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Brain Candy

TED Radio Hour

Can Math Help You Fall in Love?

Friday, March 06, 2015

Mathematician Hannah Fry says math can help you find love. Using mathematical models, she explains how to find an ideal mate and the secret to maintaining a healthy relationship.

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TED Radio Hour

Why Do We Solve For 'X'?

Friday, March 06, 2015

Polymath Terry Moore wondered why "X" is the universal unknown in algebra. He dove into the history of numbers to come up with an unexpected answer.

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TED Radio Hour

Should We Be Wary of Algorithms?

Friday, March 06, 2015

Our lives are, in part, governed by algorithms. Professor Kevin Slavin shows how these formulas can reshape finance, culture and physical environments, with potentially harmful consequences.

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We're Not Taking Enough Lunch Breaks. Why That's Bad For Business

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Research shows that only 1 in 5 five people takes a break and leaves his desk to eat. Most workers are simply eating at their desks. But creativity can take a big hit without a change of scenery.

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Tea Tuesdays: The Chemis-Tea Of Pouring The Perfect English-Style Cuppa

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The British are very specific about how they take their tea: black, with milk and sugar. But steeping the optimal cup requires a surprising amount of chemistry. Here's a guide to the science.

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TED Radio Hour

How Do We Know What Other People Are Thinking?

Friday, February 20, 2015

Sensing the motives and feelings of others is a natural talent for humans. But how do we do it? Neuroscientist Rebecca Saxe explains how one region in the brain focuses on other people's thoughts.

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TED Radio Hour

How Can We Explain The Mystery Of Consciousness?

Friday, February 20, 2015

Philosopher David Chalmers asks why humans have a sense of self, a constantly running movie full of sensation and internal chatter. He offers two ideas about the nature of consciousness.

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TED Radio Hour

What Does It Take To Map The Human Brain?

Friday, February 20, 2015

Nancy Kanwisher studies the brain partly by staring at her own. She has spent countless hours in an fMRI scanner, mapping her own brain to gain insight into what makes us human.

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TED Radio Hour

How Can A Stroke Change Your Brain?

Friday, February 20, 2015

When neuroanatomist Jill Bolte-Taylor felt her brain shut down during a stroke, she was more fascinated than panicked. Even though she spent eight years recovering, she's grateful for the stroke.

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TED Radio Hour

What Makes The Human Brain Unique?

Friday, February 20, 2015

Neuroscientist Suzana Herculano-Houzel turns brains into soup so she can meticulously count the neurons and determine why human brains are unique.

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Salty, Sweet, Sour. Is It Time To Make Fat The Sixth Taste?

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Fat has a lot in common with the five basic tastes: salty, sweet, sour, bitter and umami. But while people easily recognize the texture of fat, scientists say they can't quite perceive the taste.

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How Marijuana Highjacks Your Brain To Give You The Munchies

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Where there's pot, there's often an insatiable hunger. Now researchers have a big clue why: Cannabinoids, the drug in marijuana, appear to flip a neural circuit that normally tells us we're full.

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All Things Considered

Climate Scientist Tries Arts To Stir Hearts Regarding Earth's Fate

Monday, February 16, 2015

Physicist Robert Davies worked with a classical quartet and two visual artists to create a musical performance about climate change. The music and images, he says, help the information take hold.

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Morning Edition

Can A Computer Change The Essence Of Who You Are?

Friday, February 13, 2015

The latest episode of NPR's Invisibilia takes us online. Some people think interacting with these machines is changing us all โ€” for better and worse.

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All Things Considered

Being With People Like You Offers Comfort Against Death's Chill

Friday, February 06, 2015

Iggy Ignatius bet that immigrants from India would long to live with other Indians in his Florida condos. He was right. Psychologists say intimations of mortality make us want to be with our own kind.

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TED Radio Hour

What's The Antidote To Political Apathy?

Friday, February 06, 2015

Activist Dave Meslin says even though we're apathetic about local politics, we're hardly sloths.

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TED Radio Hour

How Does Envy Help Us Better Understand Ourselves?

Friday, February 06, 2015

Parul Sehgal, an editor at The New York Times Book Review, says as dangerous as envy can be, it can teach us a lot about who we are and what we really want.

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TED Radio Hour

How Should We Distribute Our Wealth?

Friday, February 06, 2015

Nick Hanauer is a rich guy with several houses, but is he greedy? He argues that an increase in minimum wage would be good for everyone.

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TED Radio Hour

What Does Losing To A Computer Tell Us About Pride?

Friday, February 06, 2015

Ken Jennings has made a career of being the know-it-all. But then he challenged a supercomputer, Watson โ€” and lost. Jennings explains how it felt to have a computer beat him and crush his pride.

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TED Radio Hour

What Did Cavemen Think About Lust?

Friday, February 06, 2015

Christopher Ryan says that human beings are sexual omnivores and hopes that a better understanding of sexual fidelity may end discrimination, shame and unrealistic expectations.

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