Tag Archives: YouTube

ASAP Science Video: This is NOT NATURAL

this is not natural
Click to watch AsapSCIENCE’s video on YouTube

AsapSCIENCE has made an awesome video called This is NOT NATURAL based on the work I’ve been doing on this site. Watch the video and read the comments thread for some insight into the discussion (and misinformation) that spreads online regarding ‘natural’ and ‘healthy’ products.

One of the most upvoted comments is actually a thinly-veiled advertisement for a book called “The Coconut Oil Secret: Why this tropical treasure is nature’s #1 healing superfood”. Click through to their product page and you’ll see why the natural/organic sector needs more regulation, and why consumers need to be better-informed.

Check out the video below, or click here to visit the comments thread on YouTube.

Veritasium image

10 Best Science Channels on YouTube

1. Veritasium blows your mind by breaking misconceptions

2. Periodic Videos: experiments you’d love to do but can’t

3. SciShow blasts fun facts

4. Numberphile makes you LOVE mathematics

5. AsapSCIENCE: fascinating hand-drawn mini-tutorials

6. MinutePhysics: fascinating mini-Physics tutorials

7. Vsauce investigates fascinating questions

8. SmarterEveryDay explains cat-flipping, and more

9. Science Channel gives you the latest Science news

10. NASA gives you real-life science inspiration

Are there any that I missed from this list? Add them in the comments section below.

Best Chemistry Revision Resources

I teach VCE Chemistry at an awesome high-school in Australia. VCE Chemistry can be a difficult subject to learn, and the more help students get from different locations, the better they’ll do in an exam.

Here’s my list of the best Chemistry revision resources on the Internet:

1. Richard Thornley IB Chemistry (tutorial videos)

Richard Thornley IB Chemistry

My all-time favourite Chemistry tutor on YouTube. He’s accurate, succinct, and has a great sense of humour. He’s really easy to understand, even when he’s explaining advanced concepts. Great use of customised video gaming to simulate chemical concepts, too. 🙂

Richard Thornley’s YouTube Channel

2. Khan Academy (tutorial videos)

World-class tutorial videos from the legendary Sal Khan. Sal teaches you Chemistry right through to university level, so if you’re still in high-school, you’ll need to select the videos that are right for you. Easy to follow and the website is constantly being updated. Great community of Khan academy users are available in the comments sections to answer your questions 🙂

Khan Academy Chemistry Website
Twitter: @KhanAcademy

3. CrashCourse Chemistry (tutorial videos)

Crash Course Chemistry

Fast-paced revision videos that remind you of chemical concepts you’ve already learned. Probably too rapid for learning new content, but they make for very entertaining revision. Excellent graphics & excellent production.

Crash Course Chemistry YouTube Playlist
Twitter: @TheCrashCourse

4. Chemguide (revision notes)

Classic revision notes for the UK Chemistry syllabus. Covers every topic in depth, and with a really simple website layout. Timeless, comprehensive resource for all students and teachers.

Chemguide Revision Notes

5. Compound Interest (posters)

A brand-new Chemistry blog that explores the everyday relevance of chemical compounds. Their food poster series and “Chemistry of Colour” posters have gone viral, and they’ve even been selling Chemistry-themed spice-jar labels! Compound Chem produce high-quality graphics that stimulate more interest in Chemistry.

Compound Interest Website
Twitter: @CompoundChem

6. Chemisode (tutorial videos)

Jason Goudie guides you through VCE Chemistry with these video tutorials covering Units 1–4. He narrates over Keynote slides, and does practice questions with a camera over a pen & paper. The playlist takes a long time to finish, but it’ll teach you everything you need to know for high school. Designed for VCE Chemistry in Australia.

Chemisode YouTube Channel

7. Daria Kohls’ Chemistry Dropbox (Revision Cards)

Daria Kohls' Chemistry Dropbox

Awesome revision cards for A-level Chemistry. With one card for each Chemistry concept, this treasure trove of revision resources is a bit like VCEasy for A-level 🙂 Get the whole set from Daria’s Dropbox folder using the link below.

Daria Kohls’ Chemistry Dropbox
Twitter: @DaK_74

8. TED-Ed (mini-lessons)

Short, animated films explain Chemical concepts very well. Unfortunately, only about 10% of our high school course has been covered by TED-Ed’s lessons. In a few years’ time, this could become the best Chemistry resource on the web. Search for the topics you need.

TED-Ed Website

9. Fuse School (tutorial videos)

Absolutely awesome animated videos that explain chemical concepts. Covers about one-third of our high-school curriculum. Explained really clearly in a beautiful British accent, each video contains a couple of quiz questions.

Fuse School YouTube Channel
Twitter: @FuseSchool

10. Tyler DeWitt (fun tutorial videos)

Tyler DeWitt teaches by telling stories. He anthropomorphises cells and molecules, and gives them feelings as they collide, transform and form products. His classic TED talk (here) is indicative of his unique teaching style. Excellent material for Grades 9-11.

