The Kid Should See This Smart videos for curious minds of all ages: Science, art, nature, animals, space, technology, DIY, food, music, animation, and more Fri, 30 Sep 2016 11:36:55 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Why are there so many types of apples? Fri, 30 Sep 2016 09:51:04 +0000 Gala, Braeburn, Fuji, SweeTango, SnapDragon, Golden Delicious, Cosmic Crisp… there are over 7,500 known cultivars—varieties produced by selectively breeding desirable characteristics—of the apple. How are there that many? And how do they get their unusual names? Theresa Doud explains in this TED Ed vid: Why are there so many types of apples?

Follow this with the tree that grows 40 different kinds of fruit and How Does It Grow? Apples. ]]> 0
The world’s largest ship elevator opens at China’s Three Gorges Dam Thu, 29 Sep 2016 14:06:45 +0000 There is a massive elevator for ships built into the Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River in Yichang City, central China’s Hubei Province. The mostly silent CCTV+ footage above shows it in action.

A feat of engineering, it can transport 7 million pounds of ship + water 112.8 meters (370 feet) up or down in just 40 minutes. Costing $37 billion dollars to build, the elevator replaced five stages of locks that transported ships over three hours, but comes at a higher price:

The dam is the world’s biggest hydropower project, but its construction 13 years ago was controversial. It forced the displacement of over a million people and has apparently caused deadly landslides along the river.

Read more about the engineering at Treehugger, and for other dam videos on this site, check out Surprising Applications of the Magnus Effect and Ecosystem Engineers: How do beavers build dams?

via Quartz.

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Building a 737 in just nine days Thu, 29 Sep 2016 13:29:10 +0000 In Renton, Washington, aerospace company Boeing builds each of their 737 narrow-body jets in just nine days… around 42 per month. As competition ramps up with Airbus for the domestic jet market in China, Boeing is aiming for 57 planes per month by 2019. Wired visited their 1.1-million-square-foot factory to share how.

Watch more videos about airplanes and factories on this site, including MinutePhysics’ visit to Airbus to see how they build A350 airplanes.

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LEGO Dragon-Butterfly-Jet Magic Angle Sculpture Tue, 27 Sep 2016 14:35:05 +0000 Created with layers and layers of LEGO pieces, magic angle sculptures appear to be completely abstract forms at first glance, but with the help of a light and rotation, they reveal their complex design.

Inspired by his work with magic angle sample spinning, “a scientific technique that mechanically simulates a molecule tumbling through space,” artist and spectroscopist Dr. John V. Muntean has been creating these sculptures from wood, acrylic, alumide, and other materials for 30 years. The sculpture above was created for LEGO and Ogilvy & Mather Asia.

His artist statement:

As a scientist and artist, I am interested in the how perception influences our theory of the universe. … Every 120º of rotation, the amorphous shadows evolve into independent forms. Our scientific interpretation of nature often depends upon our point of view. Perspective matters.

More videos about sculptures, shadows, spinning, perception, including the Ambiguous Cylinder Illusion and Mars Loops the Loop – What is retrograde motion?

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The 1995 Hubble photo that changed astronomy Mon, 26 Sep 2016 06:39:30 +0000

If you hold a pin at arm’s length up in the air, the head of the pin covers approximately the amount of sky that appears in the Hubble Deep Field. The iconic 1995 image is crowded, not because it’s a broad swath of sky but because it’s a broad swath of time. The Hubble Deep Field is more than 12 billion light-years deep…

What makes the Hubble Deep Field an atypical core sample is that rather than observing the material as it is now, the telescope collected images of galaxies as they appeared millions and billions of years ago. Since light can only travel so fast, the telescope is a peephole into the history of the universe.

From Vox, learn why the Hubble Space Telescope‘s photo was such an incredible, positive influence on the act of sharing data within the scientific community.

On this site: More Hubble videos, including The Beauty of Space Photography and the largest, sharpest image ever taken of the Andromeda Galaxy. ]]> 0
The Loneliest Tree in the World Mon, 26 Sep 2016 05:10:52 +0000 In 1895, John Medley Wood discovered a cluster of peculiar Encephalartos Woodii on the fringe of the oNgoye Forest in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. A basal offset of the male dioecious tree was sent to Kew Gardens in London, England.

In 1903, three other tree samples were planted at South Africa’s Durban Botanic Gardens, and according to Kew, “there are now around 500 individual male plants propagated from the original and growing in botanic gardens and private collections around the world.”

But there are no known female specimen on the planet, making it impossible for the trees to reproduce.

At first glance, it resembles a stumpy palm tree, but this ancient specimen is incredibly rare. It is, in fact, the very last of its kind on Earth. Encephalartos Woodii is a cycad, a type of plant that once dominated the planet during the Jurassic Period. Over the millennia, the age of the cycad came to an end…

And though there are other kinds of cycad around, this particular species is now extinct in the wild, making it extremely valuable and sought-after. Perhaps it’s the loneliest tree in the world.

