(PG-13: Language) For decades, Ronald McDonald was one of the world’s most recognized brand mascots. But something happened when 2016 hit, and the once-ubiquitous character all but vanished from the scene. Ordinary Things recalls the history of the burger clown, from his creepy early beginnings to his eventual downfall.
This short video from Pilot Yellow provides an incredibly concise and easy to understand explanation of the basics of helicopter flight, using a small Guimbal Cabri G2 chopper to demonstrate. While it doesn’t go into the complexities of weather or flight safety, it’s a great primer on what all of those controls do.
While many considered Nikolai Tesla to be a genius, he also had some pretty outlandish ideas, like the notion that we would stop drinking coffee by the 21st century. Mental Floss editor Erin McCarthy explores this and a number of other wacky predictions that have yet to come true, among them, undersea buses propelled by whales.
Thanks to the series How It’s Made, we’ve seen the production process behind hundreds of items. The Efficient Engineer’s video explains things at a much higher level – not the process of making a specific product, but the principles behind modern manufacturing and how factories decide which methods to use.
Conquer your home bar and impress your friends with this series of six online courses about bartending and mixology. Along the way, you’ll learn all about gin, rum, vodka, whiskey, and tequila, along with the best ways to make cocktails from each spirit. Another great deal from The Awesomer Shop.
66 million years ago, everything seemed to be going just fine for the dinosaurs. But then something changed, wiping out the thriving creatures. Kurzgesagt looks at how one seemingly small change in the skies led to the rapid extinction of most life on Earth. It’s a dramatic reminder to live each day as if it was your last.
From his horns to his red suit to his pitchfork, we all have a pretty specific image in our minds of what The Devil looks like. In this TED-Ed video by educator and Episcopal priest Brian A. Pavlac, he delves into the origins of the ultimate evil dude and his various depictions over the years.
As early as the 1950s, oceanographers like Jacques Cousteau were experimenting with the idea of setting up shop deep beneath the ocean and living down there for extended periods of time. Bloomberg sat down with experts in the field to discuss the unique challenges and opportunities presented by undersea living.
Howdy, folks! It’s science time! Veritasium explains how gravity isn’t a force according to the General Theory of Relativity. He then demonstrates how the way we are moving through space-time while standing on Earth isn’t really any different from what an astronaut experiences as their rocket accelerates through space.
Tom Scott loves to visit interesting places, share fascinating stories, and speak about them with authority. After amusing us with his spot-on impression of the vlogger, comedian Matt Colbo is back with multiple Tom Scotts, envisioning what might happen they cloned the YouTube celeb.
Tom Scott takes us to a spot in Cornwall, UK known as “LEGO Beach,” because countless LEGO pieces have washed up on its shore since 1997. Tom digs into the true story of the toys and the crazy amount of junk that has found its way into the sea. LEGO Lost at Sea has been documenting some of the many plastics they’ve found on beaches.
A penny-farthing is one of those old-timey bicycles with the giant wheel in front and a tiny one in the back. We see them on the streets once in a while and always wonder how tricky they must be to ride. Serial learner Mike Boyd is here to answer that question, with a little help from the guys at the UK branch of Unicycle.com.
We’ve previously taken a behind-the-scenes tour of a bowling alley. This video from 3D animator Jared Owen offers a more in-depth explanation of the engineering and mechanics that go into the machine that magically straightens and resets the pins between balls.
Because of their power and extreme nature, black holes are some of the most awe-inspiring objects in the universe. Kurzgesagt offers a deep dive into these regions of spacetime and ponders what might happen if their immense gravity got a hold of you. Also, we just learned an awesome new word: spaghettification.
In the early 1900s, electricity was about to take the world by storm. But live wires couldn’t safely be used without insulation. Resin harvested from insects worked, but was too expensive to harvest. Necessity being the mother of invention, it drove chemist Leo Baekeland to develop what would become the world’s first plastic.
Every living thing on Earth is made up of mix of chemical elements, including carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen. This animated short from NM State University’s Learning Games Lab provides a laypersons’ explanation of how chemical bonds create life and provide the nutrients needed to keep it going.
Ready to learn a new language? Babbel will help you go from zero to language hero with access to over 10,000 bite-sized lessons, covering real-life conversational topics in 14 different languages. Grab a lifetime subscription for you and a friend for 55% off the regular price.
When we think of how trains get their locomotion, it’s typically from diesel engines, electric motors, or maybe steam power. But there was a time when train builders thought they could make railroad cars go faster by fitting them with airplane engines. Curious Droid has the story behind these forgotten relics.
Did you know that the sunlight you’re looking at now is 8-minutes old? Or that the most common maps completely distort the relative size of countries? Mental Floss Editor-in-Chief Erin McCarthy digs into these and plethora of other facts about our planet in this extensive trivia video.
UsefulCharts takes a look back at the 4000+ year history of Modern Latin Script, the letterforms and alphabet used today in English and many other languages. Along the way, you’ll learn about other forms of written communication which don’t use an alphabet. The chart is available as a 24″ x 36″ poster print.
If you know anything about electronics, you know there are tons of different types of switches. Engineer and inventor Tim Hunkin delves into some of the many kinds of switches, how they work to complete circuits, and how to choose the right type for your projects.