Bubble hurricanes, bug eating and Pokemon: This week on PBS Digital Studios

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Big news in the PBS Digital Studios world this week! The Physics Girl, an MIT graduate and YouTuber who posts physics videos, is now a member of the Digital Studios team. To celebrate, let’s check out her latest video.

Make a hurricane on a bubble – The Physics Girl

…What? Yeah, you read that right. Scientists actually use bubbles to mimic the physics of a hurricane. Crazy, right? As they heated up the soap film from the bubble, convection from the bubble shell caused vortices to form, which mimic hurricanes and cyclones. Researchers actually use bubbles for other research, too — but before we get into that, let’s all go try to make a hurricane in the kitchen. (But be careful, it gets hot…potholders and oven mitts are your friends!)

Why you should eat bugs – The Good Stuff

Yeah, you read that one right, too. Bugs are one of the most plentiful sources of protein on our planet, and they could make up a significant portion of our diet. Should you be eating bugs? Is eating bugs better for the environment? Are bugs good for us? Watch Craig with The Good Stuff taste test some bug dishes and learns about the benefits of eating our six-legged friends.

Why are there so many Pokemon? PBS Game/Show

The question that every 90s kid has been asking themselves for years: There are now more than 700 critters in the Pokemon universe – WHY SO MANY?! Actually, there are more than 1.7 million species of animals on Earth — and that’s only the ones we know about. So why shouldn’t there be that many Pokemon? On this week’s episode of Game/Show, Jamin, joined by special host Joe Hanson from It’s Okay To Be Smart gives us a pretty good answer as to WHY EXACTLY there are so many Pokemon.

End our August fund drive early – give to YOUR KLRU today for a chance to win weekend passes to ACL Fest!

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KLRU is offering our viewers a special incentive this August! GIVE any amount via the form below and you will be entered in to the giveaway for a pair of passes to an ACL weekend! That’s ALL 3 days! Choice of weekend one or two winners are selected at random.

You can also enter to win on social media! Post your favorite ACL Fest photo to Instagram or Twitter, and be sure to tag @klru and use the hashtag #yourklru.

YOUR SUPPORT this August allows YOUR KLRU to provide viewers like you with more and more offers and experiences such as this! What’s more, during this fundraising drive, we’re keeping your regularly scheduled primetime shows on every night. And best of all, if we raise $220,000 before August 20th, we’ll end our drive 3 days early! And donating isn’t the only way to enter this giveaway – stay tuned to KLRU’s social media to share, tweet and post across your social media platforms for entry as well! Be sure to tag @klru and/or use #yourklru. ACL Fest

What’s happening this weekend: Aug. 14-16

Austin Skyline

Stay cool (in more ways than one) with these Austin weekend events.

Get crafty at the Austin Music Hall

UB&B Productions presents the 4th Annual Summer Show in Austin, featuring Austin Craft Riot™ on Saturday at the Austin Music Hall. Check out talented artists, DIY, fun activities for the whole family, swag bags, food trucks, a cash bar and more! Before you go, check out PBS Parents’ Crafts For Kids for inspiration — learn how to make binoculars, a bird feeder and more with your kids! In the episode below, learn how to make a rocket.

Hours: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission: Free. Details here.

Mindful biking

Join Practice Yoga Austin for a “guided cycling yogi adventure” through downtown Sunday morning. The donation-based East Austin yoga studio is hosting a gathering of yogi cyclists, starting off with some morning sun salutations, followed by a bike ride, snacks and some stretching to end the two-hour event. Before you hop on your bike, check out this clip from Religion & Ethics Newsweekly featuring an exhibit outlining the history and culture of yoga. Namaste!

Hours: 10 a.m. to noon Sunday. Admission: Free. Details here.

Be a tourist in your own city!

How long has it been since you’ve taken in the sights and sounds of Austin? Check out Chet’s Austin episode of The Daytripper and be a tourist in your own city!

Hours: Whenever you want. Admission: Depends! Details here.

Support YOUR KLRU this August and WIN a private tour of The Moody Theater

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YOUR SUPPORT today enters you in for a chance to win an exclusive tour of the Austin City Limits Television show. See the legendary music photography of Scott Newton & Jim Marshall. Experience Music’s Best Address. This offer is for 5 guests total (including yourself) and lunch!*

Home of the KLRU-TV produced PBS program, Austin City Limits, the longest running music series in American television history. Experience an insider’s tour of the most famous address in music history!

Give a gift via the form below and you will be entered in the giveaway for a chance to tour the home of Austin City Limits! And donating isn’t the only way to enter this giveaway – stay tuned to KLRU’s social media to share, tweet and post across your social media platforms for entry as well! Be sure to tag @klru and/or use #yourklru.

*One winner and 4 guests, tour scheduled Monday-Friday 11am-noon, lunch provided on site at the end of the tour.

