Mind-Blowing Science

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Easy going and educational I enjoyed all of the lectures. They are interesting and thought provoking.
Date published: 2020-11-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A little bit of this and a little bit of that. This is a very interesting course that presents a little bit of this and a little bit of that. It is fun to watch and stimulates a wish to dive deeper into some of the subjects.
Date published: 2020-09-28
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Good content. Not good listening experinece This course might have been a good one except for two things that made it utterly annoying: the pointless and irritating background music, and the narrator's mild "vocal fry," which was only slightly less irritating than her manner of reading every sentence in the same sing-songy tone. Scientific American content is usually very good. This might have been, but I could only tolerate about 15 minutes of it between the awful background music and Fake Sales Lady's disengaged parroting of the script. This felt like one of those annoying Mojo Top Ten videos from YouTube.
Date published: 2020-09-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Five Stars! The mystery of consciousness. Black hole formation, LIGO, and the James Webb. The life cycle of dinosaurs. The effect of exercise on the aging brain. The probability of intelligent life in our galaxy. These are five 5-star videos for anyone not completely scientifically challenged. Hats off to the Great Courses!
Date published: 2020-09-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Exercise for the Brain Wow, what an improvement. This subject was very engaging with lots of graphics. A better way to watch & learn than lecture style. The content for this subject was delivered with a suitable pace and easy to understand language and was just long enough. It is an interesting area which i will watch for future gains on. I already knew exercise was good for the brain & body, but wow, if i can increase neurons as I age and prevent or delay age related decline of the brain & memory then sign me up. can we have more of these style of type of informative courses please. Great visuals, and perfect length. (This proves they don't all need to be 30mins long). The background noise of this one was barely noticeable as the content was engaging.
Date published: 2020-09-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Start! Very informative and enjoyable. Graphics are well done and background music is okay with me.
Date published: 2020-09-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One Giant Leap for TGC! These are just great examples of a perfect collaboration between two stellar organizations. The videos are informative, enjoyable, fast-paced, still in-depth, and just the right length. My personal favorite is the black holes one, but they're all great. On the music: Eh, it's a little hot (loud) in some places, but I think it's just different and mostly accentuates the content. Just watch the levels a little, guys ;) Can't wait for more!
Date published: 2020-09-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic!!! (Would be better without the music) Wonderful visual presentations and narratives!!! Excellently put together. However, I agree with a previous reviewer that the background music is intrusive and disruptive. It would be better without the music. Thank you very much.
Date published: 2020-09-15
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How Dinosaurs Grew So Large and So Small
1: How Dinosaurs Grew So Large and So Small

Until recently, paleontologists had no way to measure the age of dinosaurs or to figure out how they grew. So, we assumed dinosaurs had a physiology similar to modern reptiles. But it turns out that the clues we needed were locked in the animals’ bones all along—in growth lines similar to the annual growth rings in trees. John R. Horner, Kevin Padian, and Armand de Ricqlès, who have studied dinosaur bones together for more than 20 years, break down how they helped to determine the growth rates of many dinosaur species.

19 min
Are We the Only Intelligent Life in the Galaxy?
2: Are We the Only Intelligent Life in the Galaxy?

With so many exoplanets out there in the galaxy, it seems reasonable to hope that life may be prevalent. On our planet, it took a series of unusual coincidences to give rise to our intelligent civilization, and it’s quite unlikely such serendipity has taken place elsewhere. Science writer and astrophysicist John R. Gribbin examines how everything had to go just right. Perhaps most unlikely of all, he argues, was the development of our technological species—a feat that is probably unique in the Milky Way.

17 min
Decoding the Puzzle of Human Consciousness
3: Decoding the Puzzle of Human Consciousness

Physiological and behavioral evidence indicates that humans are fundamentally similar to many other animals in terms of their responses to painful and pleasurable stimuli. Even so, scientists disagree on whether other creatures have consciousness or can suffer. Dr. Susan Blackmore, a psychologist researching consciousness and memetics, and author of The Meme Machine, explains the arguments on each side of this great debate and introduces her own concept of the “selfplex.”

19 min
Why Your Brain Needs Exercise
4: Why Your Brain Needs Exercise

Everyone knows that exercise is good for the body. But it’s also been well-established that exercise has positive effects on the brain, especially as we age. Less clear has been why physical activity affects the brain. Doctors David A. Raichlen and Gene E. Alexander explain how key events in the evolutionary history of humans may have forged the link between exercise and brain function. And they show how cognitively challenging exercise may benefit the brain more so than physical activity, which makes fewer cognitive demands.

18 min
The First Monster Black Holes
5: The First Monster Black Holes

In the very distant, ancient universe, astronomers can see quasars—extremely bright objects powered by enormous black holes. Yet it is unclear how black holes this large could have formed so quickly after the big bang. Dr. Priyamvada Natarajan, a theoretical astrophysicist focusing on cosmology, gravitational lensing, and black hole physics, explains how she and her colleagues have tried to solve this mystery by proposing a novel mechanism for black hole formation. Rather than being born in the deaths of massive stars, the seeds of the most ancient, supermassive black holes might have collapsed directly from gas clouds.

18 min
Pets: Why Do We Have Them?
6: Pets: Why Do We Have Them?

For over 50 years, psychologists have been trying to understand the appeal of animal companionship. Two out of three American households keep an animal primarily for companionship and we spent an estimated $95.7 billion on our pets. Examine how scientists are finding some common threads that tie people to their household pets. From goldfish to Golden Retrievers, our attraction to animals may be driven by biological and social forces that we don’t consciously acknowledge.

12 min
The Mysteries of Neandertal Art
7: The Mysteries of Neandertal Art

Until recently, we believed there was still at least one important distinction between Homo sapiens and Neandertals, but then some simple cave paintings changed everything. Kate Wong, a senior editor for evolution and ecology at Scientific American, explains how images dating back 65,000 years have settled a long-running debate over Neandertal cognition.

12 min