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June 12, 2015

200+ Best Free Snag Films Documentaries


Unfortunately as of May 2020 SnagFilms has shut down. They had a good run!

SnagFilms.com is a great resource for free streaming movies boasting over 10,000 free movies you can watch with limited commercial interruption. One genre they excel at is documentary and we went through all of their documentary categories in depth to pick out over 200 of the best documentaries that they have available. We've added these docs to our LearnOutLoud.com Free Documentaries Collection which features over 2000 quality free documentaries. You can browse over 200 of the best documentaries from Snag Films right here:

Over 200 of the Best Free Documentaries from Snag Films

Note: As far as we know users outside of the United States cannot play Snag Films movies right now. Sorry!

We've gone through this Snag Films list and selected some of the documentaries we thought our audience might be particularly interested in. Check out these worthwhile docs:

The 5 Keys to Mastery - Examine how to succeed with successful people like Carlos Santana, B.B. King, Stephen Tobolowsky, Linus Torvalds, Julius Axelrod, Wendy Rieger, and more.

6 (and a half) Secrets of Love - Documentary featuring love gurus John Gray and Pat Allen.

Afterlife - Peer into the afterlife as it is explored through modern scientific research.

The Atomic Cafe - Famous documentary utilizes historic footage to humorously show the horrors of the atomic age and the Cold War.

Ayn Rand: In Her Own Words - This film provides Ayn Rand's own recollections and reflections.

Bring Your A Game - A collection of prominent African American voices examine the plight of black men and boys.

Capturing the Friedmans - Award winning film casts an intimate look at this peculiar American family.

The Corporation - A critical examination of the institution that has come to dominate the planet.

Crazy Wisdom: The Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics - A look at this history of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University started in 1974 by by Allen Ginsberg, Anne Waldman, Gregory Corso, Chцgyam Trungpa Rinpoche, and many other well known poets, artists, and intellectuals.

Decoding Deepak - Spiritual guru Deepak Chopra has a critical eye turned on him by his son, filmmaker and journalist Gotham Chopra.

Drugs Inc. - National Geographic series covering a variety of drugs including crack, ecstasy, hallucinogens, and more.

Father Thomas Keating: The Contemplative Life - Learn about the life of Father Thomas Keating and his practice of "centering prayer".

Feng Shui: Creating Environments for Success and Well-Being - Discover the ancient Chinese art of Feng Shui and bring harmony into your environment.

Heaven on Earth: Buddhism

Heaven on Earth: Christianity

Heaven on Earth: Hinduism

Heaven on Earth: Islam

Heaven on Earth: Judaism

Heaven on Earth: Paganism
- Series of brief documentaries explores 5 major World religions and paganism.

In Another Life: Reincarnation In America - A look at reincarnation from top experts in the fields of reincarnation research, past-life therapy, and Eastern spirituality.

The Incredible Human Body - National Geographic unveils many amazing examples of the power of our human bodies.

Killer At Large: Why Obesity is America's Greatest Threat - An overview of the politics and social effects of America's obesity epidemic.

Leonard Bernstein Omnibus - Learn about music from one of the greatest conductors of all time about music in this series of talks and performances by Leonard Bernstein.

The Nature of Existence - Ambitious documentary on the meaning of life.

Nelson Mandela: Free at Last - Chronicle of Nelson Mandela's freedom struggle.

Ram Dass: Answering Life's Questions - Spiritual teacher Ram Dass takes a shot at life's most pressing questions.

Remembering - Documentary all about human memory.

Ronald Reagan: Rendezvous with Destiny - Doc on the popular president hosted by Newt and Callista Gingrich.

Secret Fear - Documentary explores the full spectrum of anxiety-related disorders, from panic attacks and phobias to obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Truth in Numbers? Everything, According to Wikipedia - A look at the enormously popular encyclopedia website.

Uncorked: Wine Made Simple - Learn the basics of wine in this informative documentary.

The Weather Underground - Fascinating documentary on the radical left-wing organization that formed in 1969.

Waiting to Inhale - Doc looks at the heated debate surrounding marijuana and its use as medicine in the United States.

Super Size Me - Popular documentary by Morgan Spurlock featuring him eating only McDonald's food for 30 days.

Yoga, Inc. - Documentary on the business of yoga and what may be lost in the process.


May 17, 2015

100+ Best Free Documentaries on Hulu


Note: Hulu's free ad-supported movies have now been removed from their site. Sorry!

Hulu.com is known for their TV shows, but they also feature a lot of great movies including many documentaries. We went through their full documentary catalog and picked out the highest quality documentaries we could find to add to our LearnOutLoud.com Free Documentaries Collection. The result is over 130 quality documentaries that you can watch for free with limited commercial interruption.

You can browse all the Hulu.com documentaries right here:

Browse Over 130 of the Best Free Documentaries on Hulu.com

Here are some of the best documentaries on Hulu.com:

3 Magic Words - A spiritual documentary focused on life's big question, "Who am I?".

American Dream - Academy Award-winning documentary film from 1990 covering an unsuccessful strike in the heartland of America against the Hormel Foods corporation.

Ayn Rand and the Prophecy of Atlas Shrugged - A look at Ayn Rand's famous book and it's vision of America.

Capitalism: A Love Story - Michael Moore's take on American capitalism in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.

Charles Bukowski: Born Into This - Good portrait of the novelist and poet "laureate of American lowlife".

Examined Life - Documentary featuring philosophers such as Cornel West, Avital Ronell, Peter Singer, Kwame Anthony Appiah, Martha Nussbaum, Michael Hardt, Slavoj Žižek, and Judith Butler.

Happiness Is - Documentary on the pursuit of happiness featuring His Holiness The Dalai Lama, Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp as well as happiness authors Daniel Gilbert, Gretchen Rubin and Darrin McMahon.

Hell House - Interesting look behind-the-scenes of a Christian-themed haunted attraction, in Cedar Hill, Texas.

Hoop Dreams - One of the greatest documentaries ever made from acclaimed documentary filmmaker Steve James.

John Wooden: Values, Victory, and Peace of Mind - UCLA basketball coach John Wooden spreads his recipe for success in this documentary.

King: Man Of Peace In A Time Of War - A salute to Dr. Martin Luther King featuring Colin Powell, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Quincy Jones, and many more celebrated figures.

