Chef John, master of the blog Food Wishes, is a god for the under-educated chef. He’s professional, no doubt, but makes both the very complex and the very simple approachable for those of us just graduating out of a Foreman Grill. He treats all dishes equally, be they simple comfort foods (like hash browns or mac and cheese) or storied culinary feats (like this curried flank steak or this home-made ricotta gnocchi). He also has the humor of your favorite high school teacher and is just judgmental enough to expect more of you.
2. Auto Care
If you’re anything like me, a car might as well be spaceship and mechanics might as well be crafty warlocks. You can salve that knowledge gap with Scotty Kilmer, a mechanic with over 40 years of experience. His lengthy and detailed collection of Youtube tutorials breaks down the complex, technical knowledge that can easily go over your head. From changing your spark plugs to checking your vacuum tubes for leaks with just a cigar, any car owner will benefit from his lessons.
3. Personal Finance
Many finance channels on Youtube are for those either close to retirement or the chosen few who already have a good handle on the bears and the bulls. Kiplinger, run by the magazine of the same name, is far more relatable for those just entering the real world. Their videos are short (though link to more detailed articles from their website), but serve as good introductions to everything from choosing a worthwhile state college to what to do if you win the lottery. These certainly aren’t sexy topics, but pretending debt and finances won’t effect you is like lying on train tracks.
4. Beauty and Fashion (For Ladies)
I’m not going to pretend to know the first thing about women’s fashion, so I called up a few fab-savvy friends of mine and they all mentioned Blair Fowler’s channel over any of the millions of makeup, hair, and fashion tutorials available on Youtube (she’s also currently sitting with a cool 1.6 million subscribers). Just watching a few of her videos, she seems relaxed and nonjudgmental while also giving out advice far above what supermarket checkout lines seem to give.
5. Beauty and Fashion (For Men)
As little as I know about women’s fashion, I probably know even less about men’s fashion. At least, that was before I found Alpha M. A style guru that won’t get you lost in the weeds of ascots and waist-tailored coats, Alpha M. gives immense help on not looking like a complete schlub. I absolutely despise buying clothes and am writing this wearing a t-shirt that came free with a box of deodorant and body wash that I didn’t even buy myself. But Alpha.m is helpful to even the laziest among us, teaching you how to pick the right style of sunglasses, cuff your pants correctly, and remove your own nose-hair.
6. Debate Like A Human Being
Spending too much time on Facebook and Twitter can make you forget that people can disagree on an issue without cursing one another’s very existence. Intelligence Squared is a rather prominent Youtube channel for the BBC/NPR program of the same name. Featuring top experts, scholars, and the rare pundit or two, Intelligence Squared fosters Oxford-style debates on a variety of topics, be it whether Jesus would have been a Democrat or if it’s morally wrong to pay for sex. The crowd votes before the debate where they fall on the issue as well as after. Whichever side sways the most minds over the course of the debate wins. If watching a bunch of old people not shout at each other is a bit intimidating, may I recommend their more digestible podcast.
7. Literally Everything Else
If you haven’t heard of or watched Vsauce yet, I’m not sure how you’ve even made it here, today, right now. Hosted alone by Michael Stevens, Vsauce is the most delirious show about science, history, and everything else one could imagine. An odd mixture of Radiolab, TEDTalks, and a guy who shows off how smart he is every time he drinks too much, Steven’s videos are addictive and educational in a way school never could be. Asking himself oddbal questions such as “why do we have two nostrils?” or “why don’t we taxidermy humans?“, Stevens runs off on epic (if scripted) tangents revealing knowledge about life, the universe, and everything. Once more, he’s really a testament to the sheer force of data available to all of us online as he seems to just google whatever he thinks of and finds the answers.
I’m not really sure what to call Alan Resnick. He’s either a comedian or a very lonely crazy person (he did just get an infomercial on Adult Swim so it would seem the former). His videos are perfect mockeries of the typical Youtube tutorial, like the above where he tries to split an avocado with a table saw or this video entitled “How To Get Coffee Drips From A French Press” which just features him madly beating a fan that is somehow covered in socks. Perfectly absurd and not at all educational.