This Video Will Hurt

Special Thanks:

Total Philosophy

Saylor Fielder

Julian Yap

Ardalan Moazeni

Dr Clifton K. Meader

Dr Fabrizio Benedetti

Max Ramsay - @maxafax, The Soden Family, Conan Kudo (ニール・ゴンパ), Kira Lanier, Lisa Marie Terry, Dave Roberts (the Best Dad ever),, Carine Frsch, Mauceri76, David Benko, Team Fluger, A.Manning, Smuffie00, Robert English, @jwvdiermen, Laura Saura Maura Watiker, Nicholas Hartikainen, M Go Blue!, @chrisaiello, @Bad1z, Kuffer Sam

Selected sources:

Mass Psychogenic Illness Attributed to Toxic Exposure at a High School

Protean nature of mass sociogenic illness From possessed nuns to chemical and biological terrorism fears

Getting the pain you expect: mechanisms of placebo, nocebo and reappraisal effects in humans

Are some people sensitive to mobile phone signals? Within participants double blind randomised provocation study

Adverse events attributable to nocebo in randomized controlled drug trials in fibromyalgia syndrome and painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy: systematic review.

Nocebo-induced hyperalgesia during local anesthetic injection.

Are media warnings about the adverse health effects of modern life self-fulfilling? An experimental study on idiopathic environmental intolerance attributed to electromagnetic fields

Symptom Experience After Discontinuing Use of Estrogen Plus Progestin

Spatio-temporal differences in the history of health and noise complaints about Australian wind farms: evidence for the psychogenic, “communicated disease” hypothesis.

Thyroxine: anatomy of a health scare

How Many Countries Are There?

Notes & Corrections:

  • There are more places of possible countryhood that weren't mentioned in the video due to time.
  • Sealand is on an abandonden sea fort not an oil rig.

Special Thanks:

K. Repking & Max Loutzenheiser

OilyRaven, Chris Hokanson, Will, the Rith King, Kyle Whitehouse, Bjoern Schumacher c/o bscon, Daniel O'Connell, Caleb Hiddleson, Americanwolf10, dimitry, @CNG ,Hamish Mackinnon :) (with one leg), Bernadette Sisk, Steve Dutfield (@SteveDuts), His Royal Highness King Samy II Son of Hamed I of the Original Greek City of Philadelphia, @awesomenerdMD, Patrick W. Gilmore, Tsyren Balzhanov, John Levin, @TelliLace, EratosthenesdeCyrene (Miguel Rothe), Jesse L Hunter, Greg Leask, Ivan Garcia, Conan Kudo (ニール・ゴンパ), Jokteur, Greg Carlson, David Buchanan, Kira E. Lanier, Liana Marinescu, Kellie Curtis Malone


Images: Jmb, Nicole Kasper, ctbto, epsos, N i c o l a, joopdorresteijn, viajor, Mark Kao, spadgy, pchidell & Larom Lancaster.

Music: David Rees

What is Reddit?


A video on reddit was really my last choice of what to do right after Subbable. I wanted to have something really involved and complicated -- but I also didn't want to make people wait for three months. So, since spent the summer talking about The Interent (read: reddit) to my family this was a topic on my mind that I figured wouldn't take too long to ship.

Subreddits Mentioned in the Video:

Special Thanks:

To &


Broke for Free, meini, italintheheart, cliche, Dante Orpilla, cygnus921, nhadfield, sachin sandhu, theowl84, dexxus

How to Become the British Monarch


  • I didn't have time to mention it in the video, but the 2013 update had to be approved by all the members of the Commonwealth Realms
  • Also, there is some debate about what would happen if all of the decendents of Sophia of Hanover (the starting point of the 1701 rules) were to die out. For simplicity sake, in this video I assume that she is the origin point for all inheritance, both backward in time and forward.
  • One other notable change is that prior to 2013 a potential monarch was out of the running for simply being married to a Catholic. This is no longer the case.


  • 1:39 The code apparently has some glitches in it that I'm not a good enough Python programmer to recognize. One suggested fix is:
def MalePrimogeniture(monarch):
if monarch.hasChildren is False:
return MaleRimogeniture(monarch.previous)
if monarch.hasSons is True:
return monarch.sons.eldest
return monarch.daughters.eldest
  • 1:03 In theory a Monarch could prevent a post-conception child from becoming a bastard by switching spouces -- something that did not occur to me at the time of writing the script -- so they aren't out of the running from the instant of their existance.
  • 2:42 The daughter should be thinking 'That better not be a boy'.
  • 3:04 The King I had in mind was William the Conqueror who came to power in 1066 less than a thousand years ago, not more as I said in the script. I'm pretty sure I've made this exact same error a few times. However, there were technically kings in England prior to this time -- but it still feels like an error on my part.


