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From tools to language to brainpower, there’s no shortage of theories positing why humans went from the savannah to megacities, while, despite very similar DNA, other hominins have more or less stayed put. This video from NPR details an emerging theory of how human societies evolved. According to new research, our ancestors shared parenting within families, which might have led to an increased capacity for cooperation, ultimately opening the way towards the rest of the skills we love to praise in ourselves. Read more about the theory at NPR’s website.
Writer and Director: John Poole
Animators: Henry Richardson, Reece Wykes
How a self-taught autistic artist mines creativity from life’s endless variations
Nature and landscape
An afternoon with hobbyist diamond miners in Arkansas is a thing of rare beauty
What can a Kurosawa classic tell us about reality, knowledge and truth?
Witness the majesty of moths taking flight at 6,000 frames per second
Jocelyn Bell discovered pulsars. The Nobel Prize went to her supervisor
Animals and humans
A bluesy ballad tells the story of Old Bet, the first circus elephant in the US
In this 1975 lecture, the maglev train’s inventor deconstructs his ingenious design
Meaning and the good life
To know or not to know? Lillian weighs the costs of a life-changing genetic test
Information and communication
There are many ways to make a flat map of the world – each of them a unique distortion