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 Tue, 30 Jun 2015 09:51:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Run, Octopus, Run! – Science Friday Tue, 30 Jun 2015 09:48:41 +0000 Crawling, swimming, embracing, squeezing, camouflagingrunning? Why would an agile octopus, like the algae octopus or the coconut octopus, choose to use two of their eight arms to stand up and “run” backwards? Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute Senior Researcher Chrissy Huffard explains her surprising octopus video footage (armage?) in this episode of Science Friday’s The Macroscope.

Watch this next: ScienceTake – How the Octopus Moves.

]]> 0
The Distance I Can Be From My Son – Lenka Clayton Tue, 30 Jun 2015 09:00:06 +0000 How far can a toddler get before you need to run after him? What factors help you decide what’s almost too far for safety? For sight? For comfort?

In her project Residency in Motherhood, Pittsburgh-based British conceptual artist Lenka Clayton wanted to find out in “a series of videos that attempt to objectively measure the farthest distance I am able to be from my son in a variety of environments.” The Distance I Can Be From My Son.

Above: Back Alley. Below: Park, Supermarket, and Fog.

We also love her other projects and collections, including Confetti Stack, Alphabetical Receipt #2, 63 Objects Taken From My Son’s Mouth, and Perfect Spheres from the Supermarket.

Plus: More collections, a few more parenting projects inspire by kids — Making Spirograph Pancakes and a dad that’s revolutionizing sanitation — and Lost Boy Remembers His Way Home, an old favorite.

via Cup of Jo. ]]> 0 Desert Fox Hunts A Lesser Jerboa – BBC’s Wild Arabia Tue, 30 Jun 2015 07:28:27 +0000 The fennec fox is hungry. The lesser jerboa doesn’t want to be eaten. How does the jerboa escape the fennec fox? This stunning chase scene from BBC’s Wild Arabia showcases some powerful kangaroo legs and brilliantly evolved hairy feet.

Next: Meet an adorable baby fennec fox at the San Diego Zoo. ]]> 0
Colors – A delightful visual collection by The Mercadantes Mon, 29 Jun 2015 22:09:34 +0000 From the sun, to carrots, to the sky, to frogs, to fire engines, to grape jelly, to bubble gum, to all kinds of rainbows… Enjoy this celebration of the color (and color relationships) in our everyday lives: Colors, a delightful visual collection by The Mercadantes, set to Wolfgang Amedeus Mozart‘s Rondo in E-flat major.

Watch these next: Ball, Yawns, and Electric Company – Sign Songs.

Thanks, Daniel. ]]> 0 Toy Dinosaur Figurine – How It’s Made Fri, 26 Jun 2015 07:24:37 +0000 From the Science Channel‘s How It’s Made tv show, watch how artisans create detailed toy figurines: from drawings, to computer software, to 3D printed and hand-carved sculptures, to the casting of silicone, plaster, and zinc molds. Follow that process up with hand-painting and airbrushing.

This Schleich T-Rex was on the birthday cake of our youngest when she was three, and continues to be one of her favorite toys. In 2014, we recommended it in the TKSST Gift Guide along with Schleich‘s other popular toy figures.

Watch these next: The Secret Story of Toys – Action-figure character sculptors and Samantha Bryan’s handmade fairies & flying contraptions.

]]> 0
Apotheosis – Northern Lights over Icelandic landscapes Thu, 25 Jun 2015 17:39:36 +0000 From filmmaker Henry Jun Wah Lee, this is Apotheosis, a Northern Lights time lapse film featuring the landscapes of Iceland. Available in 4k, watch full screen. Via The Creator’s Project:

In 2015, the Earth is in a period of solar maximum, where we see the greatest level of solar activity in the sun’s 11-year solar cycle. For the last year, Lee has been traveling to the plains of Iceland to capture this awesome natural light show. “On March 17th, 2015, I was fortunate enough to be at the right place at the right time when the solar storm of the decade hit Earth. The sky was covered with auroras so strong, they were visible at dusk.” said Lee on his Vimeo page.

He continues, “This continued all night until dawn. In the film you will see rare red, yellow, white, blue and violet purple auroras. I was also fortunate to get shots of aurora borealis lighting up the sky while the Bárðarbunga volcano was erupting. The orange/red glow you will see in the distance is from the hot lava spewing from the volcano.”

