New Year, New You.
How to be the best you in a few easy clicks.
After the ball drops and the corks and confetti are swept away, many of us sit down to write a list of goals to better ourselves in the New Year. Fad diets are a bust and do you really want to quit smoking—again. So where to begin? Albert Einstein, once said, “I have no talent. I am only passionately curious.” So this year, why not try a different approach. Instead of focusing on shortcomings, let’s shift the attention to strengthening the most important muscle of the body: the brain. The catalyst of change is curiosity. And what better way to satisfy your curiosity than by learning something new.
The catalyst of change is curiosity. And what better way to satisfy your curiosity than by learning something new.
Enter YouTube, the video-sharing website met with equal parts criticism and praise. With 1 billion hours of YouTube videos watched daily, there is a plethora of fast, bite-sized information available. This is the gateway to building a new healthy habit—being more curious. Whether it’s making a dish from scratch as seen on your fave TV show or learning the ins and outs of quantum physics, you’re just a video (or two) away from being a more curious you.
Catch the learning bug with this non-exhaustive list of channels to help you navigate the oversaturated and sometimes intimidating digital world of YouTube. Covering a broad spectrum of tastes and skill sets, you’re certain to discover more as you go deeper. Whatever your cup of tea, if you are savvy and eager to learn, YouTube can teach you almost anything in a few clicks.
CrashCourse is an educational channel hosted by brothers Hank and John Green (yes, the famous young adult author). The videos are, just as the eponymous name of their channel suggests, crash courses on a variety of topics. The Green brothers, along with invited experts, present speedy ten-minute-or-less episodes on subjects ranging from astronomy to psychology and everything in between. The brothers’ quick wit and clever approach breathe new life into challenging subject matter. Whether you’re a college student cramming for your next test or an adult learner wanting to know more, CrashCourse offers universal education to anyone willing to exercise a little brainpower. If science has always seemed daunting, head over to CrashCourse’s sister channel SciShow. Run by Hank Green, Michael Aranda and Olivia Gordon, it will have you reconsidering your deep-seated fear of test tubes and lab coats with videos chockfull of science concepts applied to everyday life.
Binging with Babish
Do you love food? Do you love movies? Do you love to eat food while watching movies? Do you love foodie movies? If you answered yes to any of these questions, look no further than Binging with Babish, a channel dedicated to recreating iconic dishes from your favourite movies, TV shows and video games. From crazy ambitious to downright delicious, watch Babish (filmmaker Andrew Rea) whip up a feast of dishes from SpongeBob’s Krabby Patties to Seinfeld’s babkas with dry humour and expertise. If you’re keen on learning basic recipes and kitchen techniques, Rea has a second channel, Basics with Babish, in which he presents a comprehensive, easy-to-follow guide to cooking with tips for the amateur chef.
Nerdwriter1, the brainchild of Evan Puschak, is an educational YouTube series. Its focus is 5-to-10-minute-long video essays on a range of subjects from film and music to comedy and language. Puschak, who declared he “woke up to learning,” dissects original topics to their core in each video. Highly engaging and brimming with fun information, Nerdwriter1 will have you curious about ideas you’ve never even thought of before, whether it’s why Bob Dylan won the Peace Prize to understanding Picasso’s art. Browsing the dozens of videos on the Nerdwriter1 channel, it’s nearly impossible not find one that sparks curiosity. Be warned, once you’ve discovered Nerdwriter1, chances are you’ll binge watch them all so plan to take the afternoon off. In your defence, you will be learning.
Engineer Mark Rober worked at NASA for nine years where he spent most of his time creating the Curiosity Rover. What sets Rober apart from his stuffier science colleagues on YouTube is the delightful and entertaining nature of his channel. Rober credits his childhood hero, Kevin McCallister of Home Alone fame as his inspiration for overengineering some crazy inventions like the Glitter Bomb Trap. Inventive and ambitious, Rober’s videos are quite literally astronomical—he combines his limitless knowledge of science with crazy, dare-devilish stunts. Who says science can’t be fun?
Lessons from the Screenplay
Lessons from the Screenplay (LFTS), the YouTube channel created by filmmaker Michael Tucker and his team, takes a deep dive into your favourite movies and TV shows by way of the screenplay. Originally conceived to further the art and understanding of storytelling, LFTS is education disguised as entertainment. Grab some popcorn and relive your most beloved cinematic moments through LFTS’s fresh perspective. You won’t see Star Wars or Ghostbusters in the same way.