The science behind …

NBC Learn has a series of videos explaining the science behind various things, including NFL football, the Winter Olympics, Universal Resort Orlando, and even the news.

Here’s one about figure skating:


Floppy ears

Why do some domesticated dogs have floppy ears? Find out with this fun animated video from NPR:

This video says that it was 1868 when Darwin published his findings about domestication. That’s the same year as the Meiji Restoration. What other amazing things happened that year, I wonder. One research project idea?


Flu jab

It’s cold and flu season. How are you arming yourself against it? Did you get a flu shot (called a “flu jab” in British English, apparently)?

This is how your body arms itself:

Here’s a TED-Ed lesson about the immune system, if you want to learn more.

I’m reading a book about Thomas Jefferson right now. Well, it’s a semi-fictional account of his daughter’s life, but it’s well-researched and contains parts of his letters. Starting in the 1780s, he became an early adopter of vaccines for smallpox (天然痘). The procedure as described in the book is primitive, but it appeared to work. Here’s a letter he wrote in 1801 describing the experiments he did, vaccinating some of his slaves (yes, it was that era) and even his children.