Awesome Learning

When Time Became History

When Time Became History

To celebrate the release of their Human Era Calendar for the year 12,021, Kurzgesagt looks to the distant future to imagine what it might be like for future archeologists as they attempt to reconstruct our present, along with the challenges we face figuring out our past.

What the #[email protected]!% Are These?

What the #$@!% Are These?

While we’re perfectly content to use actual swear words, for many years, they’ve been off-limits for use in most public-facing entertainment. Vox looks back at how random punctuation marks became the universal symbol for so-called “obscene” words.

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When Rodents Had Horns

When Rodents Had Horns

Despite the massive number of rodents alive today, none of them have horns. But millions of years ago, some did. The so-called “horned gopher” had a pair of bony protrusions on its head, making it look pretty silly if you ask us. PBS Eons explains their purpose, and how they might still be useful if rodents had them today.

Why People Fall for Misinformation

Why People Fall for Misinformation

It seems that distorted information and falsehoods are more common than the truth these days. But why is it that humans fall for such misleading information? TED-Ed speaker Joseph Isaac looks at one specific case where something treated as fact has been widely believed, despite the facts saying otherwise.

How Do Potholes Work?

How Do Potholes Work?

Potholed roads can be a major annoyance, or in severe cases, they can cause vehicle damage or accidents. Why is it that with all of the advancements in materials science, we still get roads with giant divots? Grady Hillhouse of Practical Engineering explains the uphill battle faced by transportation departments around the globe.

The Mighty Weaver Ant

The Mighty Weaver Ant

Kurzgesagt introduces us to the oecophylla weaver ant. These long-legged insects dwell in tropical jungles, building incredible colonies that spread upwards and sideways between trees. They’re not only incredibly industrious, they’re fierce warriors and defenders of their kingdoms.

Did Cavemen Ever Really Exist?

Did Cavemen Ever Really Exist?

We all have a pretty specific image in mind when someone says “caveman.” But did these thick-browed, cave-dwelling early humans exist, or is this just a caricature created by popular culture? Today I Found Out digs into what we now know about the Stone Age, and how closely it matches up with these stereotypes.

CD / Color

CD / Color

Captain Disillusion is back with another one of his great educational videos about imaging technology and terminology. This time, he explains how our brains and eyes perceive color, and how computers can be used to manipulate hue, saturation, and brightness to our every whim.

Honest Pre-flight Safety Video

Honest Pre-flight Safety Video

(PG-13: Language) Those videos they show you at the beginning of commercial flights cover a few basic things about safety, but avoid the nitty gritty details. This clip from tourism expert Doug Lansky offers some much more practical advice for surviving an airplane emergency, based on details from an active commercial pilot.

Biking up Stairs

Biking up Stairs

Riding a bicycle down stairs isn’t that difficult as long as you watch your weight transfer. But Mike Boyd wanted to figure out how to get his mountain bike UP a flight of stairs without getting off. Like most things Mike sets his mind to, he eventually figured it out, though we’re sure his legs were burning after this lesson.

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How the Space Shuttle Worked

How the Space Shuttle Worked

Despite its two tragic missions, with 135 launches to its credit, the Space Shuttle was arguably the most successful space program of all time. 3D animator Jared Owen explains how shuttle missions worked, along with an in-depth look at the orbiter, where astronauts spent their time throughout their journeys.

What If We Didn’t Need Sleep

What If We Didn’t Need Sleep

We’ve pulled our share of all-nighters over the years, but have drawn the line somewhere around 36 hours without sleep. But the What If channel explores what life might be like if sleep weren’t a necessity for our brains and bodies. It turns out having all that extra time would have sweeping implications, both good and bad.

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The Biggest Numbers

The Biggest Numbers

Millions, billions, trillions, quadrillions, septillions… these kind of large numbers are really hard to wrap your mind around. The guys at Riddle attempt to put some of these numbers in perspective using real world examples of things that occur in such quantities.

The Empty $161 Billion City

The Empty $161 Billion City

China has spent billions of dollars building the Kangbashi District of Ordos City. The city has housing for a million people, a modern infrastructure, and everything you could ask for. Half as Interesting explains why the giant city in the desert is still only at 1/5th of its planned population, 10 years after completion.

The History of Ketchup and Mustard

The History of Ketchup and Mustard

Ketchup and mustard go hand-in-hand, but they both have very different origins, separated by hundreds of years and thousands of miles. Mental Floss provides a brief history of the popular condiments. While early mustards were similar to today’s, the first ketchups had more in common with fish sauce.

The Great Stink of 1858

The Great Stink of 1858

After years of piling up garbage and other nasty waste in London, England, the city was overwhelmed with a horrific stench. Weird History looks back at this terribly nasty part of the 19th century, and how it led to major improvements in the city’s hygiene and waste disposal infrastructure.

What Is Intelligence?

What Is Intelligence?

While humans might make some really stupid decisions, we’re still considered intelligent beings. Kurzgesagt explores what attributes make a living creature intelligent. While some basic organisms demonstrate capabilities that appear to be thoughtful, more complex brains are required for complex problem solving.

Which Planet is Closest?

Which Planet is Closest?

We all learned the positions of the planets from some chart on the wall in grade school. But as CGP Grey reminds us, planets rotate in elliptical orbits at varying speeds around the sun, meaning that the answer isn’t quite as simple as you thought – depending on the question you’re actually asking.

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Why Are You Alive?

Why Are You Alive?

Even when you’re sound asleep, there are billions of processes going on inside of your body. Kurzgesagt explores the forces, energy sources, and organic compounds at work that keep us alive and ticking, despite the universe’s tendency towards entropy.

Everything is a Remix: Reality

Everything is a Remix: Reality

“How can we prevent ourselves from getting lost in the funhouse?” Filmmaker and speaker Kirby Ferguson looks at how the barrage of social media and other information sources can affect our perception of what is real, and how you can use your instincts and critical thinking to reduce your chances of being manipulated.

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NASA’s Guide to Black Hole Safety

NASA’s Guide to Black Hole Safety

After seeing the Disney flick The Black Hole, we already were pretty cautious about visiting such an astrophysics phenomenon. But this clip from NASA Goddard provides significantly more scientific reasons you’d never want to get close to one.

Why Is American Breakfast Sweet?

Why Is American Breakfast Sweet?

Breakfast in most other countries isn’t as packed with sugar as it is here in the U.S. So how is it that America ended up eating desserts for breakfast, and is it really the most important meal of the day? Journalist Johnny Harris digs into the story and offers his thoughts on our bad morning eating habits.

Why Is Water So Weird?

Why Is Water So Weird?

Despite being one of the most common (and lifegiving) chemicals on Earth, water behaves in ways that it probably shouldn’t. This clip from Seeker dives into the deep end of the ocean as it explains some of the strange properties of H2O, and why scientists are still learning things about this theoretically simple compound.

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