Debate: The Best YouTube Channel

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Hydraulic Press Channel
By Dan Mahoney

Listen, we’re all pretty much in agreement that the world’s fairly awful by this point, yeah? 2016’s been a standout year for depressing news with the potential to cap it all off with a man with subpar hair game leading the free world, so what we all need is something to sooth us and take our minds off of the dreadfulness of it all.

This, my friends, is where the Hydraulic Press Channel (HPC) comes in. Combining cathartic violence, surreal humour and the majesty of the Finnish accent, the HPC is a gem amongst the screaming teenagers and inane ‘Vloggers’ (Christ, I hate that word) that make up 99% of the YouTube community.

Run by ridiculously charming husband and wife duo Lauri and Anni Vuohensilta, every video poses a deep philosophical question, namely ‘What happens if we put this object underneath an industrial strength hydraulic press?’ Anything and everything is up for crushing, be it classic Nokia phones (Spoiler: Not as indestructible as you thought), diamonds or gummi bears, with one amazing video seeing whether you can fold a piece of paper more than 7 times with the power of 100 tons of pressure backing you up.

I’m aware this probably doesn’t sound like the most exciting channel in the world but it genuinely sucks you in, both from the simple satisfaction of watching things get crushed that aren’t your dreams and the honestly surprising outcome of some of the results. If you’re a fool like me, it’s basically engineering. Lauri and Anni are what make the whole thing so damn lovable though. Their genuine joy and enthusiasm for the wanton destruction is infectious and they bring a unique sense of humour to all their videos, ending each one with the crushing of a homemade plasticine animal on the grounds that they’re ‘extremely dangerous and might attack at any time.’

Without wanting to sound too dramatic, what I’m basically saying is that the Hydraulic Press Channel is the antidote to all of the issues of the modern world, which by extension makes it the best YouTube channel, I guess. Or maybe I’m exaggerating a bit.

Simone Giertz
By Alex Wall

Simone Giertz is the Queen of Shitty Robots, a title she put upon herself and bears with pride. Inventions of hers include the Popcorn Helmet, an applause machine and a drone terrifyingly armed with a pair of scissors designed to cut hair. All of her robots ‘work’ but not in the conventional sense of the word, creating hilarious results that Giertz posts on her channel as vlogs and parody videos. Giertz has only been making videos for a year, but has an ever-growing subscriber count owing to the appearances she makes on TV shows such as The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and on the YouTube channel Tested (alongside Adam Savage of Mythbusters fame). However, that’s unfair to her sheer creativity, the hilarity of her videos and the infamy of her creations. Giertz states ‘My solution to almost every problem I have is to build a robot that can do it for me’ and her robots do achieve their goals, but not in the most expected way – her lipstick robot managing to apply lipstick to her lips…and the rest of her face!

Whilst her robots may be brilliant in their broken-ness, Giertz herself is the true star of the show. Her deadpan humour and her quirky charm make her videos instantly addictive even to someone like me who has no interest in engineering or inventing. Simone has taken up the mantel left empty when Kari Byron left Mythbusters – the public face of women in the science and engineering industries. Whilst her robots aren’t strictly speaking successful, she is more than capable at her job and her enthusiasm really has the potential to draw young women into the STEM career path.

It is just so frustrating that her channel is so new as I’ve already gotten through all of her content at least twice – and that is including her recent appearances on the YouTube channel Tested. Frustrating as it is, this is undeniably the sign of a great YouTube channel and YouTuber- a channel that leaves you hungry for more content and eager to see what madness she comes up with next. Forget PewDiePie, Simone Giertz is the best Swedish YouTuber hands down!