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The Pluto Files: News Veterans Still Outraged!

The buzz continues for The Pluto Files, coming to NOVA on March 2! In the The Pluto Files, we'll learn the inside story of "the rise and fall of America's favorite planet," Pluto, which was infamously downgraded from planetary status by Neil deGrasse Tyson in 1999 (well, it didn't become official until 2006). This Pluto thing is so infamous that we even have a shirt about the incident. The NOVA team has released a few more videos featuring major newsmen (and women) including Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Brian Williams, and Diane Sawyer discussing their feelings on the incident, deGrasse Tyson himself, and poor old "dwarf planet" Pluto.

Stay tuned: I'll have a full review before the program airs!

What About My Solar System Science Project?

Brian Williams: "To now downgrade the planet that a lot of us kind of identified with and hung our hopes on is, I think, a slap in the face to millions of American schoolchildren."

If Pluto is Not a Planet...

Jon Stewart: "Oh, it's just an icy object in the Kuiper belt?!"

What Are We Without Pluto?

Brian Williams: "Absent Pluto this becomes all about Uranus. That is the option Neil leaves us with."

Not the Boss of the Solar System

See the first video here: Neil deGrasse Tyson "Not the Boss of the Solar System," Says News Industry, or just enjoy it below.

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Belly Flop Physics 101: The Science Behind the Sting
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Belly flops are the least-dignified—yet most painful—way of making a serious splash at the pool. Rarely do they result in serious physical injury, but if you’re wondering why an elegant swan dive feels better for your body than falling stomach-first into the water, you can learn the laws of physics that turn your soft torso a tender pink by watching the SciShow’s video below.

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What's the Saltiest Water in the World?
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Saltwater is common around the world—indeed, salty oceans cover more than two-thirds of the globe. Typical saltwater found in our oceans is about 3.5% salt by weight. But in some areas, we find naturally occurring saltwater that's far saltier. The saltiest water yet discovered is more than 12 times saltier than typical seawater.

Gaet’ale is a pond in Ethiopia which currently holds the record as the most saline water body on Earth. The water in that pond is 43.3% dissolved solids by weight—most of that being salt. This kind of water is called hypersaline for its extreme salt concentration.

In the video below, Professor Martyn Poliakoff explains this natural phenomenon—why it's so salty, how the temperature of the pond affects its salinity, and even why this particular saltwater has a yellow tint. Enjoy:

For the paper Poliakoff describes, check out this abstract.

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