SciTech Now Episode 10

Episode ten of SciTech Now brings you the latest breakthroughs in science, technology and innovation. We learn what happens when your house can track every kilowatt of energy you use, physicist Brian Greene and actor Alan Alda deconstruct Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, we meet a man at the cutting edge of virtual reality and get to know the animal misfits of our planet.

TRANSCRIPT

> COMING UP, WHEN YOUR HOUSE CAN TRACK EVERY KILOWATT O ENERGY YOU USE, IT GETS PERSONAL FAST

THE RED LINE IS MY WHOLE HOME USE.

THAT'S MY ENERGY USE THE GREEN LINE IS MY SOLAR PRODUCTION

> EINSTEIN'S THEORY OF RELATIVITY DECONSTRUCTED

WATCH WHEN I LET IT GO!

WHAT I'M TRYING TO DO I DEVELOP NEW TECHNIQUES ALGORITHMS, METHODS THAT BRING PHYSICAL THINGS INTO THE VISUA WORLD.

AND MEET THE ANIMAL MISFITS OF OUR PLANET.

THE KAKAPOH IS A DELIGHTFUL CHARACTER.

IT'S A BIG PARROT.

IT'S THE ONLY PARROT THAT CAN' FLY.

FUNDING MADE POSSIBLE B CONTRIBUTIONS TO THIS STATION.

> HELLO, WELCOME TO 'SCITECH NOW,' OUR WEEKLY PROGRAM BRINGING YOU THE LATES BREAKTHROUGHS IN SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION.

LET'S GET STARTED.

THE HOME OF THE FUTURE MIGHT SAVE THE PLANET AND MIGHT DRIV YOU CRAZY AT THE SAME TIME WHEN YOUR HOUSE CAN TRACK EVER KILOWATT OF ENERGY YOU USE, IT GETS PERSONAL FAST OUR REPORTER FROM NEW TECH CIT PODCAST TAKES US TO THE MUELLE COMMUNITY IN AUSTIN, TEXAS WHERE NEARLY EVERYONE HAS AN ELECTRIC CAR, EVERY APPLIANC SENDS USAGE DATA BACK TO CENTRAL COMMAND.

TAKE A LOOK.

WE WON'T KEEP THE LEAF.

PROBABLY GO FOR FUSION O SOMETHING ELSE

I WAS GOING TO RUN OUT TO THE STORE, I ALMOST TOOK THE PRIUS WHICH WE CALL THE GAS GUZZLER.

I SAID, WELL, WHY WOULD I TAKE A CAR THAT USES GAS WHEN I CAN TAKE A CAR THAT DOESN'T.

♪♪

WHAT IS GOING ON BEHIND THESE DOORS IS AN EXPERIMENT A PLAN TO TRY TO CHANGE TH WORLD ONE DISHWASHER AT A TIME EVERY TIME A FAMILY MEMBER FLIPS A SWITCH, TURNS SOMETHING ON THEY'RE BEING TRACKED.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN NEW TECHNOLOGIES AND HUMAN BEHAVIORS INTERSECTING THERE ARE TWO SIDES TO THAT.

ONE IS HOW DOES THE TECHNOLOGY PERFORM.

THE OTHER IS HOW DO PEOPLE USE IT, RESPOND DO THEY LIKE IT?

EVERYTHING WORKS THE SAME.

EVERYTHING LOOKS THE SAME.

WALK INTO A TOTALLY NORMAL HOME, IT'S NOT OBVIOUS TO YOU THAT HALF OF THE HOME'S ELECTRICITY IS PROVIDED BY ROOFTOP SOLAR PANELS IT'S NOT OBVIOUS TO YOU THAT THEY HAVE A PLUG IN THEIR GARAGE THAT POWERS THEIR ELECTRIC CAR

SO WHAT WE'RE LOOKING AT HERE IS FROM THE INTERNET IT'S -- THE RED LINE IS MY WHOLE HOME USE THE GREEN LINE IS MY SOLAR PRODUCTION

WHAT HAPPENED HERE?

