Tom Scott
Hi, I'm Tom Scott. These are some of the things I've made and done. They'll probably come back to haunt me in a few years' time. (Want to get in touch about anything? Use the "contact me" link below, not YouTube messages!)

415 videos
G-Force, Jerk, and Passing Out In A Centrifuge
3 days ago En
Thanks to the Starrship team for arranging this! I'm also over on their channel, flying with the Blades: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iWY3-1gOrxk • At the Royal Air Force training centrifuge in Farnbrough, pilots learn how to avoid G-LOC: g-induced loss of consciousness. Let's talk about g-force, about jerk, and about how to keep circulation flowing to your brain. FAQs: * Isn't 3.6g a really low g-tolerance? * Yep. Turns out I would not qualify to be a fighter pilot. The average range for g-tolerance is 4-6; no-one was expecting me to pass out. The centrifuge team do not deliberately try to G-LOC people! To be fair, though, I'd done a few earlier runs with only minor effects. * What g was the RAF person at the start pulling? * That's Marcus, from the Starrship team, and he was successfully pulling 6.5g with the help of g-trousers: they plug into a compressed air source in the plane (and in the centrifuge) and act as a lower-body tourniquet to keep the blood up top. They are very effective. * Why did you shake and shudder when regaining consciousness? * Those are called "myoclonic convulsions", which is a fancy medical term for "muscle jerks", and they're a common side effect of recovering from G-LOC. * What did it feel like? * I'll answer this in more detail in a video over on the Matt and Tom channel soon, but in short: I don't remember it. I was doing the breathing maneuver, then everything was wobbly, then we were stopped! * Is this a sponsored video? * No: the RAF and Starrship had no editorial control over this, and no money changed hands. Obviously, though, they gave me a spin in the centrifuge, and I'm collaborating with them over on their channel too! THANKS TO: The RAF Centre of Aviation Medicine, the Starrship team, and the folks at Qinetiq. STARRSHIP: Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/starrshiphope/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/starrshiphope/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/starrshiphope I'm at http://tomscott.com on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at http://facebook.com/tomscott and on Snapchat and Instagram as tomscottgo
Making an International Standard Cup of Tea
1 week ago En
As far as I can find, no-one has actually made a International Standard Cup of Tea - ISO 3103 or BS 6008 - for the internet before. Lots of people have talked about it, but that's easy. Making one? That requires precision... and some specialist equipment. You can buy a professional tea tasting set from this Amazon UK affiliate link: https://amzn.to/2qfbxyr Thanks to Morag Hickman for letting me borrow her workshop for last-minute filming! She makes beautiful jewellery, like ring-keepers, dragon necklaces and rings that looks like ocean waves: https://etsy.com/shop/Errant Update: someone has found an earlier ISO cup of tea on the internet, as part of a German video on tea tasting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=utwwkNkNgiM I'm at http://tomscott.com on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at http://facebook.com/tomscott and on Snapchat and Instagram as tomscottgo
The US President's Bulletproof Railcar
2 weeks ago En
US Car Number 1, the Ferdinand Magellan, sits in the Gold Coast Railway Museum in Miami. It's 120 tonnes of bulletproof, armoured railcar: a train carriage designed to move the President of the United States around the country in safety and style. At least, it was, until other transport came along to do a better job. Thanks to all the team at the Gold Coast Railroad Museum: they're at http://www.gcrm.org/, or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/GoldCoastRailroad/ ! [looks like their main site's down at the moment!] Edited by Michelle Martin (@mrsmmartin) I'm at http://tomscott.com on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at http://facebook.com/tomscott and on Snapchat and Instagram as tomscottgo
The 1940s Mermaid Show That's Still Pulling Crowds
3 weeks ago En
In Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, Florida, there's a mermaid show -- and there has been for 70 years. It's one of the United States' oldest roadside attractions, and it still does three shows a day. At least, provided the local wildlife doesn't get in the way. Weeki Wachee Springs State Park: https://weekiwachee.com/ Their YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/weekiwacheesprings Articles on the mermaid auditions: https://www.teenvogue.com/story/weeki-wachee-springs-state-park-is-holding-mermaid-auditions http://www.orlandosentinel.com/travel/attractions/os-weeki-wachee-mermaids-20171228-story.html https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/weeki-wachee-mermaid-search_us_5a4576cbe4b025f99e1aa10b https://www.cosmopolitan.com/career/a14521836/dream-job-alert-you-can-get-paid-to-be-a-mermaid/ New York Times article from 2003, before the state of Florida took over the park: http://www.nytimes.com/2003/08/12/us/sad-days-for-mermaids-of-the-sequined-sort.html A more recent and positive article from 2013: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/jun/14/rise-of-the-mermaids-weeki-wachee-florida Edited by Michelle Martin (@mrsmmartin) I'm at http://tomscott.com on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at http://facebook.com/tomscott and on Snapchat and Instagram as tomscottgo
How Formation Flying Works (feat. the Red Arrows!)
