Tom Scott

Wunderland Kalkar, near the German-Dutch border, is a family amusement park… inside a nuclear power plant that was never turned on. Thanks to all the team at the park! Their web site is at https://www.wunderlandkalkar.eu/en The video from Zwentendorf: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUVZbBBHrI4 Edited by Michelle Martin (@mrsmmartin) Filmed safely: https://www.tomscott.com/safe/ I’m at https://tomscott.com on Twitter at https://twitter.com/tomscott
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http://tomscott.com – http://twitter.com/tomscott – This is the most ridiculous thing I’ve built in a long while: a full-size, real-life emoji keyboard, made of 14 keyboards and over 1,000 individually placed stickers. And yet, it’s got everything from Unicode 8 — but not yet the candidates from Unicode 9. I might need another keyboard for them,
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http://tomscott.com – http://twitter.com/tomscott – If you travel to Greenwich, stand on the famous Prime Meridian Line — which is marked with a physical line and a sculpture at the Royal Observatory — and look at your GPS, it won’t read 0° longitude. It’ll be slightly out. Who’s right? And why? Many thanks to my lovely
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The tourist guides promote it as Georgia’s Little Grand Canyon: but this is a scar on the Earth, caused by humans either not understanding or not caring about geology. Is it natural? Or man-made? Or both? I’m at http://tomscott.com on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at http://facebook.com/tomscott and on Instagram as tomscottgo
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The White Horse, in Uffington, is one of the oldest surviving works of art in Britain: carved into a hillside in Oxfordshire 3,000 years ago. Every year, it’s rechalked by volunteers co-ordinated through the National Trust, a line of maintenance going back to before England had written history. Thanks to all the National Trust team!
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In the Aljarafe region of Spain, there’s PS10 and PS20: concentrated solar power towers. They’re huge towers surrounded by heliostats: movable mirrors that track the sun and reflect its light onto a giant boiler. They are beautiful, but they’re also controversial: here’s why. I’m at http://tomscott.com on Facebook at http://facebook.com/tomscott on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott and
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The Global Vehicle Target is the new standard for testing autonomous driving and crash test systems. To cameras and radar, it looks like a car: but if you hit it, it’ll fly apart. So if your emergency braking doesn’t quite work… well, this is what happens. Thanks to everyone at Thatcham Research! You can find
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Yttrium, terbium, erbium and ytterbium were all named after one small town on the Stockholm archipelago. But it could have been different, and there could have been many other names. From a snowy bit of Sweden, and a mine that’s a historical landmark, let’s talk about discovery, chemists, and a man named Gadolin. Thanks to
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Did 18th century firefighters really let buildings burn? Sources below. ■ AD: 👨‍💻 NordVPN’s best deal is here: https://nordvpn.com/tomscott – with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Here’s the full, thoroughly referenced report: https://www.tomscott.com/corrections/firemarks/ Thanks to historical consultant Paul J Sillitoe: http://www.linkedin.com/in/paul-sillitoe-avi-consultants Thanks to Afonso Noronha for the email sparking this whole discussion! All the corrections on
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Over the North Atlantic, there’s no radar coverage: so how do air traffic controllers keep planes safe? The answer, at least in part, can be found at Nav Canada’s Gander Area Control Centre in Newfoundland. The North Atlantic Tracks are like freeway lanes in the sky, if freeway lanes were stacked a thousand feet on
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If you want to sell alcohol in England, you need a license. But the Licensing Act 2003 has some unusual exceptions. • Thanks to Marc and the team from the Axceler-8 Hovercraft Centre: http://hovercraftcentre.co.uk/ • Behind the scenes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQXqkBiqRCI Licensing Act 2003: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2003/17/contents Filmed safely: https://www.tomscott.com/safe/ Camera: Matt Gray https://mattg.co.uk Logistics and original idea: Jonty
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Thanks to Betty from Articulations! Go see her video on the ISO Standard Exit Sign here: https://youtu.be/i5uSlAw8U9s – and pull down this description for links to all her sources. The St Lawrence Burns were a series of deliberate fires in the soon-to-be-demolished village of Aultsville, Ontario, which was due to be flooded to make way
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At the JET reactor at Culham Centre for Fusion Energy — http://ccfe.ac.uk — I talk to the engineers about fusion power, being the hottest place in the solar system, deliberate disruptions, and about the surround-sound speakers that give a diagnostic test you might not expect. Thanks to everyone at CCFE! They hold occasional open days:
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[UPDATE: This video has an important update! As of February 2022, the deadline for paths has been cancelled. The mapping still continues, and there’s still a plan to have a definitive map, but old rights of way will no longer be wiped: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2022/feb/17/deadline-to-register-englands-footpaths-cancelled-after-public-access-campaign ] The Icknield Way, in south-east England, is a road and footpath
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The brown marmorated stink bug is an invasive pest. To help deal with its numbers, the Oregon Department of Agriculture is releasing its natural enemy: the tiny samurai wasp. There’s a lot of work that goes into it. ▪ Thanks to all the team at the ODA, and to Chris Hedstrom for the macro footage.
