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Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Travel Channel: Mysteries at the Museum, Vol. 9

Linda Banche here. Tune in Tuesday, December 28 at 9PM E/P, as The Travel Channel presents Volume 9 of Mysteries at the Museum. What does one of the first electronic musical instruments have to do with a spy scandal, and how large was the USS Cyclops, a colossal ship that has passed into legend? More below.

Mysteries at the Museum: Volume 9

Franklin Institute: The Franklin Institute holds one of the first electronic instruments, but this warbling wonder is more than just a footnote in musical history. How did this play a part in triggering one of the biggest spy scandals of the century?

Washington State History Museum: On display at the Washington State History Museum is a 600 lb hunk of concrete with a disastrous past. More than a piece of junkyard scrap, this is a remnant from one of the most catastrophic engineering failures in U.S. history: the collapse of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. How did this state of the art bridge fail so spectacularly?

Strong Museum of Play: At the Strong Museum of Play in Rochester, New York, poised amongst history’s greatest toys, is a small plastic egg filled with some beloved bouncing goo: Silly Putty. Did you know that this sensational children’s novelty originated from a war shortage?

Detroit Science Center: On display at the Detroit Science Center is a truly macabre exhibit: 36 men, women and children that died two centuries ago are mysteriously preserved. But they aren’t the carefully prepared mummies of Egyptian royalty. These bodies were preserved by something else – and for decades science has struggled to figure out how… until now.

Johnston Ridge Observatory: At the Johnston Observatory in Gifford Pinchot National Forrest, the splintered remains of what was once a mighty 100 foot Hemlock tree stands as a visceral reminder. Like millions of other trees, it was napped like a toothpick by a blast 1600 times more powerful than an atom bomb. What’s capable of such a tremendous explosion?

Mariner’s Museum: At the Mariners’ Museum in Newport ,Virginia, thousands of artifacts chronicle man’s relationship with the sea. But one artifact, an ordinary supply box, speaks of the sea’s tremendous and mysterious powers. The box belonged to the USS Cyclops, a colossal ship that has since passed into legend. What happened to this notorious ship, and does this box hold any answers?

Happy Holidays!

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