Koyaanisqatsi: Life Out of Balance - Unique documentary film that features no words and focuses on nature and its clash modern day living.

Looking for Fidel - Academy Award winning director Oliver Stone sits down with Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

OC87: The Obsessive Compulsive, Major Depression, Bipolar, Asperger's Movie - Self portrait of Bud Clayman who struggles daily living with mental illness.

The Secret - The worldwide phenomenon is here on Hulu!

Style Wars - Classic 1983 documentary on graffiti and hip hop culture in New York City.

Trinity and Beyond: The Atomic Bomb Movie - Amazing and terrifying archival footage covering the history of nuclear weapons between 1945 and 1963.

Waco: The Rules of Engagement - Academy Award nominated documentary on the role the government played in the 1993 "Waco Siege" on the Branch Davidian church.

What the Bleep Do We Know!? - Documentary blends fiction and nonfiction along with popular science and spirituality to examine the connection between quantum physics and consciousness.

Enjoy these and many more documentaries from Hulu.com!


February 20, 2015

Watch HBO's The Weight of the Nation

In this excellent HBO documentary series being offered for free through YouTube, HBO filmmakers focus on the American obesity epidemic. Throughout the documentary health and nutrition experts are interviewed along with everyday people that are overweight or obese. The filmmakers travel the whole country to collect stories about all sorts of topics related to food and obesity. The documentary is in four parts but the episodes are basically all separate documentaries unto themselves so you can choose whichever ones you're most interested in.

This 4-episode documentary starts out in "Part 1: Consequences" cataloging the massive health consequences of obesity from heart disease to type 2 diabetes. They look at why since the 1980s the amount of overweight and obese individuals in the US has risen to over two-thirds of the population.

In "Part 2: Choices", the documentary takes a turn in the self-help direction focusing on what individuals can do to combat obesity including reducing caloric intake, eating healthier, and exercising more. Many obese individuals who have significantly lost weight are interviewed and they present the many creative ways in which they have gone about losing weight and keeping it off.

In "Part 3: Children in Crisis", the documentary turns its eye on the astonishing rise of childhood obesity and the many health dangers posed by this epidemic, including the sobering fact that this younger generation may have shorter life spans than their parents. The episode covers the pernicious and predatory marketing of junk food to children, the sad state of school lunches, and the decline of required physical education in schools. It also looks at how certain parents are getting involved in these matters and taking active roles confronting obesity when it comes to their children.

In "Part 4: Challenges", the documentary covers the history of the food industry in the United States and the current climate of food production we live in. It looks at the fast food industry and the cheap processed foods that are keeping prices low, but escalating health care costs in the long term. The role of government is addressed as they continue to provide farm subsidies for corn, soy, and the cheap foods that are generally contributing to making the population obese. In the end the nation faces a series of difficult challenges when it comes to addressing obesity, but this documentary does offer some signs of hope.

Watch over 2000 more free documentaries in our free documentary section:

Browse Over 2000 Free Documentaries in Our LearnOutLoud.com Free Documentaries Collection


February 5, 2015

1000 Best Documentaries on YouTube

manwithmoviecamerablog.jpgIf you've not checked it out yet, we encourage you to dive into our new LearnOutLoud.com Free Documentaries Collection featuring over 2000 of the best free documentaries that you can watch for free online. You can start browsing by clicking below:

Browse Over 2000 Free Documentaries in Our New LearnOutLoud.com Free Documentaries Collection

In this collection we feature many, many documentaries from YouTube. But we didn't just put up any documentary we found there, as there's a lot of junk. Instead we spent weeks sifting through YouTube docs to come up with the "1000 Best Documentaries on YouTube". We've compiled most of them together here:

Browse Over 1000 Free Documentaries from YouTube

In this blog we'll try to cover some of the best documentaries that we've added that are available on YouTube. Where should we start? Well there are many providers that offer numerous documentaries for free on YouTube, so let's start with some of those.

Great Museums Television - Offers a dozen documentaries on great museums in the United States.

National Geographic - Offers about 20 documentaries on a variety of topics.

New Atlantis - We've added 8 of their documentaries covering subjects around the World.

VICE Documentaries - We've added 7 of their most popular documentaries covering subjects around the World.

Other providers who feature many documentaries on their channels in playlists include:

The New York Times Documentaries

Naked Science Documentary Series

Pure History Specials

The Hollywood Biographies Collection

Treasures of New York

Truly Califorinia Documentaries

Learning Matters Documentaries

Now we'll get into some of the individual documentaries. We'll start with some of best longer documentary series we found:

Civilisation: Complete Series - 1969 documentary by Sir Kenneth Clark presenting an epic examination of Western European culture.

People's Century - This twenty-six part television series, broadcast on PBS in 1995, offers new insight into the turbulent events of the 20th century through the revealing personal testimony of the people who were there.

Simon Schama's Power of Art - 7-part BBC series covering famous artists from Caravaggio to Picasso.

Free To Choose - 9-hour 1980 PBS television series featuring Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman attempting to make people understand the close relationship between the ideas of human freedom and economic freedom.

Heritage: Civilization and the Jews - Monumental nine-part series spanning three millennia of Jewish history and culture from PBS in 1984.

Howard Goodall's Story of Music - 6-part BBC documentary chronicling the history of music.

Cold War - 18-hour documentary examining The Cold War, narrated by Sir Kenneth Branagh and aired on CNN in 1998.

The Weight of the Nation - 4-part HBO documentary series examining the obesity epidemic in America.

And we could go on and on listing these epic documentaries, but now we'll give you a list of some of the best feature length documentaries, generally lasting 2 hours or less. In order of year released, here is a list of interesting individual documentaries you can watch on YouTube that we've added to LearnOutLoud.com:

Nanook of the North (1922) - Considered to be the first feature-length documentary. Directed by Robert J. Flaherty.

Man with a Movie Camera (1929) - Voted in 2014 by Sight and Sound magazine as the best documentary film of all time. Directed by Dziga Vertov.

War Comes to America (1945) - Part seven of the orientation series "Why We Fight" called "War Comes to America" which tells the tale of a reluctant America drawn into battlegrounds of World War II.

