On the endless uses of YouTube

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Now for those of you out there who only watch kittens playing the piano or daredevils hurtling down mountains on their bikes on YouTube, let me inspire you to look around the site a bit further, the next time you drop by.

Here are just some of the videos you can find on the site:

  1. Instructional: There are scores of very patient people out there, uploading videos that teach anything from knitting socks to building a tree house for your kids.

  2. Sports: Work out to any number of generous instructors uploading their videos for free. How about morning yoga, or training the body part of your choice, to the workout of your choice? Or look for a video of the latest fitness craze and try it out at home first 😉

  3. Animals: I mentioned the kittens, some more useful videos are about training you dog (did I mention YouTube is international as well?) for example.

  4. Fashion: How to wear anything, like a scarf.

  5. Gardening: Don’t even get me started here, this is by far the most used subject for me on YouTube. Something cool here.

  6. Art: A myriad of artists upload videos to teach you technique or how to handle genres like outdoor portrait photography.
  7. Lastly many NGOs are active on YouTube, as well as well as non-profits like the TED conference. I highly recommend the TED talks to all who are curious about our world and its possibilities.

How about commenting on the unexpected things you found on YouTube? Looking forward to your post!

P.S.: Unfortunate that YouTube is about to block indie artists 😦

 

 

 

 

 

For the Da Vinci Cursed out there

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If you are at all interested in science or history check out Citizen Science.

I already participated in two of the projects:

1. The hour of garden birds by the NABU, Germany

I downloaded the app and sat in the garden for one hour with my mom and counted all the species of birds we could see. A few weeks later the results of 41.000 participants counting birds in gardens and parks were published. I haven’t felt so proud in a long time! 🙂

2. Micro Pasts

More for the patient sort, Micro Pasts is a project by the British Museum (among others) asking participants to mask photos of artefacts for 3D rendering and digitising old hand written index cards.

I studied at university. In Germany studying at university used to enable you to work in academia. You weren’t supposed to wander off onto the general job market but apply your teachings to research and to advancing the work in your chosen field.

There are many reasons young Germans who were educated to become scientists end up working in a different field and a different job. That does not mean we aren’t still scientists at heart.

Enter Citizen Science. Scientific projects that are crowd sourced. You can participate in the scientific advancements of your time even if you thought you left academia behind for ever.

Never mind non-academic people like my mom who enjoy participating in big projects that make science approachable and much more understandable than endless articles in obscure scientific journals. No more questions of “Yes, that seems interesting, but what does it do for me?” My mom was completely happy to have devoted one hour of her time to find out why we have fewer Blackbirds in our garden this year.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject:

  1. Have you participated in projects such as these?

  2. Do they exist in other countries?

  3. How do you think crowd funding will change the research we conduct?

Looking forward to hearing from you!

 

 

 

For professional KnowItAlls

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Books, Books, glorious Books,

good for the brain, can drive you insane!

What brought this on, you ask?

Blinkist

Fall out:

30 books in two days! I forgot to eat and snapped at my mom that I needed to READ and she should leave me alone before I realized that you can use this service for a year (instead of three days) when you login with Xing.

What is it:

Real people summarise technical and self-help books on this site into texts that can be read in 15 Minutes! Enough to make a Bookaholic and knowledge junkie like myself go a little nuts.

What to do:

There really is nothing left to say except: Sign up, try it out and do it on a weekend, when the social carnage will be kept to a minimum.

Enjoy!

Smartphones aren’t the big, bad wolf

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So…I’ve been watching my parent’s, friends’ and colleagues use of smartphones from afar until now. With the NSA, potential new bosses googling party pics in Facebook and hacked accounts left and right I wanted to bide my time. I knew how to secure my data on my laptop, but smartphones seemed like funnels to let the whole world share your info, whether you wanted them to, or not.

But now, you see, I have a smartphone, inherited though 🙂

To feel secure, the first thing I did was research security apps. That meant a firewall (I’m happy with Firewall ohne Root from Grey Shirts), a crap cleaner (Clean Master from Cheetah Mobile, cleans all the little bites and bobs that you don’t need in the long run and just slow you down) and a little widget my phone has that tells me which apps are running at the moment (very handy when wanting to control battery life).

So now that I felt the marauding hackers weren’t going to steal my phone numbers I was ready to try out any and all free apps on offer!

Here are some I thouroughly enjoy:

  • Aldiko: Calls itself a book reader. But you can import PDFs too and import books from any catalogue you choose, like for example the Gutenberg Project.
  • Komoot: A nifty little bike navigation App. Even if you don’t have WiFi on the road, it’ll tell you “you’re off course, I can’t recalculate because the WiFi’s off, but the route is 300m to your left” which is handy when you get too distracted by the sceenery to listen to the bluetooth.
  • Mono Bluetooth Router: Lets my jabbering phone talk to my bluetooth ear bud, so I can use the navigation without crashing into a tree, because I was staring at my phone.
  • MDScan Lite: Now, you knew that your phone has an excellent camera, yes? Well this App recognizes the document, crops it and saves it to your phone. Bye, Bye Scanner!
  • Erste-Hilfe-App: From Malteser, in case you don’t remember the training you had when you got your driver’s license!

So much for now, enjoy and have fun!

 

P.S. Please understand that if you choose to try these Apps you do so at your own risk.