Health & Science
May 19, 2013 — Within science circles, trying to come up with a new universal language was a trendy past-time in the 17th Century. Even the man who discovered gravity, Sir Isaac Newton, took a stab at it. Arika Okrent, editor-at-large at TheWeek.com, talks about its failure to catch on with Weekends on All Things Considered host Jacki Lyden.
May 18, 2013 — What do you get when you get a college diploma? To hear David Foster Wallace tell it, you get a muscle that will help you forever after — in shopping lines, overcrowded parking lots, in traffic jams. This muscle, he says, frees you when the world gets painfully dull.
May 18, 2013 — Atmospheric scientist Ira Leifer installed special air sensors on a camper, then drove from Florida to California, measuring methane levels all along the way. More than 6,000 readings later, he found some noticeable spikes, especially around petrochemical plants and urban areas like Los Angeles.
May 17, 2013 — A new study confirms that the vast majority of scientists who research the climate accept that the planet is warming and human beings are largely responsible. Yet a large slice of the American public believes that scientists are deeply split about global warming.
May 17, 2013 — Scientists reported this week in the journal Cell that they had used somatic cell nuclear transfer techniques to create a source of embryonic stem cells from the skin cells of a patient. George Daley, director of the stem cell transplantation program at Boston Children's Hospital, and Josephine Johnston of the Hastings Center discuss the research.
May 17, 2013 — A report from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization says insects offer a huge potential for improving the world's food security. Peter Menzel, co-author of Man Eating Bugs, describes some insect-based cuisine and the western aversion to creepy-crawly snacks.
May 17, 2013 — Nobel Prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman is the latest subject in our Desktop Diaries series, although he has no desk. Kahneman, professor emeritus at Princeton University, won the Nobel Prize in economic sciences in 2002 for his research with the late Amos Tversky on our sometimes irrational intuitions and how they affect decision-making.
May 17, 2013 — Generations of physicists have claimed that time is an illusion. But not all agree. In his book Time Reborn: From the Crisis in Physics to the Future of the Universe, theoretical physicist Lee Smolin argues that time exists—and he says time is key to understanding the evolution of the universe.
May 17, 2013 — In Brilliant Blunders: From Darwin to Einstein, astrophysicist Mario Livio explores the colossal errors committed by scientific greats, from chemist Linus Pauling's botched model of DNA, to Charles Darwin's failure to understand genetics—the very mechanism of natural selection.
May 17, 2013 — You can give away almost anything — your time, money, food, your ideas. Giving helps define who we are and helps us connect with others. Thanks to the Internet and a rise in social consciousness, there's been a seismic shift not only in what we're giving, but how. In this hour, stories from TED speakers who are "giving it away" in new and surprising ways, and the things that happen in return.