SciTech Now Episode 203

In this episode of SciTech Now, the New York Fashion Tech Lab is a tech accelerator is helping companies at the intersection of retail and technology modernize the fashion industry; Ruth DeFries, professor of Ecology and Sustainable Development and Columbia University’s Earth Institute, explains how the history of human development has impacted our planet; The Blue Ocean Film Festival aims to spread awareness about what lies underwater, with help from aquatic filmmaker and explorer Fabien Cousteau; the Melrose Center is a 26,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility at the Orlando Public Library; and PBS Secrets of the Dead investigates the real possibility that a Trojan Horse could have been used to trick Troy into defeat.

TRANSCRIPT

COMING UP.. THE INTERSECTION OF TECH AND FASHION...

WE'VE SEEN A LOT OF INNOVATION WITH CONSUMER-BASED PRODUCTS, WHERE CONSUMERS CA HAVE AN AMAZING USER EXPERIENC AND PURCHASE PRODUCTS.

...A SATELLITE VIEW OF OU PLANET'S HISTORY..

WE WILL ALWAYS BE CREATIN NEW SOLUTIONS THAT CREATE NE PROBLEMS, SO THAT IS THE LON PATTERN OF OUR HUMAN HISTORY

...A DIVE INTO THE DEEP BLU OCEAN...

THE ENVIRONMENT ITSELF, THE RESIDENTS, YOUR NEW NEIGHBORS, ACTUALLY START ACCEPTING YOU MORE AND MORE AS PART OF THE BACKGROUND RATHER THAN A FOREIGN VISITOR.

...AND THE TALE OF THE TROJAN HORSE.

IT IS CERTAINLY PLAUSIBLE THAT THE WHOLE IDEA OF A TROJA HORSE IS A DIM MEMORY OR EVEN METAPHOR FOR SOME SORT OF SIEG TOWER.

IT'S ALL AHEAD.

FUNDING FOR THIS PROGRAM IS MADE POSSIBLE BY THE CORPORATION FOR PUBLIC BROADCASTING, LEWIS B. AND LOUISE HIRSCHFELD CULLMAN, SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III AND CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE PARTICIPATING STATIONS ♪♪

HELLO I'M HARI SREENIVASAN WELCOME TO OUR WEEKLY PROGRA BRINGING YOU THE LATES BREAKTHROUGHS IN SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION.

LET'S GET STARTED.

WITH THE EVER-EVOLVING IDEA OF WEARABLE TECHNOLOGY, FASHION HAS BECOME THE NEXT BIG THING IN THE TECH WORLD'S ORBIT, BUT MANY QUESTIONS REMAIN ABOUT HOW THESE TWO SEEMINGLY OPPOSING FIELD CAN COMMINGLE.

ONE ORGANIZATION THAT'S TAKING ON THE CHALLENGE OF FINDING WAYS TO INTERSECT TECH AND FASHION IS THE NEW YORK FASHION TECH LAB.

WE GO INTO THE LAB TO GET TH STORY.

MORE AND MORE APPS, E-COMMERCE SITES, WEARABLE DEVICES, AND SMART TECHNOLOGIE ARE POPPING UP AND ATTEMPTING TO NAVIGATE THE FASHION INDUSTRY.

I WOULD SAY, A DECADE AGO O MORE, I DON'T THINK THAT THE TECHNOLOGY COMPANIES WERE REALLY THINKING ABOUT FASHION AS PLACE FOR THEM TO BE

KAY KOPLOVITZ, CHAIRMAN O SPRINGBOARD ENTERPRISES, AND MARIA GOTSCH, THE PRESIDENT AN C.E.O. OF THE PARTNERSHIP FUND FOR NEW YORK CITY, NOTICED THE STEADY RISE OF TECH IN THE FASHION SPACE AND LAUNCHED THE ACCELERATOR, THE NEW YOR FASHION TECH LAB

I'D LIKE THIS TO BECOME PLACE FOR FASHION-TECH COMPANIES TO COME.

SO IF YOU'RE BUILDING FASHION-TECH COMPANY AND YOU CUSTOMER IS A LARGE RETAILER O FASHION BRAND, WHAT I WANT I FOR PEOPLE TO SAY, 'I HAVE TO BE IN THIS PROGRAM.

