Friday, October 29, 2010

In the Name of Research

It's official. You can learn how to do anything on YouTube.

I learned how to make the best tortillas EVER from watching this video.
My son swears by these stop-motion tutorials from FancyPants. (Love that name!!)
And just this week my husband learned to play Iron Man from a YouTube video. Rock on, babe!

When it comes to research, Google and You Tube are a writer's friends.

But when I found a link to the Lifehacker website on the MediaBistro blog, I was blown away: Learn to Pick Locks for Fun and an Increased Understanding of Security.

Fun? Seriously?

To be perfectly honest, I was equal parts thrilled and horrified. I mean, if you write the kind of books where a character needs to break into someone's house, this will certainly make your scenes a lot more believable. But, oh man, do you have any idea how easily you can break into a hotel room? With a rubber band? Yikes!

Then there's the comical warning on the screen that says, "Only pick your own locks–or you could wind up in a lot of trouble." Am I the only one who's not really convinced that aspiring criminals aren't learning a thing or two from YouTube?

How far are YOU willing to go to research your writing projects?


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Unknown said...

That is equal parts scary and incredibly useful.
When it comes to research, I pack my car and go. I had so much trouble writing about The Isles of Mull and Skye, I parked the book. I'll write it after I've been.
It is a good job I don't write Science Fiction ;)

Unknown said...

Okay, the educational components for would be criminals is scary.

I've been using YouTube a lot for researching my new wip. ;)

JEM said...

Um, no joke, I researched lock picking for one of my WIPs. And I now want to learn to actually pick locks.

Kristan Hoffman said...

YouTube, huh? I don't really have the patience for all the buffering and the ads and the bad videos... I mostly use a combination of Wikipedia and Flickr for my research.

Kristan Hoffman said...

Oh, and JEM? I totally taught myself to pick locks as a kid. ;)

(Unfortunately it's one of those skills that you lose if you don't use...)

Indigo said...

I learned how to steal a car from a dealership and fake the info. for a license. The car thieves upgrade from chop shops.

I think I'm listed somewhere in the FBI database, as a person of interest. I've researched so much of the information in their archives.

My latest venture? I want to explore an abandoned asylum that is now a govt. research facility. Most of the original asylum remains descrepit and abandoned. Problem? It's 4 hours away and no one has the guts to go with me. (Hugs)Indigo

Sherrie Petersen said...

Okay, Indigo -- you win! Holy smokes! That's pretty far to go in the name of research!

Lenny Lee said...

hi! wow i didnt know you could get so much stuff off utube. i got a story that got kids breaking into a office and getting into a locked file cabinet so now i could make it more real. cause theres so much you could learn i wanna know how i could get my alowence and not do any chores. ha ha. have a real fun weekend.
...happy halloween hugs from lenny

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Wow. I had no idea, but then I never use YouTube. I guess I should get my head out of the sand, huh?! :-)

Unspoken said...

This is a very scary part of the Internet to me too. Still, I look for whatever I want to know, but I'm NOT scary :).

lotusgirl said...

That's the way so many things online are--scary and incredibly useful--depending on how they're used.

Elana Johnson said...

Interesting! And I mean that seriously. Because I do think sometimes we want to be able to know exactly how to do something, but we wouldn't want it used against us.

I have to admit that I've used YouTube for research

Anonymous said...

Research definitely takes you to interesting scary, yet interesting.

Krispy said...

Double-edged sword there. It sounds really interesting, but it's also scary that info like that is out there.

Speaking of learning things from youtube though, I totally just learned how to fake a bob with my long hair. My coworkers thought I'd cut my hair! Success!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Eeeks, this may be the scariest post I've read this Halloween! ;)


Oh, that is very useful to know. Thanks for sharing that information. I really should look into things like that a bit more.

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