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October 25, 2019
From the smallest single-celled organism to the largest creatures on Earth, every living thing is defined by its genes. With recent advancements, scientists can change an organism’s fundamental features in record time using gene editing tools such as CRISPR. But where did this medical marvel come from and how does it work? Andrea M. Henle examines the science behind this new technology.
October 4, 2019
In 1995, the British Medical Journal published a report about a builder who accidentally jumped onto a nail, which pierced straight through his steel-toed boot. He was in such agonizing pain that any movement was unbearable. But when the doctors took off his boot, they discovered that the nail had never touched his foot at all. What’s going on? Joshua W. Pate investigates the experience of pain.
September 26, 2019
For most jobs, it's understood that you can be fired – whether for crime, incompetence, or just poor performance. But what if your job happens to be the most powerful position in the country – or the world? That's where impeachment comes in. But how does it work? Alex Gendler details the process of impeachment. [Directed by Mark Phillips, narrated by Addison Anderson].
September 20, 2019
In the 13th century, Genghis Khan embarked on a mission to take over Eurasia, swiftly conquering countries and drawing them into his empire. But, legend has it that there was one obstacle that even he couldn’t overcome: a towering wall of ice, grown by locals across a mountain pass. M Jackson explores the ancient methods of growing glaciers and how they can be used to combat climate change.
September 6, 2019
This animation is part of our new series, "There's a Poem for That," which features animated interpretations of poems both old and new that give language to some of life's biggest feelings. Check out the full series here: http://bit.ly/TEDEdTheresAPoemForThat
August 30, 2019
A shooting star crashes onto Earth and a hideous blob emerges. It creeps and leaps, it glides and slides. It’s also unstoppable: no matter what you throw at it, it just re-grows and continues its rampage. The only way to save the planet is to cut the entire blob into precise acute triangles while it sleeps, rendering it inert. Can you stop the blob from destroying the planet? Dan Finkel shows how.
August 23, 2019
You’re on an airplane when you feel a sudden jolt. Outside your window nothing seems to be happening, yet the plane continues to rattle you and your fellow passengers as it passes through turbulent air in the atmosphere. What exactly is turbulence, and why does it happen? Tomás Chor dives into one of the prevailing mysteries of physics: the complex phenomenon of turbulence.
August 2, 2019
Before empires and royalty, before pottery and writing, before metal tools and weapons – there was cheese. As early as 8000 BCE, Neolithic farmers began a legacy of cheesemaking almost as old as civilization. Today, the world produces roughly 22 billion kilograms of cheese a year, shipped and consumed around the globe. Paul Kindstedt shares the history of one of our oldest and most beloved foods.
July 26, 2019
Humans have been battling heartburn for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. But recently the incidence has risen, making it a common complaint worldwide. What causes this problem, and how can it be stopped? Rusha Modi details the causes and treatments of heartburn.
July 25, 2019
15th century Europeans believed they had hit upon a miracle cure: a remedy for epilepsy, hemorrhage, bruising, nausea and virtually any other medical ailment. It was a brown powder known as "mumia," and was made by grinding up mummified human flesh. But just how common is human cannibalism, and how do cultures partake in it? Bill Schutt explores the complex history of cannibalism. [Directed by Basa, narrated by Addison Anderson].
July 19, 2019
Since their emergence over 200,000 years ago, modern humans have established communities all over the planet. But they didn’t do it alone. Whatever corner of the globe you find humans in today, you’re likely to find another species as well: dogs. So how did one of our oldest rivals, the wolf, evolve into man’s best friend? David Ian Howe traces the history of humanity’s first domesticated animal.
July 12, 2019
The shape, contents and future of the universe are all intricately related. We know that it's mostly flat; we know that it's made up of baryonic matter (like stars and planets), but mostly dark matter and dark energy; and we know that it's expanding constantly, so that all stars will eventually burn out into a cold nothingness. Renée Hlozek expands on the beauty of this dark ending.
July 5, 2019
The constant motion of our oceans represents a vast and complicated system involving many different drivers. Sasha Wright explains the physics behind one of those drivers -- the concentration gradient -- and illustrates how our oceans are continually engaging in a universal struggle for space.
