Sunday, March 18, 2018

The theory of Stephen Hawking

If you have seen a picture of the mature Stephen Hawking, you almost certainly remember what he looked like.  The movie "The Theory of Everything" starring Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones tells the story of his early life and career.  I thought it was one of the most moving and adult movies I have ever seen. Note: there are many movies, books and other works by the same title that have nothing to do with the famous scientist.

A young, very intelligent and imaginative but socially illiterate young male grad student at Cambridge University suddenly finds that his body doesn't work well.  In the movie and some news articles, he is said to have the very debilitating disease is called "motor neuron" disease. I have the idea that it is the same as what is also called "Lou Gehrig's disease" and also "ALS" (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) but there may be some individual or scientific differences between one version and another.  The guy is a genius, in fact, a super genius but physically unable and maybe emotionally unable to fit in with the grad student crowd.

You probably know that this genius physicist and cosmological thinker died a few days ago at age 76.  There are articles on the internet asking how a man with the very seriously limiting disease he had, managed to live so long.  He was smart, he was well-cared for and he was iconic. Nobody was so important and at the same time, so instantly recognizable.  The movie The Theory of Everything shows his diagnosis, his first marriage that resulted in three children now living and the tremendous burden his wife Jane carried, to care for him, love him, and raise their children.  Eventually, they managed to afford a nurse for the man and he and the nurse grew closer and closer. Eventually, Jane and Stephen divorced and he married the nurse. Something like five years later, Stephen divorced a second time.

I just learned today that Jane Hawking is more formally Dr. Jane Wilde Beryl Hawking, a professor of medieval Spanish poetry.  She is the author of Music to Move the Stars and a subsequent revision of that book, Traveling to Infinity, both stories of her life with Stephen. If you watch the movie, you may be interested to know that Jane and Jonathan Jones married.

If you want to stretch your empathy and understanding of life, watch The Theory of Everything and pay attention.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

A little attention of the right kind

We are sometimes said to be living during a fight for eyeballs.  That's not as gruesome as it sounds. The point is that people are clamoring for our attention.  Just like "Look! Mommy, look!". I like to say that I am not clamoring for your attention but I am not kidding anyone.  I want you to read my blog, I want you to tell your partner and your neighbor about the great good you get from reading my stuff.  

I taught statistics on statewide tv for nearly 20 years and I know that it matters if the teacher knows your name.  I often say to those teaching online and at a distance, that a phone call to a student having difficulty has lots of power to inspire and to calm.  When you hear the teacher's voice and you know you are getting a direct call right to you, it matters. Much like it matters in class when the teacher speaks to you directly and everybody can see that you are the focus of the teacher's attention. Especially if the teacher refers to a remark you made in the previous class or in a paper or email, that reference can stick with the student for years.

I am a big admirer of Karen Maezen Miller, a Zen teacher and the author of Momma Zen, Hand Wash Cold, and Paradise in Plain Sight.  I had a chance to talk with Maezen while she waited in the hospital for a friend's recovery from surgery. This is a modern, up-to-date hospital and those waiting get one of those smart plastic disks like restaurants use to tell you your table is ready.  Waiting for anesthetic to wear off and the nurse to decide your patient is sufficiently awake to benefit from a bit of conversation can be a bit dull. The smart disks here give a little message every hour, reminding you that your waiting is appreciated and telling you to please continue.  

Maezen is a specialist in seeing what actually is and she saw that the same message appeared at the same time after each hour.  The impersonal and repetitious nature of the electronic activity did little to energize her. She doesn't need energizing but her reaction reminded me of the value of human attention.  

As a distance educator overseeing large classes, I realized that even a small bit of genuine attention, an appreciative comment or a class statement that a given student's insight or question had been inspiring can be very motivating and strengthening.  There is an old idea, especially in all male situations such as coaching a team of men or training soldiers that being tough, even mean and demeaning, elevates the efforts and brings better results. I read research by the Air Force and by the Dutch army showing that kindness and respect resulted in better tenacity and spirit during tough times.  