Primary (1960) - Groundbreaking 1960 Direct Cinema documentary film following John F. Kennedy and Hubert Humphrey in the 1960 Wisconsin Primary election. Produced by Robert Drew, shot by Richard Leacock and Albert Maysles, and edited by D.A. Pennebaker, the film was a breakthrough in documentary film style.
Ladies and Gentlemen... Mr. Leonard Cohen (1965)

Mahatma: Life of Gandhi, 1869-1948 (Abridged) (1968)

The Eagle Has Landed (1969)

Malcolm X: His Own Story as It Really Happened (1972)

Future Shock (1972) - Fun doc on the effects of "too much change in too short a period of time", hosted and narrated by Orson Welles. We feature a number of documentaries narrated by the great Orson Welles: Documentaries & Audiobooks Narrated by Orson Welles on LearnOutLoud.com.

The Great Ecstasy of the Woodcarver Steiner (1974) - Great documentary on ski-jumper Walter Steiner, from the great documentary filmmaker Werner Herzog. Check out more Werner Herzog documentaries we feature here: Werner Herzog Documentaries on LearnOutLoud.com

Scared Straight (1978) - Academy Award Winning documentary on inmates scaring juvenile delinquents out of a life of crime.

The Day After Trinity (1980) - Humbling documentary on J. Robert Oppenheimer and the Atomic Bomb.

Heavy Metal Parking Lot (1986) - A real fun time in the parking lot before a Judas Priest concert.

The Blind Watchmaker (1987) - One of a number documentaries we feature by evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins.

The World Within: C.G. Jung in His Own Words (1990)

Krishnamurti: With a Silent Mind (1990)

A Brief History of Time (1992) - Documentary on cosmologist Stephen Hawking, directed by awarding-winning documentary filmmaker Errol Morris.

Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media (1992)

Philip K. Dick: A Day in the Afterlife (1994)

The Quest: Discovering Your Human Potential (1996)

Martin Luther King, Jr.: The Man and the Dream (1998)

Friedrich Nietzsche: Beyond Good and Evil (1999) - Three-part "Human, All Too Human" BBC documentary television series on three great philosophers also includes:
Martin Heidegger: Thinking the Unthinkable
Jean Paul Sartre: The Road to Freedom

Anthony Robbins: The Secret of His Success (1999)

Philosophy: Guide to Happiness (2000) - Hosted by philosopher Alain de Botton.

Inside North Korea (2001)

A History of God (2001) - Hosted by Karen Armstrong.

Martin Luther: Driven to Defiance (2003) - Two-part PBS Empires documentary.
Martin Luther: Reluctant Revolutionary

Control Room (2004)

Jonestown: The Life and Death of People's Temple (2006)

Zeitgeist: The Movie (2007)

HOME (2009)

Living in the End Times According to Slavoj Zizek (2010)

How Weed Won the West (2010)

The Mystery of Memory (2011)

Life in a Day (2011)

Oliver Stone's Untold History of the United States: The Bomb (2012)

The Clash: Audio Ammunition Documentary Series (2013)

And there are just way more documentaries from YouTube that we've added. But we'll stop there. You can continue browsing here:

Browse Over 1000 Free Documentaries from YouTube

Enjoy 1000 of the best documentaries available on YouTube!


January 30, 2015

2000 Free Streaming Documentaries

FreeDocumentariesBlog.jpgIt is with great excitement that we present to you the LearnOutLoud.com Free Documentaries Collection! After months of seeking out great educational documentaries to feature, we finally present to you over 2000 of the best free documentaries that you can watch for free online (along with some documentaries on audio). You can dive right in by clicking below:

Browse Over 2000 Free Documentaries in Our New LearnOutLoud.com Free Documentaries Collection

Please Note: Some of the documentaries in our free documentary section may not be viewable to those outside of the United States. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Maybe we'll start with how many of documentaries we've added in each LearnOutLoud category:

Over 200 Free Art & Entertainment Documentaries

Over 475 Free Biography Documentaries

Over 50 Free Documentaries on Business

Over 120 Free Education & Professional Documentaries

Over 425 Free History Documentaries

Over 50 Free Documentaries on Literature

Over 15 Free Philosophy Documentaries

Over 300 Political Documentaries

Over 130 Free Documentaries on Religion & Spirituality

Over 275 Free Science Documentaries

Over 100 Free Documentaries on Self Development

Over 240 Free Social Sciences Documentaries (Including Over 50 Free Psychology Documentaries)

Over 70 Free Documentaries on Sports & Hobbies

Over 50 Free Documentaries on Technology

Over 40 Free Travel Documentaries

Now we'll feature some of the great providers of documentaries which we've added, starting with the Public Broadcasting Service. PBS features many great documentary series like Frontline, American Experience, NOVA, and more. Browse some of these PBS documentaries by clicking below:

Browse Over 150 Free PBS Documentaries That We've Added

Browse Over 160 Free Frontline Documentaries

Browse 30 American Experience Documentaries

Browse 50 Documentaries from PBS Nature

Along with PBS we also feature some great documentaries from the National Film Board of Canada. The NFB offers 100s of their films for free online and we've picked out 50 to feature:

Browse 50 of the Best Documentaries from the National Film Board of Canada

Beyond that we went through the free documentary sections of sites like Hulu.com and SnagFilms and picked out the very best educational documentaries they have to offer. These documentaries are available for free with limited commercial interruption:

Browse Over 130 Free Documentaries from Hulu.com

Browse Over 230 Free Documentaries from SnagFilms

Browse Over 50 Free Biographical Documentaries from Biography.com

And we feature many, many documentaries from YouTube. We've compiled most of them together here:

Browse Over 1000 Free Documentaries from YouTube

Along with video documentaries, we even feature some audio documentaries from American Public Media's American RadioWorks:

Browse Over 100 Free Audio Documentaries from American Public Media's American RadioWorks

So that's a start. We'll feature more of the individual documentaries in future blog posts, but for now start browsing and streaming!


July 11, 2014

Art Appreciation Videos

Hoping to enrich your knowledge of art history, but unsure of where to start? With this selection of free videos, podcasts, and audiobooks, LearnOutLoud.com has collected a great primer designed to boost your art appreciation on all levels. Here you will be introduced to the finest painters and sculptors, and will get guided tours of the world's great architectural achievements. From Roman architecture, to Renaissance painting, to 20th century avant-garde developments and everything in between, these resources bundle together the most important eras, movements, and aesthetic trends in one place. Learn more by clicking any of the links below!

