Innovations like OpenCourseware have made college-level courses increasingly available online, for free, which is a huge step in providing accessible and affordable education to a large number of people. Even our own UC Berkeley is contemplating offering these classes. While a great number are “legit” courses, some are just completely hilarious, and you begin to wonder how they came to be offered in the first place. Here are four silly courses that fall under this category: _____________________________________________________________


1) The Amazing World of Bubbles, CalTech

Normal human interactions with bubbles involve baths and innocent childhood outdoor activities, but apparently they have a secret world we civilians aren’t privy to. Did you know bubbles can harness energy that can be used in scientific pursuits? Nether did we. They’re practically a superpower.



2) Why Teach Art?, The Open University

This course just seems so meta. It’s not an art class. It’s not a class about teaching art. It’s a class about why teaching art is a beneficial pursuit to the educational world. It’s obviously very important, but someone is teaching a class about why people should teach art so that they’ll be interested in taking classes about teaching art so that they can one day teach art. So many layers, it’s almost “Inception.”


3) Vegetable Gardening and Lawn Care, Utah State University

vegetable garden

Vegetable gardening is a noble pursuit (and also our grandmother’s favorite hobby). But instead of giving your grandmother a call or reading the back of seed packets to absorb the knowledge, you can now take a college course about it! At first, it seems out of place in a university setting, but growing your own vegetables is a great way to save money while stocking up on your greens: two things college students are usually in dire need of.



4) Airline Schedule Planning, MIT

This is clearly a legit and serious course, but the only reason it’s included in this list is that, at first, we thought it covered neat tips for planning your air travel. For a college course, we thought that was pretty nifty and kind of an interesting topic to spend an entire semester on. But this isn’t the case, which is a shame, ’cause we would have really appreciated a course like that.

Images sources: (from top to bottom) 1) nick see, 2) boomcha7, 3) Downing Street, 4) shell belle, under Creative Commons.

3331794318_9e4355226aSecretary of Energy Steven Chu—former director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and professor at UC Berkeley—will be Caltech’s commencement speaker this year. Apparently the Nobel Prize cowinner’s “focus on energy research makes him an ideal speaker for Caltech.”

This decision entirely discounting his years of teaching physics and biology here at Berkeley? We won’t pretend we’re not a tad disappointed. But hey, it’s a feeling we’re quite accustomed to

by now.

Image Source: Center For American Progress The Fountain divx Wild at Heart download Action

under Creative Commons
Secretary of Energy Steven Chu to Speak At Caltech Commencement [Pasadena Now]