John Hunter puts all the problems of the world on a 4’x5′ plywood board — and lets his 4th-graders solve them. At TED2011, he explains how his World Peace Game engages schoolkids, and why the complex lessons it teaches — spontaneous, and always surprising — go further than classroom lectures can.
Medical ethicist Harvey Fineberg shows us three paths forward for the ever-evolving human species: to stop evolving completely, to evolve naturally — or to control the next steps of human evolution, using genetic modification, to make ourselves smarter, faster, better. Neo-evolution is within our grasp. What will we do with it?
The feeling of security and the reality of security don’t always match, says computer-security expert Bruce Schneier. At TEDxPSU, he explains why we spend billions addressing news story risks, like the “security theater” now playing at your local airport, while neglecting more probable risks — and how we can break this pattern.
Jeff Masters’ WunderBlog is a key source of information on any current weather events:
A stunning tornado outbreak of incredible violence has left at least 202 dead across the Eastern U.S.; injuries probably number over a thousand, with 600 injured in the town of Tuscaloosa alone. The tornadoes carved huge swaths of damage, completely flattening large sections of many towns, and damage from the storms is likely to be the greatest in history for any tornado outbreak. Hardest hit was Alabama, with at least 149 dead…
- The best place to donate is probably the American Red Cross. At this moment, their web site does not seem to be aware of the tornadoes, but they are in fact on the scene working now.
ERV joined Scienceblogs on this day in 2008. Seems like only a couple of years ago. Happy Anniversary, ERV!
Huxley loves to go to bed at night. You say “Huxley, time for bed” and he runs for the bedroom giggling.
Sometimes he stops on the way to read a book, or more exactly, get a book read to him because he can’t read yet. Sometimes the book is Goodnight Moon.
But some kids are not as sanguine with the idea of gong to bed at night and can give their parents a hard time. For those kids, we have this:
Go the F**k to Sleep is …
…a bedtime book for parents who live in the real world, where a few snoozing kitties and cutesy rhymes don’t always send a toddler sailing off to dreamland. Honest, profane, and affectionate, Adam Mansbach’s verses and Ricardo CortÃ©s’ illustrations perfectly capture the familiar–and unspoken–tribulations of putting your little angel down for the night, and open up a conversation about parenting in the process. Beautiful, subversive, and pants-wettingly funny, Go the Fuck to Sleep is a perfect gift for parents new, old, or expectant. Here is a sample verse:The cats nestle close to their kittens now.
The lambs have laid down with the sheep.
You’re cozy and warm in your bed, my dear
Please go the fuck to sleep.
All over the planet, giant telescopes and detectors are looking (and listening) for clues to the workings of the universe. At the INK Conference, science writer Anil Ananthaswamy tours us around these amazing installations, taking us to some of the most remote and silent places on Earth.
When Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters came out, I got myself an electronic copy of it and searched for the words “God”, “Jesus”, “Miracle” etc. Amanda and I had watched Capt’n Sully be interviewed a few times and we guessed that he was a straight up guy who knew how to land an airplane on a river. And did. We were happy to find an example of something extreme and unlikely happening and the key person involved not invoking supernatural powers as causing or stopping something from happening.
At an entirely different time in the past, well, a few times, I was almost eaten by a lion or killed by drunk renegade soldiers and so on and so forth and, as I’ve noted elsewhere, discovered that there is not a strong correlation between being truly threatened with death and being scared of what was going on.
Apropos these things:
Using wikis and digital fabrication tools, TED Fellow Marcin Jakubowski is open-sourcing the blueprints for 50 farm machines, allowing anyone to build their own tractor or harvester from scratch. And that’s only the first step in a project to write an instruction set for an entire self-sustaining village (starting cost: $10,000).