1. Art History Time Line

Take a journey through the History of Art with this free video course from the Otis College of Art and Design. This course comes with great visual accompaniments of the works of art being discussed. In this free 2 hour, 27 episode video series called "Art History Time Line". Professor Jeanne Willette takes you from the cave paintings to Romanticism in this video course. Each episode lasts about 5 minutes and covers a specific period in Art History. Learn about famous periods such as the Renaissance, the Baroque, Neo-Classicism, and Romanticism.

2. Modern Art History

You can watch 13 lectures from the Modern Art History course which is being offered through YouTube from the Otis College of Art and Design. In these lectures Dr. Parme Giuntini, Director of Art History at Otis College of Art and Design, covers many schools of modern art including Realism, Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, Art Nouveau, and more. She also provides the political and social context which these art movements arose from. Enjoy this free, 5-hour introduction to Modern Art from the Otis College of Art and Design.

3. Smarthistory: Art History at Khan Academy

With the Smarthistory series of YouTube videos, the Khan Academy presents over 500 brief art history lessons on a variety of subjects. Two unscripted art historians, Dr. Steven Zucker & Dr. Beth Harris, guide you enthusiastically through subjects that include the ancient architecture of the Greeks, paintings by van Dyck, Vermeer, and Bruegel, and modern works, such as Maya Lin's Vietnam Memorial. In addition to getting a valuable art lesson, the speakers also bundle their commentary within a historical context that gives the viewer a well-rounded understanding of a given piece.

4. Roman Architecture

Get an introduction to Roman Architecture with this free course available on audio & video from Yale University. Professor Diana E.E. Kleiner takes you on a historic journey through Rome, Pompeii, and other sites in Italy, along with notable structures throughout the Roman Empire. She covers a wide variety of Roman buildings illustrated with over 1,500 images. Although the slide presentation isn't ideal (she points them out projected on a wall), it is still recommended you watch this architecture course on video.

5. Art History Podcast

LearnOutLoud.com's Art History Podcast highlights over 20 of the greatest works of Western painting. From "The Birth of Venus" painted by Sandro Botticelli in 1486 to "The Gleaners" painted by Jean-Francois Millet in 1857, you'll learn about great paintings with selections from many art criticism books throughout history. Podcasts are enhanced with the image included along with high quality PDFs of the image on the podcast feed. Learn about the best painting from the masters like Leonardo da Vinci's "Mona Lisa", Michelangelo "The Last Judgment", and Rembrandt's "The Night Watch". Enjoy this free podcast from LearnOutLoud.com. We've also posted our YouTube playlist of these podcasts to the page.

6. Art History in Just a Minute Video Podcast

This entertaining video podcast covers one famous work of art in detail for each podcast. Currently host Christopher Witcombe has analyzed Leonardo DaVinci's Mona Lisa and The Last Supper. The videos are well produced and they provide some fun facts about the paintings you may not have heard before. Hopefully there will be more to come from this art history video podcast.

7. Art History Survey

Dr. Vida Hull's "Art History Survey" course covers the history of painting, architecture, & sculpture from the Renaissance all the way up to the 20th century. This 36-hour course is neatly divided into lectures that focus on specific artistic periods such as the Italian Renaissance, Dutch Baroque, Impressionism, and so much more. Dr. Hull also focuses certain lectures on individual artists from Leonardo da Vinci to Rembrandt, and many more giants of Western art history. The lectures are recorded specifically for video with clear slide show presentations that present the works of art in detail. Dr. Vida Hull presents the material with passion and clarity and it sounds like the best free introductory art history course out there!

Here are four other art history courses being offered by Dr. Vida Hull:

Italian Renaissance

Medieval Art

Northern Renaissance Art

Women Artists


June 24, 2014

History and Future of Space Travel Videos

Since the 1960s, humanity has seemed destined for Space, but how are current scientists planning to keep us there? With this list of 6 free audio and video resources, LearnOutLoud.com traces the history and future of space travel. Here you will find a history of NASA hosted by Neil Armstrong, learn how we plan to put humans on both the Moon and eventually Mars, and find out how scientists are planning out the next 100 years of space exploration. From the rocket age, to the Space Shuttle program, to the Mars Rover, to our next great adventures in the Solar System, we've got it covered here. Click below to get started:

1. Future of Space Travel

Theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking marks NASA's 50th birthday by giving his hopes for the future of space travel in this streaming video lecture provided by C-SPAN. Joined by his daughter Lucy, Hawking makes the case for why the human race should reach for the stars, arguing that it will completely change our perspective on our own planet, and may actually determine if our species has a future at all. After plotting out a 200+ year plan that starts with the moon, moves on to Mars, and then contemplates eventual interstellar travel, Hawking speculates on the alien life we may encounter and explores why we haven't made contact just yet. The talk offers a wonderful vision of the future from a man dedicated to exploring the cutting edge of what's possible for mankind.

2. NASA's Vision for Human Space Exploration

In this streaming discussion provided by the Forum Network, Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist and host of the hit show Cosmos, discusses what has stalled recent space exploration and what strategies we might employ to get us moving towards the stars again. The 2003 Columbia disaster gave cause for many in the government to reassess NASA's mission statement. Then President George W. Bush announced a bold new initiative to launch man to the Moon, and eventually Mars. However, as DeGrasse Tyson points out, the drivers we had in the past, such as the space race in the 1960s, are no longer existent, and the motivation to fund such a huge endeavor has been slight. In the discussion, he lays out various ways private industries can help lower the costs of space travel and convert the space program into a space industry that will move us forward.

3. Space Exploration: The Next 100 Years

In this streaming video panel discussion from MIT, three space experts make their predictions about what the next 100 years will bring when it comes to exploring space. They talk about potential ways to make space travel cheaper and more accessible along with power point presentations of images to help us visualize some of these developments. The talk is quite informal, and the lecturers have fun with it. There's a lot of interesting topics addressed such as the state of the U.S. space program, the possibilities of asteroids hitting the earth, and much more.

