Do you ever wonder why everything in the world has a tendency to fall into ruin? Why don't houses, roads, and bridges maintain their structures over time? I asked Rice University materials science researcher Boris Yakobson to explain it. His eloquent and funny answer is that things under load, that is under stress or strain (like a bridge or house), basically want to fall apart on an atomic level.

Here, he tells us about how "nature always finds a loophole."