THE NEW YORK FASHION TECH LAB IS AN AMAZING OPPORTUNITY TO FIRST OF ALL, EXPERIENCE FASHION IN THE FASHION CAPITAL OF TH WORLD IN NEW YORK CITY THEY'VE ALSO PROVIDED AN AMAZING GROUP OF MENTORS AND ADVISOR THAT WE WORK WITH.

TO HELP RETAILERS PLA CATCH-UP IN THE TECH SPHER WHILE STAYING AHEAD OF THE FASHION CURVE, NEW YORK FASHION TECH LA TARGETS EARLY-STAGE COMPANIES AT THE INTERSECTION OF FASHION, TECHNOLOGY, AND RETAIL

THE TOUGHEST THING IN RETAI IS FIGURING OUT HOW TO ALIGN THE BUSINESS DECISION MAKERS WIT THE TECHNICAL DECISION AND I.T

NEW YORK FASHION TECH LAB PICKS COMPANIES THAT SPAN DIVERSE LANDSCAPE FROM SMART FABRIC TO POINT-OF-SALES SYSTEMS.

WE'VE SEEN A LOT OF INNOVATION WITH CONSUMER-BASED PRODUCTS -- FLASH-SALE SITE, MOBILE APPS -- WHERE CONSUMERS CAN HAVE AN AMAZING USER EXPERIENCE AND PURCHAS PRODUCTS I THINK THAT A LOT MOR INNOVATION WILL OCCUR IN THE BACK END OF THE INDUSTRY, SO I THE B2B ASPECT

SO YOU CAN SEE WHAT THOSE LOOK LIKE...

A 2014 ALUMNUS FROM THE PROGRAM IS FORGING ITS PATH IN THE FASHION-TECH INDUSTRY BY USING BIG DATA

TRENDALYTICS IS A VISUAL-ANALYTICS PLATFORM, S WHAT WE DO IS WE LOOK AT WHA IMAGES CONSUMERS ARE SHARING O SOCIAL MEDIA, THE PRODUCTS THEY'RE SEARCHING FOR ON GOOGLE, AND THE PRODUCTS THAT THEY SHO ON THOUSANDS OF E-COMMERCE SITES, AND WE BASICALL SYNTHESIZE ALL THIS INFORMATIO AND MAKE IT REALLY EASY TO UNDERSTAND WHAT'S GAININ ADOPTION AND WHAT'S KIND O FALLING OUT OF FAVOR

TECH IN THE FASHION INDUSTR IS QUICKLY MAKING ITS MARK, AN THE NEW YORK FASHION TECH LAB IS ONE EXAMPLE OF HOW FASHION AND TECH ARE INNOVATING TOGETHER

COMPANIES LIKE TH GILT GROUPE, RENT THE RUNWAY - COMPANIES LIKE THIS THAT HAV BROUGHT FASHION TO THE FOREGROUND, WHETHER BIRCHBOX ALL THESE KIND OF COMPANIES THAT ARE IN SORT OF THE RETAI BUSINESS, THEY'RE ALL OF A SUDDEN SAYING, 'OH, TECHNOLOGY HAVE A PLACE IN TH FASHION AND RETAIL BUSINESS, AND WE THINK THAT THIS IS GREAT PROGRAM FOR BOTH THE TECHNOLOGY AND THE FASHION-RETAIL COMPANIES ♪♪

FOR AS LONG AS HUMANS HAV ROAMED THE EARTH, TH ADVANCEMENT OF TECHNOLOGY HA BEEN A MAJOR DRIVER OF MODERNIZATION AND GROWTH HERE TO TELL US MORE ABOUT HOW THE HISTORY OF HUMAN DEVELOPMENT HAS IMPACTED OUR PLANET IS RUTH DeFRIES, PROFESSOR OF ECOLOGY AND SUSTAINABL DEVELOPMENT AT COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY' EARTH INSTITUTE.

SO, YOU'VE GOT A BOOK CALLED 'THE BIG RATCHET.'

YOU TALK ABOUT THE 'RATCHET AN THE HATCHET CYCLES.'

WHAT IS THAT

WHEN WE LOOK AT OUR EARTH, WE SEE ONE THING TODAY, AND THAT IS THAT HUMANS ARE SO ABUNDANT.

WE DOMINATE THE EARTH.

