Since the start of the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, the term “herd immunity” has been all over the news. But what does it really mean? One thing most people don’t realize about vaccines is that they aren’t just to protect the person who gets the shot. They also protect the population as a whole, even people who didn’t get the shot. We use mousetraps & ping-pong balls to show you how that works.
Here we are, just a year after the first news of the coronavirus we now call SARS-CoV-2 and the global pandemic known as COVID-19… and scientists have already developed more than one safe & effective vaccine. How did they do that so quickly? I visited the lab whose work directly led to these first COVID vaccines, so you can learn how basic research connects to life-saving medicine.
You’ve probably heard of Ben Franklin and the kite. But do you know the TRUE story of how his famous experiment changed the world? Here’s the tale of how one person’s quest for scientific knowledge altered the direction of history.
Time passes for all of us at the same rate of one second per second. But why does it sometimes feel like time is passing so fast, or so slowly? Especially during COVID? Let’s learn about how our brains keep track of and try to make sense of time, and how they get fooled.
Bottom line: Masks work. They are safe for almost everyone to wear, and the more people that wear them along with adhering to physical distancing and other strategies, then that’s more lives we’ll save. But there’s still a lot of confusion and misinformation out there when it comes both to wearing masks and the actual risks of getting infected with COVID-19.
Wearing a mask is a cheap and easy way to help stop the spread of airborne infections like COVID-19. It’s also a sign that you want to help protect other people and have them protect you… that we’re all in this together. Here’s some awesome slow-motion schlieren imaging experiments to demonstrate why masks work! Share with someone who needs to see this.
The largest pterosaurs like Quetzalcoatlus were closer in size to airplanes than birds. No flying animal alive today comes close to their huge size. So did giant pterosaurs actually fly? I went to see the fossil bones of the largest pterosaur that ever lived so I could learn how these winged giants actually took to the skies.
Invisible, mysterious, and deadly — SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 have spread around the world and caused much of humanity to hide away. Germs like these only succeed and spread because of our social evolution, and our social nature is why social and physical distancing is so deeply painful for us. But evolution has also given us the gifts we need to survive this difficult time. Here's how.
I’ve explained a lot of weird bodily functions on this show but there’s one that we haven’t covered that’s always confused me: Tickling. What are you for, tickling? What’s the point of you? Why do you exist? Why do you make us laugh even though we hate you? Let’s dig into our evolutionary past to try and find an answer.
One of the most effective things you can do to protect yourself from catching a germ and becoming a statistic, whether it’s a global pandemic like COVID-19 or just every single other day of your life, is something that people have been trying to get you to do since you were like 2. Wash your hands. With good ol’ soap. And do it the right way. That’s it. Here’s the science of handwashing!
Stay informed. Stay cautious, but not scared. Listen to scientists and public health officials and follow their guidance. By protecting yourself, you’re protecting the most vulnerable among us. Together we can flatten the curve on COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2.
Daylight saving time is a perfect example of how a few people with the best of intentions can end up annoying millions of the rest of us for the better part of a century. And it’s time we take an honest look at how we got to this place where half the world comes unstuck in time twice a year, and ask if the supposed advantages for springing forward and falling back still hold up!
If the sun instantly switched off like a light bulb–which can’t happen, by the way–then we wouldn’t know for almost 8 and a half minutes. Light travels at the fastest speed there is, but it still takes almost 500 seconds to get to Earth. But the most amazing thing about the sunlight we see is it’s actually SUPER old. How is that possible? Because of the physics and mathematics of random walks.
Within an hour of a baby giraffe being born, it’s standing, walking, and nursing on its own. Human babies on the other hand? We’re born unable to move or eat on our own, we can’t communicate or fully sense our world, and we leak EVERYWHERE. If humans are so smart, why are our babies so… un-smart? You may think it’s all about head size, but the real science is more complex.
If you tried to sum up the last 150 years or so in one image, a chart of exponential growth would be a good place to start. You could apply it to life expectancy. Or compound interest. Or any number of things. But especially population growth. As we face a future population of 10 billion and a world impacted by climate change, how will we do a Green Revolution 2.0?
For eons, nature has relied on photosynthesis as a big way to keep carbon dioxide levels from getting out of control. But as we have put more carbon into the air, we’ve also cut down many of the forests we need to suck that carbon up. So big tree-planting initiatives like #TeamTrees to the rescue, right? Actually, we need to think bigger. Here’s 3 ways trees can help us solve climate change.