meep (meep) wrote,

12 Days of Learning: Day 7 - YouTube!

YouTube isn't just for catchy pop videos or cute cat antics, but there's a wealth of learning to be had. Let me pick out a few channels which may be fun. Why can't learning be entertaining? None of the below aren't particularly academic, but 

If trivia (ish) is your interest, might I interest you in C.G.P. Grey. Because of Mr. Grey, I now know the difference between Holland and the Netherlands.  I already knew the difference between the UK, Great Britain, and England, but if you don't - here ya go.  I've got to say his best video is on Daylight Savings Time (down with DST!). His videos generally lack advocacy, except for this one... and this one.... both of which I agree with. Okay, many of these are involve some sort of advocacy, but they tend to be apolitical, so yay. I'm so tired of politics.  Bonus: COFFEE!


Next channel: Minute Physics. A bit of a lie, as most of the videos are over a minute. What you thought you knew about E = mc^2 is wrong (unless you knew that already). What is touch? Worried about combing your hairy balls? You should be. There is no pink light! Fermi problem of how much a million dollars weighs... but he's wrong about one thing. Dollars aren't made of paper. (Close enough for approximation, though)Tired of the guy's annoying voice? Here's a proof without words.


Next channel: Quirkology. About the strange ways our minds work (or, rather, our assumptions and attentional deficits) and lots of fun tricks and pranks that take advantage of this.  The colo(u)r-changing card trick.  As a child, I learned a lot of the tricks that he features in the amazing science stunts vids. Wiseman has a blog with lots more fun stuff on illusions and brain teasers.


Okay, a little less fun, but useful: Harvard Business Review's YouTube channel. I don't know what HBS is like, but the stuff I've come across from the HBR is very practical in terms of leadership and management...probably because many of the speakers are trying to promote their own businesses or books. Want to avoid Powerpoint hell?Dealing with a bunch of weirdos you're trying to manage? I'm sorry, I mean, how do you manage idiosyncratic talent? (with an autism connection). I know that business isn't necessarily as widely loved as COFFEE! but I still find this stuff interesting.


Back to the fun(ish) channels: Crash Course which currently has stuff on world history, biology, literature, and ecology. And yes, there's a lot of slanting in here, but one takes that sort of thing into consideration nowadays anyway, but unlike many youtube channels, you can get some good comments under the vids.  


More science! Smarter Every Day with all sorts of demos.  How does a cat land on its feet without violating the conservation of angular momentum? Let's look at some high speed video. News you can use: poop splash elimination (the comments are pretty good, and helpful, if you have this sort of problem). High speed video of pistols underwater. Lasers vs. balloons.


Lots more to be had, of course (and my own, old, math video channel... with less flashy tech/worse drawings than many of these other channels)... the main thing is to limit the time on there. ;)


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