WE'RE EVERYWHERE -- [CHUCKLES] ALMOST EVERYWHERE ON THE PLANE FOR GROWING FOOD, FOR CITIES SO WE HAVE RATCHETED UP OU PRESENCE ON THIS PLANET OVER THE LAST 200,000 YEARS, AN PARTICULARLY OVER THE LAST 10,000 YEARS, AND VERY MUCH SO OVER THE LAST 50 YEARS SO THE STORY OF THE BIG RATCHE IS HOW WE GOT TO THAT POINT, HOW WE EVOLVED FROM BEING -- HOW W USED OUR INNOVATION AN INGENUITY TO MANIPULATE TH BOUNTY OF OUR PLANET TO GO FRO BEING AN ORDINARY LARGE MAMMAL [CHUCKLES] LIKE OUR AP RELATIVES, TO AN INCREDIBL SPECIES THAT HAS ITS REACH ACROSS THE WORLD

SO, WHAT'S THE KEY DRIVER O THAT KIND OF HUGE MANIPULATION I MEAN, IT'S NOT JUST OU OPPOSABLE THUMBS, BUT IS IT OU ABILITY TO THINK ABOUT PLANTIN SEEDS AND GROW AGRICULTURE AND FOOD FOR OURSELVES IS IT THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION?

WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST RATCHET THAT WE'VE HAD IN THE LAST 50 OR COUPLE HUNDRED YEARS

SO, THE REALLY KEY DRIVER I THIS INCREDIBLE PLANET THAT WE LIVE ON, WHICH HAS THE ABILITY TO RECYCLE NUTRIENTS AND KEE CLIMATE RELATIVELY STABLE, COMPARED TO OUR PLANETAR NEIGHBORS, AND PROVIDES THIS INCREDIBLE DIVERSITY OF LIFE, SO THAT'S THE PLATFORM.

BUT THEN OVER AND ABOVE THAT, WE AS A SPECIES HAVE THE ABILITY TO MANIPULATE THAT NATURE THROUGH ACQUIRING KNOWLEDGE, THROUGH PASSING ON KNOWLEDGE, THROUG BUILDING ON WHAT WE LEARNED, THROUGH SPREADING IDEAS, THA HAS MADE IT POSSIBLE FOR US TO MANIPULATE THIS INCREDIBLE PLANET THAT WE HAVE TO PRODUCE AN ENORMOUS AMOUNT OF FOOD T FEED OUR 7-PLUS BILLION PEOPLE

SO IT SEEMS RIGHT NOW THE CHALLENGE ISN'T THAT WE DON' HAVE FOOD -- IT'S THA THERE'S NOT NECESSARILY EQUA TO THAT FOOD

EXACTLY SO, IN THE LAST 50 YEARS, THER HAS BEEN SUCH AN ABUNDANCE - AND THAT'S WHAT I TERM 'THE BI RATCHET' -- IN THE AMOUNT OF FOOD THAT WE'VE BEEN ABLE TO PRODUCE.

SO THE AMOUNT OF FOOD PRODUCED PER PERSON, PER CAPITA, IS HIGHER TODAY ON A GLOBAL SCALE THAN IT WAS 50 YEARS AGO, AN THAT'S EVEN TAKING ACCOUNT THE INCREDIBLE EXPLOSION I POPULATION BUT THAT'S NOT TO SAY THAT EVERYONE HAS ACCESS TO THE FOOD, AND WE KNOW THAT THERE ARE SOM 800 MILLION PEOPLE WHO ARE CHRONICALLY HUNGRY, WHICH IS VERY TRAGIC IN THIS WORLD OF ABUNDANT FOOD.

THAT'S NOT FOR LACK OF PRODUCTION IT'S FOR THE LACK OF ACCESS AN ABILITY TO AFFORD THE FOOD

AND YOU ALSO TALK ABOUT THE HATCHET PART OF THE CYCLE.

WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

SO, THE HATCHET IS -- SO, W HAVE A RATCHET SO, LET'S TAKE, FOR EXAMPLE, THE DOMESTICATION OF AGRICULTURE 10,000, 12,000 YEARS AGO, WHEN PEOPLE FIGURED OUT HOW T MANIPULATE GENETICS AND GROW THE SEEDS OF THE GRAINS THAT HAD DESIRABLE QUALITIES, LIKE HAVING LARGE GRAINS TO EAT.

SO THAT WAS AN ENORMOUS RATCHET, PROBABLY THE BIGGEST RATCHET I HUMAN HISTORY.

BUT EVERY RATCHET THAT WE SE COMES WITH A PROBLEM SO WE'RE MANIPULATING NATURE WHICH INEVITABLY LEADS TO SOME KIND OF PROBLEM OR BACKLASH.

