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Dan Gilbert: Why we make bad decisions

Posted on 16 April 2013 by James Bond

Uploaded on Dec 17, 2008

http://www.ted.com Dan Gilbert presents research and data from his exploration of happiness — sharing some surprising tests and experiments that you can also try on yourself. Watch through to the end for a sparkling Q&A with some familiar TED faces.
TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world’s leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design, and TEDTalks cover these topics as well as science, business, development and the arts. Watch the Top 10 TEDTalks on TED.com, at http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/top10

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Michael Norton: How to buy happiness

Posted on 16 April 2013 by James Bond

Published on Apr 24, 2012

http://www.ted.com At TEDxCambridge, Michael Norton shares fascinating research on how money can, indeed buy happiness — when you don’t spend it on yourself. Listen for surprising data on the many ways pro-social spending can benefit you, your work, and (of course) other people.

TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world’s leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes. Featured speakers have included Al Gore on climate change, Philippe Starck on design, Jill Bolte Taylor on observing her own stroke, Nicholas Negroponte on One Laptop per Child, Jane Goodall on chimpanzees, Bill Gates on malaria and mosquitoes, Pattie Maes on the “Sixth Sense” wearable tech, and “Lost” producer JJ Abrams on the allure of mystery. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design, and TEDTalks cover these topics as well as science, business, development and the arts. Closed captions and translated subtitles in a variety of languages are now available on TED.com, at http://www.ted.com/translate

If you have questions or comments about this or other TED videos, please go to http://support.ted.com

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Pamela Meyer: How to spot a liar

Posted on 16 April 2013 by James Bond

Uploaded on Oct 13, 2011

http://www.ted.com On any given day we’re lied to from 10 to 200 times, and the clues to detect those lie can be subtle and counter-intuitive. Pamela Meyer, author of Liespotting, shows the manners and “hotspots” used by those trained to recognize deception — and she argues honesty is a value worth preserving.

TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world’s leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes. Featured speakers have included Al Gore on climate change, Philippe Starck on design, Jill Bolte Taylor on observing her own stroke, Nicholas Negroponte on One Laptop per Child, Jane Goodall on chimpanzees, Bill Gates on malaria and mosquitoes, Pattie Maes on the “Sixth Sense” wearable tech, and “Lost” producer JJ Abrams on the allure of mystery. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design, and TEDTalks cover these topics as well as science, business, development and the arts. Closed captions and translated subtitles in a variety of languages are now available on TED.com, at http://www.ted.com/translate.

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9 documentaries that you need to see this year

Posted on 10 April 2013 by James Bond

Documentaries

By Marianna Torgovnick

Some documentaries show us the strange, the exotic and the unfamiliar; others make us feel anew about something so everyday, we barely thought about it before. Some of my favorite TED Talks are built around great documentary films, like Deborah Scranton’s chilling “War Tapes” and Nathaniel Kahn’s moving search for “My Father, the Architect.”

Last week, I attended the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in Durham, North Carolina, a four-day bash featuring more than a hundred documentaries — new, classic, and invited — many of which will show theaters over the next year.

Below, find my nine favorite films from the festival, which no documentary fan should miss.

1. Stories We Tell (director Sarah Polley, 2012)
An invited film that has shown at festivals in Toronto and New York, Sarah Polley’s gorgeous documentary is structured liked a mystery in which trap doors keep opening. Once an actress, the still-young Polley has directed two feature films: Away from Her, and the enigmatic Take this Waltz. Stories We Tell literally turns the camera on Polley, her family and her friends in a quest to find the truth about her mother, who died of cancer when Polley was eleven. The youngest child in her family, Polley’s questions interrogate the meaning of love, marriage, parenting, fidelity, the meaning of fatherhood, and the possibility of creative chaos. If that sounds like a lot, it is. But this beautiful and cunningly structured film is not just wonderfully crafted — it is also haunting and evocative as Polley’s family history becomes a metaphor for, well, the stories we tell and what we mean when we tell them. Part documentary, part fictional recreation of the past, this film is 100% worth seeing.

