i don’t remember how i discovered liziqi’s youtube channel awhile ago. li ziqi lives with her elderly grandma in rural sichuan, cooking and tending to their farm, and just making stuff the old fashioned way.
the expression “from scratch” is taken to a whole new level in these videos — making rice cakes involves planting the rice, harvesting and shelling it, before the rice is ready to be cooked. making a duvet starts with cotton seedlings.
the videos have barely any dialogue on them, just scenic landscapes, a quiet soundtrack and li ziqi doing her thing… but somehow they’re *so soothing*, and in such sharp contrast to today’s youtube trends… it’s impossible not to be a little hypnotized.
she learnt to cook with her grandpa when she was young, then did the odd job in the city to support the family, but came back to the mountains northwest of pingwu when her grandma got sick some years ago. when she was back, she started to do these videos, slowly showing the world what life was like in rural china. the result is a beautiful ode to the hard work of so many chinese farmers, almost made to look easy and romantic in these frames.
for a change of pace (ah!), here’s a short video of thailand’s grounds and floors. cliché as pictures of feet have become, i always notice how sidewalks look like in different countries, and thailand has a nice variety of them.
this trip was my first time using a borrowed gopro and i loved the convenience and versatility of that little camera — i only wish i had remembered to clean the lens more often! also, i’ve been watching meteor garden for a while now, and the soundtrack seems to be permanently stuck in my head… sigh!
maybe it’s a sign that i’m getting old, but what’s with kids and youtube these days? i don’t even mean the creepy, seriously wrong stuff, just… the rest. for instance, i have an 8-year old cousin who’s hooked on minecraft tutorials and a channel about some brasilian brothers doing weird stuff. :| i watched some episodes of the latter at his insistence and got the impression even game play-throughs would be more interesting… somehow, i just can’t get the appeal.
and yet, not having a tv in the house, we end up watching quite a bit of youtube stuff on our lunch breaks. luckily for us, there’s a lot of quality content being uploaded these days! i thought i’d mention a few of our favourites channels, in case you’re looking for interesting stuff to watch now and then.
– on the serious side of the spectrum, we watch a lot of ted talks still, though the format is getting a bit old and it’s harder for them to make an impression on us these days. i guess we’re growing de-sensitised to it, despite the great content.
– also on the more serious/philosophical side, the school of life is nice. i was suspicious at first, but their curriculum series won me over. i enjoy the empathy and perspective that it brings.
– moving over to the science department, we’re fans of veritasium. it’s about physics and experiments, but from a cool contemporary point of view.
– i’m not sure how we found out about tom scott’s channel but it stuck. he focus not just on science, but also an interesting mix of historical facts and quirky places that i enjoy discovering.
– the same tom and a bunch of his friends also produce another show called citation needed. basically, they try to guess facts from an obscure wikipedia page, without much information to go on. tangents and hilarity ensue, with lots of mystery biscuits in between.
– and last but definitely not least, the brain scoop! emily graslie was a volunteer at a small university museum in montana, when hank green (from the vlogbrothers) checked it out on one of his videos to his brother. everyone was delighted by her enthusiasm on that episode, so a new channel was born featuring emily and the museum.
i recommend watching her videos in chronological order, and following along as she is then later offered a position as chief curiosity correspondent at one of the largest natural history museums in the world.
so… there’s still hope for youtube, i think! :) do you have any other good tips? let me know!
2016 started and ended with fireworks, so in a way, it feels like we’ve come full circle.
it was a good year, with a bit of everything. seeing it in a quick compilation leaves me feeling really warm and fuzzy inside… so many adventures, so many hugs. i’ll do my best to make 2017 just as exciting! :)