Alan Alda founded The Flame Challenge last year to promote better science communication, and he started by asking scientists to come up with a kid-friendly explanation for a flame. Now, Alda is back with round two of the popular contest, and kids want to know: What is time?
Nothing beats the smell of a live Christmas tree in your home, but how can you keep the needles on your tree and off your carpet? Rick Bates, professor of horticulture at Penn State University, offers tips for how to properly care for your Christmas tree this holiday season.
Could you handle a world that looked upside down? Marc Abrahams, editor and co-founder of The Annals of Improbable Research, shares a case study in which the subject was made to wear vision-flipping goggles. Ten days later, the man was riding a bicycle and playing catch in the park--his only impairment the strange headgear itself.
Writer Christopher Bonanos tells the story of analog instant photography and the man who invented it--Edwin Land, the scientist and co-founder of the Polaroid Corporation. Plus Flora Lichtman visits New York's 20x24 Studio to capture a super-sized Polaroid camera in action.
Siri can make an appointment for you. IBM's Watson beat a human contestant on Jeopardy. But will they ever really think? Futurist Ray Kurzweil shares his thoughts on the nature of the brain and describes how biological and technological advances might augment the human mind.
Did you know plants use quantum mechanics every day? That quantum computers can hack the encryption used in online commerce? Or that a 'quantum internet' could someday teleport your emails? MIT's Seth Lloyd discusses those and other quantum mysteries in this episode of "Ask a quantum mechanic."
At the turn of the 20th century, a deadly fungus wiped out billions of American chestnut trees from the forests of eastern North America. But, growers are now trying to rebuild a U.S. market with Chinese and European chestnut species and re-introduce Americans to chestnut cuisine.
Researchers wanted to take a census of all of the insects living in a small section of rainforest in Panama. To do this, they went up in a balloon, hung from a crane and walked atop the canopy in a huge tree raft. All told, they collected almost 130,000 specimens from more than 6,000 species.
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