SciShow 2017

Here are all the SciShow videos I wrote that were published in 2017:

  1. The World’s Most Common Language (Yes I did write the “Smell you later” line. I’m very proud of myself.)
  2. The Jacuzzi of Despair (In a less unideal world, the graphics team would have been able to use actual images/video of the JoD, bat sadly – in this one – they can’t be used for commercial ventures, even if they’re educational. So I’ll include EVNautilus’s footage here.)
  3. Surprising Things Matter Does Under Pressure (Did you catch the lyrics from that song now stuck in your head?)
  4. How to Run on Water (No, freezing it doesn’t count.)
  5. Real Life Cyclopses (There’s a reason there are no pictures in this video; that famous dusky shark fetus could be considered cool in a gross kind of way, but the images are under copyright. And no, internet people. We didn’t copy the TED-Ed video published a week before this went live. I wrote months earlier.)
  6. Colonizing an Inbreeding-Free Mars (Not that YouTube’s “trending” list means all that much, but this video hit #8 on 11/13.)
  7. Goodbye Moon?
  8. How to Levitate a Frog (You can see video of various items being levitated here, or just watch this to see the frog)
  9. Lazarus Taxa (See below for the cut-for-time text about animal #8)
  10. Why Do We Get Colds When It’s Cold?


Click here to see the list of videos I wrote for SciShow Space in 2017.

Due to time, I had to cut the section on the takahē, a flightless bird from New Zealand. Here’s some deets:

  • Invasive mammals brought by both Polynesian and European settlers were thought to have hunted the takehē to extinction by the early 20th century, but living specimens were found in the alpine grasslands of Fiordland in 1948.
  • Since their rediscovery, wild takahēs continue to face pressure from predators, but it’s habitat destruction caused by invasive red deer that has been the primary threat for the past 70 years.
  • Nowadays, roughly two-thirds of living takahēs reside in sanctuaries around the nation, including on several islands. These serve as insurance populations in case some disaster befalls the wild takahēs in Fiordland, like a stoat plague that wiped out half the population in 2007, leaving only 100 alive.
  • The Takahē Recovery Programme is the longest-running species conservation program in New Zealand, and thanks to their efforts, as of October 2017, there are a record 347 takahēs living in both the wild and in sanctuaries.
  • One problem conservationists run into is the fact that, while breeding pairs may hatch up to three eggs in a season, they can really only successfully care for one chick. Even then, many chicks fail to survive the freezing winter season. So population growth is slow. But conservationists try to combat this by giving ‘extra’ eggs and young chicks to breeding pairs that do not have their own, so that they can raise them in as natural an environment as possible.
  • Because there are so few birds, conservationists are constantly transferring eggs and chicks between regions to minimizing inbreeding. This includes taking up a seat on an occasional Air New Zealand flight, though they are in cages…
Credit Duncan Wright, CC BY-SA 3.0

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