The Best Links

There are only two reasons I go to YouTube:

1) Someone sent me a YouTube link so I click on it
2) I want to search for a specific video

I never just "head to YouTube" to click around and procrastinate.  Does anyone do that?  I don't think so, right?

For this reason, other than the occasional YouTube Death Spiral (when I watch a YouTube video and then click on one of the "related videos" and so on and so on until I despise myself), internet videos have never really caused me to procrastinate.

At least they never used to.

Recently, several treacherous "link sites" have invaded my life and taken away my freedom.

First, a commenter on this blog told me about wimp.com, a site that lists five videos a day.  They range from short to long, science-y to silly, and I am now forced to watch every video they publish.

I don't go to Wimp every day.  But when I do go there, I have a lot of trouble not clicking on video after video until I've seen all the new ones since I was there last.  Like, a lot of trouble.

Then, with no consideration for my personal weaknesses and shortcomings, a friend of mine started a site called linksoftheweek.com.  Links of the Week publishes 12 links every Tuesday, each from one of their "categories," and forces me to view every link they post, whether I like it or not.

And then there are the links people send me over email, which are showing no sign of slowing down anytime soon.

So I've been kept busy.

And knowing that I have this blog that I write things in, I figured that whenever I came across a particularly interesting or entertaining video or photo, I'd copy it to a list which would one day allow me to take away some of your freedom.  Today is that day.

And so, I present to you the very best links I've come across:

Pets

There are more pet videos out there than grains of sand in the Earth.  And most of them are mediocre.  But the great ones are delightful.

Pet 1 - Excellent.
Pet 2 - Along the same lines. 
Pet 3 - He's like, "Try as I might, I can't seem to exit this place."  20 seconds is enough.
Pet 4 - Dogs being dumb is funny for everyone.
Pet 5 - This looped at least six times before I stopped watching it.
Pet 6 - Eight times.
Pet 7 - This is someone trying to make a funny video and succeeding.  Where have I heard that music before?
Pet 8 - Someone else trying to make a funny video.  Someone else succeeding.

Astronomy



If you're fascinated by astronomy, you'll love these vidoes.  If you're bored by astronomy, you won't like these (and you're an icky person).

Astronomy 1 - From the Himalayas to the outer reaches of the universe and back.
Astronomy 2 - How the Earth was formed.
Astronomy 3 - The most important photograph ever taken (and my computer desktop wallpaper because I'm a nerd).
Astronomy 4 - I stared at this for a long time.
Astronomy 5 - If you loved the first four links, you'll like this.  Otherwise, it's skippable.

Pranks 

Pranks and internet video were made for each other.

Prank 1 - Doesn't get old.
Prank 2 - Great idea for a prank.
Prank 3 - So much effort for them so I can sit here and be entertained for one minute.
Prank 4 - Ditto.
Prank 5 - What would you do if you walked past this guy? 

Toddlers

Baby videos were so 2007.  Toddlers are much funnier.

Toddler 1 - This video could have gone on for an hour and I would have watched the whole thing.
Toddler 2 - This is spectacular and the title makes it even funnier.
Toddler 3 - She's either incredibly irritating or incredibly delightful.  It's unclear.
Toddler 4 - This video is very important to me.  I've watched it many times.  Though the whole thing is pretty fantastic, my favorite parts are the amazingly well-reasoned argument at 1:45 and the dance at 2:21.

Super Slow-Motion

Before the internet, people probably rarely got to see videos like these.  But they're intensely cool.

Slo Mo 1 - Who knew?  On a side note, I regularly have these weird day dreams where I'm like, "Okay, in this situation, if I suddenly had an active grenade that was gonna explode in three seconds, how could I get rid of it in that time?"
Slo Mo 2 - I understand lightning better after this.
Slo Mo 3 - Delicious.
Slo Mo 4 - Totally succulent.  I was suspicious that it wasn't real, but then I found this and confirmed that it was.  Apparently golfers can strike a ball with 100mph impact, which deforms the ball slightly, and in this video, the ball is fired at a steel wall and hits it at 150mph, which is why it is so extra deformed.  I watched this at least 14 times before clicking away.
Slo Mo 5 - Bugs are so frickin quick, and it's cool to see what's actually going on when you miss with the swatter.
Slo Mo 6 - Cool.  And another.

