May 30, 2016 The Man Who Put the Pee in Phosphorus In the 1660's, German alchemist Hennig Brand thought he knew the secret to making solid gold: pee. So set was he on these golden ambitions, he dehydrated 1,500 gallons (gallons!) of human urine to make it happen. Though pee ultimately failed to produce gold, Brand didn't have to flush all his hard work down the toilet. ?In a surprise twist, he discovered a glowing substance we now call phosphorus.
May 26, 2016 How Highways Wrecked American Cities The Interstate Highway System was one of America's most revolutionary infrastructure projects. It also destroyed urban neighborhoods across the nation.
May 23, 2016 Are Emoticons the Future of Language? In the digital age, we increasingly use written language in place of face to face chat or phone calls. But the advantages email, chat, and text give us in speed come with limitations in communicating emotional tone. Enter emoticons and emojis. Not just a playful supplement to language, these new tools allow for complexity in tone and emotion never before possible in written language, as well as provide new opportunities for creative expression. Rapidly spreading throughout culture, emoticons and emojis fill a void in written language that few realized we so desperately needed.
May 19, 2016 A Pound of Sodium Metal in the River Sodium has a density of only about 0.97 g/mL, so it floats on water. The reaction produces jets of hydrogen gas below the waterline; this is what propels the sodium around the surface. The reaction releases heat, and as the sodium and the solution warm up, the reaction goes faster and faster. If the sodium gets trapped on the water's edge or against some other obstacle, enough heat can be generated to boil the water around the metal and actually melt the sodium.
May 18, 2016 A Message For The World From Woody Harrelson Why do we keep buying stuff we don't need? Have you ever considered that your spending has the power to change the world for the better - however small your purchase? Hollywood actor Woody Harrelson has a message for the world.
May 16, 2016 60 second adventures in Microgravity What is microgravity – and how does it help science research? Narrated by David Mitchell, the fifth ‘60 Second Adventures’ series explores how and why we recreate microgravity conditions on Earth using ‘drop towers’ and ‘parabolic flights’ as well as asking people to spend a lot of time in bed; that way we can understand processes from bacterial resistance to human aging or even planet formation. Funded by the UK Space Agency.
May 13, 2016 The Emperor of Time The strange and sordid tale of Eadweard Muybridge, the man who accidentally invented motion pictures. The film is told from the point of view of Muybridge's abandoned son and viewed completely through a nineteenth century early cinema contraption called a mutoscope.
May 12, 2016 Edouard Martinet | Insectophile Take one workshop full of junk and a Frenchman with an eye for detail (not to mention an obsession with bugs) and you will find the most eclectic mix of metal insects this side of a sci-fi novel. This short documentary follows Edouard Martinet's patient and extraordinary process as he creates sculptures that are utterly beautiful, distinctly creepy and somehow completely true to nature. All this despite his medium being piles of bent metal and old rusty bicycles.
May 11, 2016 Forest, Field & Sky: Art out of Nature Dr. James Fox takes a journey through six different landscapes across Britain, meeting artists whose work explores our relationship to the natural world. From Andy Goldsworthy's beautiful stone sculptures to James Turrell's extraordinary sky spaces, this is a film about art made out of nature itself. Featuring spectacular images of landscape and art, James travels from the furthest reaches of the Scottish coast and the farmlands of Cumbria to woods of north Wales. In each location he marvels at how artists' interactions with the landscape have created a very different kind of modern art - and make us look again at the world around us.
May 10, 2016 Why Do Birds Sing in the Morning? You’re having a dream, and for some reason that giant rabbit that’s about to eat you starts to sing like a bird. You wake up to find that birds are singing outside your window! Check out this SciShow Quick Question to find out why those birds sing in the morning!
May 9, 2016 A Vault of Color: Protecting the World's Rarest Pigments The materials collection, at the Harvard Art Museums in Cambridge, MA, houses thousands of pigments, including some of the world’s rarest. Dragon's blood, mummy, Indian yellow: these are but a few flashy highlights from the museum's collection.
May 6, 2016 This Number is Illegal 85650789657397829 + 1402 more digits is an illegal number. To understand why this is, we need to learn a little bit of cryptology, a little bit of math, and a little bit of programming.
May 4, 2016 Disobedience Disobedience is a new film about a new phase of the climate movement: courageous action that is being taken on the front lines of the climate crisis on every continent, led by regular people fed up with the power and pollution of the fossil fuel industry.
April 29, 2016 Franz Kafka Franz Kafka is a guide to some very dark feelings most of us know well concerned with powerlessness, self-disgust and anxiety. This literary genius turned the stuff of nightmares into redemptive, consoling art.
April 28, 2016 The Instrument That Lets You Play the (Electromagnetic) Field It's the only instrument in the world that you play without physically touching it, and its siren call has lured Hollywood and musicians alike in pursuit of its eerie, otherworldly sound. The Theremin, named for its inventor, Leon Theremin?, is a synthesizer controlled by electromagnetic fields. Pamelia Stickney is one of its best players.
April 26, 2016 Zenga Brothers | Tall Bike Tour Premiering at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival, Tall Bike Tour: Part 1 - Visions and Dreams, introduces Zenga Bros upcoming documentary in which they bring their eccentric brand of creativity to the streets while traveling and living on tall bikes.
April 25, 2016 BALANCE We humans we create, we work, we stay busy from birth to death and never rest. We build, aim higher, work harder, accomplish more, and to what end? "Balance" takes an abstract look at our modern world, the full and the empty spaces and time in which we live and choose to make our lives.
April 20, 2016 Joel & Ethan Coen - Shot | Reverse Shot How do you film a conversation? Most likely, you’re going to block the actors, set up the camera, and do shot/reverse shot. But where do you put the camera? What lens do you use? And how do you cut back and forth? Today, I consider the Coen brothers — Joel & Ethan — and see how these choices lend a particular feel to their version of shot/reverse shot.
April 19, 2016 Martin Scorsese on Framing In this new episode we have a previously unheard conversation with legendary director, Martin Scorsese, on how he's framed his movies and his life. The early foray into making a movie as a kid, toying with becoming a priest, and where his parents fit into all this. And wouldn't you like to see a Scorsese Western?
April 14, 2016 The Next Rembrandt Blurring the boundaries between art and technology, ING, Microsoft, TU Delft, Mauritshuis, and Rembrandthuis set out on a challenge to see if the great Master can be brought back to life to create a new painting.
April 13, 2016 Temple Grandin On Her Search Engine "Everything in my mind works like a search engine set for the image function." - Temple Grandin in 2008, from an oral history at Colorado State University
April 12, 2016 The Town That Took on the Taxman For some of the UK's biggest companies, paying corporation tax seems to be optional. Using devilishly complicated - but completely legal - accounting techniques, they can run rings around HMRC. Now, the small businesses of one Welsh town are fighting back. The local traders of Crickhowell in the Brecon Beacons are embarking on a mission to copy the techniques used by their multinational rivals, and to set up a DIY tax avoidance scheme of their very own.
April 6, 2016 Where Did the Ampersand Originate? Developed from the Latin et (“and”), the ampersand, formerly the twenty-seventh letter of the alphabet, is a character with a cult following among students of typography.
April 4, 2016 How Do You Make Memories? What if you couldn’t remember anything past 30 seconds? Let us introduce you to a man named Henry Molaison who was diagnosed with anterograde amnesia. He couldn’t form new memories.
April 1, 2016 The Prisoner's Dilemma The prisoner's dilemma is a canonical example of a game analyzed in game theory that shows why two purely "rational" individuals might not cooperate, even if it appears that it is in their best interests to do so.