IT SHOT UP BIG TIME.

THAT'S MY ELECTRIC VEHICLE, MY NISSAN LEAF IT WAS CHARGING 1:00 A.M MY POOR HUSBAND SOMETIMES IS LIKE WHAT DID YOU DO WHEN YO WERE HOME TODAY?

I WAS JUST, YOU KNOW, WATCHING TV OR WHATEVER YOU KIND OF HAVE TO GET OVER THAT MENTALITY AND LIVE YOUR LIFE AND REALIZE IT'S -- YOU WANT TO MAKE SACRIFICES, YOU WANT DO THE BEST THING YOU CAN FOR ENERGY USE, BUT YOU HAVE A STANDARD OF LIVING YOU WANT TO KEEP ONE DAY I WAS LOOKING AT IT, I WAS LIKE THERE'S SOMETHING WRONG WITH MY REFRIGERATOR IT JUST STARTED CYCLING QUICKLY.

SO I IMMEDIATELY WENT TO THE REFRIGERATOR, I WAS FREAKING OUT.

SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH TH REFRIGERATOR THERE WAS A LITTLE PIECE OF IC STUCK IN THE ICE MAKER I OPENED T DISLODGED IT, EVERYTHING WENT BACK TO NORMAL

SO YOU WERE ABLE TO FIX YOU REFRIGERATOR BECAUSE YOU SAW WHAT IT'S ENERGY CYCLE WAS DOING?

YEP

MOST OF THE THINGS THAT W INSTALL FOR PEOPLE, THEY'RE LITTLE BIT INVISIBLE IN YOUR DAY-TO-DAY LIFE.

THEY'RE INSIDE THE CIRCUIT PANEL.

BUT ALSO BECAUSE IT JUST NEEDS TO WORK.

IT WANT OVERLY REQUIRE YOU T FIDDLE AROUND WITH TECHNOLOGY OR THERE WILL BE BIG DROPOFFS

YOU HEAR THEY'RE WATCHING CHINA IS WATCHING WHAT WE'RE DOING.

BEING A PART OF THAT MAKES YOU FEEL LIKE YOU COULD MAKE A DIFFERENCE THAT'S THE BIGGEST THING YOU GET TO DO IN LIFE.

THE HOST OF NEW TECH CITY JOINS US NOW HOW LONG BEFORE ALL OUR HOME ARE THIS SMART

I THINK IT WILL TAKE A WHILE.

THERE ARE A LOT OF PILOT PROGRAMS GOING ON IN DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE WORLD, IN SPAIN AMSTERDAM, HOLLAND, SAN DIEG HAS A PILOT PROGRAM, LONDON HA A PILOT PROGRAM.

AS YOU SAW IT TAKES A LOT OF WORK TO MAKE THESE CONNECTED COMMUNITIES, AND THEY HAVE T HAVE WILLING PARTICIPANTS.

IT'S WORTH MENTIONING THE McCANN STREET PROJECT IS WHITE UPPE MIDDLE CLASS AFFLUENT PEOPLE WHO DON'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOU KEEPING THE LIGHTS ON.

THEY CAN WORRY ABOUT HOW MUC THEY'RE USING, NOT WHETHER THE CAN PAY THEIR BILLS.

IT'S STILL A RELATIVELY SMALL SCALE.

THIS IS ALMOST A COUPLE BLOCKS THAT YOU SAW

IT'S LIKE AN OASIS GOING ON THERE'S ABOUT 700 HOMES.

WHAT I FOUND INTERESTING, THOS 700 HOMES GENERATE AS MUCH DAT AS 2 MILLION HOMES THAT TH UTILITY COMPANY COLLECTS SO THEY'RE GETTING SO MUCH INFORMATION FROM THIS LITTLE POCKET, THIS LITTLE COMMUNITY.