How to become the British Monarch:

Historically, the crown sat upon your head mostly because you had the biggest army. When you died usually your eldest son kept control over that army and so the crown relocated to his head, though, of course, someone with a bigger army could change the political landscape quite abruptly.

As time marched on and the world grew less violent eventually in 1701 Parliament established a set of rules to transfer the crown from one head to another -- hopefully with less turmoil than before.

So here's how the 1701 rules work:

Frist: don't be Catholic.

The British Monarch is also the head of the Church of England to which the monarch much convert if not already a member. Except that if you're Catholic, no crown for you.

The history of the royal family and how this rule came to be is a story for another time, but suffice it to say that bigger-army diplomacy was involved.

And, BTW, no you can't cleverly get around this rule by converting from Catholicism to something else then to Church of England. In the eyes of the crown, Catholicism is transitive.

Second: don't be a bastard.

Sometimes it's good to be the king, but it's never good to be the illegitimate children of the king -- who are out of line for the crown literally from the moment of their conception.

If you're related to the monarch but are either a Catholic or a bastard or both, the crown has the delightful term 'Naturally Dead' to refer to you and your lack of right to succession.

Third spouses don't count.

While people often think of kings and queens as a pair: that's not the way it works here.

Spouses of Monarchs are known as Royal Consorts. They may be called 'prince' or 'queen' but as far as the crown is concerned, they're not in line for the throne, they're just the matching 23 Chromosomes needed for the creation of the real heir.

Fourth and Finally: Male Primogeniture (whatever).

This is the algorithm of inheritance. When the Monarch dies -- or abdicates -- but usually dies -- the crown goes to the eldest son who isn't 'naturally dead'. If there happens to be an elder daughter tough luck to her: baby brother gets the crown.

It's Simple enough, but there are non-obvious cases: take a king with two sons: if the eldest dies before the king does, obviously the crown goes to the youngest (now oldest) brother. But what if the eldest son gave the king a grandson before death? Where does the crown go then?

Well, the crown basically pretends that everyone -- except the naturally dead -- is alive: so upon the death of the king the crown goes to his eldest son -- who is now sort of the king who just really happens to be dead -- so the rule kicks in again, and the crown goes to his son, not as seems obvious now, his brother.

But if this 1701 rule means that eldest sons get the crown, how did queens ever come to be? Basically, daughters were the last choice of the crown, which is why there have been so few.

To get the crown, a daughter had to be either the only child of the monarch or the eldest child without competing brothers.

So pregnant mothers must have made any daughters with queenly aspirations quite nervous.

Now sometimes the branch of a family tree die out: be it from war or plague or whatever so the crown's contingency plan if it's at a dead end is to back up one level, and then apply the rules forward again looking for a living head to sit upon. If no luck, back up again, and repeat and repeat until a living heir is found.

And there will always be an heir. The first king of England was over a thousand years ago and the mathematics of human reproduction backed up by DNA evidence reveals that just about every European alive is distantly related to him. So the crown will eventually find a way.

So from the first king through the new millennium, the various rules when along, making monarchs, though with a gender biased result, that no one seemed too bothered about until suddenly, in 2013 for no particular reason at all, everyone decided that the rules needed to be updated right now.

So, Parliament and the Monarchy got together and made some changes: most notably striking the male part of rule #4.

From 2013 on the crown views all royal sons and daughters with equal favor. The only thing that matters is the order of their birth.

So prior to 2013 the boy in a set of fraternal twins in development could sit back and relax -- secure that the crown would be his no matter what happened on delivery day, but in the post 2013 gender-equal world it's now a race for the door to win the crown.

The European Union Explained*


Thank you to all the volunteers who helped add captions to this video in all 24 official languages of the European Union: Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Irish, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Maltese, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovene, Slovak, Spanish & Swedish.



  • 2:15: Apparently, I have no idea where Lisbon is.
  • 3:30 & 5:10: Poland should not be listed in the Eurozone. She still uses the złoty
  • 4:34: Mayotte should be listed on the map of overseas territories. (Though it will become an Outermost Region in 2014)
  • 5:19: Gibraltar votes as part of Southwest England, not Southeast England.


Where, is the European Union? Obviously here somewhere, but much like the the European continent itself, which has an unclear boundary, the European Union also has some fuzzy edges to it.

To start, the official members of the European Union are, in decreasing order of population:

  • Germany
  • France
  • The United Kingdom
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • Poland
  • Romania
  • The Kingdom of the Netherlands
  • Greece
  • Belgium
  • Portugal
  • The Czech Republic
  • Hungary
  • Sweden
  • Austria
  • Bulgaria
  • Denmark
  • Slovakia
  • Finland
  • Ireland
  • Croatia
  • Lithuania
  • Latvia
  • Slovenia
  • Estonia
  • Cyprus
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta

The edges of the EU will probably continue to expand further out as there are other countries in various stages of trying to become a member.

