PBS's Videos

S4 Ep6: The Neuroscience of Creativity3m02s

S4 Ep6: The Neuroscience of Creativity

Creativity depends on the cooperation of two competing networks: one that generates spontaneous thoughts (the default mode network) and the executive control center of the brain that governs everything else. Our random, free-flowing thoughts that are worthy of further exploration pop into our consciousness when they're recruited by the executive control network.

S4 Ep5: The Surprising Similarities Between Twister and Inte5m45s

S4 Ep5: The Surprising Similarities Between Twister and Inte

Network Neuroscience offers a new way to look at our brains – where researchers organize our brain's connections as patterns and look at how those connections interact, change and stay the same when we perform different tasks. It turns out that the flexibility of those connections can indicate how quickly we can learn or multitask – and is a top predictor of intelligence.

S3 Ep30: Look What We've Done3m21s

S3 Ep30: Look What We've Done

Over the past 3 years, 60 artists have offered art assignments, and thousands of artworks have been made in response. Here's a brief glimpse of what we've all made together over the course of this series so far. So KEEP ASSIGNMENTING!

The Origin of Matter and Time9m22s

The Origin of Matter and Time

We’ve broken down our preconceived notions about mass and time, now let’s redefine what they really are. Since we know that time is not a universal constant, what is? Matt defines causal order and explains how even though time may look different to multiple observers, it is the one concrete reality that we can all agree on.

S2: Juno to Reveal Jupiter's Violent Past10m16s

S2: Juno to Reveal Jupiter's Violent Past

On July 4th 2016, the Juno spacecraft entered orbit around the planet Jupiter after leaving earth five years ago. The Juno probe will tell us what lies inside the mysterious gas giant and with this information we’ll better understand the formation of our solar system.

S3 Ep5: Supervoids vs Colliding Universes!10m41s

S3 Ep5: Supervoids vs Colliding Universes!

If you study a map of the Cosmic Microwave Background, or CMB, you may notice a large, deep blue splotch on the lower right. This area, creatively named the Cold Spot. Is this feature a statistical fluke, the signature of vast supervoids, or even the imprint of another universe?

S1 Ep44: Is Santa Real? (A Scientific Analysis)5m35s

S1 Ep44: Is Santa Real? (A Scientific Analysis)

Happy Holidays! Ever wonder how Santa could possibly manage to deliver all those presents in a single night? Or what gives red-nosed reindeer the ability to fly? And why do your Christmas lights get tangled in knots no matter how carefully you put the away?!

S4 Ep7: The Case for Museums8m28s

S4 Ep7: The Case for Museums

The powerful and privileged have hoarded precious artifacts in museums for centuries, and it's only recently that these treasures were made available to the rest of us. What purpose did museums serve? And why does every city have one today?

S5 Ep17: Could You Be Immune To Everything?6m16s

S5 Ep17: Could You Be Immune To Everything?

Do you remember having a cold in 5th grade? Or the flu a couple years ago? Your immune system does. Our bodies hold many levels of immune defense. Millions of B cells and T cells and antibodies are constantly on patrol for germs and antigen invaders. As scientists learn more about how this system works and how to engineer it, could we ever actually be immune to everything?

The Most Interesting Life Forms On Earth And Beyond5m24s

The Most Interesting Life Forms On Earth And Beyond

What have we learned from exploring Earth’s harshest locations? That pretty everywhere we look for life, we find it. From smoking hot hydro-thermal vents to icy deserts, up in clouds and inside rocks, extremophiles have found a way to survive. These survivors and adapters are not only teaching us about life on Earth, but expanding the possibilities of where life can exist elsewhere. Earth mysteries are a wide range of spiritual, quasi-religious and pseudoscientific ideas focusing on cultural and religious beliefs about the Earth, generally with regard to particular geographical locations of historical significance. Believers in Earth mysteries generally consider certain locations to be "sacred", or that certain spiritual "energies" may be active at those locations. The term "alternative archaeology" has also been used to describe the study of Earth mystery beliefs. The study of ley lines originates in the 1920s with Alfred Watkins. The term "Earth mysteries" for this field of interest was coined about 1970 in The Ley Hunter journal, and the associated concepts have been embraced and reinvented by movements such as the New Age Movement and modern paganism during the 1970s to 1980s. Some New Age believers engage in travel to locations they consider important according to their beliefs; for example, Stonehenge is a popular destination among New Age seekers. For those of us who are over run by our curiosities this just might be the video in which you are introduced to life forms of all different species that by human standards are over all hazardous and dangerous, to say the least. Somehow, nature has made these specs of life in such manner to withstand abnormal surroundings. Take a look as this video is sure to broaden your horizons!