THAT CAN INFORM HOW THEY G FORWARD IN SPREADING THE TECHNOLOGY AND THE COLLECTION TO OTHER PLACES

AFTER THE GEE WHIZ MOMENT O LOOK AT ALL OUR SPIKES AND VALLEYS, DO THEY CON SEEM MORE OR LESS THAN THE AVERAGE HOUSE

LESS, ABSOLUTELY LESS I THINK THAT GEE WHIZ MOMENT SHOULD NOT BE BELITTLED.

IT'S VERY IMPORTANT THEY SEE IT, AND THAT THEY START TO B CONSCIOUS OF IT.

MAYBE THEY DON'T CHECK THE METERS AS OFTEN AS THEY MIGH HAVE BUT THEY'RE THINKING ABOUT I ALL THE TIME IT'S THAT SELF AWARENESS THA MAKES SUCH A DIFFERENCE.

IT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN, YOU KNOW, TURNING OFF THE TV INSTEAD OF KEEPING IT ON WHILE YOU MAK DINNER THOSE LITTLE THINGS ADD UP

WHAT CAN PEOPLE WHO DON'T LIVE IN THESE SAMPLE COMMUNITIES DO TO DECREASE BILLS OR MAKE THEIR HOUSE MORE SMART

I GOT THE NEST FOR OUR HOUSE, THE SMART THERMOSTAT THAT GOOGLE PAID $32 BILLION FOR

RIGHT

I WANTED TO SEE WHAT WAS THIS LIKE, HAVING A THERMOSTAT THAT TRACKS MY MOVEMENTS.

AND IRONICALLY, WE DIDN'T HAVE ENOUGH POWER GOING INTO OU THERMOSTAT TO MAKE THE NES WORK WHERE I LIVE THERE HAS TO BE RETROFITTING THAT HAPPENS.

THERE HAS TO BE A WILLINGNESS TO INVEST IN THE HARDWARE, BECAUS THE NEST WAS NOT AS CHEAP AS A REGULAR THERMOSTAT AND WORK TO MAKE SURE YOU'RE KEEPING TRACK OF IT.

SO MUCH OF THE TIME OUR POWER COMPANIES ARE NOT THE MOST TEC SAVVY, US TRYING TO ADD ON LITTLE THINGS TO THEM TO MAK OUR METER SMART, THEY ARE NO THINGS MOST PEOPLE HAVE CONTRO OVER ARE THERE OTHER THINGS THAT YO HAVE SEEN THAT HELP PEOPLE TRACK HOW THEY CONSUME ENERGY?

AT THIS CONGLOMERATION, IT' BETWEEN THE UNIVERSITY, McCANN STREET, ITS OWN NON-PROFIT AND THE LOCAL UTILITY COMPANY.

THEY SAY THAT IS THE KEY GETTING BY-IN FROM THE LOCAL UTILITY COMPANY.

THEY HAVE TO THINK, IF EVERYBODY HAS ELECTRIC CARS, HOW DO WE GET POWER TO THESE PEOPLE?

HOW DO WE DECIDE WHEN TO GIV THEM MORE POWER?

DO WE CHARGE THEM LESS FOR CHARGING THEIR CAR AT 2:00 A.M RATHER THAN A PEAK TIME?

IT HAS TO BE A BUY-IN FROM THE CONSUMER TO THE POWER COMPANIES.

HOW DOES A NEIGHBORHOOD FUL OF ELECTRIC CARS DO THIS

THEY LIKE TO NERD OUT IT BECOMES A HOBBY OF TH COMMUNITY.

REALLY SHARING INFORMATION BEING PROUD OF HOW LITTLE ENERGY THEY CAN CONSUME LET'S FACE IT, THE ELECTRIC CARS ARE NOT THE CHEAPEST OUT THERE BUT THEY'RE SAYING PUT THE INVESTMENT IN THE BEGINNING, REAP THE REWARDS LATER

SO IS THIS SOMETHING THAT THEY'RE GOING TO TAKE THIS INFORMATION FROM THIS SMAR NEIGHBORHOOD AND TRY TO CRAF POLICY FOR THE REST OF TEXAS

THAT'S THE HOPE, I THIN THERE STILL NEEDS TO BE MORE TIME SPENT OBSERVING AND COLLECTING AND MANAGING TH DATA THAT'S WHAT HAPPENS.

