Wednesday, January 30, 2019

How Music Therapy Affects Moods

Menzie Pittman, a member of the National Association of Music Merchants, talks about the different ways music affects your mood

Monday, January 28, 2019

Can You Solve the Vampire Hunter Riddle? - Dan Finkel

You’re a vampire hunter entering the enemy’s lair. Can you outsmart this tricky brainteaser and vanquish the vampires?


You’ve stealthily descended into the darkness of a vampire cave, setting a sequence of mirrors as you go. When the sun reaches the right angle in the sky, a beam of light will ricochet along the mirrors, strike a diffuser, and illuminate the great chamber where the vampires sleep. Can you place the diffuser correctly and flood the lair with sunlight? Dan Finkel shows how.

Lesson by Dan Finkel, directed by Artrake Studio.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

See a NASA Physicist's Incredible Origami

Twenty-five years ago, physicist Robert Lang worked at NASA, where he researched lasers. He has also garnered 46 patents on optoelectronics and even wrote a Ph.D. thesis called "Semiconductor Lasers: New Geometries and Spectral Properties." But in 2001, Lang left his job in order to pursue a passion he's had since childhood: origami. In the origami world, Lang is now a legend, and it's not just his eye-catching, intricate designs that have taken the craft by storm. Some of his work has helped pioneer new ways of applying origami principles to complex real-world engineering problems.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Why is There No Saxophone in the Orchestra?

The saxophone is one of the most popular instruments, so why is it not a regular in the orchestra? Contrary to what some people say, it's not because the sax "doesn't blend" - in fact, it was designed with blending in mind, and blends fantastically well with almost any instrument. The real reasons are largely historical to do with the cartel-like world of Parisian instrument manufacturers in the 19th Century, and the effect this had on the instrument's perception over the next 100 years.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

The History of the World According to Cats - Eva-Maria Geigl

In ancient times, wildcats were fierce carnivorous hunters. And unlike dogs, who have undergone centuries of selective breeding, modern cats are genetically very similar to ancient cats. How did these solitary, fierce predators become our sofa sidekicks? Eva-Maria Geigl traces the domestication of the modern house cat.

Lesson by Eva-Maria Geigl, directed by Chintis Lundgren.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

How A London Orchestra Broke International Law

There are some stories that just seem right, some things that make perfect sense and don't require further explanation. The story of pitch inflation is not one of those. It starts off fairly innocently, with vague attempts to standardize, until suddenly in the 19th century everything exploded and, well... I don't want to spoil the ending, but it's a wild ride.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Oceans 101 | National Geographic

Oceans serve as the planet’s largest habitat and also help to regulate the global climate. But why is the ocean salty? And how is climate change impacting the ocean? Find out more about the ocean, including the consequences of and potential solutions to these changes.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

The Benefits of Music: Sound, Language & Memory

There is evidence that shows parallels between how we process music and the way we process language. The benefits of music are endless!

Monday, January 14, 2019

Can You Solve the Multiplying Rabbits Riddle? - Alex Gendler

After years of experiments, you’ve finally created the pets of the future – nano-rabbits! They’re tiny, they’re fuzzy ... and they multiply faster than the eye can see. But a rival lab has sabotaged you, threatening the survival of your new friends. Can you figure out how to avert this hare-raising catastrophe? Alex Gendler shows how.

Lesson by Alex Gendler, directed by Artrake Studio.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Introducing the Baroque Theorbo

"People complain a lot about the space that I take up".

Lutenist Elizabeth Kenny explains how and why the theorbo was developed in the 17th century, what it was used for, and what it's like to carry it around on the train.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

What a Conductor Actually Does on Stage

If you’ve ever seen an orchestra perform you’ve probably had a difficult time looking away from the person dead center on the stage – the conductor. It’s hard to miss someone as they swing their arms around pointing at the musicians that seem to be focused instead on their music stands. So what exactly is the conductor doing?

We decided to ask James Gaffigan – a conductor who recently guest conducted the New York Philharmonic in Central Park – just what it is that makes a conductor so necessary and how their actions shape the performance.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Can You Solve the Stolen Rubies Riddle? - Dennis Shasha

Townspeople are demanding that a corrupt merchant’s collection of 30 rubies be confiscated to reimburse the victims of his schemes. The king announces that the fine will be determined through a game of wits between the merchant and the king’s most clever advisor – you. Can you outfox the merchant and win back the greatest amount of rubies to help his victims? Dennis Shasha shows how.

Lesson by Dennis Shasha, directed by Artrake Studio.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Jupiter 101 | National Geographic

Jupiter is the oldest and most massive world in the solar system. Learn about the planet's origin story, its Great Red Spot and oceanic moons, and how this ancient world influenced the formation of the solar system's other planets.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Happy New Year!

Let the old year end and the New Year begin with the warmest of aspirations. Happy New Year!