Illuminating biodiversity of the Ningaloo Canyons

5 minutes

No ball games

14 minutes

The trauma tracer

9 minutes

Celui qui tombe (He who falls)

6 minutes

How to be at home

5 minutes

See what no human eyes have seen before, deep in the sea off Western Australia

Glass sponge gardens, bioluminescent octopus squid and a 150-foot siphonophore – the longest animal ever recorded – were just a few of the discoveries made aboard the research vessel Falkor off the coast of Western Australia earlier this year. Led by Nerida Wilson, senior research scientist at the Western Australian Museum, the expedition explored never-before-seen ocean canyons and coral reefs using a remotely controlled robotic vehicle capable of descending to depths of 4,500 metres. Accompanied by words of insight and wonder from the expedition’s scientists, this video offers both a rare look at bioluminescent deep-sea life and a glimpse into how the human impulse for exploration helps to drive scientific discovery.

Via The Kid Should See This

Immerse yourself in the games kids play when the streets are their playground

The London-based filmmaker Charlotte Regan’s charming documentary No Ball Games tracks the nuances of play between young friends in three working-class neighbourhoods across the UK. Capturing the joy of an aimless summer’s day spent finding fun, the film celebrates the instinctual ability of children to cook up their own entertainment from scratch – including, in this case, wresting directing duties from the filmmakers from time to time. With an immersive style, Regan’s film transports viewers into a world of resourcefulness, invention and fun that’s rarely accessed – and perhaps even forgotten – by those burdened by the quotidian concerns of adulthood.

Director: Charlotte Regan

Producer: Theo Barrowclough

Website: Guardian Documentaries

If trauma can be passed down, could new therapies blunt the transgenerational impact?

Growing up in a household where her biological parents provided foster care to kids in need, Bianca Jones Marlin was greatly affected by the stories of trauma that her siblings would share. Those childhood experiences, combined with a passion for science, inspires her work as a postdoctoral researcher at the Zuckerman Institute at Columbia University in New York. Through experiments with mice, Jones Marlin studies how trauma affects transgenerational epigenetic inheritance – or, more plainly, how the stress of traumatic experiences and environments can be passed down by parents to their future offspring, even when the stressors occur before pregnancy. And while making scientific leaps from mice to humans is always perilous, Jones Marlin’s research has proved promising, showing that stressors associated with certain odours in parents seem to make their pups more sensitive to those same smells. Ultimately, Jones Marlin hopes that her work can be used to help create therapies to improve outcomes for children who might be affected by transgenerational trauma.

Video by Science Friday

Director: Chelsea Fiske

Producer: Luke Groskin

Dancers tumble in and out of love as the ground spins beneath their feet

As performed by Frank Sinatra, the song ‘My Way’ (1969) is an act of bravado, with his forceful crooning underscoring lyrics about living life on one’s own terms, and without many regrets. But its original French version ‘Comme d’habitude’ (1967), which translates as ‘As Usual’, tells a different story – one of falling out of love. While set to Sinatra’s version, this performance from the French choreographer Yoann Bourgeois seems to allude to the song’s original meaning, as a troupe of male and female dancers chase, embrace and tumble, all while maintaining their balance on a rotating platform. Excerpted from the Bourgeois piece Celui qui tombe (He Who Falls), the performance offers an enchanting meditation on the cyclical nature of life – no matter where you stand on Ol’ Blue Eyes’ most polarising hit.

Via Kottke

Choreographer: Yoann Bourgeois

Website: Tanz im August

‘Lean into loneliness like it is holding you’ – a poetic reflection on life in lockdown

The audiovisual poem How to Be Alone (2010) was a viral hit for the Canadian musician and poet Tanya Davis and the Canadian filmmaker Andrea Dorfman. Their sequel How to Be at Home updates the original for our age of COVID-19 lockdown, pairing Dorfman’s charming animations – a distinctive melding of stop-motion and illustration – with Davis’s lyrical musings on the isolation that she and much of the rest of the world has endured over the past eight months. The resulting short is an artful – and, depending on your current degree of solitude, perhaps cathartic – meditation on the many conflicting emotions inspired by being forced to spend time at home during a crisis.

See what no human eyes have seen before, deep in the sea off Western Australia

Glass sponge gardens, bioluminescent octopus squid and a 150-foot siphonophore – the longest animal ever recorded – were just a few of the discoveries made aboard the research vessel Falkor off the coast of Western Australia earlier this year. Led by Nerida Wilson, senior research scientist at the Western Australian Museum, the expedition explored never-before-seen ocean canyons and coral reefs using a remotely controlled robotic vehicle capable of descending to depths of 4,500 metres. Accompanied by words of insight and wonder from the expedition’s scientists, this video offers both a rare look at bioluminescent deep-sea life and a glimpse into how the human impulse for exploration helps to drive scientific discovery.

Via The Kid Should See This

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Photo by Wang Zheng/Getty

Essay/
Space exploration
Do we send the goo?

The ability to stir new life into being, all across the Universe, compels us to ask why life matters in the first place

Betül Kaçar

Engineers prepare to enter HAM 6 (left) to install the new septum window between HAM 5 and 6 through which LIGO’s laser beam passes. Staff must wear full bunny suits and goggles to protect their eyes from any stray laser light. The structure visible inside HAM 6 supports the photodetector that ultimately detects gravitational waves. Photo courtesy Caltech/MIT/LIGO Lab

Essay/
Philosophy of science
Keep science irrational

Is hard data the only path to scientific truth? That’s an absurd, illogical and profoundly useful fiction

Michael Strevens