Friday, March 16, 2018

Dwindling with less shame

We are dwindling: our days, our height, our remaining life expectancy.  Our knees may hurt at times and our eyesight is less acute. Our hearing is much less sensitive and our memory may not work so well.  

"Kenny Spinksmeyer!  That's the name I was trying to think of last week. And you say my memory isn't as good as ever!"

(link to the comic "Pickles)

The biological drive to admire the bodies and faces of those in their twenties has to give way, as we approach 80 years old, to a modified attraction to wisdom, wit and weight that is more appropriate to an older person.  Google can do many things very quickly and directly and one of them is to give you your BMI, your body mass index measure. Just put "BMI" into the Google search window and you have a place to enter your height and your weight.  My height used to be 6 ft. 3 in. but now it is 5 ft. 3 in. I have heard several times that "older people" are better off with a BMI between 25 and 30. Supposedly, I may survive future disease or surgery more comfortably with "extra" pounds than with the usual recommendation of BMI of 25.  

Given magazines, beauty standards and a youth-oriented culture, it is easy to feel bad about my limitations and lack of Olympic qualities.  One of the many advantages of hanging around with people close to my age is that I am more likely to be accepted as an ok specimen of male human.  However, listening to "The Secret Life of Fat" by Sylvia Tara gives me such an appreciation of body fat and nature's complex, long-range plans for me and my tribe that fat seems marvelous and precious.  

With all the lovely, sprightly bodies and spirits around, it is easy to be down, even ashamed of wrinkles and sags.  I don't have the body I had when I was 25 but I used that body to build this one. I say that I still carry the innate profile Nature pushes but I am smart enough to modify that picture.  Rodin's lovely statue "She who was once the helmet maker's beautiful wife" shows a elderly woman nude who is far beyond wanting, needing or even being able to create children.  Her body, as is, shouts achievement and beauty but a different sort from the nubile kind. Less shame and more pride, more appreciation, more respect!  I tried to make a link but I find that you need to enter the quoted name of the work to see a picture of it.

She is far beyond wanting, needing or even being able to create children.  Her body, as is, shouts achievement and beauty but a different sort from the nubile kind.  Less shame and more pride, more appreciation, more respect!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Good stuff

A friend said, of a good-looking older woman: You make this aging thing look good.

A friend said that many older people remember the answers they learned as youngsters but nobody asks those questions anymore.

The 2nd graders had a sheet with five parallel boxes.  The first contained 3 circles and the next had 6 circles.  The directions said to continue the pattern and the teacher's answer sheet said it could be doubling: 12, 24, 48.  It also said it could be added 3: 9, 12, 15. The kids wrote 3,6,3, alternating between 3 and 6. I think they are smarter than the authors.

On a related subject, take a look at the TED talk by Swedish psychologist Petter Johansson on knowing ourselves.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Stuffed tardigrades and scorpions

In our Sedona, AZ Road Scholar evening, a woman presenter, Maggie Mitchell,  brought four small glass carrying aquarium-like cases to our evening session. They contained a live scoprion, two different tarantulas and a snake. You can see her and a snake here:

Lynn was a counselor at Fresh Air camp and liked to explain to girls that snakes are not so scary.  So, when Mitchell asked who wanted to hold a live scorpion in her hand, while demonstrating that very act, Lynn was the first to leap up and volunteer.  The scorpion behaved nicely and Mitchell said that quite a few scorpions will only sting prey. After a few minutes of letting it explore her hand, it was returned to its case and Mitchell let others hold the tarantulas and the snake.

The next day was Valentine's Day and what could be a more loving gift than a stuff scorpion?  In the gift shop of a national park, I saw their stuffed scorpions and bought one for Lynn. She keeps it close at hand, by the bed.   

