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Tom Scott Videos

Why Computers Can't Count Sometimes

Sometimes, numbers on sites like YouTube and Twitter jump up and down; subscriber counts lag, like-counts bounce all over the place. Why is it so hard...

Juan Pujol Garcia and Thirtynineitude: Citation Needed 8x03

Our traditional Wartime Badass Episode this week, albeit a wartime badass whose weapon included expense reports. BONUS MATERIAL: ...

Britain's Largest Battery Is Actually A Lake

Dinorwig Power Station, otherwise known as Electric Mountain, is a pumped-storage hydro station in Llanberis, Wales. And yes: it's Britain's largest b...

The Norwegian Butter Crisis and the Ark of Taste: Citation Needed 8x02

This time, we're taking on smørpanikk, food politics, and - for the second week running - brandy. BONUS MATERIAL: ...

Why Do London's Manholes Keep Exploding?

Every month or so, somewhere in London, a manhole explodes. It's so common that it doesn't make the news unless it's spectacular or someone gets injur...

The Battle of Fishguard and "Brandy": Citation Needed 8x01

The final season begins! With a traditional tale of a military mistake and a wheel that spins and lands on France. BONUS MATERIAL: ...

᚛ᚈᚑᚋ ᚄᚉᚑᚈᚈ᚜ and ᚛ᚑᚌᚐᚋ᚜

Ogham is an old Irish script made by carving notches into stones. It fell out of use more than a millennium ago - but it's an interesting exception to...

If Educational Videos Were Filmed Like Music Videos

There's a reason music videos look strange. I could just talk about framerate, cuts and continuity... or I could get an actual music video director. A...

What's The Longest Word You Can Write With Seven-Segment Displays?

That's right, we're kicking Season 2 of the Basics off with a technical episode about a somewhat-obsolete technology! IT'S PARTY TIME. Wait, no, not p...

How The First Ever Telecoms Scam Worked

In the 1830s, two French brothers, François and Joseph Blanc, pulled off the first telecoms scam in history. The optical telegraph, a line of semaphor...

Wingwalking Isn't What It Used To Be, And That's A Good Thing

Back in the 1920s, wingwalking claimed lives. Daredevils would move around on the top of a plane's wings, in mid-flight, often without any harness or ...

We Made a Banhammer (feat. NerdCubed)

For years, moderators of online forums and chat rooms have wielded a metaphorical "banhammer" to deal with anyone who steps out of line. Now it's real...

The Collapsible Crash Test Robot Car

The Global Vehicle Target is the new standard for testing autonomous driving and crash test systems. To cameras and radar, it looks like a car: but if...

Why You Don't Want To Go Viral

On a rainy Scottish island called Jura, it's time to talk about the Manual, about long-term sustainable success, and about not having just that one ca...

The Quiz That Was Shared A Million Times

I've put the North-o-Meter, and some other old UsVsTh3m games, up at https://www.tomscott.com/usvsth3m/ - I've disabled the sharing buttons, though. N...

That Time I Got In Trouble With The Government

The first part of "How To Be Popular On The Internet*" is all about an old saying: if at first you don't succeed, try, try again. And if you do succee...

Your Private Messages Might Travel Under This Beach

In Porthcurno, Cornwall, there's an old telegraph cable landing station. It's how Britain talked to the Empire -- and it's now a museum. But the techn...

I Hit 3,000-Year-Old Art with a Hammer

The White Horse, in Uffington, is one of the oldest surviving works of art in Britain: carved into a hillside in Oxfordshire 3000 years ago. Every yea...

Testing The Sound Mirrors That Protected Britain

Over on the RAF Starrship channel, I'm talking about the history of radar: https://youtu.be/VDC_RCh0ws8 - but over here, we're testing a 90-year-old p...

The Nuclear Reactor Run By Students

At Reed College in Portland, Oregon, there's a TRIGA nuclear reactor, used for research. You can stand next to it and watch the blue glow from the bot...

How The 90s VHS Look Works

90s VHS video filters are in fashion right now, and most producers are using the same filter as everyone else. Why does the filter look like it does? ...

Stories I Can't Tell

There are some stories in Canada that I'm not qualified to tell. Pull down the description to find out about them. YOUTUBE LINKS: * Residential School...

We Should Let Some Wildfires Burn

In the last few years, wildfires have been getting worse - and, oddly, it's because humans have been preventing them. From a helicopter above the fore...

The Drink With A Human Toe In It

In Dawson City, a small mining town in the Yukon, sits the Downtown Hotel. Inside there is a tradition that tourists have been trying out for decades:...


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