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, 20 Jan 2017 20:11:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Two professors sculpt each other in less than ten minutes Thu, 19 Jan 2017 04:46:39 +0000 Watch in real time as Professor Cao Chang Xu of Beijing‘s Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) and Professor Sarath Chandrajeewa of Sri Lanka‘s University of Visual and Performing Arts go head to head in a friendly face off: Each works diligently — never holding still to pose — while the other observes and sculpts the wet clay.

In less than ten minutes, each sculptor creates an impressive portrait bust of the other. The demonstration video was uploaded by artist Anuja de silva.

More handmade faces: Artist Li Hongbo’s incredible paper sculptures, Paleoartist John Gurche reconstructs the face of Homo naledi, and Laika’s Head of Puppetry explains how stop motion puppets are made.

via Core 77. ]]> 0 Matthias Dandois: The Flat Side of Things Thu, 19 Jan 2017 04:24:12 +0000 French cyclist Matthias Dandois is a five time BMX flatlander champion. This Nov 2015 video, The Flat Side of Things 2, demonstrates the skills he’s developed since he began practicing at age 12. What’s flatland BMX?

Flatland is a freestyle BMX riding style performed on smooth flat surfaces that do not include any ramps, jumps, or grindrails. It is sometimes described as a form of artistic cycling with a blend of breakdancing… Tricks are performed by spinning and balancing on the bike in a variety of unexpected positions. Riders almost always use either knurled/grip taped aluminum or plastic pegs to stand on to manipulate the bike into even more imaginative positions.

Another video from August 2016: The Flat Side of Things 3.

And for a look at his skills in front of an audience, here’s Dandois at a VANS Jam in the city of Orange in December 2016:

Don’t miss these: Brandon Semenuk’s unReal mountain bike ride in one 3 minute shot, Rachel Atherton’s downhill mountain biking victory at Vallnord, and Danny MacAskill’s Wee Day Out. ]]> 0
‘Darkness Is My Canvas, Light Is My Brush’ Wed, 18 Jan 2017 05:27:13 +0000 Light painter Hannu Huhtamo uses darkness as a canvas for his long exposure photographs, capturing fluid light trails of flashlights and other kinds of glowing tools that he uses to draw in the air. In this video from Great Big Story, he explains, “The exposure times can vary from seconds to hours, and the idea is to use the light source as brushes or pencils.”




His photos are inspired by his location on the planet. The winter months provide very few hours of daylight to Helsinki, Finland, and in the country’s northern regions, the Polar Night brings around-the-clock darkness for approximately 50 days starting in December. You can see the phenomenon in this synced time lapse video that compares Helsinki’s January light to its long hours of June light:

Like light painting? Try it: How to paint with ice skates, a light painting beginner’s guide.

Plus, watch a winter solstice time lapse in Fairbanks, Alaska and TED Ed’s Reasons for the Seasons to learn more about sunlight and our planet. ]]> 0 Making Lime Bast Rope Wed, 18 Jan 2017 05:21:26 +0000 Lime bast fibre is a strong and flexible inner bark that has been used to make clothing and other textiles. In Norway, lime bast fibre is also used to make rope. Filmmaker Silje Ensby captured how Norwegians have been making it for over a thousand years:

Ropemaker Ingunn Undrum and boatbuilding apprentice Dennis Bayer head out to harvest the bark of lime trees (linden tree), in the spring when the sap is rising.

The paper thin layers of bast are glued together, and need to soak for a long time in the sea to seperate. The water in the Hardanger fjord is cold even during summer, so the bark is soaking until fall, for 3-4 months.

Ropemaker Sarah Sjøgreen lays the bast rope, and makes a traditional carrying rope with three strands, for transporting the cut grass during hay making season. The bast is naturally water proof, and rots very slowly compared to other rope materials. This explains why it has been found intact in viking excavations dating back to the 800s.

Next: How To Make Rope From Grass, creating trenzas (braided rope) from paja in Urbina, Ecuador, and Edwardian Farm: Making rope from sisel fiber.

Bonus: All things Primitive Technology.

via Gizmodo. ]]> 0 Biotop, an animation about declining tiger populations Wed, 18 Jan 2017 04:26:35 +0000 Inspired by Tx2, a World Wildlife Fund action to double the wild tiger population by 2022, the next Chinese Year of the Tiger, design student Jola Bańkowska created this one minute animation about habitat loss: Biotop.

There’s more info about the wild tiger’s 97% population decline in the last 100 years at

Tigers not only protect the forest by maintaining ecological integrity, but also by bringing the highest levels of protection and investment to an area. Tigers are an “umbrella species” – meaning their conservation also conserves many other species in the same area. They are long-ranging and require vast amounts of habitat to survive; an adult male’s home range varies from 150 km2 – 1000 km2. Large areas of intact forest therefore must be preserved for tiger conservation…

Rather than focusing on “saving” tigers at a site or country level, Tx2 uses a strategic, long-term approach – working across entire landscapes and encouraging trans-boundary collaboration. This involves increasing protection where the tigers are currently, maintaining wildlife corridors and connectivity between areas and then boosting resources and protection for where tigers can be in the future, when their numbers have increased.