By the way, Kew Gardens does amazing work. Don’t miss these videos: The Fungarium and Millennium Seed Bank Partnership at Kew. ]]> 0
Installing massive statues with engineering and care at the Met Mon, 26 Sep 2016 05:10:40 +0000 How do you move and install a three ton statue circa 170 BC? How do you move and install a ten ton statue? In these behind-the-scenes time lapse video from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, we get to see the installation of the Statue of Athena Parthenos, loaned by the Pergamon Museum in Berlin in 2016. From The Met:

We are enthralled by gigantic statues. The ancient Greeks called them kolossoi, a word first used by Herodotus to describe the massive stone statues of Pharaonic Egypt…

The statue was discovered behind the north stoa of the Sanctuary of Athena Polias Nikephoros (Athena of the City and Bearer of Victory), Pergamon‘s patron deity, which stood at the center of the citadel. This is where Pergamon’s famous library was located, adorned with, in addition to the Athena, statues of illustrious literary figures of the past such as Homer and Herodotus.

Below at the Temple of Dendur, 9 year old Tobias asks, “How Did They Get All This Stuff into the Museum?” The vid goes behind-the-scenes of the installation of the colossal statue of Egyptian pharaoh Amenemhat II (ca. 1919-1885 BC), on loan since 2011 from Berlin’s Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung .

More about the Amenemhat II statue’s history:

The statue was found in the early nineteenth century at Tanis in the Nile Delta, among many other prime Middle Kingdom sculptures that had probably been transported there in antiquity from sites closer to present-day Cairo. (Tanis was not founded until the beginning of the first millennium.) Most of the other Tanis statues are now in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. One—the famous Louvre sphinx—is in Paris; it depicts the same pharaoh: Amenemhat II.

Purchased in 1837, the statue remained in the Berlin museum during World War II, covered by sandbags and thus surviving the destruction of the “Neues Museum” building. Since 1996 it has been positioned in the courtyard of the Pergamon Museum, covered by a protective wooden frame. It will be lent to us for ten years, until the construction on the Berlin Museum Island has been finished and can provide a final place for the colossus.

For the Met, this is an opportunity to show monumental Egyptian art that is barely represented in American collections. Only a statue of Tutankhamun in the Oriental Institute Museum in Chicago is taller.

Visit more museums around the world via video, and travel to Egypt via this awesome AirPano 360 interactive: The Great Pyramid of Giza was bright white & highly polished.

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Crystallization2, a 4K macro time lapse Fri, 23 Sep 2016 14:43:49 +0000

The subjects of this project were droplets of saturated aqueous solutions containing various inorganic salts (e.g. table salt, sodium sulfate etc.). The evaporation of water initiated the crystallization processes inside the droplets, which were captured by time lapse photography.

From Tsinghua University Press and University of Science and Technology of China, filmed and edited by Yan Liang, this is Crystallization2, a 4K macro time lapse film. For more imagery from the project, visit PetaPixel and The Beauty of Science.

A previous must watch vid from this team: Beautiful Chemical Reactions. Plus more crystals. ]]> 0
Aeroponic vertical farming in Newark, New Jersey Thu, 22 Sep 2016 05:03:42 +0000 Inside of a former laser tag area in Newark, New Jersey, Aerofarms is growing 250 kinds of leafy greens in huge air and mist-driven vertical farm. This Seeker Stories video shows how their aeroponic technology works:

AeroFarms’ crops are grown entirely indoors using a reusable cloth medium made from recycled plastics. In the absence of sun exposure, the company uses LED lights that expose plants to only certain types of spectrum. AeroFarms claims it uses 95% less water than a traditional farm thanks to its specially designed root misting system. And it is now building out a new 70,000 square foot facility in a former steel mill. Once completed, it’s expected to grow 2 million pounds of greens per year, making it the largest indoor vertical farm in the world.

Next, watch Growing food for the animals in Paignton Zoo’s Vertical Farm.

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Watch These Frustrated Squirrels Go Nuts – Deep Look Wed, 21 Sep 2016 05:18:17 +0000 How do you know when a squirrel is happy? Warning a predator? Protecting its food? Frustrated? The key to understanding their mood is not in their expressionless faces… it’s in their tail movements. Enter the research work of animal behaviorist Mikel Delgado, who wanted to know more about squirrel emotions and communications.

From her experiments, demonstrated in this episode of Deep Look, Delgado has come to wonder if frustration is a path to solving a problem with newly generated energy. Does frustration serve an evolutionary purpose?

“If you’re a squirrel and you’re trying to break into my bird feeder you could try to rip it open with your paws, you might start to chew,” said Delgado. “With all that energy, maybe by chance you accidentally knock the feeder. The idea is that between all these different attempts and the increased energy from being agitated, maybe that’s one way of solving the problem.”

