Genghis Khan – Temüjin the Child – Extra History – #1

As a child, Temüjin was afraid of the world, saddened by its cruelty and an outcast from his own tribe. But his mother, Hoelun, passed on her risk-taking personality to him, a boy who would one day become the famed conqueror Genghis Khan.
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Cuban Missile Crisis – I: The Failed Checkmate – Extra History

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An eye for an eye, a missile for a missile–that’s how the saying goes, right? So thought the Soviet Union and the United States in the early fall of 1962, kicking off a 13-day staring contest that scared the world.
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Defusing the Population Bomb

Thank you to Bill and Melinda Gates for supporting PBS Digital Studios. If you’d like to take a look at the 2018 Annual Letter, you can check it out here http://b-gat.es/2Cfph0j
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Is overpopulation real? Is Earth filling up with too many humans? How many people can Earth hold, anyway? As our species approaches 8 billion, human overpopulation is a major concern for many people. How can we reduce poverty and our impact on the environment? Do we need a forced one-child policy or something? Maybe not, because when we look at the science and history, populations seem to control themselves. This week we look at all these questions and more.

READ MORE:

https://ourworldindata.org

https://www.sciencemag.org/site/special/population/

http://science.sciencemag.org/content/346/6206/234

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/are-malthus-predicted-1798-food-shortages/

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For Pacific Mole Crabs It’s Dig or Die | Deep Look

Pacific mole crabs, also known as sand crabs, make their living just under the surface of the sand, where they’re safe from breaking waves and hungry birds. Some very special physics help them dig with astonishing speed.

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DEEP LOOK is a ultra-HD (4K) short video series created by KQED San Francisco and presented by PBS Digital Studios. See the unseen at the very edge of our visible world. Get a new perspective on our place in the universe. Explore big scientific mysteries by going incredibly small.

* NEW VIDEOS EVERY OTHER TUESDAY! *

Among the surfers and beach-casting anglers, there’s a new visitor to San Francisco’s Ocean Beach shoreline.

Benjamin McInroe is there for only one reason — to find Pacific mole crabs, a creature commonly known as “sand crabs” — and the tiny animals whose burrowing causes millions of small bubbles to appear on the beach as the tide comes in and out.

McInroe is a graduate student from UC Berkeley studying biophysics. He wants to know what makes these little creatures so proficient at digging their way through the wet sand.

McInroe hopes that he can one day copy their techniques to build a new generation of digging robots.

— What are Pacific Mole Crabs?

Pacific mole crabs, also known as sand crabs, are crustaceans, related to shrimp and lobsters. They have four pairs of legs and one pair of specialized legs in the front called uropods that look like paddles for digging in sand. Pacific mole crabs burrow through wet sand and stick their antennae out to catch bits of kelp and other debris kicked up by the breaking waves.

— What makes those holes in the sand at the beach?

When the waves recede, mole crabs burrow down into the sand to keep from being exposed. They dig tail-first very quickly leaving holes in the wet sand. The holes bubble as water seeps into the holes and the air escapes.

— What do birds eat in the wet beach sand?

Shore birds like seagulls rush down the beach as the waves recede to catch mole crabs that haven’t burrowed down quickly enough to escape. The birds typically run or fly away as the next wave breaks and rolls in.

—+ Read the entire article on KQED Science:

https://ww2.kqed.org/science/2018/02/13/for-pacific-mole-crabs-its-dig-or-die/

—+ For more information:

Benjamin McInroe, a Ph.D. student at UC Berkeley, studies how Pacific mole crabs burrow
https://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~bmcinroe/

Professor Robert Full directs the Poly-PEDAL Lab at UC Berkeley, where researchers study the physics of how animals and use that knowledge to build mechanical systems like robots based on their findings.
http://polypedal.berkeley.edu/

—+ More Great Deep Look episodes:

Decorator Crabs Make High Fashion at Low Tide | Deep Look
https://youtu.be/OwQcv7TyX04

These Fish Are All About Sex on the Beach | Deep Look
https://youtu.be/j5F3z1iP0Ic

Sea Urchins Pull Themselves Inside Out to be Reborn | Deep Look
https://youtu.be/ak2xqH5h0YY

There’s Something Very Fishy About These Trees … | Deep Look
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZWiWh5acbE&t=1s

—+ See some great videos and documentaries from the PBS Digital Studios!

