EVERY FRIDAY Modern Marvels

Witness the innovation, inventions, and incredible feats of mankind. See how these ideas went from dream to reality and transformed our lives.


June 21, 2024

All times Eastern
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Modern Marvels

Driver's Seat

Get behind the wheel and take control of the some of the largest, fastest, most powerful machines on the planet. These aren't your average vehicles--and handling one of these rides is unlike anything else. But you need more than just a learner's permit to take control of these vehicles...you need training, experience, and above all, guts--if you plan to sit in the Driver's Seat.




Modern Marvels


In less than a century, the world went from dirt tracks to highways, from propeller planes to space travel, from sailboats to supertankers. And in the process, we have created a glut of traffic on roadways, railways, airways, and seaways--traffic that must be controlled, managed, and regulated. We'll see how it's done.




Modern Marvels

Truck Stops

Catering to more than twenty million truckers, truck stops are bigger and better than ever. These mega-pit stops are essential to the trucks and truckers that haul eight billion tons of freight annually.




Modern Marvels

Car Wash

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.




Modern Marvels


Limousines have been stretched to greater and greater lengths--as has the notion of what can be done inside them! You can have a rolling disco in a stretched SUV, go for a rumble off-road in a monster truck limousine, or take a direct hit in an armored limo and still make your meeting. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride of your life as we review the history of chauffeured limousines--from weddings, proms, and funerals to the ultimate adult playpen and the President's "Cadillac One".




Modern Marvels


Story of the development of engines and motors, with particular emphasis on the ones that have profoundly changed society. Beginning with the steam engine, we see how it was developed, how it works, and how it led to the Industrial Revolution. We review the electric motor, internal combustion engine, jet engine, and rocket engine, and conclude with a look at futuristic engine technologies, including hydrogen-powered cars and microtechnology engines so small that they fit on the tip of a finger.




Modern Marvels


The machines that helped build our world have been powered by hydraulics, a compact system of valves, hoses, and pumps that transmits forces from point to point through fluid. This basic concept of powerful force transmission through fluid provides the drive for most machines today. From the ancient Roman mastery of the aqueduct to Universal Studios, a veritable hydraulic theme park, we see how hydraulics power industry, keep planes flying, and make that 3-point-turn a U-turn.




Modern Marvels


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.

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