Today is March 14, or "3/14," the first three digits of Pi. It's a day celebrated around the (geek) world as "Pi Day." So here's the pie version of Pi, the down, dirty and baked goods approach, illustrated by Brady Haran, a video journalist who loves numbers.
Human history (the written-down part) began about 7,000 years ago. Here's everything we've learned in all that time, compressed into five words, spoken by a puzzled human — from a wonderfully clever Los Angeles cartoonist named Reza.
What are you doing this weekend? Bet you're not using scraps from an old Toshiba TV to melt stacks of metal coins into steaming-hot foam. No? I thought not. (But we are.)
It's already happened. We humans have already met an intelligent alien. Not only that, we almost certainly had sex with them. And we did here, right here on Earth, not so many generations ago.
What happened to the future? In the '60s and '70s, says astrophysicist Neil Tyson, kids thought about going to space, exploring; tomorrow seemed so, so near. But no longer. Our world these days, is tighter, more awake to limits, and that's not good, says Tyson, not good for kids, and especially not good for the economy. Tyson insists that dreaming makes us richer.
Mums bloom in the fall, daffodils in spring, roses in summer. How do farmers get such different plants to bloom simultaneously in Winter for Valentine's Day? It's done, strangely, with short, sudden flashes of light.
A new video technology that amplifies small color changes and slight movements can, when pointed at people, tell what's going on inside.
Banishments are much more complicated than they used to be. And this "Minute Physics" video suggests, paradoxically, that both you and the person you banish are somehow simultaneously at the center of the universe.
If DNA molecules are the Marilyn Monroes of biochemistry — everybody knows what DNA looks like — what about proteins? Why do most people have no idea what a protein looks like? Well, maybe this will help: proteins that look like houseflies, Bedouins, bumblebees and a pair that look uncannily like Moses and the Burning Bush.
Normally a plate can't get a job at the circus. It's just a plate. But here's a plate that can swoop through the air, catch a flying pole, and balance it upright, midair! In other words, a circus-worthy plate. Artificial Intelligence is the science of making dumb things do smart-looking stuff.
Here's something new, exciting and just a little bit troubling: it's a little robot that you can fly with your phone. It's easy. It's versatile. It's got cameras so you can see and record what's going on in the apartments above you, the houses on your block, in backyards, sports fields. Nice, yes. But what happens to privacy if these things become very popular?
The politics of beehives might be able to teach our Congressional leaders a little bit about governing.
On three different occasions, the candidate with the most votes didn't become president of the United States. We call this "The Electoral College Problem." Here's a solution. Simple. Mathematical. Rational. (With one small "but ...")
Last year a guy in San Francisco jumped on a bicycle, clicked on his GPS, clicked on an app, snapped on his helmet, and 27 miles, two and a half hours and many calories later, he'd etched a Valentine message onto a street map of San Francisco. That was nice. Now, a year later, it's getting really interesting.
A channel on YouTube lets you see what goes on deep in the bowels (excuse the expression) of a natural history museum. There are dead things in jars, drawers and basements, but best of all, there's Emily, who hosts the show. She's a volunteer curatorial assistant/storyteller who could make a thumbtack interesting.
Everybody knows you need a chicken to lay an egg. Everybody knows you need an egg to produce a chicken. What nobody knows is how the cycle started. Here's a new take, that leans eggwards — and it's fun to watch.
Drop a cat from a bed, a chair or a tree, and it will do its wriggly thing and land on all four feet. Cats are famous for this. But we've discovered an animal that does it better. Meet the new champ.
Take a boot, take a glove, take a brick, take a pan, take a car roof, spray it with this new nano-tech substance and strange things will happen. Very strange things.
Spielberg's were big, green and scaly. The real ones? They were often rosy, yellow, orange, iridescent, covered with fuzz, plumes, or feathers. Take a look at this latest take on the Jurassic, when reptiles, we think, looked more like rainbows.