Category Archives: Innovators

Historic Rail Line Opens in Santa Cruz

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This week we are in Santa Cruz aboard Iowa Pacific for a ride on the newly re-opened 32-mile Branch Rail Line in Santa Cruz County.

This is the most recent train to rumble through the central coast but certainly not the first. Today we’re going to learn a bit about local railroad history, from Sandy Lydon.

We’ll also meet, Richard Hatfield, a different kind of engineer - one who’s battery powered motorcycle has set new world record; Jill Alexander, a Santa Cruz woman who is the only U.S. designer to be invited to U. K. Fashion Week and Laura Stachel, a local doctor saving lives around the world with her solar power plant … that fits into a suitcase.
Ep.502


Spy for a Day-a Look at Antique Spy Gear

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This week we are at History where we'll take a look at San Jose’s famous Electric Tower, just one of the many amazing things you’ll discover walking around grounds here.

The tower we'll show you is a replica of the original, which was built in 1881 to ‘light up’ the downtown area. It was hailed as the ‘Seventh Wonder of the West’. Legend has it that the designer of the Eiffel Tower visited San José’s Electric Light Tower when he was looking for ideas.

In this episode, we’re going on a journey back in time to take a look at early spy gear. We’ll see all kinds of technology used by spies throughout history.

We’ll also meet an energetic pair of paddle-pounding Olympians from Milpitas;
a NASA scientist who is re-inventing the way we do planetary exploration and one of the youngest female engineers to fire up a steam engine!

You can watch the show on KQED Plus on April 17 at 7pm.
Episode 503


Local Doctor's "Solar Suitcase" Saves Lives Daily

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In 2008, Dr. Laura Stachel went to Nigeria to find out why so many women were dying there during childbirth. She was flabbergasted to discover that in many areas, women were giving birth without electricity – sometimes in near total darkness. Doctors and midwives often helped delivered babies with only a cell phone or lantern for light. With her husband, a solar expert, she devised a way to bring light to clinics in Nigeria and other Third World countries. They did this by creating a solar kit that could fit inside a suitcase. It was small enough to sneak past customs and big enough to power 2 bright lights, as well as medical equipment. The solar suitcase has had instant and powerful results in clinics around the world. Stachel’s organization, WE CARE Solar, has distributed solar suitcases to 20 different countries, including Haiti, Afghanistan and Liberia.


This is Us 411: Millennials at Montalvo

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The show was shot on location at Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga. Built on 175 gorgeous acres by former Senator and San Francisco Mayor James Phelan, the Mediterranean-style villa and the stunning gardens were left to the people of California for the encouragement of art, music, literature, and architecture. We’ll tour the villa and learn more about the interesting man who built it.

Profiles include: Ernestine Fu, Stanford student, author & the youngest venture capitalist; Brian Wong, a 20-year-old CEO who is the youngest person to receive venture capital and Steve Wozniak, local legend and co-founder of Apple Computer.

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