Have you ever wondered “What if the Earth stopped spinning?” or “Why Are Bad Words Bad?” The YouTube channel Vsauce is dedicated to answering questions just like these. Hosted by Michael Stevens, the segments answer scientific and philosophical questions about nearly everything under the sun. The channel now has over 7 million subscribers and Stevens was even invited to give a TEDTalk about Vsauce last year. Vsauce videos have been featured on Huffington Post and CBS News. So, if you are looking for answers to questions like “How Much Money is There on Earth?” or “Why Is Yawning Contagious?”, Vsauce might just have the answer for you.
Brain Scoop is an educational YouTube channel that comes to us from Chicago’s Field Museum. Brain Scoop is hosted by Emily Graslie, the museum’s very first Chief Curiosity Correspondent. The videos take us behind the scenes with the scientists and allow us to see all the varying, fascinating, and sometimes funny work going on in natural history museums. Most videos are less than 10 minutes long and cover topics such as “Where’d You Get All Those Dead Animals?”, “Starstuff and Nanodiamonds”, “Shark Weapons”, and “Most of a Bear.” This preview video highlights some of the interesting topics you can explore.
Do you love numbers or maybe want to develop a better appreciation of them? Numberphile is a YouTube channel focusing on interesting ideas with numbers and mathematics. The channel is run by Brady Haran who now does a number of YouTube educational channels after working for years for BBC News producing award winning documentaries. Even if you don’t love math you might enjoy the concepts presented in videos like “The Scientific Way to Cut a Cake”, “Is Zero Even?”, or “How to Order 43 Chicken McNuggets.” The following video is a fun presentation of pi done with pies.
We recently looked at the educational YouTube channel Crash Course. Best-selling author and vlogger John Green doesn’t just team up with his brother to produce fun and educational YouTube channels. He is also working with his wife Sarah Green, former curator of contemporary art for the Indianapolis Museum of Art, to produce and co-host a PBS Digital Studios webseries called The Art Assignment. Sarah travels around the country and talks with artists about how they create their work. The artist demonstrates an art piece or performance and then viewers are asked to complete the same assignment. You can watch demonstrations like “Walk on It” with artist Kate Gilmore, or “Find Your Band—Bang on a Can” with experimental musicians Mark Stewart and Julia Wolfe. In this video, Chicago artist Deb Sokolow places an object in a public spot and then observes what happens with the object.
“All sorts of quirky and mind blowing science” is what you will find on the YouTube channel ASAPScience. Hosted by Mitchell Moffit and Gregory Brown, ASAPScience delivers a weekly dose of answers to interesting scientific questions in a simple and fun way. Some interesting topics to explore include things like “Can Video Games Make You Smarter?”, “Should You Hover or Cover the Toilet Seat?”, “Could We Stop an Asteroid?” which features special guest Bill Nye, and “7 Myths About the Brain You Thought Were True.” The following video about social media and your brain also includes interesting information about “phantom vibration syndrome.”
This week Chicago is hosting the 2nd annual Internet of Things World Forum at the Hyatt Regency. More than 1,500 industry attendees are hearing about and discussing the IoT. The Internet of Things is technology that allows objects with sensors like smartphones, vehicles, traffic lights, wearable devices, machinery, computers and more to share information. It is something that is going to be talked about more and more and the applications of the technology could reach almost every aspect of our lives. More than 3 billion objects have already been digitally connected and 300,000 more are connected every hour. This article from the Chicago Tribune highlights this week’s forum and the role that Chicago hopes to play in this industry. To read more about the topic, have a look at this explanation from InfoWorld.
Do you want to find out what the Ferguson riots are about, or who ISIS is and how much of a threat they are to the US? TestTube is a YouTube channel dedicated to explaining the background information of current events. Videos like “Why Can’t We Stop Ebola?”, “After Scotland: Who Else Wants Independence?”, and “Why is the NFL an Non-Profit?” will help you get a clearer understanding of the world around you.
John Green is a busy guy. Besides being the bestselling author of The Fault in Our Stars, John and his brother Hank Green, together known as the Vlogbrothers, also produce a variety of YouTube channels with millions of subscribers. The Crash Course channel features clever, fast-paced, fun and very educational videos on all sorts of topics. John covers humanities with courses on World History, US History, and English Literature. Hank’s courses in the sciences cover Biology, Ecology, Chemistry, Physics, and Psychology. Most of videos are about 10-12 minutes long and feature fun animation and an engaging lecture. If you need to get a quick overview of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein or to find out about Heredity, try a Crash Course with a Green brother. And, as the Green brothers say, DFTBA!