Do you find yourself asking a lot of questions that tend to incite responses like, “I don’t know, it just is,”? Well, PBS Digital Studios may have the answers you’re looking for. Host Joe Hanson, Ph.D., creates weekly videos with different topics about things we didn’t even know we were curious about.
When you grow up, more often times than not you learn about the Inuit and the traditional Igloo. Hanson tells us why they actually work, and the science behind heat that you didn’t even know existed.
Owls, the source to that spooky hooting in the middle of the night, actually have a lot more to their existence than meets the eye – literally. Hanson tells us that even though some owls have superb eyesight, feathers all over the face can actually help them to hunt without using their eyes.
I’ve always wondered why salt and pepper could be found on any dining table around the western world. Hanson enlightens us about the natural chemical dependency humans have with salt, and how pepper made it’s way to become the great rock’s sidekick.
Here’s an idea, check out this week’s pick from PBS Digital Studios’ Idea Channel!
Do You Pronounce it GIF or GIF?
So. Whether you like it or not, when you say the word G-I-F, especially on the internet, people are gonna talk about it. Some will correct you, some will correct the people correcting you, it’s the same conversation every time. Over and over and over. Which is why Mike proposed a third pronunciation way back when: Zhaif, or in the IPA: ʒaɪf.
You’ve heard his name. You’ve seen the Campbell’s Soup cans. You might know something about The Factory. But perhaps you’ve wondered why Andy Warhol gets so much attention or why his work even matters. What’s the deal with Warhol, and is he worth your time and consideration? Here’s your answer.
The Case For Kanye
Kanye West was given an honorary doctorate from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in May of 2015, and more than a couple of people questioned it. But why? Why shouldn’t Kanye be taken seriously in the world of art? Here’s our case for Kanye as an artist.
The Case For Yoko Ono
Yoko Ono was an established artist before most of the world heard of her in 1968, and she continues to make groundbreaking work to this day. Who is Yoko Ono? What is her work? And why should you take her seriously?
The Case For Mark Rothko
Rectangles after rectangles after rectangles. Rothko was a truly prolific artist who found his groove painting hazy swatches of color and stuck with it until the very end. Maybe you’ve wondered what the point of it all is, or why he did seemingly the same thing over and over again.
Otters are more than just cute, adorable little fuzzballs, they are one of the greatest conservation success stories of all time. Sea otters are a keystone species, meaning that an entire ecosystem depends on their presence. After they were nearly hunted to extinction for their dense fur, sea urchins (the otters’ favorite food) nearly destroyed the Pacific kelp forests, a habitat that hundreds of species rely on for food and shelter.
Thanks to the hard work of conservation scientists at places like the Monterey Bay Aquarium, sea otter populations are on their way back. Here’s the story of one orphaned sea otter pup’s journey back to the wild
Could Bigfoot REALLY Exist?
You’ve seen the acclaimed ‘real life’ footage of Bigfoot. You’ve probably even seen scientist dig up the footprints of the beast too. But, so far, scientists haven’t been able to prove or disprove the existence of Bigfoot.
The world is a pretty big place and a lot has already been discovered, but as recent as 2013 scientists discovered a new species. Actually, a lot of of species have been discovered due to folklore – so who’s to say Bigfoot doesn’t exist?
How Do Squirrels Find Their Nuts?
How do squirrels remember where they hid their nuts? Some said it was a combination of a squirrels intuition and a tad bit of luck. However, when scientists took a closer look they realized squirrels return to their own hole despite other squirrels having hid their nuts in the same area. Squirrels even create decoy holes when it comes to food this is scarce! Find out more on this episode of It’s Okay To Be Smart.
Does My Dog Know What I’m Thinking?
Do you ever talk to your dog? Do they ever talk back? Humans and dogs have a truly amazing relationship, developed along an evolutionary journey that goes back nearly 10,000 years. Do they really understand what we say, think, and feel? Recent research suggests dogs know more about our language and emotions than you might think.
Every Austinite has experienced the enormous line for barbecue at Aaron Franklin’s downtown restaurant Franklin’s Barbecue. In this week’s picks from PBS Digital Studios’ ‘BBQ with Franklin‘, Franklin himself will share how-to’s on some of his favorite recipes – no line included.
Beef Jerky – BBQ with Franklin
Looking for a quick and easy snack? In this segment, Franklin will teach you how to prepare and make your own delicious beef jerky.
Smokin’ Sausage – BBQ with Franklin
Sausage is a staple in Central Texas barbecue, and there’s not much to it! In this episode, Franklin will teach you his method of smoking sausage and see the difference between a perfectly cooked sausage and an overcook sausage.
Beef Ribs – BBQ with Franklin
Join Franklin as he takes you step by step into preparing mouth-watering ribs!
If you’re that person who only thinks of Alaska as being the home to Eskimo kisses, igloos and ice fishing you might want to take look at this week’s picks from PBS Digital Studios. This week’s picks features three episodes from Indie Alaska and the colorful lives of some of its resident – both humans and animals.
The Wolf Pack – Indie Alaska
We know what you’re thinking and, no, this is in no reference to Alan Garner’s ‘The Wolfpack’ speech (The Hangover). However, it does center on the life of zookeeper Tim Lescher and his belief that wolves are friendlier creatures than often portrayed in myth and popular culture.
The Hives and Lows of Beekeeping in Alaska – Indie Alaska
Scared of bees? Tell that to Alaskan beekeepers Keith Malone and Nathan Bromley who deal with these yellow and black creatures on a daily basis. However, Malone and Bromley have a different approach to keeping bees alive – and from stinging- on the last frontier. Through genetic tweak and all-natural methods, they have produced happy, healthy and stingless bees that last year-round.