SO, IN THE CASE OF DOMESTICATION OF CROPS, THAT CREATED THE ABILITY TO SUPPORT A LOT MOR PEOPLE, BUT IT ALSO CREATED LOT OF PROBLEMS -- DISEASES, PEOPLE WERE SHORTER, STARCHY DIETS, SO LESS DIVERSE DIETS AND IT ALSO CREATED THE PROBLE OF, ONCE YOU HAVE SETTLE AGRICULTURE, HOW DO YOU KEEP THOSE FIELDS FERTILE HOW DO YOU KEEP THE SOIL NUTRIENTS GETTING BACK INTO TH SOIL TO BE ABLE TO GROW THE NEXT CROP SO THAT IS A PROBLEM THA CIVILIZATION HAS BEEN DEALIN WITH EVER SINCE.

SO, WHAT PART OF THE STORY THA I TELL IN THE BOOK IS ALL OF THE WAYS THAT PEOPLE HAVE TRIED TO OVERCOME THAT PROBLEM THAT W CREATED, THAT HATCHET THAT W CREATED FROM THE RATCHET, AN PIVOT TO A NEW KIND OF TECHNOLOGY, WHICH THEN INEVITABLY CREATES ANOTHER PROBLEM, WHICH LEADS TO ANOTHE SOLUTION SO WE'RE IN THIS CYCLE, THIS REALLY ENDLESS CYCLE, OF CREATING PROBLEMS AND THEN CREATING SOLUTIONS, WHICH THEN CREATE NEW PROBLEMS.

SO, IS THERE A WAY OUT OF THIS CYCLE, OR IS THIS JUS BOUND TO REPEAT?

I THINK THAT IS JUST HOW WE LIVE ON THIS PLANET.

WE WILL ALWAYS BE EXPERIMENTING.

WE WILL ALWAYS BE CREATING NEW SOLUTIONS THAT CREATE NE PROBLEMS, SO THAT IS THE LON PATTERN OF OUR HUMAN HISTORY AND I THINK THAT'S OUR HUMAN CONDITION.

ALL RIGHT, RUTH DeFRIES FRO COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY' EARTH INSTITUTE.

THANKS SO MUCH FOR JOINING US.

THANK YOU ♪♪

THE BLUE OCEAN FILM FESTIVA WORKS TO SPREAD AWARENESS ABOU WHAT LIES BENEATH THE OCEAN.

ONE OF THE SUPPORTERS OF THE FESTIVAL IS AQUATIC FILMMAKE AND EXPLORER FABIEN COUSTEAU WE LISTEN IN AS COUSTEAU SHARE THE STORY ABOUT HIS MISSION 31 PROJECT, AN UNDERWATER ADVENTURE IN THE FLORIDA KEYS.

♪♪

THE BLUE OCEAN FILM FESTIVA IS MEANT TO BE A PLATFORM FO RAISING AWARENESS AND GETTIN PEOPLE ENGAGED IN OCEAN AN ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP, AND WE USE FILM AS OUR TOOL OF EMPOWERMENT.

FEEL LIKE IT'S THE MOST POWERFUL TOOL WE HAVE TO REACH PEOPLE T HELP UNDERSTAND WHY THINGS MATTER, WHY THE OCEANS MATTER.

DEBBIE KINDER IS TH EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF TH BLUE OCEAN FILM FESTIVAL AND WORKS WITH THOSE WHO EXPLORE AND STUDY THE OCEANS ONE WHO BECAME A SUPPORTER O THE FILM FESTIVAL EARLY ON I THE GRANDSON OF FAMED AQUANAUT JACQUES COUSTEAU

FABIEN COUSTEAU IS -- H FEELS ALMOST LIKE FAMILY TO US HE'S BEEN WITH US AND A PART O BLUE SINCE 2009.

I THINK THE BLUE OCEAN FILM FESTIVAL IS PHENOMENAL PLATFORM TO GIVE VOICE FOR THE OCEANS WE CAN BRING IN EXPLORERS, W CAN BRING IN SCIENTISTS, STORYTELLERS, AND WE CAN BRING IN THE GENERAL PUBLIC SO THA THERE IS THAT NICE INTERMINGLING, THAT PEOPLE CAN REALLY MIX TOGETHER IN A BEAUTIFUL SOUP ♪♪

FABIEN COUSTEAU CAME TO THE FESTIVAL TO SHARE HIS MISSION 31 PROJECT... A 31-DAY UNDERWATER ADVENTURE IN THE FLORIDA KEYS

I WANTED TO DO MISSION 31 FOR SEVERAL REASONS.

