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, 28 Apr 2015 17:31:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Antarctica by drone – Tour our 5th largest continent from above Tue, 28 Apr 2015 17:29:32 +0000 Fly through ice formations and see the seemingly-endless landscapes in context of boats and people, from the huge icebergs extending down into the deep blue water, to the snow-covered mountains, to the whales swimming together as seen from above. This is Antarctica, a stunning video that was filmed over 16 days with a GoPro HERO3+ Black Edition and DJI Phantom 2 by Kalle Ljung.

Covered in ice, Antarctica is the coldest place on Earth, the planet’s fifth largest continent, and the planet’s largest desert. From LiveScience:

Despite its thick ice, Antarctica is classified as a desert because so little moisture falls from the sky. The inner regions of the continent receive an average of 2 inches (50 millimeters) of precipitation—primarily in the form of snow—each year. More rain falls in the Sahara desert. The coastal regions receive more falling moisture, but still only average 8 inches (200 mm) annually. Unlike most desert regions, however, the moisture doesn’t soak into the ground. Instead, the snow piles on top of itself.

Although little liquid falls from the sky, Antarctica still boasts colossal blizzards. Like sandstorms in the desert, the wind picks snow up from the ground and blows vast white blankets. Winds can reach up to 200 miles per hour (320 kilometers per hour).

Antarctica’s only plants include lichens, liverworts, a few grasses, and around 100 species of mosses. There are also over 700 species of algae. Related reading: extremophiles.

Watch more videos about Antarctica, including Antarctica’s volcanic ice caves & undersea brinicles, an animated map of the bedrock beneath Antarctica’s ice sheet, and Ice Cores – Measuring Earth’s atmosphere from 20,000 years ago.

via Kottke.

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Ella Fitzgerald with Duke Ellington: It Don’t Mean A Thing (1965) Tue, 28 Apr 2015 16:06:23 +0000 From The Ed Sullivan Show on March 7, 1965, (the video seems to be incorrectly dated as being from 1960), watch Ella Fitzgerald perform with Duke Ellington: It Don’t Mean A Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing).

a 1931 composition by Duke Ellington, with lyrics by Irving Mills, now accepted as a jazz standard, characterized by jazz historian Gunther Schuller as “now legendary”, “a prophetic piece and a prophetic title.” …Probably the first song to use the phrase “swing” in the title, it introduced the term into everyday language and presaged the swing era by three years.

Watch more Ella Fitzgerald and more videos from the 1960s.

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Driving on Air: Inventor Raul Oaida and his LEGO car Tue, 28 Apr 2015 06:30:36 +0000 From The Adaptors, Flora Lichtman talks with 21 year old Romanian inventor Raul Oaida, who has built a jet-engine bike, a tiny spaceship, and a 500,000 brick LEGO car that is powered by air. How does it work?

“We have compressed air stored in bottles in the back. The air pushes down the pistons and makes the whole thing go, so instead of burning gasoline, it just releases air.

But it’s almost inconsequential what the car is physically. The LEGO car is a physical token of what’s possible in the connected world where we have all of these people connecting together… and proving a point. And in our case, the point was that you can build an eco-friendly car our of toy pieces, and we wanted to bring attention to air powered cars because most people have no idea that this stuff is actually out there.”

The Adaptors is a podcast about the farmers, coastal-dwellers, scientists, corporate leaders, garage tinkerers, and DIY inventors that are inventing and embracing new ideas and technologies in green living. They’ve also made a few awesome videos.

Watch this next: Oaida’s Super Awesome Micro Project.

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Flying a drone over Holland’s colorful patchwork quilt of flowers Mon, 27 Apr 2015 16:47:11 +0000 Fly over the Dutch countryside where colorful spring fields are organized in long rows of blooming hyacinths, tulips, daffodils, and other flowers. This HD footage from above Holland’s patchwork quilt of flowers was filmed with a DJI Inspire drone in April 2015. The spectacular fields are not far from the country’s famous Keukenhof Gardens.

The Netherlands has a long history with flowers. Watch this next: Amsterdam’s Tulip Museum: An Animated History of the Tulip.

via The Awesomer.

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Charlie Chaplin & the Billows Feeding Machine: Modern Times (1936) Mon, 27 Apr 2015 07:17:48 +0000 In this clip from the classic 1936 film Modern Times, Charlie Chaplin is an assembly line worker struggling to live in a society driven by the industrialization of the Machine Age. While on his lunch break, his Tramp character is pressured into being a part of a Billows Feeding Machine demonstration, an automated invention that promises the ultimate in modern efficiency. From the movie:

Don’t stop for lunch: be ahead of your competitor. The Billows Feeding Machine will eliminate the lunch hour, increase your production, and decrease your overhead. Allow us to point out some of the features of this wonderful machine: its beautiful, aerodynamic, streamlined body; its smoothness of action, made silent by our electro-porous metal ball bearings. Let us acquaint you with our automaton soup plate — its compressed-air blower, no breath necessary, no energy required to cool the soup. Notice the revolving plate with the automatic food pusher. Observe our counter-shaft, double-knee-action corn feeder, with its synchro-mesh transmission, which enables you to shift from high to low gear by the mere tip of the tongue. Then there is the hydro-compressed, sterilized mouth wiper: its factors of control insure against spots on the shirt front. These are but a few of the delightful features of the Billows Feeding Machine. Let us demonstrate with one of your workers, for actions speak louder than words. Remember, if you wish to keep ahead of your competitor, you cannot afford to ignore the importance of the Billows Feeding Machine.

