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These Tiny Little Robots Are Helping Us Understand the Science of Swarms

Have you met the Kilobot? It’s small, simple, inexpensive—not the most impressive robot, on its own. But the Kilobot wasn’t made to work alone, or even in twos or threes. No, where the Kilobot really thrives is in groups. Since 2010, the size of the group in which it cooperates has steadily grown, and with it the… » 7/22/15 6:00pm 7/22/15 6:00pm

The Magnus Effect Is Why a Ball With a Bit of Backspin Goes Like This

Drop a basketball with backspin from a great enough height, and something rather interesting happens. In the video below, Veritasium’s Derek Muller explains the Magnus effect, and why the phenomenon can cause a ball with even a little spin to swerve so dramatically from its expected path. » 7/16/15 4:42pm 7/16/15 4:42pm

This Video of a Giant Vortex Awakened Fears in Me I Didn't Know I Had

My thoughts, in order, upon viewing this drone footage of a “giant intake vortex” in an Oklahoma waterway: Hey, cool, a vortex! Wow, it is, indeed, giant looking. Big enough to swallow a person, surely. What would that be like? Dreadful, I bet. Wait, why am I sweating? Oh god. Oh god, it’s looking at me. » 6/24/15 12:02pm 6/24/15 12:02pm

Time-Lapse Footage Of April's Calbuco Eruption Is Otherworldly

On April 22, 2015, a stratovolcano in southern Chile called Calbuco erupted for the first time in 42 years. Filmmaker Martin Heck was in the area shooting a neighboring volcano, when Calbuco came alive. He fixed his cameras on its undulating plumes of ash. This gobstopping time-lapse is the fruit of the images he… » 6/23/15 5:09pm 6/23/15 5:09pm

Can We All Agree That Ants Are Just The Awesomest?

KQED’s excellent science series Deep Look (previously here, here, and here—can you tell we’re fans?) just kicked off a new run of videos with an episode about how ants use leaves to harvest fungus. Which, sure, fungus harvesting is fascinating in its own right, but wait until you find out what the ants are harvesting… » 6/12/15 5:35pm 6/12/15 5:35pm

Google's Immersive 360 Action Flick Is So Realistic It's Not Believable

Google released a new 360-degree immersive video on its Spotlight Stories app yesterday—the first featuring real human actors instead of animation. It’s an action-packed short directed by Fast & Furious director Justin Lin. I downloaded the 1GB 360 video and took it for a literal spin (I was sitting in a swivel… » 5/28/15 11:24am 5/28/15 11:24am

Study: The Internet Has Finally Become TV

In the next five years, more than 50 percent of the world’s population will have internet access, and 80 percent of internet traffic will be devoted to video, says a new study by Cisco. But it’s not just billions more dinky YouTube videos that will suck up all that bandwidth. It’s our shifting TV habits. » 5/28/15 12:45am 5/28/15 12:45am

Before You See Fury Road, Learn The Secrets of Mad Max And Road Warrior!

In case you missed it, here’s our awesome video about the original Max Max trilogy! Which jaw-dropping scene was so dangerous the stunt man refused food or drink for 12 hours beforehand, anticipating that he might have to rush into surgery right after? Watch, learn, and get even more hyped for Mad Max: Fury Road. » 5/10/15 8:45am 5/10/15 8:45am

NOVA's Evolution Lab is an Interactive, Guided Tour of The Tree of Life

If you’re interested in biology, or are just curious what humans have in common with a mushroom, or how a bacteria could possibly be related to dinosaurs, the NOVA Evolution Lab is a crash course. You’ll learn how living things are related, what DNA is and how it works, and hear from biologists working in the field. » 5/09/15 5:30pm 5/09/15 5:30pm

These Prank Videos Prove That Human Nature Is Inherently Terrible

There are debates about the basic nature of humanity that have been raging for millennia. Are we decent? Are we nasty and brutish? These ontological questions can never be settled — unless you have hidden cameras and access to Youtube, that is. Then those questions can be settled easily, with video pranks. And the… » 5/07/15 4:00pm 5/07/15 4:00pm