Four fascinating podcasts + Nikolas Tesla wizardry in slow motion

Welcome to the Hurt Your Brain internet playlist from December 4, 2016. It’s a collection of podcasts, videos, and other links for people who love to learn online and are fascinated by the world. Click here to get playlists emailed to you as they come out.



8-bit Sounds | Twenty Thousand Hertz | 12 minutes
The fourth episode of a new podcast that explores the world through sound. If you are a child of the 80’s, get ready for some serious nostalgia and to learn that part of the reason old school games had more memorable music than anything today is because of the crazy contraints musicians were dealing with.

Dollar Store Town: Inside the World’s Biggest Wholesale Market | 99% Invisible | 17 minutes
The Futian Market in China is 10 times bigger than the Mall of America and sells bulk dollar store type items to U.S. retailers. I suspect I now know the origin of the singing and dancing Christmas Mickey in my house that has been haunting my nightmares.

The Life of President Fidel Castro | BBC’s The Documentary 27 minutes
A very brisk walk through the life of the recently deceased Fidel Castro. It touches on Cuba’s long, complicated history with the U.S. and Russia, as well as the positives of Cuba’s healthcare and education system and the extreme negatives of political jailings, executions of military dissenters, and the hundreds of thousands of people who have fled over the decades.

Questioning the nature of reality with cognitive scientist Donald Hoffman | You Are Not So Smart | 66 minutes
If you are a fan of HBO’s Westworld or have ever had a late night discussion with friends on if our reality is THE reality, this episode is for you. Donald Hoffman has a PhD in Computational Psychology from M.I.T. and has a mathmatical based theory that puts the chances of our perception of reality being lined up to what is really going on at 0. He uses a computer model of evolution to show that percieving Reality more accurately does not give life any extra survival advantage. Fascinating stuff, but I can’t help but think of the famous quote “All models are wrong but some are useful”.
+ here is an overview of Hoffman’s ideas, from The Atlantic.


Handheld TESLA COIL GUN at 28,000fps | Smarter Every Day | 11 minutes
This is by far the coolest thing I’ve seen in a while. Get a quick overview of Nikola Tesla, followed by amazing slow motion shots of a Tesla coil (and badass Tesla gun) shooting lighting everywhere. Destin has a way of making you excited about everything, but it’s hard not to feel his sheer joy as he plays suburban Zeus.

A Commitment to Curiosity | The Brain Scoop | 5 minutes
Another person whose curiosity is always uplifting, is Emilie Graslie of The Brain Scoop. This is a quick call to arms on how curiosity and challenging our own biases is critical now more than ever. Also. let’s be more like the dung beetle (you’ll see).

The Most Gruesome Parasites-Neglected Tropical Diseases-NTDs | Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell | 6 minutes
Kurzgesagt has a knack for creating existential dread with their videos, but this one highlights some positive news about humanity for once. Thanks to the Gates Foundation, hard working government agencies, and of all things, Big Pharma, we are on our way to eliminating seven NTD’s by 2020. The animation of this video is stunning as always.

Why do we say “Stat” when we want something done quickly? (And what “Wiki” actually means) | Today I Found Out | 3 minutes
This is a great YouTube channel of quick, daily injections of information. The spoiler here is that “stat” is short for the latin “statim”, which means immediately, or at once. You’ll also learn that we all pronounce “wiki” wrong and it was originally, “wiki-wiki”. Going down the wiki-wikipedia rabbit hole just doesn’t have the same ring to it.


29 Lists of Recommended Books Created by Well Known Authors, Artists, & Thinkers from Open Culture.

Give Yourselft an Informal Education that Kicks the Crap out of Your Formal One from Srinivas Rao on Medium

Brain Candy Live
This is a new traveling live show from Myth Buster’s Adam Savage and Vsauce’s Michael Stevens that I am very excited about. Steven’s explains it in this video.

Hi, how are you? I’m excited to finish this newsletter a day early and to actually schedule delivery for Sunday morning for once. A new app I’m checking out, minimaList, helps create easy to do lists where you can click on an item to start a timer. It yells at you if you pick up your phone, which apparently is just what I needed!


That’s all for this week!

Connect with me @erikthejones on twitter and if you’ve learned anything interesting, please forward this link to any curious natured friends or family so they can subscribe. Many thanks!