A fresh tomato is 93.5 percent water. A fresh baby girl or boy is 75 percent water. A banana, 74 percent. We all start wet, and then, inevitably, dry. A 1-year-old baby carries 10 percent less water; a male adult 15 percent less. Life is a slow evaporation, with some curious exceptions.
Something strange happens when you slosh wine in a wineglass. The wine doesn't just settle. Some of it starts to "cry." That is, little droplets of wine slide down and then mysteriously creep up again, dripping, then climbing, dripping, climbing, over and over, pushed by some force that doesn't seem to end. What's going on?
You're high, high up. You lean over and look way, way down. Then you leap. Meet my favorite leapers: An Austrian who falls for 24 continuous miles, a medieval musician who leaps off a tower, a movie stuntman who lands on a chain of cardboard boxes, and my favorite, a man who almost falls into the sky.
When we first released Famous Tumors, Rebecca Skloot's book about the life and legacy of Henrietta Lacks (and her famous cells) had just hit the shelves. Since then, some interesting things have happened to both Henrietta's cells and her family. So, 4 years later, we have a newly updated show!
In the 1960s, Americans lived very long lives — among the longest in the world. Since then, we've improved our lot, but not as fast as the French, the Australians, the Swedes, the British, the Canadians, the Dutch, the Germans and the Japanese. They are galloping away from us. What happened?
Writer Malcolm Gladwell calls them "eminent orphans" — an intriguingly large number of successful politicians, statesmen, poets, scientists who lost a parent when they were young. Why the pattern? Is it just coincidence? Or is it something more?
Daniela Rus' lab at MIT is inventing new, ever more remarkable "reconfigurable robots." Don't know what they are? Well, take a look at what her grad students have made and prepare to be frightened — or delighted. Me? I'm kinda delighted.
Zoos are where you go to look at "them," the animals. But not in this video of a zoo in Amsterdam. Here, differences melt away, and all the animals, including the ones with hats, coats and strollers, are just as curious, just as odd, just as silly as the monkeys, hippos and tigers.
Ready, get set, go! Let's compare a sperm whale plowing through the ocean to a human sperm plowing through a glass of water: The whale barely notices the water it's in; the sperm — oh, gee — it's got a problem. How it solves that problem — being much closer to the size of the water molecules around it — is ... well, masterful.