ONE, IT WAS ALWAYS A FANTASY O MINE TO LIVE UNDERWATER.

I FEEL MORE COMFORTABLE IN THE OCEAN THAN I DO ON LAND.

BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY THAN THAT IT WAS TO RELAY BACK A SENSE O THE HUMAN-OCEAN CONNECTION THE WAY MY GRANDFATHER DID IN HI DAY.

THERE'S NO BETTER WAY TO DO THAT THAN TO LIVE ON THAT OCEANIC FRONTIER

COUSTEAU AND HIS RESEARCH TEAM LIVED IN THE AQUARIUS, AN UNDERWATER HABITAT IN TH FLORIDA KEYS OPERATED BY FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY ♪♪

NOW, A HABITAT IS A HOUSE UNDERWATER, AND THE FRONT DOOR IS OPEN TO THE ENVIRONMENT SO THAT MEANS THAT YOU'R SATURATING AND YOU'RE SATURATE AT THE PRESSURE DEPTH EQUAL TO WHERE YOU ARE.

AND THAT GIVES YOU A UNBELIEVABLE GIFT -- THE LUXUR OF TIME.

BECAUSE YOU'RE SATURATED, YO CAN GO OUT 6, 8, 10, 12 HOURS DAY IF YOU WANT AND REALLY STUDY THINGS THE WAY THEY SHOULD BE.

♪♪ WHAT'S EVEN BETTER THAN THAT I THAT THE ENVIRONMENT ITSELF, THE RESIDENTS, YOUR NEW NEIGHBORS, ACTUALLY START ACCEPTING YOU MORE AND MORE AS PART OF THE BACKGROUND RATHER THAN A FOREIGN VISITOR.

♪♪ FOR US, 31 DAYS OFFERED US OVE 3 YEARS' WORTH OF SCIENCE AN DATA

THE MISSION 31 TEAM RECORDE AND EVALUATED A MASSIVE AMOUNT OF DATA.

ONE AREA OF STUDY INCLUDED MANMADE POLLUTION.

WE'RE ABLE TO TEST FOR SOME OTHER PARTICULATES, TH INORGANIC CHEMICAL AND OTHER MATTER THAT IS GENERATED B HUMAN ACTIVITY AND HOW THA AFFECTS THE CORAL REEFS AND IN WHAT DOSES IT'S PRESENT...

THEY ALSO DISCOVERED A MAJO REDUCTION OF PREDATOR FISH I THE AREA

...AND HOW, WHEN YOU KNOC OFF ALL THE PREDATORS ON THE REEF, WHAT CHANGES IN TH DYNAMIC OF THE CORAL REEF, AND WHY IS IT A DETRIMENT?

WHY DO THE FORAGERS ALL OF A SUDDEN CREATE A DETRIMENT TO THAT OTHERWISE EQUILIBRIUM O THAT CORAL REEF.

♪♪

TODAY PREDATOR FISH LIK BLUEFIN TUNA AND GROUPER ARE O THE DECLINE DUE TO OVERFISHING THIS CREATES A DANGEROUS IMBALANCE.

IT KNOCKS EVERYTHIN OFF-KILTER, AND IT'S NOT NECESSARILY JUST FOR NATURE' SAKE THAT I'M SAYING THIS, BUT IT'S ALSO VERY MUCH A PRAGMATI REASON THAT WE NEED TO PAY ATTENTION TO THESE THINGS.

♪♪ THE OCEAN IS THE CIRCULATORY SYSTEM OF ALL LIFE THAT WE KNO AND DEPEND ON.

WE WOULDN'T BE DOING THINGS LIKE INJECTING OURSELVES WITH POISONS AND TAKING OUR OWN ORGANS OU UNLESS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY.

WHY ARE WE DOING THAT TO THE OCEAN?

