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, 01 Sep 2015 00:33:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Up close with a Carolina Wren as it feeds its nesting baby birds Mon, 31 Aug 2015 18:42:01 +0000 Watch and listen as a Carolina Wren feeds its hungry baby birds. We’re up close and in HD with Front Yard Video. Can you identify what the babies are eating?

According to and, Carolina wrens breed between March and October. Both parents bring insects (caterpillars, beetles, grasshoppers, crickets, snails, and even spiders) to their nestlings for 12-14 days after the eggs hatch, and for a few weeks after they leave the nest. Berries and seeds can also be on the menu. Mom and Dad often sing in duet.

Watch this next: A mother blackbird feeds brand new baby birds in their nest. Also fun: The Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Bird Song Hero. ]]> 0
Oregon’s Lost Lake drains down a lava tube every spring Mon, 31 Aug 2015 18:30:41 +0000 Every spring in Oregon’s Willamette National Forest, Lost Lake begins to drain down naturally occurring lava tubes. A six foot wide lava tube hole was featured in this 2015 video from The Bulletin, which notes, “The water is most likely seeping into the subsurface below and refilling the massive aquifer that feeds springs on both sides of the Cascades.” MentalFloss explains a bit more:

Lava tubes are a common feature of Oregon’s geology. They form after a volcanic eruption, when flowing lava cools and hardens near the surface while hotter lava continues to flow down below, carving a path as it goes. Occasionally, one of these tunnels will even break through to the surface, as in the case of Lost Lake.

Western Oregon’s rainy months—beginning in the fall—yield such a massive amount of precipitation that the basin fills in at a faster rate than the tube can drain it, and the lake reappears. It freezes over in the winter months, followed by a spring thaw that leads into summer when dry weather results in a (sometimes muddy) meadow. Then the cycle begins again.

Jude McHugh, a spokeswoman for the Willamette National Forest, says it’s hard to predict when the annual drain will occur. While the video makes it seem like a single, continuous flow akin to water in a bathtub, it’s actually a much more gradual process with ebbs and flows that vary from year to year.

Here’s another Lost Lake drain video from September 2010:

Related reading at Lava tubes and caving.

Watch this next: The Basics of Freshwater + Water, Water, Everywhere? ]]> 0
Surfing the ‘World’s Heaviest Waves’ – Teahupo’o, Tahiti by drone Mon, 31 Aug 2015 17:34:02 +0000 Watch top surfers ride the French Polynesian waves just off the coast of Tahiti‘s Teahupo’o, reportedly pronounced ‘cho-po’ by surfers and ‘tear-hoo-poh-oh’ by locals. With massive swells, heavy boat traffic, and sharp coral reefs below, the legendary surf spot, home to the Billabong Pro: Tahiti, is recommended for surf professionals, but we get to see the ocean rise up to form the ‘world’s heaviest waves’ via this drone video by Brent Bielmann and Eric Sterman for Surfing Magazine. Song: Brigitte Fontaine - Le Gougron.

Teahupo’o is unique for a number of reasons, one of which is the way the archipelago formed. Via

…when we look at Teahupoo, the waves are surprisingly clean. This is because there are several channels within the reef those shoots out water from the shore back into the deeper ocean… These channels in the reef are caused by the geology of the mountains of Teahupoo. Coral can only grow with a certain salinity (salt content). So when the fresh rain water gets sent down the mountains of Tahiti, it does so with a finger-like pattern. Creating a perfect set of channels in the reef to make Teahupoo’s waves nice and smooth.

Where the channels are, the waves are much more gradual. This is why when we look at videos of Teahupoo, people can park their boats, jet-skis in this safe-zone. Where there is no reef, there is no wave. The channels also create a very fast current, which means that surfers must get towed out.

Watch these next: Surfboard-mounted camera – Anthony Walsh Indo surf sessions and Taj Burrow’s Fiji Vignette.

via booooooom. ]]> 0 The jazz of a helium ball & charcoal – Karina Smigla-Bobinski’s ADA Fri, 28 Aug 2015 07:30:59 +0000 A transparent plastic ball filled with helium floats in an all white room. Attached are 300 charcoal sticks that make the ball look a bit like a flu germ, a “a post-industrial creature” that awaits interaction with an enthusiastic, hands-on audience. This is artist Karina Smigla-Bobinski‘s ADA, a toy-like kinetic sculpture that leaves black marks wherever it makes contact on walls, ceilings, floors, hands, etc… And though people try to control where it touches and how it spins, its lines are often independent and unpredictable.

Smigla-Bobinski has exhibited this “post-digital drawing machine” around the world, including Brazil, Namibia, Poland, Russia, Slovenia, the UK, and the USA, as shown in the video above. The name ‘ADA’ references English mathematician Ada Lovelace, the first computer programmer.

