Oh look, a nice juicy new YouTube link! But wait, is it safe to click in front of the kids? YouTube has changed the Internet and the way we digest it in many ways, but YouTube’s problem is the same one that comes with every crowd-sourced form of entertainment: Anonymity. Well, don’t you worry, nerdy parent. NWC has taken the dirty work out of finding the best nerdy family videos so you and your crew can take some safe, clean bites of the best crowd-sourced form of Internet entertainment.
1. Space Oddity by Chris Hadfield
Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield recently returned to Earth from a six-month stint as commander of the International Space Station. He has achieved aeronautical feats most of us can only dream of, but that’s not what makes him special to the Internets. During his downtime on the Space Station, he chatted live with classrooms and news stations across North America and Tweeted daily pics of Earth from space. The way he spoke to the public is informative and accessible, and his sense of wonder is contagious. He even played a song live with an elementary school band on his guitar from space.
The video that’s been crushing the YouTube charts this week is Chris Hadfield’s parting gift to us: the first music video filmed in space. He beautifully covers David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” with his own vocal stylings, which aren’t half bad. The shots of Hadfield were actually filmed in space, as were the gorgeous pans of a curved Earth. I dare you to watch this video without being overcome by an incredible sense of awe.
Even though this video is simply amazing, it was tough to pick the best Chris Hadfield video to put on this list. We strongly encourage you and the family to check out his other videos by clicking on his name or subscribing to his channel. What happens, for example, when you wring out a washcloth in space? Commander Hadfield has your curiosity covered.
2. How Special are Your Physical Traits? By BuzzFeedVideo
Can you roll your tongue? Do you have red hair? Have you ever wondered just how special your physical traits really are? This quirky video displays statistics of the physical traits we don’t give much thought to. The math and captions are fun to consider, but may be tougher for younger kids to grab the first time through. That’s the beauty of YouTube though. Pause, go back or fly right on by. The science in the video is interesting, but the overall effect is what makes it special. In the end, it’s clear that the physical characteristics we either possess or lack aren’t what make us special; it’s who we are as a whole. Two percent of adults may have blonde hair, but there’s never been anyone quite like you.
BuzzFeedVideo is another great channel to subscribe to for fast paced bites of mind-expanding information.
3. Jack Carroll With His Own Comedy Style By Britain’s Got Talent
“A lot of times in comedy, your weaknesses are your strengths,” peeped Jack Carroll as he was about to perform his stand-up routine. Jack is 14, has cerebral palsy and has become an international sensation after his appearance on the TV show Britain’s Got Talent. As if being a 14-year-old who has already mastered comedic timing isn’t enough, the way Jack deals with his physical challenges is absolutely heroic. Throughout his comedy routine, he does a lovely job of joking about his cerebral palsy in a way that is empowering and hilarious. “I know what you’re thinking,” he begins, “Harry Potter’s had a nasty quiddich accident.” Jack’s attitude is sure to fortify young and old against life’s challenges.
4. Super Cool Science Experiments You Can Do at Home by BuzzFeedYellow
Lots of science experiments claim to be “simple to do with things you already have.” The excitement of the potential experiment quickly turns to disappointment when, alas, the “things you already have” list is actually “things some people may have, but probably don’t and you’ll have to go to three different stores to get.” This two-and-a-half-minute video shows a few cool, fresh experiments you can really do with things you probably really have at home. Want to make a rubber bouncy ball out of an egg or see what sound waves really look like? Your pantry probably has exactly what you need. If it doesn’t, go shopping already, jeez.
5. PSY “Gentleman” Parody-Nerdy Man by Geekslayer73
To say that South Korean pop artist Psy’s “Gangnam Style” was a hit is like saying YouTube is just a website. There isn’t really a word in English to conceptualize how big a hit it really was. It was the first video on YouTube to ever receive more than a billion views, and has been called the most parodied song of all time. His new video for the song “Gentleman” set records as well; it has the most views ever received by a video in 24 hours. It was only a matter of time before all types of YouTubers came out of the woodworks with their own “Gentleman” parodies.
It’s probably a good idea to preview the original Psy video before showing it to your kids, but whether they’ve seen what the parody is referencing or not, it may still induce giggle fits. This parody plays up the nerd stereotype, but it’s done in good fun, carries Psy’s catchy tune, and is clean enough for the whole family to enjoy. If you had fun watching this parody, check out Psy’s “Gangnam Style,” then search for other Psy parodies and have a field day.