(PG-13: Language) Here in America, shopping malls are a dying breed. But what happened to these symbols of capitalism that were once the gathering place for teens as they sipped on Orange Juliuses and perused the black light illuminated aisles of Spencer Gifts? Ordinary Things explores the demise of the mall.
THE BEST Learning
(PG-13: Language) While they’re not the most fashionable things, face masks are a must in public places these days. Ordinary Things dives into the origins of face coverings, from the earliest ceremonial masks, to costumes, to their use as protective gear. Can you imagine walking around in those plague doctor masks?
Artificial intelligence is getting better at identifying objects in still images, and more recently in video. Now machine learning tech is getting smart enough to look at what’s happening in a video and answer questions about what it has seen. Two Minute Papers provides a brief overview of CLEVRER and its capabilities.
Humble teamed up with publisher Morgan & Claypool for this bundle of e-books which dive deep into the science, math, and technology of artificial intelligence and machine learning. Pay what you want, and the more you spend, the more e-books you get. A portion of every purchase goes to the Book Industry Charitable Foundation.
If you squint really hard, a hot dog kind of looks like a weiner dog on a bun. But is that really where this food got its name? Today I Found Out’s Simon Whistler digs into the etemology, history, and rather unappetizing composition of the ballpark and school lunch favorite.
If you’ve ever seen a beehive up close, you know how its made up of hundreds of nearly perfect hexagonal cells. Why is that, and how do bees know how to make such perfect geometry? TED-Ed provides a brief explanation of this strange intersection of evolutionary biology and architecture.
Science and technology vlogger Tom Scott created a YouTube video that automatically updates its own title based on its view count. As he explains in the video, he used YouTube’s programming APIs to pull off the trick, then talks about the wonders and downsides of open data interfaces.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve got the most expensive display you can buy, gradients of color in dark scenes often look like a blocky mess. Tom Scott offers a great explanation of the technological limitations that cause these issues, and the visual mechanisms that make them less noticeable in brighter scenes.
(PG-13: Language) With the COVID-19 pandemic upon us, people have been going crazy hoarding food and other supplies. But this certainly isn’t the first time panic buying has occurred. Ordinary Things looks back at times when fear overtook reason, and also attempts to explain why toilet paper is always the first thing to go.
Electrical engineer Mehdi Sadaghdar of ElectroBOOM presents a series of simple demonstrations involving magnets, batteries, and wires, each of which might seem magical, but can all be easily explained by science. He might have a goofy approach to teaching, but if you stick around, you might learn a thing or two.
Did you know that the smartphone in your pocket has moving parts inside of it? Devices such as accelerometers use a hybrid of mechanical and electronic mechanisms known as MEMS. New Mind puts this fascinating and complex tech under the microscope to explain how they work, and how they’re made.
The Art Assignment argues that whether it be something as primitive as bones or as advanced as a neural network, there’s always a human touch at the root of all machines used to make art. We like to think of it from the other end: art is unfinished until a human mind ponders it.
You’d think that you wouldn’t get rid of an airplane until it was beyond its useful life, but it turns out that some airlines dump their older jumbo jets because they’re just not cost effective to operate. Half as Interesting takes us on a one-way flight to Victorville, California to see where these flying behemoths are often retired.
What If explores the hypothetical question of what would happen if you were like Ant Man, and could shrink yourself down to whatever size you wanted. As you descend from the size of a frog’s egg to the size of an atom, would things be totally awesome down there, or absolutely horrifying?
Most of us know tumbleweed from its appearance in old Westerns, or maybe we’ve seen a couple along the side of the road in the desert Southwest. But as CGP Grey explains, these seemingly innocuous plants are anything but harmless, with their nasty thorns, incredible flammability, and propensity to multiply like, uh, weeds.
Technically, all of the world’s oceans are connected and therefore they’re a single, giant body of water. Still, geographers sliced them into sections and named them so we’d know roughly where we are. Minute Earth explains where the boundaries are located, and suggests a more logical way of breaking them up based on science.
At TEDx Minneapolis, lawyer and musician Damien Riehl discussed how lawsuits between songwriters can be bad because there are a finite number of melodies. His project AlltheMusic is hoping to help protect musicians by copyrighting all of the unused melodic sequences and putting them into the public domain.
In the early 1900s, electricity was about to take the world by storm. But live wires couldn’t safely be used without insulation. Resin harvested from insects worked, but was too expensive to harvest. Necessity being the mother of invention, it drove chemist Leo Baekeland to develop what would become the world’s first plastic.
Many of us loved to play with our toy fire twucks when we were little kids, but the real fire-fighting machines are much more impressive. Donut Media dropped by the Oxnard Fire Department to learn all about the many features and gear on board their shiny new 2020 Pierce Arrow XT fire truck.
(PG-13: Language) Hell is a hell of a place. But what’s the deal with the fiery, demon-filled land of doom? Where did it come from, and why are we so afraid of ending up there? Ordinary Things provides a brief history of the netherworld and why the place has to be so darned unpleasant.
There’s a lot of debate as to whether the universe goes on and on forever, or if you kept going, you’d eventually reach its edge. PBS Space Time digs into this astrophysics quandary. Whether the universe is geographically-flat and infinite, or it curves in on itself, it’s still more enormous than most of us can fathom.
Ever wonder why we add a day to the end of every fourth February? Well, as it turns out, the Earth orbits the sun every 365.242 days, so we get off by about a quarter day every year. Dr. James O’Donoghue provides a concise graphical explanation of this time tweak we do to make things right, and what would happen without leap years.
Use Arrow Keys ← → for Faster Navigation