Tyler DeWitt’s YouTube Channel
Twitter: @tyleradewitt

11. chemistNATE (tutorial videos)

More great Chemistry videos from a popular teacher on YouTube.

chemistNATE’s YouTube Channel
chemistNATE’s Lessons & Worksheets Website

12. Brightstorm (tutorial videos)

Brightstorm produces very high-quality Chemistry videos using a whiteboard. Excellent scripting & production, and excellent teaching. Great website, too!

Brightstorm Chemistry Website

13. IsaacsTEACH (tutorial videos)


Produces tutorials rather like Khan Academy, except that you can see the teacher on the screen. Very clear explanations.

IsaacsTEACH YouTube Channel

14. Bozeman Science (tutorial videos)

Bozeman Science

Great video tutorials. Use the search box to find the topics you want to learn about.

Bozeman Science YouTube Channel

15. Talkboard (tutorial videos)


Very neat videos that explain a huge number of Chemistry topics. Very comprehensive; a valuable resource.

Talkboard Chemistry Website

Your suggestions…?

Have I left any out? Email your suggestions to jameskennedymonash@gmail.com or add your ideas to the comments form below.

—James 🙂

Chapter 4: Relative Atomic Mass & the Mole

These ‘chapter’ posts are not complete summaries or sets of notes. They are simply collections of supplementary resources that I recommend using in the classroom in addition to the textbook and any other assignments on the course. Most of the resources here are videos, but I will also occasionally put worksheets, quizzes, books, apps and games here as well.

4.1: Masses of particles

Watch the following introductory videos on relative atomic mass.

You no longer need to know the workings of a mass spectrometer because it’s been deleted from the VCE Chemistry study design. However, many schools still use older worksheets, which ask you to label the function of each part of the machine. Ask your teacher whether the mass spectrometer machine will be examined in your school’s Year 11 examination.

Mass spectrometer
Source: Piercenet.com

Even though knowledge of the mass spectrometer is not required, understanding how it works can help students to interpret the kinds of graphs that it produces. This video explains how the mass spectrometer works (beyond VCE level).

Here are some sample questions for you to try.

4.2: The mole

We have several ‘number-words’ in English. Examples include ‘pair’, which means ‘2’; ‘dozen’, which means ’12’, and ‘ream’, which means ‘500’. A mole is a very large number-word with a value of 6.02×1023.

The mole is also called ‘Avogadro’s number’.

Most important formula here is n = N ÷ NA

  • n is the number of moles in your sample;
  • N is the number of particles (either molecules or atoms);
  • NA is Avogadro’s number (6.02×1023).

Click here for the lesson that accompanies the above video.

4.3: Molar mass

Relative molar mass is the mass of a molecule, formula, isotope or atom compared to the molar mass of carbon-12, which has a molar mass of exactly 12.

The following are all forms of relative molar mass and have no units:

  • relative molecular mass (used for molecules)
  • relative formula mass (used for repeating structures such as crystals)
  • relative isotopic mass (used for single isotopes)
  • relative atomic mass (used for single elements that contain mixtures of isotopes)

Most important formula here is n = m ÷ M

  • n is the number of moles of particles in your sample;
  • m is the mass of the sample in grams;
  • M is the relative molar mass of your sample.

4.4: Percentage composition

Use the m-n-ratio method to find the percentage composition of any particular compound. A demonstration is shown below.

Read: Heinemann Chemistry 1 Chapter 4

Book: An Introduction to Chinese Philosophy

An Introduction to Chinese Philosophy
This book is advertised for $155 on the publisher’s website.

Just too scholarly. Buddhism backwards.
434 pages, ★

I’m a follower of the Venerable Master Chin Kung, a Buddhist teacher from Anhui Province in China. One highly memorable thing I learned from his lectures (which are all on YouTube), is the distinction between 学佛 (xue-fo) and 佛学 (fo-xue).

The distinction is much clearer in Chinese than English. The former, 学佛, describes the study of Buddhism with practice and spiritual belief. We can these students “Buddhists”. The latter, 佛学, describes Buddhism as an academic subject like chemistry. We can call those students “Buddhologists”. Even more beautifully, in Chinese, the words for “Buddhist” and “Buddhologist” are palindromes, implying that the latter of these opposing groups has learned Buddhism backwards.

The Venerable Master Chin Kung said:


In English, roughly:

We are Buddhists, not Buddhologists. To treat Buddhism as an academic subject amounts to learning nothing at all! When modern people make the mistake of studying Buddhism without practicing it in their everyday lives, they are failing to grasp Buddhism’s fundamental concepts [of compassion in our everyday lives]. This method is rotten to the core. Buddhology will forever be the wrong way to learn Buddhism.

Given that one of my most-respected teachers said that, how can I give this book any more than one star? It was also dry, academic, picky, and boring. Buddhism is supposed to make you feel good, but this book fails at that, too. Read Tiny Buddha or An Open Heart by the Dalai Lama instead. 

