Topic: how things work

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Buffalo buffalo buffalo! One-word sentences & how they work

How exactly does ‘Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo’ make any sense as communication? Repeating the word eight times may sound nonsensical and maze-like, but this TED Ed by Emma Bryce exp...

The Corpse Flower: Behind the Stink of the Titan Arum

Corpse Flowers (Amorphophallus titanum), including Berkeley's Trudy the Titain Arum and The Denver Botanic Garden's Stinky DBG (live video feed), have made news in 2015. The massive plants can bloom every 2-3 years, o...

What Happens to Your Checked Luggage at the Airport

Ride the luggage roller coaster at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport in this behind-the-scenes glimpse at where your bag goes after you check it in at the counter. This POV video footage from a luggage-mounted camera illum...

Home Sweet Habitat & Food Webs – Crash Course Kids

Why isn't a polar bear happy in the desert? Why aren't spider monkeys essential in the Arctic? In this episode of Crash Course Kids, Sabrina Cruz explains how habitats provide animals with the air, food, water, shelte...

The Wanamaker Organ – The world’s largest musical instrument

A Philadelphia treasure, get a glimpse inside The Wanamaker Organ, a 7-story-high, 287 ton, 28,677 pipe instrument located inside the Macy’s (formerly Wanamaker's) at 13th and Market. The pipe organ is the world's lar...

What is Fire? – It’s Okay to Be Smart

That glowing light, those information-filled colors, that smoke and vapor that seems to magically light warm embers... What kind of physics and chemistry are at work inside of a flame? Joe Hanson from It's Okay to Be ...

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...

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