June 28, 2019
With rising temperatures and seas, massive droughts, and changing landscapes, successfully adapting to climate change is increasingly important. For humans, this can mean using technology to find solutions. But for some plants and animals, adapting to these changes involves the most ancient solution of all: evolution. Erin Eastwood explains how animals are adapting to climate change.
June 21, 2019
Octopuses have the ability to solve puzzles, learn through observation, and even use tools – just like humans. But what makes octopus intelligence so amazing is that it comes from a biological structure completely different from ours. Cláudio L. Guerra takes a look inside the amazing octopus brain.
June 14, 2019
In 1990, The Human Genome Project proposed to sequence the entire human genome over 15 years with $3 billion of public funds. Then, seven years before its scheduled completion, a private company called Celera announced that they could accomplish the same goal in just three years at a fraction of the cost. Tien Nguyen details the history of this race to sequence the human genome.
June 7, 2019
Have you ever talked with a friend about a problem, only to realize that he just doesn't seem to grasp why the issue is so important to you? Have you ever presented an idea to a group, and it's met with utter confusion? What's going on here? Katherine Hampsten describes why miscommunication occurs so frequently, and how we can minimize frustration while expressing ourselves better.
June 3, 2019
A classroom erupts into a war of words as students grapple with a seemingly simple prompt: what is the opposite of a gun? This animation is part of the TED-Ed series, "There's a Poem for That," which features animated interpretations of poems both old and new that give language to some of life's biggest feelings. [A TED-Ed Production, a film by Anna Samo + Lisa LaBracio, poem by Brendan Constantine, poem performed by Brendan Constantine, sound Design by Weston Fonger, animation & Design by Anna Samo + Lisa LaBracio, animation Produced by Gerta Xhelo].
May 31, 2019
For the majority of recorded human history, units like the weight of a grain or the length of a hand weren't exact and varied from place to place. Now, consistent measurements are such an integral part of our daily lives that it's hard to appreciate what a major accomplishment for humanity they've been. Matt Anticole traces the wild history of the metric system.
May 24, 2019
Your cell phone is mainly made of plastics and metals. It's easy to appreciate the process by which those elements add up to something so useful. But there's another story we don't hear about -- how did we get our raw ingredients in the first place, from the chaotic tangle of materials that is nature? Iddo Magen uncovers the answer in a group of clever hacks known as separation techniques.
May 17, 2019
On first glance, the painting “Las Meninas” (“The Maids of Honor”) might not seem terribly special, but it’s actually one of the most analyzed pieces in the history of art. Why is this painting by Diego Velazquez so captivating? James Earle and Christina Bozsik share the context and complexity behind this work of art.
May 3, 2019
Without water, a human can only survive for about 100 hours. But there’s a creature so resilient that it can go without it for decades. This 1-millimeter animal can survive both the hottest and coldest environments on earth, and can even withstand high levels of radiation. Thomas Boothby introduces us to the tardigrade, one of the toughest creatures on Earth. Lesson by Thomas Boothby, animation by Boniato Studio.
April 26, 2019
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9... and 0. With just these ten symbols, we can write any rational number imaginable. But why these particular symbols? Why ten of them? And why do we arrange them the way we do? Alessandra King gives a brief history of numerical systems.
April 19, 2019
Many notable American historical figures are considered role models -- but why? George Washington was devilishly smart, and Abraham Lincoln was a brave leader, but have you heard of Sybil Ludington or Beriah Green? Amy Bissetta expounds on the lessons of character we can learn from these historical giants, whether you've heard of them or not.
April 12, 2019
Particles come in pairs, which is why there should be an equal amount of matter and antimatter in the universe. Yet, scientists have not been able to detect any in the visible universe. Where is this missing antimatter? CERN scientist Rolf Landua returns to the seconds after the Big Bang to explain the disparity that allows humans to exist today.