[ AIR HISSES ]

ONE MIGHT THINK LIVING AT THE BOTTOM OF THE OCEAN DISCONNECT YOU FROM THE REST OF THE WORLD HOWEVER, AT MISSION 31 SCIENTISTS WERE CONNECTED VI WI-FI TO STUDENTS EVERYWHERE

WE WERE ABLE TO REACH OVE 70,000 STUDENTS AND ADULTS I DIFFERENT VENUES, WHETHER IT WAS THE AMERICAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY IN NEW YORK CITY, WHER THEY HAD 5,000 PEOPLE TALKING TO US, OR WHETHER IT WAS A SCHOOL IN CHINA OR INDIA OR EASTERN EUROPE OR AFRICA

WE'RE SIX PEOPLE LIVING IN HABITAT FOR 31 DAYS, AND THE HABITAT ITSELF IS THE SIZE OF SCHOOL BUS

DRAWING FROM INSIGHTS FRO HIS GRANDFATHER, FABIEN COUSTEAU IS ON A MISSION TO SHARE HIS STORIES WITH AS MANY PEOPLE AS HE CAN

WITH MISSION 31, I'LL START BY SAYING SOMETHING THAT M GRANDFATHER USED TO SAY ALL TH TIME AND REALLY RINGS TRUE TODAY.

HE SAID, 'PEOPLE PROTECT WHA THEY LOVE.

BUT HOW CAN PEOPLE PROTECT WHA THEY DON'T UNDERSTAND?

AND SO MISSION 31 AND BLUE ARE WAYS WHERE WE CAN CONNECT WITH PEOPLE AND HAVE THEM BETTE UNDERSTAND HOW AMAZING THI PLANET IS, ESPECIALLY THE OCEAN.

♪♪

AFTER 31 DAYS, FABIEN AND HIS TEAM SPLASH UP FROM THE BOTTOM ♪♪ FOUR MONTHS LATER, FABIEN AN COLLEAGUES GATHER TOGETHER A THE BLUE OCEAN FILM FESTIVAL FOR LEARNING, ENCOURAGING, AND CONNECTING THROUGH FILMS AND SYMPOSIUMS THE WORLD'S BEST OCEANOGRAPHER AND SCIENTISTS CAME TOGETHER T SHARE THEIR INSIGHTS

THOSE WHO DO GATHER HERE HAVE A COMMON BODY OF CARING IN A WAY.

YOU WOULDN'T BE HERE OTHERWISE BUT THERE'S THIS UNIVERSE OF PEOPLE OUT THERE WHO DON'T KNO WHAT THOSE GATHERED HERE KNOW, AND THERE'S A CHANCE TO MAGNIF THE VIEW AND I THINK THAT'S WHAT HAPPEN AT THE BLUE OCEAN FILM FESTIVAL.

BLUE IS A ORGANIZIN PRINCIPLE WHERE YOU ACTUALLY COLLIDE FILMMAKERS, ACTIVISTS, AND SCIENTISTS AND YOU DON'T TELL THEM TH SCRIPT YOU COLLIDE THEM, AND OUT OF THAT COLLISION, GREAT THINGS HAPPEN

BUT THE WHOLE HUMAN ELEMENT IS THE MOST EXCITING THING ABOUT THIS, AND THERE'S THIS WHOLE ENERGY THAT'S GREATER THAN THE SUM OF ITS PARTS, BY THE LEVEL OF VISIONARIES AND ICONS AND JUST PEOPLE ON THE CUTTING EDG THAT, WHEN THEY COME TOGETHER, THERE'S JUST SOMETHING MAGIC THAT HAPPENS

AND, HOPEFULLY, WHEN WE WAL AWAY FROM A PLATFORM LIKE TH BLUE OCEAN FILM FESTIVAL, NO ONLY ARE WE RICHER INSIDE WITH THOSE STORIES AND PASSION AN INFORMATION, BUT THEN WE BECOM THE STORYTELLERS AND TELL OU FRIENDS AND FAMILY, OUR DECISION MAKERS, SO THAT WE CAN B POSITIVE INFLUENCES, AS WELL ♪♪

HI.

AND WELCOME TO THE MELROSE CENTER, 26,000-SQUARE-FOOT STATE-OF-THE-ART FACILIT FEATURING AUDIO, VIDEO, AN PHOTO STUDIOS, AS WELL A SIMULATORS AND A FAB LAB HERE IN DOWNTOWN ORLANDO AT TH ORLANDO PUBLIC LIBRARY WE HAVE HAD A NUMBER OF PEOPLE REPORT THAT THEY ARE USING THE SIMULATORS AND THEN THEY ARE TAKING THOSE SKILLS OUT INTO THE REAL WORLD OUR TWO SIMULATORS FOR HEAVY EQUIPMENT -- THE FORKLIF SIMULATOR, AS WELL AS THE EART EXCAVATOR -- HAVE BEEN USED AN DIRECTLY HAVE LED TO PEOPL GETTING THE SKILLS THEY NEED T FIND JOBS IN THOSE FIELDS.

