Modern Marvels

About the show

Celebrating ingenuity, invention and imagination on a grand scale, "Modern Marvels" tells the amazing stories of the doers, dreamers and sometime-schemers who create everyday items, technological advancements and manmade wonders.

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Upcoming episodes

May 30th
100a

Spy Technology

Espionage has been used for at least the last 4,000 years. And where there are spies, you find gadgets! We focus on the last 100 years of cloak and dagger technology - from early code-breaking computers to satellite reconnaissance - and take a look at the James Bond-type gadgets of the Cold War.
May 30th
200a

City Parks

Even in ancient times, city dwellers needed a break from the urban landscape. But parks play a more important role than mere relief from tension - they also keep temperatures down, and supply much-needed oxygen in congested cities. Come a along for a stroll through New York City's Central Park and L.A.'s Griffith Park.
May 30th
300a

Big Dig, The

The Massachusetts Central Artery/Tunnel Project a.k.a. The Big Dig, is the most amazing municipal construction project in U.S. history. Its objective - to replace Boston's decaying highway infastructure with 160 new highway miles, half of which run underground and underwater. After 14 years of construction, its cost - $11 billion!
May 30th
400a

Airships

First there were balloons and blimps. Then, visionaries enlarged, reinforced, and motorized them and the airship was born. The biggest aircraft ever flown, they remain one of the most romantic aerial creations. In all, 161 rigid airships were built before spectacular crashes, including the HINDENBURG, put an end to the era.
May 30th
500a

Alaskan Oil Pipeline, The

In 1973, a desperate America, starved by an OPEC embargo, began construction on a 800-mile lifeline for its insatiable oil hunger. We'll study the technological triumph of the Alaskan oil pipeline built over impenetrable mountains and tundra, where temperatures drop to 75 below zero, and its impact on a fragile ecological system.
May 30th
600a

OVERSEAS HIGHWAY

A spectacular roadway nearly 120 miles long, the Overseas Highway links mainland Florida with the Florida Keys, and contains 51 bridges, including the Seven-Mile Bridge. A boat was the only mode of travel from Miami to Key West until oil tycoon Henry Flagler completed his railroad line in 1912. After a 1935 hurricane destroyed 40 miles of track, the scenic highway was built using Flagler’s bridges. A $175-million refurbishment that ended in 1982 resulted in today’s remarkable Overseas Highway.
May 30th
700a

Alaska

Our 49th state is one tough terrain. In the air, on the ground--and deep beneath it--survival here requires an amazing array of technological innovations. From buildings to highways, brutal winters to bug-infested summers, this unforgiving landscape demands creative work-arounds. And then there's the constant threat of natural disasters...tsunami, anyone?
May 31st
100a

Shoes

Shoes have come a long way from their humble beginnings as simple leather moccasins. Today footwear is built to withstand any extreme environment where a foot can tread -- from the heart of a burning building to the track of an Olympic stadium. From high-tech soles to shoelaces, cowboy boots to sneaker design -- step behind the scenes with the products that keep your feet covered.
May 31st
200a

Under Pressure

Every aspect of our lives involves pressure. It's what puts the bubbles in soft drinks, propels shaving cream from its can, cools the contents of your refrigerator, and causes volcanoes to erupt. But when pressure suddenly changes, you better look out! Rapid pressure changes can be as violent as explosions. And variable atmospheric pressure? We call that the weather.
May 31st
300a

Tiny Weapons

Tiny weapons may not sound impressive...but small can kill, and it can also be easily concealed. From a pocket pistol used by the police...to a submachine gun wielded by a bodyguard...to a carbine in the hands of an Army Ranger, many of today's most effective weapons are smaller than ever. They can fit in your pocket, fly through the air, even break through walls--tiny weapons are an essential part of battle, self-defense, and spreading terror.