Maple trees + good timing + basic chemistry = maple syrup. But Science Friday takes us behind the scenes of maple syrup research to show that there’s much more to it than that. While the tradition has been to tap fully grown wild trees – commercially with lots of plastic tubing – recent experiments at University of Vermont’s Proctor Maple Research Center have found that harvesting from the cut tops of juvenile trees might yield 5 to 6 times per acre, surprisingly without harming the young trees.
Lots of questions about this one: What are the other differences between the farm vs forest model of growing trees? Does this new process affect the local birds or creatures underground? What do these young trees look like in 20 years? What questions do you have?
File under: food, trees, and how things are made.
From Science Friday.
Storytelling, shadows, and 3D viewing come together in this Science Friday report, Dark Art. Biology grad student Tom McDonagh tells of the first balloon trip across the English Channel in 1785, and how he and other puppeteers are telling the story with laser cut puppets and 3D shadows. Yes, 3D shadows.
There are more puppets, a few shadows, and more Science Friday vids in the archives.
From Science Friday, behold A Spacesuit Ballet:
Of the suit he wore on the moon, Neil Armstrong wrote, “it was tough, reliable, and almost cuddly.” But that cuddly suit, made by the company Playtex, had some stiff competition (literally) from rival rigid, metal designs. This video features archival NASA footage of mobility tests for several spacesuit prototypes. Music is from the band One Ring Zero’s album “Planets”.