YOU GET ALL THIS INFORMATION THEN YOU HAVE TO START TO SE WHAT ARE THE PATTERNS?

WHAT ARE THINGS THAT THE UTILITY COMPANY COULD DO THAT WOULD MAKE PEOPLE BUY IN EVEN MORE?

UNTIL THEY CAN SORT OF -- THINK THEY WOULD LOVE TO D THAT THAT'S THE IDEA.

THERE'S OTHER THINGS WE HAVE T THINK ABOUT.

THERE'S HACKING.

THESE ARE ALL COMPUTER RELATED THAT'S SOMETHING REGULATIO WOULD HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT.

THERE'S ALSO PRIVACY YOU KNOW, ONE OF THE WOMEN WAS SAYING SHE CAN TELL WHEN HER HUSBAND GETS HOME.

SHE LOOKS AT IT ON HER LAPTOP.

LET'S HOPE THAT MARRIAGE STAYS TOGETHER OTHERWISE SHE CAN TRACK HE HUSBAND'S MOVEMENTS.

THERE ARE OTHER ISSUES THAT HAVE TO BE WORKED OUT BESIDES THE ENVIRONMENTAL AND ENERGY CONSUMPTION ISSUES

ALL RIGHT THANKS SO MUCH FOR JOINING US.

GREAT TO BE HERE.

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> HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED HOW ALBERT EINSTEIN CAME UP WITH THE THEORY OF RELATIVITY OR TRIED TO UNDERSTAND IT?

IN THIS EXCERPT FROM THE 201 WORLD SCIENCE FESTIVAL PHYSICISTS EXPLAIN THE THEORY OF RELATIVITY

IN THE PIECE TONIGHT HE TALKS ABOUT THAT MOMENT WHEN H IMAGINED A MAN FALLING OFF A BUILDING

HAPPIEST THOUGHT OF HIS LIFE.

HAPPIEST THOUGHT OF HIS LIFE.

WHY -- WHY WAS THAT THE HAPPIEST THOUGHT?

THAT SOUNDS LIKE HE'S SAYING IT'S THE MOST CENTRAL IMAGE TO ALL HIS THINKING

THAT WAS THE KEY IDEA THA PROPELLED HIM TOWARDS TH GENERAL THEORY OF RELATIVITY GRAVITY IS A DIFFICULT SUBJECT IT'S HARD TO EVEN FIGURE OUT A WAY IN TO A DESCRIPTION OF THE FORCE OF GRAVITY AT THE LEVE EINSTEIN WAS SEARCHING FOR HE REALIZED A CERTAIN KIND O MOTION, FREEFALLING MOTION COUNTER ACTS GRAVITY CAN ELIMINATE GRAVITY, WHICH MEANS IN ANY SITUATION WHERE THERE'S GRAVITY, IF YOU DON' WANT TO HAVE TO DEAL WITH IT DIRECTLY, JUST EXECUTE A CERTAIN KIND OF MOTION JUMP OUT A WINDOW THEN GRAVITY GOES AWAY.

WHAT?

YOU JUMP OUT THE WINDOW, GRAVITY MAKES A QUICK ENTRANCE

ACTUALLY, IT DOESN'T.

WHAT HAPPENS FROM EINSTEIN'S PERSPECTIVE IS THE GROUND IS RUSHING UP AND HITTING YOU YOU'RE NOT BEING PULLED DOWN FROM GRAVITY FROM EINSTEIN'S PERSPECTIVE.

WHEN NEWTON WAS SITTING THER UNDER THE TREE ACCORDING T EINSTEIN, IT WAS NOT THE HAPPEN APPLE FELL ON HIS HEAD IT WA HIS HEAD RUSHED UP TO THE APPLE.

I CAN SHOW YOU THIS.

YOU CAN SHOW US THIS.