Rad Dudes Being Rad

This is a definite internet video genre.  I left out the wingsuit videos because everyone has already seen them, but here are a few others.

Rad Dude 1 - Hard to imagine a recreational activity I want to do more.
Rad Dude 2 - This dude takes his rad pills every morning.
Rad Dude 3 - Long, but good if you like this type of video.

Animals

Not to be confused with Pet Videos.  These are Planet Earth-style nature videos.  Speaking of which, Life was an orgasm and airs again on Animal Planet starting on June 6 if you missed it.

Animal 1 - I always enjoy a good old fashion bird swarm video.
Animal 2 - If you've seen this before it's like, "eh," but if you haven't it's like, "whoa."
Animal 3 - Creepy and awesome.  So interesting watching super slow-moving creatures in fast motion so you can see what their angle actually is.
Animal 4 - How much more stressful is being a dragonfly than being a human, given that things like this are a part of its life?
Animal 5 - I don't know why I included this video.  It really upsets me.
Animal 6 - Evolution is amazing.
Animal 7 - I'm happy that I never have to do this.

Optical Illusions

When I was younger, I was always a huge optical illusion fan.  Then at some point, I had kind of seen them all and now I'm usually all "whatever" about them.  Here are a couple cool ones.

Illusion 1 - This is one of those that often comes in an email that says dumb things like, "If you initially see her going clockwise, you're right-brained.  If not, you're left-brained."  I never really believe those things.
Illusion 2 - Very cool.

Weird, Compelling People

The classic Weird, Compelling People video is this, which I think most people have seen.  Here are a few more.

People 1 - The real life situation is significantly more mundane than portrayed in Memento.
People 2 - I enjoyed this.  I really like this guy.
People 3 - Pretty incredible.  Like the autistic Rome-drawer video, this highlights how little we access of the boggling potential of the human brain.  Here's another guy with the same story.

Futuristic Things

Delicious.

Futuristic 1 - So much better than my faucet.
Futuristic 2 - Don't click out in the first 15 seconds—it gets really good.
Futuristic 3 - Duh.  Right?
Futuristic 4 - Duh part two.
Futuristic 5 - Click on "This is Why" and watch the video.  It's worth $90 million.
Futuristic 6 - Not sure you need to watch the whole thing, but very innovative stuff.

Data Visualizations

Two diagrams / data visualizations I played with for a long time.

Data 1 - Super interesting.
Data 2 - This company has come up with a great way to view and wrap your mind around a set of data.  If you like this link, you'll probably love this fascinating Ted Talk.

From Dump

12 good ones from Dump.com.

Dump 1 - So that's what $205 million looks like.  If I had that I could buy two Why Yachts.
Dump 2 - She's mad seasoned.
Dump 3 - Wait—really??
Dump 4 - Fascinating.
Dump 5 - Impressive rate of advancement.
Dump 6 - This is weird.
Dump 7 - People should think of having a soda like they think of having a bag of Skittles—a treat—not as an obvious drink choice to accompany meals.
Dump 8 - Oh come on.
Dump 9 - Cool. 
Dump 10 - Useless and pretty.
Dump 11 - About damn time.

27 More Random Videos

Excellent videos that didn't really fit into a category. 

