Tom Scott

Mount Taranaki, on the North Island of New Zealand, is a large-scale circle that’s visible from space: a stratovolcano with six miles of forest around it. But that didn’t happen naturally. Oh, and there’s a good chance that, in the next fifty years or so, it might explode. GOOD VIDEOS ON NATURAL PERSONHOOD: Law professor
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At the University of Christchurch, New Zealand, the team at Mars Bioimaging are using detector equipment originally developed for the Large Hadron Collider, and putting it to a very different use: medical imaging that allows 3D, false-color images inside the human body. Thanks to the Mars Bioimaging team: https://www.marsbioimaging.com/ Edited by Michelle Martin (@mrsmmartin) Audio
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Kerosene Creek is a natural hot spring near Rotorua, on the North Island of New Zealand. And there have been official warnings for years: don’t put your head under water. It turns out that “brain-eating amoebas”, naegleria fowleri, are a real, if rare, thing. Thank you to Associate Professor Siouxsie Wiles! Here are some of
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The Ports of Auckland are automating their straddle carriers, which might not seem like much: until you phrase it as “hundred-tonne autonomous robots guided by nanosecond-precision tracking”. More about the Ports of Auckland: http://www.poal.co.nz/ I’m at http://tomscott.com on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at http://facebook.com/tomscott and on Instagram as tomscottgo
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Gibbs Farm, in New Zealand, is an enormous private sculpture collection. Its most famous piece is Horizons, by Neil Dawson – and it looks like a cartoon tissue somehow painted onto the landscape. To see it in person, though, will take a bit of effort. Gibbs Farm: http://www.gibbsfarm.org.nz/ I’m at http://tomscott.com on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott
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Cape Reinga, at the very northern tip of New Zealand, is known for being where the Tasman Sea meets the Pacific Ocean, where two oceans collide. The truth, though, is a little more complicated than that. Thanks to Dr Simon Clark for helping proofread my script: https://www.youtube.com/SimonOxfPhys – any errors are mine, not his! Current
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In the Ashton Graybiel Spatial Orientation Laboratory at Brandeis University, there’s the Artificial Gravity Facility: otherwise known as the rotating room. No-one’s invented futuristic gravity plating yet, but if you want to test how humans would cope with artificial gravity, this is the best way. More about the Artificial Gravity Facility: https://www.brandeis.edu/graybiel/facilities/srr.html More about the
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The Multi-Axes Rotation and Tilt Device (MART) is used for spatial orientation experiments: it’s a chair balanced on a metaphorical knife-edge, powered by precise and fast motors. And my job was to not fall over. More about the Ashton Graybiel Spatial Orientation Laboratory: https://www.brandeis.edu/graybiel/ More about the MART: https://www.brandeis.edu/graybiel/facilities/mart.html More about Vivek’s research: https://sites.google.com/view/vivekanandpandeyvimal 3D
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The Forbes Pigment Collection at the Harvard Art Museums is a collection of pigments, binders, and other art materials for researchers to use as standards: so they can tell originals from restorations from forgeries. It’s not open to the public, because it’s a working research library — and because some of the pigments in there
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On Nantasket Beach, in the seaside town of Hull, Massachusetts, sits the last play-for-cash Fascination Parlor in the world. It’s a century-old arcade game, made of relays that click and buzz. There are a few other parlors left in the world: but this is the only one where you’re playing for actual money. More about
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Today in the Game Garage, it’s not about what you know: it’s about what you can do. Pull down the description for the full cast and links to everyone’s channels! IN THE STUDIO Cambria Bailey-Jones – https://twitter.com/cambriabailey Guy Larsen – http://guylarsen.com Taha Khan – https://youtube.com/khanstopme ON THE PANEL Barry Lewis – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAzyupPG4vdo8jd9nJ13LAw Colin Furze –
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St Peter’s Seminary sits in woodland about an hour west of Glasgow, near a village called Cardross. If you like Brutalist architecture, then it’s a beautiful ruin: if not, then perhaps your view isn’t so kind. It’s a historic, religious building: but it’s also a money sink that can’t be demolished. My thanks to Ronnie
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Welcome to the Game Garage! A series of three new, experimental quizzes and games. Thanks today to Evan Edinger – https://youtube.com/naveregnide – and Luke Cutforth – https://youtube.com/lukecutforth – for being the guinea pigs for Game 1: Weight For It. Sure, we could have spent a fortune on a massive studio, huge props and a giant
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Go see William Osman’s video about building the car! – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZK_fnS62Lk and thanks to Michael Reeves for being a guinea pig: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtHaxi4GTYDpJgMSGy7AeSw/ We built a car that you drive with real-life video game lag, and used it for an ill-advised, mostly-unscientific experiment about motion sickness. In case it wasn’t obvious: we did this in a
