Roman Mars the flag whisperer
Welcome to the Hurt Your Brain internet playlist from September 18, 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.
My goal is to start posting more regularly to the blog and here is the first one of many to come. It's a playlist that features Roman Mars and how his love of flags helped me appreciate design. I link to a few flag related things that might make you start loving design too.
A brief introduction to design from two podcasters who love flags
I am a little light on podcast recommendations this week, but the two parter below on Galileo is absolutely worth checking out. To hold you over, here is a list of ten other history podcasts from the history buff who recommended the below episodes to me.
Galileo: Stellar Soldier | The Day the Earth Didn't Stand Still (Part 1 of 2) - Giants of History Sep 1, 37 min (listen) Learn: a ton of stuff about Galileo that you didn't know. An interesting figure becomes even more interesting. Thoughts: This two part series is a great starting point to check out Giants of History. I've been wanting to read more biographies and this show perfectly satisfied that part of my brain. The host really does a great job weaving together the important facts into an engaging narrative. Quote: "But of all the big names in the pantheon of astronomy, it would be Galileo, in the year 1609, that would truly and profoundly change everything."
Galileo: The Trial | Science and Religion Collide (Part 2 of 2) - Giants of History Sep 13, 29 min (listen) Learn: the fleshed out story of how exactly Galileo got in trouble with the Church. Thoughts: My understanding of Galileo before this podcast consisted of the very basics. I thought he invented the telescope (he didn't, only perfected it and was first to point it up) and that he was thoroughly persecuted by the Church for proving that the Earth was not the center of the Universe (what actually happened is much more political, complicated, and frankly, more interesting than I realized). Quote: "But after he read the confession out loud, Galileo supposedly did something that would become one of the most famous parts of the entire affair. As soon as his confession was over, Galileo started to get up off his knees, when he supposedly was overheard to have said the following words under his breath, 'But still, it moves'. Galileo, referring to the Earth with this sentence, may have conformed in words to the cardinals' demands, but he would never conform in thought."
Extra: To continue my theme of checking out BBC podcasts, the first one that stood out to me in their Great Lives series was of course the one on Galileo. I wanted to compare their episode to Giants of History and I think Giants of History clearly came out ahead as far as its quality and information. If you like to check out multiple sources on the same subject though, it's still worth checking out mainly because of the lovely letter they read that Galileo's daughter sent him.
More extra: Galileo's trial from the Inquisition somehow reminded me of this video of the extremely long Bill Gates deposition back when Microsoft was being sued by the government and I couldn't not share it. The context is that Gates clearly decided he would make this process painful for the government by dragging it out and being as unhelpful as possible. The reputation Gates gained was that he was born to give depositions and was a nightmare for the lawyer to try to nail down. He's so incredibly robotic and condescending during it you can hardly recognize the current Bill Gates within this video.
Mercury retrograde, explained without astrology - Vox Sep 10, 4 min (watch) Learn: why astronomers used to think the Earth was the center of the universe and how they justified the seemingly strange movement of the planets with crazy looped orbits. Thoughts: This is a perfect pairing with the Galileo podcasts above. Journalist Joss Fong does excellent videos for Vox and I've quickly become a fan of their YouTube channel. Quote: "So if there's any life lessons to be learned from Mercury retrograde, it's that we may be vulnerable to illusions when we think everything revolves around us."
The Case for Performance Art - The Art Assignment Sep 8, 9 min (watch) Learn: how performance art is supposed to make you uncomfortable and learn its history and context. Thoughts: I like learning about things I have a strong opinion about without knowing why. I wouldn't say I'm going to rush out to find performance art somewhere now, but I definitely have a new appreciation for it. Quote: "As with any art, it's up to you to decide whether or not you think its any good, but the way into performance is to allow yourself to be made uncomfortable by it, to admit your feelings of suspicion, fear, dislike, or claustrophobia. Performance art can give you room to think about who you are, where you are, and how you relate to those who are not you. It can allow us to contemplate the rules, written and unwritten, of any given space or place."
ARTICLES AND OTHER LINKS
Stunning Videos of Evolution in Action - The Atlantic (read/watch) Learn: how scary easy it looks for bacteria to breed super resistance. Thoughts: This title is not click bait, it really is a stunning video and a real interesting way for scientists to allow us to see how bacteria evolve to make it past increasingly strong antibiotic barriers in a mega sized Petri dish. Quote: "You’re seeing evolution in action. You’re watching living things facing down new challenges, dying, competing, thriving, invading, and adapting—all in a two-minute movie."
How I Rewired My Brain to Become Fluent in Math - Nautilus (read) Learn: what chunking is and how even lifelong language and philosophy lovers can train their brain to be an engineer. Thoughts: This is by the fantastic Barbara Oakley, who teaches the most popular MOOC in the world, Learning How to Learn. I completed this like two years ago and I still think about some of the core components. Quote: "Time after time, professors in mathematics and the sciences have told me that building well-ingrained chunks of expertise through practice and repetition was absolutely vital to their success. Understanding doesn’t build fluency; instead, fluency builds understanding."
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!