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Eclipses Throughout Our Universe – Out There

An exercise in cosmic geometry. A reminder that we live on one sphere among many, all moving to the laws of Kepler, Newton and Einstein. The moon’s orbit around the Earth is slightly tilted, so the shadow of the new m...

The rise and fall of the Berlin Wall

On August 13, 1961, construction workers began tearing up streets and erecting barriers in Berlin. This night marked the beginning of one of history’s most infamous dividing lines: the Berlin Wall. Construction contin...

How to draw a floating / levitating cube

Amaze friends and family with your version of this anamorphic optical illusion: a floating/levitating cube. Though it may take some practice to get the proportions and shading right, this 3D quick trick tutorial by ar...

Why Is The Very Hungry Caterpillar So Dang Hungry?

Monarchs are ravenous for milkweed. California pipevine swallowtail caterpillars want lots of pipevine. Why are these very hungry caterpillars so hungry? “Caterpillars have to store up incredible reserves of prote...

How to watch a total or partial solar eclipse

On Monday, August 21st, 2017, sky gazers can witness a total or partial solar eclipse—weather-permitting and depending on their location on the planet—as it traverses North America. There's been a lot of excitement in...

Dominoes and Fire

This friction and flame-filled domino video incorporates a series of tiny fire tricks into the chain reactions with the help of some matches, rubber bands, candles, sparklers, and strings. It was also both screenlinke...

What counts as a mountain?

Mountains: super tall, rocky landforms that rise high above the surrounding environment, much higher than hills. We might draw one as a single peak like Mount Fuji, or as a zig zag line of peaks representing a mountai...

Humphry Davy’s Potassium Volcano

Humphry Davy is one of the best know men of science of the nineteenth century. He isolated nine different chemical elements, was the first person to inhale nitrous oxide and invented the miner's safety lamp known as t...

Jim Campbell on the genesis of Exploded Views at SFMOMA

Artist Jim Campbell describes the process behind his SFMOMA-commissioned work titled Exploded Views, a 2,880 LED installation in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art's atrium in November 2011. From the artist's site...

The Heart of Maker Faire, a community-inspired light installation

Within each of these jars, someone has written and enclosed a note about what is in their heart. The blinking lights, RGB LEDs that illuminate the sealed jars from below, are set to echo the heart rate of each note wr...

The LightLine of Gotham: 3D projection mapping in NYC

Light Lining is a 3D projection mapping technique that UK-based arts and tech studio Seeper has been showcasing around the globe. Some of their projects are interactive, while others, like th...

Control, No Control at Igloofest 2012

Control, No Control, an interactive light installation created by Iregular and shown at Igloofest 2012, an outdoor electronic music festival in Montréal during wintertime. Brrrr. via @itscol...

The ORBIS FLY kinetic light system at the Leningrad Center

On a grid of nearly-invisible wires, 1,089 LED-lit orbs become a massive kinetic chandelier at 10 meters (32.8 feet) high. Each orb changes its color and position according to its programming to compose fluid, angular...

In Orbit: Two people live in a giant hamster wheel

For ten days in a Pierogi Gallery space in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, artists Ward Shelley and Alex Schweder lived in “a giant hamster wheel,” a large installation called In Orbit. Fro...

Japanese garbage truck with a giant claw

Have a large, heavy item to remove? Here’s how they handle it in Japan! This 2011 video was filmed in Iwaki City (after the March 11 earthquake that year) by local volunteers helping to paint and clean up local...

Building Art Machines with LEGO Technic pieces

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 g...

The Problem Solver: Inventor Mike Kapp makes “invisible” things

Meet Mike Kapp, The Problem Solver, and an inventor of invisible clocks, automated cat doors, and machines that seem to write in the air. Anne Hollowday's short video series, The Makers of Th...

Ecosystem Engineers: How do beavers build dams?

How does one of nature's best ecosystem engineers go about revitalizing the landscapes around them? From PBS Nature, this is how North American beavers build dams. Related reading at Pawnation: Importance of Beavers ...

Design Ah! (デザインあ) introduces kids to design concepts

In 2011, Japan's NHK television network began broadcasting Design Ah!, a Peabody award-winning children's educational program that explores different types of creative thinking for viewers of all ages. With an "Ah" th...

The Writer, automata by Pierre Jaquet-Droz

Cambridge’s Professor Simon Schaffer presents The Writer, a 240-year-old, 6000 piece machine that was created by Swiss-born watchmaker Pierre Jaquet-Droz, his son Henri-Louis, and Jean-Frédéric Leschot around 1770-177...

The Amazing Shapes of Ammonites

Now extinct, ammonites are abundant, prehistoric sea molluscs that first appeared in the fossil record around 240 million years ago. The images of ammonites that we often see in museums and books are planispiral-shape...

BBC Knowledge Explainer: DNA

Director William Samuel and London-based studio Territory made this beautifully illustrated explainer of DNA for BBC Knowledge and Learning. Read more about their inspiration (hint!) and the B...