April 5, 2019
Marie Skłodowska Curie's revolutionary research laid the groundwork for our understanding of physics and chemistry, blazing trails in oncology, technology, medicine, and nuclear physics, to name a few. But what did she actually do? Shohini Ghose expounds on some of Marie Skłodowska Curie's most revolutionary discoveries. [Directed by Anna Nowakowska, narrated by Julianna Zarzycki, music by Matthias Runge].
April 5, 2019
Among the top prestigious awards in the world, the Nobel Peace Prize has honored some of the most celebrated and revered international figures and organizations in history. But how does the nomination process work? And who exactly is eligible? Adeline Cuvelier and Toril Rokseth detail the specifics of the Nobel Peace Prize.
April 2, 2019
In 2004, a nutrition company offered a life-changing opportunity to earn a full-time income for part-time work. There were only two steps to get started: purchase a $500 kit and recruit two more members. By 2013, the company was making $200 million. There was just one problem -- the vast majority of members earned less than they paid in. Stacie Bosley explains what a pyramid scheme is and how to spot one. [Directed by Wooden Plane Productions, narrated by Bethany Cutmore-Scott, music by Matthew Reid].
March 29, 2019
North America didn’t always have its familiar shape, nor its famed mountains, canyons, and plains: all of that was once contained in an unrecognizable mass, buried deep in Rodinia, a huge supercontinent that lay on the face of the Earth. Peter J. Haproff explains how it took millions of years and some incredible plate tectonics to forge the continent we know today. Lesson by Peter J. Haproff, animation by Globizco.
March 28, 2019
In 1925, Frida Kahlo was on her way home from school in Mexico City when the bus she was riding collided with a streetcar. She suffered near-fatal injuries and her disability became a major theme in her paintings. Over the course of her life, she would establish herself as the creator and muse behind extraordinary pieces of art. Iseult Gillespie dives into the life and work of Frida Kahlo. [Directed by Ivana Bošnjak and Thomas Johnson, narrated by Christina Greer, music by Stephen LaRosa].
March 22, 2019
There’s a concept that’s crucial to chemistry and physics. It helps explain why physical processes go one way and not the other: why ice melts, why cream spreads in coffee, why air leaks out of a punctured tire. It’s entropy, and it’s notoriously difficult to wrap our heads around. Jeff Phillips gives a crash course on entropy. Lesson by Jeff Phillips, animation by Provincia Studio.
March 15, 2019
Ah, romantic love; beautiful and intoxicating, heart-breaking and soul-crushing... often all at the same time! If romantic love has a purpose, neither science nor psychology has discovered it yet – but over the course of history, some of our most respected philosophers have put forward some intriguing theories. Skye C. Cleary outlines five of these philosophical perspectives on why we love. [Directed by Avi Ofer, narrated by Addison Anderson, music by Brooks Ball and Cem Misirlioglu].
March 15, 2019
Stress isn't always a bad thing; it can be handy for a burst of extra energy and focus, like when you're playing a competitive sport or have to speak in public. But when it's continuous, it actually begins to change your brain. Madhumita Murgia shows how chronic stress can affect brain size, its structure, and how it functions, right down to the level of your genes. [Directed by Andrew Zimbelman, narrated by Addison Anderson, music by Josh Smoak].
March 15, 2019
If you lined up all the blood vessels in your body, they’d be 60 thousand miles long. And every day, they carry the equivalent of over two thousand gallons of blood to the body’s tissues. What effect does this pressure have on the walls of the blood vessels? Wilfred Manzano gives the facts on blood pressure.
March 8, 2019
We tend to think of blindness as something you're born with, but with certain genetic diseases, it can actually develop when you’re a kid, or even when you’re an adult. But could blind eyes possibly regenerate? David Davila explains how the zebrafish’s amazing regenerative retinas are causing scientists to investigate that very question. Lesson by David Davila, animation by Eli Enigenburg.
March 1, 2019
Depression is the leading cause of disability in the world; in the United States, close to ten percent of adults struggle with the disease. But because it's a mental illness, it can be a lot harder to understand than, say, high cholesterol. Helen M. Farrell examines the symptoms and treatments of depression, and gives some tips for how you might help a friend who is suffering. [Directed by Artrake Studio, narrated by Addison Anderson].
