Top Ten Science Videos

September 11, 2014
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Science… where would we be without it? Probably in church sacrificing goats. Well, relax goats! A bunch of us like to exercise reason these days. Like this little lot…

Cosmic Inflation… I consider myself a smart person but I had a hard time wrapping my head around this one. What I understood was that 380,000 years after the Big Bang, matter started to coalesce into clumps that would become stars and galaxies. This was as far back as we could go; however, earlier this year, a space probe helped to tell us what happened in the year directly after the Big Bang. Inflation reasons that the universe expanded faster than the speed of light and caused ripples in the fabric of Space-Time – where is Mr. Spock when you need him? It was these ripples that helped matter eventually form into clumps that would become stars and galaxies. Kinda trippy but also super interesting.

Why is the solar system flat? First I learned two things from this video: 1) The reason why the solar system is flat and 2) the planetary model for atoms is wrong. Mind blown. So back to the original question… the solar system is flat because of collision and three dimensions. When a star system is forming the cloud of matter is moving all around in the three dimensions but it is also spinning in a circular plane as well. It’s the collision of the different particles of matter that cancels out the energy of the up and down motion due to collision. On top of that there is a law of physics that says the total amount of spinning in a particular system always stays the same… hence… an almost flat disk of solar system-ness.

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? This question has been asked since the ancient times. I’ll give you the answer from this video… it’s the egg! But where did the egg come from? Well, long ago there was a species of proto-chickens. Two of them mated and because of genetic variances a chicken egg was formed which birthed the first chicken. Now it’s not really as easy as I’ve made it sound but there you go. Egg wins!

Why do bats carry so many diseases? This is actually pretty topical since the recent e-bola outbreak. I’ll break it down into as simple terms as I can. Bats fly and to fly they have to use an inordinate amount of energy, in extending this energy they leave themselves susceptible to all sorts of viruses. However, because of evolution bats have developed strong defenses to either kill off the viruses or at least keep them at bay. Every now and then a virus evolves to live through these batty defenses and because humans are constantly invading animals natural habitats it’s only natural that we’d expose ourselves to these viruses. Moral of the story… leave the bats alone.

How does coffee affect the brain? I write this as I’m chugging my second cup of morning joe. I had previous thought that the caffeine in coffee stimulates the brain… not so. The caffeine actually just inhibits the brain from up-taking the chemical that makes you drowsy. It’s really quite simple. Caffeine is also not as addictive as other drugs. The brain learns to balance out the intake of caffeine with dopamine produced in the body. When you quit caffeine full stop, the brain gets confused and cranky and then you have a headache. Don’t quit cold turkey.

How to break the speed of light? What? No! This is impossible! This is equal parts true and not true. Einstein’s theory of relativity still stands. Anything with matter can’t move faster than light but if you point a laser pointer at the moon and flick your wrist. The image of it travels 20 times faster than the speed of light because of the speed it’s moving across the face of the moon. It’s math that I won’t delve into partially because I last took a math class in 2002. So tonight go into your backyard and break the speed of light. I promise you won’t hurt Einstein’s feelings.

The science of orgasms. Being that this is a sex positive website, I thought it would be great to include this video in the post. We’re all aware of the physical sensations during an orgasm but also the part of the brain that regulates self-evaluation, reason, and control shuts off in both sexes. This also turns off fear and anxiety in conjunction with the body releasing chemicals related to pleasure, love, and bonding. Furthermore, directly after an orgasm, the body experiences a deep feeling of relaxation. In women, emotions are dampened causing a trance like state, and in men the aggression centers are hindered. So basically if more people started having sex, people would be more peaceful, leading to a better world. Go forth and have sex!

Higgs Boson! You probably remember hearing about this back in 2012. Well, what is it and what does it mean? In the simplest terms I can give… A particle gets more or less mass depending on how it interacts with the Higgs field (the thing that gives mass to subatomic particles). The Higgs Boson is the movement in this field. Are you following me? I hope so. It gets confusing but this video explains it pretty well and it’s in cartoons. Cartoons help you understand anything… even Higgs Bosons.

Common physics misconceptions. I’m mad. I’m mad because I was taught a set of knowledge in school and it turns out that it’s not necessarily correct. 1) Gravity’s source is not mass but a combination of energy and momentum, which in turn gives light gravity. Light gets bent when it passes by other objects and in turn that light attracts the matter it is passing by, however minuscule that attraction is. 2) Relativity. Velocities do not add up. Because of some complex math equation we now know that when two objects are moving at speeds relative to the ground you can just add them together. The difference is very small but it’s still a difference. I feel cheated. I really liked my physics teacher too.

Where did Earth’s water come from? Well, it came from the sky! When the solar system was forming the elements that make up water were far enough from the Sun to stay in a frozen state. A specific kind of meteor, which is really a frozen ice ball, came crashing into the Earth as it formed and brought all the water that we have today. That bottled water that you’re drinking… yeah, it came from around Uranus. Think about that for a second.

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