PBS_ItsOKToBeSmart

We're Mainly Microbe: Meet Your Microbiome3m53s

We're Mainly Microbe: Meet Your Microbiome

Ever not felt completely like yourself? There's a good reason for that. Because a large part of you isn't actually you. Our bodies are home to ten times as many microbes as human cells. We are walking ecosystems, each of us home to thousands of different species on and inside of us. Meet your microbiome!

Why Music Moves Us4m48s

Why Music Moves Us

How can simple sound waves cause so much emotion? I went from my comfy chair to the streets of Austin to investigate how it might be written into our neuroscience and evolution. Modern neuroscience says our brains may be wired to pick certain emotions out of music because they remind us of how people move!

Which Life Form REALLY Dominates Earth?6m23s

Which Life Form REALLY Dominates Earth?

Are humans really Earth’s most dominant species? Let’s put all of the planet’s living things on a scale and see what has amassed the most mass. This week we break down the concept of “biomass” to judge Earth’s living things from top to bottom, and see how humans have changed the world.

It's Okay to Fart5m07s

It's Okay to Fart

Farting is hilarious and gross and everyone is doing it so why can’t we talk about the science of it?! Flatulence, passing gas, cutting the cheese, toots… whatever you call it, it's natural and here's how it works.

The Surprising Reason We Eat Spicy Food5m38s

The Surprising Reason We Eat Spicy Food

People who live near the equator use more spices per recipe than people who live far from the equator. But that isn't for the reason you think. Spices and other plant ingredients have special powers that make them a truly magical superfood!

The Only Animal That Weeps4m24s

The Only Animal That Weeps

Why do we cry? It’s weird. Humans leak water out of their faces when they get sad. Are we the only animals that do this? What does it mean? What is it for? Here’s the science of human tears!

Why Do Disney Princesses All Look Like Babies?6m04s

Why Do Disney Princesses All Look Like Babies?

I noticed something weird about Disney Princesses lately. Naturally, I had to examine it through the lens of science. The answer led me to new knowledge about human development, the domestication and taming of animals, and why we find things cute in the first place. You’ll never look at cartoons the same way again

How Some Words Get Forgetted10m49s

How Some Words Get Forgetted

English is a confusing language for many reasons. But the irregular verbs might be the most confusing part. Why is “told” the past tense of “tell” but “smold” isn’t the past tense of “smell”? It turns out that the study of irregular verbs can teach us a lot about how languages evolve. This week, we look at how the era of Big Data is unlocking secrets behind the weirdness of words.

How Habits are Formed5m48s

How Habits are Formed

Got a bad habit you just can’t seem to break? That’s because it’s literally wired into your brain. Every single thought, action, and feeling changes your brain. When repeated enough times, a habit is formed. This week we’ll talk about how an advertiser in the early 1900s got half of Americans to pick up a new behavior - and make it a habit we all know today.

Will You Still Eat Raw Fish After Watching This Video?6m33s

Will You Still Eat Raw Fish After Watching This Video?

Have you ever noticed that warning about raw or undercooked seafood at the bottom of restaurant menus? Ever wondered why it’s there? Because fish carry a ton of parasites, and if they aren’t prepared correctly then those parasites can make it into your body. But it turns out, this intersection can teach us a lot about how these moochers help keep ecosystems healthy, and why we should protect them.

Is Height All in Our Genes?6m07s

Is Height All in Our Genes?

I’m tall. Most of the people in my family are tall. Does that mean my son will be tall? Turns out the inheritance of height is a lot more complicated than we thought. Scientists know that nature (genes) and nurture (environment) both play a role, but after more than a century of questions, we’re only just now starting to get some answers

What Do Raindrops Really Look Like?5m24s

What Do Raindrops Really Look Like?

What do raindrops look like? Exactly how we drew them as kids, right? Wrong! Teardrop-shaped rain is physically impossible. This week I went inside a vertical wind tunnel to bring you the true shape of rain.

Life by the Numbers4m26s

Life by the Numbers

How successful are we compared to other species? It turns out that biomass, or what things weigh, can be more important than how many of something there are. Find out how our numbers stack up against everything from bugs to bacteria, and get ready for some mind-blowing numbers!

The Odds of Finding Life and Love4m26s

The Odds of Finding Life and Love

Love is a complicated combination of brain chemicals and behavior that scientists are only just beginning to figure out. And it's remarkable that in every society that we have looked at on Earth, romantic love exists. So if love is so universal, and there are 7 billion other people out there looking for it, why can it seem like it's so hard to find?

The Auroras4m47s

The Auroras

Space might seem like an empty place, but the area surrounding Earth is constantly being bombarded by waves of charged particles released by the Sun: The solar wind. Luckily, thanks to Earth's swirling, molten core (and the magnetic field it provides), we are protected from this planet-sterilizing onslaught like an invisible force field. The visual result? The Auroras.

Why is the sky any color?2m44s

Why is the sky any color?

Why is the sky blue? It's a question that you'd think kids have been asking for thousands of years, but it might not be that old at all. The ancient Greek poet Homer never used a word for blue in The Odyssey or The Iliad, because blue is one of the last colors that cultures pick out a word for.

Whose Air do we Share?3m24s

Whose Air do we Share?

Earth's atmosphere is big, but not as big as many people think. All the air that keeps us alive is just a thin candy shell around our planet. In this episode, echoing the words of John F. Kennedy, I'll show you the science of how we all share the same air. So let's be careful about what we're putting in it.

What is Wind?2m39s

What is Wind?

Wind is everywhere. The air is constantly moving, sometimes gently, sometimes violently. Why? Pressure, temperature and rotation come together to make wind. Here's how.

Pay Attention!5m20s

Pay Attention!

It seems like every week someone tells us how the internet and the digital age are overloading our brains. Sure, sometimes it feels like we're being fed more information than we can handle, that we're paying attention to the wrong things. Are we giving our brain a fair shot?

Electric Buzzaloo: How Bees See the Invisible2m53s

Electric Buzzaloo: How Bees See the Invisible

Bees are amazing social insects, and their relationship with flowers is one of nature's coolest examples of "mutualism". It got me wondering: How do bees see the world? Enjoy this look at how bees see in ultraviolet and even sense electric fields!

Space Sounds3m17s

Space Sounds

There is no sound in space. In the near-vacuum of space, there is nothing to transmit the physical waves that we need to perceive sound. But that doesn't mean we can't MAKE sound from space.

What Are Rainbows?5m37s

What Are Rainbows?

Dorothy went over one. LeVar Burton read to us under one. In a song, Kermit the Frog connected us to one. Even Mork's suspenders were made of them. Our culture, and our skies, are full of rainbows, but do you know how they form? Do we all see the same rainbow? Could cyborg-enhanced mantis shrimp eyes ever see a bigger rainbow?

Where Do Teeth Come From?6m40s

Where Do Teeth Come From?

Teeth. We’ve all got ‘em (most of us, anyway). But how do they grow? Teeth are made from some biological nanotechnology that will blow your mind. They are strong enough to last hundreds of millions of years. Oh, and if you’ve ever wondered how adult teeth replace your baby teeth, get ready to see something terrifying.