We love auroras. Watch this next: It’s Okay to Be Smart explains the invisible forcefield that protects life on Earth from space radiation.

]]> 0
The Melbourne Zoo’s new baby Pygmy Hippo swims with mum Wed, 24 Jun 2015 12:56:50 +0000 From the Melbourne Zoo, this is Obi, a three week old baby Pygmy Hippo who is coming out for a swim in the zoo’s “big pool” for the first time. Obi’s mum Petre is close by to keep the baby well-guided and safe.

In the video notes: “The name Obi means heart in the Nigerian Igbo language, and he is certainly melting a few hearts here at Melbourne Zoo.” The baby was born in late May 2015:

We love when baby hippos of all kinds go swimming. Plus, a few more from the Melbourne Zoo.

]]> 0
An animated ode to curiosity, exploration, discovery, & creativity Wed, 24 Jun 2015 12:01:03 +0000 This stop motion animation by Arts University Bournemouth’s Georgina Venning brings visual life to the words of London-based author Ian Leslie. The narration is from a talk based on Leslie’s book Curious: The Desire to Know and Why Your Future Depends on It. Presented by the RSA Student Design Awards, this is Venning’s ode to Curiosity: Exploration and Discovery.

Curiosity is a muscle — use it or lose it. It’s something that we consciously have to nurture in ourselves, in our families, in classrooms, at work.

Sometimes I hear that curiosity and creativity are killed by too many facts — but, actually, the opposite is true: The more you know, the more you want to know. Not only that, but the more you know, the more connections you can make between the different bits of knowledge that you have in your head and therefore the more ideas you have, which is why curiosity is really the wellspring of creativity…

Next: The Reinvention of Normal – Dominic Wilcox’s quest for new ideas.

via Brainpickings.

]]> 0
The Wave Cabinet by Sebastian Errazuriz Wed, 24 Jun 2015 10:54:37 +0000 From New York-based Sebastian Errazuriz Studio, this functional sculpture is called Wave, a baltic birch cabinet that opens in a variety of beautifully fluid ways thanks to its 100 connected slices. Errazuriz explains:

“I am inviting people to look at one of the simplest forms of furniture design and to forget that we’re talking about furniture, instead to see it as a way of breaking a box. I love the idea of creating beautiful furniture; nevertheless I am much more interested in using the medium as an excuse to trigger people’s curiosity and create a connection with them.”


Here’s another one of his works: Explosion Cabinet.

Watch more videos about kinetic sculptures and furniture, including this extravagant furniture with secret panels, doors, and drawers and this stool made from plastic debris found in the open sea.

Related fun: How to build your own Wave Machine physics demo.

via La Boite Verte. ]]> 0 Why do Leafcutter Ants cut leaves and carry them away? Wed, 24 Jun 2015 07:31:10 +0000 Where are the Leafcutter Ants carrying all those leaves to? They do drink the leaf sap, but they don’t eat them, so what are the leaves for? File under composting and farming: It’s all about growing a highly nutritious fungus in their nests.

Observe leafcutter ants in all of their 4K excellence in this episode of Deep Look from KQED and PBS Digital Studios. Plus a few facts:

How old are ants? To give you an idea, while humans have farmed for around 12,000 years, ants have been doing it for 60 million.

How many ants are there in the world? If you bundled together all the ants in the world, there would be more of them than people – they’re the dominant biomass, says Brian Fisher, chair of the Department of Entomology at the California Academy of Sciences, in San Francisco. This is because all 30,000 species of ants are social. They have many ways of making a living.

How strong are ants? Leafcutter ants haul leaf pieces through fields or forests to their underground nests. For a human, this feat would be the equivalent of carrying more than 600 pounds between our teeth.

Why are ants important to the soil? The activity of ants aerates the soil, making it easier for water and oxygen to get through. They also contribute organic matter.

Watch more from Deep Look, including Pygmy Seahorses: Masters of vibrantly-colored coral camouflage, The Amazing Life of Sand, and Banana Slugs and Secret of the Slime. ]]> 0
Sunlight is way older than you think – TED Ed Tue, 23 Jun 2015 18:17:25 +0000 The random walk problem — the “mathematical formalization of a path that consists of a succession of random steps” — can be applied to sunlight… not the sunlight that travels from the sun to Earth, which takes only 8 minutes, but the sunlight that travels to the Sun’s core to its surface. How long does that take? This TED Ed explains: Sunlight is way older than you think.

