He was the father of the future…electric lights, power systems, motion pictures, recorded sound–even the tattoo pen. Life as we know it would be inconceivable without the prodigious output of the Wizard of Menlo Park, Thomas Alva Edison. His intense focus on his work came with a hefty personal price, but his reward was a world forever changed by his genius. Years after his death, Edison’s effect is seen, heard, and felt everywhere. We follow descendants of his motion-picture camera to the tops of Earth’s highest mountains, to the bottoms of its deepest oceans, and even into outer space. We track his innovations in recorded sound to CDs, iPods, sophisticated movie sound, and satellite radio. And we illuminate his world of electric light, powering the world and turning night into day. Along the way, we discover a little Edison in corners of modern life less well-known and even look at his failures. From the Internet to the stock market to pay-per-view; the Wizard is everywhere.
Archive for June, 2005
In a search for the “scientific Adam”, the Genographic Project was initiated. By taking 100,000 human DNA samples from males all over the world, the project hopes to reveal the identity of our super ancestor, the man whom everyone of us are descendant from. The documentary focuses on the work of Spencer Wells, a geneticist. The episode reveals some startling facts about Thomas Jefferson’s ethnic roots.
As Vince and Turtle break out the credit cards to decorate the new mansion, Eric worries that the ‘Aquaman’ offer isn’t in writing. Ari does all that he can to close for his client, but he just can’t seal the deal. The only person in the house unconcerned about the state of financial flux is Drama, who is preoccupied with his calves and is considering augmentation– regardless of the $10K price tag. Working the phones frantically, Ari and Eric believe they have finally gotten Vince his popcorn movie… but their glee is short-lived when they find out that it’s still not official–and that Leonardo DiCaprio is the new frontrunner for the part.
A paper-thin, wall-sized holographic television…a car that runs on processed seawater…an army of robotic killing machines…outer-space luxury resorts and a cleaning droid controlled by your mind? Buckle-up for safety as we race into the near future–where fantasy becomes fact. There have always been visionaries, futurists, and dreamers predicting the world of tomorrow–flying cars, space-station colonies, and android personal assistants. But time has proven the fallacy of many of their predictions. So what future technology can we realistically expect? With the help of 3D animation, we present some pretty far-out predictions and take you to various research labs to see working prototypes of these technologies in their infancy. Join us on a rollicking ride through the entertainment room, down the road, over the battlefield, through the mind, out in space, and into the future, where science fiction becomes science fact.
The crew gets kicked out of the mansion, and Vince immediately falls in love with one of Marlon Brando’s old homes. However, since the new digs fall way outside of his price range, the “Aquaman” offer starts to become a bit more appealing to Vince. A slumber party at the Playboy Mansion could serves as a welcome distraction for the guys, but Drama find out that he’s banned for life by Hugh Hefner. Turtle devises a way to sneak Drama into the party, but he’s soon found out. Some quick talking and a flash of memory allows Drama to get the ban transferred to Pauly Shore, and the crew are finally able to enjoy themselves. The relaxed atmosphere gives Vince a moment of clarity, and he decides to take the “Aquaman” role… so long as he gets approval on his super hero costume.
Priceless collections. Compilations devoted to with such passion, entire lives have been spent perfecting them. From rescued trash to treasure-troves with values known to only the most discerning eye, people collect for many reasons. For some, the thrill is in the find; for others, collecting is an escape from daily life. But all collectors have one thing in common–they love it!
In the 1930s, Japanese designers created a range of warplanes, culminating in the legendary Ki-43 Oscar and the A6M Zero. As the war turned against Japan, designers created the rocket-powered Shusui, the Kikka jet fighter, and the experimental R2Y Keiun. We also disclose frantic preparations to assemble a secret airforce of jet and rocket planes to counter an anticipated US invasion in1945, and chronicle post-war aviation and the birth of the Japanese rocket program in the 1950s and ’60s.
In a battle against the ferocious Atlantic or safe passage through waters where ships wrecked and lives were lost, it was an engineering feat that many believed impossible. This is the story of the Cape Cod Canal and the men who braved the natural elements and the Great Depression by venturing into new engineering territory. In 1909 excavation began on what would become one of the greatest success stories of our time. The evolution of the Cape Cod Canal into what it is today–a major commerce and recreational route of the Intracoastal Waterway–is a tale of determination, ingenuity, and the American spirit. Through historical photographs and expert interviews, the Canal’s story unfolds, and while traveling along on an Army Corps of Engineers Patrol Boat and Coast Guard vessel we see firsthand what happens on the Canal on a daily basis. And we meet the people who make the Canal and its bridges functional and safe, keeping the legacy of the early engineers alive.
Ari intensifies his attempts to get Vince attached to Aquaman, but the young actor doesn’t want to get on board with the project. Instead, he devotes his energies to attending a party at Jaime Pressly’s beachhouse. At the bash, Eric hooks up with a Perfect 10 model, making him feel guilty about cheating on Kristen. He buys her some jewelry to try and soothe his conscience, but he soon discovers that she cheated on him while “Queens Boulevard” was shooting in NY. He breaks things off with her and finally starts enjoying himself. Meanwhile, Drama wonders if his legs are attractive enough to earn him some of Hollywood’s meatier roles.