1 month ago En
Thanks to the RAF, Rolls-Royce, and the Red Arrows! Go visit their Starrship project, it's the reason I got to do this: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqSO3sA38W0YLwrwTxA0POw The Red Arrows are the Royal Air Force's aerobatic display team - the best in the world. They fly Hawk T1 jets, powering through the sky at hundreds of miles per hour, pulling high-G maneuvers with just a few metres between their wingtips. Here's how they do it: and part of it's a skill that you probably already know. STARRSHIP: Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/starrshiphope/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/starrshiphope/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/starrshiphope Website: http://starrship.space/ Edited by Michelle Martin, @mrsmmartin I'm at http://tomscott.com on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at http://facebook.com/tomscott and on Snapchat and Instagram as tomscottgo
Why European Clocks are Running Slow, and British Clocks Aren't
1 month ago En
Many people sent me this story: it covers my favourite topics of power grids and temporal anomalies. But when the mainstream press have already covered it, how could I add something more? The answer: by adding another pet topic, Unnecessary British Patriotism. And a teasmade. Press release: https://www.entsoe.eu/news-events/announcements/announcements-archive/Pages/News/2018-03-06-press-release-continuing-frequency-deviation-in-the-continental-european-power-system.aspx Teasmade: http://amzn.to/2oYrvxb [aff. link] Update, April 8th 2018: they fixed the dispute, and ran the grid at 50.01Hz for a few weeks: https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2018/04/european-grid-dispute-resolved-lost-6-minutes-returned-to-oven-clocks/ If you liked this, you may also like the video I made on how engineers keep the grid stable, and why it's getting more difficult: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5uz6xOFWi4A Audio mix by Matt Gray: http://mattg.co.uk I'm at http://tomscott.com on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at http://facebook.com/tomscott and on Snapchat and Instagram as tomscottgo
The Moiré Effect Lights That Guide Ships Home
1 month ago En
I'd never heard of moiré effect beacons until I got an email asking me about them. It seemed like a really clever idea - but it was really hard to research. Or at least it was, until I stumbled upon one magic phrase that revealed its history. It turns out this thing's called an "Inogon leading mark" or "Inogon light" -- Inogon, not Inogen -- and it's a Swedish invention from the 1980s. But there's still a question: why is being used to mark an undersea cable, instead of guiding people home? (Full disclosure: there were some weird strobing effects from the light that only showed up when I got the footage into the edit, so the image you see here has been digitally stabilised so it appears the same way on screen as it does in person!) Thanks to Andrew Stine for suggesting this! References: The original Wikipedia article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moir%C3%A9_pattern The patent: https://patents.google.com/patent/US4629325 The US military analysis [PDF]: http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a168108.pdf I'm at http://tomscott.com on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at http://facebook.com/tomscott and on Snapchat and Instagram as tomscottgo
Launching An Entire Fireworks Display At Once
1 month ago En
Human error has launched massive barrages of fireworks at the wrong time before. We're doing it deliberately! Camera and audio mix by Matt Gray: http://mattg.co.uk Edited by Michelle Martin: @mrsmmartin With thanks to Jonty for lighting Thanks to the team from Titanium Fireworks: http://titaniumfireworks.co.uk - this was not a sponsored video! I'm at http://tomscott.com on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at http://facebook.com/tomscott and on Snapchat and Instagram as tomscottgo
The European City Centre With No Street Names
1 month ago En
In the Quadratestadt of Mannheim, Germany, the streets aren't named: instead, the blocks are. It's an exception to a rule that most people don't even think about — especially not mapping companies. (Thanks to João Correia for sending me this idea back in 2015!) I'm at http://tomscott.com on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at http://facebook.com/tomscott and on Snapchat and Instagram as tomscottgo
Making Artificial Earthquakes with a Four-Tonne Steel Ball
2 months ago En
In Göttingen, Germany, there's a four-tonne steel ball that can be raised up a 14-metre tower -- and then dropped in less than two seconds, crashing back to earth. It makes tiny, artificial earthquakes: here's why. Thanks to all the team at Wiechert'sche Erdbebenwarte Göttingen! You can find out more about them here: https://www.erdbebenwarte.de/ Three things I had to cut out of this video, because they didn't quite fit into the story or because I couldn't film them: The reason the steel ball survived two world wars is because the university's records listed it by use as a "rock-ball", not by composition as a "steel ball" - so no-one melted it down for weaponry. The observatory team refill that pit every year to make the ground flat, and the ball just digs a hole again. The rock's just being compressed underneath. They joke that, somewhere in Australia, there's a slowly growing hill... And finally, the ground steams for a little while after the ball hits: it gets rather warm... Edited by Michelle Martin (@mrsmmartin) I'm at http://tomscott.com on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at http://facebook.com/tomscott and on Snapchat and Instagram as tomscottgo