March 1, 2019
When you think about Einstein and physics, E=mc^2 is probably the first thing that comes to mind. But one of his greatest contributions to the field actually came in the form of an odd philosophical footnote in a 1935 paper he co-wrote -- which ended up being wrong. Chad Orzel details Einstein's "EPR" paper and its insights on the strange phenomena of entangled states.
February 22, 2019
Ever go to pour ketchup on your fries...and nothing comes out? Or the opposite happens, and your plate is suddenly swimming in a sea of red? George Zaidan describes the physics behind this frustrating phenomenon, explaining how ketchup and other non-Newtonian fluids can suddenly transition from solid to liquid and back again. [Directed by TOGETHER, narrated by George Zaidan].
February 22, 2019
In the early 19th century, a young Agaidika teenager named Sacajawea was enlisted by explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to aid her husband Toussaint Charbonneau as a guide to the Western United States. Karen Mensing debunks some of the myths that surround the familiar image of the heroic woman with a baby strapped to her back and a vast knowledge of the American wilderness.
February 15, 2019
Water is essentially everywhere in our world, and the average human is composed of between 55 and 60% water. So what role does water play in our bodies, and how much do we actually need to drink to stay healthy? Mia Nacamulli details the health benefits of hydration. [Directed by Chris Bishop, narrated by Addison Anderson].
February 15, 2019
Beginning around 1377, medieval England was shaken by a power struggle between two noble families, which spanned generations and involved a massive cast of characters, complex motives and shifting loyalties. Sound familiar? Alex Gendler illustrates how the historical conflict known as the Wars of the Roses served as the basis for much of the drama in Game of Thrones. [Directed by Brett Underhill, narrated by Addison Anderson, music by WORKPLAYWORK and Cem Misirlioglu].
February 15, 2019
When you take a bite of a hot pepper, your body reacts as if your mouth is on fire -- because that's essentially what you've told your brain! Rose Eveleth details the science and history behind spicy foods, giving insights into why some people continue to pay the painful price for a little spice. [Directed by Flaming Medusa Studios Inc., narrated by Rose Eveleth].
February 15, 2019
How does a computer work? The critical components of a computer are the peripherals (including the mouse), the input/output subsystem (which controls what and how much information comes in and out), and the central processing unit (the brains), as well as human-written programs and memory. Bettina Bair walks us through the steps your computer takes with every click of the mouse.
February 8, 2019
Video games are everywhere these days, but where did they actually come from? The history of video games is a complicated story that involves giant computers in science labs, the founder of Chuck E. Cheese and billions of dollars in quarters. Safwat Saleem examines the evolution of the beloved world of gaming.
February 1, 2019
While the Earth’s oceans are known as five separate entities, there is really only one ocean. So, how big is it? As of 2013, it takes up 71% of the Earth, houses 99% of the biosphere, and contains some of Earth’s grandest geological features. Scott Gass reminds us of the influence humans have on the ocean and the influence it has on us.
January 25, 2019
How did fishermen record their trophy catches before the invention of photography? In 19th century Japan, fishing boats were equipped with rice paper, sumi-e ink, and brushes in order to create gyotaku: elaborate rubbings of freshly caught fish. K. Erica Dodge recounts the story of this competitive fishing culture, plus some tips on how to make your very own etchings.
January 18, 2019
From the microbes in our stomachs to the ones on our teeth, we are homes to millions of unique and diverse communities which help our bodies function. Jessica Green and Karen Guillemin emphasize the importance of understanding the many organisms that make up each and every organism.
January 11, 2019
The word "mole" suggests a small, furry burrowing animal to many. But in this lesson, we look at the concept of the mole in chemistry. Learn the incredible magnitude of the mole--and how something so big can help us calculate the tiniest particles in the world.
