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How Do They Do It?

Season 5 2008

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  • 2008-03-04T03:00:00Z on Discovery
  • 60 mins
  • 14 hours, 12 mins (20 episodes)
  • United States
  • English
  • Documentary
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How Do They Do It?

Ever wondered how the stripes get into toothpaste or how contact lenses are made? How do goods get from one country to another and then into our supermarkets? What are car tires made from and exactly why are plasma TV screens flat?

Eating, drinking, driving, flying. These all are activities that we carry out with barely a second thought. But have you ever wondered what exactly goes into your teabag and how it got there? How does an airport handle hundreds of thousands of items of luggage each day? And just how can a car’s airbag inflate so quickly?

Every day – often without even realizing it – we come into contact with technology, be it in the bathroom, in the car or on the golf course.

We take a look at how things work, and focus on some of the most amazing examples of everyday objects including the world’s fastest elevator and the most expensive chocolate money can buy.

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21 episodes

5x01 Navigating the Panama Canal; Waste Disposal

  • Season Premiere

    2008-03-04T03:00:00Z — 60 mins

Learning how large ships make their way through the Panama Canal; technology assists in waste management.

The world's strongest knives; growing diamonds in a laboratory; producing enough bricks to build the modern world.

5x03 Electricity; Floating Cranes

  • 2008-03-06T03:00:00Z — 60 mins

The science behind electricity; the world's largest floating cranes.

5x04 Desert Water; LED TVs; Ferraris

  • 2008-03-07T03:00:00Z — 60 mins

Providing fresh drinking water in the desert; LED television screens; Ferrari sports cars.

5x05 Overnight Shipping; Mining Coal

  • 2008-03-08T03:00:00Z — 60 mins

Discover how packages are shipped worldwide in less than 24 hours; mining enough coal to feed the world's power stations.

Manufacturing drink cartons; prefabricated homes; mobile intensive-care vehicles.

How meteorologists forecast the weather; the Swedish armed forces use hovercrafts to carry troops and equipment over many types of surfaces.

5x08 Mega Freeways; Minting Coins

  • 2008-03-13T02:00:00Z — 20 mins

Constructing freeways to handle a quarter of a million cars each day; minting coins.

Large cargo ships transport goods around the world; Peterbilt makes large, custom built trucks.

The rockets that launch the space shuttle; binocular lenses; windshield wiper blades.

5x11 Giant Oil Rigs; Electric Shavers

  • 2008-03-18T02:00:00Z — 60 mins

Transporting oil rigs long distances; making electric shavers.

Manufacturing halogen light bulbs; car mufflers; creating unique lock and key sets.

How the latest generation of passenger aircraft are assembled; a lightweight chainsaw can have more muscle and a sharper bite than a great white shark.

Generating power from hydroelectric dams; manufacturing powerful computer microchips.

5x15 Gasoline; Swiss Army Knives

  • 2008-03-26T02:00:00Z — 22 mins

How gasoline is delivered to the pumps; the making of Swiss Army knives.

5x16 Wool Carpeting; LEGOs

  • 2008-03-27T02:00:00Z — 22 mins

The making of wool carpeting and LEGO children's toys.

The technology behind high-speed trains; manufacturing ballpoint pens.

The secrets behind the manufacturing of mirrors; creating a two-dimensional design for a 3-D car.

Manufacturing durable jeans; creating the perfect wine glass.

5x20 Aluminum Foil; GPS Systems

  • 2008-04-02T02:00:00Z — 60 mins

Turning sand into aluminum foil; how a GPS (global positioning system) guides people to a specific destination.


  • no air date — 22 mins
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