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.

How '1917' Was Filmed To Look Like One Shot

How '1917' Was Filmed To Look Like One Shot

Explainers, Media, Videos

“1917” stars George MacKay, Dean-Charles Chapman, Colin Firth, and Benedict Cumberbatch and was filmed to look like one continuous shot. Cinematographer Roger Deakins explains how he and director Sam Mendes did it, from digging up a mile of trenches to attaching cameras to cranes and drones.

The Completely Correct Guide To Reclining On An Airplane

The Completely Correct Guide To Reclining On An Airplane

Explainers, Life

One of the touchiest subjects in all of air travel is the seat recline. To some, leaning your seat back on a flight is a no-brainer. Why wouldn’t you take that precious spare space for relief? For others, the sight of the seat in front barreling toward them is a living nightmare.

The 10/10/10 Rule For Tough Decisions

The 10/10/10 Rule For Tough Decisions

Business, Explainers, Life, Psychology

It’s good to sleep on it when there are tough choices to make, but you also need a strategy once you wake up–which is why you should employ the 10/10/10 rule. How will we feel about it 10 minutes from now? How about 10 months from now? How about 10 years from now?

Former FBI Agent Explains How To Detect Lying & Deception

Former FBI Agent Explains How To Detect Lying & Deception

Crime, Explainers, Videos

There are a number of myths about detecting deception. Fidgeting, looking away, touching your mouth, all of these things are commonly thought to be practices that indicate deception. Jim Clemente, former Supervisory Special Agent for the FBI, explains why that isn’t always the case and how people like him can decipher what these indicators really mean.

How Airlines Make Meals For Thousands Of People

How Airlines Make Meals For Thousands Of People

Explainers, Food, Videos

For many people economy class used to mean soggy pasta, rubbery eggs and dried-out chicken. For a time U.S airlines even stopped serving free meals altogether in economy class. But in 2019 U.S. airlines posted their tenth straight year of profitability and premium and economy cabins are seeing more food options than ever before.

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.

How Ads Follow You Around The Internet

How Ads Follow You Around The Internet

Explainers, Tech, Videos

You’ve seen the pop-ups: “This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Please accept cookies.” Without cookies, the online world we know today couldn’t exist. But that world relies on advertising, which gives three kinds of companies a strong incentive to track your online behavior.

Bashir Sultani

Inspiration
Bashir Sultani
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?

How Emotional Intelligence Boosts Your Endurance

How Emotional Intelligence Boosts Your Endurance

Explainers, Health, Life, Psychology

People who test highly on emotional intelligence tend to be successful in many walks of life. What’s less clear is if testing someone’s emotional intelligence tells you something new about their prospects that you wouldn’t get from testing more traditional things like their IQ and “Big Five” personality traits.

Why Your Brain Hates Slowpokes

Why Your Brain Hates Slowpokes

Explainers, Health, Life, Psychology

The high speed of society has jammed your internal clock. Not long ago I diagnosed myself with the recently identified condition of sidewalk rage. It’s most pronounced when it comes to a certain friend who is a slow walker.

Human Population Through Time

Human Population Through Time

Explainers, Videos, World

It took 200,000 years for our human population to reach 1 billion—and only 200 years to reach 7 billion. But growth has begun slowing, as women have fewer babies on average. When will our global population peak? And how can we minimize our impact on Earth’s resources, even as we approach 11 billion?

Here’s How Nicotine Affects Your Brain

Here’s How Nicotine Affects Your Brain

Explainers, Health

With such a focus on the physical concerns around vaping, the main psychoactive ingredient in e-cigarettes, nicotine, is often left out of the conversation. The addictive drug can boost your cognition and won’t give you cancer, but that doesn’t mean it’s safe for casual use.

Why Bigger Planes Mean Cramped Quarters

Why Bigger Planes Mean Cramped Quarters

Business, Economics, Explainers

The current Boeing 737s, the world’s most flown craft, are all longer than the original by up to 45 feet. And yet, on the inside, we’re getting squeezed. That’s because more space doesn’t equal more space in Airline World. It equals more seats—and typically less room per person.

How We’ll Forget John Lennon

How We’ll Forget John Lennon

Explainers, History, Media, Psychology

The report, “The universal decay of collective memory and attention,” concludes that people and things are kept alive through “oral communication” from about five to 30 years. They then pass into written and online records, where they experience a slower, longer decline.

Nikolay Schegolev

Inspiration
Nikolay Schegolev
How Pink Salt Took Over Millennial Kitchens

How Pink Salt Took Over Millennial Kitchens

Explainers, Food

Although pink Himalayan salt is perfectly functional for its intended culinary purpose—making food salty—it’s never before been particularly prized or venerated for its quality. That makes its meteoric rise from food-world also-ran to modern lifestyle totem all the more unlikely.

How You Can Survive — And Thrive In — Midlife

How You Can Survive — And Thrive In — Midlife

Explainers, Life

After two years of research and more than 400 interviews about midlife, former NPR reporter Barb Bradley Hagerty received dozens of insights about how to live well in the middle years. We’ve distilled them here, with a little context.

How Lego Became The Apple Of Toys

How Lego Became The Apple Of Toys

Business, Explainers, Long Reads, Tech

In the last 10 years, Lego has grown into nothing less than the Apple of toys: a profit-generating, design-driven miracle built around premium, intuitive, highly covetable hardware that fans can’t get enough of. An exclusive look inside the company’s top-secret Future Lab.

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?

How To Work From Home Without Losing Your Mind

How To Work From Home Without Losing Your Mind

Business, Explainers, Life

Working from home has its perks. You’re always there to accept deliveries. You can play whatever music you want as loudly as you want. You don’t have to abide the loud chewing or ungracious smells of your colleagues. But you also have to contend with the Scylla and Charybdis of isolation and distraction.

Why America Doesn’t Win Wars Anymore

Why America Doesn’t Win Wars Anymore

Explainers, Politics, World

Dominic Tierney believes the US can still successfully fight the wars of yesteryear — World War-style conflicts — but hasn’t yet mastered how to win wars against insurgents, which are smaller fights against groups within countries. The problem is the US continues to involve itself in those kinds of fights.

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.

Michael Crichton

Inspiration
Michael Crichton
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.

How Fish And Chips Migrated To Great Britain

How Fish And Chips Migrated To Great Britain

Explainers, Food, History

When Portugal fell under Spanish rule, the Inquisition targeted individuals with Jewish lineage. As religious violence worsened, many Jews fled Portugal and resettled in England, bringing with them culinary treasures founded in Sephardic cuisine—including fish. Peshkado frito was one of them.

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.

It’s Not You. Phones Are Designed To Be Addicting.

It’s Not You. Phones Are Designed To Be Addicting.

Apps, Explainers, Tech, Videos

Today’s phones are hard to put down. Push notifications buzz in your pocket, red bubbles demand attention, and endless distractions sit at your fingertips. It can feel impossible to pull away from. The 3 design elements that make smartphones so hard to put down, explained by Google’s former design ethicist.

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.

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.

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