Awesome Learning

How Escalators Work

How Escalators Work

As long as we’re not carrying a heavy suitcase, we generally take the stairs when given a choice. But for those times when you feel like giving your legs a break, the escalator is quite the invention. Jared Owen provides an animated explanation of the inner workings of this engineering marvel that dates back to the mid-19th century.

Facts About Farts

Facts About Farts

Flatulation is one of those rare forces of nature that’s both essential and the source of endless giggles. From the first fart joke ever told to the composition of your flatus, Mental Floss editor Erin McCarthy is here to school us on the finer points of our bodies’ gaseous emissions.

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Why Cooper Black Is Everywhere

Why Cooper Black Is Everywhere

The font Cooper Black dates all the way back to 1922, and over its century in use has appeared everywhere from David Bowie albums to ramen noodles, to signs for neighborhood businesses. Vox digs into the history of this playful, yet legible serif typeface, and why it became so popular.

The World’s Largest Truck Stop

The World’s Largest Truck Stop

Off the Cuf’s video not only takes us on a tour of the enormous Iowa 80 Truck Stop, it spends a good bit of time delving into the history of trucking goods across America, and the importance of this critical industry in delivering food and other items that we rely on every day.

Solar Storms vs. Civilization

Solar Storms vs. Civilization

Solar flares and coronal mass ejections are frequent occurrences on the Sun. Some have been known to disrupt radio waves, but could they actually cause damage? Kurzgesagt stares directly into the Sun to educate us on solar storms, why they occur, and if a strong enough super storm could actually wipe out civilization.

In the Next 60 Seconds

In the Next 60 Seconds

The human body is an amazing organic machine that performs countless tasks every minute of every day. In this video from The Infographics Show, they tally up some of the things that your body will do in the next minute – or twice as much while you watch the entire 2 minute clip.

Costume Design 101

Costume Design 101

Film Radar made this great video about wardrobe design in film and TV. Good costume designers inhabit the minds of both the characters and the director. In terms of production, costumes are often custom made, even for extras, and may have multiple replicas.

What Causes Phantom Traffic Jams?

What Causes Phantom Traffic Jams?

So you’re cruising down the highway, when all of a sudden you’re in a traffic jam. But there are no accidents, construction, or other emergency activity, so why does this happen? TED-Ed explores the phenomenon known as a “phantom traffic jam,” what makes them happen, and how we might minimize their occurence.

Costly Typographical Errors

Costly Typographical Errors

Who gives a f**k about an Oxford comma? Maybe you will, once you learn about these tiny but costly mistakes. Half as Interesting shares four cases wherein a misplaced comma or a missing character had million-dollar consequences or more.

Talos: The First Robot

Talos: The First Robot

You might think that robots are a 19th or 20th century invention, but the idea of a humanoid machine dates back way further. TED-Ed looks back to an ancient Greek myth that involved a giant automaton warrior built to defend an island kingdom. It was also the first story about a robot struggling with its humanity.

Animation Is All About The Walk

Animation Is All About The Walk

The Royal Ocean Film Society gathered snippets from animation experts that point out the importance of walking in cartoons. We can learn a lot about a character – even a live one – by their walk, and changing even one element of it can drastically change the character.

Unsolvable Computer Problems

Unsolvable Computer Problems

Computers are pretty capable these days. And while most problems boil down to a series of mathematical computations, Tom Scott points out that there are some kinds of abstract problems that even the smartest programmers with the most powerful supercomputers can’t figure out.

Your Body in Space

Your Body in Space

Science fiction movies love to depict all sorts of nasty consequences of being sucked out into space. But what would really happen if you managed to slip out of your spaceship without a spacesuit on? The Infographics Show does their best to explain the unpleasant repercussions.

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No-Nails Survival Shelter

No-Nails Survival Shelter

We may take the roof over our head for granted these days, but in the 18th century, families venturing into the interior of North America had to build their own shelters to survive the elements as they headed westward. Frontier lifestyle expert Jon Townsend shows us how they might have constructed a shelter without any nails.

