04. 21. 2008
Become an instant egghead with 60-Second Science
Do you know what "dark matter" is? I thought I knew what it was until I tried to explain it to myself and failed. But I no longer need to file away topics like this for later study (my ever-growing list of things I will learn someday in order to become a more cultured and informed human being) because I now know I can pick up knowledge about dark matter - enough to get by in a drunken conversation at a bar in any event - and other weighty scientific subjects in 60 seconds (or thereabouts).
As part of its 60-Second Science offerings, Scientific American has been running a video podcast series in which its editors explain big scientific topics of general interest, using common objects. I haven't timed the videos to see how close they come to just 60 seconds, but they are indeed short enough that I don't have time to get distracted like I did in high school science class. The editors at 60-Second Science know how to put together teaser headlines too, like "What can the Olsen twins tell us about telomeres?" You can subscribe to 60-Second Science on iTunes or in RSS. --- (continues)
The latest from 60-Second Science is "The All-Green Eco-tastic Episode" which shows, among other things, a time lapse video of the earth's carbon footprint and a dubious plan to turn pollution into DVDs, presented with a big dose of wit and sarcasm.
Now, even those of us with attentional issues, and those of us not inclined to invest time reading books or watching documentaries because we're too busy updating our profiles on Facebook, can glibly converse about interesting scientific topics at cocktail parties, or on Twitter (where we'll be challenged to condense our newly acquired knowledge into 140 characters or less).