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In Porthcurno, Cornwall, there’s an old telegraph cable landing station. It’s how Britain talked to the Empire — and it’s now a museum. But the technology here isn’t quite as obsolete as you might think. Thanks to Steve and all the team at the Porthcurno Telegraph Museum! You can find out more about them here:
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There are rules in the English language that you’ve probably never been taught, but you know anyway: how to split apart words with “infixes”. But you’ve never been taught it because some of those infixes are words you probably shouldn’t use in front of your high school English teachers… Written with Molly Ruhl and Gretchen
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With many, many thanks to all the team at DP World London Gateway (http://londongateway.com – http://twitter.com/LondonGatewayUK )! This isn’t a sponsored video: they just went above and beyond to make sure this looked good, and I’m so grateful to them. On main camera was Matt Gray (http://mattg.co.uk – http://twitter.com/unnamedculprit) – you can see the full
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The answer is, of course, a bit more complicated than you might think. • Written with Molly Ruhl and Gretchen McCulloch. Gretchen’s podcast has an episode all about this: https://lingthusiasm.com/post/154520059101/lingthusiasm-episode-1-speaking-a-single-language Gretchen’s book BECAUSE INTERNET, all about the evolution of internet language, is available: 🇺🇸 US: https://amzn.to/30tLpjT 🇨🇦 CA: https://amzn.to/2JsTYWH 🇬🇧 UK: https://amzn.to/31K8eRD (Those are affiliate
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There’s a link from a 13th century legend, to a 16th century insult book, to a 19th century writer, to a 20th century comic book hero. And it starts in a small village near Nottingham, in the time of Robin Hood. Here’s why Batman comes from Gotham City. (I am reliably assured that the modern-people
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Yes, it’s only micrograms of difference, but it’s still really weird: until 2018, the kilogram is defined as “the weight of this physical object”. So what happens when that object changes? Thank you to everyone at the National Physical Laboratory! You can visit them at http://npl.co.uk I’m at https://tomscott.com on Twitter at https://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook
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Welcome to the US National Ice Core Laboratory in Denver, Colorado, where there’s a giant freezer filled with 20km of ice cores from Greenland and the Antarctic. Here’s why. Thanks to everyone at the US National Ice Core Laboratory! You can find out more about them here: http://icecores.org/ The Ice Core Laboratory is supported by
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I’m visiting the University of Iowa’s National Advanced Driving Simulator, to answer a question: how unsafe is it for me to vlog while driving? Is vlogging while driving dangerous? The team at the simulator are the experts to ask. More about the National Advanced Driving Simulator: https://www.nads-sc.uiowa.edu/sim_nads1.php or on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DrivingSim Camera operator: Jasmine Putney
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In 1834, Parliament burned down, and the Standards of Measurement were melted or destroyed. So when there’s no agreed-upon standard for length: how do you fix it? Also: how you can still publicly check the length of your sandwich. Filmed safely: https://www.tomscott.com/safe/ There’s a correction to this video: the fraction on screen at 00:49 should
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The Montreal Olympic Sports Centre has a 20m (65ft) diving board. That’s twice the Olympic height. Why would anyone need that? ◾ The Centre: https://parcolympique.qc.ca/centresportif/en/ ◾ Thanks to @Lysanne Richard Edited by Michelle Martin https://twitter.com/mrsmmartin I’m at https://tomscott.com on Twitter at https://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at https://facebook.com/tomscott and on Instagram as tomscottgo
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Surely water simulation can be done with computers now? Well, not quite. At the University of Sherbrooke, there’s an artificial research river, and I asked them to start it up. ▪ The University’s civil engineering department: https://www.usherbrooke.ca/gcivil/ Edited by Michelle Martin https://twitter.com/mrsmmartin With thanks to Sherbrooke team members Basem (who also flew the drone!) and
