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, 25 Oct 2016 06:57:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The autumal patchwork of Quebec’s forest colors Tue, 25 Oct 2016 06:57:35 +0000 Walk among the autumnal trees, and fly high above them by drone, in this video from traveling filmmakers Un Cercle. The footage was taken in Quebec, Canada’s Parc Régional Des Sept Chutes, around 130km (80 miles) north of Montreal.

Explore more autumn by video: The Real Reason Leaves Change Color In the Fall, How To Decorate Cookies To Look Like Fall Leaves, and the animation Bare.

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Slow Loris Conservation in Vietnam Tue, 25 Oct 2016 06:29:52 +0000 Take a closer look at the slow loris, specifically the Bengal slow loris and the Pygmy slow loris in Vietnam. Large-eyed, arboreal, and solitary, these nocturnal primates face declining populations due to trapping and trade, partially due to their YouTube popularity.

American Museum of Natural History Primatologist and Conservation Biologist Mary Blair is working with a team of researchers to collect population data for these two species so that they can better understand the animals’ dwindling numbers and improve local conservation efforts.

The researchers’ work includes forest surveys where they encounter the animals while walking on trails or transects at night, and gathering data from slow loris collections in museums around the world. Blair and her colleagues also collaborate with Vietnamese authorities to help identify confiscated species.

They’re also working to better understand the cultural and socioeconomic drivers of wildlife trade in Vietnam.

Related info at AMNH: The slow loris has saliva that can be lethal to predators.

Explore more videos about conservation, including The Pygmy Sloths of Isla Escudo de Veraguas and The Kakapo: The world’s only flightless parrot is a very rare bird.

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Earthrise from the moon, captured by JAXA Kaguya Spacecraft Tue, 25 Oct 2016 05:17:11 +0000 Between 2007 and 2009, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) captured more than 600 incredible photos and videos of the moon with an orbiting Selenological and Engineering Explorer (SELENE) mission spacecraft, informally called Kaguya. Named after a lunar princess from Japanese lore, Kaguya had 2.2 megapixel HDTV sensors onboard, giving us some incredible HD firsts from the moon.




Watch two more videos by the Kaguya Spacecraft: Earthset Glare Viewed and Lunar South Pole Earthset Viewed.

The Earth sets in the glare of the sun in this rarely-seen video from the Kaguya lunar orbiter in October 2008.

JAXA’s Kaguya spacecraft spies the Earth in the distance as it passes below the south pole of the moon in November 2007. This video is usually presented with the Earth above the moon’s horizon, but has been inverted here to show north as up.

For more of JAXA’s HD photos from the moon, check out this gallery at Arstechnica.

Next: More moon, more JAXA, and videos that touch on The Overview Effect, including Planet Earth in 4K: Time lapse images taken by an orbiting satellite and The 45th Anniversary of Earthrise.

via The Planetary Society, h/t @m_m_campbell.

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How Does it Grow? Pumpkins Mon, 24 Oct 2016 14:00:16 +0000 “The U.S. harvests five hundred million pounds of a food we have no intention of eating…” and if we did decide to eat this particular variety of food, it wouldn’t taste like what we’d expect.

In this episode of How Does It Grow, we visit a Duffields Farm where they grow a wide variety of pumpkins, squash, and gourds… including the pumpkins that are carved into jack-o-lanterns for Halloween decorations and the pumpkins that are used for to make pumpkin pies, which isn’t the same kind of pumpkin. Get a look at which pumpkin you’ve been eating in this vid.

Related reading at The Washington Post: 10 pumpkin and winter squash varieties you should know.

Related videos: How to grow a giant pumpkin for a giant pumpkin contest and how to make Halloween jack-o-lanterns with scary teeth. ]]> 0
The melibe nudibranch grabs at food with a net-like mouth Mon, 24 Oct 2016 06:17:04 +0000 This fascinating carnivorous sea slug is called a melibe leonina, a lion’s mane sea slug, or a hooded nudibranch. The ‘hood’ refers to its large mouth that expands like a net to trap at small crustaceans and mollusks, jellyfish and ctenophores, amphipods, copepods, and more.