2. Muscle Shoals (director Greg “Freddy Camalier, 2012)
A new documentary that has the impact of a musical freight train, Muscle Shoals chronicles the men and stars behind Fame Recording Studios in the small Alabama town called Muscle Shoals. Narrated by Bono (watch his talk, “The good news on poverty”), Keith Richards, Percy Sledge, Aretha Franklin, Alicia Keys and others, the film features interviews with founder Rick Hall and his surprising back-up band, The Swampers, a group of local white teenagers. They looked, as the film says, like they worked at Walmart, but found within themselves the miraculous ability to endow singers like Franklin – not to mention bands from the Stones to Traffic — with a missing ingredient called soul. The Swampers eventually become Hall’s rivals, but the film wraps the whole story in glorious music and feel-good imagery. This Southern place exudes a special charm keyed to the rhythms of the Tennessee River and its green fields. Less known than it should be to music lovers, Muscle Shoals documents a center of the music scene that rivals Motown.

3. Our Nixon (director Penny Lane, 2013)
If you could have been a fly on the wall in the Nixon White House, what would you have seen? Our Nixon answers that question by culling recently available home videos made by Doug Chapin, H.R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman, all indicted during the Watergate scandal, all forced to resign from office and all (who knew?) avid cameramen. We don’t really see a more nuanced and likeable Nixon than popular lore records, but we do see and hear him more intimately than ever before. In one tiny image, he’s slumped into an armchair, his suit enveloping him as though it’s three sizes too big, in a way that epitomizes how this hard-working — and even talented — President was consummately a man lacking charm and grace. Near the end, Haldeman, who has resigned and is facing prison, calls a lonely Nixon, who is facing impeachment. “I love you boy. I love you like a brother,” Nixon says. You realize that this band of men, deservedly under the shadow of a history they failed to understand, had friendship and bonds of love rarely seen before in public.

4. The World According to Dick Cheney (Showtime, 2012)
Political junkies at the film festival moved on from Our Nixon to The World According to Dick Cheney, which revisits some of the most disastrous events of the George W. Bush presidency and documents the rift between Cheney — once an unchallenged force within the White House — and the President as his popularity plummeted. Part apologia, part expose, I list it as a must-see that will be available soon both on Showtime on Demand and on Netflix.

5. Manhunt (director Greg Barker, 2013)
An HBO Documentary Film that will be shown in May, Manhunt is not so much the anti Zero Dark Thirty as it is an alternative version. Taking a longer historical view, it focuses on the CIA’s twenty year search for Osama Bin Laden from the time when his disturbing messages first began arriving via video to his death in May 2011. It includes statements that most Americans never heard as a way of suggesting that Bin Laden’s death, rather than a cause for celebration — as it was for crowds in front of the White House that day — has left many questions unanswered. Two of the CIA agents shown — women in roles parallel to Jessica Chastain’s in Bigelow’s film — have since left the agency and participated in the documentary because, as one said at the Q&A after the screening, “History should not be dictated from the top.” A must-see for an informed public that remembers the World Trade Center attack of 2001, the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and everything that has happened since.

6. American Promise (directors Michèle Stephenson and Joe Brewster, 2013)
The directors began filming their 5-year-old son, Idris, when he enrolled at the prestigious Dalton School along with his childhood friend, Seun. Both African American and from solid middle class Brooklyn families, the boys seem at first to experience bumpy rides at a mostly white school, adjusting unevenly to diversity. But the film rather quickly moves beyond race to raise questions about the parents’ frenetic belief that every quiz, every paper is a make-or-break moment in their son’s rise to a productive adult life. One boy stays at Dalton; the other goes to a self-defined all-black private school instead. As it follows both families and their sons through 13 years, the film manages not just to raise questions about the families and their choices — but also to make you really care.

7. Cutie and the Boxer (director Zachary Heinzerling, 2012)
Hard drinking and hard hitting Japanese artist Ushio Shinohara is turning 80 and is a reformed alcoholic as this film opens in New York, where he shares an apartment with his much-younger wife, Noriko, also an artist. Their relationship has had its ups and downs, illustrated both through home videos and shots of the couple and their adult son in their messy apartment and studio — where the rent is, it seems chronically, overdue, despite Ushio’s success. We see them negotiate with the Guggenheim and mount an exhibit of Ushio’s latest work — a stylistic breakthrough — and of Noriko’s cartoon series based on their marriage, where the character named Cutie is Noriko herself. A tribute to marriage, love and the power of personal growth within a long-term relationship, this is a handsome and well-made film that is a portrait of two artists as well as of marriage.

