Topic: air

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An unexpected way to inflate a balloon – Numberphile

The kamifusen is a traditional Japanese paper (kami) balloon (fusen) toy that became popular in the 1890s and can still be found in a variety of designs or decorated as spherical koi, pufferfish, penguins, monkeys, ra...

Hand cranked mechanical singing birds by Bliss Kolb

This hand-cranked mechanical bird sings from a small leather bellows that whistles in two notes. A cam presses a lever that changes the pitch while other cams pull on strings that animate the bird's six movements as i...

How I made a lil “Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Flailing Tube Man”

It's fun to see those attention-getting inflatable tube men that are wildly waving their arms in front of stores, car dealers, and even as scarecrows in farm fields. How fun would it be to have one dancing on your des...

Demonstrations of the Coanda Effect

Fluids flowing near a surface tend to follow the shape of the surface. Using Schlieren optics, we can see this behavior. It is known as the Coanda Effect and its explanation depends on viscosity, the frictional forces...

How Ingenious Animals Have Engineered Air Conditioning

Termites, prairie dogs, and people are all great builders, each in their own way. We all share one crucial problem: Put a bunch of us in a closed space, breathing oxygen in, breathing CO2 out... it doesn't end well. ...

How Do Pelicans Survive Their Death-Defying Dives?

Unlike American White Pelicans, who scoop up fish at the water's surface, California’s brown pelicans rocket down from the sky, plunging toward the ocean from as high as 65 feet. This episode of Deep Look explains how...

Oxygen’s surprisingly complex journey through your body

Oxygen forms about 21% of the air around us. In your body, oxygen forms a vital role in the production of energy in most cells. But if gases can only efficiently diffuse across tiny distances, how does oxygen reach th...

A tiny balloon-powered organ made from paper & cardboard

With the exception of a piece of plastic that allows a peek at its inner workings, and a large balloon that provides required wind through its pipes, this tiny pipe organ is made out of paper and cardboard. It was des...

The 1,000 year old windmills of Nashtifan

In the small village of Nashtifan, Iran, some of the oldest windmills in the world, with what may be the earliest windmill design in the world, still spin. From National Geographic: Made of natural clay, straw, an...

A life-size T-Rex dinosaur made of balloons

This life-size Tyrannosaurus Rex dinosaur is made from 1,400 balloons. Created by award-winning pro balloon 'sculptor' Mark Verge, it's a recreation of his first place dinosaur at the 2007 World Balloon Championship, ...

Cannon cloud collisions for Art & Inactivism

Two clouds rush toward each other and collide before dissipating in this installation by Mitchell F. Chan. Titled Something Something National Conversation (In 2 Characters Or Less), the crashing forms of water vapor ...

The 3-million-year old Ningwu ice cave never thaws

White stalactites hang down from every surface, and the walls and floors are glazed with thick ice. The Ningwu ice cave, also referred to as Wannian Ice Cave in Ningwu County, China, is a unique phenomenon: The subter...

Science Extras from Jiwi’s (Rube Goldberg) Machines

A YouTube series that hearkens back to characters and situations from old silent films, Jiwi's Machines mixes a love for Rube Goldberg Machines with an ode to comedy greats like Charlie Chaplin or Buster Keaton. T...

What happens when you put marshmallows in a vacuum?

Thanks to this hand pump vacuum sealer demo, we can see how these four fluffy marshmallows will react when the air is pumped out of their clear container. Poof, poof, poof! What's going on here? From Physics.org: ...

The origin of the dancing inflatable tube man

Where did those dancing inflatable men, called AirDancers or "tall boys", originally come from? Trinidadian Carnival artist Peter Minshall created these long-armed, long-legged, exuberant dancers -- plastic, body-shap...

Tiny engines made with paper

Behold engineer Aliaksei Zholner's working V8 engine, made entirely with paper (and he notes, "some scotch tape on valves to eliminate friction"). At 32 x 24 x 27 mm, it is tiny, as is this paper throttle: Zho...

Annotated time lapse assembly of a wind turbine

From excavation to operation, it takes three weeks to install a wind turbine. Watch it happen in under six minutes in this wind turbine promo video from MidAmerican Energy, filled with facts layered on time lapse foot...

How a Space Suit Works – with Helen Sharman

Chemist Helen Sharman was the first British astronaut in space, and as a part of Project Juno in 1991, was the first woman to visit the Mir space station. In the video above, Sharman gives us a mini-tour of the space ...

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