This nudibranch is up to 102 mm long, 25 mm wide, and 51 mm across the expanded oral hood.

The body of this nudibranch is translucent. It is usually colorless to pale yellow or green, with opaque brown hepatic diverticula. It has a large expandable oral hood, fringed with sensory tentacles, which it opens and throws forward in order to catch food. A single pair of rhinophores on the hood are rounded and earlike. 4-6 pairs of flat paddle shaped cerata run along its dorsum in two rows.

Melibe leonina exudes a sweet fruity aroma when it is removed from the water, or when numerous individuals are kept together in captivity. Because of their smell and the way they expand their oral hoods while attached to kelp and eelgrass, a group of Melibe is called a “bouquet”.

Above, one floats in a tank, and below via The Marine Detective in Port Hardy, British Columbia, here are thousands of them:

Watch more sea slug videos, including this Jorunna sea slug who looks like a fluffy bunny.

h/t Katie Mack.

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Skittles candy dissolves into rainbows Mon, 24 Oct 2016 04:58:34 +0000 Science + candy = rainbows! Check out this classic and colorful trick as the artificial candy colors dissolve into hot water-fueled PGYOR stripes. YouTuber Dexter See tried it with awesome results. Here’s how:

Simple DIY rainbow magic with Skittles candies. Form a circle with Skittles on a plate (colours should be in repeated order, preferably according to colours of the rainbow e.g. purple, green, yellow, orange, red), then pour hot water over them. Wait for the magic to unfold right in front of your eyes!

Create your own designs and experiments, and if you like your results or if it doesn’t work out the first, second, or third time, send us a photo or vid on Twitter or on Facebook

Related reading: Melting vs dissolving:

Melting and freezing of materials is dependent on their temperature. When something melts the liquid is the same substance as the solid. Not all solids melt on heating (they may burn or decompose).

When something dissolves an additional substance (the solvent) is needed. Dissolving can involve chemical changes (for example, antacid tablets mixing with water or metal dissolving in acid).

More candy experiments to try: How to build your own Wave Machine physics demo, How to Make Balancing Sculptures, and what happens when you put marshmallows in a vacuum?

via @DIY.

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Why is Lake Hillier pink? Thu, 20 Oct 2016 07:38:42 +0000 Fly over Lake Hillier, a stunning pink lake on Middle Island, off the south coast of Western Australia. The footage was filmed by Jaimen Hudson, who captures Australia’s natural wonders by drone.

Lake Hillier is about 600 metres (2,000 ft) in length by about 250 m (820 ft) in width. The lake is surrounded by a rim of sand and a dense woodland of paperbark and eucalyptus trees with a narrow strip of sand dunes covered by vegetation separating its northern edge from the northern coast of Middle Island. The most notable feature of the lake is its pink colour. The vibrant colour is permanent, and does not alter when the water is taken in a container. The pink colour is considered to be due to the presence of the organism Dunaliella salina.

A halophile (loves salt) and an extremophile (loves extreme conditions), Dunaliella salina is an algae that produces carotenoids, which can look orange, red, or pink. Related fact: Flamingos “range from light pink to bright red due to aqueous bacteria and beta-Carotene obtained from their food supply.”

More incredible sites by Hudson’s dronework: Whales swim with a paddleboarder off the coast of Esperance.

Related watching: The Grand Prismatic Spring. ]]> 0 Trying To Save The Red Crowned Cranes Of Japan Thu, 20 Oct 2016 05:47:16 +0000 These majestic birds are red crowned cranes, a symbol of peace and longevity in Japanese culture. Standing around 150 to 158cm (4ft 11in to 5ft 2in) tall, they are impressive creatures, and on Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost island, their prehistoric calls and renowned dancing attracts tourists from all over the globe.

