Topic: how things work

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The stoplight loosejaw, the marlin, & Extreme Life of the Sea

Challenging environments can help create some of the most marvelous evolutionary solutions. Two examples: The stoplight loosejaw and the marlin. The Stoplight Loosejaw is a small, deep sea dragonfish that has an "i...

Longhorn ‘Crazy Ants’ work erratically/cooperatively to carry loads

You never know where the inspiration to learn might come from. Take, for example, cat food pieces that appeared to "float" away from a cat's bowl... When scientist Ehud Fonio saw that longhorn 'crazy ants' -- know...

How New York City’s subway technologies are being modernized

"People know that the system is old, but I don't think they realize just how old it is... in our system, it's not just the architecture that's 100 years old. It's a lot of the basic technology, as well. The infrastruc...

Epic Catapulting Locust In Slow Motion – Earth Unplugged

Locusts are powerful jumpers. The jumps may not be as controlled as a praying mantis or a leaproach, but a locust's ability to jump 10x its own body length is more about putting distance in between them and any predat...

Surprising Applications of the Magnus Effect – Veritasium

When you drop a basketball from a great height, in this case, 415 feet (126.5 m) off of Tasmania's Gordon Dam, the basketball will generally fall down into the area below where it was dropped. But what happens when yo...

Explore the Science Behind Fireworks—and the Galaxy

When you watch fireworks burst with color, you're seeing examples of how stars and galaxies work: Blues from copper, yellows from sodium, bright whites from aluminum, barium greens, and reds made from strontium... The...

Resonance, forced vibration, and a tuning forks demo

A U-shaped fork of steel first invented in 1711 by trumpet player John Shore, the tuning fork is a tool produces a specific note that helps musicians keep their instruments in tune. They also are a great conversation ...

Why do we sleep and how do different animals sleep?

Why sleep is such an important part of our lives? ...and on a related note, why is bedtime so important? Based on what our bodies (and other animal bodies) accomplish while sleeping, there are a few leading theories a...

Exploding plants disperse their seeds with high pressure bursts

Violets, poisonous squirting cucumbers, and touch-me-nots or Impatiens capensis (not to be confused with these touch-me-nots) have an effective way of dispersing their seeds: They burst! The forceful ejection sends th...

How Do Greenhouse Gases Actually Work?

The Earth and the Moon are essentially the same distance from the sun, yet the two rocks have very different surfaces thanks to our Earth's atmosphere. It shields us during the day, and at night, it traps enough heat ...

How do batteries work?

If you've ever used a flashlight, or changed the channel with a remote control, if you've ever recharged your electric car, or if you're reading this on a smart device, then you know how useful batteries can be. But h...

Explore wastewater treatment with LeVar Burton & Reading Rainbow

How do we use technology to turn human waste into water that we can drink? This Reading Rainbow field trip is an excellent introduction to how we use bacteria, solar power, oxygen, gravity, chlorine, and more to reuse...

Anodizing Titanium – “The Rainbow Metal”

Titanium is nicknamed "The Rainbow Metal" in some jeweler circles because it can be anodized in an electrolyte solution to produce a variety of colors. The colors are created by passing electricity through it to produ...

How To Stop Yourself Being Ticklish – with Dr Emily Grossman

Why do we feel ticklish? Why does it make us laugh? It’s hard to pin down a scientific definition – or explanation – of tickling. It’s a complex phenomenon, involving a range of sensory and neurological elements, whic...

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 ...

The Four Spheres (Geo, Bio, Hydro, & Atmo) with Crash Course Kids

The ground or geo-sphere, water or hydro-sphere, air or atmo-sphere, and life or bio-sphere: Earth and everything on it can be organized into these four distinct yet interconnected subsystems. Knowing more about each ...

The science of static electricity – TED Ed

What is static electricity? Why do we get a tiny spark when we've walked across a carpet and touched a doorknob? Or have you ever pet a cat and then picked up something metal, like a spoon to stir up cat food? Zap! (A...

Stanford’s MicroTug robot can pull 2,000x its weight on glass

Inspired by the incredible sticking power in ant feet and gecko toes, researchers at Stanford's Biomimetics and Dextrous Manipulation Lab have developed directional adhesives that help this 12-gram µTug (MicroTug) rob...

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