Chasing the moon, Bill Nye is everywhere, and Elon Musk’s wizard hat

Welcome to the Hurt Your Brain internet playlist from April 23, 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: This week marks the 2770th birthday of the founding of Rome. Via r/history.


Every Little Thing: Rapture Chasers 24 minutes
This is Gimlet’s replacement to Surprisingly Awesome, which already one episode in has gotten me more excited about the topic that SA ever did. This episode will totally make you Google “nearest place to see solar eclipse”, regardless of how much you think you care about seeing one before listening. Quote: “Can you believe you saw Ghaddafi? You go to Libya once and you see Ghaddafi?!”, “Well, during total solar eclipses remarkable things happen.”

Cosmic Vertigo: Black Holes Don’t Suck 31 minutes
Falling past the event horizon of a supermassive black hole is downright pleasant compared to doing so with a small black hole. Find out why and all sorts of other fun black hole talk in this episode.

20 Thousand Hertz: Foley 15 minutes
The unsung heroes of sound in film and TV who go out of their way to make sure you never think about their existence.

Pessimist Archive: The Good Ol Days 34 minutes
When exactly were the good ol days? This tendency to have nostalgia for the past is certainly not a new phenomena. A pretty fantastic new podcast, The Pessimist Archive examines this question to find that nostalgia narratives literally goes back to the beginning of written history.

+ If you like this topic, check out Vsauce’s Juvenoia for an examination of the “kids these days” attitude that every generation seems to have.

How it Began: Horsepower 25 minutes
I love me a good big picture kind of book or podcast. This is the type of show where someone really smart synthesizes a bunch of complicated history into an easy to follow narrative. Learn things in this episode like that the first viable steam engine was invented all the back in 1712 as a way to pump water out of coal mines.

+ For two very complementary shows, check out Pessimist Archive’s Horseless Carriage and You Are Not so Smart’s Is Progress Inevitable?



Bill Nye Saves the World: Trailer 1 minute
Everyone in my generation has memories during high school science class where the teacher would simply pop in a video of Bill Nye the Science Guy and then basically go nap in the back. Nye was everywhere those days and then seemed to disappear. In the last couple of years I’ve noticed him popping up all over the place again, and now he has a new show on Netflix that’s part talk show, part zany “the science guy” type experiments, and part reporting via field correspondents. I checked out the first episode on climate change and I actually liked it the more I watched it.

White Blood Cell Chases Bacteria 1 minute
In honor of everyone else who has had some kind of cold or other illness recently, here’s a highly satisfying short video of a white blood cell chasing down a bacteria pacman style.

+ This immune system explainer from the always good Kurzgesagt.



Quartz: Data shows that using science in an argument just makes people more partisan
“Perhaps Kahan’s most disconcerting finding is that people with more scientific intelligence are the quickest to align themselves politically on subjects they don’t know anything about.”

Wait But Why: Neuralink and the Brain’s Magical Future
I’m only half way through this beast of a post, but if you want to learn a lot about how the brain works and what Elon Musk’s newest venture is all about, this is your one stop shop. #superlongread

From Medium:
Free Code Camp: 9 Legit Master’s Degrees You Can Now Earn Completely Online
“But how do you find legit masters degree programs in a sea of mediocre programs and outright scams? By going straight to some of the best universities on the planet.”

From Reddit:
Explain it like I’m five:  Why do antidepressants cause suicidal ideation?
Some great explanations in the comments.

Subscribe to:
Eric Barker’s Barking up the Wrong Tree blog. Get science backed answers to all sorts of interesting life questions.

Quote: “The difference between who you are now and who you were five years ago is largely due to how you’ve spent your time along the way.” – Seth Godin


That’s all for this week!

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