The cranes were once thought to be extinct due to hunting and loss of their marsh and wetland habitats, but approximately 20 birds were discovered in 1926. There are now an estimated 2,750 total in the wilds of Japan, China, and Korea, and thanks to care and conservation efforts, Hokkaido’s red crowned crane population has increased to around 1,000 birds. In this clip from the BBC’s Wild Japan, local farmers feed the cranes to help increase their numbers.

Speaking of 1,000, according to lore folding 1,000 origami cranes will grant you eternal good luck, a traditional gift for weddings, babies, those who are ill, and those for whom you wish health and prosperity. Learn how to fold your first one

Bonus video: Orizuru, a remote controlled origami crane that can fly. ]]> 0
Chie Hitotsuyama’s recycled newspaper animal sculptures Tue, 18 Oct 2016 06:48:45 +0000 Using rolled strips of repurposed newspaper, cut and painstakingly placed using wood glue, Japanese artist Chie Hitotsuyama creates beautifully detailed, three-dimensional sculptures of wild animals… walruses, rabbits, sea turtles, iguanas, monkeys, dugongs, and more. Her work is inspired by the unnoticed daily perseverance of animals in nature. From Kokusai Pulp & Paper:

“I came across a wild rhinoceros at a national park in Zambia, Africa, which I visited at the request of one NGO in 2007 when I was working as an illustrator,” recalls Ms. Hitotsuyama. “The rhino was injured because of human egos. I heard from the park ranger who guided me that rhinos have been killed brutally by poachers who want their horns. From my wish to share this reality with many more people, I created my first work, a rhinoceros

After that, I became strongly aware of what life is all about, what it means to live,” explains Ms. Hitotsuyama. “Animals that live in nature are equal to us in the sense that we live together on this planet. Sometimes they sleep. Sometimes they eat. They are living ordinary everyday lives just like us. I would like keep insisting on reality and producing my life-sized work as much as possible in order to convey their lives.”






Hitotsuyama’s paper work is multi-generational: Her Fuji-based studio is located in the old warehouse of a paper strip manufacturing plant that was once operated by her family.

Watch more sculpture videos and more paper craft videos, including Irving Harper: Works in Paper.

via Colossal.

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On Light Pollution: The End of Darkness Tue, 18 Oct 2016 05:44:00 +0000 What is it like to be really in the dark? Not the dark of your closet, or the dark of your room at night, but the deep darkness of there being no electricity for miles and miles around you. If there was no light pollution, what would you be able to see when you looked at the night sky?

From The New Yorker, meet amateur astronomer Joe Delfausse, who shares his telescope with all of New York City. On a road trip towards a darker sky, he and his friends also introduce the Bortle Dark Sky Scale, which indicates which of the nine levels of dark the sky is based on your location.


Next, watch Borrowed Light: An ambitious plan to see the light by stealing it and What happened to the Milky Way? ]]> 0
What causes cavities? Tue, 18 Oct 2016 05:10:12 +0000

When a team of archeologists recently came across some 15,000-year-old human remains, they made an interesting discovery: the teeth of those ancient humans were riddled with holes. So what causes cavities, and how can we avoid them?

From Mel Rosenberg and TED Ed, with animation by Andrew Foerster. Follow this video with more videos about teeth including this favorite: Straightening teeth with dental braces, an 18 month time lapse. Plus, How Much Sugar Are You Really Eating?

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Can bumblebees teach each other to pull a string? Tue, 18 Oct 2016 04:45:17 +0000 This worker bumblebee has been taught that if she pulls the string, she’ll be able to get to the artificial blue flower’s sucrose solution center. Scientists from the Bee Behavioural and Sensory Ecology Lab at Queen Mary University of London individually taught the bees this trick to find out if experienced bees could teach it to their peers… but can a social animal like a bumblebee teach this non-natural task to another bumblebee? From the Washington Post:

The scientists successfully trained 23 of 40 bees. (It took about 5-and-a-quarter hours per bee.) Of the 23 pulling bees, three were selected as demonstrators. The scientists put an untrained bee in a separate cage, and let her watch the demonstrator. Out of these bees, 15 in 25 figured out how to pull on the string.

