Best of Hoopla: Science

The universe is at your fingertips... with your library card.

The universe is at your fingertips… with your library card.

Do you love Hoopla yet? You can use it to stream everything from your St. Patrick’s Day playlist to Sesame Street. You can watch a monster-movie marathon or Disney classics any time and anywhere you have Wi-Fi.

And it’s all free with your Mentor Public Library card.

It also has dozens of science documentaries and TV shows, so if you love science—and who isn’t curious about the world around them?—there’s a lot to choose from.

Here are some of our favorites:

1. Higgs Boson and Beyond

The discovery of the Higgs Boson is a triumph of modern physics. The hunt for the Higgs was the subject of wide media attention due to the cost of the project, the complexity of the experiment, and the importance of its result. In this 12-lecture masterpiece of scientific reporting, you’ll learn how the discovery of the Higgs Boson validates and deepens our understanding of the universe.

If you like that, then watch: The Physics of Time and The Physics of Light.

2. Your Inner Fish

Hidden within the human body is a story of life on Earth. Based on a best-selling book by evolutionary biologist Neil Shubin, this story takes viewers from Ethiopia to the Arctic Circle on a hunt for the many ways that our animal ancestors shaped our anatomical destiny.

If you like that, then watch: Becoming Human.

3. Raising the Dinosaur Giant

Have scientists discovered the biggest animal to have ever walked the planet? Deep in a South American desert, a giant is being awakened after 101 million years of sleep.

If you like that, then watch: Dinosaur Hunters: Secrets of the Gobi Desert.

4. Science of Babies

From first breath to first step, National Geographic sheds light on the amazing developments in a human’s first 12 months of life and how new research indicates that these growing abilities are much more flexible than previously known.

5. Animal Misfits: Odd, Bizarre & Unlikely Creatures

Alongside the fastest, strongest, smartest animals are nature’s misfits. These odd, bizarre and unlikely creatures at first glance seem-ill equipped for survival. Animal Misfits reveals some surprising details about how evolution really works, demonstrating that all animals are remarkably well-adapted to their chosen way of life.

If you like that, then watch: PBS’s Nature series.

6. Hidden Hawaii

America’s newest marine sanctuary, Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, is bigger than all U.S. national parks combined–yet the majority of this environment has never been seen. What is in this vast marine conservation area? And, what will it take to protect it? Explore stunning coral reefs, shallow water environments, and rare species unique only to Hidden Hawaii.

If you like this, then watch: Secret Yellowstone.

7. Dogs Decoded

New research is revealing what dog lovers have suspected all along: Dogs have an uncanny ability to read and respond to human emotions. Humans, in turn, respond to dogs with the same hormone responsible for bonding mothers to their babies. How did this incredible relationship between humans and dogs come to be?

If you like that, then watch: How Smart Are Animals?

8. Chasing Pluto

Learn about New Horizons’ historic flyby of Pluto, the culmination of the spacecraft’s nine-year, three-billion-mile journey to reveal the first ever detailed images of this strange, icy world at the very edge of our solar system.

If you like that, then watch: Search for Exoplanets

9. Making Stuff

Each hour in this four-part series explores the talent, luck, and determination that can turn a wild idea into a cutting-edge material or high-tech breakthrough.

If you like that, then watch: Making Stuff‘s second season.

10. Bigger than T-Rex

Almost a century ago, paleontologists found the first tantalizing hints of a monster even bigger than Tyrannosaurus Rex, perhaps the largest predator ever to walk the Earth: spectacular fossil bones from a dinosaur dubbed Spinosaurus. But the fossils were completely destroyed during a World War II Allied bombing raid, leaving only drawings, lots of questions, and a mystery. Learn about Spinosaurus—the dinosaur that waited 70 million years (and then another century) to be discovered.

If you like that, then watch: Arctic Dinosaurs and Last Extinction: Megabeasts’ Sudden Death.

11. Is There Life on Mars?

This NOVA showcases the latest scientific results from the Mars Rovers and NASA’s Phoenix probe, which are poised to reveal provocative new clues in the tantalizing search for water and life on the Red Planet.

If you like this, then watch: Can We Make It to Mars?

12. Fabric of our Cosmos

From the passenger seat of a New York cab driving near the speed of light to a pool hall where billiard tables do fantastical things, Brian Greene reveals space as a dynamic fabric that can stretch, twist, warp and ripple under the influence of gravity. Space, far from being empty, is filled with some of the deepest mysteries of our times.

If you like this, then watch: Physics and our Universe.

13. Ape Genius

The great apes—which include chimps, orangutans, gorillas and bonobos—seem to have rich emotional lives similar to our own. But just how smart are these animals? A new generation of investigators is revealing the secret mental lives of great apes, and our evolutionary next-of-kin are turning out to be far smarter than most experts ever imagined.

14. The Inexplicable Universe: Unsolved Mysteries

Professor Neil deGrasse Tyson—who you’ll recognize from Cosmosleads marvelous journey to the frontiers of the known (and unknown) universe and introduces viewers to tantalizing questions being addressed by the world’s top scientists.

If you like that, try Black Holes, Tides and Curved Spacetime: Understanding Gravity.

15. Your Deceptive Mind

By immersing yourself in the science of critical thinking, and by learning how to think about thinking, you’ll gain concrete lessons for doing so more critically, more intelligently, and more successfully than before.

If you like this, then watch: Addictive Brain.

If you don’t know how to use Hoopla, we’ve made handouts and how-to videos to help. You can also ask one of our librarians how to use Hoopla the next time that you visit ut.

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