The Brain Scoop:
Sharks Sharks Sharks & More Sharks
I think it’s safe to say most people conjure up a picture of the great white when they think of sharks as a whole, which is a total shame since there are more than 440 known and described species of sharks and the diversity of those is impressive to say the least.
There are 12 living Orders of sharks, cartilaginous fish that fall into the subclass Elasmobranchii. Some sharks have beards. Some sharks are electric. Some have poisonous skin. And they are all 100% awesome.
Check out our last video from five consecutive calendar days dedicated to cartilaginous fishes - we hope you enjoyed the inundation of videos last week, and that our 19 minutes of programming proved to be a good alternative to sensationalism and mistruths.
I hope Rosianna will forgive me posting this video she made six years ago after meeting Hank and me for the first time.
Today, Rosianna Rojas is my close friend and colleague. (She is often called my assistant, but she does many things—from project management to helping shape the strategic direction of our educational and charity projects.)
And six years ago, when we met for the first time, she was a self-described fangirl.
This term has become pejorative—fangirls are dismissed for their over-the-top enthusiasm; they are described as rabid and obsessive and ridiculed for screaming/shaking/crying.
As pointed out in this great post by Emily, there’s a lot of misogyny involved in this way of imagining teenage girls and their interests. The truth is, many of the brightest and most enthusiastic young people today are fangirls, and if you’re a creator with those viewers/readers/whatever, you’re lucky as hell to have them. It’s not just that they’ll grow up to do important and fascinating work; they’re doing that work now, online and off, creating art and community and nonprofit initiatives and much else.
So Rosianna, on your birthday: Thank you. Thank you for watching vlogbrothers starting on January 1, 2007. Thank you for sharing your talents with the nerdfighter community all these years. Thank you for your professionalism and wit and unironic enthusiasm. I am your biggest fan.
I hear that it’s RESULTS DAY tomorrow. I have a video for that. I hope it helps
Lex gives us all great advice about what happens when a world ends.
Let us now discuss Ebola, meningitis, public health, and western-centrism.
I am recovering from meningitis but still a long way from feeling back to my regular self. I hope to be fully recovered in the next couple weeks, but between now and then I’ll be a bit less active than usual online.
Neat. Larry the Leucocyte and I made it onto a Vlogbrother’s video.
Menengitis sucks. Feel better, John! Hope the pictures, the monkey and your brother speed you on your healing process.
What a sweet video. Thanks to everyone who put stuff on their heads. Sorry about this whole viral meningitis thing. I am really trying to get better, but the meninges takes a while to de-itis, so your patience is appreciated.
During the World Cup fundraiser I promised to make a video in Spanish if we hit $5,000. Well, you got there! I also promised books and postcards to the people who got us there, and they are currently sitting in a corner of my room getting ready to be worked on and sent out. Sorry for the delay. It’s been a busy summer.
In which John continues the Nerdfighter Book Club’s discussion of Katherine Boo’s Behind the Beautiful Forevers. Are there unambiguous victories? How should we approach our understanding of and relationship with charities domestic and international? I look forward to reading all of your thoughts in comments when I get back.
In which buttons are confusing, but sometimes helpful.
I’m so bad at buttons.
In which John discusses his forthcoming trip with Bill Gates (yes, that Bill Gates), his health anxiety, the worldwide threat of mosquito-borne illnesses, health anxiety, Behind the Beautiful Forevers, the tyranny of Hollywood in re haircut frequency, and the arrival of pre-roll advertising on the vlogbrothers channel.
Are you overwhelmed by the plethora of art and art-related activities going on in the world? We’re here to help! Here are some ideas for how to learn about what’s going on in the world of contemporary art.
I’m also pleased to announce The Art Assignment Book Club! The first read will be Dave Hickey’s Air Guitar: Essays on Art & Democracy. Try to read it by August 1, and we’ll discuss it in a video soon after.
If you missed it, here’s my list of online art resources.
If you don’t want to buy Air Guitar or borrow it from your library, you can find a link to the titular essay here, and and another essay, “Romancing the Looky-Loos,” here. You can also read an interview with Hickey in The Believer.
In which John Green returns to teaching World History! This week, we’ll be talking about the idea of civilization, some of the traditional hallmarks of so-called civilization, and why some people would choose to live outside the civilization model. It turns out, not everyone who lives outside of what we traditionally think of as a “civilized” social order is necessarily a barbarian! To defuse any tension you may be feeling, I’ll just tell you now, the Mongols are back. You’ll learn about Zomia, swidden agriculture, and even a little about anarchy!
New vlogbrothers video! Our Old Friend Complexity: I talk about the role of luck in Katherine Boo’s Behind the Beautiful Forevers.