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

Apr 6th
300a

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.
Apr 6th
400a

Super Hot

Explore the world of extreme temperatures. See what happens to Pyroman, a life-size mannequin, as he is exposed to over 3,000 degrees F. Visit Underwriters Laboratories and see how common household appliances can go lethal. Follow geologists as they take lava samples from the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii. Finally, journey into a fusion facility in San Diego, California and watch as scientist's heat plasma to over 200 million degrees F in hopes of someday creating an inexhaustible power source.
Apr 6th
500a

Mad Electricity

Nikola Tesla's bizarre vision of the future brought him failure, but his genius electrified the world. Travel to Niagara Falls, where in 1893, Tesla installed his new system of Alternating Electrical Current known as AC--the same power we use today. Uncover the forgotten ruins of Tesla's dream experiment---a huge tower on Long Island Sound he hoped would wirelessly power the world. Radar, death rays, invisibility devices and earthquake machines: Tesla claimed to have created them all. More than 100 years ago Tesla foresaw the need for alternative energies like geothermal and solar
Apr 6th
1200p

Locomotives

Zip through the French countryside at nearly 300 MPH on the TGV--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.
Apr 6th
100p

Alaskan Fishing

The Alaska Ocean is the largest factory-fishing boat in the US fleet. The crew's mission: hunt down, catch and process 300 tons of Alaskan Pollock each day on the unforgiving waters of the Bering Sea. We travel with them on the last voyage of a long and grueling season. The crew reveals the inner workings of one of the most sophisticated and complex vessels afloat. It is half fishing boat, half floating factory, processing and flash freezing Alaskan Pollock as fast as its crew can catch it. To meet their seasonal quota of Pollock, the crew must overcome obstacles of weather, mechanical dangers aboard the sea-tossed ship and the wiliness of the fish themselves. Captain Scott Symonds takes us inside the amazing ultra-modern world of high stakes commercial fishing where a wrong decision on his part can cost not just the season's catch, but also the lives of his crew.
Apr 6th
1100p

Environmental Tech II

Modern Marvels: Environmental Tech II looks at the innovations designed to hold off a global warming meltdown. We'll see giant solar energy towers in Spain, install a rooftop wind turbine with Jay Leno, ride in a car that runs on air, get pulled by a kite on a cargo ship, and see how everyone can go green with the flick of a switch. Then it's off to see jet fuel being removed from our drinking water - and size up a daring plan to dump iron in the ocean to clean our air. The tools are in place. And they've arrived just in time.
Apr 7th
500a

Acid

It feeds on metal, dissolves skin and bone, and packs a punch in nearly every military explosive. It's perhaps the most dangerous substance known to man. Yet it's the most widely produced chemical in the world. Modern Marvels: Acid gets a rare peak at how the military harnesses acid to make the explosive 'Comp B-4'. We'll turn up the heat at a sulfuric acid plant, and see how acid can take the stain out of stainless steel. We'll learn why acid is an expert etcher, and how it can be mixed to dissolve precious metal. We'll see how acid helps put the gel in gelatin, and why acid's sour taste is sweet at the Heinz vinegar plant. Then, it's time to go extreme as we learn how an acid loving bacteria may hold the key to a biological industrial revolution. All this and a mad scientist who will demonstrate how acid can hollow out a penny and turn a hot dog to sludge.
Apr 7th
1200p

Extreme Aircraft Ii

Extreme flying machines are redefining our skies. We'll pull serious G's in the U.S. military's latest fighter jet: the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. And we'll see what its pilot sees through the visor of the futuristic Helmet Mounted Display. Riding shotgun in the Air Force's lethal B-1B Lancer we learn why it's a bomber that thinks it's a fighter. Look close or you'll miss the swarm of MAV's (Micro Air Vehicles)?so small they are launched out of a backpack. For travelers tired of long waits and crowded jetliners, the "vertical takeoff and landing" capable PAV's (Personal Aerial Vehicles) may be the answer to their commuting needs. We'll even retrofit a commercial jetliner and turn it into the biggest flying fire truck the world has ever seen. We're pushing the envelope on EXTREME AIRCRAFT II, on Modern Marvels.
Apr 7th
100p

World's Strongest Ii

What do a tiny diamond, a modern home, a medieval chest plate and an enormous crane have in common? When it comes to strength, they crush the competition in this second installment of the popular World's Strongest franchise.
Apr 7th
1100p

It Came From Outerspace

What do firefighting gear, sunglasses, and a sleeping bag have in common? They've all been improved by NASA! Super safe shuttle seats for Apollo astronauts make luxurious mattresses today...Paint that can withstand the heat of reentry now protects our steel-framed high-rises from collapsing in a fire...Batteries that can take a super-slick sports car from zero to 60 in four seconds also keep our satellites in orbit...And the oxygen tank used by firefighters to save countless lives, which is just like the one used by our astronauts during the Apollo missions. Hundreds of products were born of the same research and technology that put a man on the moon...and we're taking you into orbit, to the surface of Mars, and right back to your own living room to show you how. It Came from Outer Space on Modern Marvels: a survey of essential space travel technologies that have journeyed back to Earth with surprising - and indispensable - commercial applications.