PBS's Videos

Is Facebook Changing Our Identity?4m52s

Is Facebook Changing Our Identity?

With 955,000,000 worldwide users, Facebook seems like just about everyone makes use of the social media giant to connect with friends, share photos, and update everyone they've ever met since grade school about their dinner plans. But what you may not realize is that Facebook's new timeline layout is enhancing the ability to construct our self identity by super-charging our memory.

PBS
Published: January 3, 2019
Are Virtual Video Game Economies Becoming Real?5m27s

Are Virtual Video Game Economies Becoming Real?

The idea that a collection of pixels can be sold for actual money might be confusing to some, as they are neither true "objects" you can hold nor "ideas" that can be considered intellectual property. But despite the lack of tangibility, real world economies have formed around these games and real world profits are being made.

PBS
Published: January 3, 2019
What do MP3s and Magic Spells Have in Common?5m36s

What do MP3s and Magic Spells Have in Common?

Both spells and music were born from a freely available folk culture, but are now sold as commercial goods. There are thousands of artists (and witches!) trying to figure out how to make a living in an age where their products can be infinitely copied. And with commercialization, the morality and legality of sharing these once open cultural products has become complicated.

PBS
Published: January 3, 2019
Is Doctor Who a Religion?5m41s

Is Doctor Who a Religion?

Dr. Who is one of the longest running TV shows on the BBC, and it's got a huge fandom surrounding it, called Whovians. And while it might not seem like, Whovianism, might just be religion! Whovians, like other passionate fan cultures, create art & fan fiction and engage in a strong remix culture. But with its strong philosophical and cosmological elements, is it more than that?

PBS
Published: January 3, 2019
Can Dungeons & Dragons Make You Confident & Successful?6m09s

Can Dungeons & Dragons Make You Confident & Successful?

There are some deeply ingrained stereotypes about Dungeons & Dragons, and those stereotypes usually begin and end with people shouting "NERD!!!" But the reality of the D&D universe is a whole lot more complex. Rather than being an escape from reality, D&D is actually a way to enhance some important real life skills, including problem solving, visualization, interaction, organization, and others.

PBS
Published: January 3, 2019
Are You a Hipster?4m38s

Are You a Hipster?

We all hate hipsters, right? They seem so smug and arrogant, with their ray bans and scarves and ironic t-shirts. Borrowing from other subcultures, (Handlebar mustaches and flannel shirts), hipsters reappropriate these fashion elements as their own. But don't we all do that? Our own fashion came from SOMEWHERE, and certainly has been refined. Do we all have a little bit of hipster blood in us?

PBS
Published: January 3, 2019
Are MP3s & Vinyl Better than Live Music?5m18s

Are MP3s & Vinyl Better than Live Music?

If you've ever talked to a vinyl purist (or are one yourself) you know that people can be pretty passionate about what format is king when it comes to music. And based on how much people like to brag about what band they saw live and how many times, we clearly value the authenticity of the live performance above all else. So which is the most authentic, recorded music or live performance?

PBS
Published: January 3, 2019
Is Futurama the Best Argument Against Transhumanism?6m00s

Is Futurama the Best Argument Against Transhumanism?

Transhumanism is a scientific philosophy that says technology will solve all our human biological constraints and that immortality is right around the corner (well not RIGHT around the corner, but WAYYY closer). They envision a world of endlessly euphoric robo-humans that represent the next step in evolution. And while this sounds super awesome, we had to ask, will this really make us happy?!

PBS
Published: January 3, 2019
There's No Such Thing as Online?!?4m42s

There's No Such Thing as Online?!?

From Facebook to bank accounts, you always have some sort of online presence, whether you're actively engaging in front of a screen or not. Yet this is still a word we use to describe our engagement with the Internet. So we have to ask, is this online/offline distinction even worth making? Because we may need to re-evaluate the very word "ONLINE"...

PBS
Published: January 3, 2019
Russian Meteorites and Surveillance Culture4m00s

Russian Meteorites and Surveillance Culture

A meteorite crashed into earth!!!! This wasn't the first time and it won't be the last, but it is the first time such an event was captured by SO MANY CAMERAS! But besides providing the world with some hilarious, frightening, and amazing footage, the dash cams also make us think about surveillance, and what role it will play in the future.