January 7, 2019
Loki the mischief-maker, writhes in Thor's iron grip. The previous night, he'd snuck up on Thor's wife and shorn off her beautiful hair. To fix what he'd done, Loki rushes to the dwarves and tricks them into making gifts for the gods. Wanting to best their smith rivals, the dwarves make a set of golden treasures, including a hammer called Mjolnir. Scott A. Mellor traces the legend of Thor's hammer. [Directed by Remus and Kiki, narrated by Addison Anderson, music by Playhead].
January 4, 2019
In the deepest, darkest parts of the oceans are ecosystems with more diversity than a tropical rainforest. Taking us on a voyage into the ocean -- from the deepest trenches to the remains of the Titanic -- marine biologist David Gallo explores the wonder and beauty of marine life. (Launching a series on Awesome Nature)
January 3, 2019
In ancient times, wildcats were fierce carnivorous hunters. And unlike dogs, who have undergone centuries of selective breeding, modern cats are genetically very similar to ancient cats. How did these solitary, fierce predators become our sofa sidekicks? Eva-Maria Geigl traces the domestication of the modern house cat. [Directed by Chintis Lundgren, narrated by Bethany Cutmore-Scott, music by Draško Ivezić].
December 21, 2018
Food doesn't last. In days, sometimes hours, bread goes moldy, apple slices turn brown, and bacteria multiply in mayonnaise. But you can find all of these foods out on the shelf at the grocery store — hopefully unspoiled -- thanks to preservatives. But what exactly are preservatives? How do they help keep food edible? And are they safe? Eleanor Nelsen investigates.
December 14, 2018
In Cretaceous times (around 100 million years ago), North Africa was home to a huge river system and a bizarre menagerie of giant prehistoric predators -- including the Spinosaurus, a dinosaur even more fearsome than the Tyrannosaurus rex. Nizar Ibrahim uses paleontological and geological data to reconstruct this “River of Giants” in surprising detail.
December 7, 2018
Did you ever notice how many jokes start with “Did you ever notice?” And what’s the deal with “What’s the deal?” There’s a lot of funny to be found simply by noticing the ordinary, everyday things you don’t ordinarily notice every day. Emmy Award-winning comedy writer Cheri Steinkellner offers a few tips and tricks for finding the funny in your writing.
December 6, 2018
Despite water covering 71% of the planet's surface, more than half the world's population endures extreme water scarcity for at least one month a year. Current estimates predict that by 2040, up to 20 more countries could be experiencing water shortages. These statistics raise a startling question: is the Earth running out of clean water? Balsher Singh Sidhu takes a closer look at water consumption. [Directed by Kozmonot Animation Studio, narrated by Addison Anderson, music by Deniz Dogancay].
November 30, 2018
The Great Wall of China is a 13,000-mile dragon of earth and stone that winds its way through the countryside of China. As it turns out, the wall’s history is almost as long and serpentine as its structure. Megan Campisi and Pen-Pen Chen detail the building and subsequent decay of this massive, impressive wall.
November 29, 2018
Kurt Vonnegut found the tidy, satisfying arcs of many stories at odds with reality, and he set out to explore the ambiguity between good and bad fortune in his own novels. He tried to make sense of human behavior by studying the shapes of stories — ditching straightforward chronologies and clear-cut fortunes. Mia Nacamulli dives into the sometimes dark, yet hopeful works of Vonnegut. [Directed by TED-Ed, narrated by Addison Anderson].
November 16, 2018
We’ve harnessed electricity, sequenced the human genome, and eradicated smallpox. But after billions of dollars in research, we haven’t found a solution for a disease that affects more than 14 million people and their families at any given time. Why is it so difficult to cure cancer? Kyuson Yun explains the challenges. Lesson by Kyuson Yun, directed by Artrake Studio. Check out our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/teded Thank you so much to our patrons for your support! Without you this video would not be possible. Mukamik, Tushar Sharma, Dmitry Neverov, Mohammad Khory, Goh Xiang Ting Diana, Umar Farooq, Kevin Wong, Activated Classroom Teaching, Constantin Salagor, Daniel Mardale, Monica Grace Ward, Dawn Jordan, Yanira Santamaria, Prasanth Mathialagan, Savannah Scheelings, Yalda A., Susan Herder, Be Owusu, Samuel Doerle, David Rosario.
