Tag: how things work

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Where Does New York City’s Trash Go?

We recently got a glimpse of the work inside of one of the largest sanitation departments in the world, but this The New York Times report on NYC's trash is much more in depth: If you're going to have this many pe...

Why do leaves change color?

The arrival of autumn is a great reason to talk about chemistry: When tree leaves change from green to reds, oranges, yellows, and browns, we're seeing the tree's green chlorophyll fade away, revealing hidden autumnal...

NOVA PBS: Immunity and Vaccines Explained

Why do we get shots when visiting the doctor? How do vaccines work with our immune systems to keep us from getting sick? From NOVA PBS: Immunity and Vaccines Explained. Our bodies are bombarded by bacteria and ...

Shake Your Silk-Maker: The Dance of the Peacock Spider

When a peacock spider dances, how do we know that it's a really, really good dancer? From their colorful, iridescent body displays, to their wide variety of dance moves, to the different rhythms that they "sing" while...

Sesame Street: Lupita Nyong’o Loves Her Skin

Ticklish, smooth, rough, elastic, protective, full of nerve endings to feel different textures and energies, and it comes in so many beautiful shades and colors... Elmo and his good friend Lupita Nyong’o talk about sk...

Laniakea: Our home supercluster

Our home planet, Earth, circles the sun. The sun, our star, is but one of billions of stars in the Milky Way, our home galaxy... and beyond that? Where on the map of the cosmos is the Milky Way? For the first time, we...

Paper’s Passage: From Waste to Product by NYC Sanitation

Made from 5,902 photos by NYC Sanitation's Director of Photography Michael Anton, Paper’s Passage: From Waste to Product shows us where paper and cardboard waste goes after the New York City recycling trucks drive awa...

Circuit Playground: F is for Frequency

Who better than a talking oscilloscope to explain what frequency is and why it's so important for radio and sound waves! Come learn with ADABOT in this episode of Circuit Playground: F is for Frequency.

Feedback loops: How nature gets its rhythms

A grasshopper eats grass, a rat can eat the grasshopper, a snake may eat the rat, and a hawk will eat the snake. When these food chains interweave, they create a food web. Plants and animals (including humans) live, e...

Minute Physics: Why are Stars Star-Shaped?

If we know that stars are massive spheres of hot gases, then why do we draw them with lots of twinkly points? Why doesn't "star-shaped" mean a round shape? The answer: We see stars as pointy (and so does the Hubble Sp...

Cherry harvesting with a hydraulic tree shaker

What happens when farmers use a shaking machine to "pick" cherries from a cherry tree? This! Watch as these two machines -- a hydraulic tree shaker calibrated to just the right amount of cherry tree-specific vibration...

The Curiosity Show: How does a music box work?

In this clip from Australia's The Curiosity Show, science educator and co-host Deane Hutton demonstrates the basics of sound, moving air particles, and forced vibrations with a plastic comb, hacksaw blades, the metal ...

The Chemistry of Rockets: How do rockets work?

How are controlled explosions made just right so that they'll generate the kind of thrust that sends a rocket up, up, up and beyond our atmosphere? Analytical Chemist Raychelle Burks, Ph.D., explains how solid and...

Male Blue Manakins wait in line to impress a female

Taking turns with other suitors, male Blue Manakins seem to wait in a relatively polite line before briefly but repeatedly trying to impress their potential mate. Almost blending into the trees with her green feath...

TED Ed: How playing an instrument benefits your brain

Your brain is a muscle. When you give it more challenging exercises, you're strengthening your brain's abilities to learn and grow. Now add some music to the mix: When you listen to music, multiple areas of your b...

ExpeRimental: Static Magic

Reveal your kids' Jedi powers using static electricity with this episode of ExpeRimental from The Royal Institution of Great Britain. Watch ordinary household objects move without being touched as neuroscientist Profe...

Summertime Science: Sunburn, Sweat, and Wrinkly Fingers

Why do we sweat? Why do our fingers wrinkle in water? Why do we get sunburns? Joe Hanson explains it all in this summer science episode of It's Okay to Be Smart. Bonus: find out what those SPF numbers mean on your sun...

Why aren’t we only using solar power?

Solar power is cleaner, more sustainable, and in many cases, less expensive than coal-fueled power plants, so why aren't we only using solar power? Beyond the business and infrastructural challenges, TED Ed outlines s...

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