How exactly the European Union works is hideously complicated and a story for another time, but for this video you need know only three things:

  1. Countries pay membership dues and

  2. Vote on laws they all must follow and

  3. Citizens of member countries are automatically European Union citizens as well

This last means that if you're a citizen of any of these countries you are free to live and work or retire in any of the others. Which is nice especially if you think your country is too big or too small or too hot or too cold. The European Union gives you options.

By the way, did you notice how all three of these statements have asterisks attached to this unhelpful footnote? Well, get used to it: Europe loves asterisks that add exceptions to complicated agreements.

These three, for example, point us toward the first bit of border fuzziness with Norway, Iceland and little Liechtenstein. None of which are in the European Union but if you're a EU citizen you can live in these countries and Norwegians, Icelanders, or Liechtensteiner(in)s can can live in yours.

Why? In exchange for the freedom of movement of people they have to pay membership fees to the European Union -- even though they aren't a part of it and thus don't get a say its laws that they still have to follow.

This arrangement is the European Economic Area and it sounds like a terrible deal, were it not for that asterisk which grants EEA but not EU members a pass on some areas of law notably farming and fishing -- something a country like Iceland might care quite a lot about running their own way.

Between the European Union and the European Economic Area the continent looks mostly covered, with the notable exception of Switzerland who remains neutral and fiercely independent, except for her participation in the Schengen Area.

If you're from a country that keeps her borders extremely clean and / or well-patrolled, the Schengen Area is a bit mind-blowing because it's an agreement between countries to take a 'meh' approach to borders.

In the Schengen Area international boundaries look like this: no border officers or passport checks of any kind. You can walk from Lisbon to Tallinn without identification or need to answer the question: "business or pleasure?".

For Switzerland being part of Schengen but not part of the European Union means that non-swiss can check in any time they like, but they can never stay.

This koombaya approach to borders isn't appreciated by everyone in the EU: most loudly, the United Kingdom and Ireland who argue that islands are different. Thus to get onto these fair isles, you'll need a passport and a good reason.

Britannia's reluctance to get fully involved with the EU brings us to the next topic: money.

The European Union has its own fancy currency, the Euro used by the majority, but not all of the European Union members. This economic union is called the Eurozone and to join a country must first reach certain financial goals -- and lying about reaching those goals is certainly not something anyone would do.

Most of the non-Eurozone members when they meet the goals, will ditch their local currency in favor of the Euro but three of them Denmark, Sweden and, of course, the United Kingdom, have asterisks attracted to the Euro sections of the treaty giving them a permanent out-out.

And weirdly, four tiny European countries Andorra, San Marino, Monaco & Vatican City have an asterisk giving them the reverse: the right print and use Euros as their money, despite not being in the European Union at all.

So that's the big picture: there's the EU, which makes all the rules, the Eurozone inside it with a common currency, the European Economic Area outside of it where people can move freely and the selective Schengen, for countries who think borders just aren't worth the hassle.

As you can see, there's some strange overlaps with these borders, but we're not done talking about complications by a long shot one again, because empire.

So Portugal and Spain have islands from their colonial days that they've never parted with: these are the Madeira and Canary Islands are off the coast of Africa and the Azores well into the Atlantic. Because these islands are Spanish and Portuguese they're part of the European Union as well.

Adding a few islands to the EU's borders isn't a big deal until you consider France: the queen of not-letting go. She still holds onto a bunch of islands in the Caribbean, Reunion off the coast of Madagascar and French Guiana in South America. As far as France is concerned, these are France too, which single handedly extends the edge-to-edge distance of the European Union across a third of Earth's circumference.

Collectively, these bits of France, Spain and Portugal are called the Outermost Regions -- and they're the result of the simple answer to empire: just keep it.

On the other hand, there's the United Kingdom, the master of maintaining complicated relationships with her quasi-former lands -- and she's by no means alone in this on such an empire-happy continent.

The Netherlands and Denmark and France (again) all have what the European Union calls Overseas Territories: they're not part of the European Union, instead they're a bottomless well of asterisks due to their complicated relationships with both with the European Union and their associated countries which makes it hard to say anything meaningful about them as a group but…

in general European Union law doesn't apply to these places, though in general the people who live there are European Union citizens because in general they have the citizenship of their associated country, so in general they can live anywhere in the EU they want but in general other European Union citizens can't freely move to these territories.

Which makes these places a weird, semipermeable membrane of the European Union proper and the final part we're going to talk about in detail even though there are still many, more one-off asterisks you might stumble upon, such as: the Isle of Man or those Spanish Cities in North Africa or Gibraltar, who pretends to be part of Southwest England sometimes, or that region in Greece where it's totally legal to ban women, or Saba & friends who are part of the Netherlands and so should be part of the EU, but aren't, or the Faeroe Islands upon which while citizens of Denmark live they lose their EU citizenship, and on and on it goes.

These asterisks almost never end, but this video must.