Favorite Informational YouTube Channels?
December 9, 2017 6:58 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for your favorite YouTube channels to follow that are informational, educational, or historical in nature. I'm not interested in channels that are primarily comedic, but it's fine if they're humorous while being informative.

Subject matter-wise, I'm very open. I generally prefer the channel be not based around personality, but enjoy a few of those as long as they're more about the subject than the person (i.e. Andrew Huang). At the end of the day, I want them to be educational or informative, and being entertaining is a bonus. I just want to learn!

Currently I watch a lot of science channels (Isaac Arthur, Today I Found Out, the PBS shows, Crash Course), history (Townsends, The Great War, History Buffs, Atlas Obscura), technology/video games (8 Bit Guy, Techmoan, Chrontendo, Gaming Historian), social issues (Vox, TED), film (Indie Film Hustle, No Small Parts, The Film Theorists, Nerdwriter, Every Frame a Painting (RIP), Academy Originals, Lessons from the Screenplay,) gaining new skills (Binging with Babish, 52 Skillz, How to Make Everything), or just random interesting subjects from urban exploration to special effects to cooking to art to feminism to math.

Hopefully those examples give you a good feel for what I like (or give you new channels to enjoy!) but feel free to throw me a curveball.
posted by gregoryg to Media & Arts (24 answers total) 62 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: The Brain Scoop (natural history, based in the Field Museum in Chicago).
David Bull, Tokyo-based woodcut printer, full of interesting stuff about traditional Japanese printmaking. Also very relaxing.
posted by Bloxworth Snout at 7:19 AM on December 9, 2017

Best answer: Library of Congress has talks by working researchers and also full-length music performances in a wide array of genres.

Many universities have their own channels. Sometimes it's just panels and other talking heads, but there's a lot of "program" type presentations, too.
posted by Weftage at 7:23 AM on December 9, 2017

Best answer: Something I didn’t think I would find interesting but I did was Lofty Pursuits. They own a candy shop and show the process of all their handmade candies, as well as go into the history and some of the science behind it. It’s pretty soothing too!
posted by buttonedup at 7:26 AM on December 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

Best answer: In the math/science arena, I enjoy...
Matt Parker
Tom Scott
Steve Mould
PBS Infinite Series
posted by noneuclidean at 7:37 AM on December 9, 2017

Best answer: You need to watch Chris out of Cairns, Australia build a home-machined replica of the Antikythera Mechanism on his incredible channel Clickspring. He also builds amazing clocks! More on his site here.
posted by mdonley at 7:54 AM on December 9, 2017

Best answer: I like these two:

TechQuickie - "Learn about the latest cool technology in only a couple minutes"

The School of Life - "a global organisation dedicated to developing emotional intelligence. We apply psychology, philosophy, and culture to everyday life."
posted by SuperSquirrel at 8:10 AM on December 9, 2017

Best answer: The engineerguy is hypnotic: he details how things are made in a precise, soothing baritone filled with joy. Here's that "triumph of modern polymer science:" the modern disposable diaper. He also demonstrates the entirety of Michael Faraday's The Chemical History of a Candle for a science & history of science twofer.
posted by Jesse the K at 10:07 AM on December 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Somewhat goofy 18th century reenactor, practical skills: Townsends.
Somewhat goofy random stuff: Tom Scott. Recommended to me but I haven't watched many yet.
posted by Botanizer at 12:00 PM on December 9, 2017

Best answer: Geography Now.
posted by nkknkk at 12:15 PM on December 9, 2017

Best answer: Mathologer
The Royal Institution

All mathy except for The Royal Institution which is a bit of everything sciencey.
posted by zengargoyle at 1:55 PM on December 9, 2017 [4 favorites]

Best answer: High in both humour and information content is Bad Obsession Motorsport's Project Binky. Two Guys in a shed making the fastest mini on earth. Now in their fourth year.
posted by bonehead at 3:49 PM on December 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Lehto's Law, which talks about traffic tickets, car buying, and other automotive-related topics.
posted by Seeking Direction at 5:50 PM on December 9, 2017

Best answer: This Old Tony has a bunch of videos about home/hobby machining, welding, and general fabrication.

