Trivia maven Dan Lewis has a new paperback collection. Now I Know More: The Revealing Stories Behind Even More of the World’s Most Interesting Facts contains 101 interesting stories in Dan’s trademark engaging prose.
(NSFW: Language) Last Week Tonight looks at lottery policies in the U.S. Its addictive nature aside, even if everyone gambled only occasionally the lottery would still be a scam because its proceeds are not allocated properly.
(NSFW: Language) If you download games on your mobile device, you’ve probably come across a bad freemium game. South Park accurately breaks down the concept behind these money-sucking portals in its episode Freemium Isn’t Free.
TED Educator Noah Zandan explores deception, and some of the signals and linguistic patterns which can help you sniff out when someone isn’t telling the truth. Or if you’re trying to improve your lying skills, you’ll learn what not to say.
In this fascinating clip from BBC Two series Human Universe, they demonstrate how a bowling ball and feather fall at exactly the same speed when air has been almost completely removed from a giant vacuum chamber.
(NSFW: Language) Last Week Tonight look at the circuses known as US state legislatures. Operating under obscurity, lack of oversight and corporate spoon feeding, many state lawmakers are wreaking havoc on their constituents.
(Spoilers) For Tony Zhou’s latest episode of Every Frame a Painting, he explores a simple, yet effective use of screen direction to help indicate the choices of its characters. If you’ve never seen Snowpiercer, go watch it, then come back.
Mental Floss runs down a bunch of not-so-scary tidbits we’re pretty sure you didn’t know about Halloween. We’re just glad we no longer have to carve gourd, turnip and beet jack-o-lanterns. Also, John Green needs a serious costume makeover.
Craig “Wheezy Waiter” Benzine of Mental Floss explores another question that you’ve probably wondered about at some point : Why is it that spiders don’t get caught in their own webs, when everything else seems to stick to them?
(NSFW: Language) Before you go trick or treating, remember to take it easy on the human race’s favorite drug. Sadly, like otherlucrativeindustries, bribery and misinformation will ensure that sugar pushers stay open for business.
“It’s a strange pain. It’s as if something’s stabbing your finger, but the blade – it doesn’t stop there.” The smart but forgetful engineer Mehdi Sadaghdar takes us through the steps and missteps of creating an electroshock weapon.
An app that instantly solves math equations using your phone’s camera, then shows you the step by step solution. It can solve simple arithmetic and algebra equations. Available for iOS and Windows Phone; Android version drops in 2015.
Vsauce3 reminds us how awesome our planet is. Even our next door neighbor is so different and hostile. The moon has longer days and nights, wildly varying temperatures, no atmosphere and lots of radiation.
Terrence Malick often uses voice-overs in his movies, but it’s no mere idiosyncrasy. Scott Tobias and Kevin B. Lee show how Malick employs the technique to free his camera, emphasize his themes or help the audience catch up.
(NSFW: Language) Last Week Tonight looks at the unnecessarily long immigration process of Iraqi and Afghan translators who worked with US military forces, despite them having risked their and their family’s lives for Americans.
Idea Channel and Extra Credits talk about the dissonance between story (and characterization) and interaction in some video games, e.g. in cutscenes Nathan Drake is a witty everyman, but when you control him he’s a mass murderer.
Film critic Tony Zhou imparts a wealth of knowledge in this quick episode of Every Frame a Painting, as he points out how director Jonathan Demme differentiated the dominator from the dominated in The Silence of the Lambs.
(Gross) This clip from Ammonite Films’ CBBC wildlife mini series Smalltalk Diaries follows a fly larva as it undergoes metamorphosis. If the wisecracking narration ruins it for you, there’s a silent version here.
Michael from Vsauce explores the dark side of human nature in this episode which looks at the psychological reasons that we’re drawn to everything from car wrecks and fights to fail videos to shows like Hannibal.
Le Figaro and Musée de Cluny give us a basic idea of what it was like to fight in full combat armor based on 15th century documents. Dark Souls it ain’t. We bet many battles were shut down because the neighbors complained.
For his latest exploration of the world’s greatest filmmakers, Tony Zhou takes a look at the precise visual style of David Fincher, the man behind such diverse and amazing films as Fight Club, Seven, Benjamin Button and The Social Network.
SciShow explains why your recorded voice sounds different from what you hear. Part of your voice is conducted through your head on its way to your ears, making it sound deeper and more resonant to yourself.
(Gross) The upcoming BBC documentary Wonders of the Monsoon features a rare – and unsettling – footage of a 19.6″-long Giant Red Leech devouring an even larger earthworm. Both animals are endemic to Borneo. More here.
You might have assumed that the use of characters to create faces was a fairly recent development, but it turns out that printed smiley- and winky-faces have been around for hundreds of years. Unless they were a typo, that is.