Cats are uniquely adapted for jumping and running. Unlike the spinal columns of humans which possess vertebrae that are held together by ligaments, the vertebrae of the spinal columns of cats are held together by muscles. This allows cats to bend their spinal columns into a perfect U shape. Cats can flex and extend their spines in a manner that allows their bodies to act like a spring when running or jumping. Their powerful hindleg muscles also allow them to generate large forces, and the length of their hind limbs relative to their lean body mass maximizes their takeoff velocity when jumping.
In the video below, Science Cat performs a cat jump.
Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman from Mythbusters wanted to see if an inflatable ball could help their favorite crash test dummy, Buster, survive a fall. First, they attached to Buster a few shock indicator pads (Shockwatches), and then they threw him out of a helicopter hovering at 1,000 feet. They then repeated the process with Buster inside the inflatable ball. You can see the results in the video below posted by the folks of the YouTube channel Discovery.
The shock indicators they used are clever contraptions that contain solutions of different viscosity of red ink and water. When the shock (measured in G forces with “G” being acceleration) is large enough, the red ink solution comes in contact with a white porous material into which it flows making it turn red. The viscosity of the solutions are calibrated to indicate different G forces. These shock indicators can be placed in things that are transported to make sure that they have been handled properly.
The original Mythbusters series ended in 2016, and Savage and Hyneman decided to end their relationship with Buster in true Mythbuster fashion. They welded him to a rocket sled in a flying superman pose and flew him at 780 miles per hour into a wall as shown in the video below.
Black Fire, the Shadow FireRead Now
All of us have seen fire burning. Fire emits light of its own, and the colors we associate with fire are colors such as red, yellow, orange, and blue. Additionally, when a regular light beam is directed at a regular fire, it will go right through it, so fire is not an entity that casts a shadow. In the video below, James Orgill from the YouTube Channel The Action Lab manipulates the lighting and the material burning in the fire to produce black fire, a fire that absorbs light and casts a shadow!
Decomposition is an important process in nature which returns nutrients to the environment, but it’s such a slow process that we can seldom appreciate its progression. In the videos that I’ve selected below, the folks of the YouTube channel TEMPONAUT armed themselves with patience and filmed the slow day by day decomposition of several fruits and vegetables.
The first video is that of a peach rotting. You can see how the mold (probably from the genus Penicillium) that appears is white at first and then turns green when producing spores. Another interesting feature seen in the video is the way the juices of the peach come out as droplets through the mold.
Apart from the obvious changes such as the growth of mold, decomposing fruits experience a large decrease in their mass due to loss of water. This can be easily visualized in the video below which features the decomposition of a honeydew melon fruit placed on a scale.
In the video below, which shows a rotting lemon, you can again see the appearance of a white mold that turns green and covers all the lemon. However, later on you see the appearance of more white mold growing over the green mold on top of the lemon, but this white mold turns a blue color. I don't know if this is a new type of mold that takes over the green one. Also, in the previous videos you probably noticed some tiny things moving all over the moldy surfaces of the rotting fruits and falling over the sides. These are mold mites. These insects feed on the mold. In the video below you can see the little critters laying the whole field of green mold to waste!
The video below shows a potato rotting, and there are closeups filmed in real-time that allow you to see the mold mites clearly.
If you have the curiosity (and the stomach), you can check the TEMPONAUT YouTube channel for time-lapse videos of many other things rotting away.