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Two quick and interesting lectures on psychology and neuroscience for your Tuesday lunch hour. First up is psychologist Barry Schwartz, talking about freedom of choice and its impact on the human psyche and collective culture. Filmed at TedGlobal 2005 in July 2005.
Watch a lecture about happiness, after the jump. Read more…
I’ve strayed from TED a bit in the last few ones of these. So why not bring on the queen of the JPL to bring it back into focus. Especially with the US debut of Wonders of the Solar System this past week on the Science channel, a talk about Saturn and the Cassini probe seemed to be a great idea. Carolyn Porco is the awesome head of the Imaging Team on Cassini and is a regular on the Science and History channels and the celebrity astrophysicist circuit.
At TED2007 in March 2007, she spoke about Cassini and showed off some of their cooler images.
Click on through for some more science talks.Read more…
Deoxyribonucleic acid is, quite literally, at the core of who and what each and every living thing on the planet is made up of. OK, so viri utilize ribonucleic acid (RNA) instead of DNA, and some theorize that the earliest earth life may have been based on self-replicating RNA instead of DNA, so it’s possible that more than just the common virus uses RNA still.
But that’s besides the point. All known complex life on Earth utilizes the computer-like coding of DNA to program its makeup. Instead of binary code (or, in binary: 01001001 01101110 01110011 01110100 01100101 01100001 01100100 00100000 01101111 01100110 00100000 01100010 01101001 01101110 01100001 01110010 01111001 00100000 01100011 01101111 01100100 01100101) like a computer, living organisms use a combination of adenine (A), cytosine (C), guanine (G) and thymine (T) to program.
OnlineNursingPrograms.net has put together the below infographic to reflect 17 interesting things to know about DNA. Click through to enjoy! Read more…
Yesterday I posted some of the best legitimate Neil de Grasse Tyson videos from the interwebs. Today, we’re going with pure fun, as in Colbert Report fun. Linked after the jump are the entirety of NdGT’s world record six appearances on the Colbert Report.
NdGT was the first Threepeat, Fourpeat, Fivepeat and Sixpeat guest on the Report.
Any time you get a chance to see NdGT work, you're constantly drawn to make plans to visit the Rose Center.
While most of the time I’m going to embed videos from TED lectures, sometimes I’ll go with non-TED videos that drive home a similar concept of pressing forth knowledge while providing entertainment. In the field of science and astrophysics, in particular, there’s simply no one better than Neil de Grasse Tyson.
Tyson is the revered host of PBS’s NOVA magazine show and is the director of the Rose Center and Hayden Planetarium at New York’s Museum of Natural History. He’s also one of the most engaging folks when it comes to conveying enthusiasm for the sciences. Oh yeah, there’s also the whole Pluto thing (The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America’s Favorite Planet).
I’ve linked a few videos for a reason, appearing after the jump.
A while back when I was a little more gung ho about updating, I posted Michael Shermer’s last TED lecture on strange beliefs. This time, we’ve got a bit more from the editor of Skeptic Magazine as he discusses the patterns behind self deception. Filmed at TED2010 in February 2010, Long Beach, CA.
Shermer’s works irks some new atheists in that he accepts the reality of and makes an effort to understand of religious beliefs (being squarely in the skeptic/agnostic column). I’m not sure I jive with the criticisms, as I feel Shermer’s supposed ambivalence as permitting him the characteristic of empathy. He tries to not only learn, but also understand why people believe what they experience.
The Royal Institution Christmas Lectures for Children were founded by British natural philosopher Michael Faraday in 1825. One hundred sixty-six years later, Oxford biologist and staunch atheist Richard Dawkins took the stage for five, one-hour lectures that touch generally on evolution in a manner best suited for children. In a world where children are most often indoctrinated with theological explanations of man’s origin, a lecture series such as this was particularly intriguing.
Dawkins is, of course, the author of several books on evolution and atheism, most notably The God Delusion. In this lecture, with the crowd on hand, Dawkins is not his normally abrasive self. Quite to the contrary, he makes a concerted effort to be truly engaging.
Furthermore, while many of his demonstrations seem a bit comical due to the then-cutting-edge and now-primitive computer technology, he makes convincing and eloquent arguments to debunk the ID myths of irreducible complexity and inconceivability of chance.
As a note, I’m filing this under TED Tuesday, even though it’s not a TED lecture.
The Dawkins Foundation for Science and Reason has made all five one-hour lectures available on YouTube and I’ve embedded them after the jump. Click through to view. Read more…
I’ve found that it’s easy to get a new feature on the site working and going when it involves just linking a couple of lectures from TED that I find worthwhile and commenting on them. After a one week turn to entertainment, I return to the bread and butter of my interest in TED, science. I kicked off and was inspired to start this feature by a few pieces on Science, Free-thinking and Religion. This week I turn the post over to one repeat TED lecturer: David Deutsch.
Professor Deutsch is a mainstay in the physics department of Oxford University and at Clarendon Laboratories. His book The Fabric of Reality: The Science of Parallel Universes and Its Implications just got added to my Kindle wish list for rocking (potentially). Anyone who’s read my blog knows I’m a fan of the multiverse theory and a person fascinated by things I don’t understand. Nothing is more so than quantum mechanics, which is a key portion of the Theory of Everything that scientists like Deutsch seek out.
Anyway, at TEDGlobal2009, Deutsch went into how and why scientific discovery revolutionized and continues to revolutionize explanation and transforms the world. His discussion of what truly is knowledge and scientific understanding is actually quite graspable, even for the layman.
There is something about those that arise from Oxford and their ability to reach out to the public. Here is Deutsch doing just that. July 2009, Oxford, England.
Another Deutsch lecture, after the jump. Read more…
It would be a little more understandable for someone who grew up without a public education system and the interwebs to be as ignorant as the ICP is.
Sometimes music videos can, in fact, be too good. A few weeks ago, the Insane Clown Posse, a ridiculous duo from inner city Detroit trailer parks who dress up like clowns while screaming their horrorcore raps [ed. note: I may have to close down this site after realizing I just typed those words], released a touching, pondering video that grasps at one’s heart as you try to fathom just how bad our education system is.
The duo strayed from their normal talks about violence to pen a fitting song about just how little they know about the world. They even have a line warning scientists and their empirical explanations to stay away because the ICP thinks scientists lie (the ICP also are apparently against climate change scientists). They actually name a variety of natural phenomena a no things that could even remotely be classified as “miracles.” It’s almost as ironic as Alanis Morrisette writing a song called “Isn’t it ironic” about a series of coincidences.
The song has taken on minor viral status with features throughout the interwebs, on Attack of the Show and now on Saturday Night Live. After the jump, I’ve linked the video for those who have been uninitiated. Also linked are the hilarious Saturday Night Live sketch and a series of my favorite animated GIFs from the interwebs.
Warning, the video includes some bad language (mostly F-bombs) and the page load time will be pretty hearty as the animated gifs are in excess of 10 MB. Enjoy! Read more…
OK, I admit I’m like a nerd without the credentials (American Studies BA instead of a Physics or Chem BS), but I must say I was especially pleased with a certain clever re-Tweet I earned myself today. As many of you may know, Russian scientists (in concert with some Americans) have collided particles together in a successful effort to recreate a new, super heavy element numbered 117 and temporarily called Ununseptium.
Well, as the team prepares to give it a final name, Wired Science’s Twitter has been helping out by polling followers on what they think the name should be. I contributed my thought, which got a solid re-Tweet from my all-time favorite magazine.
Click through for images and Epic Victory! Read more…