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Why humanity seems to be getting over war, how fracking works, and what ebola does to the human body. These concise explanations that will change the way you look at current affairs.
“Kurz gesagt” is a German phrase meaning “in short” or “in a nutshell”, which is also the name of a mind-expanding YouTube channel that provides concise, detailed explanations of some of life’s most pondered questions.
With a new video released each month under the “quality > quantity” mantra, Kurzgesagt (or In A Nutshell) blends well-researched, thoroughly scientific answers with eye-catching animations to feed your curiosity and engage your brain with aesthetics.
Is War Over?
Good news – war appears to be going out of fashion! But if that was really the case, why are new bloody conflicts cropping up year after year? 2014 saw a wave of violence as the Islamic State took hold, escalating conflict in Ukraine and devastating acts of terror everywhere from Nigeria to Pakistan.
How can the 21st century be considered “peaceful” by the numbers?
Iraq, its many conflicts and civil unrest are complicated issues, with the latest round of bloodsheed kicked off by US-led military action against then-dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003. Up until early 2014, it was possible to believe that the situation was in fact improving largely due to dwindling news coverage.
But the Syria conflict and US handover of Iraq to an unstable government added fuel to the still-burning fire and now widespread unrest has taken hold – leading the situation in Iraq to become even more complicated.
How Fracking Works, and The Risks
A process that pumps millions of litres of poisonous water (that can’t be purified afterwards) into the earth has obvious risks, but what is fracking? And why is it so increasingly common? Kurzgesagt had this to say: “We try to take a neutral look on fracking. It is relevant for all of us, because of high prices for energy and the danger for our drinking water.”
Though much of the media hype surrounding the ebola virus has died down by now, a few months ago that wasn’t the case. It’s common knowledge that the disease itself spells bad news for anyone infected, but what exactly does ebola do to our bodies that makes it so dangerous?
Learn about the exact response the virus has on the body on a detailed scientific level and find out why the immune system goes haywire and essentially attacks itself once affected.
Destroying The Universe
Theoretical physicists have produced some of the world’s greatest guesswork, not least Albert Einstein. He first considered the existence of dark energy, an idea he initially wrote off. But now scientists have decided that it is indeed a plausible theory, and furthermore it’s absolutely vital to our understanding of the universe’s finite nature and three possible “end game” scenarios.
What Is Life & Death?
It might sound like an odd question, but it’s arguably one of the hardest to answer – is death real? In order to have a remote chance of even analysing the problem, you’ll need to open another can of worms: what is life? The definition for life has changed greatly in the last few hundred years, and by current definitions it could even be argued that even computer viruses are alive.
Science has helped us reel-in many of the unlikely scenarios until we’re left with theories, suppositions and the ability to wonder.
Debunking Conspiracy Theories
And just for fun (to break from the science-backed, well researched tradition) Kurzgesagt has come up with a one-size fits all method of debunking some of the most outlandish conspiracy theories you can find online. The formula is simple – does the conspiracy theory affect rich or powerful individuals? If the answer is “yes!” then you’ve probably got yourself a dud.
Click play on the video above to put the theory to the test, and don’t forget to take a moment to remind yourself that simply because you read it on the Internet, that doesn’t make it true!
There are a lot more wonderfully animated, research-backed miniature presentations from Kurzgesagt available on YouTube. Each of these offers the opportunity to grasp understanding of a complicated issue in a relatively short amount of time, with a new one uploaded every month.
If animation suits your learning style be sure to check out these informative blogs and YouTube science channels. We’ve also covered classic Flash animations from the Internet you fell in love with, interviews with famous people brought to life through animation and vintage cartoons that hail from a time before computers.