November 9, 2018
Over 100,000 metric tons of caffeine are consumed around the world every year. That’s equivalent to the weight of 14 Eiffel Towers! Caffeine helps us feel alert, focused, and energetic, even if we haven’t had enough sleep — but it can also raise our blood pressure and make us feel anxious. So how does it keep us awake? Hanan Qasim shares the science behind the world’s most widely used drug. Lesson by Hanan Qasim, animation by Adriatic Animation.
November 2, 2018
For the microscopic lab worm C. elegans, life equates to just a few short weeks on Earth. The bowhead whale, on the other hand, can live over two hundred years. Why are these lifespans so different? And what does it really mean to ‘age' anyway? Joao Pedro de Magalhaes explains why the pace of aging varies greatly across animals.
October 26, 2018
Ancient Egyptians believed that in order to become immortal after death, a spirit must first pass through the underworld — a realm of vast caverns, lakes of fire, and magical gates. Needless to say, one needed to come prepared. But how? Tejal Gala describes an Egyptian "Book of the Dead" -- a customized magic scroll written by the living to promote a smooth passage to the afterlife when they died.
October 23, 2018
The earliest time measurements were observations of cycles of the natural world, using patterns of changes from day to night and season to season to build calendars. More precise time-keeping eventually came along to put time in more convenient boxes. But what exactly are we measuring? Andrew Zimmerman Jones contemplates whether time is something that physically exists or is just in our heads. [TED-Ed Animation by Nice Shoes].
October 19, 2018
Some perfumers can distinguish individual odors in a fragrance made of hundreds of scents; tea-experts have been known to sniff out the exact location of a particular tea; and the NYC Transit Authority once had a employee responsible only for sniffing out gas leaks. But can anyone learn to smell with the sensitivity of those experts? Alexandra Horowitz shares three simple steps to a better nose. Lesson by Alexandra Horowitz, animation by Black Powder Design.
October 12, 2018
Our ability to mine great amounts of energy from uranium nuclei has led some to bill nuclear power as a plentiful, utopian source of electricity. But rather than dominate the global electricity market, nuclear power has declined from a high of 18% in 1996 to 11% today. What happened to the great promise of this technology? M.V. Ramana and Sajan Saini detail the challenges of nuclear power. Lesson by M. V. Ramana and Sajan Saini, animation by Wooden Plane Productions.
October 5, 2018
Perpetual motion machines — devices that can do work indefinitely without any external energy source — have captured many inventors’ imaginations because they could totally transform our relationship with energy. There’s just one problem: they don’t work. Why not? Netta Schramm describes the pitfalls of perpetual motion machines.
September 28, 2018
The average person experiences dozens of individual itches each day. We’ve all experienced the annoyance of an inconvenient itch — but have you ever pondered why we itch in the first place? Is there actually an evolutionary purpose to the itch, or is it simply there to annoy us? Emma Bryce digs deep into the skin to find out. Lesson by Emma Bryce, animation by Sashko Danylenko.
September 21, 2018
When a team of archeologists recently came across some 15,000-year-old human remains, they made an interesting discovery: the teeth of those ancient humans were riddled with holes. So what causes cavities, and how can we avoid them? Mel Rosenberg takes us inside our teeth to find out. Lesson by Mel Rosenberg, animation by Andrew Foerster.
September 14, 2018
Prolonged space travel plays a severe toll on the human body: microgravity impairs muscle and bone growth, and high doses of radiation cause irreversible mutations. As we seriously consider the human species becoming space-faring, a big question stands: even if we do break free from Earth’s orbit, can we adapt to the extreme environments of space? Lisa Nip examines our odds.
September 13, 2018
Cigarettes aren't good for us. That's hardly news -- we've known about the dangers of smoking for decades. But how exactly do cigarettes harm us, and can our bodies recover if we stop? Krishna Sudhir details what happens when we smoke -- and when we quit. [TED-Ed Animation by TED-Ed].
