Tag archives for Engineering

COSMOS: A SPACETIME ODYSSEY is finally here and to celebrate the National Geographic Museum is opening up a special exhibition, featuring plenty of ways for COSMOS lovers to transcend time and space into a world of imagination and cosmic understanding. The exhibition, which opened yesterday, coincided with the National Geographic LIVE! screening of COSMOS: A SPACETIME ODYSSEY at National Geographic’s…

Gold mining in the Yukon is a ruthless game of chance, where success depends on mining the right land at the right time. For the crews of Yukon Gold, their luck may have run out. Bernie, who’s wasted precious time mining an unsuccessful claim, his second site at Snow Creek needs to yield paydirt to…

Today, when we think of lighter-than-air dirigibles, we think of ungainly blimps emblazoned with corporate logos that float over football stadiums. But back in 1933, when the USS Macon was commissioned by the U.S. Navy, they were called airships, and their enormous size inspired not amusement, but awe. The Macon was among the mightiest of…

Triggered by Humans

Salton Sea — March 21st, 2010by Mark Marabella, Executive ProducerToday I’m on location out here at the Salton Sea with Dr. Michael Manga and his graduate assistant, Max Rudolph. We’ve taken a long drive from San Diego to what seems like the edges of civilization. It’s literally a desert out here. Nothing around at all—no trees, no grass,…

Every Kid’s Dream

by Peter TakacsAssociate Producer Isn’t it every kid’s dream to have an amusement park all to themselves? No having to wait in line for any of the rides, being able to ride roller coasters over and over again without stopping. Well back in November of 2009, I was given the opportunity to fulfill this life…

In the California desert, in intense secrecy, the world’s first space tourism program is born. Two visionaries—entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson and legendary aerospace designer Burt Rutan—take on the ultimate challenge: building the craft and infrastructure for the world’s first spaceline. A team of maverick engineers design, build, and test-fly the craft that will one day transport…

by Craig ZwolakAssociate Producer You never know what to expect while filming an episode of World’s Toughest Fixes. During our stay in Salt Lake City our story looked more like a page from Mad Libs than a script for an engineering series. Riley drives a snowmobile  to go feed a zebra, then installs a 140-foot skywalk bridge,…

Texas’ Toughest Fixes

by Katy AndresAssociate ProducerIf you’re a fan of World’s Toughest Fixes because you think like an engineer, chances are you’ve probably wondered how the show is made. I know I have. Just two weeks into my internship with WTF, some of our team members grabbed their hard hats and headed down to my home state…

A Trip to the Deep Sea

by Claudia Rubyauthor, Dawn of the Ocean Black smokers are one of the last mysteries of our planet. It’s only 30 years ago that scientists first discovered them, and still we know very little about them. Colin Devey, geologist at the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences in Kiel, belongs to a small group of scientists…

Moving a Mountain

The Egyptian government harnessed the power of the Nile by building the Aswan High Dam. This massive structure, nearly 400 feet high, would eventually create a reservoir that stretched for 500 kilometers and provided enough electricity to power half of Egypt. However, the resulting lake would flood the site of over 20 ancient monuments. The largest and…

Dawn of the Ocean

The earth 4 billions years ago: Water does not exist — the earth is a gigantic mass of molten rock. Comets formed of ice and dust rain down on the earth. They bring with them water that immediately evaporates. When the projectiles from space become fewer, the earth forms a solid crust as the temperature…

Man vs Typhoon

Titan Salvage is tasked with the removal of the Colombo Queen, a 497 ton oil tanker, from Taiwan’s protected coastline. They appoint Albert Dai, a naval architect of 15 years who is confident that he can refloat the tanker. However, he knows he’s up aganist a force even he cannot control — The Western Pacific’s typhoon season. Completely exposed on…

Horses on the Rocks

The MV Gabriel was in transit to Ponta Delgada when she ran aground in the Azores, just ten nautical miles from her destination. At the time, the Gabriel was carrying seven prized dressage horses, a cargo load that had never before crossed this salvage teams’ path, in their thirty years at sea.  With her tanks…

by Gayle YoungProducer Some researchers say one of the most common dreams in the world is of flying – not crammed in the middle seat of an airbus during peak travel season, but of floating effortlessly through space of you own volition. Now, with the perfection of wingsuits, that’s almost a reality. No rig, no…

Coastal Crisis!

The refloat attempt of the Colombo Queen continues in Taiwan, as salvors return to the wreck site after typhoon Morakot has passed. Re-assessing the damage, the tanker is in bad shape, and it is going to take an almighty effort to even attempt a refloat. Meanwhile another storm, Hurricane Ida, has ripped through the Gulf,…

Fish For Dinner

by Jim KowatsProducer Day one of the shoot. I’ve just flown from Washington to Frankfurt, Frankfurt to Bremen, and then driven two hours to Jever Air Force Base in Northern Germany. I’m jet-lagged and don‘t understand much German. But our crew of five — a German Producer, cameraman, sound recordist, and grip — all speak…

by Gayle YoungProducer Studies have shown that babies have an innate fear of falling, and will avoid crawling into a void or over the edge of a high perch. Seems logical, doesn’t it? Perhaps it’s an evolutionary adaption from our earliest ancestors. But in the tallest building in America, you’re supposed to throw that primal…

by Vicky Matthews, Break It Down Series Producer Filming the deconstruction of the USS Savannah AOR-4 was probably one of the most interesting projects I’ve done in a long time. The ship had spent years shut up and anchored in the James River, alongside dozens of other decommissioned Navy vessels (Google “ghost fleet” to find out more…

Hey you Transformers fanboys out there: stop moping because that über-hottie Megan Fox has been dropped from the cast of the upcoming Transformers 3 flick that’s scheduled for release in the summer of 2011, reportedly after saying uncomplimentary things about director Michael Bay.  Instead, check out this dispatch from the actual world, the one that exists outside your parents’…

Living on a Stealth Sub

by the “21st Century Stealth Sub” production crew Long before I ever set foot on a submarine — or had any notion that I’d ever get to — I had decided that it was not someplace I’d ever like to be. All I knew of submarines was what you seen in the movies, and it seems like…

In 1963, she was a star of the auto-show world. Now, nearly 50 years later, she lays in wreck at a hot rod shop in Ft. Worth, Texas. This pile of rust is highly unusual: with a ’54 Oldsmobile front-end and the tail of an El Camino pickup, professional restoration expert Alan Lewenthal has never…

EMP Attack

Back in 1991, edgy German director Wim Wenders made a movie, “Until the End of the World.” There’s a subplot — one of many in the complicated flick — in which people on Earth are menaced by an out-of-control satellite that is threatening to fall from orbit. In the end, the failing satellite instead is…

by Scott DeGraw, Producer “You never know…” We heard that a lot on this episode of World’s Toughest Fixes. It was usually in response to the question, “What do you do in a typical day on the job?” For this show, our assignment was to head up the interstate a few hours to Philadelphia and investigate…

Cruise Ship Tough Fix

by Jason Nicholls, Associate Producer The World’s Toughest Fixes crew arrived in San Francisco to tape the Sea Princess, a massive luxury passenger cruise liner. This wasn’t going to be a vacation though, at least until we could fix the ship. And if it didn’t get fixed in time, there were going to be thousands…

A New Respect for Heights

by Molly TaitAssociate Producer If you’ve ever thought that working on a television series would be glamorous, first you should intern at Nat Geo. They will put you to work. Second, it’s usually quite the opposite. As an Associate Producer, my job is being a mobile secretary, treasurer, and assistant all in one. There are…