For more, check out a 360º view of an ADA installation space, and see how ADA’s charcoal spikes are attached by hand:

Enjoy more favorite installations, including Obliteration Room, Tape Paris, Motoi Yamamoto’s intricate, temporary salt installations, and Beam Drop Inhotim.

]]> 0
A vortex of bubbles twirls pufferfish as cold & warm waters collide Fri, 28 Aug 2015 05:37:37 +0000 A vortex of bubbles forms like a lasso in the waters off the coast of Socorro Island, where cold California currents collide with warm equatorial waters. It’s a seasonal phenomenon in Mexico’s “little Galápagos”, approximately 240 miles (390 kilometers) southwest of Cabo San Lucas, and it’s fascinating to watch. Bonus: the twirling bubbles spin a few pufferfish. Watch them try to escape the swirling vortex with their tiny fins in this clip from The Smithsonian Channel’s Secrets of Shark Island.

Then watch more videos in Mexico, more island videos, and more vortex videos, including how to make a Crazy Pool Vortex, giant wingtip vortices in the fog as an airplane lands, and the physics of why birds fly in V-formation.

]]> 0
3D printing with 1900F molten glass – G3DP at MIT Wed, 26 Aug 2015 17:10:40 +0000 Optically transparent glass printing. A brand new glass 3D printing process called G3DP has been developed through the teamwork of the Mediated Matter group at the MIT Media Lab, MIT’s Mechanical Engineering Department, the MIT Glass Lab and the Wyss Institute. From the project site:

The platform is based on a dual heated chamber concept. The upper chamber acts as a Kiln Cartridge while the lower chamber serves to anneal the structures. The Kiln Cartridge operates at approximately 1900°F and can contain sufficient material to build a single architectural component. The molten material gets funneled through an alumina-zircon-silica nozzle. The project synthesizes modern technologies, with age-old established glass tools and technologies producing novel glass structures with numerous potential applications.


Read more at ArchDaily and at

Watch more videos: Glas, Bert Haanstra‘s Oscar winning documentary short film, tour a state-of-the-art glass factory, and more 3D printing, including 3D printing dinosaurs.

via @thephysicsgirl. ]]> 0 How to Make a Cloud in Your Mouth – Physics Girl Wed, 26 Aug 2015 06:25:56 +0000 To make a cloud in your mouth — yes, this is a very cool trick that actually works with practice — you’ll need to make tiny water droplets in your mouth. Then up the pressure. Physics Girl Dianna Cowern demonstrates both steps in this How to Make a Cloud in Your Mouth video.

And after you’ve watched that, here’s that Bearded Science Guy Instant Cloud in a Bottle video that she features.

Watch these next: Kari Byron makes a cloud in a bottle, which includes a slightly easier version of the experiment, how to build your own particle detector, and how to identify clouds.

via @aatishb.

]]> 0
Buffalo buffalo buffalo! One-word sentences & how they work Wed, 26 Aug 2015 04:54:24 +0000 How exactly does ‘Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo’ make any sense as communication? Repeating the word eight times may sound nonsensical and maze-like, but this TED Ed by Emma Bryce explains how the noun (a bison), the city (Buffalo, New York), and a verb (to buffalo or intimidate) come together to make a grammatically correct sentence.

Watch One-word sentences and how they work, then enjoy this partial list of linguistic example sentences.

Next: Making Sense of Spelling. ]]> 0
Fruit & Yogurt Breakfast Popsicles – From the Test Kitchen Tue, 25 Aug 2015 07:20:58 +0000 Mixed berry yogurt popsicles that are drizzled with honey and rolled in granola? Tropical fruit yogurt popsicles with toasted coconut? Apricot-Pistachio Parfait Pops? Greg Lofts of Everyday Food‘s From the Test Kitchen shows how easy it is to make these delicious and healthy fruit and Greek yogurt breakfast popsicles, perfect for all ages.

Enjoy more cold treats: Strawberry Rhubarb Sorbet in ice bowls, Sick Science! Homemade ice cream, and how to make homemade pickles.

]]> 0
Why Warm Blood is Better Than Cold – Rise of the Mammals Tue, 25 Aug 2015 06:30:35 +0000 What does a tiny Hadrocodium wui fossil tell us about the evolutionary advantages that mammals were developing before the Cretaceous–Paleogene mass extinction event that finished off the dinosaurs 65 million years ago? Let an animated mammal skeleton, a lizard, and a puppy help David Attenborough demonstrate. From Rise of the Mammals, Triumph of the Vertabrates, this is Why Warm Blood is Better Than Cold.

Additional reading from Live Science about a landmark 2007 study:

The study reveals two major spikes in the otherwise steady evolution of modern mammals, both of which appear to be independent of the dino wipe-out.

