Awesome Learning

The History of Pad Thai

The History of Pad Thai

With its mix of stir-fried noodles, protein, peanuts, veggies, and zesty condiments, pad thai is one delicious dish. Mental Floss series Food History delves into the relatively short history of the popular dish. While it was touted as Thailand’s national dish, its ingredients and origins came from other countries.

How to Solve Every Global Crisis

How to Solve Every Global Crisis

Between pandemics, climate change, and various manmade problems, humans have our work cut out for us. By looking back at how we’ve solved crises in the past, MinuteEarth demonstrates a few basic principles that we can apply to eliminating other existential threats… if we can keep from letting politics win out over science.

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10 Long Lost Treasures

10 Long Lost Treasures

From fabled stashes of pirate’s booty to irreplaceable reels of film and works of art, there are some very special treasures waiting out there to be discovered. Join Mental Floss editor and host Erin McCarthy as she gets out her shovel and digs for some of the world’s most elusive artifacts.

The Place Where Time Flows Backwards

The Place Where Time Flows Backwards

You might think of the passage of time as something that moves in a particular direction – from left to right, front to back, or clockwise around a dial. As MinuteEarth explains, there’s no uniform way of looking at the direction of time, and how humans even represent it differently based on the way their language is written.

NeuroNation

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Giant Viruses That Shouldn’t Exist

Giant Viruses That Shouldn’t Exist

While we sit here staring at our screens, a war is being fought all around us. Trillions of microorganisms are battling it out for resources while viruses attack and take over. While it’s was believed that viruses aren’t alive, recent discoveries point to giant viruses that act more like living organisms. Kurzgesagt explains.

Why Ships Don’t Have Headlights

Why Ships Don’t Have Headlights

Every now and then you hear about a ship that collided with another in the dark of night. You’d think that the solution would be to equip them with headlights like cars, right? Casual Navigation explains the optical properties at work which makes the idea suboptimal, and explains the other kind of lights that ships do have.

The History of Hot Sauce

The History of Hot Sauce

We love using hot sauce to add a kick to many foods. Chili flavored sauces have been around for thousands of years, and Mental Floss‘ Food History explains where these spicy condiments likely originated as well as some of their varieties. Along the way, you’ll learn why peppers are spicy in the first place.

The Tiny Boat with Its Own Zip Code

The Tiny Boat with Its Own Zip Code

Did you know that there’s a boat out there that has its own U.S. zip code? We sure didn’t. Half as Interesting explains the story behind the boat that floats up and down the Detroit River, delivering mail to freighter ships that can’t afford to waste time docking to pick up parcels.

How the Immune System (Really) Works

How the Immune System (Really) Works

Kurzgesagt provides a layperson’s explanation of human immunity, the amazing and complex system that helps keep us alive – and sometimes needs a little help to build a memory against disease. Be sure to check out Kursgesagt’s new book Immune for more on the topic, and keep your eyes peeled for episode 2.

The Tale of Tiffany

The Tale of Tiffany

The name “Tiffany” became wildly popular back in the 1980s. But the name came to be long before the I Think We’re Alone Now singer. Learn about the origins of the name and its history over the years in only the way that CGP Grey can tell a story.

Become a Better Cook

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Up your kitchen skills with this series of online cooking courses. In all, there are 10 classes, ranging from healthy and wholesome salads and veggie dishes to the ins and outs of baking delicious bread and pastry treats. There’s even a class on cooking Thai food at home.

Learn EDM Music Production

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Are you the next Diplo or Deadmau5? Learn to make electronic music and perform digital DJ sets with this expansive library of online training. Courses include electronic music theory, music production, and live performance.

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Ronald McDonald: A Life

Ronald McDonald: A Life

(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.

Knots You Need to Know

Knots You Need to Know

Never got your Pioneering merit badge as a Boy Scout? No worries. InnerBark Outdoors shows us seven knots that are easy to learn but are very useful. Most of these knots can come in handy camping, boating, and even at home.

How Cranes Build Themselves

How Cranes Build Themselves

Art of Engineering explains how the tall construction cranes used to build skyscrapers are able to increase their own height. The process known as “climbing” a tower crane requires precision and patience and can be incredibly dangerous if not done properly.

How to Fly a Helicopter

How to Fly a Helicopter

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.

Weird Old Predictions

Weird Old Predictions

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.

How Things Are Made

How Things Are Made

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.

Misconceptions About Vikings

Misconceptions About Vikings

Mention the word “Vikings” and it conjures up images of burly warriors with horned helmets, laying waste to all who stood in their way. But as Justin from Mental Floss explains, most modern conceptions about these feared Norsemen are totally wrong.

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The Day the Dinosaurs Died

The Day the Dinosaurs Died

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.

A Brief History of the Devil

A Brief History of the Devil

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.

Living Underwater

Living Underwater

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.

Is Gravity an Illusion?

Is Gravity an Illusion?

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.

Basically Another Tom Scott Video

Basically Another Tom Scott Video

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.

The Truth About LEGO Beach

The Truth About LEGO Beach

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.

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