Watch these next: Joseph Herscher as The Page Turner and Charlie Chaplin in the lion’s cage.

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Emperor Penguins Speed Launch Out of the Water Sat, 25 Apr 2015 17:28:56 +0000 We’ve seen a video of penguins rocketing out of the water as if powered by jets, but we’ve never seen it happen from underwater… until now. In this National Geographic clip, photographer Paul Nicklen captures how these emperor penguins use air bubbles to launch themselves out of the water. From

When an emperor penguin swims through the water, it is slowed by the friction between its body and the water, keeping its maximum speed somewhere between four and nine feet a second. But in short bursts the penguin can double or even triple its speed by releasing air from its feathers in the form of tiny bubbles. These reduce the density and viscosity of the water around the penguin’s body, cutting drag and enabling the bird to reach speeds that would otherwise be impossible. (As an added benefit, the extra speed helps the penguins avoid predators such as leopard seals.)

The key to this talent is in the penguin’s feathers. Like other birds, emperors have the capacity to fluff their feathers and insulate their bodies with a layer of air. But whereas most birds have rows of feathers with bare skin between them, emperor penguins have a dense, uniform coat of feathers. And because the bases of their feathers include tiny filaments—just 20 microns in diameter, less than half the width of a thin human hair—air is trapped in a fine, downy mesh and released as microbubbles so tiny that they form a lubricating coat on the feather surface.

Keep in mind that emperor penguins are often almost 3.8ft (115cm) tall and weigh 66lbs (30kg). That’s a lot of rocketing penguin.

You can see more of Paul Nicklen’s nature photos at National or on his site. On this site, watch more videos about feathers and more penguin videos, including The Best Bloopers from Penguins – Spy in the Huddle and Penguins can’t fly, but they can jump.

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JR’s A Walker in New York City, an installation time lapse Fri, 24 Apr 2015 18:33:02 +0000 French artist JR’s photographic oversized street art often deals with human connections, preconceptions, prejudices, media portrayals, and other themes around community and identity. As part of the The New York Times’s Walking New York, he installed a 150-foot-tall image of Elmar Aliyev, a 20-year-old Brooklyn waiter who immigrated to the United States from Azerbaijan.

The giant piece is titled “A Walker in New York City” and is best viewed from the surrounding buildings, high above in a helicopter, or on the cover of The New York Times Magazine.


You can see it assembled from 62 large strips of printed paper, pasted together by 20 people in 3.5 hours, in the installation time lapse video above.

Watch this next: Here Comes the Neighborhood – The Wynwood Walls, Miami. ]]> 0
MinutePhysics: How Big Is The Sun? Fri, 24 Apr 2015 17:33:26 +0000 Even though the sun and the moon look around the same size in the sky, the sun is 400 times bigger than our planet’s moon and is 400 times farther away. Compare the sun’s 150,000,000 km (93,205,679-ish miles) distance from us, and the moon being “just” 384,400 km (238,900 miles) away. This Minute Physics video explains that and much more: How Big Is the Sun?

Watch these next: Planet and star size comparisons, Bill Nye Bikes the Distance Between Planets and Veritasium’s How Far Away is the Moon? ]]> 0
Ricky Syers and his handmade marionette of Doris Diether Fri, 24 Apr 2015 07:41:17 +0000 Meet longtime Greenwich Village resident, painter, actress, and housing rights activist Doris Diether, and street performer, artist, and puppeteer Ricky Syers. Syers makes marionettes that are the spitting image of people he knows in New York City’s Washington Square Park, including Diether. Her one foot tall doppelganger was made in 50 hours over just a few days, and continues to delight park visitors of all ages.

Persona, a short by Kayle Hope, tells the story of Doris the Marionette.

Watch this next: Jim Henson: How to make puppets (1969). Plus more New York City and more puppetry. ]]> 0
ScienceTake: How the Octopus Moves Fri, 24 Apr 2015 06:40:49 +0000 How do you move from here to there when you have eight long, flexible legs that radiate out from your head? After analyzing recordings of how an octopus moves, three Israeli researchers have determined something pretty fascinating:

They found that the brain of the octopus doesn’t have to do everything, because the arms, in effect, have a mind of their own.