THIS IDEA OF GETTING RID OF GRAVITY BY GOING INTO FREELY FALLING MOTION CAN B ILLUSTRATED BY A LITTL EXPERIMENT I WILL DO IT BECAUSE I DON'T WANT YOU TO GET ALL WET.

SO, WHAT I'M GOING TO DO, LET ME DESCRIBE IT FIRST.

WHEN I TAKE OFF THIS CAP, AI PRESSURE, IT WILL BE ENTERIN INTO THE BOTTLE.

WATER IS GOING TO SPEW OUT A FEW HOLES I HAVE HERE, GRAVITY WIL PULL DOWN ON THE WATER THEN I'LL LET THE BOTTLE GO INTO FREEFALL AND WATCH THAT TH WATER WON'T SPRAY OUT AN LONGER SO THAT'S WHAT YOU SHOULD LOOK FOR.

HERE WE GO ALL RIGHT.

RIGHT?

HERE GOES THE WATER.

SORRY ABOUT THAT RIGHT.

NOW WATCH WHEN I LET IT GO

HOLY MOLLY.

ONE MORE TIME

GRAVITY GOES AWAY

RIGHT SEE?

THERE IT IS.

NOW, THAT'S A GREAT TRICK.

IT IS EINSTEIN

CAN YOU EXPLAIN WHY WE JUST SAW WHAT WE SAW?

AS THE BOTTLE IS IN FRE FALL, IT NO LONGER FELLS THE FORCE OF GRAVITY, RIGHT?

ANOTHER WAY OF THINKING ABOUT IT THAT IS MORE VISCERAL THAN THI DEMONSTRATION IS IF YOU AR STANDING ON A SCALE, RIGHT YOU LOOK DOWN, YOU SEE WHATEVER.

150, 160 POUNDS.

IF I JUMP OUT THE WINDOW WIT THE SCALE AT MY FEET, I LOOK DOWN AT IT WHAT DOES THE REA GOING TO ZERO BECAUSE THE SCALE AND ME ARE MOVING TOGETHER.

IN THAT SENSE I'M NO LONGE PUSHING ON THE SCALE I'M NO LONGER EXPERIENCING GRAVITY AS I DID WHEN RHYM STANDING HERE ON THE STAGE IF YOU CAN COUNTER GRAVITY, IF YOU CAN CANCEL IT OUT BY GOING TO THIS MOTION -- THE REVERSE IS TRUE YOU CAN MOCK UP GRAVITY BY ACCELERATING, TOO.

THAT'S WHERE YOU GET TO A CAR TURNING AND YOU FEEL THE -- YO KNOW IT'S NO LONGER WHAT YOU FEEL IN AN ELEVATOR, WHICH I NOTHING.

YES

EVEN THOUGH YOU AND THE ELEVATOR ARE FALLING -

IF YOU CUT THE CABLE OF A ELEVATOR, INDEED YOU AND THE ELEVATOR WILL FALL TOGETHER LIKE THE WATER AND THE BOTTLE FAL TOGETHER, LIKE THE SCALE AND M FEET FALL TOGETHER YOU DON'T FEEL ANYTHING.

THE REVERSE OF THAT IS NOW TAK AN ELEVATOR, AN EMPTY SPACE, N GRAVITY, AND PULL UP ON TH CABLE MAKING THE ELEVATO ACCELERATE IN THAT DIRECTION, IF YOU ARE IN THAT ELEVATOR YOU WILL FEEL YOUR FEET PRESSING AGAINST THE FLOOR BECAUSE TH FLOOR IS PUSHING UP AGAINST YOU.

WOULD HAVE SIMULATED GRAVITY WHY IS THAT IMPORTANT?

EINSTEIN UNDERSTANDS MOTIO REALLY WELL BUT HE DOESN'T UNDERSTAND GRAITY.

NOW HE HAS REDUCED GRAVITY T MOTION, ACCELERATED MOTION THAT GIVES HIM A WAY IN AND IT TAKES HIM A GOOD EIGHT YEARS T FILL IN ALL THE DETAILS.

