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The favorite of students and educators everywhere, James Burke the scientific detective is back tracking the fascinating links between technological invention, social history, economics, and, well, everything. Life is a giant 3-dimensional globe made up of millions of threads that cross and recross each other, says Burke as he traces the lines that lead from a French loom to IBM, from a kink in a water pipe to a carburetor. He makes two dozen international stops by way of explaining how the steam pump led to carbon paper, to the entire Industrial revolution and the moon landing, with drill bits, X-rays and genetic engineering along the way; says New York Newsday. In one half-hour! Your head spins, but its the same as splendid champagne. TV is rarely this tasty or this smart, and hardly ever both in such a whiz-bang package.
Programs in this series:
Disc 1: Revolutions
Disvover how the steam engine led to safety matches, imitation diamonds and the moon in a wild ride.
What has Freud got to do with maps: Or prison reform with blue dye? Or the inside of a star with the Himalayas: India reveals the answers.
Getting It Together
Start by examining a SWAT team, which leads to hot air ballooning, the root of many inventions.
Who stole a set of billard balls in 1902 and why was he the most famous crook in history? The clues: maps from 1775, Charles Darwins cousin and the FBI.
Disc 2: Something for Nothing Something impossible happened 400 years ago. And we wound up in outer space, thanks (en route) to piegon lovers, the Pope, and electric Italian frogs.
Echoes of the Past
On his way to finding the secret of the universe, Burke takes us to the Buddhist tea ceremony, ties to international spies and Lincolns assassination.
The Le Mans 24-hour race is the backdrop for linking photography and bullets, relativity and blimps.
Two trails split over slavery in the 18th Century. One route leads to the Wild West and Brooklyn Bridge, the other coining money and TV. Both end with a threat to peace.
Disc 3: High Times
Unwrap a sandwich and you are on a path to World War II radar and Neo-Impressionist painters
History repeats itself, when you know how to look. Pizzaro beats the Incas, the first stock market opens. The Queen of England salutes a Mexican beetle and Hitlers plans misfire.
Miscroscopic bugs inspired the novel Frankenstein which aided the birth of Socialism.
The connection between a cup of tea, opium dens, the London Zoo and a switch that releases bombs
Disc 4: The Big Spin
The greatest medical accident in history starts a trail that leads to Helen of Troy, 17th Century flower-power, the invention of soda pop and earthquake detection
A Baltimore man invented the bottle, which led to razors and clock springs, and the Hubble telescope.
Hairdressers, Gold Rush Miners, Irish potato farmers and English parliamentarians are really tied together.
A sick lawyer in 18th Century France changes farming and triggers the French Revolution and new medical research.
Disc 5: One Word
One medieval word kicks off the investigation into different cultures with the same stories that ends in cultural anthropology.
Dutch piracy starts international law and French probability math, phonetics and Victorian seances.
Better Than the Real Thing
How the zipper started with technology Jefferson picked up in Paris during a row about Creation.
Robin Hood starts us on a trail .
Features: English Subtitled for the Hearing Impaired Educators Guide