Topic: culture

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Painting dragons with a single twisting brush stroke

Kyoto-based artist Keisuke Teshima paints dragon bodies with a single twisting pull of a sumi-e style brush across the paper. A smaller brush and some airbrushing and splatter techniques create the head and surroundin...

In Search of Forgotten Colours – Sachio Yoshioka and the Art of Natural Dyeing

Sachio Yoshioka is the fifth-generation head of the Somenotsukasa Yoshioka dye workshop in Fushimi, southern Kyoto. When he succeeded to the family business in 1988, he abandoned the use of synthetic colours in favour...

The untold history of ironworking in central & west Africa

In the lush forests of modern-day Central African Republic, sometime between 1800 and 1500 BC, craftsmen are believed to have discovered iron. New evidence indicates that ironworking began in the heart of Africa. ...

Kapa Haka, a traditional Māori art form

“We perform haka as an expression of pride,” says Karl Johnstone. Kapa haka, a traditional Māori posture dance, “was about not only intimidating the opponents, but it was about how do we actually prevent degenerating ...

Plastics 101: What is plastic and how is it made?

Once a completely natural product, much of today's plastic is man-made and largely dependent upon fossil fuels. From polymers to nurdles, learn how plastic is created and what we can do to slow the lasting repercussio...

Introducing the Dial Telephone, films from 1936 & 1954

Have you ever heard a dial tone or a busy signal? How did we call someone before speed dial and push-button telephones, but after people stopped needing to speak with a switchboard operator? Behold the rotary dial: ...

What Can You Actually Do About Climate Change?

The average carbon footprint of a person in the US is 16.5 tons –TONS. So, what can you actually do decrease this number and make a meaningful difference? Miriam Nielsen itemizes how our individual choices can hav...

Meet the robot workers at Amazon

In this facility in Boston, Massachusetts, small orange Amazon robots are built, tested, and autonomously driven onto shipping pallets for transport to Amazon fulfillment centers around the country. It's a 'nursery' f...

Elizabeth Magie and the history of the board game Monopoly

In Monopoly, you try to buy land, build properties, and get rich while bankrupting your opponents. It's a classic American game with many popular versions... including an original version that was created to teach peo...

The precision and serendipity of Ebru (paper marbling)

Watch ebru artist Alparslan Babaoğlu as he floats bright blue and yellow flowers on the surface of water and then transfers the piece to paper. The Turkish artist spends nine peaceful minutes shaping leaves and petals...

Why do we confuse weather and climate?

Weather and climate are not the same things, yet we might get confused between the two. What is weather and what is climate? And how is climate like the game Plinko? In this episode of PBS Digital Studio's Hot Mes...

Mapping whale songs in the South Pacific

Why do male whales make such complex songs? And what are they communicating? Dr. Ellen Garland has been analyzing sound arrangements made by the tens of thousands of whales living in separate communities across the So...

How long have we known about climate change?

What is climate change, how long have we known about it, what will its effects be, and what can we do to help solve it? Hot Mess is a new PBS Digital Studios YouTube series from hosts Miriam Nielsen, Talia Buford, and...

How to Make 29 Handmade Pasta Shapes With 4 Types of Dough

How are different kinds of pasta shapes made? In this epic 27-minute Bon Appétit video, Eataly Flatiron's pastaio Luca D'Onofrio demonstrates how to make 29 handmade pasta shapes with four types of dough: Semolina pas...

My Father’s Tools and the indigenous art of basket weaving

From finding a bendable Black Ash tree in the forest—"He chooses the specific log based on soil, smell, and even the sound of the tree when you bang on it."—to chopping, preparing, and refining it for weaving, Stephen...

The discovery of King Tut and what we’ve learned from his tomb

Ever wonder how Egyptian royalty lived 3,000 years ago? In 1922, British archaeologist Howard Carter’s discovery of an intact tomb revealed a wealth of artifacts and information that turned King Tut into a household n...

How do birds learn to sing?

A brown thrasher knows a thousand songs. A wood thrush can sing two pitches at once. A mockingbird can match the sounds around it — including car alarms. These are just a few of the 4,000 species of songbirds. How do ...

The rise and fall of the Inca empire

It was the western hemisphere's largest empire ever, with a population of nearly 10 million subjects. Yet within 100 years of its rise in the fifteenth century, the Inca Empire would be no more. What happened? With...

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