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 Mon, 25 Jul 2016 08:04:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 These Carnivorous Worms Catch Bugs by Mimicking the Night Sky Mon, 25 Jul 2016 08:04:13 +0000 These slimy threads are ‘fishing’ lines in New Zealand’s Waitomo Caves. The lures are the bioluminescent glow of Arachnocampa luminosa, or glow worms. Their carnivorous larvae create a starry night sky a half a mile deep in the caves, attracting unsuspecting moths, midges, mosquitos, mayflies, and more. KQED’s Deep Look series takes us there. Plus, a bit of history from Wikipedia:

The species was first described in 1871 when collected from a gold mine in New Zealand’s Thames region. At first it was thought to be related to the European glowworm beetle, but in 1886 a Christchurch teacher showed it was a larva of a gnat, not a beetle. The species was called Bolitiphila luminosa in 1891, before being renamed Arachnocampa luminosa in 1924.

Next: A 4K video time lapse from the Waitomo Glowworm Caves, beautiful summer nights full of fireflies and stars, and more from Deep Look.

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One Year on Earth – Seen From 1 Million Miles Mon, 25 Jul 2016 07:31:07 +0000 Every two hours, NASA’s Epic camera on NOAA’s DSCOVR satellite captures a set of images from its L1 (Lagrange point 1) orbit. The images of Earth’s sunlit side are taken in ten different wavelengths. The first color-adjusted image was seen in July of 2015. Now, one year later, we can see an entire year of what our planet looks like from around one million miles away… including a glimpse of the moon’s shadow during the March 2016 total solar eclipse.

Read more about our Deep Space Climate Observatory here. Related reading via Kottke: Lagrangian or ‘L’ points — “where the gravitational forces and the orbital motion of the spacecraft, Sun and planet interact to create a stable location from which to make observations.”

Next: What Does Earth Look Like From Space? An Astronaut’s Perspective. ]]> 0
How to Make a Tennis Ball Mon, 25 Jul 2016 06:46:13 +0000 From filmmaker Benedict Redgrove, this is How to Make a Tennis Ball, a wonderful short from inside Wilson’s tennis ball factory near Bangkok, Thailand. Redgrove explains:

I was commissioned to make a film and shoot a set of images by ESPN for Wilson, to show the manufacturing process of their tennis balls for the US Open. We flew to the factory, shot the film and stills in one day then flew home. Its an amazingly complex manufacture, requiring 24 different processes to make the final ball. It was hot, loud and the people who worked there, worked fast. So much beauty in each stage. I love the mechanics of how things are made, it fills me with great pleasure. I hope you enjoy the film.

See blankets of rubber-based core compound get crushed! See the molding of half-shells! See optic yellow felt panels wrapping around the cores! It’s all pretty cool. ESPN has the break down of each step here with gifs.

Next in slow motion, watch a racket flatten a tennis ball at 142 mph. Plus: Baseballs – How It’s Made. ]]> 0
The AgIC marker draws circuits with conductive ink Tue, 19 Jul 2016 07:18:57 +0000 It’s easy to doodle a circuit! Made with silver conductive nanoparticles, the ink in the AgIC Circuit Marker can conduct electricity, as shown in this pop-up book inspired Japanese commercial by Kandenko. Watch the LEDs light up as the pre-cut glossy photo paper is drawn on and then folded into place.

AgIC is a Tokyo-based startup out of the University of Tokyo, and was successfully kickstarted in 2015. This video from Nikkei Asian Review explains more:

Though it’s become popular, you may be able to find the pen and special paper set on Amazon.

Related vids: The Red Thread, a time lapse of Sol LeWitt’s Wall Drawing 797, and a giant forest xylophone that plays Bach.

via Rocket News 24. ]]> 0 Building a House the Eco-Friendly Way with 3D Printing Tue, 19 Jul 2016 06:17:37 +0000 Inspired by plant patterns, the reusability of waste materials, and architecture made from the earth in locations around the world, Ronald Rael and Virginia San Fratello of Emerging Objects studio are exploring the intersection of function, frugality, and beauty in their large-scale 3D printing structures. Learn more about their work in this KQED Arts video: Building a House the Eco-Friendly Way with 3D Printing.

In this time lapse, we can see the assembly and disassembly of Bloom, a 3D-printed cement structure:

Then take a closer look at Star Lounge, a structure made with 2073 hexagon blocks that were all printed by a small MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D printer. It was made in collaboration with Bold Machines.

Next: Fibonacci Zoetrope Sculptures and 3D printing with 1900F molten glass. ]]> 0
The Importance of Staring Out Of The Window Mon, 18 Jul 2016 15:17:26 +0000 Staring out the window is often associated with a lack of attention or productivity, but in this film from The School of Life, we examine the activity (or lack of activity) as a highly productive pursuit that we might rarely make time for anymore: Discovering the contents of our own minds.