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Measuring time is a complicated thing. Computers, banks, and stock markets in Denmark all use UTC, the international standard: but according to the law, they shouldn’t. Edited by Michelle Martin (@mrsmmartin) Thanks to Thor Nielsen for the suggestion! I’m at http://tomscott.com on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at http://facebook.com/tomscott and on Instagram as tomscottgo
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Featuring the Gregory Brothers! Go subscribe to them: https://youtube.com/schmoyoho Pitch correction: it can make terrible singers sound decent, brilliant singer sound mediocre, or Cher sound like a robot. But how does it work? And is it possible to explain that without actually trying to understand Fourier transforms? I’m at http://tomscott.com on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott on
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Subscribe to Neuro Transmissions! https://www.youtube.com/user/neurotransmissions or start with their video on how to train a cat to high-five: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VfsVw0ndFAQ We’re all used to seeing MRI scans of brains. But how do they work? Can you really “see” brain activity, or read someone’s mind? Alie and Micah from Neuro Transmissions went to get scanned — and
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Subscribe to Kurtis Baute! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTRM8LE1g6UXrVZKwgw5oEA or start with his one-take video on the history of the universe: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ObngtuPFI8A Inside his homemade, hermetically-sealed, airtight biodome, Kurtis Baute is already out of breath and surrounded by more carbon dioxide than he should be. And that’s going to affect a lot of things — including how smart he
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Subscribe to Up and Atom! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSIvk78tK2TiviLQn4fSHaw/ or start with Jade’s video on quantum tunnelling: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPZLRtyvEqo You’ve got a painting and two nails. Can you use both nails to hang the painting so that if either nail is removed, the painting falls? That’s the puzzle: in this week’s guest video, Jade’s going to solve it with
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Go subscribe to Medlife Crisis! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgRBRE1DUP2w7HTH9j_L4OQ or start with Rohin’s video on why you shouldn’t test for everything: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7kQk9-KLPfU The Bajau people of Borneo can hold their breath longer than almost anyone else on the planet. How? Why? And how can the rest of us learn to hold our breath for longer? Rohin from Medlife
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The tourist guides promote it as Georgia’s Little Grand Canyon: but this is a scar on the Earth, caused by humans either not understanding or not caring about geology. Is it natural? Or man-made? Or both? I’m at http://tomscott.com on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at http://facebook.com/tomscott and on Instagram as tomscottgo
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This is the story of one of the best, and also one of the worst, text messages I’ve ever received. It’s about harm, about consequences, and about the responsibilities that designers, coders and hackers have to make sure we treat other people with care. I’m at http://tomscott.com on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at http://facebook.com/tomscott
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From January, every citizen of England and Wales will have a new social credit score. Advice from the Department for Community and Culture. ⏩ is a series of YouTube videos from a future. YOUR NEW SOCIAL CREDIT SCORE WRITTEN BY: Tom Scott VOICEOVER: Melissa Thom http://melissathom.me ANIMATED BY: Mooviemakers http://www.mooviemakers.co.uk I’m at http://tomscott.com on Twitter
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Some American cities use buses, or trams, or trains. Peachtree City, Georgia, has a different solution: it’s not quite public transit, but a hundred miles of golf cart tracks helps to keep cars off the road. More about Peachtree City: https://www.peachtree-city.org/ and https://visitpeachtreecity.com Edited by Michelle Martin (@mrsmmartin) With thanks to Titan Miller for emailing
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The Tree That Owns Itself in Athens, Georgia is well known. The other Tree That Owns Itself in Eufaula, Alabama, really isn’t. It’s the same story in a different place. Why? I’m at http://tomscott.com on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at http://facebook.com/tomscott and on Instagram as tomscottgo
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That’s it! That’s the end of the series. You made it! Congratulations! Enjoy the best mime that Matt has ever done. BONUS MATERIAL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XRtilePap0c FULL PLAYLIST: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL96C35uN7xGIo2odDuuPeYtb7BtQ1kBhp WEB SITE and MORE AUDIO EPISODES: http://techdif.co.uk Featuring: Matt Gray: http://mattg.co.uk – @unnamedculprit Gary Brannan: @garybrannan and Chris Joel, who doesn’t do this social media nonsense More from
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In a field near Elberton, Georgia, USA, sit a set of mysterious standing stones: mysterious not because they’re ancient, but because they were funded by someone anonymous in 1980, perhaps as a message to any survivors of the end of the world. I’m at http://tomscott.com on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at http://facebook.com/tomscott and on
