Welcome to the Hurt Your Brain internet playlist from May 13, 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: Ideas have momentum, and the longer they’ve been around, the more likely they are to keep going. Generations from now, they’ll still being talking about the ideas of Aristotle, not today’s very best philosopher. Goodnight Moon will be read to kids 50 years from now more than this year’s best selling children’s book. This reverse shelf life is called the Lindy Effect.
A case for daily news podcasts for people like me who don’t love politics
I am not a daily podcast kind of person, nor am I a newsy type of podcast listener. I prefer shows that teach me a little something about how the world works in big picture kind of ways. The news I do ingest is usually from text (can’t live without NextDraft), but I’ve always wanted to find a news podcast that I can trust that isn’t an hour long or too one sided.
Well, I finally started listening to Up First from NPR and The Daily from The New York Times and I’ve become quick fans of both. They do a great job of making me feel more informed without making news a substantial part of my media diet. It’s one of those things where I didn’t know how much I needed them in my life.
This show meets the high level of objectivity (relatively speaking) and professionalism that you would expect from NPR. Episodes are about 12 minutes long on average and the hosts cut right to the chase with the news. They still manage to squeeze in some lengthy feeling conversations with expert correspondents that are more satisfying than print headlines or TV coverage.
Very similar idea to Up Next, with the stories chosen from the two shows overlapping probably around 75%. This show is a few minutes longer (about 20) because they will focus more time on the one big story of the day. An example of a top notch deeper look into a story is the May 1st episode about Venezuela.
Listen to both
I’ve been listening to both and even with plenty of overlapping content, I like the added context of hearing different takes on the same issue. My plan is probably to start listening to just one after a few more weeks. Up First is shorter which is a huge benefit to a daily show for me even if it’s by not much, but The Daily does provide a little more depth. With everything going on right now, I highly recommend giving these two shows a shot, even if you are generally allergic to news/politics.
Now that I find myself open to daily programming, what other daily shows are worth checking out? Let me know!
Shia LeBeouf: Motivational Speech 1 minute
I somehow missed this and its many remix iterations last year. Need some super quick and bizarrely effective motivation from Shia LeBeouf? Watch the full video in the link. Just do it.
Kurzgesagt: The Last Light Before Eternal Darkness- White Dwarfs and Black Dwarfs 6 minutes
It wouldn’t be a Kurzgesagt video unless they snuck in the death of the universe and everything in it. Pretty, terrifying, educational. The three best words I have to describe their videos.
Everyday Astronaut: How SpaceX lands rockets…Why they don’t use parachutes! 7 minutes
Came across this on my YouTube homepage as a recommendation and the trusty ol algorithm nailed it. Short and really great explanation.
Bloomberg Businessweek: How Intel Makes a Chip
“The cleanroom is nearly silent except for the low hum of the ‘tools,’ as Intel calls them, which look like giant copy machines and cost as much as $50 million each. They sit on steel pedestals that are attached to the building’s frame, so that no vibrations—from other tools, for instance, or from your footfalls—will affect the chips. You step softly even so. Some of these tools are so precise they can be controlled to within half a nanometer, the width of two silicon atoms.”
today I learned: TIL that lice eggs are called “Nits.” Thus, a “nitpicker” was someone who meticulously looked over each hair to make sure it was lice-free.
Sometimes etymology is fun. Aaaaand sometimes it isn’t.
ask historians: On the eve of WWII, Londoners euthanized 400k pets en masse?
There really is no end to the fascinating/horrifying stories from WW2.
Free Code Camp: If you are interested in seeing if coding is something you would like, this site makes it incredibly easy to jump right into it from your browser (even mobile) and to immediately have a community of help surrounding you. And I love that the projects they guide you into are things that benefit non profits.
Quote: “In everything that you do, pause and ask yourself if death is a dreadful thing because it deprives you of this.” -Marcus Aurelius
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!