…what they concluded, but have not yet proved, is that the central brain of the octopus makes only one decision — which arm to activate. Other parts of the octopus nervous system control the actual movement of the arm.

Read more at The New York Times and watch How the Octopus Moves.

Then watch more octopus videos, including our favorite: An octopus unscrews a jar from the inside. ]]> 0
Freeline skate tricks on the streets of Taipei Wed, 22 Apr 2015 18:00:35 +0000 Freeline skating or freelining was invented in 2003 by Ryan Farrelly and has since become popular around Asia, including Taipei, Taiwan where this Kuma Films video was recorded. Watch as Light Liu & 曾昱暠 make it look easy to ride these “mini skateboards for each foot”… sort of a mix of skateboarding and inline skating: Freeline Skates are Strangely Awesome.

There are more videos from Kuma in the archives: The Bubble Artist, Epic Pen Spinning, and Cyr wheel performer Isaac Hou.

via Kottke. ]]> 0 Physics Girl: Seven surface tension experiments Tue, 21 Apr 2015 21:15:10 +0000 This Physics Girl video highlights seven different surface tension experiments that you can easily try at home or in the classroom. Have any of these around? A plate, a glass, a penny, an index card, a paperclip, an eye dropper, a cup of coffee, dish soap, or some food coloring… and if you’re teaming up with an adult, get a pan and stove, too.

Surface tension is the energy, or work, required to increase the surface area of a liquid due to intermolecular forces. Since these intermolecular forces vary depending on the nature of the liquid (e.g. water vs. gasoline) or solutes in the liquid (e.g. surfactants like detergent), each solution exhibits differing surface tension properties.

Test those properties with a few experiments we’ve enjoyed before — milk fireworks and soap boat — and lots of experiments that we’ve never tried: Surface spheres, floating card, suddenly sinking paperclip, penny dropper, and the Leidenfrost Effect.

Next: Check out more of our favorite Physics Girl vids: The Stacked Ball Drop, How to make a Crazy Pool Vortex, and The Physics Behind a Curveball.

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“Analog experiments” that appear to defy gravity Tue, 21 Apr 2015 18:53:21 +0000 If we could control gravity, or if we could defy it, this is what it might look like: pouring water upside down, balloons flying away sideways, and paint dripping in all directions! This is Gravity, a series of “analog experiments” by Austrian director and visual artist Clemens Wirth.

Watch these next: The Hammer-Feather Drop in the world’s biggest vacuum chamber, 2,000 ping pong balls and 30 middle-school teachers in Zero G, Gravité, objects falling with rhythm, and how Earth’s gravity helps keep satellites in orbit.

via The Creator’s Project. ]]> 0 Deepwater Horizon oil spill: Where did the oil go? Tue, 21 Apr 2015 17:52:30 +0000 In April of 2010, a BP Deepwater Oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico exploded, killing eleven workers and unleashing an unprecedented amount of sticky black crude into the gulf waters, beaches, wetlands, and surrounding ecosystems. Before we were able to successfully cap the ruptured deep water well, it flowed unchecked for 87 days at a rate of approximately 53,000 barrels per day, making it the nation’s worst offshore environmental catastrophe in history.

As with all failures, we have the opportunity to learn. Scientists, engineers, local communities, policy makers, industry leaders, and people far and wide are asking questions: How badly did the spill damage the gulf? How big was it? How did it happen? Were our solutions good or bad ideas? How has impacted wildlife? What can we do to fix the damage? And how can we keep it from happening again?

In this Natural Resources Defense Council time lapse video, NRDC science scribe Perrin Ireland paints some of the questions that scientists want to better understand about the Deepwater Horizon oil spill‘s impact, starting with this one: Where did the oil go?

Watch this next: Is this oil really flowing backwards? Plus all kinds of problem solving including one of our favorite videos: “I will be a hummingbird.”

via The Science Studio.

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Reading Rainbow: LeVar Burton visits the Grand Canyon Tue, 21 Apr 2015 12:54:04 +0000 Take a video field trip to the Grand Canyon with LeVar Burton and Reading Rainbow as he explores the canyon’s history, early inhabitants, and its original formation. The views are incredible from a boat on the Colorado River and high above the canyon by helicopter. From Wikipedia:

The Grand Canyon is 277 miles (446 km) long, up to 18 miles (29 km) wide and attains a depth of over a mile (6,000 feet or 1,800 meters). Nearly two billion years of Earth’s geological history have been exposed as the Colorado River and its tributaries cut their channels through layer after layer of rock while the Colorado Plateau was uplifted. While the specific geologic processes and timing that formed the Grand Canyon are the subject of debate by geologists, recent evidence suggests that the Colorado River established its course through the canyon at least 17 million years ago. Since that time, the Colorado River continued to erode and form the canyon to its present-day configuration.

Watch these Reading Rainbow field trips next: How trash is recycled and how is money printed in the United States?

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