How did feathers evolve? – TED Ed

In this beautifully illustrated lesson from TED Ed, science writer and educator Carl Zimmer explains some answers to the question, How did feathers evolve? From his article in National Geographic: Most of us will n...

Emoji Science with Bill Nye the Science Guy

Have you ever found an idea in science to be confusing and said, "I wish I had some emoji around to help make this information more clear." Well, look no further because Bill Nye the Science Guy has teamed up with GE ...

Who was the first human? – It’s Okay to Be Smart

The question “Who was the first human?” was a very popular one in our house just last year, but the evolution videos we had in the archives – even the awesome – didn’t answer ...

The 12 Days of Evolution – It’s Okay to Be Smart

Joe Hanson of It's Okay To Be Smart celebrates the diversity of life with 12 days of videos dedicated to explaining evolution and natural selection. Above: What is evolution, anyway? From Berkeley’s Understanding ...

The San Francisco Fire Department’s Ladder Shop

In a windy city that has narrow streets and a lot of high voltage power lines, aluminum ladders may not be the best choice for fighting fires. Watch how ladder builder Jerry Lee makes and repairs antique-looking, hand...

Barrel Tiled Shed & Tiled Roof Hut – Primitive Technology

How do you create a fire and rain proof work shed when you only have what's available to you in an Australian forest? Primitive Technology takes on the challenge in this Barrel Tiled Shed video. Some details from his ...

The Japanese handmade paper of Kyoto Kurotani

Observing the craftsmanship in 18 workshops around Kyoto, Japan, filmmaker Kuroyanagi Takashi recorded how Japanese washi -- Ganpishi, Kozogami, Mitsumatagami -- is made, an 800 year old art. From JapanesePaperPlace.c...

World Championship Blacksmiths’ Competition Tong Making Class

Watch what it takes to make a pair of hot fitting tongs — used in horseshoeing — in the limit of 45 minutes at the 2011 World Championship Blacksmiths’ Competition. Watch more metalsmithing videos...

How It’s Made: Bike Chains

How bike chains are made, from the show How It’s Made. I can’t remember how we happened upon this video, but the kid loves it… all of those little shiny pieces so easily found in action out in the w...

Pliers – How It’s Made

Pliers! A How It’s Made minisode from the Science Channel.  There are, by the way, a crazy amount of videos about how things are made in the archives.

Handle, Boston Dynamics’ robot on wheels

Balancing on two legs with wheels for feet, Boston Dynamics' Handle robot looks a bit like it's rollerblading in a science fiction movie. Watch it roll down stairs, carry 45kg of stuff, and leap over hurdles. Yes, it ...

Walking Paper: Making a Paper Bi-ped Robot

It might not always be completely clear as to what’s going on in this 2012 vid, but the final result is awesome, so stick with it and maybe watch more than once. It’s titled Walking Paper.  There’s ...

Stanford’s µTug microrobots can pull a car

Watch six of Stanford's µTug (MicroTug) robots pulling an unmodified 3,900lb (1,800kg) car thanks to special directional adhesive "shoes" and "a very long, very slow, but very steady winching gate." The six microTugs ...

ScienceTake: The secrets of a sidewinder snake on a sandy slope

If you've ever run up a sandy hill, you know it can be tough to get up it quickly -- each foot sinking and sliding as you climb upward. Sidewinder snakes, however, can slither up hills rather efficiently, even in comp...

Festo Robot Animals: Penguins, jellyfish, rays, and more

Have you seen the robot AquaPenguin, from the Festo HQ team's Bionic Learning Network in Germany? It comes complete with glowing robot eyes! Other great videos to check out from Festo: AquaRay, AirRay, AirPenguin, ...

Boomer the Toy Dinosaur

Meet Boomer, an extraordinary little robot dinosaur by toy inventor NeverBen. Boomer is currently a toy prototype that's slated for production in 2014, and his personality-filled training video, above, has gone viral....

Great Ball Contraption (GBC) at Japan Brickfest 2016

Featured at Japan's Brickfest 2016, this Great Ball Contraption is made of 20 modules created by four designers: 3 modules from Finn, 2 from Toise, 1 from Y. Kuramata, and 14 modules from Akiyuki, who is famous for cr...

A-Trak & Tommy Trash’s Tuna Melt

Toast slices as dominoes? Yes, please. This domino-driven Rube Goldberg-esque video may not be all in one shot — and maybe some of it is helped with some digital post-production? I’m looking at you, parach...

Audri’s Rube Goldberg Monster Trap

My kid loved watching this kid and his Rube Goldberg monster trap machine. Audri is seven years old and has been making Rube Goldberg machines since he was five. He’s inspired by 

Pitagora Suitchi (Pythagora Switch) – Marble chain reaction

After watching NYT’s Brooklyn’s Rube Goldberg video, we went googling for Japanese versions and happened upon a bunch short films for the educational TV show, Pitagora Suitchi (Pythagora Switch).  Updat...

