History’s deadliest colors – J. V. Maranto

When radium was first discovered, its luminous green color inspired people to add it into beauty products and jewelry. It wasn’t until much later that we realized that radium’s harmful effects outweighed its visual benefits. Unfortunately, radium isn’t the only pigment that historically seemed harmless or useful but turned out to be deadly. J. V. Maranto details history’s deadliest colors.

Lesson by J. V. Maranto, animation by Juan M. Urbina.

How does money laundering work? – Delena D. Spann

Money laundering is the term for any process that “cleans” illegally obtained funds of their “dirty” criminal origins, allowing them to be used within the legal economy. And the practice is about as old as money itself. But how does it actually work? Delena D. Spann describes the ins and outs of money laundering.

Lesson by Delena D. Spann, animation by Juan M. Urbina.

Why Do We Cook?

Why do humans cook? Holidays are celebrated in many ways, but chances are they involve eating, and eating a LOT. Ever wonder why we cook our food?

We do it because it tastes good, of course, and because our customs and traditions are built around it. But we also cook our food for some basic biological reasons, because of evolution. Some scientists think that figuring out how to cook actually MADE us human!

If conversation gets a little dry around your holiday table, now you’ll have some awesome science to share with everyone!

What are the challenges of nuclear power? – M. V. Ramana and Sajan Saini

Our ability to mine great amounts of energy from uranium nuclei has led some to bill nuclear power as a plentiful, utopian source of electricity. But rather than dominate the global electricity market, nuclear power has declined from a high of 18% in 1996 to 11% today. What happened to the great promise of this technology? M.V. Ramana and Sajan Saini detail the challenges of nuclear power.