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I realise we never actually define “pumpy thing” in this video. I’m not going to define it here either. BONUS MATERIAL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_hjV2skRac FULL PLAYLIST: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL96C35uN7xGIo2odDuuPeYtb7BtQ1kBhp WEB SITE and MORE AUDIO EPISODES: http://techdif.co.uk Featuring: Matt Gray: http://mattg.co.uk – @unnamedculprit Gary Brannan: @garybrannan and Chris Joel, who doesn’t do this social media nonsense More from us: http://techdif.co.uk
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Technically, the Inchindown oil tanks in Invergordon, Scotland, have the world’s longest reverberation, but that makes a much worse title. We tested them with a loud noise and some very sensitive microphones. Matt’s musical experiments: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CzMVJkTjKNc Behind the scenes on the Matt and Tom channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4qplnaPjbk Thanks to Allan, Alan and Preston for all their
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No, a hail cannon isn’t for if you just want to accelerate a lot of hail really quickly. This week: pseudoscience and real science! BONUS MATERIAL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MgerCSpxSWo FULL PLAYLIST: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL96C35uN7xGIo2odDuuPeYtb7BtQ1kBhp WEB SITE and MORE AUDIO EPISODES: http://techdif.co.uk Featuring: Matt Gray: http://mattg.co.uk – @unnamedculprit Gary Brannan: @garybrannan and Chris Joel, who doesn’t do this social media
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Sometimes, numbers on sites like YouTube and Twitter jump up and down; subscriber counts lag, like-counts bounce all over the place. Why is it so hard for computers to count? To answer that, we need to talk about threading, eventual consistency, and caching. Thanks to my proofreading team, and to Tomek on camera! The Cambridge
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Our traditional Wartime Badass Episode this week, albeit a wartime badass whose weapon included expense reports. BONUS MATERIAL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFFoDDhl9DA FULL PLAYLIST: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL96C35uN7xGIo2odDuuPeYtb7BtQ1kBhp WEB SITE and MORE AUDIO EPISODES: http://techdif.co.uk Featuring: Matt Gray: http://mattg.co.uk – @unnamedculprit Gary Brannan: @garybrannan and Chris Joel, who doesn’t do this social media nonsense More from us: http://techdif.co.uk Directed by Grant
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Dinorwig Power Station, otherwise known as Electric Mountain, is a pumped-storage hydro station in Llanberis, Wales. And yes: it’s Britain’s largest battery. Here’s how it works, and why some of the things you think you know about TV pickups might not be so true any more. Thanks to all the Engie team! More about them:
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This time, we’re taking on smør-panik, food politics, and – for the second week running – brandy. BONUS MATERIAL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MqOWh0lzKOQ FULL PLAYLIST: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL96C35uN7xGIo2odDuuPeYtb7BtQ1kBhp WEB SITE and MORE AUDIO EPISODES: http://techdif.co.uk Featuring: Matt Gray: http://mattg.co.uk – @unnamedculprit Gary Brannan: @garybrannan and Chris Joel, who doesn’t do this social media nonsense More from us: http://techdif.co.uk Directed by
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Every month or so, somewhere in London, a manhole explodes. It’s so common that it doesn’t make the news unless it’s spectacular or someone gets injured. Here’s why, complete with gratuitous pyrotechnics. Filmed by Perspective Pictures Pyrotechnics by Paul at Darkstar Pyrotechnics News articles: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/11169183/Explosion-in-city-street.html https://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/pavement-explodes-yards-from-pedestrians-and-cars-in-old-street-a3568676.html https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/819198/london-manhole-cover-explodes-old-street I’m at http://tomscott.com on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott on
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The final season begins! With a traditional tale of a military mistake and a wheel that spins and lands on France. BONUS MATERIAL: https://youtu.be/407IeeVA3C0 FULL PLAYLIST: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL96C35uN7xGIo2odDuuPeYtb7BtQ1kBhp WEB SITE and MORE AUDIO EPISODES: http://techdif.co.uk Featuring: Matt Gray: http://mattg.co.uk – @unnamedculprit Gary Brannan: @garybrannan and Chris Joel, who doesn’t do this social media nonsense More from
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There’s a reason music videos look strange. I could just talk about framerate, cuts and continuity… or I could get an actual music video director. And a leaf blower. Directed by: Sammy Paul https://twitter.com/icoepr Produced by: Cambria Bailey-Jones https://twitter.com/cambriabailey Guy Larsen https://twitter.com/thisisguido Director of Photography: Ciaran O’Brien https://twitter.com/ciaranobrien Featuring: dodie https://youtube.com/doddleoddle Dancers: Deepraj Singh Annie
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That’s right, we’re kicking Season 2 of the Basics off with a technical episode about a somewhat-obsolete technology! IT’S PARTY TIME. Wait, no, not party time. IT’S CODE TIME. Close enough. Let’s talk about seven-segment displays, and about the longest word you can write with them. Public domain list of English words: https://github.com/dwyl/english-words Thanks to
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