September 7, 2018
Few individuals have influenced the world and many of today’s thinkers like Plato. He created the first Western university and was teacher to Ancient Greece’s greatest minds, including Aristotle. But even he wasn’t perfect. Along with his great ideas, Plato had a few that haven’t exactly stood the test of time. Wisecrack gives a brief rundown of a few of Plato’s best and worst ideas.
August 31, 2018
How do you get what you want, using just your words? Aristotle set out to answer exactly that question over two thousand years ago with a treatise on rhetoric. Camille A. Langston describes the fundamentals of deliberative rhetoric and shares some tips for appealing to an audience's ethos, logos, and pathos in your next speech.
August 24, 2018
When we hear the word radiation, it’s tempting to picture huge explosions and frightening mutations. But that’s not the full story — radiation also applies to rainbows and a doctor examining an X-ray. So what is it, really, and how much should we worry about its effects? Matt Anticole describes the different types of radiation.
August 17, 2018
At 8,850 meters above sea level, Qomolangma, also known as Mount Everest, has the highest altitude on the planet. But how did this towering formation get so tall? Michele Koppes peers deep into our planet’s crust, where continental plates collide, to find the answer.
July 27, 2018
Human bodies aren't built for extreme aging: our capacity is set at about 90 years. But what does aging really mean, and how does it counteract the body's efforts to stay alive? Monica Menesini details the nine physiological traits that play a central role in aging.
July 20, 2018
The story of the word X-Ray is one of great thinkers. French philosopher Rene Descartes isolated the letters X, Y and Z to stand for unknowns, and centuries later, Wilhelm Röntgen discovered the X-ray, using the X for the unknown nature of the radiation. Jessica Oreck and Rachael Teel shed some light on the etymology of this modern marvel.
July 13, 2018
When you picture the lowest levels of the food chain, you might imagine herbivores happily munching on lush, living green plants. But this idyllic image leaves out a huge (and slightly less appetizing) source of nourishment: dead stuff. John C. Moore details the "brown food chain," explaining how such unlikely delicacies as pond scum and animal poop contribute enormous amounts of energy to our ecosystems.
July 6, 2018
From cave drawings to the Sunday paper, artists have been visualizing ideas -- cartoons -- for centuries. New Yorker cartoonist Liza Donnelly walks us through the many stages every cartoon goes through, starting with an idea and turning into something that connects us on a deeply human level.
June 29, 2018
Have you ever suffered from exertional heat stroke? This condition is caused by intense activity in the heat and is one of the top three killers of athletes and soldiers in training. Douglas J. Casa explains heat stroke's tremendous effects on the human body and details an action plan in case it ever happens to someone you know.
June 22, 2018
The microraptor was a four-winged carnivorous dinosaur with iridescent black feathers. But if our information about this dinosaur comes from fossils, how can we be certain about its color? Len Bloch shows how making sense of the evidence requires careful examination of the fossil and a good understanding of the physics of light and color.
June 15, 2018
In standard notation, rhythm is indicated on a musical bar line. But there are other ways to visualize rhythm that can be more intuitive. John Varney describes the ‘wheel method’ of tracing rhythm and uses it to take us on a musical journey around the world.
June 8, 2018
Marie Skłodowska Curie’s revolutionary research laid the groundwork for our understanding of physics and chemistry, blazing trails in oncology, technology, medicine, and nuclear physics, to name a few. But what did she actually do? Shohini Ghose expounds on some of Marie Skłodowska Curie’s most revolutionary discoveries.
June 1, 2018
Is she turning towards you or away from you? No one can agree. She's the subject of Dutch Master Johannes Vermeer's "Girl with the Pearl Earring," a painting often referred to as the ‘Mona Lisa of the North.' But what makes this painting so captivating? James Earle explains how this work represents the birth of a modern perspective on economics, politics, and love.
September 7, 2017
The constant thud underneath your feet. The constrained space. The monotony of going nowhere fast. Running on a treadmill can certainly feel like torture, but did you know it was originally used for that very purpose? Conor Heffernan details the dark and twisted history of the treadmill. [Directed by Yukai Du, narrated by Addison Anderson, music by WORKPLAYWORK and Cem Misirlioglu].
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