S5 Ep15: Defusing the Population Bomb5m51s

S5 Ep15: Defusing the Population Bomb

Is overpopulation real? Is Earth filling up with too many humans? How many people can Earth hold, anyway? As our species approaches 8 billion, human overpopulation is a major concern for many people. How can we reduce poverty and our impact on the environment? Do we need a forced one-child policy or something? Maybe not, because when we look at the science and history, populations seem to control

S5 Ep14: Tuatara All the Way Down7m55s

S5 Ep14: Tuatara All the Way Down

During the 2017 Project For Awesome livestream, I promised I’d make a tuatara video if we hit our fundraising goal, and I’m a man of my word! Little did I know I’d get to meet a tuatara and learn things about a 200 million year old branch of life that would blow my mind. Get ready to meet the chillest reptile, weird living fossil, and star of Turtles All The Way Down… the tuatara.

Why Are There As Many Males As Females?5m20s

Why Are There As Many Males As Females?

In almost every animal species on Earth, equal numbers of males and females are conceived. Why is that? Especially in populations like lions or elephant seals, where most males don’t get to mate? That’s survival of the laziest, not survival of the fittest. It turns out that in most cases, an equal balance of the sexes is the evolutionarily stable strategy. The equal ratio of sexes is so common in nature most people never wonder why it is that way. When male and female chromosomes shuffle and combine there is a 50% probability of either sex. But this just tells us how it is not why it is this way rather than some other way. If getting your genes from one to the next generation is the whole point of evolution , than you think that the best strategy is to put a lot of eggs into the female basket. Sperm is really cheap to produce so males make a lot of them, and animal males typically don’t do most of the childcare. So, you get a situation where you need only a few males to keep a population going. This seems to be the ideal situation for most animal species. This doesn’t seem like the best strategy and allocation of natural resources. What is the logic behind this process? 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!

The Capacity Of Intimate Relationships Predicts All Aspects Of Life 3m22s

The Capacity Of Intimate Relationships Predicts All Aspects Of Life

What's the key to happiness and life satisfaction? One study followed a group of people for more than seventy years to find out. Watch this video and find out what they discovered! Can you think of one thing that could make you happy over the course of your life, which does not include tacos and Harry Potter. Think of something that could actually sustain your happiness for many years. You can say anything you like, but to measure it scientifically we would have to study your regular integrals for most of your life. Luckily, that study has already been done. The Harvard Grant Study began in 1938 and it followed 268 male undergraduate students for more than seventy years. They planned to track them over their entire lives, so they can measure a lot of psychological and physiological traits like their personality, IQ, and the function of their major organs. Because it was so huge it had so many findings like your financial success is more dependent on the warmth of your relationship than intelligence. And cigarette smoking was the single greatest factor that contributed to the men’s deaths. When George Vaillant, the lead researcher of this study for more than 30 years, was asked what was the single greatest finding from it, he said it was the capacity of the intimate relationships that predicted flourishing in all aspects of the men’s lives, concluding that happiness is love . What these seventy years of research suggest is ‘love is all you need’, which is what The Beatles sang about, but it doesn’t necessarily mean having a long relationship or marriage with a partner. The study looked at the men’s relationship with their parents and how that affected them over the course of their lives. The men who had a warmer relationship with their mothers as a child earned an average of $87,000 a year more than those who had an uncaring mother. Those with an uncaring mother were more likely to develop dementia later in life. The warmth of the men’s relationship with their fathers was correlated with enjoying vacations more and having a life satisfaction at age 75. These findings are super-interesting. Of course correlation doesn’t equal causation. Watch this video and share your comments on this topic below!

Constitutional Compromises: Crash Course Government #58m56s

Constitutional Compromises: Crash Course Government #5

The United State’s didn’t always have its current system of government. Actually, this is it’s second attempt. Craig will delve into the failures (and few successes) of the Articles of Confederation, tell you how delegates settled on a two-house system of representation and discuss the issues of slavery and population that have been imbedded into our constitution.

Presidential Powers 2: Crash Course Government #127m48s

Presidential Powers 2: Crash Course Government #12

This week Craig continues our conversation on presidential powers by looking at those NOT found in the Constitution - implied or inherent powers. We’ll talk about how the president uses his or her power to negotiate executive agreements, recommend legislative initiatives, instate executive orders, impound funds, and claim executive privilege in order to get things done.

Congressional Decisions: Crash Course Government #106m32s

Congressional Decisions: Crash Course Government #10

This week Craig breaks out the crystal ball to try and figure out why our congresspeople do the things that they do. We’ll talk about the three motivating factors of congressional decisions - constituency, interest groups, and political parties - and we’ll break down how each of these factors motivate certain actions like casework, public opinion polls, and logrolling.

Congressional Delegation: Crash Course Government #136m12s

Congressional Delegation: Crash Course Government #13

What are all these federal agencies about? Well, the president has a lot of stuff to do as the chief executive, and as much as Americans like to talk about personal responsibility, the president can't really do all this stuff alone. Because it's a huge job! Same deal with Congress. So, they delegate authority. This is where all the government agencies and stuff come from.