The Daily Ping

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January 24th, 2002

Modern Marvels

Occasionally, I’ll browse through TiVo’s massive listing of what’s coming on in the next few weeks. If something piques my interest, I’ll record it. Thus, when the History Channel was showing a program called Paving America, I recorded it.

The show ended up being part of a series called Modern Marvels. Each episode gives an hour’s summary of a massive technological advance, and includes somewhat-in-depth information about it. Paving was all about the history of the nation’s highway system. It catered more towards the roots of the system than present-day applications, but I picked up enough trivia and moderately interesting facts to keep watching.

The second episode I noticed was on the telephone. I learned that Bell wasn’t the only person developing a phone at the time, and his competitor was based in Chicago. And, there’s an upcoming episode on Household Wonders – including information on how the mixer was invented. Come on! A mixer!

The downside with the series is that the shows don’t really plunge into the topic wholeheartedly; it’s kind of a history lesson for the Behind the Music set. It even feels a little like that show, from a production standpoint. While I don’t think that Modern Marvels is the best history show I’ve ever seen, it’s a good use of a minimal amount of TV time, and it provides lots of conversation starters. -pm

Posted in Television, Movies, and Music

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