Topic: how things work

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The Universal Tea Machine, a huge mechanical ‘adding computer’

"The better your binary addition skills the better your cup of tea!" The Universal Tea Machine by Smout Allen is a huge mechanical 'adding computer' that mixes tea and mixes tea, a British tradition that became popula...

1953: Preserving and operating a wimmenumermolen polder mill

In a 250 year old polder mill in Noord Holland, Eric Zwijnenberg pumps excess water out of the area to avoid flooding. The drainage mill was first rented by his parents as a summer vacation house in 1953... After ...

Mars in a Minute: How Long is a Year on Mars?

One year for any planet is measured by how long it takes to orbit once around the sun. Since Mars is farther away from the sun than Earth, it takes almost twice as long: Earth orbits in 365 days. Mars orbits in 687 Ea...

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...

How the food you eat affects your gut – TED Ed

The bacteria in our guts can break down food the body can’t digest, produce important nutrients, regulate the immune system, and protect against harmful germs. And while we can’t control all the factors that go into m...

The Brick Double-Domino Effect Explained

In 2016, bricklayers in Teralba, NSW Australia filmed their domino-style technique for capping a concrete brick wall. The video went viral thanks to the surprising second part of the chain reaction: After the bricks f...

What’s inside a tape measure?

It's useful for measuring, fun to extend out as far as possible, and when its rocker is unlocked, the long metal measuring blade snaps quickly back inside of its shell. But how? What's inside a tape measure? In th...

Why the Giant Sequoia Needs Fire to Grow

Giant sequoias, the planet's largest trees and among the oldest living things on Earth—many of the largest are over 3,000 years old—depend on fire to help them reproduce. Learn how a destructive force is necessary for...

I is for IC – Circuit Playground

'IC' stands for integrated circuit, and in I is for IC from Circuit Playground, Adabot learns that there's a lot going on inside of them and without them, our electronics would still be huge. From Explain That Stuff: ...

How to practice effectively…for just about anything

Mastering any physical skill takes practice. Practice is the repetition of an action with the goal of improvement, and it helps us perform with more ease, speed, and confidence. But what does practice actually do to m...

An up close look at fingerprints and sweat glands

Zoom in to see this fingertip's epidermal ridges, those tiny lines, whorls, loops, arches, and valleys that are unique to each person on the planet. This macro and time lapse footage, filmed by Time Lapse Vision, an i...

H is for Hertz – Circuit Playground

How does the internet work on your laptop, phone, and other wireless devices without any connecting cables? How does your television remote work? In this episode of Circuit Playground, Adabot learns about electromagne...

The psychology behind ‘Us vs Them’ – BrainCraft

How do we weigh our own best interests against the best interests of others? This question can be extended beyond 'Me vs You' and into the 'Us and Them.' How do I weigh my family's self interests against the needs of ...

Barnaby Dixon’s Raptor Puppet

Puppeteer Barnaby Dixon designs highly detailed finger puppets like the one above: a rather adorable raptor puppet. Watch as his fingers control the feet while other hinges, levers, and mechanisms help make the puppet...

Climbing Wind Turbines for a Living

Converting kinetic energy into electrical power as they spin, wind turbines are a growing part of the world's renewable energy solutions. Rock climber and wind turbine technician Jessica Kilroy inspects, maintains, an...

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...

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