Once trained bees were allowed to interact with their colonies, knowledge of the string-pulling behavior spread. In two colonies, the researchers recorded the pulling behavior at four degrees of social separation. In other words, bee D learned to pull the string from bee C, who learned from bee B, who learned from bee A.

This is called social learning or cultural transmission: “Animals that are able to solve problems and imitate the behavior of others are therefore able to transmit information across generations.” Full text at

Watch more bee videos, including why honeybees do the waggle dance and a bumblebee dislodging pollen in slow-mo, or watch more about how animals learn: more evidence birds can count, communicating with dolphins using echolocation, and a wild crow solves a puzzle in 8 parts.

h/t @m_m_campbell. ]]> 0 Building Art Machines with LEGO Technic pieces Mon, 17 Oct 2016 05:52:45 +0000 From The Tinkering Studio located at San Francisco’s Exploratorium, enjoy these pattern making art machines built with LEGO Technic beams, gears, and pins. The Tinkering team wrote up a quick art machines experiment guide on Instructables complete with a recommended parts list on Brick Owl, great for schools, libraries, makerspaces, or at home.

For more inspiration, check out their LEGO Linkages vid, a useful example of how small changes to these beam and pin connections can make big differences in how the pieces function and move:

Watch more LEGO tinkering including a DIY microscope made out of LEGO, a prosthetic system that lets kids make their own LEGO robot limbs, and this spirograph-inspired LEGO Drawing Machine.

Don’t have LEGO around? Make a drawbot with a milk frother and velcro or find inspiration in the jazz of a helium ball & charcoal.

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Building a Class 345 railcar for the Elizabeth line Mon, 17 Oct 2016 05:05:56 +0000 A British how-it’s-made time lapse from Bombardier Rail Vehicles Production in Derby: Watch a new Elizabeth line ‘Class 345’ train being built, complete with 5 miles of welding and 50 miles of cabling. From

A fleet of 66 new 200 metre long trains built in the United Kingdom will run on the Elizabeth line, featuring nine walk-through carriages, air conditioning, CCTV and real-time travel information. Each train will be able to carry up to 1,500 people.

Stretching over 60 miles from Reading and Heathrow in the west across to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east, the Elizabeth line will stop at 40 stations – 10 newly built and 30 newly upgraded – and serve approximately 200 million people each year.

Related vids: How New York City’s subway technologies are being modernized and why do autumn leaves cause train delays? ]]> 0
A Sketchy History Of Pencil Lead Fri, 14 Oct 2016 06:19:08 +0000 When fifth-graders at Green Acres Elementary in Lebanon, Oregon asked the NPR Skunk Bear team how pencil lead was made, they looked into it… way into it. From the start of the universe (with a shout out to Carl Sagan) to a pencil-making factory in Jersey City, New Jersey (est. 1889), this is A Sketchy History of Pencil Lead. Just one of the many fascinating details from the vid:

In 1779, scientists showed that pencil “lead” wasn’t lead at all. It was made entirely of carbon. A few years later, another pure-carbon mineral was revealed: diamond. The two substances couldn’t be more different. Graphite is dark and brittle. Diamond is clear and incredibly strong. How could they have the same chemical makeup?

In the 1920s, the answer was revealed. In diamond, carbon atoms are stacked in a pyramid, forming tight, strong bonds. In graphite, carbon is arranged in sheets. Within these sheets, atoms form a sturdy, hexagonal lattice. But the bonds between those sheets are weak — they slide apart with ease. When you drag graphite across paper, those sheets slough off.

The layer of graphite left on the paper is incredibly thin — a thousand times thinner than a human hair. That means, according to mathematician John Barrow, a single pencil could draw a line over 700 miles long.

Read more at Trace The Remarkable History Of The Humble Pencil.

Watch more from Skunk Bear and more drawing videos on this site.

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