Making More Stuff, No To Kenosha Casino

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Rob Ferrett and Veronica Rueckert talk with a PBS host about making stuff faster, wilder, colder and safer. They’ll also talk with a guest who says Governor Walker should say no to a proposed Kenosha casino.

Featured in this Show

  • Scientists Look To Nature To Solve Technological Problems

    Scientists are currently working to incorporate some of the brilliance of the natural world into the functionality of everyday items.

    The idea, called “Biomimicry,” is using solutions in nature to solve design problems.

    “Nature has had millions of years to solve problems, and why shouldn’t we steal those ideas for our technology?” said David Pogue, host of PBS’s new four-part series, “Making More Stuff.”

    In the series, Pogue looks at the latest biomimicry advances with fabrics made from ocean byproducts. The hagfish is an eel with an unusual defensive mechanism. When attacked, it releases enormous quantities of a clear slime onto its predator. The slime contains very fine, very strong threads. Scientists said they hope to extract these fibers to make fabric for clothing. It would be stronger than nylon and would have the benefit of being non-petroleum based.

    Pogue said the hard part would be “to get people’s minds off fact they are wearing fish slime.”

    The U.S. military is working to develop robots based on what works best in nature. Pogue said bipedal robots are are a thing of Hollywood. Most walking robots have four legs. One such robot is modeled after the ox. The ox robot has four hoofs allowing it to walk on uneven and wet terrain. It is designed to follows soldiers to site of battles so they no longer have to wear gear on their backs.

    The military has also developed a robot that is so indistinguishable from actual hummingbird that it fooled real humming birds. Also in development are robots the size of a bee weighing one-thirtieth the weight of a penny.

    David Pogue’s new NOVA series, “Making More Stuff,” airs Wednesday nights on Wisconsin Public Television and most PBS stations.

    To see the the hagfish slime, the ox robot, and the hummingbird robot watch the Making Stuff: Wilder Preview.

  • Tech Columnist Finds Out How To Make Stuff Faster, Wilder, Colder and Safer

    A technology columnist and PBS host hits the road to check out the latest wave of technological innovation.

  • The Case For No New Casino In Kenosha

    The president of Wisconsin Policy Reseach Institute makes the case for not building a new casino in Kenosha, and says there are better uses for the land.

Episode Credits

  • Rob Ferrett Host
  • Veronica Rueckert Host
  • Chris Malina Producer
  • David Pogue Guest
  • Mike Nichols Guest

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