ATK List of Power

Sunday, September 22, 2013

It takes a ton of work to be as nerdy as possible.  From SCIENCE to fantasy/sci-fi to video games to the best of nerd tv, I figured it's finally high-time to come out of the basement (closets are reserved for other comings-out; nerds seem to be basement-based), engage in some self-aggrandizement, and share with anyone who cares (which is really no one) the various ways I find to entertain myself and stay on top of being the biggest nerd.

This post: YouTube Channels.

The Best (IMO) of YouTube

Founded by nerd icon Wil Wheaton and his equally nerdy friend Felicia Day (of The Guild fame), Geek and Sundry is kind of an uber-collection of various contributors.  My personal favorites on the channel are Wil Wheaton's TableTop, in which he plays wonderful board games with his friends (tv and movie stars, fellow YouTube-rs, etc), and Felicia Day's 5-minute-episodes of The Guild, a fun bit of fic that follows a group of MUD users who are online "friends" in a world much like World of Warcraft.  

TableTop has introduced me to many of the board- and card-games I own; it is actually a great way to see how some games work in a crowd; kind of a risk-free play test.

Using stop-animation whiteboard illustrations, physics concepts, chemistry, and science in general is explained in 1- or 2-minute clips.  Never have Relativity and other complicated concepts been explained so simply and elegantly.  Bonus:  my kids watch it with me, and are able to "get it."

Join Destin and his various underwater and high-speed cameras as he demonstrates and explains physics stuff.  This usually involves guns, bullets, explosions, and breaking things.

Another "use short vids to explain awesome science" site, but well-edited, well-done, and engaging.  Kind of Myth Busters-like in editing and use of science (just without the prove/disprove aspect).

Minute Physics, but this time:  biology!

These guys find a fun or a my-mind-just-got-blown fact, and explain it.  Sometimes deep, always well and simply explained.

VSauce with an animated whiteboard.

A few teachers offer "crash courses" in higher-level concepts - including biology, US History, economics, world history, ecology, and chem. "Reconstruction and 1876;" "Westward Expansion;" and "Equilibrium Equations" are just a handful of the many vids on this channel.

PhD Biologist Joe Hansen's YouTube channel, based on material from his very popular Tumblr of the same name.  He won a big grant from PBS to make his Tumblr content available in vid format.  I like his videos quite a bit, and he's got a decent online presentation style.  His Tumblr site sometimes waxes a tad philosophical - drippy sometimes - but I'm almost always guilty of the same. 

A couple more that I watch on occasion:
These couple of sites are less accessible than the ones above, so I watch them less often, but they are no less fascinating when I'm in the mood:

My kids have responded well to Minute Physics, ASAP Science, Minute Earth, and Smarter Every Day.

There you have it.  These channels are what I call church on a Sunday morning.  A hot cup of coffee, kids playing quietly as the house wakes up, and these vids.  Thought-provoking, fun, fascinating, funny, and celebratory of geek culture.  I hope you like them.


Bob 8:39 AM  


That is some spended nerdly goodness that can be shared with the whoel family. I need to strike while my kids are young enough to still listen to their old man.

In between discussions of "Are faires real?" I can usually get my daughter to watch some scienecy stuff.

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