Topic: how things work

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How exactly does binary code work?

Imagine trying to use words to describe every scene in a film, every note in a song, or every street in your town. Now imagine trying to do it using only the numbers 1 and 0. Every time you use the Internet to watch a...

Anastasia Chavez explains the 21-card trick

How can you use math to astonish your friends and family? Try the 21-card trick. Filmed for Numberphile, UC Davis Department of Mathematics Postdoc Anastasia Chavez demonstrates step-by-step how this trick works with ...

A tumbling, glowing, furry puppet creature by Barnaby Dixon

With spiky fur on its back and a long, expressive nose on its little face, this aardvark-like creature is a charming addition to Barnaby Dixon's collection of characters. A puppet designer and puppeteer, Dixon slips a...

Pyrotechnics pro Jim Souza explains the art of a massive fireworks show

How do pyrotechnics experts stage professional fireworks shows for holidays and events like the Macy's July 4th Spectacular and both the 100th and 125th anniversaries of the Statue of Liberty? In this Wired video, fou...

The Science Of Firework Color

Sodium in yellow bursts, strontium in red, calcium gives us orange, barium for green, and copper for blue hues... and there are more where those came from. The science of firework color, as explained above by SkunkBea...

Observing the angle of repose with DIY physics devices

The angle of repose or critical angle of repose is how steep various types of materials can be piled without slumping. The steepness of the side of a pile is determined by the amount of friction between the particles ...

Introducing the Dial Telephone, films from 1936 & 1954

Have you ever heard a dial tone or a busy signal? How did we call someone before speed dial and push-button telephones, but after people stopped needing to speak with a switchboard operator? Behold the rotary dial: ...

What causes constipation?

Visiting the bathroom is part of the daily human experience. But occasionally, constipation, a condition that causes a backup in your digestive system, strikes. In some especially uncomfortable cases, the food you eat...

Math in Motion: Playing with a desktop Galton Board

This delightful little device brings to life the statistical concept of normal distribution. As you rotate the Galton Board on its axis, you set into motion a flow of steel beads that bounce with equal probability to ...

What’s the difference between hibernation and sleep?

The Arctic Ground Squirrel hibernates by burrowing under the permafrost and slipping into a state of suspended animation. The female black bear can give birth while she hibernates. The fat-tailed dwarf lemur prepares ...

Which is stronger: Glue or tape?

The oldest glue in the world is over 8,000 years old and comes from a cave near the Dead Sea. Today, we have enough types of tape and glue to build and repair almost anything. But what gives glue and tape their sticki...

The Very Hungry Maggot: How larva farming can help reduce food waste

How are maggots like waves in an ocean? How are they like puppies? In this fascinating Macroscope video from Science Friday, The Very Hungry Maggot, we meet David Hu, a mechanical engineering professor who's studying ...

Nature’s Masters Of Disguise – Maddie About Science

Go behind-the-scenes at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History with arachnologist Hannah Wood and Maddie About Science host Maddie Sofia to see the mimics of the museum's collection. Atlas moths, stick bugs, leaf i...

Evolution 101 & how natural selection works – NOVA PBS

What is evolution, how has it created Earth's biodiversity, and how can a phylogenetic or evolutionary tree—a tree of life—help us better understand how different species are related? Learn some basics from this Evolu...

The infinite life of pi

The ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter is always the same: 3.14159... and on and on (literally!) forever. This irrational number, pi, has an infinite number of digits, so we'll never figure out its exac...

The Science of Skin

Between you and the rest of the world lies an interface that makes up 16% of your physical weight. This is your skin, the largest organ in your body: laid out flat, it would cover close to 1.7 square metres of ground....

Making Artificial Earthquakes with a Four-Tonne Steel Ball

In Göttingen, Germany, there's a four-tonne steel ball that can be raised up a 14-metre tower -- and then dropped in less than two seconds, crashing back to earth. It makes tiny, artificial earthquakes. Tom Scott v...

Transforming Human Poop Into Eco-Friendly Fertilizer

Everyone poops. But not everyone around the globe has access to a clean toilet. Some communities in Haiti have set up a clean and healthy sanitation system that can also provide a homegrown resource for boosting food ...

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