Traffic circle wildlife and other surprisingly fascinating things
Welcome to the Hurt Your Brain internet playlist from December 11, 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.
Best fact from the week: A random handful of dirt contains at least 200 billion organisms and only 1% to 10% will be species known to science. Via Outside/In podcast (see below).
Traffic Circle, Outside/In, 17 minutes This is my new favorite science show. Host Sam Evans-Brown reports on the natural world and produces some great radio in the process. In this episode you'll learn how much amazing stuff can be happening in the most boring places, including a small patch of grass in the middle of a traffic circle.
Mock Attacker, The Specialist, 19 minutes The Specialist tells the stories of people with interesting professions. In this episode, learn what it's like to be a guy who puts on a padded suit and gets paid to behave badly towards women. It's an intense and fascinating listen.
Bringing Gamma Back, Radiolab, 25 minutes This episode breaks the story on exciting new Alzheimer's research. It's actually a bit crazy. Pulsing light at a certain frequency was shown to supercharge the brain's gamma waves in mice, which are largely dimished with Alzheimer's disease. As always, Radiolab's creative use of sound is an amazing aid to understanding what's going on.
Quick facts from other podcasts:
Need a bit of optimism about our modern world? Consider this - Hundreds of years ago, a days pay would only get you 10 minutes of candle light. Today, a days pay will get you 20,000 hours of light. Via Planet Money.
The technosphere is everything that humans have created, buildings and all. A new estimation puts the grand total at 30 trillion tons. Via The Skeptics Guide to the Universe.
How David Blaine barfs frogs, Vox, 5 minutes Vox–Come for the clickbaity headlines, stay for the consistenly super informative videos. David Blaine is everyone's favorite magician, and learn how some of his tricks aren't tricks at all, just really gross extreme body control.
Human Population Through Time, American Museum of Natural History, 6 minutes Watch a mostly mellow and then suddenly anxiety inducing mapping of the human population over the past 200,000 years. Don't skip to the end, watching the whole thing will send you through a whole range of emotions, like wonder, excitment, and of course, existentialism.
+ This goes really well with Kurzgesagt's newest video, A New History for Humanity.
++ I recently stumbled across this video again. For a look at one of the best individual's that humanity has produced, you really have to watch Mr Rogers defending PBS at a Senate hearing in this 7 minute video. It's amazing.
ARTICLES AND OTHER LINKS
I've been playing with tung.fm, a new podcast app that has some interesting features. It addresses the lack of social integration within podcast apps better than any other one I've seen. You can see a feed of podcasts people you follow recommend, as well as their comments and favorite audio clips.
Check out Quora. Sign up for topics you are interested in and get their daily digest. It's like a more serious Reddit, where interesting questions get answered in interesting ways, almost always involving a story. For other Wait But Why fans out there, creator Tim Urban did a recent Quora session (their version of an Ask Me Anything).
That's all for this week!