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Crab Story

A crab happens upon a rather unusual sight on the beach: A strange pineapple. All the crabs gather to give it gifts of food to… honor it? To keep it happy? To keep it well fed so it doesn’t eat them? But what is this strange creature really? Maybe the octopus will find out.

Crab Story by Filippo Rivetti and Tatiana Poliektova
Crab Story is a delightful mix of animation and live action backgrounds by time lapse and hyperlapse filmmaker Filippo Rivetti and animation director Tatiana Poliektova.

Crab Story by Filippo Rivetti and Tatiana Poliektova
Crab Story by Filippo Rivetti and Tatiana Poliektova
Watch more crab videos like this one, as well as more animated animal adventures: Minoule, Joy and Heron, The Old Mill, a Walt Disney Silly Symphony from 1937, and The Lion and the Mouse from 1976.

Plus: The Secret World of Stuff and Aug(De)Mented Reality.

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Abigail Mendoza, world renowned Zapotec chef

Mexico’s Zapotecs are an indigenous community living in Oaxaca, Mexico. Before Spanish colonization, Zapotecan civilization was a thriving epicenter of food, culture and tradition. Today, chef Abigail Mendoza is on a mission to keep those traditions alive by cooking the food of her ancestors. All the dishes she cooks—including pre-hispanic mole, stuffed chiles with Oaxaca cheese and atole—are made using ancient techniques. Recognized by the world’s best chefs for her dishes, she hopes to keep the food of her ancestors alive and thriving.




Follow Mendoza’s Great Big Story with more videos about artisanal family traditions in Mexico: Pedro Hernández Carlos’ intricate Mexican pottery, Alebrijes, Mexico’s Beautiful Monsters, and Abdón Punzo Ángel’s artisanal coppersmithing from scraps.

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A raccoon demonstrates her problem solving skills

Rascal is a tame raccoon who uses her smarts and sensitive paws to open windows, unlock locks, and get to the tasty treat that awaits her. Can she make it through each obstacle? This impressive clip is from the BBC’s Animals Unexpected, narrated by biologist Lucy Cooke. The show explores how animals’ natural talents help them survive and thrive in human-made spaces around the world.

Follow this with our favorite smart animals including this wild crow solving a puzzle in 8 parts and Chaser, the Border Collie that can understand 1022 words (or more). Plus: More evidence birds can count, an octopus unscrews a jar from the inside, and how smart are dolphins?

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Conductive copper dominoes topple to turn on this lamp

Why simply flip a switch when you can turn on a lamp with a domino chain reaction instead? This is a copper domino light created by London-based design studio Glithero. Tip over the first conductive copper switch, the ‘rocker’ domino, to watch the rest fall one by one in any configuration.

copper domino lamp
copper dominoes
When the last domino meets the copper strip, a ‘receiver’ domino, on the other side of the lamp base, as long as all of the dominoes are touching, the electrical circuit will complete and the will lamp turn on.

The lights plays with the moment a light is switched on, making it less instantaneous and creating a more tangible relationship between electricity and materials. With so much technology around us in our daily lives it is easy to take for granted that even simple things such as turning on a light are made possible by the physical properties of materials.

copper domino lamp
A lovely mix of science, technology, product design, and play. It may also spark an idea for making your own conductive domino chain reaction project. What happens when your domino circuit completes?

Next: Draw circuits with conductive ink, Electric Dough Playdate and how to build a light bulb. Plus: The surprising interactions between copper and neodymium magnets and materials science with EUPHRATES.

via Dezeen.

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Lucas the Spider tells a scary story

In this Lucas the Spider adventure, Lucas finds a book full of scary stories. But when he doesn’t like the story he’s reading, he makes up his own.

Lucas also keeps busy with his one-spider band

And his web spinning. What new friend will fly onto his web?

Previously: Lucas the Spider discovers a tiny wooden village and more animated adventures with Lucas the Spider

Bonus: More made-for-kids videos.