What important causes inspire you to create new stories, art, animation, design, inventions, or other kinds of ideas and solutions?

Next: Chie Hitotsuyama’s recycled newspaper animal sculptures, giant animal sculptures made of found beach plastic, White Tiger Zabu plays with her ball, Big Cats and Mirrors at Big Cat Rescue, and more videos about conservation. ]]> 0
The Dodder Vine Sniffs Out Its Prey Tue, 17 Jan 2017 06:11:24 +0000 From PBS Nature, watch as researchers Consuelo M. De Moraes and Mark Mesker conduct a series of experiments to find out if the dodder vine (Cuscuta pentagona), a parasitic plant that depends on a host plant to provide sustenance, can “sniff” out its plant prey.

“Plants obviously don’t have olfactory nerves that connect to a brain that interpret signals…but [some plants] do respond to pheromones, just as we do. Plants detect a volatile chemical in the air, and they convert this signal (albeit nerve-free) into a physiological response. Surely this could be considered olfaction.”

Above, botanist Daniel Chamovitz explains in this 2012 Krulwich Wonders article. Plus, there’s more from the researchers at NPR:

“It’s really amazing to watch this plant having this almost animal-like behavior,” [De Moraes] says. “It’s really very sophisticated and surprising.”

The study showed dodder also prefers certain odors. Given a choice of tomato or wheat, the dodder picks the tomato. Wheat may give off a chemical that repels the vines, which could mean good news for farmers.

“The fact that there are these repellant compounds suggest that you might be able to create a repellant or deterrent effect that would allow you to protect a crop against infestation,” says Mark Mesker.

Strong odors, more tomatoes, and more time lapse plant videos await, including Farm foods grow in time lapse, From seed to sapling – Time lapse of an oak tree, and What makes that fresh rain smell?

Bonus: How many smells can you identify?

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Here’s Where the Juice That Powers Batteries Comes From Tue, 17 Jan 2017 05:22:37 +0000 Atomic number 3 on the periodic table, lithium is the ‘li’ in the li-ion batteries that are inside of our smartphones, laptops, digital cameras, and electric vehicles. Above, Alejandro Bucher gives Bloomberg’s Ashlee Vance a tour of the brilliantly colored ponds of mineral-rich liquids that yield lithium: Here’s Where the Juice That Powers Batteries Comes From.

This video is a part of Bloomberg’s Hello World series, videos that talk with the inventors, scientists, and technologists who are shaping our future from all over the planet.

Related watching: This vid from BASF on how lithium-ion batteries work.

Related links: Get to know the names of different colors with these Chemistry Colored Pencil Labels and Crayon Labels on Etsy. There are also color names here, there, and elsewhere online.

Next: Circuit Playground’s B is for Battery and How do batteries work? ]]> 0
Can you solve the counterfeit coin riddle? Tue, 17 Jan 2017 05:07:44 +0000 You’re currently locked in the dungeon by orders of the king, but as the realm’s greatest mathematician, you’ve been given a chance to free yourself: If you can identify a counterfeit coin, one fake coin in a group of twelve identical looking coins, you can earn your freedom.

Can you solve the counterfeit coin riddle? Don’t forget to hit pause and try to work out the problem before the solution is revealed! Then read more about this TED Ed lesson in logic by Jennifer Lu:

The counterfeit coin riddle is derived from the mathematics field of deduction, where conclusions are systematically drawn from the results of prior observations. This version of the classic riddle involves 12 coins, but popular variations can consist of 12 marbles or balls. Part of the appeal of this riddle is in the ease with which we can decrease or increase its complexity. A simple swapping of a few key words drastically alters the problem’s difficulty.

To make the problem simpler, for example, we can reduce the total number of coins to 9. To further simplify, we can reveal whether the counterfeit is lighter or heavier at the onset, as is shown here. For a harder version of the problem, start with 39 coins and four weighs.

Watch more puzzle videos like these: Matchstick Triangle Puzzle and can you solve the river crossing riddle?

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Classical Music Mashup II: 52 classical pieces from 31 composers Fri, 13 Jan 2017 15:14:59 +0000 Tchaikovsky, Mozart, Verdi, Mendelssohn, Bach, Grieg, and many more composers’ little heads can be seen in this Classical Music Mashup II by Grant Woolard, a follow up to his previous Classical Music Mashup.

This version layers 52 classical pieces from 31 composers in six minutes. How many do you recognize? There’s also a crowd-sourced song list.

Watch these next: Boomwhacker Bach: Prélude n°1 aux tubes musicaux and Oskar Fischinger’s Optical Poem. ]]> 0
Clearing snow from the cables on the Port Mann Bridge Thu, 12 Jan 2017 16:04:14 +0000

The Port Mann Bridge is one of the largest cable stay suspension bridges in the world. To keep traffic flowing during winter storms, teams of Rope Access Technicians hang high over traffic to operate the bridge’s snow removal system.

Chain collars are fixed around all of the bridge’s 288 cables. The collars are attached to remotely operated hangers at the top of the bridge towers. When snow or ice builds up on the bridge cables, Snow and Ice Technicians drop collars to keep the cables clear.