Because of that romantic purchase, I am more aware of stuffed animals that scientists and children and wives might find comfy and huggable.  The other day, I saw that Discover magazine's website is offering stuffed tardigrades. Those are microscopic animals of interest to various students of life, since the little "waterbears" are so tough.  They can survive temperatures that are way too hot for humans and also deadly cold. If you see a stuffed tardigrade, you might have trouble recognizing it as such.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Helping 2nd graders with math

I have been visiting the 2nd grade and supposedly assisting with math instruction.  I sit at a round table with little chairs around it and those who want help or conversation about math come over and bring their paper.

The kids understand addition and subtraction and may or may not use some sort of traditional layout of figures to be added or subtracted.  They realize that four 3's is 3+3+3+3 but they don't know the word "multiplication" as such.

They have been working with common fractions but not decimal fractions.  A recent worksheet asked they to decide whether one-half > ¾ . I asked one child how much a quarter was and he answered 25 cents.  I asked him how much three quarters would be and he answered 75 cents. How much is half a dollar? 50 cents. So, which is bigger half or ¾.  He answered ¾.

I was impressed that the whole class worked on this problem:  Wagons and trikes are on a parking lot. There are 27 wheels altogether.  How many wagons and how many trikes are there? No algebra, no X and Y for unknowns.  Lots of simple drawings of 4-wheeled and 3-wheeled vehicles and counting going on. I taught arithmetic to four groups of 5th graders and then did it all over again the next year.  During that time, we never dealt with a single problem that had more than one correct solution. These kids worked it all out, finding both solutions without any assertion that TWO solutions was an odd situation.  

Monday, March 12, 2018

Fwd: Reading list: 23 female TED speakers tell us about the books that shaped them, and more ideas worth reading

There is some truly excellent and valuable talks in TED Talks.  Bill
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Ideas at <>
Date: Sat, Mar 10, 2018 at 7:08 AM
Subject: Reading list: 23 female TED speakers tell us about the books that shaped them, and more ideas worth reading

"The more you challenge people and the status quo, the more you face backlash."
Open this email in your browser

Reading list: 23 female TED speakers tell us about the books that shaped them

Here are the books that profoundly influenced women from our speaker community, and they're as wonderfully diverse as TED itself. Read more »

Could Singapore hold the secret to preparing workers for an uncertain future?

It's called second-skilling: developing your skills for a new job while you're still working. The Asian city-state is investing in its citizens so they can stay flexible and employed, says online learning advocate Barbara Oakley. Read more »

How one woman in Pakistan is fighting to make the Internet a safer place for women

Lawyer and activist Nighat Dad talks about the fight to create a more accessible internet for women and other marginalized groups in her home country of Pakistan. Read more »

How scientists make people laugh to study humor

British cognitive neuroscientist Sophie Scott studies vocal communication. She explains why looking into giggles and mirth is important … and shares ways she makes subjects laugh in the lab. Read more »

Quote of the Week

"In any organization, people are fixed in their ways. They're all good people, all well-meaning — and they have habits. They know if they just stick to these habits then things'll come out… medium. This is what we call the fear of being judged. People don't want to step out and say 'let's do this new thing.'"

David Kelley, designer and educator

Ideas piece: Why we need creative confidence
Featured images: Stocksy, Mariah Llanes, Gracia Lam, iStock.
Was this email forwarded to you? Subscribe here
TED logo
Copyright © 2018 TED, All rights reserved.
You are receiving TED's weekly ideas newsletter because you signed up at You are our favorite person.

Our mailing address is:
TED 330 Hudson Street New York, NY 10013 USA

Unsubscribe from this list  ·  Update subscription preferences

Sunday, March 11, 2018


Lynn had reason to return to her dissertation: "A Reader-Response Analysis of Hypermedia" (1992).  That got me to thinking. I thought of that guy who was surprised to find he had been speaking prose all his life.  Google says he was "The Bourgeois Gentleman" in Moliere's play (1670). I read a long time back that the inventive mind of Vannevar Bush proposed something like the idea in the 1940's.  

