Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Can You Solve the Jail Break Riddle? - Dan Finkel

You’re a bank robber trying to escape from jail. Can you solve the riddle to get past the fence to freedom?


Your timing made you and your partner infamous bank robbers. Now, you need to use that timing to break out of jail. Your partner is about to flash you a signal, and exactly 45 seconds later the electric fence circuit will short out. Then you notice that your watch is broken, and all you have are two 1-minute fuses in your pocket. Can you time your escape and get free? Dan Finkel shows how.

Lesson by Dan Finkel, directed by Artrake Studio.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Thursday, February 21, 2019

How Do Ocean Currents Work? - Jennifer Verduin

Dive into the science of ocean currents (including the Global Conveyor Belt current), and find out how climate change affects them.


In 1992, a cargo ship carrying bath toys got caught in a storm. Shipping containers washed overboard, and the waves swept 28,000 rubber ducks and other toys into the North Pacific. But they didn’t stick together -- the ducks have since washed up all over the world. How did this happen? Jennifer Verduin dives into the science of ocean currents.

Lesson by Jennifer Verduin, directed by Cabong Studios.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

The Secret To Writing Lyrics

Lyrics are one of the most important aspects of songwriting: They're the first thing most people listen to, and they convey your song's story more clearly than anything else. But they're really hard, right? Language is so complicated and weird that many of the structural approaches we theorists like to take for chords and stuff just don't work. Well, fortunately for us, we're not the only ones asking these sorts of questions, and the answers are out there. We just have to look a little further afield.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Earth 101 | National Geographic

Earth is the only planet known to maintain life. Find out the origins of our home planet and some of the key ingredients that help make this blue speck in space a unique global ecosystem.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Einstein's Brilliant Mistake: Entangled States - Chad Orzel

When you think about Einstein and physics, E=mc^2 is probably the first thing that comes to mind. But one of his greatest contributions to the field actually came in the form of an odd philosophical footnote in a 1935 paper he co-wrote -- which ended up being wrong. Chad Orzel details Einstein's "EPR" paper and its insights on the strange phenomena of entangled states.

Lesson by Chad Orzel, animation by Gunborg/Banyai.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Will There Ever be a Mile-High Skyscraper? - Stefan Al

Would a mile-high skyscraper ever be possible? Explore the physics behind some of the tallest buildings and megastructures in the world.
In 1956, architect Frank Lloyd Wright proposed a mile-high skyscraper, a building five times as high as the Eiffel Tower. While this massive tower was never built, today bigger and bigger buildings are going up around the world. How did these impossible ideas turn into architectural opportunities? Stefan Al explains how these megastructures became fixtures of our city skylines.

Lesson by Stefan Al, directed by TED-Ed.

Friday, February 8, 2019

The Furthest Distance Between Two Chords

What does it mean for two chords two be far apart? How do we even measure that? Well, there are lots of different approaches that each give their own answers, but one of my favorites is a motion that really hasn't been examined very deeply, one that I got to invent my own name for: The Exochord. It's a cool, dramatic sound that works a lot better than it feels like it should, and the story of why it's so far away is a really fun one. Check it out!

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Uranus 101 | National Geographic

Uranus is a planet beyond convention. Find out why it boasts the coldest temperatures in the solar system, what phenomena caused the unique tilt of its axis, and the curious origin of the planet's name.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Brain Networking Among Musicians | Tomorrow Today

When musicians play, what is happening inside their brains? Scientists at Berlin's Max Planck Institute for Human Development have discovered that while performing together, their neurological activity goes into a kind of synchronization mode - almost as though they were connected by a wireless network.

Friday, February 1, 2019

The Secret Structure Of Children's Music

There are all sorts of music out there, but one genre that probably doesn't get enough attention is the songs that we sing for children. It's easy to write them off as simple (Because they are) but there's more to it than that: Children's music is how we pass on cultural ideas about the structure of music, and examining how they work can tell us a lot about what's actually important to us. Of course, working with such a limited palette can be pretty restricting, but if we look at what's been done, maybe we can find a way to make something new. Or maybe not. It's actually pretty hard. But we can try!