BUT THAT YIELDS THE GENERAL THEORY OF RELATIVITY

YOU JUST SAID EINSTEIN DIDN'T UNDERSTAND GRAVITY VERY WELL

HE DIDN'T IN 1907 IN 1915 HE TAKES THIS IDEA AND PARLAYS IT INTO A SINGLE EQUATION THAT DESCRIBES TH FORCE OF GRAVITY IN A WAY THAT HAD NEVER BEEN ACHIEVED.

YOU CAN SEE MORE FROM THE WORLD SCIENCE FESTIVAL B VISITING THE LINK ON OUR WEBSITE.

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> MY NAME IS HALI, I'M ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF COMPUTE SCIENCE AT USC WE ARE ALWAYS INTERESTED I VISUAL CONTENT SUCH AS I COMPUTER GRAPHICS YOU SE SPECIAL EFFECTS, ANIMATION COMPUTER GAMES IT'S REALLY DIFFICULT TO CREAT THOSE CONTENT, BUT MOST AR INSPIRED FROM THE PHYSICAL WORLD.

IF YOU NAVIGATE YOURSELF INTO DEVICE YOU SEE CHAIRS, A FLOOR SO THESE ARE THINGS THAT EXIST FROM REALITY WHAT I'M TRYING TO DO IS BASICALLY DEVELOP NE TECHNIQUES, ALGORITHMS, METHOD THAT BRING PHYSICAL THINGS INT THE VISUAL WORLD ONE WAY TO START THAT IS START WITH A SENSORY, SO YOU SENSE THE WORLD IN 3-D ONCE YOU HAVE THAT 3-D INFORMATION, THE QUESTION IS HOW CAN YOU TURN THIS INTO A MODEL THAT REQUIRES, YOU KNOW, IN SOME WAYS SOME FORM OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE WE'RE DEVELOPING THE ALGORITHM TO DO THAT THE GOAL IN COMPUTER GRAPHICS IS ALWAYS CHANGING.

I WOULD SAY, LIKE, MAYBE UNTIL TEN YEARS AGO PEOPLE WOULD SAY IT HAS TO LOOK REAL.

WE'RE THERE.

IT LOOKS REAL.

THEN PEOPLE ARE SAYING, IT TAKES TOO LONG TO RENDER THOSE THINGS.

NOW YOU HAVE A GRAPHICS CARD THAT FITS INTO YOUR CELL PHONE OR LAPTOP THAT RENDERS THING S IN REALTIME.

WHAT'S NEXT IS EMERSION.

PEOPLE CAN EXPERIENCE THOS THINGS MUCH CLOSER THAN ON A 2-D SCREEN THE INTERFACE PROBLEM IS NOT WELL TOLD.

THE BIGGEST PROBLEM IS CAN THESE KINDS OF ALGORITHMS BE USED FO ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE?

ALONGSIDE THE FASTEST STRONGEST, SMARTEST ANIMALS AR NATURES MISFITS, ODD, BIZARR AND UNLIKELY CREATURES GIVEN DARWIN'S THEORY OF EVOLUTION THESE ANIMALS SEEM ILL-EQUIPPE TO SURVIVE 'NATURE' GIVES US A SCIENTIFIC LOOK AT HOW THESE CREATURE CLING TO LIFE AND IN SOME CASE EVEN THRIVE.

EVERYONE KNOWS THE FEELING AT SOME POINT IN THEIR LIVES.

YOU'RE NOT PART OF THE CROWD YOU JUST DON'T FIT IN.

YOU FEEL DIFFERENT IT TURNS OUT YOU'RE NOT ALONE.

ALL OVER THE WORLD THERE ARE CREATURES THAT HAVE DEPARTED FROM TRADITION AND TAKEN A SEPARATE PATH.

THEY MAY LOOK A LITTLE STRANGE AND THEY'RE LIVING LIVES QUITE UNLIKE THE FAMILIES THEY CAM FROM THESE ODD BALLS APPEAR TO BE MISFITS OF NATURE.