Faceswapping, Unethical Videos, and Future Shock
2 months ago En
I was going to tell a science fiction story about faceswapping, and mass blackmail. Then the news broke about unethical faceswapping videos, and software designed and marketed for creating them: and I realised the future had arrived faster than I thought. (This was originally a talk given at An Evening of Unnecessary Detail earlier this week, but I managed to mangle the audio recording settings, so I rerecorded it in a muddy park! It's not the same without the audience, but hopefully it's close enough.) Sources: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/jan/25/ai-face-swap-pornography-emma-watson-scarlett-johansson-taylor-swift-daisy-ridley-sophie-turner-maisie-williams https://www.theverge.com/tldr/2018/1/29/16944474/fake-ai-porn-nicolas-cage-reddit With thanks to Matt Parker: https://youtube.com/standupmaths (No, I'm not giving you a link to the app, you can find it yourself if you really want to.) I'm at http://tomscott.com on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at http://facebook.com/tomscott and on Snapchat and Instagram as tomscottgo
Controlling An Airport From 80 Miles Away
2 months ago Ru En
London City Airport's getting a new control tower: but it's just going to be a large mast with 14 high-definition cameras on it. The actual tower will be 80 miles away, in the headquarters of NATS near Swanwick. It feels questionable: but is it? Thanks to all the team at NATS: you can find out more about the new tower here: https://www.nats.aero/services/airports/digital-remote-towers/ Edited by Michelle Martin, @mrsmmartin London camera by Matt Gray, http://mattg.co.uk I'm at http://tomscott.com on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at http://facebook.com/tomscott and on Snapchat and Instagram as tomscottgo
Canada's Most Successful King
2 months ago En
This week's guest is Evan Hadfield, from Rare Earth. Go subscribe! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtGG8ucQgEJPeUPhJZ4M4jA -- start with his video on the last elephants of Cambodia: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i4SETSsXkx0 William Lyon Mackenzie King was a sexually repressed, hypocritical, guilt-ridden, prostitute-visiting momma's boy who was exceptionally weird. He was also, perhaps, Canada's greatest prime minister. This week, Evan talks about legacy, and about how you don't need to be a good person to be a good politician.
A Language Made Of Music
3 months ago En
Today's guest is 12tone! Go subscribe: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTUtqcDkzw7bisadh6AOx5w - and here's their video about the Imperial March: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jA36-mQEYwk Solresol is a language, invented out of whole cloth by Jean-François Sudre in the 19th century, that used seven musical notes to create all the words that he thought you'd ever need. It did work: so why aren't we all speaking in notes right now? SOURCES: http://web.archive.org/web/20060115061414/http://www.forteantimes.com/articles/145_solresol.shtml https://i.sidosi.org/resources/la-telephonie/la-telephonie.html http://www.ifost.org.au/~gregb/solresol/sorsoeng.htm http://www.ifost.org.au/~gregb/solresol/sudre-book.pdf http://web.archive.org/web/20060114084542/http://www.ptialaska.net:80/~srice/solresol/intro.htm https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1-3lBxMURGN4AtGG846kuVGVNuEiHewCT88PiBahnODA/edit#gid=0 https://www.startasl.com/history-of-sign-language_html http://www.yougowords.com/1-syllables And thanks to the community at https://www.sidosi.org for collecting many these resources into one place!
Sign Language Isn't Universal
3 months ago Ru En
This week's guest is Rikki Poynter! Go subscribe to her vlog: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCS7wVohIwd66b95xyuw7DFQ -- and if subtitles aren't on automatically here, you can turn them on in your device settings! There isn't one universal sign language for all: even British and American sign languages have very little in common. Here, with full subtitles, is someone actually qualified to explain why!
17 Tonnes of Spinning Glass: Making the World's Largest Telescope
3 months ago En
This week's guest video comes from Active Galactic Videos: go subscribe! https://www.youtube.com/ActiveGalacticVideos/ They got to walk on the dish of a telescope: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1lfXsN45088 At the Richard F. Caris Mirror Lab, under the football stadium of the University of Arizona, there's an enormous rotating furnace, keeping tonnes of glass heated as it forms the mirrors for the Giant Magellan Telescope. Here's a look inside!
