Big Think's Top 10 New Videos of 2010

What is it about certain Big Think videos that strike a chord? A glance through our 10 Most Popular Videos of the First 100 Days of 2010 shows a wide range of topics -- from alternate universes to the art of drawing cartoons to political prognostications -- that resonated with our viewers. Jason Fried's look at interruptions in the workplace came out on top, with Eliot Spitzer and Newt Gingrich close behind.

Here they are, in decreasing order of popularity:

    •    1. Why You Can't Work at Work (Jason Fried)
    •    2. Newt Gingrich: How Republicans Can Win Big in 2012 (Newt Gingrich)
    •    3. Big Think Interview With Eliot Spitzer (Eliot Spitzer)
    •    4. A Supernova Could Nuke Us (Edward Sion)
    •    5. How to Draw Cartoons With a Pointed Stick (Jules Feiffer)
    •    6. Music for Your Particular Mood (Tod Machover)
    •    7. Escape to a Parallel Universe (Michio Kaku)
    •    8. Divorcing Mexico From Latin America (Jorge Castaneda)
    •    9. The Seas Could Turn to Sulfur (Peter Ward)
    •    10. The Importance of Orbital Vacations (Burt Rutan)

Doomsday fears were popular on our list, from paleontologist Peter Ward’s frank discussion of the possibility of a volcanic Armageddon turning our seas to a sulfurous poison, to astronomer Edward Sion’s prediction of a supernova dosing Earth with a lethal dose of high-energy radiation. If these prove true we can only hope string theorist and Big Think blogger Michio Kaku is right when he suggests the future may promise an escape to a parallel universe.

We were enthralled as well with current affairs. Will former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and his  "alternative party" really win a "sweeping, decisive election in 2012" as he predicts? Has Tiger Woods taken heed of former New York State Governor Eliot Spitzer’s advice "to look within" after his scandal? Will Mexico become part of a "North American community" -- perhaps with a unified currency -- as NYU politics professor Jorge Castaneda hopes?

Cartoonist Jules Feiffer’s serendipitous story of how he discovered his scratchy style is sure to lift your mood, as is MIT music composer Tod Machover, who guesses that 25 to 50 years from now he may have the perfect music to match the moment. Meanwhile, aerospace engineer Burt Rutan reminds us that an orbital vacation may be available sooner than we imagined, and Jason Fried, co-founder of 37signals, describes how workplace interruptions break our concentration and decrease our productivity.

A note on our methodology: Big Think's 10 Most Popular Videos of the First 100 Days of 2010 were compiled from clips posted this year. The reason perennial favorites like Stephen Fry and Tal Ben-Shahar didn't make the list is because their videos first appeared in 2009.

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Photo: Luisa Conlon , Lacy Roberts and Hanna Miller / Global Oneness Project
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