The Forgotten Story of NYC's First Power Grid

Lower Manhattan of the 1880s was a wonderland of futuristic technology and engineering: The city's first cable car arced over the harbor. A spindly new steel bridge was forming to connect Williamsburg to the city. And on the Lower East Side, Edison was tearing up the streets to build the first permanent power… » 1/26/15 4:13pm 1/26/15 4:13pm

Chat With PBS Host Steven Johnson About Unsung Science Heroes

Steven Johnson is the host of the new PBS show How We Got To Now, which celebrates the everyday folks who you've probably never heard of—but who changed the world. We'll have him here starting at 2pm EST to answer all your questions about inventors and scientists that helped shape the world we live in. » 11/12/14 1:44pm 11/12/14 1:44pm

Go Car Shopping With "Click and Clack" In This 2008 Documentary

I don't care much for cars. But even though I'm ambivalent about automobiles, I'm incredibly passionate about the radio show Car Talk. Sadly, one half of the Car Talk brothers, Tom Magliozzi, died today at 77, which sent me searching for this documentary they made in 2008—the first time I saw "Click and Clack" in… » 11/03/14 8:00pm 11/03/14 8:00pm

How We Got to Now: PBS Celebrates Science Heroes You've Never Heard Of

In 2014 we live pretty comfortable lives, free of rampant disease and inconvenience that plagued our not-too-distant ancestors. The people who helped us get to this point are not necessarily rich or famous but they're no less important for it. PBS celebrates these folks in its new series, How We Got To Now, hosted by… » 10/15/14 7:45pm 10/15/14 7:45pm

Generation Like: The Kids Sell Out (But Don't Know What That Means)

The most shocking part of "Generation Like," PBS's new Frontline documentary about youth media culture, occurs when a bunch of teenagers confess they don't know what the term "sell-out" means. This term, so vital to the identities of at least three generations that had come before them, didn't register as something… » 2/18/14 5:42pm 2/18/14 5:42pm

No, Children of 1990, Computers Are Not the Devil

Computers may be ubiquitous now but in 1990 they were just beginning to enter the mainstream. And like any revolutionary technology, the desktop computer was viewed with more than a little skepticism by the average American. Luckily, David Neil of PBS's Newton's Apple was there to explain to a group of dubious high… » 6/27/13 1:40pm 6/27/13 1:40pm

How Tech Made the Boston Bombing Manhunt Possible

The chaos of the Boston Marathon bombing is behind us now, but the mechanics of the high-tech manhunt it inspired are no less awe-inspiring than they were the day they happened. PBS's fantastic NOVA series took a deep dive into the technology that went into tracking down the suspects, and it's now available to watch… » 6/01/13 9:00pm 6/01/13 9:00pm

How Great Data Graphics Tap Into Your Caveman Brain

Your brain isn't designed to digest a big matrix of numbers and then just burp out knowledge. It is designed to spot and recognize patterns, and it's been trained to do that over thousands of years. A good data visualization communicates ideas instantly, but designing one can be a complex task—it's more than just… » 5/09/13 4:40pm 5/09/13 4:40pm

Yes! PBS Superheroes Will Save the World from Crappy Reality TV

Imagine if PBS created its own Avengers by teaming up superheroes from our childhood. I'm not talking about Iron Man or Thor but Carl Sagan, Mister Rogers and Bill Nye. Real superheroes. This fantastic short imagines the trio teaming up with Bob Ross to form the PBS Avengers who want to save us from brain shrinking… » 5/01/13 9:05pm 5/01/13 9:05pm

What the Future of Wearable Technology Will Look Like

It's going to look silly! But more seriously, it seems like we're all going to have to accept that wearing technology is going to be the real future and not just the imagined future of science fiction movies. We won't know we're in the future until we're wearing technology like Google Glass or Apple's supposed… » 4/25/13 7:15pm 4/25/13 7:15pm

Meteor Strike: The Complete Story of Russia's Cosmic Fireball

Thanks to the crazy prevalence of dash-cams in Russia, we got an amazing, multi-viewpoint look at last month's monster meteor strike just hours after it happened. But there's more to see than just the flashes in the sky. PBS's Nova dug in deep to figure out the details of the incident, and the disaster it could have… » 3/30/13 9:00pm 3/30/13 9:00pm