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How to make an origami Butterfly Ball

Learn how to make an origami Butterfly Ball that bursts apart when you hit it in the air. This easy-to-follow tutorial by Jo Nakashima takes us through each step. For this design by Kenneth Kawamura, you’ll need 12 small square pieces of paper for folding; 7.5 centimeter or around 3-inch squares are used in the video. Assembly may require some patience and practice.

how to fold an origami butterfly ball
how to fold an origami butterfly ball
how to fold an origami butterfly ball
Follow Nakashima on YouTube and Instagram. And if you make your own Butterfly Ball, let @TheKidShouldSeeThis know on Instagram, too.

Next, watch more origami videos. Plus: An unexpected way to inflate a balloon, turning scraps into soccer balls for village children, and Hikaru dorodango, handmade ‘shining mud dumplings’.

Bonus: An origami-inspired model for reconfigurable materials.

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Why are moths obsessed with lamps?

If you, a nocturnal insect, knew how to travel in the darkness by navigating with moonlight, a light bulb might be confusing… distracting… irresistible. This NatGeoWILD video explains how transverse orientation drives moths to artificial light sources at night:

An easy way to think about transverse orientation is to imagine a sailor traveling in the direction of the North Star. In theory, moths similarly follow the light source at a precise position and a precise angle to their bodies. This is how moths would navigate for millions of years… by the light of the moon.

What moth evolution couldn’t account for was the proliferation of constant electric light in our modern world. When Thomas Edison patented the light bulb on January 27, 1880 it was a bad day in moth history. These light bulbs began to act as artificial moons, confusing moths and overwhelming their senses.

Next, watch Borrowed Light, On Light Pollution: The End of Darkness, Star Parties In Our National Parks, and A Visual History of Light, animated.

Bonus: What’s the Waggle Dance?

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How is cheese made?

How is cheese made? Tasty’s Made by Hand series goes behind the scenes at Beecher’s Handmade Cheese in New York City to find out. Cheesemaker Liz Stork is making Flagship Cheddar, a process that depends on timing and some heavy lifting.

Then cheese farmer Alan Glustoff gives a tour of 5 Spoke Creamery in Goshen, New York. His Harvest Moon cheese is made orange with annatto, his cheese caves are filled with round, rind-covered chunks that age for a year, and his farm is 100% solar-powered.

Related picture book reading: How did that get in my lunchbox?

Next, see how mozzarella is made in the Bronx and how butter is made at the Bordier Butter Factory in France. Plus: Cheese-flipping robots.

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A Pumpkin’s Life

A Pumpkin’s Life is a Sesame Street-style pumpkin time-lapse filmed in 2011 by Jon Fletcher at Sykes-Cooper Farms in Elkton, Florida. To capture each stage, he built a solar-powered camera to capture the pumpkins from seed to October-ready fruit. What does it take to grow a pumpkin?

…pumpkins require anywhere from 75-100 days or more to grow… larger varieties take longer to produce. They don’t like cold, which makes it vital you wait until all danger of frost has passed before trying to plant them. Ideal soil temperatures for pumpkins is 70-95 degrees Fahrenheit.

Second, pumpkins need full sun and plenty of room to spread out when growing. Their vines can reach anywhere from 50-100 feet per plant.

Finally, be sure to plant pumpkins in nutrient-rich soil because they’re heavy feeders. The soil should also be well-drained. If they can’t get what they need from the soil, you shouldn’t expect a big harvest.

And with Dill’s Atlantic Giant seeds, rich soil, the right weather, and some luck, you might grow a giant pumpkin like the 2,528 pound 2018 record-breaking one grown by New Hampshire man Steve Geddes. Start preparing the soil in autumn for next year’s yield.

Learn more about pumpkins with this True Food explainer. Then watch pumpkin carving artist Lenny Calvin create a spooky goblin face and a 1,223 pound pumpkin growing from seed to scale.

