On the internets, that is. I love Wikipedia and Google, but I think you can find those on your own. There are gobs of things that I’d like to share with you, but you’ll have to do some hustling on your own. I’ll try to add more in the future as I get inspired.
A lot of these are YouTube channels. The explanation for that is that I need something interesting to listen to while I’m doing homework and television is atrocious, plagued by more ad time than program time, and reduced to the intellectual, moral, and social level of a pre-schooler.
From Daddy’s Advice (an ever-growing catalog of wisdom for my children I’ve been writing low these many years):
Learning without fun doesn’t stick. Fun without learning is pointless.
So watch, learn, and enjoy.
Eva KL Miller
This is my wife’s page and she’s awesome so you should go check it out. Yes, she made me write that.
She’s actually an amazingly talented and prescient writer, editor, amateur photographer and philosopher who bends the earth at her feet to make the world better. She has important things to say. Go and listen.
I am not aware of a term to describe this art style, except that it has become one of my favorites. It’s goofy, innocently insightful, and insanely simple-looking given how much diligence it takes to produce just one of them. Get lost in these. I dare you not to break a smile.
The Scale of the Universe
An awesome applet that starts you off at our human scale and lets you zoom out and in to the limits of our knowledge. It’s awesome. Why haven’t you already seen this?
The Veteran’s Writing Project
Run by an Army veteran and friend of mine, it is a place where veterans and families of veterans can learn to tell their stories from professionals, including free workshops, seminars, and opportunities for publication. Whether or not we choose to share what we write, the process of putting thoughts into words is cathartic, heals us of wounds we were not aware we had, and reveals truths to ourselves we would otherwise never have known.
While we’re talking about veterans, this is one of those places I can’t help but return to from time to time. It is CNN’s record of all those who have fallen in our wars with Iraq and Afghanistan. It allows you to search by theater, service, date, hometown, or location of death. It is humbling.
Brothers John and Hank Green are valiantly trying to spread the smarts around the internets. Go there and learn lots of things for free in a very short time and be entertained all the while. Top it off with Emilie Graslie, an awesome museum taxidermist who shows you the beautiful natural world, some of which might make you nauseous. Cool. If you end up loving them as much as I do (and you surely must), go to Subbable and lend them a hand.
Check out their main channels here:
The Brain Scoop
This is Neil deGrasse Tyson’s radio talk show. He grabs a comedian and selects a mainstream topic to discuss from the approach of a scientist. And then he answers whatever inane science questions people have sent him. Patient man, that Dr. Tyson.
Mike begins with a simple question and chases it up a tree, out to a branch, falls onto the ground and runs after it down a rabbit hole, finds the tree’s root, and follows it back up to where he started. And then he thanks you for watching.
Watch all three channels (Vsauce 1, 2, and 3) for fun and very different experiences.
Epic Rap Battles of History
With battles like Hitler vs Darth Vader and Dr. Seuss vs Shakespeare, why aren’t you already watching this?
Here are just a few of my favorites:
Albert Einstein vs Stephen Hawking
Sarah Palin vs Lady Gaga
Martin Luther King vs Ghandi
Hulk Hogan vs Kim Jong Il
Mr. T vs Mr. Rogers
Benjamin Franklin vs Billy Mays
US and World Population clock. It’s frightening to watch the numbers tick by as the birth/death ratio plays itself out. Be prepared to feel a little small and queasy after.
Crazy cool maps constructed from various data that help you understand your world and your place in it. It’s trippendicular (someone in high school made up that word).
Oddly Developed Personalities
There are lots of places on the web to learn about typology (personality types), but I really like this one. It’s funny and gives you all of the good and the bad. Since the MBTI was almost certainly developed by an INTP and this is written by INTP, it’s presented the way that I think they would have most appreciated. Definitely check out the comics.