OK Go: This Too Shall Pass (2010)

Even if you’ve seen This Too Shall Pass, the 2010 instant classic from inventive band Ok Go, it’s a great video to watch again (and again). With the help of SyynLabs, director James Frost, and the suppor...

The Page Turner – Joseph Herscher

Joseph Herscher takes a sip of his coffee, pulling string thereby tipping paintings. Balls roll down paintings, lighting burner to boil water causing books to tip. Vase and computer get knocked off the table, relea...

Peel, Pucker, Pinch, or Puncture? Coffee Lids, Explored

Why are there so many variations on the design of the plastic coffee lid? How many different kinds have you seen or used? Architect and NYU professor Louise Harpman, with her business partner Scott Specht, have amasse...

Barn Owls: The Secret Saviors of Napa Valley’s Vineyards

Barn owls have long been one of the secrets to Napa Valley’s world-class wines. Rather than relying on chemicals and pesticides, winemakers work with owls—nature’s best pest control—to ensure that the best grapes make...

Shaggy Lawn Mowers – Paris’ Eco-Friendly Park Lawn Maintenance

Shaggy Lawn Mowers - Paris Tries an Eco-Friendly Way of Maintaining Park Lawns… the New York Times reports on a sustainable idea: Mayor Bertrand Delanoë has made the environment a priority since his election ...

Love Food Hate Waste – Solutions for reducing food waste

This video from UK-based Love Food Hate Waste, directed by Wes West, is one in a very useful educational series about how to reduce food waste in your home. Did you know that you could put a w...

How to fit 4 years of trash into a mason jar, a zero waste experiment

Recycling, carrying reusable bags and coffee cups, buying compostable or metal straws, investing in solar energy... these are just a few of the eco-focused habits that consumers have embraced in recent decades. How di...

Animals drinking water, captured by an underwater bucket cam

Who might you find drinking from a water bucket in the desert heat of southwest Texas? John Wells of The Field Lab, an experiment in sustainable off-the-grid living, found bees, birds, chickens, and other animal faces...

Fossil Sharks – The Brain Scoop

The Megalodon Shark and Helicoprion: two mysterious, extinct sharks that have left fossilized clues of their existence in the form of their teeth (and some vertebrae). Get a close look at the largest shark tooth and a...

Building a Volcano-bot | How She Works

Volcanologist Carolyn Parcheta builds and tests Volcano bots, sturdy and compact robots that can explore inside volcanoes. Her team is developing these two-wheeled explorers to learn more about how magma moves and how...

Dr Charlotte Uhlenbroek meets a family of mountain gorillas

Join Dr Charlotte Uhlenbroek as she treks into northwest Rwanda to meet a family of critically endangered mountain gorillas for the first time. This was filmed for the BBC nature documentary se...

Understanding tether dynamics through kite flying

For Hilary Costello's ongoing Ph.D. research, she can be found inside at a computer, coding and writing equations, and outside flying kites in the wide open spaces of Cambridge University. Her goal: "design an aerodyn...

Dietary Detective & Smithsonian Scientist Briana Pobiner

From the Smithsonian video archives, paleoanthropologist Briana Pobiner explains what it’s like to be a human evolution and fossil forensics expert who is focused on the history of meat-e...

The Story of Jane Goodall and Her Chimps (2010)

When Jane Goodall was a little girl in the 1930s, she was given a chimpanzee stuffed animal. A constant companion, it and the books she read (Dr. Dolittle and Tarzan novels) fueled her love for both chimps and the Afr...

And in case you missed it...

Yakko’s Nations of the World: An updated version

For anyone who watched cartoons in the early 1990s, Yakko's World from Steven Spielberg Presents: Animaniacs will be familiar. A memory-challenging list song, Yakko’s World inventories the nations of the world in a to...

The Bug Chicks: The anatomy of a slug

Take a closer look at a slug with entomologists and video educators, The Bug Chicks.

Fly over a herd of reindeer near Kautokeino, Norway

Fly over a herd of reindeer near Kautokeino, Norway, and watch how the patterns of reindeer (and people) shift around in the snow. This footage was shot by Norwegian photographer Jan Helmer Ols...

Great Ball Contraption (GBC) at Japan Brickfest 2016

Featured at Japan's Brickfest 2016, this Great Ball Contraption is made of 20 modules created by four designers: 3 modules from Finn, 2 from Toise, 1 from Y. Kuramata, and 14 modules from Akiyuki, who is famous for cr...

How small are we in the scale of the universe?

In 1995, scientists pointed the Hubble Telescope at an area of the sky near the Big Dipper. The location was apparently empty, and the whole endeavor was risky – what, if anything, was going to show up? But what came ...

Tour the Galápagos Islands’ new marine sanctuary

Spend two and a half minutes with the creatures flourishing in Ecuador's new Galápagos Islands marine sanctuary thanks to this footage filmed by National Geographic's Pristine Seas team. The Belgium-sized conservation...

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