Best Explainer Articles & Videos on the web • Discoverology

Explainers

Read the best explainer articles from around the internet, or watch the most insightful explainer videos from platforms like Youtube, Vimeo or leading publishers like the BBC, New York Times and many others.

What Do Political Databases Know About You?

What Do Political Databases Know About You?

Explainers, Politics

American citizens are inundated with political messages—on social networks, in their news feeds, through email, text messages, and phone calls. If you live in the US, you’re almost certainly being tracked by political organizations. They know a lot about you—but some data is just guesswork.

Cults: The Holy Business of Being A God

Cults: The Holy Business of Being A God

Explainers, Videos

As a god, your disciples don’t view you as ruling over them even though you are, but as their benevolent leader showing them the light to salvation. A leader that though figuratively and literally followed to the ends of the earth. Now, that is real power.

How Typefaces Influence You

How Typefaces Influence You

Design, Explainers

A typeface choice could influence your perception of people running for school board seats, the lawyer opening a new law office, or the coffee shop you never noticed before.

Why Caviar Is So Expensive

Why Caviar Is So Expensive

Explainers, Food, Videos

Caviar is one of the most expensive foods in the world. Selling for up to $35,000 per kilo, it’s revered and relished by aristocrats across the globe. But it’s an acquired taste. Turns out, caviar wasn’t always so valuable.

Bashir Sultani

Inspiration
Bashir Sultani
How To Persuade People To Change Their Behavior

How To Persuade People To Change Their Behavior

Explainers, Life

Our innate anti-persuasion radar raises our defenses, so we avoid or ignore the message or, even worse, counter-argue. Rather than trying to persuade people, getting them to persuade themselves is often more effective. Here are three ways to do that.

How Offshore Oil Rigs Work

How Offshore Oil Rigs Work

Business, Explainers, Videos

Offshore oil rigs are inherently a higher-cost, higher-risk method of oil extraction, but the oceans are, of course, home to a huge proportion of the world’s oil reserves so, if there are no more low-cost oilfields on land, that’s where the companies go.

We're Getting Closer To The Quantum Internet, But What Is It?

We're Getting Closer To The Quantum Internet, But What Is It?

Explainers, Innovation, Science, Tech

Instead of the bits that today’s network uses, which can only express a value of either 0 or 1, the future quantum internet would utilize qubits of quantum information, which can take on an infinite number of values. A quibit is the unit of information for a quantum computer; it’s like a bit in an ordinary computer.

The Food Expiration Dates You Should Actually Follow

The Food Expiration Dates You Should Actually Follow

Explainers, Food

Here’s the first thing you should know: Expiration dates are not expiration dates. Food product dating, as the U.S. Department of Agriculture calls it, is completely voluntary for all products — with the exception of baby food. Not only that, but it has nothing to do with safety.

How To Elevate Your Presence In A Virtual Meeting

How To Elevate Your Presence In A Virtual Meeting

Business, Explainers

Elevating both your point and your presence in a Zoom, Skype, or similar virtual meeting, requires not only engaging in video conference-friendly tactics but also disabusing yourself of potentially detrimental misconceptions about the medium.

How Steak Became Manly And Salads Became Feminine

How Steak Became Manly And Salads Became Feminine

Explainers, Food

Beginning in the late 19th century, a steady stream of dietary advice, corporate advertising and magazine articles created a division between male and female tastes that, for more than a century, has shaped everything from dinner plans to menu designs.

Nikolay Schegolev

Inspiration
Nikolay Schegolev
How To Borrow Natural Light

How To Borrow Natural Light

Architecture, Explainers, Videos

With an increasing focus on sustainable design practices, the smart use of natural daylight in our homes is no longer a luxury — it has become a necessity. At the heart of any good daylighting strategy is a concept of “borrowed” light: the capture of light falling on the exterior of a home and transporting it to the spaces where it’s needed.

Lifetime Free 1st Class Air Travel Pass: A Disaster

Lifetime Free 1st Class Air Travel Pass: A Disaster

Business, Explainers, Videos

In 1982, American Airlines had an idea to offer a lifetime free first-class air travel pass to its wealthiest customers. The person holding this pass could fly on American Airlines at any time it wanted, to any destination it wanted, for as many times it wanted, for the rest of its life after paying a one-time fixed membership fee.

Google Maps Is Different Depending On Your Location

Google Maps Is Different Depending On Your Location

Explainers, Tech, Videos

If you go on Google Maps in Japan, the region between South Korea and Japan is shown as the “Sea of Japan”. However, if you’re using Google Maps inside South Korea, it will instead appear by the name “East Sea”. Two names for the same body of water on the same site.

The “New” Trend Of 8D Audio Explained; What Is It And How Is It Achieved?