IN THE SIMULATION LAB, AS WELL AS THROUGHOUT TH MELROSE CENTER, EVERY AREA I TAUGHT AND STAFFED B INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE EXPERTS IN THEIR FIELD.

[ KEYBOARD CLACKING ♪♪

THE TALE OF THE TROJAN HORS IS ONE OF THE MOST CAPTIVATING STORIES IN GREEK MYTHOLOGY SINCE THE 19th CENTURY DISCOVERY OF THE SITE OF TROY IN MODERN-DAY TURKEY, HISTORIAN HAVE SEARCHED TIRELESSLY FOR THE TRUTH BEHIND THIS WORLD-FAMOUS MYTH PBS 'SECRETS OF THE DEAD INVESTIGATES THE REA POSSIBILITY THAT A TROJAN HORS COULD'VE BEEN USED TO TRICK TROY INTO DEFEAT.

HERE'S A LOOK.

♪♪

THERE IS ANOTHE EXTRAORDINARY EXPLANATION AS T WHAT THE REAL TROJAN HORSE MIGHT'VE BEEN.

IN THE CENTURIES AFTER THE DOWNFALL OF TROY, SIEGE TOWERS WOULD BECOME AN ACCEPTED PART OF WARFARE.

WHAT IF HOMER'S WRITINGS ARE ACTUALLY A VEILED DESCRIPTION OF THE FIRST TIME ONE WAS USED?

IT IS CERTAINLY PLAUSIBLE THAT THE WHOLE IDEA OF A TROJA HORSE IS A DIM MEMORY OR EVEN METAPHOR FOR SOME SORT OF SIEG TOWER.

♪♪ THE SIEGE TOWER WOULD'VE HAD MEN INSIDE OF IT, IT WOULD'VE BEEN COVERED WITH ANIMAL SKINS, AND IT'S NOT SUCH A FAR LEAP TO GE FROM A SIEGE TOWER TO A TROJAN HORSE.

WHILE HISTORICAL SOURCES DATE SIEGE TOWERS TO A SLIGHTLY LATER PERIOD, THERE'S NOTHING IN THEIR CONSTRUCTION THAT THE GREEKS COULD NOT HAVE ACHIEVED.

WELL, IN ITS SIMPLEST FORM, A SIEGE TOWER REALLY IS NOTHIN MORE THAN A MOBILE LADDER THAT'S DESIGNED TO GET ASSAULT TROOPS UP TO THE LEVEL OF THE ENEMY BATTLEMENTS WITH SOME LEVEL OF PROTECTION ♪♪

AND YET IT'S CLEARLY MAMMOTH UNDERTAKING.

AS WITH THE BATTERING RAM, THE TOWER THAT RESSLER MODELS WOUL HAVE A WHEELED WOODEN BASE BUT ON TOP OF THAT SITS WHAT IS, IN EFFECT, A MOVING, MULTISTOR BUILDING

IT CONSISTS OF A HEAVY TIMBER FRAMEWORK COVERED WITH WOODE PLANKING ON THREE SIDES FO PROTECTION, NORMALLY SOMEWHA HIGHER THAN THE LEVEL OF THE BATTLEMENTS SO THAT ARCHERS' POSITION ON THE TOP LEVEL CA LOOK DOWN AND FIRE DOWN UPON THE BATTLEMENTS.

SO, YOU HAVE TO IMAGINE THESE WALLS WOULD BE MAYBE SIX METER HIGH OF STONE, WITH ANOTHE THREE METERS OF MUD-BRICK WALL ON TOP OF THAT ♪♪

TAKING TROY'S FORTIFICATION INTO ACCOUNT, RESSLER DESIGNS MACHINE 5 STORIES TALL, USING 25 TONS OF WOOD, CAPABLE OF HOLDING 200 MEN.

IT WOULD REQUIRE HUNDREDS MORE TO PUSH AND PULL IT INTO PLACE THIS WOULDN'T BE A STEALTH ATTACK

YOU COULD IMAGINE THE CHAOS THAT WOULD'VE BEEN A BATTLE SUCH AS THIS.

YOU WOULD HAVE TO LAUNCH EVERYTHING YOU HAD AT THAT WALL.

