The Link is a new show on the National Geographic Channel – airs Friday 7pm ET/PT! The first episode:
This week, host Josh Klein explores the origins of automated control systems, like the one used on the Perdido—the world’s deepest offshore oil rig. He starts out in ancient Rome, where local volcanic ash was once used to create superstrong concrete, which the Romans utilized in creating their famous aqueducts. Readily available water resulted in the Romans developing the hand pump, which in turn was modified by the Greeks to make a flamethrower, enabling them to defend Constantinople, the cultural and intellectual hub of its time. Josh learns that the city’s role in the Renaissance led to architects producing elaborate fountains—and the existence of the vacuum pump. As Josh discovers, the vacuum was integral to the invention of the steam engine—which requires a flyball governor to regulate power. From there, advances in feedback controls and remote controls were applied to undersea remote operating vehicles, allowing for deeper drilling.
And Josh additionally writes:
The show is about the history of human innovation, tracing the connections between the worlds greatest inventions in art, science, medicine, finance and more, from ancient times up to the present day. Its chock full of crazy stuff like underwater helicopter evacuations, Indy race car driving, the Black Plague, and playing with the codebreaking devices that won World War II. If youve ever found yourself clicking just one more link when you should have been going to bed, this is the show for you – each episode spans a dozen or so technologies, and traces how each one was dependent on the capabilities provided by the one before it.
Its a lot of fun, and its also one of the last shows on television that doesnt hinge on someone getting kicked off the island, being humiliated in front of their peers, or getting drunk and doing regretful things. This is our last shot to see if anyone still cares about intelligent programming, so its hugely important that we move the needle on its ratings.
So if youve ever loved a science show like Nova, or gotten crazy
excited watching Myth Busters, this is your chance. Please tune in
each Friday, and set your DVR. Most importantly of all, please help us spread the
word! You can get all kinds of great info, clips, behind the scenes blogs etc at the show website.
And if you enjoy the show, please join in on the discussion on Facebook, tweet about it (using the hashtag #TheLink), or do whatever else strikes you to help spread the word.