Atomic Annie and Blue Peacock: Citation Needed 7x06
3 months ago En
It's the last show of the season, and we're going out with a bang. BONUS MATERIAL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUuTCcXzUug FULL PLAYLIST: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL96C35uN7xGIo2odDuuPeYtb7BtQ1kBhp WEB SITE and MORE AUDIO EPISODES: http://techdif.co.uk Featuring: Matt Gray: http://mattg.co.uk - @unnamedculprit Gary Brannan: @garybrannan and Chris Joel, who doesn't do this social media nonsense I'm at http://tomscott.com on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at http://facebook.com/tomscott and on Snapchat and Instagram as tomscottgo
This Video Is 2D And 3D Simultaneously: the Pulfrich Effect
3 months ago En
Hold on tight, because with a stabilised camera shot and a pair of sunglasses, you're about to see a video that works in both 2D and 3D at the same time. The technique's called the Pulfrich Effect, and this is how it works. The BBC's terrible 90s Doctor Who special, Dimensions in Time, can be seen here, complete with its Noel Edmonds-filled framing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQCeMIQpFBc Camera and sound: Matt Gray / http://mattg.co.uk I'm at http://tomscott.com on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at http://facebook.com/tomscott and on Snapchat and Instagram as tomscottgo
John Stonehouse and Dropped Trousers: Citation Needed 7x05
3 months ago En
This time, join us for a tale of politics, intrigue, and a man dropping his trousers. BONUS MATERIAL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ox4XQeWn6xc FULL PLAYLIST: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL96C35uN7xGIo2odDuuPeYtb7BtQ1kBhp WEB SITE and MORE AUDIO EPISODES: http://techdif.co.uk Featuring: Matt Gray: http://mattg.co.uk - @unnamedculprit Gary Brannan: @garybrannan and Chris Joel, who doesn't do this social media nonsense I'm at http://tomscott.com on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at http://facebook.com/tomscott and on Snapchat and Instagram as tomscottgo
The Null Hypothesis
4 months ago En
While I was trying to read a script to a camera in zero-g, the student researchers behind me were trying to prove their own ideas -- or rather, to disprove their "null hypothesis". Let's talk about how science works -- and have a look at one of the teams flying in that plane. ** If you're a masters or PhD student from an ESA member state, and zero-g sounds like your thing, have a look at the Fly Your Thesis program: http://www.esa.int/Education/Fly_Your_Thesis -- the 2017-18 submissions are closed, but that just gives you time to start planning for next year... ** Thanks to all the team from BrainFly! You can find out more about them here: http://m.esa.int/Education/Fly_Your_Thesis/Meet_the_teams_BrainFly ** Behind the scenes on the Park Bench: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2IrAU3eb1W8 ** Papers cited: Dickersin, K., Chan, S., Chalmersx, T., Sacks, H., & Smith, H. (1987). Publication bias and clinical trials. Controlled Clinical Trials, 8(4), 343-353. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0197-2456(87)90155-3 Easterbrook, P., Gopalan, R., Berlin, J., & Matthews, D. (1991). Publication bias in clinical research. The Lancet, 337(8746), 867-872. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0140-6736(91)90201-y ** Camera: Melanie Cowan Editor: Michelle Martin ** I'm at http://tomscott.com on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at http://facebook.com/tomscott and on Snapchat and Instagram as tomscottgo
The Flip Flap Railroad and Marshmallow Bearings: Citation Needed 7x04
4 months ago En
In the second of two shows with guest Matt Parker, we're covering some hair-raising history, and also imagining some little ears flapping in the breeze. BONUS MATERIAL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Edu1K_c4fus FULL PLAYLIST: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL96C35uN7xGIo2odDuuPeYtb7BtQ1kBhp WEB SITE and MORE AUDIO EPISODES: http://techdif.co.uk Featuring: Matt Gray: http://mattg.co.uk - @unnamedculprit Gary Brannan: @garybrannan and Chris Joel, who doesn't do this social media nonsense I'm at http://tomscott.com on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at http://facebook.com/tomscott and on Snapchat and Instagram as tomscottgo
How Zero-G Planes Work
4 months ago En
The European Space Agency offered me a seat on their zero-g plane: it's an Airbus A310 that flies parabolic maneuvers, pulling up into the sky and then arcing back down, giving its passengers about 20 seconds of weightlessness (or "microgravity") at a time. Here's how it works. Some people would have filmed their script on the ground, and just messed about while floating. I decided to go for something a bit more challenging. ** If you're a masters or PhD student from an ESA member state, and zero-g sounds like your thing, have a look at the Fly Your Thesis program: http://www.esa.int/Education/Fly_Your_Thesis -- the 2017-18 submissions are closed, but that just gives you time to start planning for next year... ** FAQs: Why isn't Neil floating around the cabin in zero-g?: Sometimes, his feet are under a safety strap, so he doesn't drift away. Sometimes, he's holding on with one hand, and he's just that good at zero-g maneuvers. Why's my face so red?: During the 1.8g phase, my heart has to work extra hard to pump blood up to my head -- when I switch to 0g, it takes a few seconds for it to slow pumping, so my blood pressure spikes. What stabilised camera did I use?: You're looking at footage from a GoPro Fusion, stabilised in post using Adobe After Effects and the telemetry from the plane's sensors. What did it feel like?: There'll be a behind-the-scenes video on the Matt and Tom channel on Saturday, hopefully! ** Camera: Melanie Cowan Thank you to everyone at ESA and Novespace who helped make this happen! I'm at http://tomscott.com on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at http://facebook.com/tomscott and on Snapchat and Instagram as tomscottgo