Random 1 - One of my favorites.  A fascinating glimpse into a random day 105 years ago, along with one of my favorite pieces of music.
Random 2 - David Blaine never disappoints.
Random 3 - If you've never seen footage of a landslide before, this is a must-see.
Random 4 - This totally weirded me out until I realized what was happening.
Random 5 - This takes awhile to develop, but by the end I was laughing uncontrollably.
Random 6 - Gotta love sports.
Random 7 - Pretty cool actually to watch this through, but if not, make sure you check out how ridiculously good it is by the end.
Random 8 - It's really hard to grasp the speed of light, but this helps.
Random 9 - The thing about this is that it isn't someone making a cool internet video—it's this guy's life.
Random 10 - What's horrifying is that a head-on collision between two cars going only 25mph each produces the same impact.
Random 11 - Annoying, but kind of a fun minute.  Definitely not rewatchable.
Random 12 - This will only interest some people, but man did it interest me.  Humans are so smart.
Random 13 - Really impressive.
Random 14 - This video isn't particularly interesting, but it's fun to watch and the music is great. 
Random 15 - Kind of brilliant.
Random 16 - Kind of brilliant part two.
Random 17 - I was bored for awhile and very uninterested in what a differential gear is or how it's made—but by the end, I was upset it was over and wanted to hire this guy to explain the whole world to me.
Random 18 - Got me.
Random 19 - Pretty clever.
Random 20 - I watched this whole thing.  I highly recommend not doing so yourself.  But a couple minutes of it really brings back the memories.  You forget how well you know this guy.
Random 21 - One of the funniest public disputes I have ever seen.  I quote this regularly.
Random 22 - For people that like the show How It's Made.
Random 23 - Why didn't anyone show me this four years ago?
Random 24 - I went out and tried this the next day and no one followed me.
Random 25 - This is long and only good if you're interested in how to motivate employees, but what they've done visually makes anything much more fun to listen to.
Random 26 - A must watch.
Random 27 - Nothing like some good old fashion slapstick.

North Korea

And finally, what would a link list be without 14 North Korea videos.  Actually, it's just an hour-long documentary of footage this guy took on a visit inside North Korea, broken into 14 short videos.  I had no intention of watching more than the first, but then I got addicted and watched all of them.  It's pretty fascinating if you have an hour to kill.  If not, just check out the North Korean traffic girl.

North Korea 1
North Korea 2
North Korea 3
North Korea 4
North Korea 5
North Korea 6
North Korea 7
North Korea 8
North Korea 9
North Korea 10
North Korea 11
North Korea 12
North Korea 13
North Korea 14

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well, there goes my Sunday

Sallie said...

Tim, I'm TRULY upset that the Dump section was not completely compiled of clips/texts/emails/vms of people getting dumped. Cruel.

Anonymous said...

You bastard. Well I can say
there's no missing link now
but I've lost one my rings.

Jupiter ...

Anonymous said...

I'm about half way through and taking a break. I must say, we share a common taste in good links. Well done.

Faith Anne said...

wait a sec... is this tim urban the one from american idol???????

Anonymous said...

This should answer your question:

http://timurban.blogspot.com/2010/02/impending-disaster.html

Anonymous said...

okay... which freakin tim urban are you????? I have no idea who you are so OBVIOUSLY you are not famous enough to even have your name on google.
I was looking at this blog for a while thinking "hey, tim {FROM AMERICAN IDOL} has a blog! cool!"
now everything is ruined thanks to you.
thats unfair though. if ur so freakin upset then YOU change YOUR name. How about that?
I think tim urban, the MENTALLY STABLE one, is hot so whatever with you.
Faith

Anonymous said...

^to the above commenter:

yeah i'm glad the mentally stable one is the one who's been keeping this blog for a few years now.

-coughhormonalteenagerscough-

Anonymous said...

Faith, you're talking to the wrong crowd. 10/10 people who read this blog STRONGLY prefer this Tim Urban to the oh-so-boring teenage singing version.

Anonymous said...

God, this is getting funnier by the second.

Each tween stalker fan girl is stupider than the last.

Anonymous said...

Yup, there goes a couple of hours of my life...I have to admit I was fascinated by the North Korea vids also. The traffic lady looks like she could be a robot...

Anonymous said...

to faith: "Office Space" michael bolton moment anyone?

"he should change his name - he's the one who sucks."

Anonymous said...

Beat L.A.?

Anonymous said...

BEAT LA

Anonymous said...

I've been getting really into this playoff season and so I've become a fervent reader of the sports guy and as such I can't help but notice you sound/read a hell of a lot like Bill Simmons.

Which is awesome. Just stating.