Science & Medicine
[LESS INFO] 332 VIEWS | ADDED 15:10:00 04/22/11
Astronaut Jeff Hoffman made five space flights. (Now he's a professor at MIT.) In 1985, Hoffman made his first trip on orbit in space shuttle Discovery. Go on a spacewalk with Hoffman and find out what a yo-yo does in zero gravity.
[LESS INFO] 369 VIEWS | ADDED 15:10:00 04/08/11
Many mammals have whiskers but not all whisk. Cats don't. Rats do. To whisk, rats use special muscles in their face to brush their whiskers against an object. From the bending bristles, rats seem to be able to decode an object's shape and texture and Mitra Hartmann wants to understand how.
[LESS INFO] 401 VIEWS | ADDED 15:10:00 04/01/11
Crocuses, robins, spring peepers aren't the only creatures to signal spring. We visited the "Insect Compactor" at the American Museum of Natural History in New York to learn about which bugs to look out for as the weather warms. Keep your eyes on the willow trees--that's where early bees like to hang out.
[LESS INFO] 466 VIEWS | ADDED 15:10:00 03/25/11
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".
[LESS INFO] 258 VIEWS | ADDED 14:10:00 03/25/11
Doug Wilson, a geophysicist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, explains what we'd encounter if we drilled 6000 meters below the seafloor to the Earth's mantle. The crust is made up of three layers--lava flows, sheeted dikes and gabbro--all formed from magma that seeped up from the mantle.
[LESS INFO] 419 VIEWS | ADDED 14:10:00 03/18/11
The male orchid flowers in the genus catasetum evolved an unusual pollination program. They propel a package of pollen onto the backs of visiting bees. The bees endure the blow (which would be like a 150-pound person getting hit with a few bowling balls) in exchange for orchid aromas that the bees use to attract mates.
[LESS INFO] 472 VIEWS | ADDED 14:10:00 02/25/11
French philosopher Henri Bergson has a famous quote: "The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend." Bergson probably meant it metaphorically, but it seems to be literally true according to research by psychologist Martin Rolfs and colleagues. Rolfs studies the role of rapid eye movements in visual perception.
[LESS INFO] 563 VIEWS | ADDED 14:10:00 02/18/11
Get up close and personal with burrowing owls (Athene cunicularia). Mac Stone, wildlife photographer and field biologist for the National Audubon Society, hid his camera in a traffic cone and set it up outside of an owl burrow to capture these beauty shots of the birds. The video is a time-lapse of their daily movements and behaviors.
[LESS INFO] 332 VIEWS | ADDED 14:10:00 02/11/11
Fleas are admirable jumpers -- a talent that humans have recognized for thousands of years, according to engineer Greg Sutton. Yet, until this week, exactly how fleas propel themselves wasn't understood. Sutton and Malcolm Burrows, of the University of Cambridge, filmed fleas jumping, analyzed flea anatomy, made mathematical models and cracked the flea leap mystery.
[LESS INFO] 324 VIEWS | ADDED 14:10:00 02/04/11
Justin Muir, founder of City Aquarium in Brooklyn, N.Y., designs custom fish tanks. But think big: these aquariums run his clients (primarily celebrities, professional athletes and Wall Street moguls) anywhere between $50,000 and $400,000. We went on a fish shopping expedition with Muir and visited his warehouse, where he cultivates giant clams and coral, and medicates his fish before they are transplanted to his client's aquariums.
[LESS INFO] 202 VIEWS | ADDED 14:10:00 01/28/11
If the term "sample" reminds you more of a cheese tasting than music making, this video is for you. DJ, music producer and clothing designer Aaron LaCrate walks us through Sampling 101--taking a snippet of a song and repurposing it in another work. LaCrate explains the process but doesn't sample in his own music -- to "clear" a lifted beat for use is complicated, and expensive.