Physiology, gravity, and fluid dynamics all come together in The Other Golden Rule from Science Friday. Learn how videos, data, equations, and fieldwork with creatures great and small helped researchers at Georgia Tech discover that most mammals take around the same amount of time to urinate.
Above, a classic performance by French actor and mime Marcel Marceau. He was inspired to mime at five years old when his mother took him to a Charlie Chaplin film, but his tragic and inspiring years in France during World War II also influenced his path into the artform.
The world’s most renowned mime, Marceau’s silent work became known globally on a world tour in 1955-56. NPR’s and The New York Times’ 2007 obituaries for Marceau, born Marcel Mangel, celebrate his unique ability to express anguish, hope, and innocence without words.
Body mass and vocal pitch don’t always match. Male koalas have deep, rumbling vocalizations, an unexpectedly low sound that might normally be associated with wild boars or a huge braying beast the size of an elephant instead of a small herbivore. And now we know why…
In a study published in the journal Current Biology, scientists describe a second, much larger pair of vocal folds located outside of the larynx that creates the unique mating sound. From National Geographic (which has a great “animal body mass to vocal pitch” chart):
Koala bellows have a pitch about 20 times lower than they should be given the animals’ size… Male koala bellows, for instance, are so fearsome that sound designers used recordings of them to create the T. rex roars in the movie Jurassic Park…
Study co-author Benjamin Charlton, of the University of Sussex in the U.K., explained in a statement that during inhalation, koala bellows sound like snoring, and during exhalation, they sound more like belching.
In the archives: more koala videos.
Larger than your average Rubik’s Cube, Puzzle Facade is a project by Spanish artist and designer Javier Lloret that transforms this building in Linz, Austria into an interactive puzzle for passers-by to play with:
In Puzzle Facade the player interacts with the specially designed interface-cube. The interface-cube holds electronic components inside that allow for it keep track of its orientation and the rotations of each side of the cube. This data is sent over Bluetooth to a computer that runs the Puzzle Facade designed software. This software changes the lights and color of the large-scale Ars Electronica’s media facade in correlation to the handheld interface-cube.
Giant Anteaters get in on the fun (and some yogurt) as Michael Hearst and PBS Digital Studios return with Songs for Unusual Animals. Michael visits the Nashville Zoo and then composes a song for the Giant Anteaters with all sorts of musical instruments found around his apartment.