Video Lessons Dare to be Smart

Learn about the world around you through short video lessons.

One of these three creatures is thought to possess the world’s most painful insect sting: there’s an ant that forages in rainforest canopies, a bee that protects a hive of delectable honey, and a wasp that paralyzes tarantulas. So which has the nastiest sting? Justin Schmidt describes and ranks the pain inflicted by each insect.

When it comes to what you bite, chew and swallow, your choices have a direct and long-lasting effect on the most powerful organ in your body: your brain. So which foods cause you to feel so tired after lunch? Or so restless at night? Mia Nacamulli takes you into the brain to find out.

Your town is holding a mayoral election and the stakes have never been higher. You suspect one of the candidates will begin pushing false information to swing the election. As the cybersecurity expert, your job is to inoculate the townspeople against false information. First, you must learn the strategies of disinformation trolls. Claire Wardle explores the tactics of disinformation campaigns.

Water is essentially everywhere in our world, and the average human is composed of between 55 and 60% water. So what role does water play in our bodies, and how much do we actually need to drink to stay healthy? Mia Nacamulli details the health benefits of hydration.

Sometimes, against a uniform, bright background such as a clear sky or a blank computer screen, you might see things floating across your field of vision. What are these moving objects, and how are you seeing them? Michael Mauser explains the visual phenomenon that is floaters.

Socrates, one of the founding fathers of Western philosophical thought, was on trial. Many believed he was an enemy of the state, accusing the philosopher of corrupting the youth and refusing to recognize their gods. But Socrates wasn’t feared for claiming to have all the answers, but rather, for asking too many questions. Erick Wilberding digs into the technique known as the Socratic Method, which uses questions to examine a person’s values, principles, and beliefs.

It's perfectly human to grapple with questions, like 'Where do we come from?' and 'How do I live a life of meaning?' These existential questions are central to the five major world religions -- and that's not all that connects these faiths. John Bellaimey explains the intertwined histories and cultures of Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam.

It can be hard sometimes, when speaking, to remember all of the grammatical rules that guide us when we’re writing. When is it right to say “the dog and me” and when should it be “the dog and I”? Does it even matter?

When we talk about ‘English’, we often think of it as a single language. But what do the dialects spoken in dozens of countries around the world have in common with each other, or with the writings of Chaucer? Claire Bowern traces the language from the present day back to its ancient roots, showing how English has evolved through generations of speakers.

The story of the Ukraine-Russia crisis does not begin in 2022 or 2014— it begins in the 9th century. There was a time when the two countries were one. Explore a brief history of Russian control and the ongoing fight for Ukrainian independence.

Your team has developed a probe to study an alien monolith. It needs protective coatings — in red, purple, and green — to cope with the environments it passes through. Can you figure out how to apply the colors so the probe survives the trip? Dan Finkel shows how.

The observable universe is a big place that has been around for more than 13 billion years. Up to two trillion galaxies made up of something like 20,000 billion billion stars surround our home galaxy. In the milky way alone scientists assume there are some 40 billion earth-like planets in the habitable zone of their stars. When we look at these numbers it is hard to imagine that there is nobody else out there.

Creativity is full of paradoxes — not the least of which is the fact that having absolute creative freedom is often highly uncreative. Imagine you were asked to invent something new. It could be whatever you want, made from anything you choose, in any shape or size. That kind of creative freedom sounds so liberating, doesn’t it? Or ... does it? if you're like most people you’d probably be paralyzed by this task. Why?

Loki the mischief-maker, writhes in Thor’s iron grip. The previous night, he’d snuck up on Thor’s wife and shorn off her beautiful hair. To fix what he’d done, Loki rushes to the dwarves and tricks them into making gifts for the gods. Wanting to best their smith rivals, the dwarves make a set of golden treasures, including a hammer called Mjolnir.

make electricity, it takes up space. Coal requires mines, and plants to convert it into electricity. Nuclear power takes uranium mines, facilities to refine it, a reactor, and a place to store the spent fuel safely. Renewable energy needs wind turbines or solar panels. So how much space would it take to power the whole world? Explore the sustainability of different power sources.

On top of our heads, there is a type of yeast that lives and dines on all of our scalps. Feasting constantly, it’s in paradise. And in about half of the human population, its activity causes dandruff. So, why do some people have more dandruff than others? And how can it be treated?

You and your best friend Bill are the greatest bards in the kingdom— but maybe not the brightest. Your hit song has insulted the king and now you’re slated for execution. Luckily, Death is a connoisseur of most excellent music and has decided to give you a chance to escape your fate. Can you beat him at a life-sized game of Snakes and Ladders and live to sing another day?

Many animals need sleep. But all of the threats and demands animals face don’t just go away when it’s time to doze. That’s why a range of birds, mammals, and even humans experience some degree of asymmetrical sleep, where parts of the brain are asleep and other areas are more active. So, how does it work? Masako Tamaki explores how animals' brains remain vigilant even at their most vulnerable.

A leather mask that clamps the mouth shut. A cannonball sewn into a soldier’s uniform. A machine that delivers sudden electrical pulses. These were all treatments for a problem that has haunted humanity for millennia: snoring. It might seem harmless, but snoring can be a sign of something more dangerous. So, what exactly causes snoring?

Whether you’re trying to get fit, build muscle, or you’re just tired of the couch, leading a more active lifestyle takes time, effort, and determination. Tech Insider explores what will happen to your body when you exercise regularly— and why it’s ultimately worth the effort.

Wrapping your mind around your life is pretty hard because you are up to your neck in it. It's like trying to understand the ocean while learning how to swim. On most days you are busy just keeping your head above water. So it is not easy to figure out what to do with your life and how to spend your time.

The Collatz Conjecture is the simplest math problem no one can solve — it is easy enough for almost anyone to understand but notoriously difficult to solve. So what is the Collatz Conjecture and what makes it so difficult?

They say all things must come to an end. Does this include the universe? This video explores current theories on the end of ... everything. 

You and nine other individuals have been captured by super-intelligent alien overlords. The aliens think humans look quite tasty, but their civilization forbids eating highly logical and cooperative beings. Unfortunately, they’re not sure whether you qualify, so they decide to give you all a test. Can you solve this hat riddle?

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