4. The Eagle Has Landed (1969)

Over forty years ago the Apollo 11 landed on the moon carry astronauts Neil Armstrong, Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, and Michael Collins. This 30-minute 1969 documentary from the National Archives depicts the Apollo 11 mission from launching through post-recovery activities. The National Archives features five more documentaries about the space program in the 1960s and their mission to go to put a man on the moon including The John Glenn Story (1963), Assignment, Shoot the Moon (1967), America in Space - The First Decade (1968), Within This Decade (1969), and Debrief: Apollo 8 (1969). You can watch these documentaries on streaming video on YouTube.

5. The Quest for Mars

For this streaming video lecture released by MIT World, Mars mission specialist Jim Garvin discusses how NASA plans to explore the Red Planet in the coming decade. After disappointing technical failures in the late 90's, the Mars team made headway with its rover missions, and here Garvin details how forthcoming missions will take advantage of burgeoning technology to continue the search for life on our neighbor's surface. Garvin makes a convincing argument for how a more complete understanding of Mars may offer invaluable insight into the way life operates outside the confines of earth.

6. Neil Armstrong Hosts NASA 50th Anniversary Documentary

Neil Armstrong will forever be known as the first person to walk on the Moon. In commemoration of Neil Armstrong and the whole NASA space program, NASA TV has posted to YouTube their documentary on the 50th Anniversary of National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Hosted by Neil Armstrong and featuring dozens of great American astronauts and scientists, this 90-minute documentary gives us a whirlwind tour of NASA since its formation in 1958. The documentary features amazing imagery and classic footage from the history of NASA, and it is available to watch on high definition video. From the Apollo missions of the 1960s, the Skylab space station of the 1970s, the Space Shuttle of the 1980s, the Hubble Telescope of the 1990s, and all the way up to the creation of the massive International Space Station in the 2000s, this documentary is a great introduction to the history of NASA complete with fun popular music of each era. Enjoy this look back at some of the greatest scientific achievements in the past 50 years.


June 21, 2014

Famous Science Fiction Authors Discuss Their Work

The science fiction genre has long offered a playground for creative writers to explore what the future of humanity might look like. In this list of 8 free video talks, we dedicate space for famous science fiction authors to discuss their work. Beginning with a historical overview of the genre, we feature titles that delve into the craft of science fiction, and then devote space to lectures and talks from famous SF authors. Names showcased here include sci-fi luminaries such as 2001 author Arthur C. Clarke, an evening with Fahrenheit 451 author Ray Bradbury, and modern masters such as Snowcrash author Neal Stephenson. Learn more about the speculative fiction of the future by clicking any of the links here:

1. An Evening with Ray Bradbury

Renowned science fiction author Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles) gives aspiring writers some encouraging insight in this short lecture provided on streaming video by UCTV. Beginning with a list of essential practices he feels all writers should adhere to, Bradbury then demonstrates how events and people in his personal life fed his classic stories. Inspiring, funny and delivered with irreverent wisdom, Bradbury's account of his career is a sincere argument for "writing what you know". This talk is available on streaming video through YouTube.

2. Arthur C. Clarke's 90th Birthday Reflections

Science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke passed away yesterday at the age of 90. In this brief video supplied by TVE Asia Pacific, Clarke reflects on his life from his home in Sri Lanka as he turned 90 in December of 2007. He considers the great achievements in space travel which he saw during his lifetime and is hopeful that space travel will be something that many can enjoy in the future. He also provides three wishes for the planet as he surpasses his 90th orbit around the sun. This video is available through YouTube.

3. Isaac Asimov in Conversation

In this streaming archived interview, scientist and science fiction author Isaac Asimov discusses his craft and gives thoughts on the future of humanity. A large amount of time is devoted to Asimov's autobiography, and the importance he found in keeping a daily diary. He then answers questions on where his ideas come from, how he manages his work load, and how science fiction writers in particular are charged to push boundaries. Asimov also offers speculation on where human beings are headed and meditates on how our natural curiosity is sometimes undercut by self-destructiveness.

4. Neal Stephenson: Science Fiction as a Literary Genre

Cutting edge science fiction writer Neal Stephenson attempts to assess SF as legitimate literature in this lecture from Gresham College. Beginning with an interesting dissection of how genre itself has splintered and found separate niches within various popular entertainment mediums, he then illustrates how SF in particular has settled into itself as "idea porn" for a generally intelligent readership. In the end Stephenson claims that science fiction fans exemplify a societal trend towards knowledge specification; a world where everyone is a genius (or geek) in one specific area. This talk is available on streaming video from FORA.tv.

5. Douglas Adams: Parrots, the Universe, and Everything

Immerse yourself into the mind of Douglas Adams. The author The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy graced the world with one final appearance just days before his tragic death from a heart attack on May 11, 2001. Delivered at the University of California, Santa Barbara, Adams discusses his own personal favorite of his books Last Chance to See about his travels to faraway lands to see firsthand many endangered animal species such as the Aye-aye lemur of Madagascar, the Komodo dragon on the island of Komodo in Indonesia, and the Yangtze River Dolphin in China. With his own hilarious insights he describes these animals and his wild travels to observe them. He ends the talk by urging humanity to envision their place in the world in a way that can sustain all species including humans. This talk is available through YouTube on streaming video and video download.

6. William Gibson and the Decline of Cyberspace

William Gibson, the forefather of "cyberpunk" science fiction, discusses genre, changing technology, and future trends in this streaming interview. Gibson started his writing career as an avid science fiction fan, but came to his first book, Neuromancer with a list of genre conventions he swore he'd never bring to his own work. The resultant mix of science fiction, detective noir, and cultural satire provided a potent mix that infused SF with new life in the 1980s and has proved influential on subsequent writers such as Neal Stephenson and films such as The Matrix. Also credited with coining the term "cyberspace", Gibson comments that the phrase has lost some of its meaning now that the distinction between real life and virtual reality is blurring. Ultimately Gibson is still an open advocate of technological progress but remains watchful of the perilous ways our latest tools can harm us.

7. The Craft of Science Fiction

In this intimate discussion presented on streaming video by MIT World, noted science fiction author Joe Haldeman reads a selection from his current book and discusses the value of his chosen genre. An MIT professor and war veteran himself, Haldeman discusses how his interest in science has dovetailed with his experience during the Vietnam War. The author also gives a valuable account of the genre's history, illustrating how it has provided fertile ground for speculation on how human beings may or may not evolve.

