All week your faithful editors at Here’s Some Awesome will be selecting their favorites from the year! Some may be previously posted, some may be entirely new — but all represent the kind of awesome we’ve been happy to bring you guys all year long. Please enjoy, and happy holidays!
I’m just gonna come out and say it – this was my favorite video I posted this year. Something about it hit me really hard and it still pops to mind upon occasion.
But beyond all that shock, beyond all that hindsight of twenty-first century engineering, there is something tragically beautiful about the video in the same way that a eulogy is beautiful. It’s a video showing people’s lives through their deaths and near-deaths; of an understanding of who they are at their very core expressed directly through their passion – even if that passion eventually killed them. We should all be so lucky to die doing what drove us to live.
The Arab Spring was one of the most worldchanging events of the past year. People all across the world watched in anticipation, awe, and anger, as first a few, then a few hundre, then a few thousand stood up in unison to say “No more!” The repercussions will be felt for decades.
The primary video element is footage from the recent Egyptian revolution – personal and occasionally voyeuristic in its simplicity and access. For the audio, we hear Eddie Hazel’s single-take blues guitar solo from Funkadelic’s 1971 song Maggot Brain. And running through both the audio and video is Charlie Chaplin’s stirring climactic speech from his 1940 film The Great Dictator.
Oh TED talks, I’ve posted more than a few in the past year. Can you blame me though when you get gems like someone explaining the (mostly) complete history of the entire universe in 17 minutes?
I think it’s no surprise by now that I fly my nerd flag high. Amongst the other nerdy things that I gravitate towards, I’ve always had a love for the types of science that involve cosmological physics on a universal scale. Because of this, I have a rather…robust science book collection (and my apartment smells of rich mahogany…) so when I say that this is one of the best explanations I’ve ever come across as to how the universe got to its present point, it means I’m comparing it to no less than Stephen Hawking and Carl Sagan.
This is the second of two TED talks I’ll post today, and another that’s stuck in my head since I found it. I’ve long believed that there isn’t a single human issue that can’t be solved with the proper application of the Internet. Marcin Jakubowski and Open Source Ecology are taking this maxim to an end I could only imagine.
Our goal is a repository of published designs so clear – so complete – that a single burned DVD is effectively a civilization starter kit.
I’m ending with what’s maybe my favorite new webseries of 2011 – My Drunk Kitchen. Yes, it may be “just” Hannah, a laptop camera, and a fair bit of editing, but it goes to show that sometimes it’s less important how you make your show, and more important how you connect with your audience. Hannah is smart, engaging, charming, and altogether entertaining – expect to see more and bigger things from her over the coming years.
For some people, a kitchen is a place where wonders never cease. For others, it’s akin to Mordor: a place into which one simply cannot walk and expect to survive. For Hannah Hart, the kitchen is where one goes to drink heavily while playing with fire.
It’s been a fun year, Internet. Here’s to 2012 – may it be even more awesome than 2011.