Smarter Every Day - 116 - Witness to Steve Irwin’s Death

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Often very public events are used as news stories without regard to the true human costs involved. Steve Irwin was killed while filming in 2006 by a Stingray. Have you ever stopped to think that there were real people involved in that horrific event? What were the emotional costs? Steve Irwin’s approach to science communication was certainly unique. Some people say he took too many risks and was a bit careless with how he handled himself around deadly animals. Have you ever thought about what a professional scientist would think about Steve’s Actions?

I thought Steve Irwin was awesome.  I wanted to be like him.

My daughter and i dressed up as Steve Irwin and a Crocodile

While diving on the Great Barrier Reef we were using special masks that allow a presenter to use a microphone underwater. I’m a SCUBA diver certified for advanced open water activities, but I was unfamiliar with the equipment so I expressed that to my new dive partner, Dr. Seymour. He reluctantly said “We’ve lost one presenter to the water, don’t worry, I don’t plan on losing another one”. There was something not quite right about how he said it so I pried a bit deeper. That’s how I found out Jamie was on Croc-1 which is where Steve was taken after being hit by the Stingray. He participated in CPR on Steve after only meeting him a few days before. His perspective on the event that shook the world is certainly unique on several levels. After we became friends we agreed that an interview could be done in an intelligent respectful manner, so we did just that. This is the first time he’s spoken publicly about the event. Have a look into the mind of a man who works with deadly animals every day, and see what his thoughts on Steve Irwin were before both before meeting him, and after meeting him. Then try to understand how he has dealt with the event emotionally.

Disney LIED. Finding Nemo is a HERMAPHRODITE! - Smarter Every Day 115

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Whoa! Had Disney elected to make Finding Nemo scientifically accurate, Marlin would have turned into a female and mated with Nemo.  Freaky.  I’m glad they didn’t.

Smarter Every Day 113 - A Baffling Balloon Behavior

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Think you understand balloons?  Give this new video a shot and see if you can understand what’s going on before my 5 year old son does!

Official comment thread on Reddit here:

Talking with Helium Re: Smarter Every Day 113 Comments

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HOCKEY PUCK SQUISH (Real Time) under 82,000 lb Load

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Remember that hockey puck I squished? Here’s the real time footage paired up with the displacement vs. force curve. You can see that it’s ripping apart internally at certain spots. 

Smarter Every Day - 112 - Cold Hard Science: Slapshots In Slow Motion

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New Video!  Slow Motion Physics of a Slapshot!

The stick rigidity data collected by Dr. Evans and I is not a formal reflection on the manufacturers because the sticks were previously used and we could not find an ASTM standard to setup our test. The possibility exists that I put the support positions too close together, which would make the values lower. The players however gave us the sticks because they were “so used they were now flimsy”. Our data reflected this. If I had it to do over again I would test a new stick vs an old stick. Kettering University has done some research on this subject and we tried to setup our test apparatus similar to theirs. They applied the force to the foot of the stick. We applied the force to the center.
I thought this was a great video of a product that has normalized the process by constraining the 1 inch deflection measurement.

I shot the skaters with a Phantom MIRO LC320S made by Vision Research: Most speeds were around 3271 fps, but I shot the full body shot at 1200 fps.

Slow Motion sound design made by Gordon McGladdery, “A Shell In the Pit”. Gordon’s work is awesome, you should check it out. I like his music.

Hockey Stick Rigidity data plotted, and equations formatted into LaTeX format by Will Leahy:

"Whippness" Graphic, and shear moment diagrams by:
Emily Weddle Design

With thanks to:
My friend Dr. Jeff Evans. Tenured Mechanical Engineering professor at UAH
UAH Director of Hockey Operations Nick Laurila
The nameless UAH Hockey player

Smarter Every Day 111 - The Controversial Physics of Curling

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The Physics of Curling

I had no idea that the physics of curling was so complicated, controversial, and downright fascinating. Of course, Destin would be the one to show us that, right?

Check it out Smarter Every Day on YouTube (if for some reason there are a few of you out there that haven’t yet, which would be hard for me to believe)

Check out the Latest Smarter Every Day video!  Here’s a blurb on it from Joe Hanson from the itsokaytobesmart blog.  Also, this video is the announcement of the Smarter Every Day Patreon and Subbable campaigns!

Smarter Every Day- COLD HARD SCIENCE- The Physics of Skating on Ice (With SlowMo)

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ICE SKATING BLADES ARE NOT SHARPENED like a knife.  That’s one of several things I learned while making this video.  Ever wonder how Olympic skaters (Hockey, speed, figure) do it?  Here’s the technique and equipment used in ice skating.  I hope you enjoy it!

How to compress video using MPEG Streamclip (Great Freeware)

Mpeg Streamclip is Fantastic Freeware.
I’ve used it at least once on almost every video I’ve ever made.
I hope this is helpful to you. - Destin

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How Houdini DIED (in Slow Motion)

There is much speculation about the death of Houdini. Many of the detail remain mysterious. I hope you enjoy this look into the possibilities.

A special thanks to Mike Chang of SixPackShortcuts for letting me punch him in the gut has hard as I could. Check his stuff out:

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Smarter Every Day - episode 106 - Robot Butterflies FOR THE FUTURE - DEEP DIVE 3

Click to view Deep Dive #3 - Butterflies

Here are some Articles on the research:

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Smarter Every Day - 105 - THIS IS A BUTTERFLY! (Scanning Electron Microscope) - Part 2

The well manicured hand dropping the male Itaballia demophile lucania at the beginning belongs to Mr. Phil Torres. We were at the Tambopata research center in Peru.

Read more about how this works here:

Check out the images here:
Watch Part 1 here:

Music “Butterfly Rough” by A Shell In The Pit. You know Gordon’s music by now. It’s all good.

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Smarter Every Day 104 - The Magic of Butterfly Scales - Part 1

Music “Butterfly Rough” by A Shell In The Pit. You know Gordon’s music by now. It’s all good.

Be sure to visit Linden’s Flickr Page!

Butterfly Letters by the legendary Kjell Sandved.
He gave me “Smarter Every Day” for free when he found out what I was doing!

I purchased $65 worth of beautiful butterflies Ianni. They were very professional and easy to work with. Their website is great. I recommend working with them. They got me

If you remember Mr. John the butterfly farmer from Episode 96, He gave me the sunset moth!


Take a moment to read about butterfly scales

This is the microscope I bought

Focus Stacking

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Smarter Every Day 103 - Why are bugs attracted to light?

Filmed on location in the Rainforests of Eastern Peru. I was on a tour run by Rainforest Expeditions (

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Smarter Every Day 102 - Kinematics of Grasshopper Hops

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Constrained Grasshopper Hop @ 3000 FPS

Free Grasshopper Hop @ 2400 FPS

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