8. I Just Make This Stuff Up: How Seriously Should a Fiction Writer Take His Own Work?

Ender's Game author Orson Scott Card praises the cultural value of fiction (science-fiction or otherwise) in this streaming video lecture provided by Brigham Young University. Stating that history, biography and other factual accounts are prone to correction and amendment over time, Card believes that is only with fiction that we can find the meaningful, unchangeable truth of an era and its people. Though a novel is admittedly filled with events that are made up, Card feels that every writer is unconsciously writing an accidental biography, not only of himself or herself, but of what he or she believes about their culture, revealing more about their reality than any history book can ever hope to achieve.


June 17, 2014

Examining the Digital Age in These Free Video Talks

How has the rapid development of digital technology reshaped our world? LearnOutLoud tackles this question in a hand-selected series of video talks dedicated to examining the Digital Age. Included here you'll find lectures on how the internet has affected human culture and join a discussion on the hidden influence of social networking. Thinkers such as Echkart Tolle take on the digital revolution from a spiritual perspective, while Tim Ferriss argues for the virtues of accelerated learning in an accelerated era. With technological progress affecting all aspects of our life, this list is a great introduction to where it all might be leading:

1. Online Personas: Defining the Self in a Virtual World

In this round table discussion at the Commonwealth Club of California Wired editor David Ewing Duncan moderates a panel featuring Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg, former head of marketing for MySpace Shawn Gold, VP of Community Development for Second Life Robin Harper, and the founding CEO of LinkedIn Reid Hoffman. Delivered in 2006 when social networking and online personas were hitting the mainstream, this discussion covers a wide range of topics surrounding the implications of social media. All the panelists insist that these platforms are great ways to meet new people and reconnect with old friends. While Zuckerberg and Hoffman claim that their sites provide more efficient ways for relationship maintenance, the issue of addiction to these social sites and the possibility that they reduce productivity is also addressed. This discussion is an interesting starting point for considering what social networking actual means for humanity. It's available on streaming video from FORA.tv.

2. What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains

Nicholas Carr authored The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains and he argues that the internet is basically a medium of distraction and interruption that gives us bite size pieces of information that are sometimes important and often trivial. While the stimulation of being interrupted by the wide variety of information and entertainment the internet has to offer can be very pleasurable, Carr posits that it is leading away from the in-depth contemplation and reflection that the world of books has to offer.

3. William Powers: Hamlet's Blackberry

William Powers argues many of the same points as he discusses his book Hamlet's BlackBerry: A Practical Philosophy for Building a Good Life in the Digital Age. Powers looks at philosophers such as Seneca and Thoreau who sought to escape the busyness of everyday life and he applies their thinking to our digital age. He talks about his family's experiments with disconnecting from the internet on weekends and how stepping away from being wired has been a revelatory experience.

4. An Army of Davids: How Markets and Technology Empower Ordinary People to Beat Big Media, Big Government, and Other Goliaths

In this book forum from the Cato Institute, Instapundit.com blogger Glenn Reynolds discusses his book An Army of Davids. He argues that the internet and blogs are creating ways for the common man to strike back at the media and the government. Henry Farrell disagrees with Reynolds, suggesting that the blogosphere is only representational of nerdy, upper middle class, educated, white males. It's an interesting discussion and is available on MP3 download.

5. Seminars About Long Term Thinking Podcast

From The Long Now Foundation comes this fascinating series of Seminars About Long Term Thinking. Podcasts on the feed include CEO Philip Rosedale talking about the game Second Life, Chris Anderson talking about The Long Tail, founder and president of Wikipedia Jimmy Wales speaking on vision, author Jared Diamond discussing his book Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, writer Bruce Sterling speaking about The Singularity, musician Brian Eno chatting with Will Wright (creator of the video game "The Sims" and forthcoming "Spore"), and dozens of other interesting podcasts on topics like climate change, human life extension, etc. Have a listen.

6. Changing the Media Landscape

Check out this compelling panel discussion on the changing frontiers of the new media landscape featuring MySpace creator Chris DeWolfe, former head of Google special initiatives Chris Sacca, former Disney CEO Michael Eisner, and the Motion Picture Association of America's current Chairman and CEO Dan Glickman. Hosted at the Aspen Ideas Festival, this talk covers a wide range of ideas including user generated content, copyright, advertising, monetizing content, online politics, and many other areas of change in media. This discussion is available on streaming video from FORA.tv.

7. Nicholas Christakis: The Hidden Influence of Social Networks

Nicholas Christakis speaks at TED on his studies of social networks and how things spread amongst these networks. He looks at a study of obesity and the ways in which obese people connect to other obese people over time. After those findings he looked at the spread of certain emotions within social networks. At the end of the talk he encourages more social connections as being ultimately beneficial. This talk is available on streaming video and MP3 audio download from TED.com.

8. WikiLeaks: Why It Matters. Why It Doesn't?

With this roundtable hosted by the Churchill Club, the Wikileaks scandal serves as a jumping off point for a discussion on how we access government secrets. Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, internet law commentator Jonathan Zittrain, and other notable pundits within the tech sector survey how Julian Assange's work to make classified documents available on a broader scale has redefined journalism and put pressure on 4th amendment rights. They also explore new tools governments are utilizing to supress information, keep tabs on citizenry, and control behavior in a rapidly changing global exchange of information.

9. Eckhart Tolle on Living with Meaning, Purpose, and Wisdom in the Digital Age

Spiritual teacher and Power of Now author Eckhart Tolle visited Google headquarters last week to give a talk entitled "Living with Meaning, Purpose and Wisdom in the Digital Age". In this 90-minute conversation with Google's Bradley Horowitz, Tolle talks about technology and the Internet. While he feels no technology is good or evil in itself, Tolle is concerned that our digital age is ramping up the "doing" and "thinking" mind at the expense of paying attention to "being" in the present moment. He provides many helpful suggestions to take time out for "being" for anyone that spends a lot of time at the computer and on the internet. At the end of the talk he fields questions from Google employees. This talk is available on streaming video through YouTube.