BUT THEY ARE NO ACCIDENT EACH ONE IS AN UNCONVENTIONA SOLUTION OF THE PROBLEMS O LIFE IT'S TIME WE CELEBRATE THE CREATIVE DIFFERENCES THAT POP UP ALL OVER THE NATURAL WORLD IT'S TIME THAT ANIMAL MISFIT GET THE CREDIT THEY'RE DUE AFTER ALL, THEIR UNORTHODO APPROACH COULD BE THE NEXT BIG THICK.

JACK FORD OF 'METROFOCUS' SAT DOWN WITH JANET HESS, SERIES EDITOR OF THE PBS PROGRA 'NATURE.

FIRST QUESTION IS, WHAT THE MAKES A MISFIT

WELL, WE HAVE TAKEN A LOOK AT SO MANY ANIMALS ACROSS THE WHOLE SPECTRUM OF THE PLANET WE'RE ALWAYS LOOKING AT THINGS THAT ARE SO BEAUTIFULLY EVOLVED.

THE FASTEST, THE STRONGEST, TH SLEEKEST, ANIMALS THAT WORK SO WELL DESIGNED BY NATURE.

THE TRUTH IS NATURE IS ALWAY DESIGNING.

IT'S ALWAYS TRYING NEW THINGS.

SO THERE'S A LOT O EXPERIMENTING OUT THERE.

THERE'S OFTEN CREATURES THAT LOOK A LITTLE AWKWARD, WHAT ON EARTH WAS NATURE THINKING THERE.

WE WANTED TO LOOK AT THOSE

THE FASCINATING THING I FOUND IN WATCHING THIS, YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT -- YOU HAVE CATEGORY HERE'S OF SOME THINGS THAT ARE ILL-SUITED FOR THEIR ENVIRONMENT.

OTHERS THAT SEEM TO HAVE DEVELOPED A GREA SPECIALIZATION, BUT WHAT ELS THEN CAN THEY DO SOME THAT ARE JUST FLAT OU DIFFERENT.

BUT YET THEY ALL SEEM TO WOR OKAY

THEY DO WORK.

AND THEY'RE FINDING CREATIVE SOLUTIONS TO DO THINGS DIFFERENTLY THAN MAYBE THE RES OF THEIR KIND.

SO IT'S REALLY A CASE OF THERE'S NOT JUST ONE WAY TO SUCCEED.

THERE'S LOTS OF WAYS TO SUCCEED.

WE KIND OF WANT TO HIGHLIGHT THESE ODDBALL, WONDERFUL ECCENTRIC CHARACTERS IN THIS PROGRAM.

EARLY ON WE'RE WATCHING THE PANDA.

PEOPLE LOVE PANDAS THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT THEM THAT DRAWS US TO THEM.

ALL OF A SUDDEN I'M LEARNING THINGS I DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT PANDAS A NONMEAT-EATING CARNIVORE THEIR RELATIONSHIP WITH BAMBOO WHAT IS THAT ABOUT

THEY HAVE CARNIVORE TEETH THEY HAVE A CARNIVORE DIGESTIV TRACK.

THEY'RE A REAL BEAR AND THEY LIVE VIRTUALLY, ALMOST COMPLETELY OFF OF THIS ONE PLANT THAT IS SO UNNUTRITIOUS, SO HARD TO DIGEST, THEY HAVE TO EA CONSTANTLY JUST TO EKE OUT ENOUGH ENERGY, ENOUGH CALORIES TO KEEP ON GOING WE WOULD ALL LOVE TO INTERVIEW PANDAS ABOUT THAT, GET THEIR POINT OF VIEW.

ALL WE CAN DO IS FOLLOW WHAT THEY DO.

THAT'S HOW THEY HAVE BEE SURVIVING FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS.

HOW ABOUT THE BIG-HEADED MOLE RAT.

WELL --

THAT'S AN AWFUL NAME FO ANYBODY.