Yes, we’re still talking about Pluto — and more from PBS Digital Studios

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Pluto. Are you over it? ‘Cause we’re not, and neither is PBS Digital Studios. Earthlings’ first mission to Pluto provided us with beautiful and fascinating images of the dwarf planet, and we’re still learning more and more about it. Since New Horizons flew by Pluto on July 14, 2015, it’s completely redefined what we know about the dwarf planet and its largest moon Charon. New Horizons’ mission will continue to be full of surprises, but here’s a roundup of what we’ve learned so far, from It’s Okay To Be Smart:

Our other recommendation from PBS Digital Studios this week isn’t one video — it’s a bunch of them. A whole channel, really. First Person is a digital series from WNET, New York Public Media, addressing gender identity, sexuality and queer community. In this week’s episode, host Kristin Russo talks with Kara Kratcha, a student of English literature and writer who identifies as grey ace (asexual) and genderqueer.

We recommend watching all of First Person’s videos — they address a range of topics like gender binary, coming out in sports and more issues and topics that members of the LGBTQ community deal with every day. Click here to subscribe.

Overheard with Evan Smith pre-tape meet & greet offer!

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Overheard presents a wide range of thoughtmakers and tastemakers – from politicians, authors and artists to actors, journalists and business people.  Evan Smith is your host who always has an eye towards the news and always with a sense of humor.

Did you know that YOUR KLRU locally produced Overheard with Evan Smith airs in 40% of US television markets? YOUR SUPPORT goes beyond the Austin community! Want a chance to meet with Evan Smith and Thomas Mallon before the September 15th taping?

Give a gift TODAY via the form below and you will be entered in to the giveaway to attend a taping on Tuesday, September 15th! And donating isn’t the only way to enter this giveaway – stay tuned to KLRU’s social media to share, tweet and post across your social media platforms for entry as well! Be sure to tag @klru and/or use #yourklru.

Explore YOUR [arts] COMMUNITY with KLRU this August!

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Explore YOUR WORLD from home with KLRU’s locally produced Arts in Context. Did you know that this program is appears in 42% of US television markets? That’s because of viewer support from YOU. Austin is home to this short form documentary series exploring local artists, creative communities and conversations surrounding our city’s cultural scene.

And this August, we’re pledging to keep your regularly scheduled primetime shows, such as Arts in Context, on every night during our fund drive. We must raise $220,000 in 17 days and we’re counting on you to do your part to support the shows you rely on each week in order to meet this goal. Best of all, if we raise $220,000 before August 20th, we’ll end our drive 3 days early! Be sure and give a gift today – not only will your dollars be matched up to $100,000 we are offering an amazing incentive!

Give a gift via the form below for a chance to win 1 of 4 pairs of passes to Artist Den presents alt-J in theaters! And donating isn’t the only way to enter this giveaway – stay tuned to KLRU’s social media to share, tweet and post across your social media platforms for entry as well! Be sure to tag @klru and/or use #yourklru.

Tricky tides, identical hotel rooms and the upside of sadness: Our picks from PBS Digital Studios

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Our picks this week from PBS Digital Studios are enough to blow anyone’s mind. Everything you thought you knew about the science of tides is probably wrong, every hotel room you’ve ever stepped or slept in is the same place, and feeling sad is actually a good thing, as evidenced by Inside Out. Prepare your brain for this influx of fascinating information — and delve in.

What you’ve always been told about tides is probably not factually accurate | PBS Space Time

Everything your physics teacher taught you was wrong. Okay, probably not everything, but probably what they taught you about tides and gravitational pull weren’t exactly true. The facts were right, probably, but the explanation for how tides actually work is often misunderstood. We know that gravity affects the motion of all objects equally – so why are oceans the only bodies of water with tides? Join Gabe on this week’s episode of PBS Space Time as he sets the record straight on tidal force, gravitational differential and what role the moon actually plays in tides. Why don’t lakes have tides? Watch the episode to find out!

All hotel rooms are actually the same place | PBS IdeaChannel

Stay in hotel rooms often? No, you don’t. They actually stay *around* you. Every hotel room is the same place – a place of transition, a place you visit simply for the purpose of leaving. Who are we to our hotel rooms? When you’re in a hotel room, where are you? And who are you supposed to be? We know. It’s crazy. Check out the theory from PBS IdeaChannel.

The power of sadness in Inside Out | BrainCraft

Do you ever look at someone and wonder, “What is going on inside their head?” Disney Pixar has addressed how our emotions work inside our minds in their latest film, Inside Out. In the film, we spend a lot of time with what we consider negative emotions – but are they really negative? Is there such a thing as negative emotions? It’s often culturally and socially reinforced that there’s something wrong or shameful about being sad, and we value positive thinking. But science shows people who try to suppress these “negative” emotions actually experience more of those emotions. BrainCraft explains.

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Wobbly watermelon, Hunter S. Thompson and the science of laughter: Our picks from PBS Digital Studios

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PBS Digital Studios is brimming with fascinating, well-produced content on a wide range of topics. There are so many videos posted each week, in fact, that we can’t possibly begin to share them all with you – so we’ve decided to do a round-up of our favorite videos each week.