Turra Coo and Four-Legged Juggling: Citation Needed 7x03
4 months ago En
Matt Parker joins the team this week, in which there's talk of the great cream seams and a surprisingly in-depth discussion of how quadrupeds might juggle. BONUS MATERIAL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k27hqCKhD_c FULL PLAYLIST: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL96C35uN7xGIo2odDuuPeYtb7BtQ1kBhp WEB SITE and MORE AUDIO EPISODES: http://techdif.co.uk Featuring: Matt Parker: http://youtube.com/standupmaths - @standupmaths Gary Brannan: @garybrannan and Chris Joel, who doesn't do this social media nonsense I'm at http://tomscott.com on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at http://facebook.com/tomscott and on Snapchat and Instagram as tomscottgo
Batman's Village of Fools: Gotham, England
4 months ago Ru En
There's a link from a 13th century legend, to a 16th century insult book, to a 19th century writer, to a 20th century comic book hero. And it starts in a small village near Nottingham, in the time of Robin Hood. Here's why Batman comes from Gotham City. (I am reliably assured that the modern-people of Gotham are not, in fact, fools.) Many versions of the Merry Tales were printed: the earliest reference I can find a reference to is 1540 here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/legacies/myths_legends/england/nottingham/article_1.shtml Furnivall (1870), "The fyrst boke of the introduction of knowledge made by Andrew Borde, of physycke doctor. A compendyous regyment; or, A dyetary of helth made in Mountpyllier", is available here: https://archive.org/details/fyrstbokeofintro00boorrich The Bill Finger phone-book story is found in multiple places, but I'm quoting Steranko's "History of Comics" p44 (admittedly as referenced in Wikipedia, I didn't have time to track down the original). I'm at http://tomscott.com on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at http://facebook.com/tomscott and on Snapchat and Instagram as tomscottgo
The Sark Football Team and Hovercraft Enthusiasm: Citation Needed 7x02
4 months ago En
This week, Gary's on home turf, Matt's hoping to float on air, and we all set a new record for longest time to get to the actual subject of the article. BONUS MATERIAL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUY0VGVV0N4 FULL PLAYLIST: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL96C35uN7xGIo2odDuuPeYtb7BtQ1kBhp WEB SITE and MORE AUDIO EPISODES: http://techdif.co.uk Are you part of the Sark Football Team? Get in touch: https://www.tomscott.com/contact/ Featuring: Matt Gray: http://mattg.co.uk - @unnamedculprit Gary Brannan: @garybrannan and Chris Joel, who doesn't do this social media nonsense I'm at http://tomscott.com on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at http://facebook.com/tomscott and on Snapchat and Instagram as tomscottgo
Why Hold Music Sounds Worse Now
4 months ago En
It's not your imagination; hold music on phones really did sound better in the old days. Here's why, as we talk about old telephone exchanges and audio compression. Thanks to the Milton Keynes Museum, and their Connected Earth gallery: http://www.mkmuseum.org.uk/ - they're also on Twitter as @mkmuseum, and on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mkmuseum/ I'm at http://tomscott.com on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at http://facebook.com/tomscott and on Snapchat and Instagram as tomscottgo
Charles Blondin and the Stolen Point: Citation Needed 7x01
4 months ago Ru En
Back in front of a live studio audience! We start off Season 7 with a tale of bravery, courage, and omelettes. BONUS MATERIAL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMBno-jp_wY FULL PLAYLIST: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL96C35uN7xGIo2odDuuPeYtb7BtQ1kBhp WEB SITE and MORE AUDIO EPISODES: http://techdif.co.uk Featuring: Matt Gray: http://mattg.co.uk - @unnamedculprit Gary Brannan: @garybrannan and Chris Joel, who doesn't do this social media nonsense I'm at http://tomscott.com on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at http://facebook.com/tomscott and on Snapchat and Instagram as tomscottgo
The German Town That's Literally Breaking Apart
5 months ago En
The town of Staufen, in the south-west of Germany, has a problem: a drilling operation in 2007 that went very wrong. Half a metre of movement might not sound like much, but in this town, that's enough for the buildings to crack and fall apart. Thanks to Constantijn Crijnen for both suggesting the video and being the local expert! His channel's here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJhgIOJjB2xFJiwqVD3J6qQ And here's an in-depth academic paper explaining why and how it all happened, in far more detail than would work in a YouTube video: https://doi.org/10.1186/s40517-017-0067-y I'm at http://tomscott.com on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at http://facebook.com/tomscott and on Snapchat and Instagram as tomscottgo
Is It Dangerous To Talk To A Camera While Driving?