Bonus: The Growing Cycles of Vegetables.

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Can ice on Europa and Enceladus help us find extraterrestrial life?

In the late 1990s, photographs from the Galileo spacecraft showed an ice-covered surface on Europa, one of the Galilean moons orbiting Jupiter. In early 2018, studies of the data reported that “giant jets of water are spouting more than 100 miles off that moon’s surface.”

europa icy surface
Is Europa’s icy shell covering a liquid ocean teaming with life? Or might we find life in the water beneath the ice on Saturn’s moon Enceladus?

Professor of Space Physics Michele Dougherty shares How Ice might help us Find Extraterrestrial Life in a clip from the BBC’s The Secret Life of Ice, narrated by science writer Dr. Gabrielle Walker.

enceladus vapor plumes nasa
Next, watch Ocean Moon, Ocean World: The water beneath Europa’s icy surface and another clip from the program: Instant Ice Crystals.

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Florida’s mangrove swamp ecosystem illustrated

Go on an illustrated adventure through a Florida mangrove swamp: New York Times best-selling author Rachel Ignotofsky has teamed up with animator Leo Thom and The Mangrove Action Project for this quick animated introduction: Ecosystem of the (Florida) Mangrove Swamp.

Highly recommended in The TKSST Gift Guide, Ignotofsky’s picture book The Wondrous Workings of Planet Earth depicts the world’s diverse ecosystems—Rainforest, Desert, Arctic Sea, Red Wood Forest, Great Barrier Reef, and more—with her signature illustration style.




And the book introduces how our planet works and how we can protect it, highlighting furry and feathered apex predators, primary and secondary consumers, producers, scavengers, decomposers, and other creatures, fungi, and plants… including mangroves. From MangroveActionProject.org:

Although once thought of as useless wastelands, careful study and research has revealed that mangroves are among the most important ecosystems on this planet. Valued for anchoring coastal ecosystems as well as providing economic and ecosystem services to humans, mangrove forests are true treasures. The complexities of these systems are enormous, and there is still much to learn. Mangrove forests are highly interconnected within the ecosystem itself, but they also make up a transitional zone between land and ocean, connecting and supporting both. It is no surprise that mangroves are called “roots of the sea.”


Follow Rachel Ignotofsky on Instagram and Twitter, and check out her other best-selling books: Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World and Women in Sports: 50 Fearless Athletes Who Played to Win.

Then watch a pygmy three-toed sloth swim to find a mate in the mangroves.

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Sounds of Survival: The quest to record an exquisite spike-thumb frog mating call

Deep in the emerald cloud forests of Cusuco National Park of Honduras, scientists are on a quest to record the never-before-heard call of the endangered “exquisite spike-thumb frog” (Plectrohyla exquisita). This charming ambassador for the park’s rich biodiversity is just one of 16 different species of amphibians listed as Endangered or Critically Endangered by the IUCN that are clinging to survival inside the small park. Some are found nowhere else on Earth.

The exquisita’s mating call, if found, might inspire frogs at the Honduras Amphibian Rescue & Conservation Center (HARCC) to breed in captivity, an important step in protecting the endangered species. But how can we find and record this call when we don’t know what it sounds like? And how can it be recorded clearly in the middle of a bubbling river?

In the bioGraphic video above, herpetologist and conservationist Jonathan Kolby teams up with sound artist Ben Mirin to record the exquisite spike-thumb frog mating call. We also see and hear some beautifully filmed moments with other small creatures in the landscape.

Plectrohyla exquisita
herpetologist and conservationist Jonathan Kolby teams up with sound artist Ben Mirin
Learn more about HARCC’s conservation work, and the chytrid fungus that’s harming amphibian populations around the globe, in the short film below. Both films were produced by biologist and filmmaker Katie Garrett.