PBS
Published: January 3, 2019
Is Minecraft the Ultimate Educational Tool?5m57s

Is Minecraft the Ultimate Educational Tool?

Some experts have brought Minecraft into the classroom, allowing teachers to customize lessons and students to engage with concepts in new ways. And while educational games aren't new, Minecraft has some unique advantages that could usher in a new direction in education. In the future, students across the world may spend their class time punching trees.

PBS
Published: January 3, 2019
Do Knock-Offs Prove the Value of a Brand?7m38s

Do Knock-Offs Prove the Value of a Brand?

We're willing to pay hundreds or thousands more for a specific brand name item, but sometimes it can be tempting to go the way of the knock-off for a fraction of the price. The counterfeit industry is huge and isn't going anywhere, and companies spend huge amounts to dissuade people from buying "fakes". But are knock-offs REALLY a negative for the brand?

PBS
Published: January 3, 2019
Is Piracy Helping Game of Thrones?7m55s

Is Piracy Helping Game of Thrones?

A huge amount of viewers of the HBO series Game of Thrones (not us of course, no no no) are downloading the show illegally. But despite being the most pirated show of 2012, the Game of Thrones DVDs are top sellers, breaking HBO's own sales records!! Could it be that piracy is actually HELPING the show?!

PBS
Published: January 3, 2019
Will Kickstarter Replace Hollywood?8m40s

Will Kickstarter Replace Hollywood?

Although it's funding is nowhere NEAR the amount Hollywood invests in moviemaking each year, crowdfunding is a way better indicator of what the audience wants to see, the one area Hollywood has failed in time and time again. Will Kickstarter put an end to the Hollywood system?

PBS
Published: January 3, 2019
What Dragons Say About Us6m41s

What Dragons Say About Us

In the first episode of Monstrum, Dr. Emily Zarka reveals the mythological origins of iconic dragons from Game of Thrones and The Hobbit, and explains why dragons have been a part of human culture for thousands of years.

PBS
Published: January 3, 2019
Rethinking Frankenstein's Monster5m57s

Rethinking Frankenstein's Monster

Now celebrating its 200th anniversary, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein was a revolutionary text that pioneered the sci-fi genre. On the surface, it’s a novel about a scary monster, but the sympathetic description of a soulful creature makes us rethink the label.

PBS
Published: January 3, 2019
Is Community a Postmodern Masterpiece?8m27s

Is Community a Postmodern Masterpiece?

Though the TV show Community has never achieved huge ratings, it has a passionate cult following, including us here at Idea Channel. The show plays with genre and narrative in such a creative way that it brings to mind the cultural and artistic theory of Postmodernism.

PBS
Published: January 2, 2019
Is Buying Call of Duty a Moral Choice?7m40s

Is Buying Call of Duty a Moral Choice?

If you play video games, you've shot a gun. And those guns are REALISTIC. So real that many are actually LICENSED by IRL arms dealers. Which means that when you buy a video game, you're also putting money in the pockets of those gun manufacturers. That's fine and dandy if you're a fan of guns, but if you are someone who considers themselves anti-gun, this creates quite the moral quandary.

PBS
Published: January 2, 2019
A Visit to Mr. Monfre's Class4m15s

A Visit to Mr. Monfre's Class

Every week, Mr. Monfre's class in Milwaukee, Wisconsin watches Idea Channel, has a great discussion and posts an awesome comment. We were lucky enough to surprise them with a visit to their classroom!!! So come watch as Mike meets the illustrious Mr. Monfre and hangs out with his amazing students.

PBS
Published: January 2, 2019
Is a DOS Attack a Weapon?8m32s

Is a DOS Attack a Weapon?

Denial of Service (DOS) or Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attacks take down servers by distracting them with meaningless traffic until basically they can't take it any more. The way we talk about the result of a software program reflects the way we view "online", and the value we place on its content. But what does it do to our comprehension when we lump violent acts online with real life?

PBS
Published: January 2, 2019
Is Sad Music Actually Sad?7m19s

Is Sad Music Actually Sad?

Be it Elliott Smith or Queen, classical or dub step, there's usually a clear understanding that some songs are sad, and some songs are happy. But what is it about the music that makes us feel these feelings we're feeling?

PBS
Published: January 2, 2019