PBS's Videos

S5 Ep22: Why Do We Itch?4m57s

S5 Ep22: Why Do We Itch?

It’s one of the most annoying sensations our bodies can feel, but does anything feel better than when you scratch an itch? Ok, maybe *some* things. But itching and scratching are up there. How does this weird sensation work? And what is itching for?

S4 Ep11: Better Know: The Kiss by Gustav Klimt7m35s

S4 Ep11: Better Know: The Kiss by Gustav Klimt

This kissing couple is one of the best loved paintings in history, but what do we really know about it? Let's learn about its creator (Gustav Klimt), the historical moment it sprang from (turn-of-the-century Austria), and what it means when we look at it today (dubious consent?).

S5 Ep19: Where Did Life Come From? (feat. PBS Space Time and12m47s

S5 Ep19: Where Did Life Come From? (feat. PBS Space Time and

The origin of life is one of the most important mysteries in all of science. When did life begin? How did life first evolve from chemistry? Where did life get started? In some primordial soup or somewhere else? Let’s journey back to the origin of life, as best as we know it, from the RNA world do the last universal common ancestor of everything alive today.

S4 Ep10: Art Trip: Utah11m26s

S4 Ep10: Art Trip: Utah

We ventured into the Utah countryside to visit some of the best loved Land Art works of the 1970s, Robert Smithson's Spiral Jetty and Nancy Holt's Sun Tunnels, and check out the art that is happening there now. Also featured: William Lamson's Mineralogy, The Center for Land Use Interpretation, and lots and lots of salt.

S3 Ep19: Are the Fundamental Constants Changing?11m12s

S3 Ep19: Are the Fundamental Constants Changing?

The laws of physics are the same everywhere in the universe. At least we astrophysicists hope so. After all, it’s hard to unravel the complexities of distant parts of the universe if we don’t know the basic rules. But what if this is wrong? There is a hint of evidence that the fundamental constants that govern our universe may evolve over time, and even from one location to another.

S3 Ep18: The Future of Space Telescopes10m34s

S3 Ep18: The Future of Space Telescopes

The Kepler mission has determined that terrestrial planets are extremely common, and may orbit most stars in the Milky Way. But these planets are difficult to directly image because they’re dense and small. Our Sun is about ten billion times brighter than Earth. Train a distant telescope on us, and it will be overwhelmed by the Sun’s rays. So how can we find terrestrial planets around stars light

S3 Ep20: When Quasars When Quasars Collide STJC10m22s

S3 Ep20: When Quasars When Quasars Collide STJC

In this video, we discuss the reports about the detection of a pair of supermassive black holes orbiting only one light year apart from each other. Studying the dance of these giants should tell us a ton about how black holes grow.

S3 Ep16: White Holes12m25s

S3 Ep16: White Holes

Lurking in the depths of the mathematics of Einstein’s general relativity is an object even stranger than the mysterious black hole. In fact it’s the black hole’s mirror twin, the white hole. Some even think that these could be the origin of our universe.

S3 Ep15: First Detection of Life10m34s

S3 Ep15: First Detection of Life

In 1990, an experiment conceived by Carl Sagan was performed using using the Galileo spacecraft. The purpose? To detect life on a planet based on measurements by a space probe. The experiment was successful, and abundant life was unequivocally confirmed. That planet? The Earth. Now, a quarter century later, we’re on the verge of conducting that same experiment on a world orbiting another star.

Can You Bend Light Like This?8m04s

Can You Bend Light Like This?

Does anyone really remember what we used to do when we were bored before we had these hi-tech devices to keep us occupied? In the old days, people just had to be more creative. Next time you feel that life is going too slow, why don’t you put those idle hands to use and play with the fastest thing in the universe. Here are tree experiments that will bend light itself by using nothing but your own two hands. Try this: close one eye, look at something across the room, preferably something with a nice straight edge or interesting pattern; next, put your finger a few inches in front of your eye, focus on that object and let your eye relax until your finger and the background are slightly out of focus. Look what happens when you move your finger side to side: the light seems to bend around your finger. For some people, it may bend towards the finger, for some it may bend away, but in a few attempts, you should be able to do this quite easily. What is going on here? Is your finger tugging at the fabric of the universe? Well, just a bit. Everything with mass wraps space by a bit, but your finger isn’t massive enough to be noticeable unless you have a black hole in your finger. So, what happened to the light around the finger and what other light experiments are there for us? We wouldn’t want to spoil your fun by saying anything more! Grab yourselves a cup of coffee and enjoy the rest of the video!

S3 Ep17: Neutron Stars Collide in New LIGO Signal?11m27s

S3 Ep17: Neutron Stars Collide in New LIGO Signal?

Last year LIGO announced the detection of gravitational waves from the merger of two black holes. The science world went a little crazy. Only a few weeks ago a new rumour emerged: that LIGO had, for the first time, spotted gravitational waves from the collision of a pair of neutron stars. If it’s true, some long-standing astrophysical mysteries are about to be unlocked.