This week? The science of laughter, wobbly watermelon and Hunter S. Thompson talks about the Hell’s Angels.

Why do we laugh?

On the surface, laughter seems to be an unconscious, instantaneous reaction to something that pleases us, but it’s actually much more complicated than that, and it has surprisingly little to do with the human sense of humor. Check out It’s Okay To Be Smart‘s explanation of why you get the giggles (featuring some pretty stellar science puns, if you’re into that sort of thing).

Watermelon that wobbles

Okay, it may seem like “Full Time Kid” is just for kids, but trust us – this recipe for wobbly watermelon (using Jello, of course) is delicious and fun for everyone. Get Mya’s recipe and make a yummy, fun summer treat!

Hunter S. Thompson on Outlaws

Blank on Blank is one of the most innovative YouTube channels out there. It features old, unheard interviews with some of the world’s legends, set to new animations.In the 1960s, Hunter S. Thompson spent more than a year living and drinking with members of the Hell’s Angels motorcycle club, riding up and down the California coast. What he saw alongside this group of renegades on Harleys, these hairy outlaws who rampaged and faced charges of attempted murder, assault and battery, and destruction of property along the way–all of this became the heart of Thompson’s first book: Hell’s Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga. Shortly after the book came out, Thompson sat down for a radio interview with Studs Terkel. Listen to the interview and watch the creative animations, and  go to Blank on Blank’s website for more.

Click here to subscribe to PBS Digital Studios on YouTube.

Behind the story | Austin Revealed: Pioneers of the East

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Austin Revealed is an oral history project sharing the stories of Austin’s past and present to encourage discussion and thought around the city’s future. In this series of Austin RevealedPioneers From the East, we profile three of the first families of Chinese origin to settle in the Austin area – the Sing family, the Wong family and the Lung family. In addition, Austin Revealed takes you inside Austin’s Asian American Resource Center, a community center focusing on celebrating Austin’s unique Asian community.

We sat down with filmmaker Tim Tsai, who partnered with KLRU on the project, to talk about his passion for Asian American history, why it’s important to Austin and why he got involved with this project.

Watch the four-part series here:
The Wong Family | The Lung Family | The Sing Family Austin’s Asian American Resource Center

What initially attracted you to this project, and what made you decide to get involved?

Tim Tsai

Tim Tsai

As a filmmaker, I’ve always had an interest in exploring Asian American identities as well as an interest in history. When the funding came through for this project, [KLRU] thought of me as a potential partner. I was completely on board. I didn’t know that much about these particular families’ history, but just knowing how long they’ve been here in Austin was already a surprise to me, and I definitely was curious to find out more, to find out what these families’ experiences were like as immigrants. I was very excited to take on this project and to be able to profile these families.

Why do you think it’s important to tell these stories?

I think these stories, particularly minority history, is overlooked. When you look at history textbooks and the curriculum in schools, the non-majority history is often barely mentioned. I bet if you ask Austinites today when the first Asians settled in Austin, they would maybe think since the ‘40s, ‘50s, ‘60s. Not a lot of people know about the earliest Asian immigrants here. Because of the Chinese Exclusion Act (a United States federal law signed in1882 which prohibited all immigration of Chinese laborers), the Chinese population here, most of whom came to work on the railroads, that population was not allowed to grow. We were a small minority here. But a few of these families did come here, did decide to make Austin their home, and so their stories are very much visible when you talk about Texas history in general. Texans love their history, but certain parts of it are often overlooked.

What did you learn from this project?

I had kind of assumed when there’s such a small number of Chinese Americans here, I would have thought they would band together and be very close. Some of these families did know each other for multiple generations, but really, these three families we profiled, one of them ran a laundry, the other one ran a restaurant, the other one ran a grocery store. They were in different businesses. They lived in different parts of town. They had to integrate. There was no way they could survive if they just kept to their own community, so they all integrated very well into Austin.

What’s also very fascinating is that all these different families have a different connection to their Chinese ancestry. I thought it was fantastic that the Sing family, they identify as Hispanic today, and they’re very proud of their heritage. The Lung family, today, you cannot really identify them just by looking at them that they’re Chinese American. The Wong family, who looks Chinese because subsequent generations did marry Chinese, but what’s interesting is that Dr. Mitchel Wong, he married a first-generation immigrant from Taiwan. There was a cultural difference there. Being first-generation versus third-generation is a big difference.

I came into it expecting some of these episodes to maybe be repetitive, that their stories may be very similar, but I found the opposite, that their stories are actually very different, very unique. They all had different ways of integrating into this community and making their lives here.

What do you think people should take away from this project?

Asian American history and Chinese American history is very diverse. We have very different stories. These communities are not all homogeneous. Each family has their own story to tell. And their story is important. The story of how Chinese Texans came here and how they’ve contributed to our community here is important to document and remember and celebrate.