One occurred around 93 million years ago, when the major divisions of living mammals—placentals, marsupials and monotremes, such as the platypus—began to appear. Most of these mammals—such as Andrewsarchus, an aggressive wolf-like cow—belonged to lineages that are either extinct or have dwindled drastically in numbers.

“It was other groups of mammals, not those we see today, that took advantage of the extinction of the dinosaurs,” said study team member Robin Beck of the University of New South Wales.

The second evolutionary spike in modern mammalian history didn’t occur until about 10 to 15 million years after the dinosaurs’ demise, around the start of the Eocene era (about 55 to 34 million years ago), the researchers say. This was the mammalian Golden Age, when the preponderance of mammals, especially the ancestors of many groups alive today—such as primates, rodents and hoofed animals—really took off, according to the new study.

Watch these next: How did feathers evolve? Why do dogs bark? and Who was the first human?

]]> 0
Trumpet Party Tue, 25 Aug 2015 04:21:14 +0000 This cute animation by Justin Lawes is short, simple, super playful, and showcases an entirely new way to play an animated trumpet. Trumpet Party!

Videos in the archives: Louis Armstrong on trumpet, a trumpet played for an elephant shrew, and an easy DIY mouth trumpet, as demonstrated by the Mills Brothers in 1934.

via Ice Cream Hater. ]]> 0 Time lapse summer lawn daisies grow, get cut, & regrow Mon, 24 Aug 2015 18:37:22 +0000 Watch as new lawn daisies wiggle and push toward the sky past the previously cut stems in this video from photographer and nature time lapse YouTuber Neil Bromhall. In these two rounds of summer daisy growth, we catch just a glimpse of how tenacious nature is.

Plant + time lapse! Watch more videos from Neil Bromhall on this site: From seed to sapling – Time lapse of an oak tree, Seed germination to growth time lapses, and Fly Agaric (Amanita muscaria) – A time lapse of growth.

via MentalFloss.

]]> 0
The Unlikely Tale of a Tenacious Snail – Science Friday Mon, 24 Aug 2015 17:14:00 +0000 Not seen or collected for science since 1933, the oblong rocksnail of Alabama’s Cahaba River was declared extinct in 2000. In 2011, biology grad student Nathan Whelan took a second look at a tiny rock he had picked up from the river…

This is The Unlikely Tale of a Tenacious Snail, a Science Friday report about this tiny lazarus species, and some of the conservation and restoration efforts being led by the Alabama Aquatic Biodiversity Center to preserve the biodiversity found in the rivers of the American south.

Alabama’s ten river basins have a variety of unique animals, including 13 snail species not found anywhere else on the planet. From wikipedia:

The waters of the Cahaba are home to more than 131 species of freshwater fishes (18 of which have been found in no other river system), 40 species of mussels, and 35 species of snails. The river has more fish species than can be found in all bodies of water in California. Sixty-nine of these animal species are endangered…

Due to damming for hydropower, pollution, transportation, and erosion, it has suffered losses of species. Almost a quarter of the original documented mussel species in the Cahaba have disappeared with similar trends in the fish and snail numbers… These species feed other aquatic dwelling animals, improve water quality by eating algae, and even indicate environmental issues due to their receptiveness of pollution.

And a bit more on why are mollusks important:

Mollusks act as Mother Nature’s vacuum cleaner by filtering water through their bodies. In the most basic terms, they are filter feeders who suck in water and pull out bacteria and suspended solids. A small mussel can filter over 12 gallons of water per day. In healthy ecosystems throughout the Southeast, freshwater mollusks historically numbered in the hundreds of millions.

Watch more videos with biodiversity, mollusks, and Science Friday.

]]> 0
For sea otters, lounging around is the key to conserving energy Mon, 24 Aug 2015 14:30:20 +0000 Sea otters are not only known for being adorable, but also for a lack of blubber to help keep them warm. Because they live in water that’s far too cold for their bodies, sea otters not only rely on their super fantastic fur for insulation, but they also need to conserve their energy for hunting and eating one quarter of their body weight in sea food each day. Enjoy this clip from off the coast of California’s Monterey Bay in episode 1 of Big Blue Live from the BBC.

Watch this next: Deep Look’s The Fantastic Fur of Sea Otters.

via @jtotheizzoe. ]]> 0 Three quirky sleight of hand illusions by Richard Wiseman Mon, 24 Aug 2015 06:24:31 +0000 From former magician/current author and British psychologist Richard Wiseman, watch Assumptions, a 2012 short promotional video from his psychology-based Quirkology YouTube channel. Below, enjoy The Tube of Mystery and The Ball:

Next, watch optical illusion videos and videos about perception, including the impossible motion illusions by Kokichi Sugihara.

Thanks, Shonali.

]]> 0