Marc Abrahams and Nicole Sharp discuss an essay about structural engineering and fashion.

Structural engineering is probably the most important thing nobody thinks about. Except structural engineers, of course. They think about it a lot. Improbable Research, the podcast that “makes people laugh and then think”, certainly accomplishes that goal by exploring an essay that, while ridiculous on the surface, actually does spark some curiosity about the extensive amount of research that must be done on things we barely consider.

Since the page is kind of inscrutable, here’s a direct link to the audio.

Shoutout to Sarah Pavis for making me aware of this!

Chris from Cickspring explains the bluing process as it applies to the clock he's building.

There are a lot of things that Chris explains with impressive detail and clarity, but this video is an exceptional introduction to him and his channel if you’ve never watched him before. Not only is it enlightening with regards to the process of heat bluing steel (a process which I’ve never seen executed so beautifully), it’s also a great demonstration of Chris’s explanatory video-making style, one that will soon have you queueing up his other videos, which detail the full process behind the creation of a clock in his home machine shop, one astonishingly detailed and polished part at a time.

Nicolas Bras demonstrates the acoustics of various PVC woodwind and brass instruments

We all know about Blue Man Group and their impressive percussion PVC instruments. But it turns out, as Nicolas Bras aptly demonstrates, the versatile plastic can also create convincing woodwind and brass instruments that, somewhat ironically, are neither wood nor brass (although as he points out, real life instruments can break those rules as well). It’s a real joy to watch him cobble together some pipes and make beautiful noise with them, but it’s also a great lesson in acoustics and a demonstration of the fact that it’s the way the air is vibrated, not the material of the instrument, that defines it. Highlight: That three-headed serpentine instrument he makes to play three notes at once.

John Collins talks your head off about the science behind his hundreds of paper airplane designs

This guy is SO excited about paper airplanes. Seriously, I wish I liked anything as much as this guy likes paper airplanes. Fervor aside though, there’s some serious science, engineering, and history knowledge being dropped in this video (it’s all about those dihedral angles). Highlight 1: Those boomerang planes. Highlight 2: how casually he just tosses these things around, although I suppose they are really just sheets of letter sized paper, aren’t they?