Archive for December, 2000

Plumbing: The Arteries of Civilization

Monday, December 18th, 2000


Each day, billions of gallons of water flow through cities into homes and back out again in a confusing mess of pipes, pumps, and fixtures. The history of plumbing is a tale crucial to our survival–supplying ourselves with fresh water and disposing of human waste. From ancient solutions to the future, we’ll plumb plumbing’s depths.

Inventions of War

Wednesday, December 13th, 2000


Arising from the horrible carnage, deprivation, and suffering caused by war is a countless array of everyday items–from hairbrushes to microwaves–that directly descend from wartime innovations. Wartime research and development have revolutionized communication, transportation, and medicine. From Spam to nuclear power to hairspray and cell phones, life as we know it ironically owes a lot to war. We’ll follow the day-to-day life of an ordinary woman and see the influence of war on her life.

Ed Harris

Monday, December 11th, 2000


Actor Ed Harris is interviewed about his career.

Power Plants

Tuesday, December 5th, 2000


Mankind controls the environment in a variety of ways, whether by capturing the force of a river, harnessing the power in coal or oil, controlling a nuclear reaction, or transforming the light of the sun into electricity. From Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla to Enrico Fermi and Albert Einstein, the world’s greatest minds have enabled us to acquire our light, heat, and power with a simple flip of the switch. Join us for an electrifying hour as we review the foundation for all of this–power plants.

Ben Affleck

Monday, December 4th, 2000


Writer/actor Ben Affleck is interviewed about his career.