Also from The School of Life: The Uses of Envy. ]]> 0
Dina Amin’s Tinker Friday Stop Motion Project Thu, 14 Jul 2016 05:49:48 +0000 What’s inside an old optical mouse? How many pieces are they made from? How might they be reimagined? Cairo-based product designer Dina Amin made a hobby from these questions, turning it into a delightful side project that she calls Tinker Friday. She writes:

Every Friday I pick a random “about to be thrown away” product (from my growing collection of donated e-waste). I disassemble it, rearrange it back into something else and make a stop motion animation story out of its parts. I’ve been doing this for almost 8 months now, and made over 20 videos. I like to show people what’s inside their products in an interesting way. I think we rarely see what’s inside a product so we treat it as one whole piece, and it makes it easier to discard things; we throw away one thing and not many! But there are many things inside… and many possibilities!

Amin is brilliant at transforming these normally unseen pieces into adorable characters and bite-sized stories. Click each Instagram video to watch:

Today is my Birthday ✨ Most people cant tell my age right Take a guess!! #shortgirlproblems

A video posted by Dina Amin (@dina.a.amin) on

Follow her on Instagram and Facebook.

Next: Disassembled / Things Come Apart by Todd McLellan, Making art from found beach plastic, turning scraps into soccer balls for village children, Casa ecológica de botellas, and Landfill Harmonic: A youth orchestra of upcycled instruments. ]]> 0
Wooden toys by 80-year-old Japanese toymaker Masaaki Hiroi Thu, 14 Jul 2016 04:16:32 +0000 Fourth generation toymaker Masaaki Hiroi handcrafts toys in his workshop at the age of 80. In this AJ+ profile, he talks about his work, his classic toys, and aging. He wants to live until he’s 200 years old. An excerpt:

Cutting-edge technology is fun, but it’s a pity if children become absorbed only in those toys. There are traditional toys and traditional ways to play in Japan, one of them is spinning top. I am sad to see so many old toys become obsolete around the world. I can only wish that children continue to play with both new and old toy. I want to make people who buy my toys to laugh and make toys that anyone, old and young, men and women can enjoy. We are given such little time.

And via Laughing Squid, get up close looks at Hiroi’s creations:

Next: Mekanikos vs. The Minotaur, The Ships That Sail Through The Clouds, Making a traditional Kokeshi Doll, Minesaki Sougo’s Tumbling doll, and lots of spinning.

Thanks, Cecilia. ]]> 0 How to build a grass hut – Primitive Technology Wed, 13 Jul 2016 07:30:39 +0000 TIL: Grass huts require a lot of grass… about five days worth of collected guinea grass seems to work particularly well. From Primitive Technology, this is how to build a grass hut in about seven days:

The design is a simple pointed dome that’s easy to build. The tools used were simply sharp stones and a digging stick. It’s 2.5 m wide and 2 m tall. 8 lawyer cane strips were driven into the ground to form the ribs of the structure and hoops of cane were put over this to attach the grass to. Vine was used to tie the frame together and to tie handfuls of long grass to it. When the hut was almost finished a cap was made and lifted onto the top of the dome to finish it.

This hut is easy to build and houses a large volume. The shape is wind resistant and strong for it’s materials. Gaps can be seen in the thatch but not if viewing from directly underneath meaning that it should shed rain well. A fire should be possible in the hut as long as it’s small and kept in a pit in the center.The reason the hut took so long is due to the scarcity of grass on the hill. It could be built much quicker in a field.

Watch more Primitive Technology on this site, plus: Weaver Birds design and build intricate nests, Patrick Dougherty’s Stickwork, building a barn in one day, and how to make rope with grass.

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How bells are made at the Royal Eijsbouts bell foundry Wed, 13 Jul 2016 06:04:05 +0000 At the Royal Eijsbouts bell foundry in Asten, Netherlands, the art of bronze bell making or bellfounding is based on 1,000 year old techniques that include using sand and molten wax.

Watch craftsmen sculpt the inner and outer moulds, pour the liquid bronze, and then fine tune the bell sounds in this clip from Discovery’s How Do They Do It.

Related vids: Handbell ringers perform “Married Life” from Pixar’s UP and more casting, including 1200F molten aluminum poured into an anthill and a dad that teaches his daughter how to cast a ring from scrap pewter. ]]> 0
The Sunday Morning Breakfast Machine Wed, 13 Jul 2016 04:53:12 +0000 Behold the ‘Sunday Morning Breakfast Machine‘, a delightful Rube Goldberg-style contraption by inventor and retired airline pilot Peter Browne. Along with his friend Mervyn Huggett, Browne spent 1,000 hours over the course of three months on this machine, which makes tea, coffee, toast, a soft boiled egg, and provides the morning paper.

What would your Sunday Morning Breakfast Machine serve up? And how?

Next, watch: Joseph Herscher’s The Dresser and The Billows Feeding Machine, a 1936 clip from Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times.

via Treehugger. ]]> 0 FORMS IN NATURE: Understanding Our Universe Mon, 11 Jul 2016 13:32:34 +0000 In an animation that hearkens back to the work of illustrator Charley Harper, Chromosphere intertwines humanity’s scientific achievements with the wonders of the natural world: FORMS IN NATURE: Understanding Our Universe. From director and designer Kevin Dart:

The genesis of this idea is just a feeling of wonder that a lot of us remember from childhood visits to the science museum or from sitting in a classroom watching the space shuttle launch.

