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Animal Wonders on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/anmlwndrs

This was a hard video to squeeze into four minutes, I had to leave a lot of information in the cracks. If a city of 70,000 people simultaneously contained dozens of the most influential humans in all history, it simply can't be that there was something special about those humans, the odds are just too great.

It's about circumstance, and one of the most important parts of that, and one thing that I admire greatly in people and am lucky enough to have found some of on my own, is the deep belief that your goals are important. Important enough to get out of that comfy bed. Important enough to overcome the apathy and ennui. Important enough to work hard and make sacrifices for.

Amazingly, a lot of those things that people become extremely passionate about and believe in so insanely deeply are, on their own, completely arbitrary. Like Football...people train their entire lives, wreck their bodies and destroy their health to put a ball over a line. It is important because it is important...and that's true of all of the great human endeavors. We are the deciders...the great trick of great people is convincing yourself that what you're doing is so important that it's worth sacrifice to achieve.

And I am very grateful to Nerdfighteria for inspiring that belief in me for the last seven years. I've never questioned how important and wonderful this is, and that's because of this community.
 Good morning, John!

I live in a city that most people would call a small town. Missoula, Montana has 70,000 people in it when the students are here, and when they leave for the summer, the population declines significantly. Somehow, 70,000 people is considered to be a small number of people. It actually is quite a large number of people, but, I mean, after all there are some cities that have stadiums that hold more than 70,000 people, so...

For some perspective, Missoula packs those 70,000 people into 2600 square miles. Manhattan has 22 times more people in 78 times less area. And, of course, there are many amazing things going on in Manhattan. It isn't just 1.3 million people. It's 1.3 million of the richest, most powerful, most influential people on the planet. Economic and cultural creation on the scale of Renaissance Italy.

And that is an interesting comparison because Florence in 1500 contained some of the most powerful economic and cultural forces the world has ever known. The Medici bankers, Botticelli, Machiavelli, Michelangelo, da Vinci, Brunelleschi... It revolutionized the world from the seat of the Renaissance in Florence, Italy.

And what was the population of Florence, Italy? 1.3 million people? No. No millions of people! No hundreds of thousands of people! 70,000. Of course there were tremendous political and economic and cultural and historical forces that made Florence the seat of the Renaissance.

But one thing that I believe very deeply in my heart, and I think most historians would agree with me, is that it didn't happen because there was just some random collection of really great people. Great people are everywhere all the time. It just so happens that only occasionally are cultural and historical and economic forces such that they will be remembered for hundreds or even thousands of years.

So I like to think of Missoula as, like, a little Florence. And everyone walking around is an unnoticed da Vinci and an unmade Machiavelli. And I think about what separates the great people that I remember from the great people that everyone remembers. I think it's 100% circumstance.

We're launching a new channel this week with Jessi Knudsen Castañeda and her husband Augusto, who you may know from their frequent appearances on SciShow. They bring to us animals that they have rescued so that we can talk about them and educate the world. That's Jessi's passion! That's her superpower.

And Caitlin Hoffmeister, who's also the producer of SciShow, is going to be documenting the passion, and sweat, and toil that it takes to run a small business and feed hundreds of mouths. Two of those mouths happen to be twin infant children.

Now that I've produced shows with a bunch of different interesting people here in Missoula -- Emily Graslie, and Lindsey Doe, and now Jessi -- people have asked me: "Why are there so many interesting things going on in this one little small town in Missoula?" That's the thing, though! That's the point! There's interesting things happening everywhere!

This isn't a magical place and they're not magical people. It's just people who have found something that they're passionate about. But yeah, that can be a hard thing to come by. I've watched everyone I've ever known struggle with that. Trying to find something that they believe is important, and I'm so grateful -- changing topics here, really fast -- that Nerdfighteria has provided that for me. People talk about all the things that I've been able to do. But it is only because I found something here that I can believe in. Because, yeah, I live in Missoula, Montana, but my first allegiance is to this place: a community of hundreds of thousands of people with shared ideas, and values and interests. Bigger than Missoula and thus even more full of unappreciated and unnoticed da Vincis and Machiavellis and Brunelleschis. The only difference between something being vitally important, and not important at all, is whether or not you believe it is.

I believe that this is important, and that is a gift that you have given me. Thank you!

John, your life seems like a bit of a grapefruit right now. Don't freak out. Uhh, stay sane. And I'll see you on Tuesday.

If you want to check out Jessi's new channel, there's a link in the description. And there's also -- you can just click over here if you're not on your phone, you can click on that with your mouse. But not with your phone, it doesn't work on phones. Boop.