Tom Scott

I thought about saying “secret patterns” or “mysterious patterns” in the title, but that’d be a lie: they’re just mostly unknown! So let’s talk about tactile paving, about design, about accessibility, and about those bumpy bits that you stand on when you’re crossing a British street. // Thanks to Richard Holmes and the team from
Your sports team wins. The confetti drops. And suddenly, the video quality falls apart. Why? Let’s talk about interframe compression, bitrate, and unnecessary green screen effects. I’m at https://tomscott.com on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at http://facebook.com/tomscott and on Instagram as @tomscottgo You might also like: How Green Screen Worked Before Computers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=msPCQgRPPjI This uses
Thanks to the British Museum! Go help choose their first YouTube series: https://youtu.be/luXVd6M-wQM The Rosetta Stone is one of the most famous archaeological finds in history: and it was the key to cracking Egyptian hieroglyphics. And while it took scholars years to work it out, there was one clue in there that helped unlock everything
In Gävle, Sweden, every year they build Gävlebocken, an enormous traditional Swedish Christmas straw goat. And every year, someone tries to burn it down. Here’s to holiday traditions. THANKS TO: Axel Wickman, @axelwickm on Twitter, for the post-burning photos of the goat from this morning! I’m at http://tomscott.com on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at
As far as I can find, no-one has actually made a International Standard Cup of Tea – ISO 3103 or BS 6008 – for the internet before. Lots of people have talked about it, but that’s easy. Making one? That requires precision… and some specialist equipment. You can buy a professional tea tasting set from
In the south-east of Estonia, there’s 800m of road where you can drive through Russia without a visa. We drove it. BONUS PARK BENCH: We Got Pulled Over By The Estonian Military: https://youtu.be/KCR2kHrr4oA This video has a correction: Further research revealed that the camera tower Matt spots is, almost certainly, just a regular cell tower.
Ipley Cross, in the middle of the New Forest, is one of the most dangerous road junctions in Britain. Why? • Thanks to Bez, whoever you are: their definitive article on this junction is here: https://singletrackworld.com/2018/01/collision-course-why-this-type-of-road-junction-will-keep-killing-cyclists/ Edited by Michelle Martin https://twitter.com/mrsmmartin Graphics by Mat Hill https://mat-hill.com ADDITIONAL SOURCES: Injured cyclist prompts fresh calls to tackle
http://tomscott.com – http://twitter.com/tomscott – The Delta Works, to the west of the Netherlands, are one of the modern wonders of the world. But there’s other, lesser-known infrastructure there too: including the Rozenburg Wind Wall, on the Caland Canal, which turns a dangerous, windy stretch of canal into a much more navigable bit of water. It’s
http://tomscott.com – http://twitter.com/tomscott – The Falkirk Wheel sits between Edinburgh and Glasgow, in the southern parts of Scotland, and it’s the world’s only rotating boat lift. There’s some very clever design going on here — and some physics that goes all the way back to Ancient Greece.
http://tomscott.com – Or: what you see when you die. If you liked this, you may also enjoy two novels that provided inspiration for it: Jim Munroe’s Everyone in Silico, where I first found the idea of a corporate-sponsored afterlife; and Rudy Rucker’s trippy Postsingular, which introduced me to the horrifying idea of consciousness slums.
