Why do we get goosebumps?

3 minutes

Why do fear, cold and sublime feelings all provoke the same response in our skin?

The reason humans get goosebumps – or, to be technical, experience horripilation – when scared is simple enough: perceived threats are met with a rush of adrenaline through the bloodstream, causing muscle contractions that make hairs stand on end. This made our much hairier ancestors appear larger to potential predators. But why does our skin react this way when we’re cold or when we’re moved by a song, a landscape or a painting? Or even when we drink lemon juice? This video from NPR’s Skunk Bear probes some of the evolutionary origins of our skin’s most mysterious adaptation.

Producer: Adam Cole, Ryan Kellman

Video/Knowledge

Models are always imperfect, and the ones we choose greatly shape our experience

3 minutes

ORIGINAL
Video/Virtual Reality

New realities are imminent: how VR reframes big questions in philosophy

5 minutes

Video/Nature & Environment

In the murky waters of climate change, native fishers are among the most vulnerable

7 minutes

Video/Ecology & Environmental Sciences

The eerie otherworldliness of slow undersea life sped up to a human pace

5 minutes

Idea/Personality

Pigs, parrots and people: the problem of animal personality

Antone Martinho

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Essay/Cosmology

Echoes of a black hole

Ripples in space-time could herald the demise of general relativity and its replacement by a quantum theory of gravity

Sabine Hossenfelder

Video/Biology

Everything you always wanted to know about sex in space

4 minutes

Idea/History of Science

How many great minds does it take to invent a telescope?

Thony Christie

Essay/Physics

Minding matter

The closer you look, the more the materialist position in physics appears to rest on shaky metaphysical ground

Adam Frank