YOU WOULD'VE HAD TO HAVE YOU MEN ALL ALONG HERE, WITH YOU ARCHERS, YOUR SLINGERS BAC THERE, GIVING YOU COVERING FIRE, SHOOTING AT THOSE DEFENDERS, TRYING TO SUPPRESS THEIR FIRE ON YOU.

AND THEN YOU'D HAVE TO WHEEL SLOWLY THAT TOWER INTO PLACE ♪♪

THE EFFORT INVOLVED WOULD'V BEEN ENORMOUS.

RESSLER ESTIMATES HIS MODE WOULD'VE MOVED AT LESS THA THREE FEET PER MINUTE.

BUT THERE IS A POSSIBILITY THA IT COULD'VE BEEN DONE.

IT CERTAINLY SEEMS PLAUSIBL TO ME THAT THE MYCENAEAN WOULD'VE HAD THE KNOW-HOW AN THE RESOURCES TO MAKE SUCH SIEGE TOWERS

ONE OF THE BEST CLUES THA SUCH TECHNOLOGY DID EXIST AT THAT TIME CAN BE FOUND IN TH CITY WALLS THEMSELVES.

IT SEEMS CLEAR THAT THE TROJANS WERE AWARE OF SIEG WARFARE.

THERE'S NO OTHER REASON TO MAK THEIR WALLS AT AN ANGLE RATHER THAN STRAIGHT UP AND DOWN.

♪♪

THIS SIMPLE FACT WOULD'VE BEEN A BARRIER TO THE SIEG TOWER'S SUCCESS.

THE WALL'S ANGLED ABOUT 2 DEGREES HERE IF YOU THINK OF IT LIKE THIS YOU'RE ACTUALLY GONNA HAVE QUITE A BIT OF SPACE BETWEEN THE TOP OF THE WALL AND THE TOP OF THE SIEGE TOWER.

AND SOMEHOW, UNDER FULL FIRE FROM DEFENDERS, YOU'RE GONNA HAVE TO GET MEN UP THAT SIEG TOWER, UP AND OVER ONTO TH WALL

THE SLANTED WALLS WOULD'V REQUIRED AN EXTRA LEVEL OF ENGINEERING.

AND THAT MEANS THAT THE TOWER MUST BE EQUIPPED WITH SOME SOR OF A DRAWBRIDGE THAT WILL ALLO ASSAULT TROOPS TO BE ABLE TO BRIDGE THAT GAP.

AND THE DRAWBRIDGE ITSELF WOUL BE A FAIRLY SOPHISTICATE STRUCTURE IN ORDER TO BE ABLE TO CARRY THOSE LOADS SAFELY SO WE CAN SEE THAT THERE'S A FAIRLY SUBSTANTIAL CHALLENGE I DESIGNING A SIEGE TOWER TO ATTACK THE WALLS OF TROY

AND, OF COURSE, IT'S NOTHIN COMPARED TO WHAT WOULD'VE FACE THOSE WHO MANNED THE APPARATUS MARK SCHWARTZ HAS SERIOUS DOUBTS THAT A TOWER WOULD'VE WORKED

GIVEN THE LOSSES THEY WOULD'VE INCURRED, GIVEN THE ANGLE OF THE WALLS, GIVEN TH DIFFICULTY IN GETTING FROM THE TOP OF THE SIEGE TOWER OVER ONTO THE TOPS OF THE WALLS, GIVEN THE LIMITATIONS ON THE AVAILABLE ARCHERS AND SLINGERS THE MIGHT'VE HAD, IT WOULD'VE BEEN VERY UNLIKELY THAT SUCH AN ATTACK WOULD'VE BEEN SUCCESSFUL.

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT 'SECRETS OF THE DEAD: THE REAL TROJAN HORSE,' CHECK YOUR LOCA LISTINGS OR VISI pbs.org/secrets.

AND THAT WRAPS IT UP FOR THI TIME FOR MORE ON SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, AND INNOVATION, VISIT OU WEBSITE, CHECK US OUT ON FACEBOOK AND INSTAGRAM, AND JOIN THE CONVERSATION ON TWITTER.

YOU CAN ALSO SUBSCRIBE TO OU YouTube CHANNEL.

UNTIL NEXT TIME, I'M HARI SREENIVASAN THANKS FOR WATCHING.

FUNDING FOR THIS PROGRAM IS MADE POSSIBLE BY THE CORPORATION FOR PUBLIC BROADCASTING, LEWIS B. AND LOUISE HIRSCHFELD CULLMAN, SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III AND CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE PARTICIPATING STATIONS ♪♪