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Introducing iMechanica Video

iMechanica Video's picture

If a picture is worth of 1,000 words, a 1-min video is worth of 1.8 million words.  1,000 word/frame x 30 frame/s x 60 s. 

LOL, seriously? Maybe not. But a well made video does provide information in an effective and efficient way that is often times impossible via other media. 

iMechanica Video is a YouTube channel launched on June 1, 2020 to host videos of mechanics and mechanicians. Just like iMechanica serving as the web of mechanics and mechanicians, iMechanica Video aims to host videos of mechanics and mechanicians. 

There is no doubt that plethoras of videos of mechanics and mechanicians already exist online. With the surge of webinars and online teaching in the past several months, more videos of mechanics by mechanicians become available everyday. But these videos of mechanics and mechanicians are scattered here and there. Let’s harness the wisdom of the iMechanica community to locate these videos and aggregate them in a theme YouTube channel. Together, more videos of mechanics and mechanicians facilitate learning, promote research, and foster communication.  

We welcome your recommendations and submissions of videos of mechanics and mechanicians of all spectra to this channel, be it 

  • a video of a seminar (or webinar) on mechanics,
  • a video about a mechanician (e.g., an interview),
  • a video introducing a recent paper you published,
  • a set of videos of presentations in a symposium or a webinar series,
  • a whole set of videos of a mechanics course or just a video of a mechanics concept,
  • or simply a fun video revealing interesting mechanics,

If the video is already available in YouTube, simply submit the link to the video.

If the video is sitting in your hard drive or somewhere on the cloud, we will be happy to help upload to the iMechanica Video channel for you. 

To submit or recommend, please email:

Subscribe to iMechanica Video, and stay current with the growing playlists of iMechanica Video: 


Image icon iMechanicaVideo.jpg48.12 KB


Teng Li's picture

I enjoyed brainstorming with Zhigang Suo recently over a friendly debate in our WeChat friend circles. Brainstorming like this has always been fun and makes me think. iMechanica Video emerges with thinking along this line.

I quote below my words shared in WeChat, and welcome your comments.

"In response to Zhigang’s question, I believe reading and writing still carry far-reaching value, at least in the near future. Writing and reading may be unnatural and inhumane, but it has radically changed how humankind communicated with each other, and more fundamentally crucial, how knowledge and information were accumulated in the past millennia. The Internet era and the advent of ever-evolving electronic devices are pushing traditional publishing and printing business to a corner. Smartphones virtually allow everyone to be a creator of photo and video content that can be posted in social network media to reach screens around the world. The real challenge is, among the 24,000 days of videos uploaded to the internet daily, how to find the information that really matters to you. Furthermore, not all valuable information is available in video format yet. Great minds like 平凹先生 (Note: Mr. Pingwa Jia, a renowned writer in China, my personal favorite) may never spend hours recording videos to communicate with others, but he spends months to write. Some are born-writers, some are born-readers. It reaches depth and inspires ideas. I enjoy a lot what smartphone and social networking bring to me, and meanwhile, I still enjoy the time to read books, learning in between lines."

Zhigang Suo's picture

Following Teng's request, I enter here what I wrote on wechat.

The print to screen conversion has nearly been complete for me. My computer has been disconnected from any printer for several years. For most books I own I have electronic versions. I prefer reading on screen to reading on paper. A new transition has just begun: from reading books to watching videos. The other day I wrote that reading and writing are unnatural and inhuman. They waste too much time to learn. I got immediate push back from Teng. I hope that he is wrong...

Perhaps we are seeing Web 3.0: people convert from watching videos routinely to producing videos routinely. YouTube made this transition possible, but covid-19 makes this transition a reality, at a large scale, for academics.

Reading and writing are unnatural and inhuman. It was invented by humans to solve problems. What problems? Would reading and writing be invented if Zoom were available before the dawn of civilization? I have several versions of Newton’s Principia, but could never go beyond first pages. I wish I could zoom him, or watch a video made by him, or even a video made by someone else based on his Principia, like a video translation.

