In which John discusses his visit to the Yekatit 12 hospital's NICU in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and the extraordinary neonatologist there, Dr. Mulualem Gessesse, who has saved the lives of thousands of children.

Kangaroo Mother Care is made possible at Yekatit 12 in part by Save the Children: http://savethechildren.org

The Gates Foundation, which does so much important work around the world including Ethiopia: http://www.gatesfoundation.org/

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This was a somewhat challenging topic to take on in four minutes, so here's a little more explanation.

I'm not saying that we don't know things...we know lots of things. But particularly when it comes to social and cultural and economic stuff, we really don't. It's so hard to run experiments on the real world, that we tend to do the studies and then no one changes their mind and everyone explains the data in a different way.

But you can run the "Harry Potter" experiment again with different inputs because "Harry Potter" can only happen once.

Of course, there are people who are much better at guessing than other people because they know much more about the situations. People who understand, at least, what is and is not possible (which is an excellent place to start if you're trying to, say, create an independent Palestinian state.)

Same goes for running a business...you will never take the most successful course, because there are infinite courses and only one maximum one. But some people are very good at finding good courses because they understand their customers and their markets and their employees and have fairly accurate constructions of reality as it relates to their business.

But the idea that it is the responsibility of every person to have an opinion on everything that matters...and then cling to that opinion as an important part of their identity, sucks. I don't like it.

I would rather we discuss these things in terms of values, which is really where our opinions tend to arise from anyhow. So when asked "how do we create more jobs in America" we don't really try to answer that question. We try to answer the question "How do we create more jobs in America while promoting our own personal values?"

For things like "How do you end a war" or "How do you feed hungry people" or "How do you eliminate poverty?" I'm going to admit straight up that I don't know...and defer to the experts because they know a heck of a lot more than me. I don't think there's anything wrong with that. So, yay, I DON'T KNOW!!!

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Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo:
http://www.randomhouse.com/book/16017/behind-the-beautiful-forevers-by-katherine-boo

In which John continues the Nerdfighter Book Club's discussion of Katherine Boo's Behind the Beautiful Forevers. Are there unambiguous victories? How should we approach our understanding of and relationship with charities domestic and international? I look forward to reading all of your thoughts in comments when I get back.

Some data to start you off:

1. Infant Mortality: http://www.who.int/gho/child_health/mortality/neonatal_infant_text/en/

2. Trends in child mortality: http://www.who.int/maternal_child_adolescent/documents/levels_trends_child_mortality_2013/en/

3. EIU Food Security Index (overview): http://foodsecurityindex.eiu.com/Index/Overview

4. World Bank figures on Global Income Distribution: http://econ.worldbank.org/external/default/main?pagePK=64165259&theSitePK=469382&piPK=64165421&menuPK=64166093&entityID=000158349_20131211100152

5. The Economist on Global Inequality: http://www.economist.com/node/21564414

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Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo:
http://www.randomhouse.com/book/16017/behind-the-beautiful-forevers-by-katherine-boo

In which John continues the Nerdfighter Book Club's discussion of Katherine Boo's Behind the Beautiful Forevers. Are there unambiguous victories? How should we approach our understanding of and relationship with charities domestic and international? I look forward to reading all of your thoughts in comments when I get back.

Some data to start you off:

1. Infant Mortality: http://www.who.int/gho/child_health/mortality/neonatal_infant_text/en/

2. Trends in child mortality: http://www.who.int/maternal_child_adolescent/documents/levels_trends_child_mortality_2013/en/

3. EIU Food Security Index (overview): http://foodsecurityindex.eiu.com/Index/Overview

4. World Bank figures on Global Income Distribution: http://econ.worldbank.org/external/default/main?pagePK=64165259&theSitePK=469382&piPK=64165421&menuPK=64166093&entityID=000158349_20131211100152

5. The Economist on Global Inequality: http://www.economist.com/node/21564414

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So I got a little confused about who owed what punishments and then we went a little overboard and with the help of a team of Nerdfighting researchers rooted out the cause and effect of EVERY SINGLE PUNISHMENT ON VLOGBROTHERS SINCE JANUARY OF 2007!