10. Tim Ferriss: Accelerated Learning in Accelerated Times

Watch this recent talk from Tim Ferriss, who is the bestselling author of The 4-Hour Work Week and The 4-Hour Body. Through his ongoing learning experiments, Ferriss has developed a method for learning things quickly. He encourages people to disregard conventional knowledge when it comes to learning just about anything as most conventional learning strategies are slow and ineffective. He describes the rapid methods he used to learn languages and to accomplish some of the physical feats he accomplished in his book The 4-Hour Body. He closes the talk with giving people the best behavioral techniques for carrying out his methods until your goals are accomplished. It's great condensed knowledge from accelerated learner Tim Ferriss. This talk was delivered at the Long Now Foundation and is available on streaming video from FORA.tv.

11. Will College Learning be Transformed by Technology?

Watch this exciting talk about the future of technology and college learning that will motivate you to learn with all of the forthcoming possibilities for online education. Stanford professor Andrew Ng provides a lot of the new ideas in the talk as he discusses the online education platform he co-founded called Coursera. Through this platform of massive open online courses (MOOCS), Coursera has provided free courses from leading universities to over 1 million people from 196 countries. In this talk U.S. Department of Education Chief of Staff Joanne Weiss provides some unfortunate statistics about the lack of young adults pursuing and completing post-secondary education, and also about the rising costs of tuition which make the traditional college experience increasingly hard to afford. She expresses the need for a more accessible and affordable form of post-secondary education. Ng addresses many of the challenges facing online education and how companies like Coursera are trying to tackle these issues. He discusses accreditation, certification, and the ability of these courses to influence potential employment. He also talks about the interaction between teachers and students and how questions and discussions can be fostered online. And he addresses the importance of grading and how students can be effectively evaluated in a massive online learning environment. While online education is still in its early stages, this talk provides us with a glimpse of what college can be in the digital age. This one hour talk is available from FORA.tv on streaming video.

12. Social Networking on the Brain

Listen to a lively panel discussion on "Social Networking on the Brain". The panelists include neuroscientist Adam Gazzaley, documentary filmmaker Tiffany Shlain, who made a new film called Connected: An Autobiography about Love, Death and Technology, and Josh McHugh, CEO of Attention Span Media. And the moderator is David Ewing Duncan, author of the book Experimental Man. They discuss Facebook, Twitter, Google, and the rest of new media, and how these technologies are affecting our brains and our way of life. Topics include managing the information glut, breaking the filter bubble, the limits of multitasking, and the importance of face-to-face social interaction. The panelists and audience might bring up more interesting questions than answers, but they will certainly get the wheels in your head turning when it comes to your interactions with the Internet, computers, smartphones, and social networks. This talk is available on streaming video through YouTube.

13. A Few Things Learned from Craigslist

Craiglist founder Craig Newmark provides a history of his groundbreaking website in this streaming video presented by MIT World. Staying humble despite his immense success (he's still on call for personal customer service when needed!), Newmark details how an experiment in bringing together local markets in the San Francisco Bay Area via the internet blossomed into a worldwide phenomenon that has helped urban dwellers trade all kinds of different commodities and services. At present, he describes himself as a large-scale community organizer, and Newmark's efforts outside of the company reflect an abiding interest in social advocacy. As a result, he feels Craiglist can serve as a model for how ordinary citizens can work together to bring about cooperative change that goes beyond the scope of commerce and into the wider realms of political and social reform.


June 16, 2014

Free Videos Explaining How the Brain Works

The human mind is one of the last great mysteries that science has yet to fully understand. Learn the latest science with this list of free videos explaining how the brain works. Here LearnOutLoud.com has collected lectures from experts on the cutting edge of neuroscience research, including John Searle on freedom and neurobiology, the latest developments in our understanding of consciousness, and what scientists are doing to battle various addictions and mental disorders. Find out more on what makes the brain tick and where neuroscience is leading us in this up to the minute dispatch from the field of the mind:

1. The Origin of the Human Mind

In this streaming video Lecture from UCTV, cognitive scientist Martin Sereno gives us a survey of the brain's evolution. With thorough visual aids, Sereno examines the difference between the human brain and that of other species, showcasing experiments he has conducted that have helped broaden our understanding of the physical mechanics behind human thought. The biggest question he poses is why our minds are so special, when organically the human brain is 99% similar to that of the primates. Learn why size doesn't matter when it comes to brain power!

2. John Searle on Freedom and Neurobiology

In a thought-provoking lecture provided by Authors@Google on streaming video, philosopher John Searle discusses the perennial problem of human free will. Starting with the historical arguments associated with free will, Searle then points viewers to how quantum mechanical theories of a chaotic and ultimately indeterminate universe may provide some solution to the problem. Delivered with a sense of fun and respect for the novice, Searle's lecture is a must for anyone that wonders about the full nature of human choice and whether or not any of our decisions can truly be considered our own. It is available on streaming video through YouTube.

3. The Neuroscience of Consciousness, Perception, and Self

While covering the Iraq war in 2006, TV news Journalist Bob Woodruff suffered a traumatic brain injury after nearly losing his life to a roadside bomb. In this fascinating discussion from the Aspen Institute, Woodruff traces how he rebuilt his ability to comprehend the world step by step; showing the viewers video of his first few days of rehabilitation through to his still ongoing attempts to recover lost brain functions. Woodruff offers a prime case study for scientists that are attempting to uncover the many mysteries of human consciousness. This talk is available on streaming video through FORA.tv.

4. Neuroethics

This MIT World lecture on streaming audio & video is a sort of debate over whether today's approach to neuroscience is ethical. MIT Professor of Psychology Stephan Chorover derides the notion that all human experience can be reduced to neuroscience and speaks of the dangerous consequences that result from this dogma. Professor of Neuroscience Mriganka Sur agrees with him that there are complexities in human behavior, but still sees great importance in the attempt to determine the scientific ways our brains work. Check it out.

5. Jill Bolte Taylor's Stroke of Insight

In this moving talk delivered at the TED conference, brain researcher Jill Bolte Taylor provides a first-person account of her own stroke and the experience of losing control of her bodily functions as well the functions of the left side of her brain. Instead of it being a painful or frightening experience, she said the stroke put her in a intense state of bliss and nirvana. Sharing this experience became her motivation for recovery. This talk is available on streaming video and MP3 download from the TED.com website.