5 months ago Ru En
I'm visiting the University of Iowa's National Advanced Driving Simulator, to answer a question: how unsafe is it for me to vlog while driving? Is vlogging while driving dangerous? The team at the simulator are the experts to ask. More about the National Advanced Driving Simulator: https://www.nads-sc.uiowa.edu/sim_nads1.php or on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DrivingSim Camera operator: Jasmine Putney Edited: Michelle Martin (@mrsmmartin) I'm at http://tomscott.com on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at http://facebook.com/tomscott and on Snapchat and Instagram as tomscottgo
The Lava Lamps That Help Keep The Internet Secure
5 months ago Ru En
At the headquarters of Cloudflare, in San Francisco, there's a wall of lava lamps: the Entropy Wall. They're used to generate random numbers and keep a good bit of the internet secure: here's how. Thanks to the team at Cloudflare - this is not a sponsored video, they just had interesting lava lamps! There's a technical rundown of the system on their blog here: https://blog.cloudflare.com/lavarand-in-production-the-nitty-gritty-technical-details Edited by Michelle Martin, @mrsmmartin I'm at http://tomscott.com on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at http://facebook.com/tomscott and on Snapchat and Instagram as tomscottgo
The Story of Salvation Mountain
5 months ago En
Near Slab City, California, a man painted a hill. It was outsider art: Leonard Knight had no training and no great masters to imitate. But somehow, he created something that resonates with the world. This is the story of Salvation Mountain. Thanks to Ron and to all the team at the mountain; you can find out more about them here: http://salvationmountain.org/ The photo of Leonard Knight is by Joe Bielawa, licensed under Creative Commons by 2.0, and available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/joebielawa/3952358056 Edited by Michelle Martin, @mrsmmartin I'm at http://tomscott.com on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at http://facebook.com/tomscott and on Snapchat and Instagram as tomscottgo
What Is Sea Level, Anyway?
5 months ago En
In Calipatria, California, the town is below sea level -- but their flag pole isn't. But what does "sea level" mean? Is it just theory, or is there more behind it? I'm at http://tomscott.com on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at http://facebook.com/tomscott and on Snapchat and Instagram as tomscottgo
Why California's Musical Road Sounds Terrible
6 months ago Ru En
In Lancaster, California, there's a musical road. When you drive over it, it plays the William Tell Overture. Unfortunately, it's out of tune. Here's why. Thanks to David Simmons-Duffin, who figured this out about nine years ago: http://davidsd.org/2008/12/honda-needs-a-tune-up/ -- he seems to be the first to have figured out not just that it's wrong, but exactly what happened! I'm at http://tomscott.com on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at http://facebook.com/tomscott and on Snapchat and Instagram as tomscottgo
The Reaction Ferries of Basel: What Have We Missed?
6 months ago En
On the river Rhine in Switzerland, there are reaction ferries: boats with no engine, no paddles, no onboard motive power at all. Here's how they work -- and a question about what other simple ideas are out there. I'm at http://tomscott.com on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at http://facebook.com/tomscott and on Snapchat and Instagram as tomscottgo
The Centuries-Old Debt That's Still Paying Interest
6 months ago En
In the archives of Yale University, there's a 367-year-old bond from the water authority of Lekdijk Bovendams, in the Netherlands. And it's still paying interest. Thanks to: Prof. Geert Rouwenhorst for his time and explanation All the team at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Michelle Martin (@mrsmmartin) for editing the interview and Leendert van Egmond for telling me about the bond! I'm at http://tomscott.com on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at http://facebook.com/tomscott and on Snapchat and Instagram as tomscottgo
Rotary Jails and Accidental Amputations
7 months ago En
In Crawfordsville, Indiana, there's a rotary jail: an invention that, with hindsight, should probably never have been built. But it was, here and in other towns across the United States. It might have sounded like a good idea on paper, but in practice, it had a few unfortunate problems... including occasional accidental amputations. More about the Rotary Jail Museum: http://www.rotaryjailmuseum.org/ Edited by Michelle Martin, @mrsmmartin I'm at http://tomscott.com on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at http://facebook.com/tomscott and on Snapchat and Instagram as tomscottgo
How Computers Compress Text: Huffman Coding and Huffman Trees
7 months ago Ru En
Computers store text (or, at least, English text) as eight bits per character. There are plenty of more efficient ways that could work: so why don't we use them? And how can we fit more text into less space? Let's talk about Huffman coding, Huffman trees, and Will Smith. Thanks to the Cambridge Centre for Computing History: http://www.computinghistory.org.uk/ Thanks to Chris Hanel at Support Class for the graphics: http://supportclass.net Filmed by Tomek: https://youtube.com/tomek And thanks to my proofreading team! I'm at http://tomscott.com on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at http://facebook.com/tomscott and on Snapchat and Instagram as tomscottgo