Rope Access Technicians reload the collars at the end of each winter storm. Up to 30 collars are loaded on each cable.

These technicians with British Columbia’s Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure work through cold, wet conditions high above the bridge deck to ensure the Port Mann Bridge stays open and safe to traffic.

From TReOPortMann: Clearing snow from the cables on the Port Mann Bridge, British Columbia.

Watch more feats of engineering: Dismantling the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge and a monster-sized bridge building machine in action.

Bonus: Changing a light bulb at the top of a 1500 foot TV tower.

via The Awesomer.

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Jazz Fundamentals: What Is Improvisation? What Are the Blues? Thu, 12 Jan 2017 05:04:11 +0000 What Is Improvisation? In this smart Jazz Academy series by Jazz at Lincoln Center, we learn Jazz Fundamentals, the building blocks of jazz as explained by drummer Bryan Carter, and demonstrated by his accompanying band: Camille Thurman on saxophone, Chris Pattishall on piano, Justin Poindexter on guitar, and Kathleen Murray on bass.

Learn more below: What Is Swing?

What Are the Blues?

What Are Spirituals?

And What Is Free Jazz?

Watch more of Jazz at Lincoln Center’s music education series on their YouTube Channel.

Follow this with What is Jazz? Ella Fitzgerald & Mel Tormé explain. ]]> 0
To Demonstrate How Spiders Fly (1909) Thu, 12 Jan 2017 04:43:07 +0000 British naturalist and nature documentary pioneer Percy Smith created this short silent film of a mechanical replica spider in 1909 to educate the public about arachnids. To Demonstrate How Spiders Fly can be found in the British Film Institute National Archive, an organization dedicated to collecting British and British-related films and TV programs.

Next: “Flying” spiders that can glide through the air from tree to tree and a newly-discovered species of cartwheeling spider.

Also: Georges Méliès: L’homme à la tête de caoutchouc (1901).

via @DrJoeHanson. ]]> 0 The toy-inspired Paperfuge, an innovative new tool in healthcare Wed, 11 Jan 2017 15:46:45 +0000 Bioengineer and Stanford researcher Manu Prakash, known for his lab’s invention of the Foldscope, a paper microscope that only costs $1, has developed another inexpensive scientific device. The Paperfuge is a hand-spun, ultra low-cost, paper and string centrifuge that was inspired by the ancient whirligig toy. Wired shows us how it works.

Why is the paperfuge important? A standard centrifuge is usually a heavy, expensive, electricity-powered machine that spins around 20,000 revolutions per minute:

To test a person for diseases such as malaria, HIV, and tuberculosis, scientists spin samples of the patient’s blood, urine, or stool in a centrifuge. Thanks to centrifugal force, the spinning motion separates cells of different weights—such as pathogens in the blood—from the rest of the sample. Researchers can then look at the separated cells under the microscope to identify the disease.

In parts of the world that don’t have access to this kind of equipment, health workers might instead use the paperfuge. It can achieve 125,000 rpm and equivalent centrifugal forces of 30,000 g. Prakash explains, “Toys hide in them pretty profound physical phenomena that we just take for granted.” And these cost just 20 cents to make.

Read more at Nature and don’t miss Prakash’s previous contribution to frugal healthcare.

Watch more videos about spinning, toys, innovation, and problem solving.

h/t @RachelFeltman.

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Madeline the Robot Tamer & Mimus Wed, 11 Jan 2017 05:06:59 +0000 Inventor and designer Madeline Gannon developed a gesture-based robot communication software as an artist-in-residence at Pier 9 in San Francisco. She’s now developed something (someone?) new as the next step in her exploration of robot/human communications and companionship: Mimus.

Mimus is a giant industrial robot that’s curious about the world around her. Mimus sees the world differently than us – she uses sensors embedded in the ceiling above to see everyone around her simultaneously. Mimus can react and move quickly around her space to follow your actions and try to decipher your body language.

Madeline Gannon, who created Mimus, believes that the robots of the future shouldn’t replace us, but rather augment our own abilities and be designed with a focus on human interaction. Her goal in this exhibit is that the behavior and design are intuitive in a way that people who have never even seen a robot before will be able to immediately understand how to interact with Mimus.

You, too, can interact with Mimus at The Design Museum in London until April 23, 2017. The multidisciplinary exhibit, titled Fear and Love, explores subjects that provoke human anxieties and passions, including robots and automation.

Read more about Mimus at and/or watch this video next: Madeline the Robot Tamer.

via Autodesk Labs.

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Why are we so attached to our things? – TED Ed Tue, 10 Jan 2017 18:46:41 +0000

After witnessing the “violent rage” shown by babies whenever deprived of an item they considered their own, Jean Piaget – a founding father of child psychology – observed something profound about human nature: Our sense of ownership emerges incredibly early. But why do we become so attached to things? Christian Jarrett details the psychology of ownership.

Animated by Avi Ofer. Read more about this TED Ed lesson, plus read more from Dr. Jarrett on the psychology of stuff and things.

More about humans: How to Understand Power, The Uses of Envy, and How to Stop Yourself from Being Ticklish. ]]> 0