Coming Soon: 12 Billion People on Earth

SciShow News explains the science behind the latest virus outbreak in the U.S., and examines surprising new predictions about the future of the world’s human population.

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Quiz Show: Vlogbrothers Face-Off: Hank v. John! 

Welcome back to SciShow Quiz Show! In this episode Hank will be competing with older brother John in a battle of science related trivia on behalf of Subbable subscribers Anna Dilley & Andrew Villarreal. 

What would happen if you microwaved a person?

They would get warm…and then hot…and then very hot…and then they would die. But if you only zapped them for a few seconds…it would just feel like a pleasant warming sensation. Unlike heating through infrared radiation (which is how the sun or a fire would heat you) microwave radiation would heat you from the inside, areas where you have more water stored like muscles and fat would warm fastest. My grandfather served in the Korean War and he once told me that they’d actually stand in front of microwave antennas to warm themselves on wet, cold nights. He lived to be 92 years old so…I guess it’s not /always/ dangerous. 


Blue Whales and The Smartphone Morality Experiment

Hank shares news about the biggest animal in the history of ever — blue whales — and explains the lessons learned in a new study of human morality, using smartphones.

Why does pepper make us sneeze? ALSO, is it bad if someone snorts pepper, cause my friend did that for a dare during physics class today.

Sneezing is an involuntary reflex to try and get irritants out of our nose and pepper contains a chemical, piperine, that irritates the mucus membrane of the nose by activating your pain and acidity receptors. So, once it’s in there, your body will totally freak and try to get it out of there…with sneezes…lots of sneezes. As for how safe it is…it’s never good to intentionally irritate your mucus membranes, but as long as it doesn’t become a habit (and I can’t see why it should) your friend should be fine.


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What causes a computer monitor to stop working when it is exposed to a magnet???
Well, first off, today’s LCD computer screens won’t get messed up by magnets (unless they’re EXTREMELY STRONG). But CRT (cathode ray tube) monitors can get messed up by magnets. Those more boxy screens work by firing electrons extremely precisely at millions of tiny phosphorescent dots. Hit the green one…green light…the red one…red light…hit the blue one…blue light. Pretty remarkable that we figured out how to turn that system into 50 years of color TV. 
So, as you probably have guessed by now…electrons (being negatively charged) are affected by magnets. If you plop a magnet onto a CRT screen, it will either attract or repel the electrons, distorting the image. It’s pretty cool to watch. Less cool, though, is that the film behind the class can actually get permanently magnetized by a magnet, resulting in the screen becoming permanently distorted. So don’t do that unless  you don’t care about your monitor anymore. 
Today’s LCD screens don’t have any flying beams of electrons for magnets to distort…but they’re still very cool.
When I look into a spoon, why is the reflection upside down?
OK…so throw a ball at the wall…it comes straight back at you (it doesn’t actually, because gravity, but let’s imagine.) That’s what happens when you look in a flat mirror. All the photons bouncing off your face are coming straight back act you showing you what you look like. But throw a ball at a curved surface and it’s not going to act like that. If you hit the top of the curve, it’ll bounce back at a downward angle. Hit the bottom of the (apparently giant) spoon and it’ll bounce up. So when the photons bouncing off your face are doing this, the photons that hit the bottom bounce upward, while the ones at the top bounce down, in effect, flipping the entire image. 
Now, this is a little more complicated because there’s a point inside which everything will suddenly flip to become right-side-up, that’s the point where all the tennis balls (photons) would cross if thrown straight at the mirror (humongous spoon). On the outside of that point…upside-down you…on the inside, right-side-up.

How Do We Measure the Distance of Stars?

It’s School of YouTube Week! Comic Relief and YouTube are partnering to send students to school! The Bad Astronomer Phil Plait teaches Hank how to measure the distance to the stars. 

Help more students learn by giving to Comic Relief.

The Most Massive Dinosaur, and Are Earthquake Contagious?

SciShow News introduces you to the most massive land animal ever to walk the earth — pretty much — and tells you what’s going on with all of these earthquakes lately.