There Is An Upside To Awkwardness After All5m39s

There Is An Upside To Awkwardness After All

We can all be pretty awkward. Right? Here we cover the psychology of awkwardness. But it's not all bad news. It’s a good thing that we’re aware of ourselves and care about how others perceive us. Feeling awkward can push us to sharpen our social skills. Being in an awkward situation is nothing new to each and every individual living on this planet. The pressure of always remaining in the good graces of the crowd weighs down on our shoulders and makes our anxiety levels sky-rocket fairly regularly. But science thinks that not everything is black and white and that somewhere in that gray area this uncomfortableness we’re feeling makes us grow our people skills. Crazy, right? Apparently, it’s not that crazy. Scientists have this theory that we have two perceptions of ourselves, the first one represents our introspective view and how we see ourselves, while the second one represents how we think the other people see us on the outside. To us, this second one is extremely important because it may affect our social status and interaction. Granted, we may never be too satisfied of ourselves, but we like to play by the unwritten standards of society. So how do we go about dealing with those mild anxiety attacks we experience each time we misinterpret a greeting? Make sure you check out the whole video to find out! Enjoy!

S4 Ep11: The Power of Curiosity5m21s

S4 Ep11: The Power of Curiosity

All forms of curiosity, even silly hypotheticals, are important – they can lead to practical ideas as well. And two groups are great at it: kids and smart adults. But the average person forgets to be curious. Here we explore the power of curiosity, and in the words of Joe Hanson – Stay Curious! Don’t shy away from asking questions, however pointless they may seem.

S4 Ep8: Do Not Try to Eat This9m17s

S4 Ep8: Do Not Try to Eat This

Dada was a movement known for collage, upturned urinals, and its radicality--a reaction to the horrors of World War I. It was NOT known for its food, but in 1961 artist Man Ray offered this "Menu for a Dadaist Day," and we cooked it for you.

S4 Ep10: How Halfalogues Manipulate Your –3m16s

S4 Ep10: How Halfalogues Manipulate Your –

A halfalogue is that distracting half-of-a-conversation that you overhear. And you absolutely must know the other half. Because you're a curious human and your brain circuitry rewards you for finding out. Here's the lowdown.

Remixes Hijack Our Brain By Using The Language Of Nostalgia9m17s

Remixes Hijack Our Brain By Using The Language Of Nostalgia

YouTube, as a platform for creative expression, has inspired a new form of modern creativity. In this video essay, there is an exploration into how the remix, a product of this participatory creativity, hijacks your brain. Why do we love watching things we've probably already seen be reproduced in new ways? A guy from New Jersey, John Sedano, creates covers of various songs. This Japanese creator played the songs just using calculators because art is not such a straight line. This extra meaning and relevance was generated by the audience where disparate individuals interacted to create together. This video will look into creativity through the lens of the remix. All the remix songs have one thing in common - we all want to watch them. Why is so enjoyable to watch something already seen or heard by being reproduced in a new way? At the heart of the remix is the idea of participatory creativity and it is not a product of a single individual but of social systems, and what is being produced in this way is a novel variation of ideas already floating around in that system, and right now you are in one of these systems - on YouTube! The easiest way to understand human creativity today is by studying the Internet which has given rise to this particular easy to digest format. YouTube has been called a remix culture and through this culture collective intelligence merge. So why remixes hijack our brains? Because repetition is the most convincing and compelling way to make a point and we crave repetitive, easy to digest pieces of media. We get an emotional boost from humor, nostalgia, and love finding evidence that confirm something we have long suspected or we already believe. Remixing is the language of the Internet and it’s a new way our voices can be heard.

You Don't Have To Be Einstein To Spark Creative Thinking3m06s

You Don't Have To Be Einstein To Spark Creative Thinking

It seems like some people have so many great ideas - like Albert Einstein, who apart from changing everything we know about the whole of space and time, he also took a stab at fashion. Rest assured there are ways that the rest of us can be more creative, too. We explore some practical tips for boosting your creativity and generating ideas. Why do some people have so many great ideas? And how can the rest of us be more creative? Creativity is the result of large brain networks that interact with each other to generate random thoughts, change them and merge them and this happens through three mental skills: bending, breaking and blending. Bending is when we imagine things in new ways, breaking is when we take an idea and break it into pieces and blending is when we mix few things together. In 2017 study, researchers found those who score high on creativity tests have more connections between brain hemispheres and stronger communication between brain networks, and the people who come up with many original answers to a question possess a skill called divergent thinking. Remember that you are not stuck with the brain you have, your brain networks are flexible and you can practice creativity. So read more, pay more attention, visit a museum, and travel to feed your imagination. Keep generating ideas and come back to the ground with fresh eyes and hopefully fresh ideas. Don’t forget to surround yourself with interesting people. We need humans and our society for creativity to flourish.