Watch this next: How Do We Know How Old the Sun Is? ]]> 0
Studying the deep sea octopus Opisthoteuthis “Adorabilis” Tue, 23 Jun 2015 10:09:48 +0000 From Science Friday‘s The Macroscope, Post Doctoral Researcher Stephanie Bush of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) introduces us to a tiny Opisthoteuthis deep-sea octopus, a creature that’s in the same family as the Dumbo Octopus Grimpoteuthis, as well as the same genus as the flapjack octopus Opisthoteuthis californiana, (which you might know from the movie Finding Nemo). From Discover Magazine:

Researchers have been collecting and studying these unidentified cephalopods since 1990, but no one undertook the exhaustive process to scientifically identify them. Scientists need to study newly discovered creatures — inside and out — to clearly describe how they are unique from other species that may be closely related. New species identifications, including a name, are then published as articles in scientific journals.

Due to her work, Bush has exclusive naming rights. “As someone who is describing the species you get to pick what the specific name is. One of the thoughts I had was making it Opistoteuthis adorabilis – because they are just, yeah, really cute.” Watch the video above and see if you agree.

Next: Watch more videos from Science Friday, MBARI, and the deep sea.

]]> 0
Time lapse eruption videos of Chile’s Calbuco Volcano Tue, 23 Jun 2015 00:56:26 +0000 On April 22, 2015, Chile‘s Calbuco Volcano interrupted its 42 year dormancy with an eruption that was filmed by video enthusiasts all around the area. Martin Heck from Timestorm Films captured the 4K time lapse above. Compare that to one of the first Calbuco eruption videos to surface online, a straight-forward shot filmed by Rodrigo Barrera via The New York Times, below:

Related watching: All The World’s Volcano Webcams and Volcanic Lightning: How does it work?!

Watch this next: Volcanic Eruptions 101 – How It Happens.

]]> 0
Resonance, forced vibration, and a tuning forks demo Thu, 18 Jun 2015 07:50:22 +0000 A U-shaped fork of steel first invented in 1711 by trumpet player John Shore, the tuning fork is a tool produces a specific note that helps musicians keep their instruments in tune. They also are a great conversation starter about forced vibration, resonance, pitch, and frequency. From

Every time you strike a tuning fork, you’re setting off a tiny, invisible hurricane. Thrashing back and forth at tremendous speeds, the two prongs of the fork, known as “tines,” are smashing against nearby air molecules, kicking off a chain of impacts that echo through the air. When these violent, microscopic collisions hit your eardrum, your brain processes them as a gentle hum.

With that in mind, watch the above TSG Physics at MIT demonstration with two resonance boxes, an 1839 variation on the tuning fork by instrument maker Albert Marloye. A description:

Two identical tuning forks and sounding boxes are placed next to one another. Striking one tuning fork will cause the other to resonate at the same frequency. When a weight is attached to one tuning fork, they are no longer identical. Thus, one will not cause the other to resonate. When two different tuning forks are struck at the same time, the interference of their pitches produces beats.

Here’s another example of forced vibration and resonance — “the reinforcement or prolongation of sound by reflection from a surface or by the synchronous vibration of a neighbouring object” — from The Physics Classroom:

Next: A waterless & chemical-free sound wave fire extinguisher, breaking a glass with sound, more on vibration, and What’s the Loudest Possible Sound?

]]> 0
Are We Really 99% Chimp? – Minute Earth Thu, 18 Jun 2015 06:45:20 +0000 When researchers decoded the chimpanzee genome in 2005, they explained that we share 99% of our DNA with chimpanzees… but what does that specifically mean? This episode of MinuteEarth illustrates how that one percent of difference (1.33% to be exact) is full of complexity when you look into the details.

Good to know: We also share a similar percentage of DNA with bonobos, and differ only 1.6% on average from gorillas.

For more info in video form, watch the BBC Knowledge Explainer on DNA. Follow that up with How Mendel’s pea plants helped us understand genetics. ]]> 0