IT'S A TERRIBLE NAME.

MOLE RATS ARE NOT THE MOST GLAMOROUS CHARACTERS TO BEGI WITH, TO ADD A BIG HEAD ON TOP OF THAT GLORIOUS NAME.

THERE ARE 36 KINDS OF MOLE RATS, THEY ALL LIVE UNDER GROUND ALL OF THEM.

THEY'RE WELL ADAPTED FOR THAT.

THE BIG HEADED MOLE RAT HAS MADE ANOTHER DECISION IT FORAGES OUT ON THE SURFACE, OUT ON THE GRASSLANDS, AND I ISN'T ALL THAT WELL ADAPTED, I WOULD APPEAR, TO DO THAT SO, IT DOESN'T HAVE THE VERY GOOD EYESIGHT.

DOESN'T HAVE VERY GOOD HEARING IT'S ALSO THE FAVORITE PREY OF THE ETHIOPIAN WOLF SO IT HAS A PROBLEM.

YOU DON'T WANT TO BE BIG-HEADED MOLE RAT IF YOU HAD A CHOICE DOESN'T SOUND LIKE YOU LONGEVITY IS GOOD.

IT'S AN INTERESTING POINT.

LOOKS LIKE A MISTAKE.

BUT WHAT'S ACTUALLY HAPPENIN HERE IS THAT IT'S CREATED PARTNERSHIP WITH A SMALL BIR CALLED THE MORLAN CHAT THE CHAT ACTS AS ITS EYES AN EARS AND ALERTS THE MOLE RAT T ANY DANGER IT HAS GREAT, SHARP EYESIGHT, IT SEES WOLVES A LONG WAYS AWAY THE CHAT IS FORAGING OFF THE BUGS, WORMS, THAT THE MOLE RAT IS CONTINUALLY DIGGING UP.

THE TWO OF THEM HAVE TEAMED UP THEY ARE ABLE TO SURVIVE TOGETHER IN THAT PLACE, IN SPITE OF THE WOLVES AND THE TOUG CONDITIONS

ALWAYS GOOD TO HAVE A BUDDY

SOMETIMES YOU JUST NEED A LITTLE HELP FROM YOUR FRIENDS.

LET ME ASK YOU ABOUT ON OTHER ONE BECAUSE IT'S FUN T SAY THE KAKAPO

THE KAKAPO IS A DELIGHTFU CHARACTER, IT'S A BIG PARROT THE ONLY PARROT IN THE WORLD THAT CAN'T FLY IT LIKES TO FEED IN LEAVES THA ARE VERY HIGH UP IN THE CANOPY AND IT HAS TO CLIMB.

IT'S A CHUBBY, WONDERFUL LITTL CHARACTER.

AND -- BUT IT'S ONE OF THOSE THAT'S STRUGGLING TO SURVIVE I ITS OWN HOME NOW

YOU AND I WERE TALKING ABOU THE FACT THAT NATURE HAS BEE AROUND -- THE PROGRAM, THAT PART OF NATURE WHAT BEEN AROUND FOR MORE THAN 30 YEARS

YES

STILL PLENTY OF STORIES

PLENTY OF STORIES THERE'S NEW MARVELS, AND NEW WAYS TO TELL OLD STORIES THA WE'RE FAMILIAR WITH.

THE ANIMALS THEMSELVES ARE ALWAYS DOING INTERESTING THINGS.

WE FIND GREAT CHARACTERS T FOLLOW AND SO WE HOPE TO B AROUND FOR YEARS TO COME

THANKS SO MUCH FOR JOININ US

THANK YOU, JACK

> THAT WRAPS IT UP FOR THI TIME FOR MORE ON SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, INNOVATION, VISIT OUR WEBSITE.

YOU CAN ALSO CHECK US OUT ON FACEBOOK AND JOIN TH CONVERSATION ON TWITTER.

THANKS FOR WATCHING.

FUNDING WAS MADE POSSIBLE B CONTRIBUTIONS TO THIS STATION.

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