Playlist of all those videos here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL647FA7AEF5D5787A

The thing I realized while doing this is that we have been doing this for a very....very....very long time. Holy monkey butts...a long time.

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In which John discusses his forthcoming trip with Bill Gates (yes, that Bill Gates), his health anxiety, the worldwide threat of mosquito-borne illnesses, health anxiety, Behind the Beautiful Forevers, the tyranny of Hollywood in re haircut frequency, and the arrival of pre-roll advertising on the vlogbrothers channel.

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In which Hank Green takes you through a day in the just completed western US tour of Hank Green and the Perfect Strangers, Driftless Pony Club, Harry and the Potters, Rob Scallon, and Andrew Huang. It was ridiculously fun...thanks so much to everyone who came out to the shows.

For more tour vlogging check out Wheezy's daily vlog: https://www.youtube.com/user/wheezynews

Rob Scallon: https://www.youtube.com/user/robs70986987
Andrew Huang: http://www.youtube.com/songstowearpantsto

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The Future of Nerdfighteria

by on July 8, 2014

SURVEY! On advertising and education: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/adsvlogbrothers (THANKS FOR TAKING IT!!)

In which John discusses dragons, dinosaurs, and the future of the nerdfighter community, including more IRL nerdfighter gatherings, more ways to learn through Crash Course, more charity projects year-round, thinking about how and whether to add pre-roll advertisements to the vlogbrothers channel, and the fact that WE ARE GOING TO BE ON AFC WIMBLEDON'S SHORTS. What would you like to see more/less of in nerdfighteria in the future? Let us know in comments.

Crash Course on Khan Academy: https://www.khanacademy.org/partner-content/crash-course1

The World Cup fundraiser for sarcoma research: http://fightworldsuck.org/pickourteam.php

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Going to shows has always made me anxious, but I also tend to find them to be uniquely wonderful experiences that I can't imagine missing after their over. So I wanted to offer up some advice for people who might be nervous about going to shows. A couple of things I thought of after I made the video include:

1. Make sure that you're headed to a part of town you'll be safe in and have a very good and stable plan for getting home.

2. It's usually pretty easy to meet performers after the show, but they often have to move their own equipment and the venue will require them to be out by a certain time, so understand if they can't hang.

If you have any other advice, make sure to list it in the comments.

There are still tickets for a few of our shows if you want to come: http://edwardspoonhands.com/post/89196780970/harryandthepotters-poster-illustration-by

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Why I Love Makeup

by on July 1, 2014

In which John discusses his love for makeup while being made up for a television show. Thanks to Bridget for her expertise and for her patience as I asked her a million questions about makeup.

Favorite makeup tutorials!

Akilah's makeup tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=efTAadPH7Yg
Essie's spring makeup tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1LwMc1icwA&list=PL9F829777420AEFE1&index=3
BeautyCrush teaches me how to put on foundation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=94wY2g-3xfM&list=PL3379D346C131B071&index=19
SprinkleOfGlitter's Everyday Makeup Routine: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Y5_VagEXKE&list=PLlj0M108W0Gq8cAT0jTbpqEjZ8xs040Gm&index=43
Great makeup tutorial from Tanya Burr: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSg9BbVtkeo&index=91&list=PLt_BERL98BiePRsJ03EDG3SzAoshjv1ax
Patricia Bright's everyday makeup routine: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWTzqsZbnSY&index=4&list=PLHuboCffEONFwvR0K7HlgA-Nh_C5H1WmH
Zoe's Spring makeup tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5p2nqWZYBB0&list=PLC89680EA61A41F2E

Beauty gurus I've enjoyed watching lately (please leave recommendations in comments!):
http://youtube.com/essiebutton
http://youtube.com/sprinkleofglitter
http://youtube.com/pixi2woo
http://youtube.com/missglamorazzi
http://youtube.com/michellephan
http://youtube.com/britpopprincess
http://youtube.com/gigigorgeous
http://youtube.com/bubzbeauty
http://youtube.com/fleurdeforce
http://youtube.com/beautycrush
http://youtube.com/macbarbie07
http://youtube.com/zoella

Thanks to Elyse for the videography!!!!

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