When Daniel and Michael were young, Denian was concerned if they spent too much time on computer or with TV. She was happy when they read books. I felt ambivalent. Do we really know reading is better than watching? Better for what? Or they are just different. Now Daniel and Lisa are watchful of their own children: reading is unlimited, but watching is limited. This time I keep my doubts to myself.

But words have such high density of information. “They kissed.” This sentence means a lot to people, yet it takes so little space to convey the idea. It is still unclear how these two words fire all the neural signals. So, Denian’s instinct is right after all, as usual.


Pradeep Sharma's picture

Zhigang and Teng, this video channel is a brilliant idea and I am looking forward to post-pandemic iMechanica 3.0! Having said this, regarding your discussion on reading papers on screen, I have a practical question for you. This is one that I have recently also discussed with a friend of mine. I am a voracious reader of books and about ten years ago, I completely switched over to kindle. In my youth I would lug around a large number of heavy and cumbersome books to keep me occupied and now I can carry thousands on my kindle. Moreover, I also have the option to dim the kindle backlight to get the feel of reading "paper" and as my eyesight is weakening, I am now spoilt by the fact that I can increase the font on my kindle. All the while I struggle to read the small print on most research papers. I would love to also shift to reading journal papers on something like my kindle. Unfortunately, there appears to be nothing in the market that makes it easy for us to read journal papers---i.e. equations and figures don't often show up well on kindle, it is not possible to scribble notes or highlight passages. So I am curious about what digital mechanism do you use to read papers? Is it just your laptop screen or some sort of tablet?

Zhigang Suo's picture

I read books and papers on a large monitor and on an 11-inch iPad. I use an APP called PDF expert to sync files across devices. This combination works well for me. I have not found any use for printer for several years. My sons have been showing me their larger iPads, but I have so far resisted the temptation.

Teng Li's picture

Pradeep, thanks for sharing your experience with evolving reading media and devices. I somewhat experienced the similar. I used both reflective and emissive Kindles and found none of them fits my need, mainly due to their limited functionality (unable to read scientific materials being one drawback). My paper reading devices are a mixture of iPhone, iPad, and computer screen. They can seamlessly connect with each other. To me, reading papers on iPad Pro in portrait mode resembles hardcopy paper reading the most. Being able to search and annotate on pdf is another advantage over reading hard copies. 

Besides reading on devices, I find audiobooks convenient too, making commutes, exercises, and chores more productive.

Yanfei Gao's picture

Now we have the iMechanica Video, and we are looking forward to seeing more! 

The above posts by Zhigang/Pradeep/Teng are very embarassing to people like me, who never use kindle or other things to read books. As Teng said of the exponential growth of information in Web 2.0, I feel that I cannot keep up with this rate of information explosion. Sarcastically, I force my kids to read books. During our family reading time, they read classics from their school list, while I read the comic books (such as Captain Underpants) that my kids have already deserted. 

Teng Li's picture

Yanfei, if you find a good video of mechanics and technicians, do recommend by emailing the video link to It takes the whole community to build a vibrant channel of iMechanica Video, just like the way we built and are building iMechanica.

Thank you for raising another interesting point of discussion. Indeed, I enjoy reading both paper books and electronic books. I tried to switch my bedtime reading to a screen but found it not working well, even after I followed the suggestion to turn on the night shift mode of the screen. I finally gave up and switched back to paper books, which serve me well. 

Libraries in universities are becoming obsolete, but public libraries are still thriving. They serve the community well to fulfill their reading and social needs. I agree with you that reading paper books is still the best practice for kids. I enjoy the time reading together with my kids (yes I remember the days when Captain Underpants were popular in my house). But it's evident that their screen time grows steadily as they grow older, at the price of decreasing paper book reading. The reading-together time now becomes watching-together time in my family. Gen Z grows up with YouTube. I enjoy watching together with my son his favorite YouTube videos and find myself learning new stuff all the time. Actually the slow-mo videos in the iMechanica Video were brought to me by my son. 

Ashkan_Golgoon's picture

 Thanks for starting iMechanica video. I was thinking if one can start a GitHub page for iMechanica as well, where mechanicians can share their codes and programs.


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