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"In our daily lives, we rely on many metals that are either uncommon, environmentally damaging, or located almost solely in places like China, Bolivia, or the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo (i.e., not nations the U.S. is always on good terms with). What's the risk that one day we won't be able to depend on any of these elements?
That's the question asked by researchers from Yale University, who have now catalogued how much we’re in danger of putting all our eggs in one basket. By Jessica Leber, April, 2015
How could you dispose of your cooking oil when you're done cooking? The easiest thing to do might be to pour it down your drain -- but if you save it up and send it to a processing plant, it can gain useful new life as biodiesel, a biodegradable energy source which can run in diesel engines instead of refined petroleum. Natascia Radice describes the process of turning goop into good. View the complete lesson at TED-Ed
How batteries work
Batteries are a triumph of science—they allow smartphones and other technologies to exist without anchoring us to an infernal tangle of power cables. Yet even the best batteries will diminish daily, slowly losing capacity until they finally die. Why does this happen, and how do our batteries even store so much charge in the first place? Adam Jacobson gives the basics on batteries.