Archive for December, 2004

More Doomsday Tech

Wednesday, December 29th, 2004


From the far reaches of space to tiny viruses, doomsday sources are many. But so are technologies used to keep doomsday at bay.

Doomsday Tech 1

Wednesday, December 29th, 2004


Doomsday threats range from very real (nuclear arsenals) to controversial (global warming) to futuristic (nanotechnology, cyborgs, and robots). Despite the Cold War’s end, we live under the shadow of nuclear weapons, arms races, and accidental launches. Next, we stir up a hotter topic–the connection between global warming and fossil fuels–and ask if they’re cooking up a sudden, new Ice Age. And we examine 21st-century technologies that typify the dual-edged sword of Doomsday Tech with massive potential for both creation and destruction–nanotechnology (engineering on a tiny scale), robotics, and cybernetics. We witness amazing applications in the works, wonder at the limitless promise, and hear warnings of a possible nano-doomsday, with tiny, out-of-control machines devouring everything around them.

Fidelity

Tuesday, December 28th, 2004

Two men are out jogging — one of them returns back to his wife and discovers her dead asleep and brings her to the clinic. The doctors are puzzled by her symptoms. They consider everything from tumors to breast cancer to rabbit fever. When all the treatments fail, House concludes she has African sleeping sickness. However, neither the woman nor her husband could possibly have ever been to Africa. The woman will die without the proper treatment, but neither one will admit to having an affair.

Engineering Disasters 16

Friday, December 24th, 2004


Chaos in Guadalajara, Mexico, when the city streets explode; an airplane crash outside of Paris that ranks as one of the worst in history; two mining dams in Italy collapse engulfing a village in a tidal wave of sludge; a generation of children in a small Texas town are entombed in the rubble of their school; an oil tanker runs aground off the coast of England and introduces the world to the devastation of the first super spill… Engineering Disasters 16 delves into the shocking chain of events leading up to each of these horrific catastrophes and examines resulting technological improvements designed to prevent similar tragedies in the future.

Angry Skies

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2004


Some of the worst nature can offer is spawned from the skies above. Though their damage is concentrated, a tornado’s strong winds can turn debris into deadly missiles. With hurricanes, a huge amount of energy is discharged over hundreds of miles causing widespread devastation. What are the precautions can we take to protect ourselves?

More Dangerous Cargo

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2004


It comes in many deadly shapes and sizes, and the transportation of dangerous cargo is one of the most meticulously planned procedures in the shipping world. We hitch a ride on a “dynamite run” from explosives factory to construction site; learn how liquid natural gas is shipped, a fuel that could vaporize entire city blocks if ignited; accompany a Drug Enforcement Administration truck as it transports confiscated illegal drugs to an incinerator site for destruction; fly with Air Net as it moves radioactive pharmaceuticals from factory to hospital; and tag along with two tigers, part of a breeding program for endangered species, as they travel from Texas to Ohio. As each story progresses, we explore the history of the transport of that particular form of Dangerous Cargo.

Commercial Fishing

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2004


Battered and fried or simply raw–seafood is a popular dish, no matter how you serve it. Americans consume more than 5-billion pounds yearly, an order that takes more than a fishing rod to fill and worries conservationists. We follow the fish, the fishermen, and the science trying to preserve fisheries for future generations–from ancient ships on the Nile to a modern technologically sophisticated factory trawler on the Bering Sea to the University of New Hampshire’s open-ocean aquaculture research project. And we witness a wide variety of fishing methods–from gillnetting and longlining to lobster trapping. Hop aboard and sail through time and around the globe as we explore the harsh conditions of life at sea and experience firsthand one of history’s deadliest jobs. Brace yourself and feel the ice-cold, salt spray on your face as we explore commercial fishing!

The Socratic Method

Tuesday, December 21st, 2004

Dr. House is intrigued by the symptoms of a schizophrenic woman, who displays mixed symptoms, including a tumor, but soon realizes the source of her problems isn’t the obvious. House confronts his birthday and Chase confronts his past when the mother’s son tries to keep up with her condition.

Snackfood Tech

Friday, December 17th, 2004


Extruders, molds, in-line conveyor belts. Are these machines manufacturing adhesives, plastics, or parts for your car? No, they’re making treats for your mouth–and you will see them doing their seductively tasty work in this scrumptious episode. First, we visit Utz Quality Foods in Hanover, Pennsylvania, that produces more than one million pounds of chips per week, and Snyder’s of Hanover, the leading U.S. pretzel manufacturer. Next, we focus on the world’s largest candy manufacturer, Masterfoods USA, which makes Milky Way, Snickers, Mars, and M&Ms, and take a lick at the world’s largest lollipop producer, Tootsie Roll Industries. And at Flower Foods’ Crossville, Tennessee plant, an army of cupcakes rolls down a conveyer belt. The final stop is Dreyer’s Bakersfield, California plant, where 20,000 ice cream bars and 9,600 drumsticks roll off the line in an hour.

Damned If You Do

Tuesday, December 14th, 2004

A nun whose hands are red, swollen and cracked is sent to House. The nun believes it is stigmata, but House suspects an allergic reaction. He gives her some pills, which cause her to become unable to breathe. As her condition worsens, her fellow sisters pray for her while House and his team work to discover the cause of her illness while House has to wonder if he misadministered the illness.