How We Got to Now
with Steven Johnson

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6 videos in this collection

Clean
Dirty water has killed more humans than all the wars of history combined, but in the last 150 years, a series of radical ideas, extraordinary innovations and unsung heroes have…
Time
The world today is obsessed by time. Johnson boards a submarine to discover what a lack of natural light means for a sailor's working day and visits Heathrow, the world's…
Glass
Johnson considers how the invention of the mirror gave rise to the Renaissance, how glass lenses allow us to reveal worlds within worlds and how, deep beneath the ocean, glass…
Light
Johnson relates the story of people who take us out of the dark and into the light. Hear about Edison's light bulb, which he didn't actually invent, and learn how…
Cold
Only in the last 200 years have humans learned how to make things cold. Johnson explains how ice entrepreneur Frederic Tudor made ice delivery the second biggest export business in…
Sound
Imagine a world without the power to capture or transmit sound. Journey with Johnson to the Arcy sur Cure caves in northern France, where he finds the first traces of…

Related videos

Clean
Part of the Series: How We Got to Now
Dirty water has killed more humans than all the wars of history combined, but in the last 150 years, a series of radical ideas, extraordinary innovations and unsung heroes have changed our world. Johnson plunges into a sewer to understand what made a maverick engineer decide to lift the city…
NOVA - Making More Stuff
PBS
In this four-part special, technology columnist and best-selling author David Pogue takes a wild ride through the cutting-edge science that is powering a next wave of technological innovation. Pogue meets the scientists and engineers who are plunging to the bottom of the temperature scale, finding design inspiration in nature, and…
Time
Part of the Series: How We Got to Now
The world today is obsessed by time. Johnson boards a submarine to discover what a lack of natural light means for a sailor's working day and visits Heathrow, the world's busiest airport, to try to get timings right at air traffic control. The story of getting a grip on time…
Cold
Part of the Series: How We Got to Now
Only in the last 200 years have humans learned how to make things cold. Johnson explains how ice entrepreneur Frederic Tudor made ice delivery the second biggest export business in the U.S. and visits the place where Clarence Birdseye, the father of the frozen food industry, experienced his eureka moment.…
Sound
Part of the Series: How We Got to Now
Imagine a world without the power to capture or transmit sound. Journey with Johnson to the Arcy sur Cure caves in northern France, where he finds the first traces of the desire to record sound -- 10,000 years ago. He also learns about the difference that radio made in the…
Making Stuff Safer
Part of the Series: NOVA - Making More Stuff
The world has always been a dangerous place, so how do we increase our odds of survival? In Making Stuff Safer, David Pogue explores the cutting-edge research of scientists and engineers who want to keep us out of harm's way. Some are countering the threat of natural disasters with new…
Making Stuff Wilder
Part of the Series: NOVA - Making More Stuff
What happens when scientists open up nature's toolbox? In Making Stuff Wilder, David Pogue explores bold new innovations inspired by the Earth's greatest inventor, life itself. From robotic "mules" and "cheetahs" for the military, to fabrics born out of fish slime, host David Pogue travels the globe to find the…
NOVA - Australia's First 4 Billion Years
PBS
Of all the continents on Earth, none preserves a more spectacular story of our planet's origins than Australia. NOVA's four-part "Australia's First 4 Billion Years" takes viewers on a rollicking adventure from the birth of the Earth to the emergence of the world we know today. With help from host…
Ben Franklin's Balloons
Part of the Series: NOVA
The first stage in the adventure of human flight began with daring inventors and aeronauts in 18th-century Paris, where a handful of brilliant and colorful pioneers developed all the essential features of today's hot air and gas balloons. Their exploits fascinated Benjamin Franklin, who was serving in Paris as the…
Awakening
What can Australia reveal about how Earth was born and how life took hold? Join NOVA and host Dr. Richard Smith as they journey back to the very beginning of the Australian story in Awakening. The first stop is Western Australia, around four and a half billion years ago, where…
Doomsday Volcanoes
Part of the Series: NOVA
In April, 2010 the eruption of Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano turned much of Europe into an ash-strewn no-fly zone, stranding millions of travelers. But was Eyjafjallajokull just the start? Now, an even more threatening Icelandic volcano, Katla, has begun to swell and grumble. Two more giants, Hekla and Laki, could erupt…
Water
Part of the Series: EARTH
Both humans and wildlife depend on water for survival. This episode explores how a misuse of water can lead to unparalleled destruction; however, sharing our water with wildlife does not only benefit the wild, it may also be a crucial step in our own survival. In Africa, big wildlife including…