Chris Higgins is the author of The Blogger Abides and writes for This American Life, The Atlantic, Breakfast on Mars, and The Magazine. You can follow him at chrishiggins.com.
Just a few weeks ago, writer Dan Savage started the "It Gets Better" Project with this video. The video was a response to a series of gay teens committing suicide across the nation; Savage finally decided to do something about it. On September 23, he wrote this:
Billy Lucas was just 15 when he hanged himself in a barn on his grandmother's property. He reportedly endured intense bullying at the hands of his classmates--classmates who called him a fag and told him to kill himself. His mother found his... READ ON
I've written about "Power of Ten" before, but the videos have been taken down due to copyright claims by the owners. Finally, the Eames Office has an official YouTube channel (albeit with only one video for now) hosting a version that will not be taken down. If you haven't seen this classic film from 1977, please take a few minutes to enjoy it. Here's what I wrote in 2009 about a (now taken-down) YouTube clip of the film:
If you’ve never seen the classic short “Powers of Ten,”... READ ON
If you've been wondering where your jet-pack is, you may have to settle for Google's self-driving car. It's a research project (not in mass production yet), but test cars are already on the road and the New York Times reports that the cars have already driven 1,000 miles without human intervention and over 140,000 miles with "only occasional human control." Yes, engineers have been in the cars the whole time, and paying attention, but it's clear where this is going.
The robo-cars operate by driving... READ ON
Artist/animator/filmmaker Dan Hanna has been photographing himself every day from two angles, for roughly 19 years (he started in 1991). In the video below, he shows the first 17 years' worth in a rough edit (a fancier version is coming later; as you can imagine, scanning and arranging all those photos is very time-consuming). Actually, the video only uses images from every second day in order to keep the video short. Hanna describes the rather amazing camera rig he built to take the photos like so:... READ ON
"Hallelujah" is a song written by Leonard Cohen in 1984, and never officially released as a single. It has become famous mainly through cover versions, and has been recorded by hundreds of artists. In 2008, American Idol contestent Jason Castro sang a version that caused Jeff Buckley's famous cover to rocket to the top of the Billboard Hot Digital Songs chart (you know, the kids these days with their iTunes and what-not). Buckley's rendition became a Platinum single on April 22, 2008, eleven years after... READ ON
This Thursday not nerdy enough for you? Sounds like you need to watch a version of Star Wars done in paper cut-outs, animated via stop-motion, set to the song "Tatooine" by Jeremy Messersmith. Yes, really. It's only a few minutes (the entire trilogy in under three minutes!), why not give it a shot? It's kinda wonderful. Oh, and, uh, spoiler alert re everything that happens in the original trilogy.
Jeremy Messersmith - Tatooine from Eric Power on Vimeo.
The video is by Eric Power (bonus points... READ ON
So you think you know how to iron a shirt? Take it from the YouTube experts, there's actually a lot of technique involved! And with just a few minutes, you can be ironing like the pros.
How to Iron a Shirt (STRICTLY MEN ONLY)
Michael Chartres is a one-man video advice columnist. Specifically, one drunk man. He describes himself thusly on his YouTube page:
About Me: Nearly 68 years old, retired, living in Staffordshire. Love spending time on my boat, NORSELA. Enjoy building model boats,... READ ON
It's here -- the mental_floss interview with the MythBusters, featuring your questions! (Also here: a new season of the show, starting tonight: Wednesday, October 6! Set your DVRs -- the new season premieres at 9pm. Also check out Kari Byron's new show Head Rush, a commercial-free hour of experiments on the Science Channel every weekday at 4pm.)
For this interview, I combed through over a hundred viewer questions. I selected the best, threw in a few of my own for good measure, and sent them off to... READ ON
Computer historian Jason Scott recently gave a talk at Defcon 18 about the history of software piracy. Now, you wouldn't normally sit down to think about software piracy, but Scott has, and managed to put together an hour-long presentation on the subject. It's well worth a look, and not just for computer nerds -- Scott starts with some digital ephemera (including the previously linked 1929 LOL Cat and Chicago Gang Business Cards), then sets into the core of his talk on the history of piracy, the history... READ ON
Last week, Justin Timberlake appeared on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon to promote his new movie role. After the interview, the pair launched into a fully choreographed hip-hop medley that has come to be known as "The History of Rap" (although it focuses heavily on late 80's, 90's, and 2000's songs -- this is by no means a full history).
Fallon and Timberlake trade off the MC role, as The Roots (Fallon's house band) provide backup. It's fun, it's impressive (who knew Fallon was a song-and-dance man??),... READ ON
One of Prince Charles's Secret Service code names was "Unicorn."