Awesome Learning

Facts About Bears

Facts About Bears

From black bears to grizzly bears to gummy bears to the Chicago Bears, we have a fascination with these wonderfully cuddly, smart, and imposing mammals. Mental Floss is here to school us on many random facts about bears in the latest episode of Scatterbrained.

The World’s Largest Air Horn

The World’s Largest Air Horn

Mark Rober wanted to demonstrate how horns work, so he built what’s quite possibly the largest air horn in the world. After explaining how horns amplify sound, he tested the horn in a remote area. It carried sound clearly from as far away as 2.5mi.

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Seals vs. Sea Lions

Seals vs. Sea Lions

TierZoo looks at the differences between these flippered marine mammals, and determines that one of them comes out on top. Seals can stay underwater longer and swim deeper, but sea lions are agile in water and better able to get around on land.

4WD vs AWD Explained

4WD vs AWD Explained

People often use the terms 4-wheel drive and all-wheel drive interchangeably, but that’s just wrong. The Team O’Neil Rally School explains how the two types of drivetrains differ. Proper 4x4s might be better at off-roading, but modern AWD systems are typically more versatile.

Building a Drum from Scratch

Building a Drum from Scratch

(Gross) How to Make Everything wants to make a collection of musical instruments from scratch. First up is a drum. He made it out of maple wood, pigskin and twine. He had a lot of help from a woodworker, but he did all the gross stuff for the leather.

What Is Federal Land?

What Is Federal Land?

If you’ve ever wondered why so many areas of land are considered federal property here in the good old U.S. of A., you’ll want to tune into CGP Grey’s video, which provides a great lesson on how land went from being doled out for free to being closely held by the government.

Creating a Prison for Humanity

Creating a Prison for Humanity

For all of our efforts to explore space – and maybe someday colonize other planets – humans have been creating lots of space junk, which will make it harder to leave the Earth over time. Kurzgesagt explores the dangers of filling up the low Earth orbit with stuff.

What Every State is Best and Worst At

What Every State is Best and Worst At

RealLifeLore pumps up, then quickly deflates every state in the U.S. with this look at what each state statistically does best and worst in the country. And here we thought Alaska would be a nice safe place to live.

Are Sloths Low Tier?

Are Sloths Low Tier?

(Gore) Yes, very much so. TierZoo justifies why he ranks sloths as one of the worst builds in any meta. They are slow, only mildly stealthy, predictable, and weak. Yet it’s the fact that they are scrubs that has allowed them to survive.

Dataplay: The Disc That Time Forgot

Dataplay: The Disc That Time Forgot

Techmoan looks at the history of the DataPlay, a tiny optical disc format. Launched in 2001, it could carry up to 500MB of data in a disc just a tad bigger than a dollar coin. Unfortunately, its reliance on other companies and non-rewritable nature spelled doom for the disc.

The Creative Process

The Creative Process

Coming up with creative ideas can be quite challenging. Casually Explained is here to show us why that is, and provides a series of tests to help you determine your own personal level of creativity. We passed that final test over two years ago.

Why Windows Phone Failed

Why Windows Phone Failed

Despite successes like Windows and Xbox, Microsoft has had its share of failures too. Business Casual looks back at how Microsoft threw billions at the mobile device market, and had a solid product, but still couldn’t keep it going against the iOS and Android juggernauts.

Scatterbrained: Beer

Scatterbrained: Beer

Mental Floss shares a handful of facts and tips about beer and other alcoholic beverages, from the ways in which alcohol affect creativity, to how to open a beer bottle in a pinch, to the different kinds of hops used in brewing beer.

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What is Farthest Away?

What is Farthest Away?

There was a time when each of our worlds was only as big as we could see with our own eyes. These days, our knowledge of the world, our galaxy, and the universe keeps growing. It’s Okay to Be Smart explores the ever-expanding notion of “the edge of the map.”

A Brief History of the Hoodie

A Brief History of the Hoodie

TED and design curator Paola Antonelli share a brief look into the history of the hoodie. In its earliest forms, hooded cloaks or capes were worn by everyone from monks to executioners. But the modern day hoodie has had quite the cultural journey as well.

The World’s Deadliest Substance

The World’s Deadliest Substance

Real Life Lore schools us on things that can kill us, and makes us even more afraid of spiders, snakes and frogs. They list everything from common substances such as water and sugar, to wild venom and rare elements that can easily do you in.

How Roller Coasters Affect Us

How Roller Coasters Affect Us

While roller coasters offer up plenty of thrills, a whole lot of engineering goes into making them safe enough to not snap our necks or make us pass out. TEDEd looks at the impact that these rides can have on our bodies, and how coaster safety has improved over the years.

In Praise of 70mm

In Praise of 70mm

If you’ve never seen a movie shot and played back in its original 70mm analog format, you’re missing out on a true cinematic experience. The Royal Ocean Film Society looks back at the history of this awe-inspiring format, and how it may just have saved Hollywood back in the day.

The Magic Economics of Gambling

The Magic Economics of Gambling

In a purely logical world, casinos and other gambling establishments would not exist, since we can easily prove that they’re losing propositions. But Wendover Productions cites studies showing how probabilities mess with our brain, and how this can be used for good.

Why Comedy Needs Character

Why Comedy Needs Character

Lessons from the Screenplay looks at how Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg wrote Shaun of the Dead to show us a great way to build a story. In the film, the supporting characters and even the story of the world are reflections of the main character’s traits.

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Earth’s Next Balance Patch

Earth’s Next Balance Patch

(Gore) TierZoo looks at the upcoming balance patch, more commonly known as climate change. He expects that some animals will suffer, but some will take advantage of the patch and flourish, if only temporarily.

Who Owns the Statue of Liberty?

Who Owns the Statue of Liberty?

CGP Grey shares the ridiculous story of New Jersey and New York’s battle over the ownership of the Statue of Liberty. Thanks to England’s vague terms, Liberty Island has been in contention and eventually divided in the course of an unending struggle.

The True Scale of the Universe

The True Scale of the Universe

Corridor Crew wanted to give us a better way to visualize the scale of the size of the universe. So they shrunk Earth down to the size of a tennis ball (1:190,000,000) and compared it to the planets in our Solar System, as well as some of the biggest stars in our galaxy.

What Do Raindrops Look Like?

What Do Raindrops Look Like?

If you thought that rain had a teardrop shape as it fell, you’d be totally wrong. With the help of a vertical wind tunnel, It’s Okay to Be Smart shows us what these droplets of water look like as they head towards Earth, while teaching us about surface tension and air resistance.

How Video Games Affect Us

How Video Games Affect Us

There are lots of different schools of thought on how playing video games can both positively and negatively affect our brains and bodies. WIRED spent some time trying to separate myth and opinion from hard science and data in this fascinating report on the subject.

Words That Changed Meanings

Words That Changed Meanings

Did you know that “doom” used to refer to a judgment handed down in court? John Green of Mental Floss schools us about 27 words we use today, and their very different meanings back in the day. We love how Elmer Fudd had an influence on our vocabulary.

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