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No, it wasn’t called “hacking” back then: it was called “scientific hooliganism”. Let’s talk about Marconi, Nevil Maskelyne, and a demonstration that didn’t go as planned. And go check out the Royal Institution’s channel! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFfRqoIdArM&index=3&list=PLbnrZHfNEDZyfUXqroIlSf2hOznnThqM0 I’m indebted to Sungook Hong’s wonderful book “Wireless”, which helped me track down some of the more obscure sources here
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There’s a lot of articles written about how tap water in Warsaw is constantly tested by a small team of clams. It felt like a hoax to me: so I went to find out. ▪ Thanks to MPWiK Warsaw: https://www.mpwik.com.pl/ Producer: Marcin Krasnowolski https://polishfixer.com Camera: Michał Opala Editor: Michelle Martin https://twitter.com/mrsmmartin I’m at https://tomscott.com on
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Over on the RAF Starrship channel, I’m talking about the history of radar: https://youtu.be/VDC_RCh0ws8 – but over here, we’re testing a 90-year-old piece of technology that was meant to be part of Britain’s air defence. The Sound Mirrors, on Romney Marsh, were built in the late 1920s as a way to amplify the sound from
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At the Swiss Military Museum in Full, there’s the last remaining example of a 1970s tank-driving simulator. But there’s no virtual worlds here: it’s connected to a real camera and a real miniature model. ■ More about the museum: https://www.festungsmuseum.ch/ Camera: Tobias Buchmann Producer: Sebastian Capeda at Viven https://viven.ch Editor: https://www.davestevenson.co.uk/ Audio mix: Dan Pugsley
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Oodi, the new Helsinki Library, has robots to help reshelve books. They get a lot of press attention. But they’re not the important part of the library: here’s why. Thanks to all the team at Oodi: https://www.oodihelsinki.fi/ Edited by Michelle Martin (@mrsmmartin) With thanks to librarian-YouTuber Peter Musser for script checking: https://m.youtube.com/channel/UC37J30wHpQOtc1vzuN6OdDA/videos I’m at https://tomscott.com
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The Gotthard Base Tunnel in Switzerland is 57km long: and I think its greatest piece of safety equipment is nowhere near the tunnel itself. ■ Thanks to Swiss Federal Railways https://www.sbb.ch/ – drone filming near the tracks was specially approved with railway staff. ■ For tours into the Gotthard Tunnel and to the visitors’ window,
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http://tomscott.com – http://makerfaireuk.com The Maker Faire: “a weekend of cool robots, garden-shed inventions, knitted wonders, and the occasional fireball”. This is the 2011 Faire, held in the Newcastle Centre for Life from March 12-13, condensed into thirty seconds of shouted excitement.
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The Doppelmayr Garaventa Monorack is a decades-old product. I’ve no idea how I missed it before. But for the third video in the Monorail Trilogy, this isn’t an advert: I’m just happy to be proved wrong. ▪ More about the Monorack: https://www.doppelmayr.com/products/monorack/ Previously, Wuppertal in 2016: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4KZLcvMQWg (I’m not proud of this video — the
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Sometimes, you regret asking a question. • Win your Ultimate Tech Bundle by entering Fasthosts’ Techie Test here: https://www.fasthosts.co.uk/tomscott Thanks to Graham Haerther for the main audio mix, and for recovering the terrible sound in my echo-filled flat! (For the folks asking: I’m not planning to release the ranked list — partly because “ranked list
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The treadwheel crane, or treadmill crane, sounds like something from Astérix or the Flintstones. But at Guédelon in France, not only do they have one: they’re using it to help build their brand new castle. ▪ More about Guédelon: https://www.guedelon.fr/ Camera: Simon Gillouin Editor: Michelle Martin https://twitter.com/mrsmmartin Producer: Axel Zeiliger https://block8production.com I’m at https://tomscott.com on
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