Mad, Beautiful Ideas
History Hacker

Last Friday, on the History Channel Bre Pettis, formerly of Make Magazine and founding member of NYC Resistor, had his pilot for a new show ran. History Hacker is a potential new show where Bre, a well known name in the DIY crowd, chooses some technology in history and deconstructs it, working through a series of projects the viewer can try at home.

It's an entertaining show, and on the premiere, they broke apart AC Electricity, focusing on the history between Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison, including how DC powered much of New York. While the history is interesting, and I really liked the art style used to tell the history story, it was the projects that were really cool.

Bre Pettis and a few others go through the process of building a generator that attaches to his bike, and shows how to use it to power a GPS unit. He goes to a glass-blower to make his own Neon tube lights, then shows how they can be lit through the air using a Tesla Coil.

I remember watching Bre Pettis on the Make Weekend Projects podcast back when he was still doing that, and Pettis is just as into the DIY stuff as ever, and his energy is somewhat contagious. Overall it makes for an entertaining show, and I for one would love to see more. No word yet on if History Hacker will become a full-time show, but I do crave more good DIY programming on TV.