Topic: puppets

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A glow-in-the-dark bug puppet by Barnaby Dixon

Puppeteer Barnaby Dixon designs puppets that move with a combination of his practiced finger work and the puppet's internal mechanisms. They can pick things up, scratch their heads, dance, tumble, fly, and more. This ...

Haruki Nakamura’s surprising paper karakuri animals

Japanese paper crafter Haruki Nakamura designs mechanical paper karakuri-style animals that peek and pop in surprising ways. Karakuri, meaning 'trick' or 'mechanism', are mechanical automata pieces that were first mad...

Invisible Nature: The (Super Tiny) Glowing Squid

The Hawaiian bobtail squid (Euprymna scolopes) spends its days buried in sand and its nights stalking prey in the shallow waters off the coast of Hawaii. Just because the squid hunts at night, however, doesn’t mean th...

Invisible Nature: Code of the Treehopper

Hiding in plain sight and deceptively still, treehoppers have evolved an ingenious way to communicate—using a complex series of vibrations. Now, scientists are listening in and starting to crack the treehopper code. A...

Ben Vereen sings Pure Imagination on The Muppet Show (1977)

Watch actor, dancer, and singer Ben Vereen try to cheer up Droop with some Pure Imagination, a song from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971). They're also joined by some unusual creatures. The performance is fr...

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: ...

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...

How a mathematician dissects an astonishing coincidence

True story about an adventure that befell Anne Parrish one June day in Paris. She was wandering through the old book stalls along the Seine with her husband who had been there before. He sat down at a table on the qua...

Stop-motion animation goes high tech at Laika

If you've seen Kubo and the Two Strings from Laika, the animation studio behind Coraline and The Boxtrolls, then go behind the scenes with their team to see the epic blend of handcrafted puppets, stop motion, CGI, and...

Puppeteer Barnaby Dixon’s new puppet concept

Puppeteer and puppet designer Barnaby Dixon developed a brand new design for his finger puppet concept, refining its internal mechanisms and improving its movements. Using his human hands in a new configuration, he's ...

Laika’s Head of Puppetry explains how stop motion puppets are made

Go behind the scenes with Puppet Fabrication Creative Supervisor Georgina Hayns -- who set up the puppet department at Laika, the animation studio behind Coraline, The Boxtrolls, and Kubo and the Two Strings -- to fin...

The origin of the dancing inflatable tube man

Where did those dancing inflatable men, called AirDancers or "tall boys", originally come from? Trinidadian Carnival artist Peter Minshall created these long-armed, long-legged, exuberant dancers -- plastic, body-shap...

Animated Life: Mary Leakey & the Laetoli footprints

Forty years ago in Laetoli, Tanzania, an elephant dung fight between a couple of paleoanthropologists led to a discovery: a fossilized animal print, at least 3.6 million years old. But the site had an even bigger surp...

Hazel Scott plays Black & White on two grand pianos (1943)

Hazel Scott was not only a gifted pianist and singer -- a child musical prodigy who at only eight years old was given a scholarship from the Juilliard School of Music to be privately tutored -- she was also the first ...

G is for Ground – Circuit Playground

Join Adafruit Founder Limor Fried and her robot friend ADABOT as they find electrical connections to the earth in a wide variety of places. This is G is for Ground from Circuit Playground, Adafruit's kid-friendly educ...

Ricky Syers and his handmade marionette of Doris Diether

Meet longtime Greenwich Village resident, painter, actress, and housing rights activist Doris Diether, and street performer, artist, and puppeteer Ricky Syers. Syers makes marionettes that are the spitting image of pe...

Cookie Monster’s food-related “showerthoughts” at the museum

What was the best thing before sliced bread? Cookie Monster considers some food-related "showerthoughts" -- those random, seemingly-profound thoughts, ideas, or questions that you might have while taking a shower, day...

Animated Life: Pangea – The story of Alfred Wegener

Sometimes scientists spend their time riding in a hot air balloon, driving a dog sled, hunting seals, traveling on Greenland ice masses, flying box kites in the cold arctic evenings, and thinking about jigsaw puzzles ...

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