We wanted to make something that would evoke those same kind of feelings when you watched it — a sense of awe and inspiration at the beauty of our world as well as mankind’s incredible scientific achievements. There was also an idea I was thinking about for a long time about how science and nature can’t really be separated from each other: science is all based on observations of things in nature. So if you just look at the world around you, you can see the science in action everywhere.

Read about and see more of their animation process at Chromosphere also created work for Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, the 2014 science documentary series presented by Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Related watching: The Dot & the Line: A Romance in Lower Mathematics, Notes on a Triangle by René Jodoin, and lots of biomimicry videos.

via Laughing Squid.

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Gravitational Waves Explained Using Stick Figures Mon, 11 Jul 2016 12:55:09 +0000 How are gravitational waves made? In this episode of MinutePhysics, Henry Reich draws up a series of other wave creating scenarios — water waves, air pressure waves, and radio waves — to help explain gravitational waves and how we detect them. A bit of background from CalTech:

Gravitational waves are ‘ripples’ in the fabric of space-time caused by some of the most violent and energetic processes in the Universe. Albert Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves in 1916 in his general theory of relativity. Einstein’s mathematics showed that massive accelerating objects (such as neutron stars or black holes orbiting each other) would disrupt space-time in such a way that ‘waves’ of distorted space would radiate from the source (like the movement of waves away from a stone thrown into a pond). Furthermore, these ripples would travel at the speed of light through the Universe, carrying with them information about their cataclysmic origins, as well as invaluable clues to the nature of gravity itself.

The strongest gravitational waves are produced by catastrophic events such as colliding black holes, the collapse of stellar cores (supernovae), coalescing neutron stars or white dwarf stars, the slightly wobbly rotation of neutron stars that are not perfect spheres, and the remnants of gravitational radiation created by the birth of the Universe itself.

Related exploration: The award-winning Einstein@Home project.

For more, watch LIGO & The First Observation of Gravitational Waves. ]]> 0
Ambiguous Cylinder Illusion by Kokichi Sugihara Fri, 01 Jul 2016 06:50:31 +0000 Second place winner of the Best Illusion of the Year Contest 2016, this is the Ambiguous Cylinder Illusion by mathematics professor Kokichi Sugihara of Meiji University in Tokyo, Japan.

The direct views of the objects and their mirror images generate quite different interpretations of the 3D shapes. They look like vertical cylinders, but their sections appear to be different; in one view they appear to be rectangles, while in the other view they appear to be circles. We cannot correct our interpretations although we logically know that they come from the same objects. Even if the object is rotated in front of a viewer, it is difficult to understand the true shape of the object, and thus the illusion does not disappear.

Update and spoiler alert: Via Reddit, Make Anything tries to figure out the illusion by reverse engineering with a 3D printed shape.

And from the 2015 competition, Sugihara’s Ambiguous Garage Roof:

Sugihara’s work is well known for seeming impossible. Previously: his Impossible Motion Illusions and his Impossible Rooftop & Folding Ladder Illusions.

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Juno: Piercing Jupiter’s Clouds Thu, 30 Jun 2016 09:11:59 +0000 For the last five years, a spacecraft named Juno has traveled across 1.8 billion miles (2.8 billion kilometers) to arrive at the planet Jupiter. It will be a historic arrival that culminates in a critical sequence of events designed to insert Juno safely into Jupiter’s orbit. As JPL notes: “If the Jupiter Orbit Insertion burn fails to insert the spacecraft into orbit around Jupiter, there will be no science mission.” From The New York Times:

On July 4, as the main engine on the spacecraft fires, in the control room at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., there will be nothing to control, and all anyone there will be able to do is wait and watch.

If anything goes wrong, there is no way for anyone to intercede. The radio signals take 48 minutes to travel from Jupiter to Earth. By the time engineers receive word the engine firing has begun, the engine should have already switched off, with the spacecraft in orbit.

If the engine shuts off prematurely, Juno might still end up in orbit, albeit in the wrong orbit. If the engine fails, “we don’t end up in a very exciting spot…”

Why study Jupiter? When we learn more about Jupiter, we may have a better understanding of how planetary systems form. From Juno principal investigator Scott Bolton, via NYT:

What particularly piques scientists’ interest are the small amounts of heavier elements like lithium, carbon and nitrogen.

“Jupiter is enriched with these elements compared to the sun… We don’t know exactly how that happened. But we know it’s really important. And the reason it’s important is the stuff that Jupiter has more of is what we’re all made out of. It’s what the Earth is made out of. It is what life comes from.”

For context of our technological advancements, watch some Raw Footage of Jupiter from Voyager 1 from 1979. Plus: Take a 360 degree animated virtual tour of our Solar System from Crash Course. ]]> 0