411 Toolbox: Mental Floss on YouTube

YouTube is an Info Junkie’s best friend. Seriously. there’s so much you search for on YouTube these days that if you’re not checking it out, at all, you’re missing the fun. A few months ago I spotlighted a few of the YouTube Channels I watch regularly … Spotlight 411: InfoJunkie’s Top 5 YouTube Channels. In that post I mention Mental Floss, which I am now going get into more detail about.

Joining the YouTube mania in 2011, Mental Floss’ YouTube channel now has over 1 million viewers, which is awesome!

When I first reconnected with the Mental Floss world, it was because of “The List Show.” The List Show, usually hosted by John and he does such a good job. The most recent video uploaded is “25 Towns That Changed Names,” featured below, but other videos include “30 Facts About Chocolate,” “80 Facts About the 80’s,” and so much more. I started watching these because they were fun to watch, but after watching a handful of these, I realized just how useful (though sometimes useless) the information was. I work in a library, if you haven’t been reading every one of my posts. You have no idea how valuable some of this trivia is. I think, in one video, he does something about famous authors and I was able to use one of his factoids as a point of interest for a patron who was inquiring about a good read.

At the end of the List Show, they used to answer a question that one of their subscribers asked. I found those interesting as well. Well, that evolved into their other segment, “Big Questions.” In these videos they can get a little more detailed with their answers and I love it. This, too, is random information but comes in handy when working in the information field. I mean, tell me the answer to “Why are butterflies called ‘butterflies?'” or “Where Does the $ Sign Come From?” isn’t interesting? I find these videos brilliant. I mean, it’s so simple. And I don’t know who’s their fact-checker, but even if their answers aren’t 100% accurate, they give us a starting point. It’s kind of like Wikipedia. If you want background information on your researching topic, you have to start somewhere and this show is a great launching point.

Which leads me to one of my favorite segments on this channel: Misconceptions.

Misconceptions is about five minute video clip on misconceptions we have about certain things. One of my favorites is “Misconceptions From the Movies” (uploaded below), followed closely by “Misconceptions You Learned In School.” And again, even if they aren’t 100% accurate, it’s a start. I really good start.

With the tons of information you can get in small doses, is it even a question why this is YouTube channel is on an Information Junkie’s favorite list? I mean, certain educational videos you can find on YouTube are more in-depth than Mental Floss’ but I love that they keep things simple and in bite-size clips.

And even if you don’t work in the information field, these segments are great conversational topics. It can make you interesting, even sound smart! In a world where people are checking their phones at the dinner table more than they are actually talking to each other, conversational topics are great to have.

So, if you haven’t checked out the Mental Floss YouTube Channel, go do it now and I hope you enjoy them as much as I have!


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