6. Neuroscience and the Emerging Mind

His Holiness the Dalai Lama recently visited UC-San Diego and gave a series of talks. In one of the talks he sits down with neuroscientist V.S. Ramachandran, philosopher Larry Hinman, and brain researcher Jennifer Thomas to talk about the connections between brain science and human consciousness. V.S. Ramachandran asks the Dalai Lama about the importance of mirror neurons which seem interact with the empathy and compassion which the Dalai Lama frequently addresses. Philosopher Larry Hinman asks about emotions like anger and also our increasing ability to control our memories and how this relates to our new knowledge of the brain and mindfulness. The Dalai Lama stresses education and further research above all for the future of relating the science of the brain to powers of human consciousness. This talk is available on streaming video from YouTube and MP3 audio download from the UCTV website.

7. Here we're featuring two talks from Dr. Louann Brizendine covering her books The Female Brain and The Male Brain:

Louann Brizendine: The Female Brain

Dr. Louann Brizendine authored the book The Female Brain back in 2006. She gave this talk at Book Passage which covered some of her findings from that book. Brizendine focuses primarily on hormones and the role that they play in the brain during various stages of a woman's life. She clarifies some of the differences between male and female brains and answers a number of questions. Definitely a good listen for parents, couples, and individuals of both sexes.

Louann Brizendine: The Male Brain

Dr. Louann Brizendine also authored the book The Male Brain in 2010. In this talk which she delivered at Dominican University of California, Dr. Brizendine shows some of the differences in the male brain covering the important hormone testosterone. She discusses puberty in males and the changes that take place at that time. In the Q&A she addresses the important nature vs. nuture question when it comes to the differences in the sexes.

8. Music and the Brain Video Series on YouTube
Music and the Brain Audio Podcast

Watch or listen to this great series from the Library of Congress on streaming video or audio podcast. Project chair Kay Redfield Jamison convenes scientists and scholars, composers, performers, theorists, physicians, psychologists, and other experts to talk about cognitive neuroscience and music. Here are some of the lectures in the series:

"The World in Six Songs: How the Musical Brain Created Human Nature": In this short talk, author Daniel Levitin suggests that in human history music came before language, and that throughout history music has almost always been accompanied by movement.

"Depression and Creativity Symposium": Kay Redfield Jamison, Dr. Terence Ketter, and Dr. Peter Whybrow take a look at depression and bipolar disorder and their possible connection to creativity. They specifically discuss artists like Vincent van Gogh, Robert Schumann, and Felix Mendelssohn.

"The Mind of an Artist": Cognitive psychologist Michael Kubovy and composer Judith Shatin suggest that language and music are very closely related in the brain, and Kubovy shows findings on the brain's reaction to different types of music in comparison to the cognition of language.

"Music, Criminal Behavior, and Crime Prevention": Norman Middleton of the Library of Congress Music Division starts the lecture with providing examples of how music has been used in regards to preventing crime and treating criminals. Then Dr. Jacqueline Helfgott talks about ways of discouraging criminal activity and anti-social behavior through the use of music in different environments.

"Wellness and Growth: Acoustic Medicine and Music Therapy": Jayne Standley, director of the Music Therapy Program at Florida State University, introduces music therapy and the many ways it has been applied in the medical profession while showing video examples of successful music therapy.

Enjoy these and many more lectures on "Music and the Brain" in this series of talks from the Library of Congress.

9. Drugs, Addiction, & Mental Disorder: PSYC 179 - UCSD Course
Impulse Control Disorders: PSYC 188 - UCSD Course

UC San Diego is offering two podcasted courses on addiction with Professor George Koob. Koob is Chair of the Committee on the Neurobiology of Addictive Disorders at The Scripps Research Institute and has been doing research on addictions for over 40 years. He is also the author of the book Neurobiology of Addiction with his colleague Michel Le Moal. In his course "Drugs, Addiction, & Mental Disorder", Koob covers legal and illegal drugs as well as prescription and non-prescription drugs and the addiction potential of various drugs. He looks at the ways certain drugs affect the brain including lectures on opiods, alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, caffeine, LSD, steroids, and many drugs used for the treatment of mental illness. In the course he also provides info on the treatments available for addictions to these drugs. In his course "Impulse Control Disorders", Koob turns his focus to other addictions including pathological gambling, alcohol abuse, nicotine dependence, compulsive sex, compulsive eating & bulimia, computer addiction, and other addictions and impulse control disorders that can hijack one's self control. After covering these addictions, Koob looks at the best treatments now available. These two courses provide a great introduction to understanding the various types of addiction and the brain mechanisms involved in addiction, with lectures delivered by one of the leading researchers in the field of addiction and neurobiology.

10. Vilayanur Ramachandran: A Journey to the Center of Your Mind

In this TED talk, neurologist Vilayanur Ramachandran provides some neuroscientific explanations for puzzling psychological and physiological phenomena. He covers why after certain brain injuries patients cannot visually recognize their mother, how to amputated patients can overcome the pain of phantom limbs for only $3, and why certain people see colors when they look at numbers and letters. This talk is available on streaming video and MP3 download from the TED.com website.

11. Human Behavioral Biology

Certainly one of the best courses we've added into our new Free Courses Collection is Stanford University Professor Robert Sapolsky's course on "Human Behavioral Biology". Sapolsky is an award-winning professor, superstar lecturer, and author of numerous books including Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers: A Guide To Stress, Stress Related Diseases, and Coping. His course on "Human Behavioral Biology" is so good that The Great Courses (formerly The Teaching Company) invited him to teach the course for their customers in an audio & video course entitled Biology and Human Behavior: The Neurological Origins of Individuality. We've purchased and listened to that course in its entirety and it's incredible! Now the course is being offered for free on video from Stanford University and it seems like basically the same course except more! The Teaching Company course runs 12 Hrs. and the free video edition at Stanford runs 36 Hrs. The course comprehensively covers human behavior from the perspective of biology from an in-depth look at the nervous system, limbic system, and hormones to the latest discoveries in neuroscience, genetics, and human evolution. Sapolsky attempts to give you a well rounded picture of the biology of human behavior today. And after that, he then takes a look at certain human behaviors which can be examined from this perspective including lectures on human sexual behavior, aggression, language, schizophrenia, and what makes up for the individual differences in humans. This 25-lecture course is available on video on YouTube.