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Under the Radar

The Next Generation of Tailhook

That's the actual tailhook on an airplane, not Tailhook the Naval Aviators' organization.

PBS is launching a new series this week called Making Stuff. Hosted by hyper-enthusiastic New York Times tech writer David Pogue, the four programs examine the cutting edge of materials science.

The first episode, Making Stuff Stronger, looks at ways science is trying to improve the cables used to catch a tailhook on an aircraft carrier. If you don't already have an engineering degree, Pogue does a good job of explaining the basic science while throwing in lots of screaming jets and car crashes.

Future episodes will look at the science of making things smaller, cleaner and smarter. The show airs this week on PBS stations. It's already streaming on the PBS iPad app, so it should also be available to watch online soon.

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