The internet is a beautiful place. It allows us to connect with friends across the globe, access infinite knowledge at our fingertips, and watch millions of videos of cats getting scared by cucumbers. Though each of these things are great, I want to focus on the infinite knowledge part, and in particular, knowledge presented in a fun way. YouTube is my preferred method to take in entertainment. I don’t watch traditional television other than when I visit my parent’s house, and get the rest of my shows, movies, and entertainment. I split my time on YouTube about half and half between entertainment and comedy channels, and the other half is spent on educational channels. Today I wanted to share some of them so you can learn while having fun as well! Each number below contains a link to the channel homepage and any videos referenced in the description.
- Art of Manliness – I rely on this website and YouTube channel for a lot of little activities and lessons that are not taught in school and that I took for granted when my father tried teaching them to me. From how to whistle with your fingers, to how to tie a Half Windsor Knot in your tie, and even how to play the lost game of Mumbley Peg, Brett has become a virtual mentor on my journey to become a better man.
- AsapSCIENCE – This channel specializes in taking common science and social topics and presenting them in a creative and understanding way. Their videos are done via sped up whiteboard illustrations set to a voiceover. AsapSCIENCE videos are always a thrill, and make it easy to forget that you are actually learning. Their videos are well researched, and often link out to helpful resources and further discussion for those that want to dive deeper into the topic of the video. Check out their episode on how much of a certain substance it takes to kill you.
- CrashCourse – CrashCourse is a channel funded by PBS that is an excellent resource for a longer term study of a subject. Past courses featured on the channel include Economics, U.S. Government and Politics, Astronomy, Anatomy & Physiology, World History, Biology, Literature, Ecology, Chemisty, and Psychology. Currently, the channel is working on courses in the fields of Philosophy, Games, and Physics. At the time of publishing, they just announced that they will be starting a new course on Mythology. What is nice about this channel is that the video topics are broken down into manageable 10 minute chunks, but each topic can be explored for over 40 videos!
- Every Frame A Painting – This is one of my favorite channels on YouTube. Tony is able to enlighten you to the world of film from behind the camera. His breakdowns on camera work, editing, and writing have opened my eyes to a new view that have enriched my experience of watching movies and television. I recommend starting with his videos on Edgar Wright and Visual Comedy along with his exploration of Buster Keaton’s Art of the Gag.
- Kurzgesagt – In A Nutshell – Derived from the German phrase meaning “In Brief” or “in a nutshell”, Kurzgesagt beautifully illustrates difficult scientific concepts with what they describe as “optimistic nihilism”. They are truly passionate about their work and it shows. This channel focuses on quality of content over quantity, so they only put out one video per month. Having their notification pop up in my feed I a true treat. I recommend checking out their video on humans and overpopulation or their video on why this year is actually the year 12017.
- Nerdwriter1 – I first discovered Nerdwriter in the recommended section on an Every Frame A Painting video. Nerdwriter differs though in his fields covered. He not only presents video essays on film and television, but covers topics on Art, Science, and the Social Sciences. He has a wonderful video that explains the way President Trump tweets and how to interpret it.
- Good Mythical Morning– Rhett & Link have been daily staple to
my morning for years. This quirky duo handle some of the more obscure and silly topics of the internet with a fun, and friendly atmosphere. They also host a great podcast series called Ear Biscuits where they interview other big name YouTube stars to find out their story. These guys love learning, and want their audience, who ranges from children to adulthood, to embrace the weirdness of life and pursue happiness.
- The Film Theorist / The Game Theorist – MatPat and his crew of Theorists have become of my favorite channels. Fueled by insane amounts of analytical research, These two channels ask questions about your favorite movies and games and bring them into the real world. Ever wondered how high Mario actually jumps? Or have you ever thought about how Ant-Man is Marvel’s deadliest super hero? If you answered yes, then please go check out his channel!
- Today I Found Out – This channel could just as easily be a podcast as it is a YouTube channel. Simon has a great accent and professional persona that feels like you’re listening to an NPR radio program that won’t put you to sleep. This is one of my favorite channels to play and then leave my phone alone to fold laundry, cook some food, or just draw. The visuals are not too captivating, but the content is absolutely splendid. TIFO asks the important questions in life such as, “What’s Actually Supposed to Happen When You Land of Free Parking in Monopoly?”, “Why Don’t Commercial Airplanes Have Parachutes?”, and “Can Lobsters Really Not Die of Old Age?”.
- Wisecrack – The last and certainly not least channel on this list is perhaps one of my all-time favorites. I could make an entire list post just to talk about each individual piece of content that Wisecrack puts out, but I’ll try to condense it enough to keep interested. However, is you’re only going to click on and explore one channel of the 10 I’m talking about, make it this one. Wisecrack is an absolute genius channel that explores classic literature, modern television, and timeless philosophical topics all in an engaging, humorous, and captivating way. I first discovered their channel through the series Thug Notes. I wish Thug Notes had been around when I was in school, because the character of Sparky Sweets is a riot. Sweets is an original gangsta that breaks down the complicated tropes of classic literature in a way that makes reading fun. I highly recommend checking out his review of Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” or Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher”. Another great show that Wisecrack does is Earthling Cinema. Hosted by Garrex Wormuloid, a large-browed alien, this show imagines an alien species looking back at the greatest films of what is now an ancient Earth. The first half of the video is a hilarious summary that is fraught with almost-correct facts and mispronunciations, but it is the second half of the video that explores the meaning of the film that always makes me rethink what I thought I knew about the plot and makes the next rewatch of the movie all the better. Lastly, I want you to check out their videos exploring the Philosophy of various shows and games. Their video on Rick & Morty explores Rick and a nihilist and what it means to exist in a world without meaning or consequence, and also be sure to check out their video on “The Philosophy of Fallout”. This video explores the complex story arcs of the Fallout franchise and the subjects players deal with from what it means to be good in a lawless land, and what it truly means to be human.
I hope that you discovered something new and this list and if you think that there is a channel that I should check out, please list in the comments below!