Why Do We Eat Artificial Flavors? | Origin of Everything
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iNaJ31EV13U

The Facts About Dinosaurs & Feathers
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aOeFRg_1_Yg

Why Is Blue So Rare In Nature?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3g246c6Bv58

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KQED, an NPR and PBS affiliate in San Francisco, CA, serves Northern California and beyond with a public-supported alternative to commercial TV, Radio and web media.

Funding for Deep Look is provided in part by PBS Digital Studios. Deep Look is a project of KQED Science, which is supported by the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, the Dirk and Charlene Kabcenell Foundation, the Vadasz Family Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Fuhs Family Foundation Fund and the members of KQED.

The Rise and Demise of Beanie Babies | Guru Larry

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May I present to you The Rise and Demise of Beany Babies. This is really a one-off, try something non-gaming related for a bit of variety. I am planning more “Rise and Demise” episodes, which will be gaming related, but this is such a messed up story, I just couldn’t pass on it.

But, please let me know what you think in the comments 🙂

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Tuatara All The Way Down – Face To Face With A Living Fossil!

Your now is not your forever (unless you’re a tuatara)
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Special thanks to John Green! And to Amber Faasen and the Dallas Zoo herpetarium team!

During the 2017 Project For Awesome livestream, I promised I’d make a tuatara video if we hit our fundraising goal, and I’m a man of my word! Little did I know I’d get to meet a tuatara and learn things about a 200 million year old branch of life that would blow my mind. Get ready to meet the chillest reptile, weird living fossil, and star of Turtles All The Way Down… the tuatara.

3D tuatara skull animation courtesy of Digimorph: http://www.digimorph.org/

READ MORE:
“Turtles All The Way Down” by John Green: http://amzn.to/2GU2c6J

“Horseshoe Crabs and Velvet Worms: The Story of the Animals and Plants That Time Has Left Behind” by Richard Fortey http://amzn.to/2EpcfT2

Hay, J. M., Subramanian, S., Millar, C. D., Mohandesan, E., & Lambert, D. M. (2008). Rapid molecular evolution in a living fossil. Trends in Genetics, 24(3), 106-109.

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It’s Okay To Be Smart is hosted by Joe Hanson, Ph.D.
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The Most Extreme Life Forms On Earth… And Beyond?

Life, uh… finds a way
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What have we learned from exploring Earth’s harshest locations? That pretty everywhere we look for life, we find it. From smoking hot hydrothermal vents to icy deserts, up in clouds and inside rocks, extremophiles have found a way to survive. These survivors and adapters are not only teaching us about life on Earth, but expanding the possibilities of where life can exist elsewhere.

READ MORE:

Horikoshi, K., Antranikian, G., Bull, A. T., Robb, F. T., & Stetter, K. O. (Eds.). (2010). Extremophiles handbook. Springer Science & Business Media.

Schulze-Makuch, D., Airo, A., & Schirmack, J. (2017). The Adaptability of Life on Earth and the Diversity of Planetary Habitats. Frontiers in microbiology, 8, 2011.

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This Giant Plant Looks Like Raw Meat and Smells Like Dead Rat | Deep Look

With rows of Dr. Seuss-like flowers hidden deep inside, the corpse flower plays dead to lure some unusual pollinators.

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DEEP LOOK is a ultra-HD (4K) short video series created by KQED San Francisco and presented by PBS Digital Studios. See the unseen at the very edge of our visible world. Get a new perspective on our place in the universe and meet extraordinary new friends. Explore big scientific mysteries by going incredibly small.

* NEW VIDEOS EVERY OTHER TUESDAY! *

For a plant that emits an overpowering stench of rotting carcass, you’d think the corpse flower would have a PR problem.

But it’s quite the opposite: Anytime a corpse flower opens up at a botanical garden somewhere in the world visitors flock to catch a whiff and get a glimpse of the giant plant, which can grow up to 10 feet tall when it blooms and generally only does so every two to 10 years.

A corpse flower’s whole survival strategy is based on deception. It’s not a flower and it’s not a rotting dead animal, but it mimics both. Pollination remains out of sight, deep within the plant. KQED’s Deep Look staff was able to film inside a corpse flower, revealing the rarely-seen moment when the plant’s male flowers release glistening strings of pollen.

It’s not that the corpse flower is the only plant to attract pollinators like flies and beetles by putting out bad smells. Nor is it the only one that produces male and female flowers at the same time.

“The fact that it does all of this at this outsized scale – all of this together – is what’s so unique about it, biologically,” said Pati Vitt, senior scientist at the Chicago Botanic Garden.