The channel is informative but also also has a corny sense of humor.
posted by pknodle at 8:59 PM on December 9, 2017

Best answer: AsapSCIENCE
CGP Grey

Extra Credits Game Design, History, and now Literature

ViHart Math and commentary

French Guy Cooking Alex often takes a scientific approach to cooking.
posted by Eikonaut at 11:29 PM on December 9, 2017

Best answer: I like Reactions for weekly chemistry related videos. Generally "What's the chemistry behind day-to-day life stuff". They're very quick, lighthearted and often humorous, while being very informative
posted by Zaire at 2:48 AM on December 10, 2017

Best answer: Louis Rossmann is good value if you want to learn how to fix Apple logic boards.
posted by flabdablet at 3:54 AM on December 10, 2017

Best answer: This may be too specific, but I love the videos posted by BlackPenRedPen. He's a professor (or grad student?) somewhere in CA who posts really detailed Calculus and higher problem videos. He is a very good teacher - I teach a lot of this stuff myself, but I will admit I have picked up ideas from his videos that I will use.
posted by wittgenstein at 8:29 AM on December 10, 2017

Best answer: The Proper Person has many short single subject videos on dealing with a high conflict divorce. Many of the videos would be applicable if you are dealing with courts in other kinds of civil litigation.

It gives some insight into crazy divorce litigation stories you hear about, a view into how that could happen.

When a friend started a divorce 6 years ago, I did a lot of web searches looking for sites and books that would be helpful with her situation. She also had advice from several lawyers (friends, family, and hired). Alex Falconi has advice that we had not come across. If we had seen these videos then, a few major things would have been handled a lot differently.
posted by Sophont at 9:08 AM on December 10, 2017

Best answer: It makes me so happy that it looks like no one has beaten me to posting Primitive Technology, a youtube channel devoted entirely to a guy who lives in North Queensland Australia and goes out into the woods (jungle?) and tries out various primitive technologies he has read about. Almost entirely silent and amazingly mesmerizing.
posted by eglenner at 10:22 PM on December 10, 2017 [2 favorites]

if you like the Nerdwriter / Every Frame, you might like Super Eyepatch Wolf which is the same concept of deconstructing and analyzing media via in-depth, evidence-based videos but applied (typically) to anime/manga/video games

Feminist Frequency is great - basic gender studies 101 and 201 but applied to video gaming tropes and pop culture. also was at/near the epicenter of GamerGate and not only survived it but is thriving now

in a similar vein, the XOXO Festival videos are a collection of social justice oriented internet/tech folks who get time to talk about their work. like TED but less like advertising

lastly, it's not the most slickly produced but I like History Respawned. it's some history doctorates in casual conversation with professors of history of various eras while they both watch recordings of video games. like a Let's Play but focusing entirely on historical accuracy and representation
posted by runt at 10:19 AM on December 11, 2017

oh and there's an unfortunately titled Youtube series, Ask a Slave, where a black historical re-enactor semi-snarkily stays in character while answering a lot of the really atrocious questions she's gotten over the years. it's funny and informative (like the one with the abolitionist guest star who says racist and infantilizing things, lol)
posted by runt at 10:25 AM on December 11, 2017

I highly recommend the Pop Culture Detective, a series of video essays looking at media through a critical lens with an emphasis on the intersections of politics, masculinity and entertainment.
posted by honeypot at 4:11 PM on December 11, 2017

Above comments and OP's post covered many of my favorites, but I also watch the following: (Many of them noted as "vlogish" below are sort of personality based, since they are in the vlog style, with the same person each video mostly talking about something, so you have to see if you like them or not. But they are talking about a specific topic in their genre, not just about their life or whatever. [maybe sometimes.])

Math, science, space, technology:
* VSauce
* Vintage Space (vlogish)
* Curious Droid (vlogish)
* BlueWorldTV (good for kids)
* Numberphile
* Computerphile
* ElectroBoom (vlogish)
* EV Nautilus
* Minute Earth, Minute Physics (not posting new episodes very much though)
* Practical Engineering (vlogish)
* Techmoan (vlogish)
* Royal Institution lectures and misc

Machining, tools, electrical work, electronics, DIY:
* Classic Work (vlogish)
* AvE (vlogish)
* bigclivedotcom (vlogish)
* This Old House (newer episodes are on their website though its sometimes broken)
* Strange Parts (vlogish)

Historical stuff:
* Lindybeige (vlogish)
* History Buffs
* Townsends & Sons 18th C cooking etc. (vlogish)

Learn Sign Language!:
* Bill Vicars

Misc interest, travel
* Atlas Obscura
* Chris Hadfield's Rare Earth series
* The CrashCourse series'
* Tom Scott

Farming, gardening, homestead type stuff:
* MrChickadee (making a homestead from scratch using mostly old fashioned carpetry)
* Swedish Homestead (vlogish)
* Way Out West (vlogish)
* Work With Nature
posted by thefool at 7:59 AM on December 12, 2017

Nobody's mentioned Cody'sLab?

One guy, so maybe "personality", but I've found it very informative. He had a period where he got deep into testing things inside a vacuum chamber, a series on gardening, has had a lot of chemistry and foundry work.
posted by arantius at 12:39 PM on December 15, 2017

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