Today, we are used to the idea that "clicking on", or tapping or double tapping a word can "bring up" something, like an explanation of what we tapped or a related document or picture or video.  I send out this blog using Gmail and sometimes a given post has been "bounced" or rejected by various filters, machines or software put in place to reduce unwanted messages. It can be bothersome to find dozens of bounced messages so I haven't tested out what can and can't pass muster.  I suspect that a hyperlink that says "CBS news" but leads to the American Red Cross is a no-no. The usual hyperlink is a request to a computer or set of them to send a file to my machine. If that file is engineered to deliver malicious or damaging directions, I want it blocked.

I think that Google and other computing forces try to find, block, disable misleading stuff.  But I think there are various people around the world playing or seriously trying to profit by sending me files I don't want.

The practice of making symbols themselves switches that do things reminds me of "rebus" text where little pictures are used sometimes instead of words.  I might insert a picture of a cat instead of using the letters. I wasn't sure that "rebus" is used to refer to such text but Google search results say the idea goes back to the middle ages.

I am confident that many people, not just youngsters, would be surprised that they know how to use hypertext without having heard the word.  Many orderly types of people assume that we first learn the name of something and then learn what it is. Often, in school or in an orderly introduction, we do.  But we are engaged in many things throughout a day without a vocabulary, especially not a workman's vocabulary, for each action or device. To a certain extent, I can use my body without knowing the typically used names for my bones, muscles and organs.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

What must they know?

The local university is facing two shortfalls: money and students.  I think all colleges and universities are facing increased competition and smarter competition for students.  We generally think that a student will complete high school and then enroll in college. There is evidence in many places that lives tend to go better with a college degree.  So, as a list of proposed changes to what majors will be available is published, much complaint is expressed about what is planned to be discontinued.

These events lead an education professor to reflect on the subject of curriculum.  You remember: schooling is triangular. We have the teacher,the student, and the subject(s) to be learned, the curriculum. I guess we could say the first curriculum was learning to read.  Hopefully, as you learn to read, you will, more or less simultaneously learn to write. In the old days, we threw in "arithmetic", addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. You may remember your addition facts and your "times" tables.  

It seems sensible, in these days of science talk and calls for evidence, to say that we need good data on what our kids, who have a habit of quickly turning into adults (and parents!) should learn.  Then, we find that the banker says they MUST learn money and check writing while the chef says that people gotta eat and recommends cooking and nutrition. Finance and food can both be labeled as dreaded "practical" subjects, raising the fear that our plans will lead to semi-educated dunces who don't know history and science or French or Japanese.  

Men and women don't live by bread alone, you know.  Kids are human beings and they deserve a good education in the humanities.  Ok, in the arts and sciences, too. Plus, don't omit the essentials of ecology and knowledge of the environment, which gets more worrisome all the time. That means history, philosophy, foreign languages, the physical and biological and social sciences should be added into the requirements for a college degree, right?

I don't really know what they need to know.  I don't really know what they know, nor what I know.  I am unclear about what I learned and which parts are now forgotten and which are out-of-date.  Luckily, I probably don't need to know. I just need to demand that the kids learn hard stuff, whatever it is, to be prepared for their unknown and murky futures.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Rebuilding your mental view

If you aren't happy most of the time, I suggest re-making your thought habits. It's not that hard to do.  Wait until you feel strongly grumpy or down. If you are really depressed, you can't do this and in that situation, see a good counselor, psychologist or physician.  But otherwise, describe to yourself what you see and feel at one of those low points.

Ok, you can't stand the government, the weather, the bills, whatever.  Take a piece of scrap paper and write down a couple of sentences expressing the negativity that is weighing you down.  At this point, you have at least two ways to go.

