19 Videos That Make Learning Fun

Labor Day generally marks the end of summer and the start of a new school year. These fun educational videos for all ages should ease the sting of returning to school and help make studying more enjoyable.


"Bad Romance: Women's Suffrage" by Soomo Publishing

This might be our favorite: a fantastic, well-produced women's suffrage parody of Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" from the educational publishing company Soomo.

"Gutenberg" by History for Music Lovers

The Hawaiian-based history teachers behind History for Music Lovers created this text-only video, a parody of Blondie's "Sunday Girl," to teach about the creator of the printing press. Visit their YouTube channel for more great history-based parodies of popular songs.

"Too Late to Apologize: A Declaration" by Soomo Publishing

Yes, it's a second video from Soomo, but they're both too good not to include. This parody of One Republic's "Apologize" was actually the first educational parody music video they produced; after its success (it has received more than 3 million views on YouTube), they created the "Bad Romance" video.

"The Animated Bayeux Tapestry" by David Newton of Potion Graphics

Originally a college project, this video brings the Bayeux Tapestry to life.

"Famous Last Words" by Ransom Riggs for mental_floss

Of course we had to include our own fun clip about some of history's most famous last words!


"Meet the Elements" by They Might Be Giants

This introduction to the scientific elements from They Might Be Giants is off the band's Grammy Award-nominated album Here Comes Science. Check out more of TMBG's videos on YouTube.

Bill Nye the Science Guy on Static Electricity

Visit TheRealBillNye on YouTube for more clips from the classic science show, and visit his web site for media and educational materials.

"Classification Rap" by T.H. Culhane

This video was made back in 1989, way before YouTube made it quick and easy to share educational videos. Culhane's Melodic-Mnemonic approach to education helped his at-risk students succeed in school; he has gone on to work with the State Department's Cultural Affairs program to hold science workshops around the world.


"Pi: Each and Every Time" by Ignite! Learning

The educational company Ignite! Learning created this song to explain the concept of pi.

"Calculus Rhapsody" by Paul Kirk & Mike Gospel

This parody of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" explains calculus. Click through to YouTube for the lyrics.


"The Countries of Your Planet" by Marco Polo

For more videos exploring the world from Team Marco Polo, visit their YouTube channel.

"50 States Song" by Mallory Lewis & Lamb Chop

Mallory Lewis, daughter of Lamb Chop's creator Shari Lewis, has picked up where her mom left off, and tours the country performing with the beloved puppet.

"50 State Capitols" by Wakko on Animaniacs

This is one of the most popular Animaniacs clips on YouTube, with more than 5 million views. (Judging by the comments, quite a few people watch the video to study for their tests.)


"History of English" by The Open University

This 11-minute video combines all 10 parts of Open University's video series on the history of the English language.

"Celebrities Sing Alphabet Song" by Sesame Street

Over the years, many celebrities have sung the alphabet song on Sesame Street. To promote the 2011-2012 season of the children's show, they released this celebrity compilation video. You can watch many more Sesame Street clips on the official YouTube channel.

"Conjunction Junction" by Schoolhouse Rock

Who can forget this classic from the popular animated educational series Schoolhouse Rock?


"Three Primary Colors" by OK Go on Sesame Street

The guys of OK Go teach kids about the three primary colors and how they mix. Watch more Sesame Street videos on the official YouTube channel.

"The History of Art in 3 Minutes" by

A brief and humorous overview of art history. Note: Contains some not-safe-for-children/work words.

"500 Years of Female Portraits in Western Art" by Philip Scott Johnson

This video, nominated as Most Creative Video for the 2007 YouTube Awards, depicts the evolution of the depiction of women in Western art over 500 years. Follow along with the list of artists and paintings. (This is also one of the most popular educational videos, with more than 92,000 views on Vimeo and more than 12 million views on YouTube.)

8 Things We Know About Stranger Things Season 3

[Warning: There are lots of Stranger Things season two spoilers ahead.]

Stranger Things season two is in the books, and like we all hoped, it turned out to be a worthy follow-up to an addictive debut season. Now, though, we’re left with plenty of questions, mysteries, and theories to chew on as the wait for a third season begins. But for everything we don’t know about what the next year of Stranger Things will bring us (such as an actual release date), there are more than enough things we do know to keep those fan theories coming well into 2018. While the show hasn't been officially greenlit for a third season by Netflix yet, new details have already begun to trickle out. Here’s everything we know about Stranger Things season three so far.


The third season of Stranger Things won’t pick up right where the second one left off. Like the show experienced between the first two seasons, there will be a time jump between seasons two and three as well. The reason is simple: the child actors are all growing up, and instead of having the kids look noticeably older without explanation for year three, the Duffer Brothers told The Hollywood Reporter:

“Our kids are aging. We can only write and produce the show so fast. They're going to be almost a year older by the time we start shooting season three. It provides certain challenges. You can't start right after season two ended. It forces you to do a time jump. But what I like is that it makes you evolve the show. It forces the show to evolve and change, because the kids are changing.”


If the series’s second season was about expanding the Stranger Things mythology, the third season won't go bigger just for the sake of it, with the brothers even going so far as to say that it will be a more intimate story.

“It’s not necessarily going to be bigger in scale,” Matt Duffer said in an interview with IndieWire. “What I am really excited about is giving these characters an interesting journey to go on.”

Ross Duffer did stress, though, that as of early November, season three is basically “… Matt and me working with some writers and figuring out where it’s going to go.”


The second season ended on a bit of a foreboding note when it was revealed that the Mind Flayer was still in the Upside Down and was seen looming over the Hawkins school as the winter dance was going on. Though we know there will be a time jump at the start of next season, it’s clear that the monster will still have a big presence on the show.

