It's been almost five years since we started our YouTube channel. After 175 million views, 1.3 million subscribers, and 186 life hacks, it's time we mixed things up. Today we're launching Scatterbrained, a new show starring John Green and friends. These friends include Becca Scott, Amanda Suk, Dani Fernandez, Mike Rugnetta, and Elliott Morgan.
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And here's the very first episode, our Olympics special:
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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Wikimedia // Public Domain
Terrible extinction news frequently makes the headlines, but sometimes, conservationists declare defeat too early. The Palos Verdes blue (Glaucopsyche lygdamus palosverdesensis) is one such example: Presumed extinct in 1983 after it seemed to vanish from its habitat in California's Palos Verdes Peninsula, it was discovered flitting among the grass in San Pedro again 11 years later.
Aside from coming back from the edge, the butterfly is notable for fuzzy wings that look brownish when closed, but a stunning silvery blue once they open up. Today it's still listed as threatened, but there's a captive breeding program to help make sure the beautiful species never goes missing again. Learn more—and see the butterfly up-close—in the video from Great Big Story below.
When you were naming your cat, you probably didn’t consider your feline friend’s hearing range. But according to Vancouver, Canada-based veterinarian Uri Burstyn, you probably should have—at least if you want your cat to pay attention when you talk to it.
According to Dr. Uri, the name he goes by in his adorable YouTube videos, Felix isn’t a great cat name. Nor is Garfield. But Fluffy? A great choice.
Cat ears are finely attuned to high-pitched noises. Since most of their prey communicate at high frequencies—think mouse squeaks and bird chirps—cats are not as good at hearing low-frequency sounds. Ideally, you want your cat’s name to end in a high frequency, since that’s the kind of sound cats hear best and naturally pay attention to.
For human speech, that basically means that it should end in an “eeeee” sound rather than a consonant. Grumpy Cat? A bad name. Just “Grumpy?” Perfect. That's why "kitty kitty" works pretty well to get a cat to pay attention or come toward you. It's a squeaky sound.
Luckily, many nicknames in English tend to end in an ie or a y, so you probably already have a cat-friendly name for your pet waiting in the wings. Now you know why your cat is more likely to respond to your high-pitched, baby-voiced nicknames than its full name.
Enjoy Dr. Uri's explanation, and his helpful demonstration with his noble friend Lancelot, in the video below.