There are thousands of videos on the internet that depict people falling—falling off of bikes, into ponds, out of chairs, onto other people, or surprised pets—and these videos demonstrate a scientific principle: the Law of Gravity.
Who would have guessed that spending hours on the internet watching people fall off of things might actually count as scientific study. Well, it’s all in how you look at it. People challenge the law of gravity and they lose. Every time. And if they fall spectacularly and their video goes viral, they do it again. Only harder this time.
Which suggests a conversation about yet another area of science, psychology.
Seriously, though, someone smarter than me considered this phenomenon and had the bright idea to create a television show called Outrageous Acts of Science, which turns kooky internet videos into lessons in applied science (watch a sample, below).
Airing on the Science Channel (DIRECTV channel 284), Outrageous Acts of Science is highly entertaining as a clearinghouse for the web’s best do-it-yourself mayhem. But what really makes it unique is the expert analysis of the scientific principles behind something like, say, the infamous tongue-to-frozen-lamppost dare, proving that it is scientifically possible to be serious while not taking oneself too seriously.
Check it out for yourself. Maybe even incorporate an epIsiode into your curriculum. If nothing else, your students will think you’re cool.
Outrageous Acts of Science is rated TV14, and airs Saturday nights at 10/9C. Be sure to visit the show’s official web site.
—Stephen Vincent D’Emidio
© DIRECTV 2017.