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7 TV Shows That Could Make You Smarter

7 TV Shows That Could Make You Smarter

Ever heard the phrase “television rots your brain”? Most probably said by your gran? Abigail Clark of Dumb Little Man has some shows that’ll make you smarter, so you can go and impress people with the knowledge you’ve gained from simply watching tv:

It’s easy to sit on your couch for endless hours watching TV shows that do nothing more than entertain you. After all, you don’t have to do anything besides change the channel and look at a screen. However, if you’re not in the mood to read a book or travel to a museum in your area, then tuning in to one of these shows is a good way to stimulate your mind and educate yourself.

MythBusters

MythBusters

    This science entertainment TV show is created and produced by Australia’s Beyond Television Productions. Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, the show’s hosts, use components of the scientific method to test the legitimacy or rumors, myths, adages, movie scenes, news stories, and Internet videos. At the end of each episode, the myths are either busted, plausible, or confirmed.

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    Although most of the filming and experimenting takes place in San Francisco, some of the production elements occur in Australia. Some of the most popular episodes of the show include the alligator experiments in Florida and the shark and elephant myths in Africa. Through nine seasons, the team has completed 2,391 experiments and used 12 tons of explosives to test 769 myths.

    Sesame Street

    Sesame Street

      The first episode of this popular program aired Nov. 19, 1969. Since then it’s captivated kids with educational content creatively communicated through Jim Henson’s Muppets, short films, humor, cultural references, and animation.

      What makes this show so special is its cast of characters, like Big Bird, Elmo, and the Cookie Monster, who have personalities that make them relatable to the audience and qualities that teach them something in the process. The purpose of the show has always been to shape it using educational goals and a curriculum, reflecting the viewing habits of the audience and the changes in American culture. Since its inception, the show has become a case study on the educational benefits of TV programming and the effects its had on kids. Although the format has changed throughout the years, the main characters and core value have remained the same.

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      Bill Nye the Science Guy

      Bill Nye the Science Guy

        What made this show so memorable was host Bill Nye’s personality. The premise for each episode was to teach a specific topic in science, using action and humor to intrigue the audience and make the subject interesting. Additionally, each episode contained a parody and music video summarizing it with lyrics substituting a popular song.

        Although the show originally aired on Sept. 10, 1993 and stopped its run at 100 episodes on June, 20, 1998, the show can still be seen on certain stations on TV. Many schools also still use it as an educational medium, too.

        Cash Cab

        Cash Cab originally aired in the United Kingdom, but has since been licensed to TV networks in other countries including the United States. Participants of this game aren’t aware they’re on a show until they step inside a city cab and host and stand-up comedian, Ben Bailey greets them. Contestants then have to answer a series of questions, which increase in difficulty, before they reach their destination.

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        Once a contestant reaches their destination (if they’ve made it that far), they have the choice of risking their winnings or doubling them by answering a video question. Because of the format of the show and the trivia asked, this show is great for audiences wanting to learn something new while trying to answer the questions, too.

        Discovery Atlas

        Unlike the above mentioned shows, Discovery Atlas takes a more serious tone in educating viewers. It focuses on cultural, sociological, and natural aspects of countries in the world, exploring the different people, traditions, and lands found within them.

        Whether it’s following the lives of locals struggling to survive or examining the country’s history and culture, the show is a great example how TV changes the world by revealing hidden facts and truths about the regions it explores while informing the audience.

        Frontline

        Much like Discovery Atlas, Frontline is a program that produces in-depth documentaries about a variety of subjects. Since the series début on Jan. 17, 1983, there have been more than 500 films broadcasted.

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        From examining the connections between organized crime, gambling, and professional football in the U.S, to taking a look at the most controversial educational reformers in the modern era, the show touches on just about every issue an audience can think of wanting to know more about.

        Nova

        Unlike Bill Nye the Science Guy, which simplifies the subject of science to educate younger viewers, Nova interviews scientists performing research in the topics covered and footage about a particular discovery. Some episodes have also focused on the history of science, taking an in-depth look at its roots. Examples of things covered in the show include: the Drake equation, the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens, global warming, storm chasing, Tarim mummies, and moissanite.

        Whether you’re young or old, there’s a TV show to stimulate your mind. Which one do you like most?

        Abigail Clark is an upcoming freelance writer. She graduated from The University of South Florida with a bachelors in marketing, minoring in journalism. When she isn’t up to her neck in coupons she is enjoying the outdoors fishing. She loves doing reviews for technology, home products and beauty products. If you would like her to do a review for you look her up on twitter @downtownabby17.

        Use Your Brain: 7 TV Shows That Will Make You Smarter | Dumb Little Man

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        Last Updated on March 13, 2019

        How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

        How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

        Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

        You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

        Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

        1. Work on the small tasks.

        When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

        Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

        2. Take a break from your work desk.

        Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

        Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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        3. Upgrade yourself

        Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

        The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

        4. Talk to a friend.

        Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

        Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

        5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

        If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

        Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

        Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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        6. Paint a vision to work towards.

        If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

        Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

        Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

        7. Read a book (or blog).

        The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

        Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

        Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

        8. Have a quick nap.

        If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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        9. Remember why you are doing this.

        Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

        What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

        10. Find some competition.

        Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

        Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

        11. Go exercise.

        Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

        Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

        As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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        Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

        12. Take a good break.

        Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

        Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

        Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

        Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

        More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

        Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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