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Brain Candy

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

Why Should We Treat Violence Like A Contagious Disease?

Friday, February 06, 2015

While looking at the problem of gun violence, Dr. Gary Slutkin wondered — what if it could be treated like a communicable disease? His program, Cure Violence, aims to do just that, with real results.

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Fresh Air

Why Teens Are Impulsive, Addiction-Prone And Should Protect Their Brains

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

New research shows that teenagers' brains aren't fully insulated, so the signals travel slowly when they need to make decisions. Neuroscientist Frances Jensen, who wrote The Teenage Brain, explains.

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All Things Considered

Leaky Blood Vessels In The Brain May Lead To Alzheimer's

Friday, January 23, 2015

As vessels become more porous, researchers say, they allow toxins in the bloodstream to reach, and damage, delicate brain cells and raise the risk for dementia.

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TED Radio Hour

Why Would You Share A Secret With A Stranger?

Friday, January 23, 2015

"Secrets ... can be shocking, or silly, or soulful," says Frank Warren, the founder of PostSecret. He shares a few of the half-million secrets that strangers have sent him on postcards.

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TED Radio Hour

How Do You Expose An Anonymous Company?

Friday, January 23, 2015

Charmian Gooch's mission is to "out" corrupt companies. She details how global corruption trackers follow the money — to some surprisingly familiar places.

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TED Radio Hour

What's Your Coming Out Story?

Friday, January 23, 2015

Equality advocate Ash Beckham offers a fresh story about empathy and openness — and it involves pancakes.

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Morning Edition

Why Ants Handle Traffic Better Than You Do

Monday, January 19, 2015

Ants don't show road rage. In fact, some research shows they rarely get into traffic jams, able to maintain a steady speed even as their numbers swell. Can physics explain it?

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Highflying Geese Save Energy By Swooping Like A Roller Coaster

Thursday, January 15, 2015

They could shoot up to 24,000 feet and maintain that altitude in a long-distance migration across the Himalayas. But it's more efficient for bar-headed geese to soar and dive, scientists find.

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Your Online Avatar May Reveal More About You Than You'd Think

Monday, January 12, 2015

Even if your avatar for games and social media doesn't look at all like you, it still says a lot about your personality, a study finds. Want to look friendly? Skip the shades; wear a sweater.

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Morning Edition

Ancient Scottish Sea Reptile Not 'Nessie,' But Just As Cute

Sunday, January 11, 2015

It was 15 feet long, with a snout shaped like a dolphin's. This newly identified meat-eater swam the seas near the Isle of Skye in the time of dinosaurs.

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'Tasty': How Flavor Helped Make Us Human

Sunday, January 11, 2015

From an evolutionary standpoint, flavor has long helped define who we are as a species, journalist John McQuaid argues in his new book, an exploration of the art and science of taste.

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A Musical Memorial For The Face Of Extinction

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Lonesome George was the last of his subspecies of giant tortoise from the Galapagos. For decades scientists tried to find him a mate, but he died alone. NPR's Adam Cole offers this elegiac tribute.

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All Things Considered

Trapped In His Body For 12 Years, A Man Breaks Free

Friday, January 09, 2015

Martin Pistorius spent more than a decade unable to move or communicate, fearing he would be alone, trapped, forever. NPR's new show Invisibilia tells how his mind helped him create a new life.

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TED Radio Hour

Why Should We Search For ET?

Friday, January 09, 2015

Will we find ET in the next 25 years? Seth Shostak, senior astronomer at SETI, says yes. He explains that new technologies and the laws of probability make the breakthrough likely.

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TED Radio Hour

Finding Love ... And Aliens?

Friday, January 09, 2015

Humorist John Hodgman tells a story about aliens, physics, time, space and the way they all contribute to a sweet, perfect memory of falling in love.

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All Things Considered

Look Out, This Poker-Playing Computer Is Unbeatable

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Forget chess. Poker may be even harder for a computer. But a software program has now "solved" a variant of Texas Hold'em, the bot's creators say. And nothing can keep it from winning.

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All Things Considered

Brain Scans May Help Predict Future Problems, And Solutions

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Brain imaging can help researchers tell if people are more likely to be able to quit smoking or have trouble with reading. But those tests aren't yet ready for the doctor's office or classroom.

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Morning Edition

What Heroin Addiction Tells Us About Changing Bad Habits

Monday, January 05, 2015

Sure, you resolve to exercise more, but somehow it never happens. It could be that your environment is sabotaging you, psychologists say. A famous study about heroin and the Vietnam War explains how.

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Food Psychology: How To Trick Your Palate Into A Tastier Meal

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Ingredients and preparation matter in making a delicious dinner. But so do a lot of other external factors, from your mood to room lighting. Here, a guide to enhancing the pleasures of the plate.

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