Welcome to the Hurt Your Brain internet playlist from March 19, 2017. 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.
Fact of the week: If the Sun suddenly disappeared, the Earth would fly off into space and the planet would turn into a giant snowball with miles thick ice covering the ocean. Over 99.9% of life would die relatively quickly. BUT, the extremophile ecosystem living around the hydrothermal vents deep in the ocean would actually go on thriving quite happily for billions of years, completely ignorant of our mass extinction. From Vsauce’s What If The Sun Disappeared?
Answer Me This: Fruit Machines, Caesar Salads and Jelly
In the spirit of #trypod this month I’ve been trying to check out some established shows that I’ve never listened to. I first heard the talented Helen Zaltzman on this episode of 99 Percent Invisible, and then realized she runs the Podcasters’ Support Group Facebook page. So it was a no brainer to download one of her shows, Answer Me This. The gist is Helen and cohost Olly answer questions about the world sent in from their audience. They have great chemistry and their charming British wit won me over pretty quickly.
The Atlantic (audio): This Article Won’t Change Your Mind
Psychological literacy is the new computer literacy. Without a basic understanding of how we so easily fool ourselves, the world will be an increasingly overwhelming place to live. This article turned into audio does a fantastic job going through some of the psychological drivers behind the fracturing political rhetoric we are experiencing in real time.
Planet Money: The Invention of ‘The Economy’
The “economy” was not something anyone talked about until the mid 20th century. It wasn’t until the invention of the GDP that there was the ability to effectively compare economies and discuss it as a big number. In typical Planet Money fashion, this is an interesting sprint through this history.
Science Vs: Climate Change…The Apocalypse? (The conclusions)
Not a lot of surprises here for anyone paying attention, but I really appreciated that this didn’t turn into a climate denier bashing session, which would have zero effect on changing anybody’s mind.
The conclusions: Is the C02 level rising? Yup, by over 90 ppm. Does increased C02 lead to higher global temperature? Yup. Are humans the driving force behind this increase? Yes, the levels cannot be explained by any other means, including volcanoes and other natural processes. Are we heading towards disaster? There is disagreement from scientists on what exactly the sea level rise will look like because a lot of that depends on how fast arctic land ice will melt, which is very difficult to model. There are a lot of unknowns for what the future will bring, but a further increase in temperature is inevitable.
Every Frame a Painting: The Art of the Gag
After stumbling upon this train stunt from Buster Keaton (who seems to be the original Jackie Chan), I then found this great video that explains Keaton’s genius with visual comedy and his lasting influence that can still be felt in movies today.
The Art Assignment: The Case for Surrealism
A video essay that doubles as a visual walk through the history of Surrealism.
Richard Feynman: The Scientific Method
At some point I would love to watch a playlist of the Feynman lectures in full, but this one minute clip gives a good taste on how compelling he is and how captive (borderline swooning) his lecturing audience is.
Moral Outrage Is Self-Serving, Say Psychologists
Have you seen moral outrage lately? Perhaps on social media?
Why you think you’re right, even when you’re wrong
Are you a scout, or are you a soldier?
Ask Reddit- What Youtuber is worth days of binge-watching?
Explain it like I’m five- The calculation which dictates the universe is 73% dark energy 23% dark matter 4% ordinary matter.
Thing to sign up for:
Washington Post Fact Checker. Satisfying examinations of major claims in the news. Has corrected and given Pinocchio ratings to both sides of the aisle in the time I’ve been subscribed. Find the newsletter email sign up on this page to get emails about once a week of the best fact checking they’ve done.
Quote: “If you want to get laid, go to college. If you want an education, go to the library” – Frank Zappa
That’s all for this week!