Book: The Fry Chronicles

The Fry Chronicles
Adult Stephen Fry. This book is the sequel to Moab Is My Washpot.

Witty and well-written but largely forgettable.
464 pages, ★★★★

In The Fry Chronicles, Stephen Fry details his adult life, starting from his leaving prison at age 20. It starts exactly where his last book, Moab Is My Washpot, finished. Within just a few pages, Fry matriculates at Queen’s College, Cambridge University, where he thrives academically and finds a passion for acting.

I’m young, so I’ve only known Fry for his most recent TV work (I am a fan of QI, and am happy that it’s all on YouTube for free). His acting career is something to which I really can’t relate (hence my subtitle—’forgettable’). I’m sure that actors, or avid theatre-goers could find this book much more interesting than I did.

For me, Fry’s writings about Cambridge University were the most interesting. While most of his writing is respectful and upbeat, he does indulge in a page-long witty rant about “Cambridge people”, as I call them, on page 111, starting with sarcasm:

“…Garden parties on every lawn in every college for the two weeks in June that are perversely designated May Week. Dining clubs and societies, dons, clubs and rich individuals serving punch and Pimm’s beer and sangria, cocktails and champagne. Blazers and flannels, self-conscious little snobberies and affectations, flushed youth, pampered youth, privileged youth, happy youth.”

The following paragraph juxtaposes that paragraph beautifully:

“Don’t be too hard on them. Suppress the thought that they are all ghastly tosspots who don’t know they’re born, insufferable poseurs in need of a kick and a slap. Have some pity and understanding. They will get that kick and that slap soon enough. After all, look at them now. They are all in their fifties some of them on their third, forth or fifth marriage. Their children despise them. They are alcoholics or recovering alcoholics. Drugs addicts or recovering drug addicts. Their wrinkles, grey, bald, furrowed and fallen faces look back every morning from the mirror, those folds of dying flesh bearing not a trace of the high, joyful and elastic smiles that once lit them. Their lives have been a ruin and a waste. All that bright promise never quite matured into anything that can be looked back on with pride or pleasure. They took that job in the city, that job with merchant bank, stockbroker, law firm, accountancy firm, chemical company, drama Company, publishing company, any company. The light and energy, the passion, fun and faith were soon snuffed out one by one. In the grind of the demanding world their foolish hopeful dreams evaporated like mist in the cruel glare of the morning sun. Sometimes the dreams return to them at night and they are so ashamed, disappointed that they want to kill themselves. Once they laughed and seduced or were seduced, on ancient lawns, under ancient stones and now they hate the young and their music, they snort with contempt at everything strange and new and they have to catch their breath at the top of the stairs.”

He adds a quick note to reassure the readers that his rant is over, and gets his writing style promptly back on track. I love it.

Thankfully, in this book, there’s no graphic sex. In fact, Fry takes pride in being celibate for many years straight (excuse the pun). It’s a more comfortable read than Moab Is My Washpot, and more witty, too. I give this book four stars, even if the only memorable part for me was his thoughts on stereotypical “Cambridge people”. ★★★★

Book: Gender Trouble (First Read)

What does this book say?

Judith Butler‘s complicated brain in prose. A conversation piece.
209 pages, ★★

I love women, but even I see Judith Butler’s brain as a incomprehensibly tangled mess.

As someone who persistently tried—and failed—to ‘fit in’, Judith Butler wrote Gender Trouble in an attempt to understand her own identity. She didn’t feel fully-accepted into any socially-constructed identity, so in Gender Trouble, she carved out her own.

I care less about what she writes than about why she writes it. Contemplating the differences between men and women on a philosophical level is pointless for most of us, but it would be of great inspiration to someone in similar shoes to the author. Actually, the author said in an interview, “Gender Trouble was an attempt to understand how my family and myself failed to comply with Hollywood norms”. Voilà.

“Gender Trouble was an attempt to understand how my family and myself failed to comply with Hollywood norms” — Judith Butler

My first impression was “this book is unintelligible”. I had a dictionary at hand for words like phantasma, cathexis, exogamy and phallogocentrism but not all of them were there. After 80 pages, I retreated to YouTube and Wikipedia in search of summaries and author interviews. I side-tracked onto Slavoj Žižek videos before going back to the book. Most of it still looks unintelligible to me.

Despite not really understanding this book, Gender Trouble made an excellent conversation piece. This book stimulated hours of discussion in my living room (even though nobody fully understood this book); we talked about sex, lesbians, equality, sexual identity, and most interestingly, why some people feel compelled to write books about it all.

One reading is clearly not enough. I missed 100% of the humour and 99% of the point. Maybe that’s because I’m a man. Or maybe it’s because I’m just stupid. I promise to read it again.

I prefer Slavoj Žižek as a philosopher. ★★