December 19, 2012 You are on the cold ocean, staring at a thin sheet of ice, when suddenly, from literally out of the air, beautiful flowerlike objects start growing in front of you. The sea has become a meadow. But those strange "flowers" have a secret.
December 17, 2012 Start with a pool of oil. Turn on a magnet. The oil travels up a superstructure and blossoms into a tree. Turn off the magnet, and the branches, the needles, the tree melt away. It's a puddle again.The perfect tree for an oil billionaire, no?
December 12, 2012 Alzheimer's is the disease that creeps in and slowly erases what you know until, eventually, there's no more to erase. How this happens is still a mystery, but this short animation by Po Chou Chi tries to make poetic sense of what goes on.
December 11, 2012 There you are, hanging with the other pigeons. It's a sunny day. Tranquil. You are taking a bird bath along a river's edge, when suddenly, leaping out of the water onto the land, straight at you — is a fish! A pigeon-eating catfish. (We've got pictures.)
December 10, 2012 Dashboard video cameras are common in Russia. In case you get bumped into, or bump someone else, insurance companies want to see what happened. So we have a video record of what it's like to drive there. You don't want to see this compilation video. (Oh yes you do.)
December 7, 2012 Where's the bus? It's supposed to be here by now, but it isn't. You crane your neck. Nothing. And then — miraculously — there's a solution. The bus still isn't here. But something else is.
December 5, 2012 It's a tombstone like no other. A rough, clumpy hunk of granite, carried across Europe on a sea of ice, dumped in a valley, shipped across the Atlantic, lugged to Massachusetts — all to honor a restless man.
December 4, 2012 "The President" is a 3,200-year-old giant sequoia that clocks in at 247 feet tall and counting. And contrary to most living things we can think of, giant sequoias grow faster later in life than earlier in life.
December 1, 2012 What do singer Gotye, Chinese artist Liu Bolin and early 20th century painter Abbott Handerson Thayer have in common? (Here's a hint: Look very, very closely.)
November 30, 2012 You can go to almost any cubic foot of ocean, stream, coral, backyard, ice shelves even, and if you look, you'll find scores of little animals and plants busy making a living. But here's a place — a beautiful, bountiful place — that when you look close — is a desert.
November 29, 2012 Have a look at this Rubik's Cube. Now turn it slightly. Still there?
November 28, 2012 Imagine a pothole-filled road. Imagine riding that road on a bicycle. Imagine the bumps. Imagine you have a chicken with you. Who has the smoother ride, you or the chicken?
November 21, 2012 Today is our day to say "thank you," so here are a couple of appreciations — the first for things that don't change, the second for things that do. There are no people in the first scene, two people in the second. One of them, I should warn you, is a sneaker-wearing swan.
November 20, 2012 Throbbing, flushing, blushing ... photographer/filmmaker Andrew Zuckerman captures the violent life of flowers. These blossoms are tough, voluptuous and very quickly ... dead.
November 19, 2012 Look at this rocket ship. It is big. It is complicated. We could use long words to describe what's in it, or we could use short words. The author, cartoonist Randall Munroe, chooses short words. Ridiculously short words. Some will sneer. I cheer.