A Nuclear Waste Dump You Can Walk On: Weldon Spring, Missouri
7 months ago Ru En
In Weldon Spring, Missouri, there is a strange, grey, windblasted seven-storey pile of rocks. It's the Weldon Spring Site: a nuclear and toxic waste dump on the site of an old uranium processing factory. And you can walk on it: it's technically a tourist attraction. That was going to be the whole of my video... and then I did some more research. Filmed by Matt Gray - http://mattg.co.uk - @unnamedculprit I'm at http://tomscott.com on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at http://facebook.com/tomscott and on Snapchat and Instagram as tomscottgo
The US Government's $983 Freeze-Dried Urine
7 months ago Ru En
The National Institute of Standards and Technology, NIST, sells Standard Reference Materials, or SRMs for short. They're analysed, quantified, and certified substances: everything from metals, to elements, to food items... to, yes, freeze-dried urine. More about NIST and SRMs: https://www.nist.gov/srm Edited by Michelle Martin, @mrsmmartin I'm at http://tomscott.com on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at http://facebook.com/tomscott and on Snapchat and Instagram as tomscottgo
Inside The Giant American Freezer Filled With Polar Ice
7 months ago En
Welcome to the US National Ice Core Laboratory in Denver, Colorado, where there's a giant freezer filled with 20km of ice cores from Greenland and the Antarctic. Here's why. Thanks to everyone at the US National Ice Core Laboratory! You can find out more about them here: http://icecores.org/ The Ice Core Laboratory is supported by the National Science Foundation: https://www.nsf.gov/ Edited by Michelle Martin, @mrsmmartin I'm at http://tomscott.com on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at http://facebook.com/tomscott and on Snapchat and Instagram as tomscottgo
What Counts as a Mountain?
8 months ago Ru En
I'm at the top of Mount Evans, more than 14,000 feet - 4.3km - above sea level. This is definitely a mountain: but why doesn't the smaller summit next to it also count? Let's talk about prominence. (Just not for too long, I'm getting low on oxygen.) I'm at http://tomscott.com on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at http://facebook.com/tomscott and on Snapchat and Instagram as tomscottgo
FizzBuzz: One Simple Interview Question
8 months ago En
There are a lot of opinions on how to hire coders, and most of them are terrible. The opinions, that is, not the coders. But a basic filter test to make sure someone can do what they say they can: that seems reasonable, and FizzBuzz is one of the more common tests. Even now, interviewers use it. Let's talk about why it's tricky, and how to solve it. Imran's blog post: https://imranontech.com/2007/01/24/using-fizzbuzz-to-find-developers-who-grok-coding/ Other approaches for pretty much every language: http://rosettacode.org/wiki/FizzBuzz Thanks to the Cambridge Centre for Computing History: http://www.computinghistory.org.uk/ The thing behind me is their Megaprocessor: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EMO3dZAizb4 And thanks to my proofreading team! I'm at http://tomscott.com on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at http://facebook.com/tomscott and on Snapchat and Instagram as tomscottgo
Connectome Scanning: Looking at the Brain's Wiring
8 months ago Ru En
There's an MRI scanner in Cardiff that can look at how the brain's wired up: your connectome. It's nowhere close to science fiction singularity brain-uploading, but it might well be part of unlocking new medical treatments in the years to come. Thanks to Prof. Derek Jones, and to all the team at CUBRIC : http://sites.cardiff.ac.uk/cubric/ -- and to the Cardiff University film crew with their gimballed camera! Edited by Michelle Martin (@mrsmmartin) Brain scan images courtesy of CUBRIC & Siemens Healthineers, with support from EPSRC, The Wolfson Foundation and The Wellcome Trust I'm at http://tomscott.com on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at http://facebook.com/tomscott and on Snapchat and Instagram as tomscottgo
I Can't Show You How Pink This Pink Is
9 months ago En
I can show a brighter pink. I can show a more saturated pink. But I can't show you this pink. Not quite. More about Stuart Semple and his pigments: https://www.culturehustle.com/ [that's his store, we overloaded Stuart's personal web site, http://www.stuartsemple.com, within a few minutes...!] (I reached out to Anish Kapoor's studio twice for comment; I didn't get any response.) Edited by Michelle Martin (@mrsmmartin) I'm at http://tomscott.com on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at http://facebook.com/tomscott and on Snapchat and Instagram as tomscottgo
Why Old Screens Make A ᴴᶦᵍʰ ᴾᶦᵗᶜʰᵉᵈ Noise
9 months ago En