Path 1 is to change the subject.  You are feeling like your partner isn't loving enough or you feel like a failure since you haven't saved more than the piddling amount you have in your account.  Ok, search around for a new subject. Something good to listen to or watch on tv? Time to write a letter to a deceased parent or a far-off brother? You can look at what you have written and work at veering off on a complete different angle.  You may be able to see that things are negative in one area but not at all negative in another area, one that you don't usually visit or pay attention to.

Path 2 is more of a direct attack.  Path 1 can often show you that there are many sides to this world and to this life.  Without deliberate focus, it may be difficult to take the exact opposite side of the negatives you have written. If you have been feeling that your partner isn't sufficiently loving or that you have done a poor job saving, write an statement that shows all the loving things your partner manages to do.  Search widely. Don't forget quiet things like economizing, and befriending people. You have managed to save, especially when you think back on all the extra expenses you had this month. Path 2 is a strong consideration of the opposite side of the idea that has been bugging you. When you put some mental muscle into the job, it can be quite surprising how much there is on the other side of the question.

There is no law against taking both path 1 and path 2.  In no time, you will have fun turning the grumps into grins and a feeling of a rich and complex life.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

My precious self

A friend asked me once what I thought happens after we die.  I pointed to some dead leaves and weeds and said I thought we had the same thing happens to us as happened to them.  Sometimes, people say they don't believe in an afterlife. It seems clear that we do shrivel, become insensate and unconscious.  My mother's ashes and those of my daughter have been in our house for more than 10 years. If there had been no cremation, their bodies would have shrunk and transformed in other ways but little bits of them are still around, in the house and in the atmosphere.

The Buddhists and all other religions wonder, speculate and postulate about events after death.  The TED talk by the Indian/British researcher Anil Seth shows a scientist who studies consciousness. In his talk, he says that it is clear to him that when our consciousness ends, "there is nothing, nothing to be afraid of."

The Buddhists often assert that there is no "self".  Others, such as scientists, also find nothing in our heads that is THE self.  Seth is convinced that we work with our brains, our minds and our bodies, we interact that our mothers, and others and over time, during those first years of learning to use our hands, legs, and our speech to the point of developing a comfortable sense of who we are, what we are and what we can do.  Whether we refer to the self or the soul or our consciousness, most of us have a sense of continuous identity. The identity is so familiar, so precious, so delightful, so US that we normally have a difficult time even supposing that that it might not last forever. It ought to last forever, it deserves to last forever, however long that might be.

I can think of "cyberspace" as the stuff, codes, messages, bits that can be decoded into a picture

.  In a similar way to what is in cyberspace, I am in my space and your space and the spaces of some others.  However, there are far more people in whose spaces, I am not and I never will be. Too bad for them, huh?

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

My present is too big for me

Eckhart Tolle has made a specialty of emphasizing the present moment.  What is the present moment? As Yogi Berra said,"You mean now?" Yes, that is just what I mean.  Thinkers have long noted that a minute ago or a year ago is in the past. We can remember some of what happened in the past.  We can plan, predict and prepare for a minute from now or a year from now. But as those thinkers noted, we actually have only this now here.  Our memories can be faulty or incomplete. Our plans, predictions and preparations can be inadequate. Completely unexpected events may occur and what we were confident would happen sometimes doesn't.  

But this moment, this now - that is real.  Often, getting into the now, sensing the present fully involves the body.  Feeling this breath, feeling our balance as we stand or sit or lie down, closing our eyes and reopening them to see, really see, intensely see what is in our visual field.  Listening to all the sounds available to us right now. Smelling all the scents and odors we can and feeling the air, our clothes, what our fingers and lips can right now.

If I look very carefully, if I observe deeply everything I can, I find there is too much to see, too much to hear, to smell, to sense.  There is far too much to think about. Everything in sight stirs thoughts, associations, memories, hopes, plans. I don't want to get into them right now while I am exploring the present but I know they are there.  I know there are too many nooks and crannies, too many unusual angles to really see everything, even everything that is right here. Too many associations, ideas, questions. I can only harvest some of them, later, not now.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

What's his score?