Executive producer Dan Cohen told TV Guide: "There were other ways we could have ended beyond that, but I think that was a very strong, lyrical ending, and it really lets us decide to focus where we ultimately are going to want to go as we dive into Season 3."

What does the Mind Flayer’s presence mean for the new crop of episodes? Well, there will be plenty of fan theories to ponder between now and the season three premiere (whenever that may be).


The Duffer Brothers had a lot of material for the latest season of the show—probably a bit too much. Talking to Vulture, Matt Duffer detailed a few details and plot points that had to be pushed to season three:

"Billy was supposed to have a bigger role. We ended up having so many characters it ended up, in a way, more teed up for season three than anything. There was a whole teen supernatural story line that just got booted because it was just too cluttered, you know? A lot of that’s just getting kicked into season three."

The good news is that he also told the site that this wealth of cut material could make the writing process for the third season much quicker.


Stranger Things already had a roster of fan-favorite characters heading into season two, but newcomer Erica, Lucas’s little sister, may have overshadowed them all. Played by 11-year-old Priah Ferguson, Erica is equal parts expressive, snarky, and charismatic. And the Duffer Brothers couldn’t agree more, saying that there will be much more Erica next season.

“There will definitely be more Erica in Season 3,” Ross Duffer told Yahoo!. “That is the fun thing about the show—you discover stuff as you’re filming. We were able to integrate more of her in, but not as much you want because the story [was] already going. ‘We got to use more Erica’—that was one of the first things we said in the writers’ room.”

“I thought she’s very GIF-able, if that’s a word,” Matt Duffer added. “She was great.”


The season two episode “The Lost Sister” was a bit of an outlier for the series. It’s a standalone episode that focuses solely on the character Eleven, leaving the central plot and main cast of Hawkins behind. As well-received as Stranger Things season two was, this episode was a near-unanimous miss among fans and critics.

The episode did, however, introduce us to the character of Kali (Linnea Berthelsen), who has the ability to manipulate people’s minds with illusions she creates. Despite the reaction, the Duffers felt the episode was vital to Eleven’s development, and that Kali won’t be forgotten moving forward.

“It feels weird to me that we wouldn’t solve [Kali’s] storyline. I would say chances are very high she comes back,” Matt Duffer said at the Vulture Festival.


We're already well acquainted with Eleven, and season two introduced us to Eight (a.k.a. Kali), and executive producer Shawn Levy heavily hinted to E! that there are probably more Hawkins Laboratory experiments on the horizon.

"I think we've clearly implied there are other numbers, and I can't imagine that the world will only ever know Eleven and Eight," Levy said.


Don’t be in too much of a rush to find out everything about the next season of Stranger Things; there might not be many more left. The Duffer Brothers have said in the past that the plan is to do four seasons and end it. However, Levy gave fans a glimmer of hope that things may go on a little while longer—just by a bit, though.

“Hearts were heard breaking in Netflix headquarters when the Brothers made four seasons sound like an official end, and I was suddenly getting phone calls from our actors’ agents,” Levy told Entertainment Weekly. “The truth is we’re definitely going four seasons and there’s very much the possibility of a fifth. Beyond that, it becomes I think very unlikely.”

Big Questions
Why Do Fruitcakes Last So Long?

Fruitcake is a shelf-stable food unlike any other. One Ohio family has kept the same fruitcake uneaten (except for periodic taste tests) since it was baked in 1878. In Antarctica, a century-old fruitcake discovered in artifacts left by explorer Robert Falcon Scott’s 1910 expedition remains “almost edible,” according to the researchers who found it. So what is it that makes fruitcake so freakishly hardy?

It comes down to the ingredients. Fruitcake is notoriously dense. Unlike almost any other cake, it’s packed chock-full of already-preserved foods, like dried and candied nuts and fruit. All those dry ingredients don’t give microorganisms enough moisture to reproduce, as Ben Chapman, a food safety specialist at North Carolina State University, explained in 2014. That keeps bacteria from developing on the cake.

Oh, and the booze helps. A good fruitcake involves plenty of alcohol to help it stay shelf-stable for years on end. Immediately after a fruitcake cools, most bakers will wrap it in a cheesecloth soaked in liquor and store it in an airtight container. This keeps mold and yeast from developing on the surface. It also keeps the cake deliciously moist.

In fact, fruitcakes aren’t just capable of surviving unspoiled for months on end; some people contend they’re better that way. Fruitcake fans swear by the aging process, letting their cakes sit for months or even years at a stretch. Like what happens to a wine with age, this allows the tannins in the fruit to mellow, according to the Wisconsin bakery Swiss Colony, which has been selling fruitcakes since the 1960s. As it ages, it becomes even more flavorful, bringing out complex notes that a young fruitcake (or wine) lacks.

If you want your fruitcake to age gracefully, you’ll have to give it a little more hooch every once in a while. If you’re keeping it on the counter in advance of a holiday feast a few weeks away, the King Arthur Flour Company recommends unwrapping it and brushing it with whatever alcohol you’ve chosen (brandy and rum are popular choices) every few days. This is called “feeding” the cake, and should happen every week or so.

The aging process is built into our traditions around fruitcakes. In Great Britain, one wedding tradition calls for the bride and groom to save the top tier of a three-tier fruitcake to eat until the christening of the couple’s first child—presumably at least a year later, if not more.

Though true fruitcake aficionados argue over exactly how long you should be marinating your fruitcake in the fridge, The Spruce says that “it's generally recommended that soaked fruitcake should be consumed within two years.” Which isn't to say that the cake couldn’t last longer, as our century-old Antarctic fruitcake proves. Honestly, it would probably taste OK if you let it sit in brandy for a few days.

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