Next: Mapping whale songs in the South Pacific, A Blind Birdwatcher Sees With Sound, and how do birds learn to sing?

Then watch cell division in a frog egg, a microscopic time-lapse video, raising wood frogs, from eggs to tadpoles to adults in 7 weeks, and repopulating an Ohio creek with giant salamanders.

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Nyango Star, Japan’s cat-apple mascot drummer

Nyango Star (にゃんごすたー) is a giant Japanese mascot cat-fruit hybrid whose ability to slay the drums has become an internet sensation. In the video above, Nyango Star plays Anpanman’s March, the theme song to an animated show called Soreike! Anpanman.

The character performs around Japan as a mascot for the city of Kuroishi in Aomori Prefecture, a region known for their apples. According to the Nyango Star website, our hero is part cat, part apple, and all metal. And if you think the name ‘Nyango Star’ sounds a bit like drummer Ringo Starr, you’d be right. Ringo (りんご) means ‘apple’ in Japanese. Nyan (にゃん) is the Japanese onomatopoeia for ‘meow’.

See another performance in this Yamaha Music Foundation promo.

Next: More Japan and a T-Rex dancing ballet. Plus, watch more drum videos, including Max Roach on the hi-hat, Monster Tubulum, Invisible Drum Kit, cdza’s Intro to Drums, the great Viola Smith, and Tom Tom Magazine‘s Oral History of Female Drummers.

h/t @ThatEricAlper.

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Kids Meet Opera Singer Angel Blue

Meet Angel Blue. She’s an award-winning American operatic soprano, a singing voice that “has the highest vocal range of all voice types,” who’s performed all over the world. In this episode of Kids Meet, Angel Blue demonstrates her craft, talks with kids about her work as an opera singer, and tries to shatter a wine glass with her voice.

To see her onstage, find an upcoming performance or watch this short Seattle Opera video of her singing Summertime from George Gershwin‘s English-language “folk operaPorgy and Bess. Read the organization’s Porgy and Bess Spotlight Guide for more about the opera.


Next: Maria Callas sings O mio babbino caro and Casta Diva, opera singers sing during real-time MRI scans, and see What Happens Just Before Show Time At the Met Opera.

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The spectacular birth of baby slugs

How many different stories can one patch of land yield? The BBC’s The Lake District: A Restless Year attempts to find out in their portrait of this charming area in northwest England… including its baby slugs.

In one of these stories, slugs speed across a rock in hyperlapse video clips. Their translucent eggs, protected by the damp crannies within the rock, will soon hatch, ensuring the next generation of local soft-bodied detritivores. Plus, more about the program:

“Timelapse photography shows how the landscape changes over a year, while stories follow individual animals like red squirrels gathering nuts, Herdwick sheep raising their young and grey seals gathering on the coastline. It is a beautiful film offering a new perspective on the interdependent relationships between the landscape, the wildlife and the people who make their living from the land.”

Watch these next: Banana Slugs and Secret of the Slime and The Anatomy of a Slug. Plus, watch more videos about hatching and birth.

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Where Do Teeth Come From?

How long teeth can last? 30,000 years? 200,000 years? 300 million years? In this episode of It’s Okay to Be Smart, Joe Hanson gets an up-close look at some ancient saber-toothed tiger (smilodon), mastodon, tyrannosaurus, dilophosaurus, and helicoprion teeth with Matthew Brown at the University of Texas Vertebrate Paleontology Collection.

Plus, find out what happens when baby teeth are replaced by permanent teeth. Where were those adult teeth hiding? And how did they form?

Related reading: Tooth enamel and human tooth development. And check out this photo by Stefan Schäfer at the Hunterian Museum in London.

Child's skull with baby teeth and adult teeth, Hunterian Museum, London//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Learn more about teeth with these videos: Straightening teeth with dental braces, an 18-month time lapse and what causes cavities?

Bonus: The Narwhal, Unicorns of the Sea.

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