Next to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is the Buitenschot Land Art Park, a giant set of ridges and furrows cut into the landscape. Yes, it’s art: but it also stops some local residents from being exposed to jet noise. More about the park: https://www.schiphol.nl/en/schiphol-as-a-neighbour/page/landscape-design-plan-to-combat-noise-nuisance/ I’m at https://tomscott.com on Twitter at https://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at https://facebook.com/tomscott and
Herman Sörgel wanted to create the largest civil engineering project the world has ever seen: a colossal dam across the Strait of Gibraltar, lowering the Mediterranean sea. There were, of course, a few problems with this. VFX by David ‘Hoolopee’ Post (http://youtube.com/hoolopee) Camera by Paul Curry (@cr3) I’m at http://tomscott.com on Facebook at http://facebook.com/tomscott on
There’s a reason music videos look strange. I could just talk about framerate, cuts and continuity… or I could get an actual music video director. And a leaf blower. Directed by: Sammy Paul https://twitter.com/icoepr Produced by: Cambria Bailey-Jones https://twitter.com/cambriabailey Guy Larsen https://twitter.com/thisisguido Director of Photography: Ciaran O’Brien https://twitter.com/ciaranobrien Featuring: dodie https://youtube.com/doddleoddle Dancers: Deepraj Singh Annie
http://tomscott.com – http://twitter.com/tomscott – There’s been a “Life Pro Tip” going around the internet lately saying that the numbers on toaster dials are actually minutes. I was so sure it was false. Oh, I was so sure. I got four toasters set to “2”, and I had one take to film it all in a
Switzerland has a reputation for being… not paranoid, exactly, but certainly careful with their own safety. Zurich exemplifies this: not just with its fallout shelters, but with an entire backup water system. Just in case the world ends. SOURCE (in German): https://www.stadt-zuerich.ch/dib/de/index/wasserversorgung/brunnen/Notwasserbrunnen.html I’m at http://tomscott.com on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at http://facebook.com/tomscott and on
This is a collaboration with the Royal Institution! Go check out their video here: https://youtu.be/sScrtGdKmho — Perpetual motion machines are badly named. And impossible. But that hasn’t stopped a lot of people trying to build them. Sure, you could try and argue physics: but there’s a more common-sense reason why free energy’s not coming any
http://tomscott.com – http://twitter.com/tomscott – In north-west Germany sits Bielefeld, a city complete with castle, cathedral and citizens. Just one catch: according to something that’s half urban legend, half in-joke, it doesn’t exist. Let’s talk about belief and Bielefeld.
I can show a brighter pink. I can show a more saturated pink. But I can’t show you this pink. Not quite. More about Stuart Semple and his pigments: https://www.culturehustle.com/ [that’s his store, we overloaded Stuart’s personal web site, http://www.stuartsemple.com, within a few minutes…!] (I reached out to Anish Kapoor’s studio twice for comment; I
Kerosene Creek is a natural hot spring near Rotorua, on the North Island of New Zealand. And there have been official warnings for years: don’t put your head under water. It turns out that “brain-eating amoebas”, naegleria fowleri, are a real, if rare, thing. Thank you to Associate Professor Siouxsie Wiles! Here are some of
In Helsingborg, Sweden, the Museum of Failure has just opened. It’s just one room, but inside, curator Samuel West has assembled some of the world’s greatest commercial disasters – and also a few things that just didn’t work out the way anyone planned. More about them: http://museumoffailure.se/ Edited by: Michelle Martin, @mrsmmartin I’m at http://tomscott.com
At the Computer History Museum, in Mountain View, California, there sits a small teapot. It’s the world’s most famous teapot, after a computer graphics researcher called Martin Newell digitised it. You’ve probably seen it: here’s its story. And thanks to the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California: you can visit them online here: http://www.computerhistory.org/
There’s a reason that a lot of planets in American science fiction look the same: they’re all filmed in the same places. But why those particular locations? It’s about money, about union rules, and about the thirty-mile zone — or as it’s otherwise known, the TMZ. Wikipedia on Vasquez Rocks: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_productions_using_the_Vasquez_Rocks_as_a_filming_location Camera: Matt Gray http://www.mattg.co.uk/
The Jelling Stones, thousand-year-old Viking runestones, sit in the town of Jelling in Denmark. They tell the tale of Harald Bluetooth: one of the first kings of Denmark. Here’s why his name is on your phone. I’m at http://tomscott.com on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at http://facebook.com/tomscott and on Snapchat and Instagram as tomscottgo Sources
Today’s guest video is from Grady at Practical Engineering! Go subscribe: https://www.youtube.com/user/gradyhillhouse The Hyatt Regency Hotel collapse was a disaster that changed engineering: it’s taught in colleges and universities as a way to make it clear: you check and double-check everything. Something that seems like a subtle change can cause a catastrophic failure if it’s
In Crawfordsville, Indiana, there’s a rotary jail: an invention that, with hindsight, should probably never have been built. But it was, here and in other towns across the United States. It might have sounded like a good idea on paper, but in practice, it had a few unfortunate problems… including occasional accidental amputations. More about