When a titan arum is ready to flower, a stalk starts to grow out of the soil. Once it has reached four to 10 feet, a red “skirt” unfurls. Though it has the appearance of a petal, it’s really a modified leaf called a spathe that looks like a raw steak.

The yellow stalk underneath is called the spadix and it gives the plant its scientific name, Amorphophallus titanum, or roughly “giant deformed phallus.”

In its native Sumatra, the corpse flower opens for only 24 hours. In captivity, it often lasts longer. With just a day to reproduce, the stakes are high.

— How many chemicals make up the smell of the corpse flower?
More than 30 chemicals make up the scent of the corpse flower, according to the 2017 paper “Studies on the floral anatomy and scent chemistry of titan arum” by researchers at the University of Mississippi, University of Florida, Gainsville, and Anadolu University in Turkey:
http://journals.tubitak.gov.tr/botany/issues/bot-17-41-1/bot-41-1-6-1604-34.pdf

Some of the chemicals have a pleasant scent. But mostly, the corpse flower at first smells like funky cheese and rotting garlic, as a result of sulphur-smelling compounds. Hours later, the stink changes to what Vanessa Handley, at the University of California Botanical Garden at Berkeley describes as “dead rat in the walls of your house.”

—+ Read the entire article:
https://ww2.kqed.org/science/2018/01/23/this-giant-plant-looks-like-raw-meat-and-smells-like-dead-rat/

—+ For more information:
Great illustration on the lifecycle of the corpse flower by the Chicago Botanic Garden:
https://www.chicagobotanic.org/titan/faq

University of California Davis Botanical Conservatory:
http://greenhouse.ucdavis.edu/conservatory/

—+ More Great Deep Look episodes:

This Mushroom Starts Killing You Before You Even Realize It
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bl9aCH2QaQY

A Real Alien Invasion Is Coming to a Palm Tree Near You
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S6a3Q5DzeBM

—+ See some great videos and documentaries from PBS Digital Studios!

It’s Okay To Be Smart: How to Figure Out the Day of the Week For Any Date Ever
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=714LTMNJy5M

Above The Noise: Can Genetically Engineered Mosquitoes Help Fight Disease?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CB_h7aheAEM

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KQED, an NPR and PBS affiliate in San Francisco, CA, serves Northern California and beyond with a public-supported alternative to commercial TV, radio and web media.

Funding for Deep Look is provided in part by PBS Digital Studios. Deep Look is a project of KQED Science, which is supported by the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, the Dirk and Charlene Kabcenell Foundation, the Vadasz Family Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Fuhs Family Foundation Fund and the members of KQED.

How to Figure Out the Day of the Week For Any Day Ever

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You can be a human computer too. Our cheat sheet: http://bit.ly/2rftqkv

You might think that computers are the only things that run algorithms, but you’re wrong. Here’s a neat mental trick for calculating the day of the week for any day ever, developed by famous mathematician John H. Conway

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READ MORE:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doomsday_rule

Martin Gardner, “The Universe in a Handkerchief: Lewis Carroll’s Mathematical Recreations, Games, Puzzles, and Word Plays”

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It’s Okay To Be Smart is hosted by Joe Hanson, Ph.D.
Director: Joe Nicolosi
Writer: Joe Hanson, Ph.D.
Producer/editor/animator: Jordan Husmann
Producer: Stephanie Noone and Amanda Fox
Produced by PBS Digital Studios
Music via APM
Stock images from Shutterstock http://www.shutterstock.com
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Why Is Blue So Rare In Nature?

Duh, except for the sky… and the ocean…
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Among living things, the color blue is oddly rare. Blue rocks, blue sky, blue water, sure. But blue animals? They are few and far between. And the ones that do make blue? They make it in some very strange and special ways compared to other colors. In this video, we’ll look at some very cool butterflies to help us learn how living things make blue, and why this beautiful hue is so rare in nature.

SPECIAL THANKS:
Smithsonian Institution – National Museum of Natural History
Bob Robbins, Ph.D. – Curator of Lepidoptera
Juan Pablo Hurtado Padilla – Microscope Educator

Richard Prum, Ph.D. – Yale University
Vinothan Manoharan, Ph.D. – Harvard University

SOURCES:

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It’s Okay To Be Smart is hosted by Joe Hanson, Ph.D.
Director: Joe Nicolosi
Writer: Joe Hanson, Ph.D.
Producer/editor/animator: Jordan Husmann
Producer: Stephanie Noone and Amanda Fox

Produced by PBS Digital Studios
Music via APM