What is a metric?  Not metricS, but "a metric".  A metric is a measure, sometimes complex and made up of several variables.  It is supposed to be an indicator, usually THE indicator of goodness or superiority.  It is the grade or quality measure as in "She has a very high GPA and is a student who excels" or "His credit score is 850 and he looks like a good credit risk to us."

"Metric system" is sometimes a subject of debate since one group of citizens may feel that basing our length and weight measurements on the metric system is unAmerican or worse.  But a metric is a measure, a score. It need not be a numeral but it usually is. When we say that she is an A student, we are referring to an order list of ranks or grades and this person is of the highest rank.  

Because people are competitive, they tend to focus on a metric and try to raise the level or number as high as possible.  I think the most common metric we all use is money. Income levels, bank balances, salaries all matter and we tend to say that a person who earns one thousand dollars a year is poor while someone who earns a thousand thousand (a million) is rich.  As we age, we find that money and other metrics, such as height or weight or bust size or IQ can be misleading. There is an old understanding that metrics of common properties are often out of whack and less useful when they indicate a very different position on a line than is typical.  A person who earns $1,000 a year might be a volunteer in some work that earns a bit of money once in a while. But, a person who earns a tenth of a cent a year or a trillion dollars a year is off the scale. A person who is 1 inch tall and a person who is 1 mile tall are both victims of a clerical or genetic error or fundamental change in what we are talking about.

Consider American football, which awards 7 points for getting that odd-shaped ellipsoid across the goal at the opposite end of the playing field:

What was the highest scoring game in football?

This particular game occurred on October 7th of 1916 and was between the Georgia Tech Engineers and the Cumberland Bulldogs of Tennessee. Georgia Tech scored 222 points, and the Bulldogs never scored making this the highest scoring game of all time in football history.Oct 8, 2013

Highest Scoring Football Game Of All Time! - YouTube

Monday, March 5, 2018

Did you get my message?

It is fairly easy to think we know how to contact people.  Send an email.  Send a text.  Put a message on Facebook.  What's email?  What's a text?  What's Facebook?  There are many ways to not get the message.

I don't use email.  I get too much of it so I don't use it.  You have my email address, in fact, you have all three of them.  But I don't check my email.  All I ever get is junk and I am sick of it.

I am charged for each text I send.  I don't think of texting.  It sounds like "sexting".  I don't know what sexting is but I don't want to do it, whatever it is.  The people I want to invite have never mentioned text messages and I don't think they get them.  (I use Google Voice, which is free and available on any device connected to the internet because all my contacts and their phone numbers are immediately available to Voice from Gmail.)  I only have landline numbers for some people and their phones can't handle text messages. I cleverly obtained a separate Google Voice phone number that is not my landline nor my cellphone.  Sometimes, I send a text but the recipient doesn't recognize the number and assumes it was mis-sent by a stranger. It gets trashed unopened.

I am not on Facebook.  It was hacked by the Russians.  I am a patriot American and I don't like kids' stuff. I tried Facebook but I found that as I scrolled down (what is scrolling?), the posts entered in clumps, jumping to the bottom of a group of messages.  Then, I had to backtrack to where I was before the jump.  Sometimes, I miss something and I often repeat something I have already read.  

