Topic: how things work

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Why are we so attached to our things? – TED Ed

After witnessing the “violent rage” shown by babies whenever deprived of an item they considered their own, Jean Piaget – a founding father of child psychology – observed something profound about human nature: Our sen...

Walt Disney explains his studio’s multiplane camera technology

The multiplane camera, invented in 1937 for Walt Disney Studios by William Garity, was an incredible piece of technology that helped create the illusion of depth in animated motion pictures. Filmed in 1957, the multip...

How high can you count on your fingers?

How high can you count on your fingers? It seems like a question with an obvious answer. After all, most of us have ten fingers -- or to be more precise, eight fingers and two thumbs. This gives us a total of ten digi...

A Journey To The Bottom Of The Internet

The internet is powered by over 300 heavy duty underwater cables that carry 99% of all international data from continent to continent to right at your fingertips almost instantaneously. In this episode of Nat & Lo, Na...

Entropy and the Arrow of Time

As we experience it, time flows in a single direction. This is what we think of as the arrow of time, which stretches from the big bang to the present, and off into the future. But our experience of time doesn’t ma...

Can you power your home with a bicycle?

Could you power your house with the energy that's created from pedaling a bicycle? First, let's find out how much energy a house uses and how much energy one bicycling person can store in a battery. Skunk Bear's A...

Feynman’s Building Blocks of Thermodynamics

Thermodynamics — 'thermo' meaning heat and 'dynamics' referring to work —is the branch of physics that focuses on the relationship between heat and other kinds of energy. This video from The Royal Institution introduc...

Can Bird Poop Make Clouds?

How does bird poop potentially help to keep our climate just a wee bit cooler? In this episode of Gross Science, Anna Rothschild helps connect tens of millions of seabirds in the Arctic to 40,000 metric tons of ammoni...

What’s the fastest way to alphabetize your bookshelf?

You work at the college library. You’re in the middle of a quiet afternoon when suddenly, a shipment of 1,280 books arrives. The books are in a straight line, but they're all out of order, and the automatic sorting sy...

How zip codes helped organize America

The 'zip' in zip code stands for The Zone Improvement Plan, an address code system that was invented in 1963 to help the United States Postal Service (USPS) deliver the increasing amount of mail being sent around the ...

(Skate)ology & The Science of Skateboarding: Grinding

Kick flips, nose grinds, backside board slides... (Skate)ology! Examine gravity, friction, momentum, and other physics concepts thanks to skateboarding demos by pro skaters Boo Johnson, Dane Vaughn, Marquise Henry, Ri...

A Formula One Pit Stop Explained

Have you seen the video of Ferrari’s F1 pit crew doing a pit stop in around two seconds? Even after watching it multiple times, it can be a challenge to understand how a team of nearly 20 people can work so quickly an...

Toothpaste – Ingredients With George Zaidan

Cultures throughout history have tried a variety of things to clean their teeth... Egyptians and Babylonians brushed with twigs around 3500-3000 BC. In 5000 BC, a recipe of ox hooves, eggshells, myrrh, and pumice woul...

How to Design a Particle Accelerator

What is a particle accelerator and how would you go about designing one? We've heard of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, but what of the tens of thousands of other accelerators being used in science and medicine? ...

Slingshots of the Oceanic

There are many ways of moving through the Universe – of traveling from one point to another over great, even extraordinary distances. There is also a way of using the world for your own ends: taking advantage of slope...

What Really Causes Sunburns?

Why does your skin turn red and peel when you get a sunburn? In this episode of Gross Science, Anna Rothschild explains what's going on in our skin when it burns from sun exposure.

The Magic Roundabout in Swindon, England

Five small roundabouts placed around one large one... this is Swindon's Magic Roundabout and it's been going strong since it was built in 1972. Wired explains how this multi-directional traffic circle works. Tom Sc...

How Old Is Your Body, Really?

Have you ever heard the statement that the cells in your body are completely replaced every seven years? Is this true? In this beautifully illustrated episode of Skunk Bear, NPR's Adam Cole explores how long our diffe...

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