The “New” Trend Of 8D Audio Explained; What Is It And How Is It Achieved?

Explainers, Innovation, Tech

The reality is that there’s no new technology but a technique that allows hearing sounds as if you were in the middle of it. That feeling of music that runs through your head, thanks to the use of headphones, is the result of equalization techniques, panning and effects combined together.

Why Is Chicken So Cheap?

Why Is Chicken So Cheap?

Explainers, Food, Videos

Chickens are the most populous bird on the planet. There are 23 billion of them at any given time – that’s ten times more than any other bird. It’s by far the fastest growing meat product but pound for pound the price of chicken has fallen sharply. How has this happened?

Why Are These Foods Named After Places?

Why Are These Foods Named After Places?

Explainers, Food

Chicken Kiev. Baked Alaska. London broil. Singapore noodles. When food is named after a city or country, you’d think this would indicate that the dish was either connected to or concocted in that place. But the reality is often lost in translation somewhere between an actual origin story and a marketing campaign.

No, You Don’t Really Look Like That

No, You Don’t Really Look Like That

Explainers, Tech

Every digital camera uses algorithms to transform the different wavelengths of light that hit its sensor into an actual image. What makes the iPhone XS’s skin-smoothing remarkable is that it is simply the default for the camera. Snap a selfie, and that’s what you get.

How Designers Engineer Luck Into Video Games

How Designers Engineer Luck Into Video Games

Apps, Design, Explainers

Fairness is the unspoken promise of most video games. Controlled by an omniscient and omnipotent designer, a video game has the capacity to be ultimately just, and players expect that it will be so. And yet, when video games truly play by the rules, the player can feel cheated.

Michael Crichton

Inspiration
Michael Crichton
How To Boost Your Home's WiFi

How To Boost Your Home's WiFi

Explainers, Tech

You may have a moment when you realize that your Wi-Fi just isn’t cutting it anymore — it could be a frozen video feed, a rainbow spinner on your screen, or a cry from your kids when their favorite game doesn’t load. Here are a few things you can do to get the most out of your bandwidth.

The Case For More Silent Meetings

The Case For More Silent Meetings

Business, Explainers, Videos

Talking meetings have much merit, but can also be subject to a host of problems. Current research supports the benefits of holding a “silent meeting” as one way of better leveraging the ideas, perspectives, and insights of organizational talent.

How To Tell If You’re Talking To A Bot

How To Tell If You’re Talking To A Bot

Apps, Explainers, Tech

It’s important not to be swayed by fake accounts or waste your time arguing with them, and identifying bots in a Twitter thread has become a strange version of the Turing test. Advances in machine learning hint at how bots could become more humanlike.

How Helsinki And Oslo Cut Pedestrian Deaths To Zero

How Helsinki And Oslo Cut Pedestrian Deaths To Zero

Cities, Explainers

They cut speed limits, changed street design, removed space for cars and generally made life harder for motorists. Now it appears the work is paying off. Oslo and Helsinki are reaping the rewards of committed action on making their roads safer, reducing pedestrian fatalities to zero last year.

The Economics Of Cruise Ships

The Economics Of Cruise Ships

Business, Economics, Explainers

For decades, cruise companies have gone to great lengths to bypass US employment laws, hiring foreign workers for less than $2/hour. They’ve sheltered themselves as foreign entities while simultaneously benefitting from US taxpayer-funded agencies and resources.

What Makes A Masterpiece?

What Makes A Masterpiece?

Art, Explainers, Videos

What do we mean when we call an artwork a masterpiece? Who gets to decide what becomes one? Who makes them? And is it still a constructive label to dole out when we talk about art? What Makes a Masterpiece?

The Economy Of Italy, Has The Luck All Run Out?

The Economy Of Italy, Has The Luck All Run Out?

Economics, Explainers, Videos

Once the seat of the roman empire, it is now home to a surprisingly robust yet temperamental economy. The economy of Italy followed a path very similar to that of Germany’s all be it with a little more flamboyancy which has found them where they are today.

What Happened To MoviePass?

What Happened To MoviePass?

Business, Explainers, Videos

MoviePass tried to change the moviegoing experience altogether, with a simple idea. For a monthly fee, subscribers could go to the cinema once a day, every day. Ironically, too many subscribers would eventually be a bad thing. MoviePass went from being a hit to entirely collapsing, in just 3 days. How?

Mystery Solved: We Now Know What's Going On In Area 51

Mystery Solved: We Now Know What's Going On In Area 51

Explainers

While fanciful stories of alien spaceships continue to captivate the public, as recent internet memes attest, there’s little doubt that Groom Lake’s actual activities are of considerable interest—sufficiently so that in April 2019 Russia even dispatched one of its treaty-authorized Tu-154M Open Skies surveillance planes to spy on the base.

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