Smarter Every Day: The magnetic worm mystery. (YouTube, 8:27min)
Destin from Smarter Every Day discovers magnetic worms and why they are magnetic.
“On Jan. 27, 1986, Allan McDonald stood on the cusp of history.
McDonald directed the booster rocket project at NASA contractor Morton Thiokol. He was responsible for the two massive rockets, filled with explosive fuel, that lifted space shuttles skyward. He was at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida for the launch of the Challenger “to approve or disapprove a launch if something came up,” he told me in 2016, 30 years after Challenger exploded.
His job was to sign and submit an official form. Sign the form, he believed, and he’d risk the lives of the seven astronauts set to board the spacecraft the next morning. Refuse to sign, and he’d risk his job, his career and the good life he’d built for his wife and four children.
“And I made the smartest decision I ever made in my lifetime,” McDonald told me. “I refused to sign it. I just thought we were taking risks we shouldn’t be taking.””
Link via MetaFilter.
Background material, all YouTube links:
Sadly, Feynman didn’t make it to Tuva because he passed away from cancer, but his friend Ralph Leighton went on the trip they planned together. Later, Feynman’s daughter Michelle also visited Tuva. Leighton founded the Friends of Tuva. The website is a bit outdated by now, but still contains a lot of interesting information and links.
Veritasium: How Kodak Detected the Atomic Bomb. (YouTube, 13:19min) “Kodak detected the first atomic bomb before anyone else figured it out. Then they made a deal not to tell anyone.” He lists his sources in the video description.
Link via MetaFilter: A government secret that still slightly contaminates your body.
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