 - 5/6/10

    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

    Full Episode

    S 16 : Ep 12 - 4/29/10

    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

    Full Episode

    S 16 : Ep 11 - 4/22/10

    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

    Full Episode

    S 16 : Ep 10 - 4/15/10

    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

    Full Episode

    S 16 : Ep 9 - 3/18/10

    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

    Full Episode

    S 16 : Ep 8 - 3/11/10

    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
  • Tuna

    Full Episode

    S 16 : Ep 4 - 2/4/10

    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.
  • Eggs

    Full Episode

    S 16 : Ep 2 - 1/21/10

    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

    Full Episode

    S 16 : Ep 1 - 1/14/10

    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
  • Mega Meals

    Full Episode

    S 15 : Ep 43 - 3/25/10

    Explore the complex logistics behind creating feasts for the largest and most ravenous crowds. At the U.S. Naval Base in Bangor, Washington, hop aboard a nuclear submarine stuffed with enough food for a 120-day mission. At the U.S. Marine Corps' base in Twentynine Palms, California, follow a brigade of cooks as they prepare their "Victory Meal" for more than a thousand Marines. At the Philadelphia Eagles' football stadium, see how a major food supplier satisfies 69,000 fans during an NFL game. Watch a team of experts rapidly assemble a remote kitchen as they prepare to cater the official after party of the American Music Awards. In Las Vegas, the cooking team at Planet Hollywood's Spice Market Buffet will show viewers what it takes to feed a never-ending line of gamblers. And at Gate Gourmet kitchen in New York, watch as thousands of airline meals are whipped together in just one day.moreless
  • Salt

    Full Episode

    S 15 : Ep 36 - 12/1/08

    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.
  • Coin Operated

    Full Episode

    S 15 : Ep 24 - 7/24/08

    Every 15 minutes, Americans insert over 3.5 million coins into vending machines. What are they buying? How do the machines work?
  • Crashes

    Full Episode

    S 15 : Ep 21 - 7/10/08

    Explore collisions that shake our world from the astronomic to the subatomic.
  • Bathroom Tech II

    Full Episode

    S 15 : Ep 20 - 6/30/08

    The most used room in the home is the bathroom and it's full of tech. Visit Kohler and see the new digitally controlled uber-shower, complete with steam, music and LED chromatherapy. Check out American Standard's Champion 4--the supposedly "uncloggable" toilet. Learn all about the low-flow alternatives for showers and toilets. Touch-free fixtures and a futuristic toilet from Japan ensure a more hygienic restroom experience. Finally, what is New York City's latest hi-tech solution for going on the go?moreless
  • Most Dangerous

    Full Episode

    S 15 : Ep 15 - 6/6/08

    Discover that the deadliest snakes, sports and weather events are closer and more treacherous than you think.
  • Axes

    Full Episode

    S 15 : Ep 14 - 5/30/08

    The axe is one of the world's oldest, most dangerous and efficient cutting tools. Visit one of the nation's largest axe manufacturers, take a swing with a Vikings' battleaxe, then see which would win in a fight of sword vs axe. Learn why the tomahawk is making a comeback as a tactical weapon & see how the fireman's axe has evolved into a trailer full of high tech rescue tools.moreless
  • Rats

    Full Episode

    S 15 : Ep 12 - 4/30/08

    Feared by millions worldwide, rats are some of the most dangerous, destructive and useful animals on Earth.
  • Locomotives

    Full Episode

    S 15 : Ep 11 - 4/7/08

    Race through the French countryside at nearly 300 MPH on 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.moreless
  • Gadgets 3

    Full Episode

    S 15 : Ep 10 - 4/4/08

    Explore the hottest trends in gadgets, how they've evolved and where they're going.
  • Bread

    Full Episode

    S 15 : Ep 9 - 3/24/08

    It's the basic source of nourishment for half the world. Bake it, roast it, slice it, or toast it, it's a wonder with three simple ingredients.
  • Strange Weapons

    Full Episode

    S 15 : Ep 6 - 3/10/08

    Discover microwave-like rays that make the enemy flee,laser weapons mounted on trucks & planes that can blow missiles out of the sky, non-lethal weapons include a B.B. machine gun and a flashing device nicknamed that may make you lose your lunch.moreless
  • World's Strongest III

    Full Episode

    S 15 : Ep 5 - 3/6/08

    Witness some mind-blowing feats of strength starting with the world's most powerful elevators. Discover the world's strongest tire, the strongest mountain bike, the world's strongest land transport vehicle that carries the Space Shuttle & strongest home blender.moreless
  • Superhighways

    Full Episode

    S 15 : Ep 4 - 2/28/08

    Millions of drivers travel the world's superhighways each year. See a multi-billion dollar expansion project in Houston 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.moreless
  • 90's Tech

    Full Episode

    S 15 : Ep 3 - 5/23/08

    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.moreless
  • Carbon

    Full Episode

    S 15 : Ep 2 - 1/14/08

    Carbon 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.moreless
  • Milk

    Full Episode

    S 15 : Ep 1 - 1/7/08

    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.moreless
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