Who Killed America’s Malls?

Who Killed America’s Malls?

(PG-13: Language) Here in America, shopping malls are a dying breed. But what happened to these symbols of capitalism that were once the gathering place for teens as they sipped on Orange Juliuses and perused the black light illuminated aisles of Spencer Gifts? Ordinary Things explores the demise of the mall.

Stuff That… Isn’t

Stuff That… Isn’t

Did you know that most bees don’t have yellow and black stripes, or that most Christmas trees aren’t pine trees? MinuteEarth sets the facts straight on four very different subjects where we thought things were one way, but aren’t.

The Secret History of Masks

The Secret History of Masks

(PG-13: Language) While they’re not the most fashionable things, face masks are a must in public places these days. Ordinary Things dives into the origins of face coverings, from the earliest ceremonial masks, to costumes, to their use as protective gear. Can you imagine walking around in those plague doctor masks?

AI Summarizes Videos

AI Summarizes Videos

Artificial intelligence is getting better at identifying objects in still images, and more recently in video. Now machine learning tech is getting smart enough to look at what’s happening in a video and answer questions about what it has seen. Two Minute Papers provides a brief overview of CLEVRER and its capabilities.

AI & Machine Learning Humble Bundle

AI & Machine Learning Humble Bundle
Buy

Humble teamed up with publisher Morgan & Claypool for this bundle of e-books which dive deep into the science, math, and technology of artificial intelligence and machine learning. Pay what you want, and the more you spend, the more e-books you get. A portion of every purchase goes to the Book Industry Charitable Foundation.

Why Is It Called a Hot Dog?

Why Is It Called a Hot Dog?

If you squint really hard, a hot dog kind of looks like a weiner dog on a bun. But is that really where this food got its name? Today I Found Out’s Simon Whistler digs into the etemology, history, and rather unappetizing composition of the ballpark and school lunch favorite.

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Why Honeybees Love Hexagons

Why Honeybees Love Hexagons

If you’ve ever seen a beehive up close, you know how its made up of hundreds of nearly perfect hexagonal cells. Why is that, and how do bees know how to make such perfect geometry? TED-Ed provides a brief explanation of this strange intersection of evolutionary biology and architecture.

This Video Has X Views

This Video Has X Views

Science and technology vlogger Tom Scott created a YouTube video that automatically updates its own title based on its view count. As he explains in the video, he used YouTube’s programming APIs to pull off the trick, then talks about the wonders and downsides of open data interfaces.

Why Dark Video Sucks

Why Dark Video Sucks

It doesn’t matter if you’ve got the most expensive display you can buy, gradients of color in dark scenes often look like a blocky mess. Tom Scott offers a great explanation of the technological limitations that cause these issues, and the visual mechanisms that make them less noticeable in brighter scenes.

A History of Panic Buying

A History of Panic Buying

(PG-13: Language) With the COVID-19 pandemic upon us, people have been going crazy hoarding food and other supplies. But this certainly isn’t the first time panic buying has occurred. Ordinary Things looks back at times when fear overtook reason, and also attempts to explain why toilet paper is always the first thing to go.

Magic of Magnetism & Inductors

Magic of Magnetism & Inductors

Electrical engineer Mehdi Sadaghdar of ElectroBOOM presents a series of simple demonstrations involving magnets, batteries, and wires, each of which might seem magical, but can all be easily explained by science. He might have a goofy approach to teaching, but if you stick around, you might learn a thing or two.

The World of Microscopic Machines

The World of Microscopic Machines

Did you know that the smartphone in your pocket has moving parts inside of it? Devices such as accelerometers use a hybrid of mechanical and electronic mechanisms known as MEMS. New Mind puts this fascinating and complex tech under the microscope to explain how they work, and how they’re made.

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