Defusing the Population Bomb

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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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It’s Okay To Be Smart is hosted by Joe Hanson, Ph.D.
Director: Joe Nicolosi
Writer: Joe Hanson, Ph.D.
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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.
Director: Joe Nicolosi
Writer: 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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It’s Okay To Be Smart is hosted by Joe Hanson, Ph.D.
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How to Figure Out the Day of the Week For Any Day Ever

To learn more about Brilliant, go to https://brilliant.org/BeSmart/ and sign up for free. First 200 people will get 20% off the annual Premium subscription.
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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
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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
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How Atom Bombs Can Uncover Forged Art ☢️😱

Want more cool art videos? Check out The Art Assignment http://bit.ly/ArtAssnmt
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It’s been estimated that 1 in 10 works of fine art are forged or misattributed. The truth is, no one really knows how much fake art is out there, because many art counterfeiters are so skilled that their paintings are almost indistinguishable from the real works. But even counterfeiters can’t beat physics! From atomic bomb remnants to ancient atoms, here’s some of the amazing ways that science can detect fake art.

SOURCES:

“The Scientist and the Forger: Insights into the Scientific Detection of Forgery in Paintings” by Jehane Ragai (2015)

Ragai, J. (2013). The Scientific Detection of Forgery in Paintings. Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, 157(2), 164-175

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It’s Okay To Be Smart is hosted by Joe Hanson, Ph.D.
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Why Do You Love Your Family?

You can learn more about your personal DNA story by going to https://23andMe.com/okay
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Why do we love people we’re related to? Compared to strangers, why do we feel such a deep sense of connection with our family members? Sure, they’re nice to us, we take care of each other, and we often live with them, but there has to be a deeper biological reason. That reason, unsurprisingly is evolution. In this video, I explain why taking care of our family, or even dying for them, makes sense in the eyes of evolution.

SOURCES:
This video covers more than a half century of evolutionary biology theory and observation, but here’s some reading if you’d like to learn more:

Dawkins, Richard. (1976) “The Selfish Gene” http://amzn.to/2Dhd257

Fisher, R. A. (1930). “The Genetical Theory of Natural Selection” http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/880368061

Haldane, J.B.S. (1932). “The Causes of Evolution.” London: Longmans, Green & Co.

Hamilton, W. D. (1963). “The evolution of altruistic behavior.” The American Naturalist, 97(896), 354-356.

Hamilton, W. D. (1964). “The genetical evolution of social behaviour I.” Journal of Theoretical Biology, 7(1), 1-16.

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It’s Okay To Be Smart is hosted by Joe Hanson, Ph.D.
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Writer: Stephanie Keep
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20 MILLION Year-Old Spider!! Unweaving the Science of Spider Silk 🕷

You’ll never look at spiders the same way again!
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Living things have engineered some pretty awesome materials, but I’m not sure anything measures up to spider silk. It’s as strong, as stretchy, and as resilient than even humans’ most advanced creations like Kevlar and steel. So how do these awesome arachnids weave such an incredible substance using nothing but their rear ends? And… what IS this stuff? I went to meet Dr. Cheryl Hayashi, one of the world’s experts in spider silk, to find out.

Special thanks to the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation: https://www.macfound.org/

READ MORE:
Brunetta, Leslie, and Catherine L. Craig. Spider silk: evolution and 400 million years of spinning, waiting, snagging, and mating. Yale University Press, 2010.

Römer, Lin, and Thomas Scheibel. “The elaborate structure of spider silk.” Prion (2008).

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It’s Okay To Be Smart is hosted by Joe Hanson, Ph.D.
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Producer: Stephanie Noone and Amanda Fox

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