In the archives: More squirrels, more emotions, more tails, more Deep Look, and a few animal behavior faves: Decoding the language of Prairie Dogs: America’s Meerkats, How to Speak Chimpanzee, More Evidence Birds Can Count, a wild crow solves a puzzle in 8 parts, and Why Do Cats Meow? ]]> 0
Barrel Tiled Shed & Tiled Roof Hut – Primitive Technology Tue, 20 Sep 2016 07:05:14 +0000 How do you create a fire and rain proof work shed when you only have what’s available to you in an Australian forest? Primitive Technology takes on the challenge in this Barrel Tiled Shed video. Some details from his description:

To make the tiles, clay was collected and had the sticks and stones taken out of it. Then I crushed up old broken pottery and tiles I made before which I mixed with the clays as grog (stops clay from cracking). A tile frame was made from a split piece of lawyer cane bent into a trapezoidal shape about 50 cm long, 20 cm at the wide end and 16 cm at the narrow end. This was put on a flat stone. Wood ash was put down to stop the clay sticking to the rock. The clay was pressed into the fame and the wet tile was slid onto a curved piece of wood to form the curved shape of the barrel tile. The tile was then moved immediately to a flat area and the piece of wood was slid out so the tile sat on the ground to dry. Being curved, air could get under the tile to help dry it out.

I could make 30 tiles easily in a day and only had 150 to make. But it kept raining and destroying the tiles before they dried. So I had to make 30 tiles, let them dry enough to be moved, then take them to the tiled hut where they were force dried on the ondol (fire heated bed). The majority of the time spent on this project was re-making broken tiles due to unseasonal rain (I don’t think we have a proper dry season here anymore, this is what held up my other tiled hut too). So this whole part probably took 4 weeks.

Firing the tiles was easy compared to the other tiled hut I built. I could fit 30 tiles in the kiln at once and had 150 tiles to fire. The 5 firings took 5, 4.5, 3.5, 4.5 and 3.5 hours. The first one probably took longer due to the kiln not being dry yet and the 4th firing took a while due to wet firewood. Tiling the roof was also easy. Starting at one end, tiles were laid so that the concavity faced up and the narrow end pointed into the next tile below acting like a shoot for water to run down. The gaps between these tiles was covered using a tile with the concavity facing down and the narrow end pointing up under the next tile above. The ridge of the hut was covered with the same tiles interlocking to keep rain out. The low roof pitch, the weight and friction of the tiles, the fact that they interlock all help to keep the tiles in place meaning they don’t need tabs or pegs to hold them in place.

For a tiled roof with walls, check out his 2015 Tiled Roof Hut:

Watch more Primitive Technology vids on this site.

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To Mars and Back In 150 Seconds Tue, 20 Sep 2016 06:27:22 +0000 How does sending humans to Mars work? How long does it take to go there and come back? How do they set up shelter on the Red Planet? What about space radiation? TIME’s Jeffrey Kluger gives us an animated primer: To Mars And Back In 150 Seconds.

Watch more videos about Mars and more animated astronauts: Astronaut Leland Melvin on Returning Home From Life In Space, TED Ed’s Life of an astronaut, Newton’s Three Laws of Motion, and Celebrating Sally Ride, the first American woman in space.

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Matchsticks – How It’s Made Tue, 20 Sep 2016 05:54:19 +0000 Tiny sticks of wood, each with a droplet of red compound liquid drying on its end, traveling together en mass through a metal matchstick making machine. This is how commercial safety matches are made, via the Science Channel.

Follow this video with a math challenge: The Matchstick Triangle Puzzle. Plus: Candle Chemistry and a match burning in slow motion. ]]> 0
Meet Kenya’s Only Ice Hockey Team Mon, 19 Sep 2016 06:05:10 +0000 Opened in downtown Nairobi’s Panari Sky Center in 2005, Solar Ice Rink is home to the 30-member Kenyan Ice Hockey League team. Though their rink is currently too small to qualify as an international standard rink, they have dreams of playing in the Winter Olympics by 2022.

Team captain Ben Azegere is featured in this Great Big Story video, and check out more of the team in this picture-filled Mashable profile in June 2016:

If you didn’t know you were fewer than 90 miles from the equator, it would be hard to tell from the inside of the Solar Ice Rink. The scrape of skates and blaring music echo off mural-covered walls where painted figures of every skin color skate, ski and toboggan against an idyllic alpine backdrop. It’s the only ice rink in East or Central Africa, and it’s where the Kenyan Ice Hockey League meets for a game every Wednesday night…

Lack of funding has been the Kenya Ice Hockey League’s biggest and most constant obstacle to raising its profile. In July of this year, the Royal Moroccan Ice Hockey Federation will host the first African Ice Hockey Cup in Rabat. Kenya was invited but couldn’t put together the money to attend.

“We have a bright future,” says Ben Azegere, the skating instructor, who along with his fellow teacher Alex Kabwoya often gives lessons to local school groups. “For us guys, we started a bit late, but we see a bright future for the kids.”

Watch more videos in Kenya. Plus, this Canadian sports classic: The Rink. ]]> 0
The Lychen Katydid camouflages Mon, 19 Sep 2016 05:21:04 +0000 Wildlife photographer David Weiller captured this video in Costa Rica, Cartago Province. The insect is a Lychen Katydid (Markia hystrix), camouflaging itself with color and texture along the lichen it’s named after.

Here’s a 2011 video of the species in Mount Totumas Cloud Forest, Panama.

Next: The incredible Leaf Mimic Katydid, the spectacular common potoo, Pygmy Seahorses, planthopper nymphs, and more videos of camouflaging creatures.

via Kottke. ]]> 0