I can't understand why people don't get my message.  I do understand that some people get so many messages, they don't have time or energy to read them all.  My older friends sometimes open the message, read it, understand it and forget they have read it.  Some people put the time and day of the meeting on their calendar.  Don't get me started on calendars.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Fwd: The brain-changing benefits of exercise

Ted Talks are worth checking out from time to time.  You can see them on any smartphone or computer or tablet.  You can sign up for a weekly note of selected ones.  The talk below by Shameem Aktar and this talk by Bill Bernat on talking to depressed people are moving and valuable.  Depression is very common and we can get better at talking to people who are depressed.  Bill

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: This week on <>
Date: Sat, Mar 3, 2018 at 10:11 AM
Subject: The brain-changing benefits of exercise

The science of working out. Open in browser
This week on
March 3, 2018

Wendy Suzuki: The brain-changing benefits of exercise

13:02 minutes · Filmed Nov 2017 · Posted Feb 2018 · TEDWomen 2017

What's the most transformative thing you can do for your brain today? Exercise! says neuroscientist Wendy Suzuki. Get inspired to go to the gym as Suzuki discusses the science of working out, and how it boosts your mood and memory -- and protects your brain against neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's.

Playlist of the week

What would it be like to live on another planet?

Mars might be humanity's next destination. But what would it really be like to live there? Watch »

7 TED Talks • Total run time 1:29:14

Catch up on This week's new TED Talks

Technology should work for us, but what happens when it doesn't? Comedian Chuck Nice explores the unintended consequences of technological advancement and human interaction -- with hilarious results. Watch »

Join radio glaciologist Dustin Schroeder on a flight high above Antarctica, and learn how ice-penetrating radar is helping us learn about this vast and shifting landscape -- and what its melting ice will mean for us all. Watch »

Poets Felice Belle and Jennifer Murphy perform excerpts from their play "Other Women," created and directed by Monica L. Williams. In a captivating journey, they weave together stories full of laughter, loyalty, tragedy and heartbreak, recalling the moments that made them feel like true sisters. Watch »

Do human emotions have a role to play in science? Researcher Ilona Stengel suggests that instead of opposing each other, emotions and logic complement and reinforce each other. She shares a case study on how emotions -- like the empowering feeling of being dedicated to something meaningful -- can actually jumpstart a scientific breakthrough. Watch »

Shameem Akhtar posed as a boy during her early childhood in Pakistan so she could enjoy the privileges Pakistani girls are rarely afforded: to play outside and attend school. In an eye-opening, personal talk, Akhtar recounts how the opportunity to get an education altered the course of her life -- and ultimately changed the culture of her village, where today every young girl goes to school. Watch »

How do we find fulfillment in a world that's constantly changing? Raymond Tang struggled with this question until he came across the philosophy of the Tao Te Ching. In it, he found a passage comparing goodness to water, an idea he's now applying to his everyday life. In this charming talk, he shares three lessons he's learned so far from the "philosophy of water." Watch »


Culture: 10 great films from women directors you can stream right now >>
Looking for a weekend watch? Check this list of funny, scary, amazing movies

Movies: Learn about four under-appreciated jobs in movies >>
Meet the people who win those obscure Oscars

Business: Tracking a money laundering scheme in Panama >>
Global Witness investigators take on the Trump Ocean Club

We humans: Want to multitask better? The key is good feedback >>
The science behind juggling many jobs at once -- brilliantly

Quote of the Week


Physical activity, simply moving your body, has immediate, long-lasting and protective benefits for your brain. And that can last for the rest of your life."

Wendy Suzuki
The brain-changing benefits of exercise

new podcast: WorkLife with Adam Grant

In most workplaces, criticizing your boss is a great way to lose your job. At Bridgewater Associates, you can be fired for NOT criticizing your boss. We grill founder Ray Dalio and his employees to figure out how this kind of radical transparency works in real life -- and how we can all get better at dishing it out (and taking it). Subscribe now on Apple Podcasts.

You are receiving this email because you've subscribed to our mailing list.
We also send out daily emails, if you can't get enough of us. We love you too.

Copyright © 2018 TED, All rights reserved.
You're receiving the TED Talks weekly newsletter because you subscribed to it on (Was this forwarded by a friend? You can sign up here: )

Our mailing address is:

unsubscribe from this list   update subscription preferences   view email in browser

Popular Posts

Follow @olderkirby