Last week I made a video surrounded by old-school CRT monitors and televisions - cathode ray tubes. And I completely forgot to remove the high pitched whine they produce. Here's why: why they make that noise, and why I didn't notice it. Thanks again to the Cambridge Centre for Computing History! http://www.computinghistory.org.uk/ Get some goddamn earplugs: http://amzn.to/2hlOGuU [affiliate link] or see Matt and me talking about them: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzJePUquk1o I'm at http://tomscott.com on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at http://facebook.com/tomscott and on Snapchat and Instagram as tomscottgo
Benjamin Rush and Inventing the Bucket: Citation Needed 6x06
9 months ago En
In the season finale: Gary gets nauseous, Matt gets accused of being a minor royal, and Chris pulls a face. This time, we're back at the founding of America, talking about a man who helped, or perhaps hindered, a famous expedition... BONUS MATERIAL: https://youtu.be/67adxXG34-k FULL PLAYLIST: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL96C35uN7xGIo2odDuuPeYtb7BtQ1kBhp WEB SITE and MORE AUDIO EPISODES: http://techdif.co.uk
Why The Government Shouldn't Break WhatsApp
9 months ago Ru En
Encryption backdoors - breaking WhatsApp and iMessage's security to let the government stop Bad Things - sounds like a reasonable idea. Here's why it isn't. A transcript of this video's available here: https://www.facebook.com/notes/tom-scott/why-the-government-shouldnt-break-whatsapp/1378434365572557/ CREDITS: Filmed at the Cambridge Centre for Computing History: http://www.computinghistory.org.uk/ Camera by Tomek: https://www.youtube.com/tomek Thanks to everyone who helped proofread my script! REFERENCES: WhatsApp's privacy protections questioned after terror attack: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-39405178 WhatsApp must be accessible to authorities, says Amber Rudd: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/mar/26/intelligence-services-access-whatsapp-amber-rudd-westminster-attack-encrypted-messaging UK government renews calls for WhatsApp backdoor after London attack: https://www.theverge.com/2017/3/27/15070744/encryption-whatsapp-backdoor-uk-london-attacks Investigatory Powers Act: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2016/25/contents/enacted India is 'ready to use' Blackberry message intercept system: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-23265091 Revealed: how US and UK spy agencies defeat internet privacy and security: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/05/nsa-gchq-encryption-codes-security Councils secretly spied on people walking dogs and feeding birds for five years: http://metro.co.uk/2016/12/26/councils-secretly-spied-on-people-walking-dogs-and-feeding-birds-for-five-years-6345051/ [This is basically a rephrase of https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/dec/25/british-councils-used-investigatory-powers-ripa-to-secretly-spy-on-public with a better headline] Poole council spies on family over school claim: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1584713/Poole-council-spies-on-family-over-school-claim.html Security services missed five opportunities to stop the Manchester bomber: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/05/24/security-services-missed-five-opportunities-stop-manchester/ Reuters reference to "500 active investigations": http://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-security-manchester-plots-idUSKBN18L1H0 AP: Across US, police officers abuse confidential databases: https://apnews.com/699236946e3140659fff8a2362e16f43/ap-across-us-police-officers-abuse-confidential-databases ME: I'm at http://tomscott.com on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at http://facebook.com/tomscott and on Snapchat and Instagram as tomscottgo
Acoustic Kitty and Bat Bombs: Citation Needed 6x05
9 months ago En
"That is horrific," says Matt at one point during this episode. He's not wrong. We delve into unconventional Cold War tactics, and some surprising - and doomed - members of the animal kingdom. BONUS MATERIAL: https://youtu.be/ibMuJv8vJb4 FULL PLAYLIST: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL96C35uN7xGIo2odDuuPeYtb7BtQ1kBhp WEB SITE and MORE AUDIO EPISODES: http://techdif.co.uk
An Elevator That Actually Goes Sideways
9 months ago Ru En
I've filmed a paternoster lift; I've filmed the strange Genoa elevator that sort-of goes sideways. So when I got an email from Thyssenkrupp, an elevator company, saying "come and see our Multi elevator that actually goes sideways", I wasn't going to turn it down. Full disclosure: Thyssenkrupp paid for my travel to Germany, but that's all they did. I'd got in touch with them last year asking to see this when it opened; their PR firm replied, offering to fly me out. They had no editorial control over this, and didn't get to see it before it was uploaded! More information about Multi: https://multi.thyssenkrupp-elevator.com/en/ Thanks to Michelle Martin (@mrsmmartin) for help editing the interviews! I'm at http://tomscott.com on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at http://facebook.com/tomscott and on Snapchat and Instagram as tomscottgo
Julie D'Aubigny and Dueling Scars: Citation Needed 6x04
10 months ago En
In this episode: four men from England, talking about a woman from France. Nothing can possibly go wrong. BONUS MATERIAL: https://youtu.be/KNq4PdbnDtg FULL PLAYLIST: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL96C35uN7xGIo2odDuuPeYtb7BtQ1kBhp WEB SITE and MORE AUDIO EPISODES: http://techdif.co.uk
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