I am a Birder – Indie Alaska
In this episode of Indie Alaska, Anchorage bird watcher Aaron Bowman shares his passion for bird watching, discusses the science behind bird counts, talks about why Alaska is a birders paradise.
With this week’s picks from PBS Digital Studios’ you don’t have to worry about that English exam you have next week. Learn all about three classics from Crash Course.
Don’t Reanimate Corpses! Frankenstein Part 1 and Part 2: Crash Course Literature 205 and 206
If you didn’t already know, Frankenstein is the name of the creator not the monster. Come to think of it, Mary Shelley didn’t give the monster a name – weird. Besides the numerous cultural adaptations of Shelley’s novel, how much do you really know about the novel that started it all? In these episodes, John will review the plot and take you through a couple of different critical readings of the novel.
Like Pale Gold – The Great Gatsby Part I and Part 2: Crash Course English Literature #4 and #5
You’re all familiar with the American Dream, right? It’s what they teach you in U.S. history class right after you learn about the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. But wait, you’ll also hear it again in English class when your teacher assigns The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgeralds 1925 novel that explores the themes of decadence, idealism, social upheaval and much more. In this episode of Crash Course, John will cover the rich symbolism of the novel, from the distant green light to the pale gold of wealth and decay. Also, Paris Hilton drops by.
Reader, it’s Jane Eyre – Crash Course Literature 207
The 1847 novel, Jane Eyre, may just be the the first coming of age novel that coins the term ‘stared from the bottom now we’re here.’ Sorry Drake. In this episode of Crash Course Literature, you’ll learn a little about the story, learn about Jane as a feminist heroine and even get some critical analysis on how Bertha might just be a dark mirror that acts out Jane’s emotional reactions.
There’s a lot of things to be thankful for, but one thing we can all be grateful for is great music. Sadly, some of the most profound musicians of the 20th Century died at the age of 27 which has encouraged mythologizing on what actually happened. Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison all died at the age of 27 between 1969 and 1971. At that time, the deaths of these talented musicians did give rise to some speculation, but it wasn’t until Kurt Cobain’s suicide in 1994 that the idea of a ’27 Club’ hit the mainstream.
Today’s rockers will probably tell you Jimi Hendrix was huge influence on their music and we can’t blame them. Hendrix, American rock guitarist, singer-songwriter, is regarded as one of the most influential electric guitarists of all time and is still celebrated by music-goers today. On this episode of Blank on Blank, you will listen to Hendrix’s last interview, one week before his on September 18, 1970.
Janis Joplin on Rejection – Blank on Blank
Up until Janis Joplin rose to fame in 1967, the music industry was predominantly owned by men. Joplin is now considered the premier female blues musician of the 1960s, with a powerful, raw and emotional stage presence it’s easy to see why she still holds this title. However, the negative opinions from others deeply affected Joplin in a way we had no idea about. In this Blank on Blank video, you will see a different side of Joplin in her last interview before her death on October 4, 1970.
Today’s society has engraved in us that being overweight is looked down upon by the public. Everywhere you turn celebrities and models show off their beach-ready bodies, but Jim Morrison has something to say about that. Frontman of the American rock band, The Doors, opens up in this interview about his personal experience with weight gain and his view on it.
When you think of the 1990s one face comes to mind: Kurt Cobain. Lead singer of American punk band, Nirvana, Cobain was – and is- the spokesperson for every teenager that doesn’t feel accepted by society. Often, he was the outcast at school and found a way to release himself through punk music – which portrayed how he felt socially and politically. In this interview, you will learn how Cobain felt towards his own identity and how he dealt with it.
There is so much we know about how our brain works, knowing these facts scientists and doctors can now figure out what’s wrong with our brains when something unusual happens. In this week’s picks from PBS Digital Studios, watch three episodes of Brain Craftand explore how memories shape the criminal justice system, delusions and if dogs dream.
Can Your Memory Make a Murderer? – Brain Craft
After watching Netflix’s Making a Muderer Vanessa Hill, Brain Craft host, had some interesting questions about the documentary. In this episode, Hill will explore false memories, incorrect eyewitness testimonies and false confessions along with their connection with the criminal justice system.
The Truman Show Delusion – Brain Craft
At one point in your life you’ve probably dreamt of being famous, right? Well, for some individuals being the center of attention has driven them to point of delusions. Scientists and doctors have named it the ‘Truman Show Delusion.’ Much like the 1998 film, The Truman Show, these individuals think everything and everyone around them is part of a television show; when in reality their mind can’t tell the difference between what’s real and what’s not. In this episode of Brain Craft, Hill will explore this symptom of Bipolar disorder and Schizophrenia.
Do Dogs Dream? – Brain Craft
On average, dogs sleep for about 14 hours a day. Yeah, that’s a long time. Consuming so much sleep makes you wonder if dogs dream. Watch this episode of Brain Craft to find out!
This week join Physics Girl as she explores the science of your eyes, what colors our brain thinks we’re seeing and see if your phone can receive calls while in a microwave.
Could you replace your eye with a camera? – Physics Girl
How does the eye compare to a camera? How do they work, and will camera technology ever get to the point where you would want to replace your eyeball with a camera? Find out on this episode of Physics Girl!
Does this look white to you? – Physics Girl
Color is all around you. You can’t escape it. But did you know your brain only has three color sensors: red, blue and green. In this episode, you will uncover how your brain creates color by using these three colors.
Can you call a cell phone in the microwave? – Physics Girl
Can a cell phone placed in a microwave receive signals? What’s the difference between oven radiation and the signals used by your phone? Find out on this episode of Physics Girl!