Weekend Special

2 Ways To Think About Nothing, One Mo' Time

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Let's compare two kinds of nothing: an empty patch of deep space and an empty piece of paper that was once beautiful. There's nothing to see in either. Or is there?


Howling Babies Drove Prehistoric Warriors Into Battle?

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Can a colicky baby's piercing scream be militarized? As in, made (literally) into a weapon of war? Oh, absolutely, says this scholar, smiling ever so slightly.


Mapping What You Cannot See, Cannot Know, Cannot Visit

Sunday, September 07, 2014

We live on a planet, next to a star that's part of a galaxy that's part of ... ah, here comes the new discovery. We are at the very tip of a giant galactic "supercluster." Take a look.


Roadways You Can Install Like Throw Rugs

Sunday, August 24, 2014

You look. You gape. You can't believe your eyes. Well, take a peek at this image and ask yourself, 'How did they do this?'


Guess Who's Been Waiting In The Lobby For A Hundred Million Years?

Saturday, August 02, 2014

The M-Thing. It's patient. It's modest. It's relentless. It stays.


Tell Me, Wave, Where Did You Come From? Who Made You?

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Richard Feynman, one of the greatest science teachers ever, asks a wave to tell him a story.


Her Baby Is At Risk: Lauren's Story

Sunday, June 29, 2014

They were having a baby. Both she and her husband carry a gene that might cause problems, "might" being a 25 percent chance. Is that high? Low? What to do? Here's the story, nicely drawn, deeply felt.


Man Floats Free In Hotel Corridor

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Hotel hallways are cramped and narrow, like cages. But Storyboard P won't be trapped. Watch this Brooklyn dancer float toward a fire extinguisher — beauty in tight places.


Unstealing Treasures: A Reverse Burglary

Saturday, June 14, 2014

The American desert was once filled with hidden treasures — Native American baskets, pots — but no longer. They've been looted. Now, a reverse burglary. Time to return the loot.


Big Moments Get Less Weighty: Whatever Happened To Stiff Paper?

Sunday, June 08, 2014

It had weight. It lasted. It got punched, torn, reused. It got us into ballparks, airplanes, buses, theaters. I'm talking about stiff paper — and it's vanishing.


A Young Woman Falls In Love With Everything

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Wherever we look, we see the same shapes, same forces, same elements in the universe. In this gorgeous animation, Xiangjun Shi describes what it's like to see with the eyes of a physicist.


Intriguing Lime-Green Blobs Appear In The Andes Mountains. Are They Alive?

Sunday, May 18, 2014

It's dry. Empty. Rocks everywhere. About 10,000 feet up in the Andes. Then, all of a sudden, you see an enormous, lime green, tasty-looking lump. Should you lick it?


Listen To These Lovely Cats. No, Actually, Don't

Sunday, May 04, 2014

They are so sleek, so graceful, with such gorgeous eyes, tufted ears — but then they speak. And you think, "Oh no! Why? Why?"


Come Dance With Me

Saturday, April 26, 2014

One song, danced two totally different ways. First, two dancers who sculpt the giddiness, the beats, onto their rhyming bodies. Then a second version, this time, a crazy story. Vive la difference!


The Most Unusual Boy Band In The World

Saturday, March 29, 2014

They sing. They leap. They do crazy cartwheels, landing with pinpoint perfection. They finish with a wild cry of joy. But it's what they don't do that's most remarkable.


I Can't Believe What I'm Seeing: A Springtime (Froggy) Miracle

Saturday, March 22, 2014

A few weeks ago, this little frog was frozen solid, hard like an ashtray, basically dead. And then, we don't know how, this amazing thing happened ...


You're Old. You're a Rock. You Can See

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Two rocks sit on a hill. They're rocks, so there's not a whole lot to do. But then there's a noise, some motion, and suddenly they are witnesses to an extraordinary change. Come see what they see.


A Supersilly Super Bowl 'What If ... ?'

Saturday, January 18, 2014

It's getting close to Super Bowl time, so here's a little fantasy. What would happen if a British sports announcer who has no idea how American football works (not a clue) were suddenly thrown on the air and had to do play-by-play for a game between Alabama and Notre Dame? He knows nothing. What would he say?


Weekend Special: Name That Sound!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

I'm going to play you a sound that you hear all the time. But this time, instead of hearing it in context (in a familiar setting — the movies, an Xbox, on TV, in a phone), it's all alone. Naked. Will you be able to identify it?