8. The Record Breaker (director Brian Mc Ginn, 2012)
At just 25 minutes, this hilarious and well-made film is less than a feature and more than a short. It wins hands-down as the funniest documentary of the year. With affection and good humor, the film chronicles the daffy and obsessive activities of Keith Furman, who renamed himself Ashrita when he began to break records in the Guiness Book to honor his guru, Sri Chinmoy. We see Ashrita catch malt balls in his mouth and then catch malt balls in his mouth while riding an elephant. We see him slice apples with a samurai sword and other hilarities, aided and abetted by a group of pals who cannot resist his child-like energy and zeal. Most of all we see him train to climb to Machu Picchu on stilts, a feat most people find challenging enough on foot. The authorities ultimately turn him back but Ashrita remains, as his father (who once disowned his son but now embraces him) says, “the happiest person I know.” Whether the malt balls or the samurai sword get you most, this film should make your day.

9. A Will for the Woods (directors Amy Browne, Jeremy Kaplan, Tony Hale, Brian Wilson, 2013)
Hard to see and hard to take, this documentary has the potential to affect not just individual viewers but the American way of death. Smart, articulate psychiatrist Clark Wang is dying of lymphoma and knows it when he attempts to arrange a “green burial”: no embalming, no vault-like coffin, no institutional feel or machines—just a grave in an open, protected landscape so that he can perceive his coming death and decay as part of a natural process and it can unroll that way in real time. The documentary visits “green cemeteries” in the U.S. which preserve landscapes and make the conservation of the land in perpetuity a gift of the burial. In some extremely painful sequences, we see Clark die and his wife wash his body. Then we witness burial in a simple wood coffin and a hand-filled grave topped by natural greenery in a patch of North Carolina woods that are a protected part of a more traditional cemetery run by a caring and committed woman. Small now, the movement seems destined to grow. Their elders owe the young filmmakers a debt for making this difficult but must-see documentary that will be available online at AWillfortheWoods.com if it does not find distribution. Rather than being a downer, the film won — perhaps surprisingly — the Audience Choice award.

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Tony Robbins: Why we do what we do

Posted on 01 April 2013 by James Bond

Uploaded on Jan 16, 2007

Tony Robbins discusses the “invisible forces” that make us do what we do — and high-fives Al Gore in the front row.

TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world’s leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design, and TEDTalks cover these topics as well as science, business, development and the arts. Closed captions and translated subtitles in a variety of languages are now available on TED.com, at http://www.ted.com/translate.

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Alain de Botton: Atheism 2.0

Posted on 30 March 2013 by James Bond

Uploaded on Jan 17, 2012

http://www.ted.com What aspects of religion should atheists (respectfully) adopt? Alain de Botton suggests a “religion for atheists” — call it Atheism 2.0 — that incorporates religious forms and traditions to satisfy our human need for connection, ritual and transcendence.

TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world’s leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes. Featured speakers have included Al Gore on climate change, Philippe Starck on design, Jill Bolte Taylor on observing her own stroke, Nicholas Negroponte on One Laptop per Child, Jane Goodall on chimpanzees, Bill Gates on malaria and mosquitoes, Pattie Maes on the “Sixth Sense” wearable tech, and “Lost” producer JJ Abrams on the allure of mystery. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design, and TEDTalks cover these topics as well as science, business, development and the arts. Closed captions and translated subtitles in a variety of languages are now available on TED.com, at http://www.ted.com/translate

If you have questions or comments about this or other TED videos, please go to http://support.ted.com

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Jenna McCarthy: What you don’t know about marriage

Posted on 30 March 2013 by James Bond

Uploaded on Feb 14, 2012

http://www.ted.com In this funny, casual talk from TEDx, writer Jenna McCarthy shares surprising research on how marriages (especially happy marriages) really work. One tip: Do not try to win an Oscar for best actress.

TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world’s leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes. Featured speakers have included Al Gore on climate change, Philippe Starck on design, Jill Bolte Taylor on observing her own stroke, Nicholas Negroponte on One Laptop per Child, Jane Goodall on chimpanzees, Bill Gates on malaria and mosquitoes, Pattie Maes on the “Sixth Sense” wearable tech, and “Lost” producer JJ Abrams on the allure of mystery. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design, and TEDTalks cover these topics as well as science, business, development and the arts. Closed captions and translated subtitles in a variety of languages are now available on TED.com, at http://www.ted.com/translate

If you have questions or comments about this or other TED videos, please go to http://support.ted.com

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Paul Romer: Why the world needs charter cities

Posted on 26 March 2013 by James Bond

Uploaded on Aug 5, 2009

http://www.ted.com How can a struggling country break out of poverty if it’s trapped in a system of bad rules? Economist Paul Romer unveils a bold idea: “charter cities,” city-scale administrative zones governed by a coalition of nations. (Could Guantánamo Bay become the next Hong Kong?)

TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world’s leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes. Featured speakers have included Al Gore on climate change, Philippe Starck on design, Jill Bolte Taylor on observing her own stroke, Nicholas Negroponte on One Laptop per Child, Jane Goodall on chimpanzees, Bill Gates on malaria and mosquitoes, Pattie Maes on the “Sixth Sense” wearable tech, and “Lost” producer JJ Abrams on the allure of mystery. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design, and TEDTalks cover these topics as well as science, business, development and the arts. Closed captions and translated subtitles in a variety of languages are now available on TED.com, at http://www.ted.com/translate. Watch a highlight reel of the Top 10 TEDTalks at http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/top10

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Dan Pink: The puzzle of motivation

Posted on 26 March 2013 by James Bond

Uploaded on Aug 25, 2009

http://www.ted.com Career analyst Dan Pink examines the puzzle of motivation, starting with a fact that social scientists know but most managers don’t: Traditional rewards aren’t always as effective as we think. Listen for illuminating stories — and maybe, a way forward.

TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world’s leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design, and TEDTalks cover these topics as well as science, business, development and the arts. Closed captions and translated subtitles in a variety of languages are now available on TED.com, at http://www.ted.com/translate.

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String Theory – Lawrence Krauss and Brian Greene

Posted on 22 February 2013 by James Bond

Published on Nov 24, 2012

Professors Lawrence Krauss and Brian Greene discuss Brian Greene’s introduction into the field of String Theory and the educational reasons to how he came to study and popularise the subject with physics in general.

Theoretical Physics requires tailor made mathematics to describe the mechanism of reality as probed and observed by Experimental and Observational Physicists.

Modern physicists stand on the shoulders of previous giants in science who, through the marriage of theory and experiment, discovered how nature works and how nature can be used in technology.
Gravity was discovered and explained by Isaac Newton through his invention of classical mechanics and fundamental calculus.
James Clerk Maxwell formulated Faraday’s, Gauss’ and Ampere’s Laws into his theory of Electromagnetism.
Einstein used the evidence from the Michelson-Morley Experiment and his own thought experiments on simultaneity as his central axioms in Special Relativity.
Einstein then developed the famous mass-energy equivalence and concept of space-time, essential concepts for high energy physics.
Einstein extended Relativity to General Relativity, describing accelerating bodies and used the relationship between energy and space-time to describe curvature in the form of his field equations, discovering the true nature of the gravitational field which had troubled Newton and his predecessors for centuries.
Theodore Kaluza extended General Relativity with the concept of Maxwell’s Theory of electromagnetism and, along with Oscar Klein, developed the Kaluza-Klein Theory, a theory which describes electromagnetism as a gauge theory where the gauge symmetry is the symmetry of circular compact dimensions.

This all lead to the development of modern string theory, which views the Standard Model as gauge groups existing on a flat spacetime; with the elementary particles as strings on a flat world sheet, vibrating with different couplings and flavours forming the different particles.
The higher dimensions are in a curved spacetime in this theory, containing particles beyond the Standard Model as being higher resonances of the strings, contained on a different world sheet, or brane.
Extensions of these models are combined with the work of Richard Feynman, who developed the path integral formalism for quantum mechanics and used this to develop Quantum Electrodynamics, QED.
QED was the first theory to describe relativistic quantum mechanics.
Soon, the Weak Intercation was developed using quantum field theory, however the theory was too chaotic to make predictions as the coupling constants were impossible to determine at low energies; unlike QED the Weak Interaction is Non-Abelian and uses vector Bosons to commute. Predictions can be made from the dynamics only if you combine the theory with QED itself, which leads to symmetry breaking which is mediated by massless bosons. the mass for these bosons has to come from an outside field, the famous Higgs field.

The process Observation of Symmetry breaking in the Weak Interaction and QED generating massive
Feynman’s method can also be used to extend Kaluza-Kelin theory to Yang-Mills theory to describe how Quantum Chromodynamics, QCD, works in the low energy regime, as running of the coupling constants for this theory becomes chaotic, like the weak interaction, at even low energies.
Is there symmetry breaking of these gauge theories at a universal level, where all coupling constants are the same and if so why do they trend towards infinity? Is their some mass gap that must be included to achieve this? Where does gravity fit into the Standard Model? How can we renormalise the Standard Model itself? And with what?
A lot of these questions have to be answered by M-Theory, which attempts to unify a lot of the different string theories to from a Unified Field Theory.

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