Category Archives: TED

The Secret to Happiness Revealed (No, seriously)

Being happy makes you not only live longer, but it makes you more successful in life. Philosophers have been writing about happiness for ages, and it is today one of the most popular topics in psychology research. Luckily, the science is gradually becoming more clear on what factors do and don’t contribute to happiness. However, this article is not about a list of things that will increase your happiness; it is instead about the single most important thing about being and staying happy. It’s the reason why some people who you would expect to be absolutely miserable are in fact exceptionally happy. So what’s the secret?

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Everything You Need to Know About Prism, Internet Freedom, and Edward Snowden (Updated)

This is Edward Snowden

The case of Edward Snowden has not only polarized the United States, but it has raised concerns from people all over the world. But it’s not just the US – the UK is now getting a lot of attention for creating a fake internet cafe just to steal passwords of foreign diplomats at the 2009 G20 summit in London. Some are even arguing that they have even more access than the American NSA (National Security Agency); but the NSA is understandably getting the most heat, especially from places outside of the US. I say “especially from places outside” because the mainstream US news is clearly on the side of the government. Indeed, it seems that the narrative within the  mainstream media is not about the message so much as the messenger. This post aggregates news programs outside the US to tell the real story of exactly what’s going on with Edward Snowden and the NSA.

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Are Patents Protecting Ideas or Stifling Innovation?

lawsuit gavel on coins

A patent is a form of intellectual property that can be granted with the presupposition that an invention for public consumption will come out of it later. Parents are good because it allows “the little guy” the time to make his or her invention without worrying about some giant corporation stealing the idea and making it themselves. If a giant corporation does steal the idea, then they must pay this little guy money, which may make the idea theft not worth it in the end. However, what happens when patents for every minuscule idea are granted to people who don’t even have any desire to make something from them? As people have been saying for years, we get the stifling of innovation.

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Can Dogs Sniff Out Cancer? Can Rats Sniff Out Tuberculosis?

Rat Sniffing

I know what you’re thinking – “dogs can sniff out cancer? What a bunch of nonsense!” And do you really want to trust rats with detecting a disease, when they were responsible for so much of the spread of disease throughout history? Well don’t hold it against them, because these animals didn’t know anything about it. In fact, these animals are now used for medical diagnoses, and people’s lives depend on them. It appears that dogs actually can sniff out cancer, and rats can sniff out tuberculosis (TB). Astonishingly, their amazing abilities to smell don’t even stop there.

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The Psychological Science of Storytelling

Microphone with blurry audience BG

ResearchBlogging.orgIt hit me about two years ago, sometime after I started this blog. Somewhere between the comedy shows and alarming amount of documentaries I began watching, and the seemingly endless number of people I have met in the last few years, I realized that the social world spins on the axis of stories. It’s hard to believe this fact unless you’re actually in a position where you exploit it. For me, it has become a hard fact of life – if you’re a good storyteller, good things come to you, and people want to be around you. It seems like the most popular people are often the best storytellers, and if you’re a good storyteller, you’re probably good at other things too. But just how do stories have such amazing effects on our lives?

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The Weapon of Comedy – Why Humour Gets the Point Across

ResearchBlogging.org
The skilled assassin appears before the onlooker’s eyes – everyone knows why he’s here, so they are ready for an onslaught. If one weapon doesn’t work, another might, and the assassin came equipped. In a flash, he’s out of sight – but he appears again with full force, defeating the enemies before they can do anything to stop him. But if you thought this assassin was thirsty for blood, think again. He’s not a master of swords, but a master of words; and the only thing he’s going to be killing is resistance. That’s because, while he’s famous for his skill, he’s known for the word on his business card: Comedian.

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Guns in America – Part 1: The Current State of Gun Violence

With thousands of Americans dying from gun violence each year, it seems that such stories are in the news so often that – paradoxically – it’s rarely ever news anymore. However, high-profile cases such as the recent shooting in Aurora, Colorado has brought gun crimes back into the media spotlight. The response to this event has in some ways been predictable, and in other ways mind-boggling. There’s no telling what it’s going to take for Americans to have a real debate about gun control, but it’s important for everyone, because American guns have a way of affecting people outside the country as well.

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Are Men Happier When They Share the Housework?

If a recent paper from the UK is correct, it might change the way husbands feel about doing housework. That is, they might be more willing to do it. Traditionally, or perhaps stereotypically, housework has been the role of the woman, whereas the more standard direct financial support (i.e., “bread-winning”) has been the role of the man. I’m not going to get into the veracity of that stereotype, because a more interesting conclusion was drawn from a recent study. Namely, men who share the housework rather than delegate it to their significant other are happier.

Posted in Culture, Media, Sex and Sexuality, TED | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Doctors Make Mistakes… Even the Preventable Ones

ResearchBlogging.org Five months after coming in for surgery to remove a section of his intestines, Nelson Bailey had come back because he still felt a lot of pain. Festering silently within his body for almost half a year was a sponge the size of a washcloth that the surgeon accidentally left. Stories like this are all too common, as a quick Google search demonstrates with ease. The fact of the matter is that there are a lot of mistakes – including very easily preventable ones – that doctors make, and it is taking a toll on patients’ health (not to mention the economic toll). So why, after years of rigorous medical training, are there still doctors making mistakes, and will we ever be able to receive medical care in an error-less hospital?

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Oh, the Humanities! – Who Cares About Humanities and Social Sciences?

The “Mickey-Mouse courses,” the “fluffy concepts,” the “GPA boosters,” the “classes with all the hot girls”… or as you know might also know them, the humanities. Those artsy classes that only those theatre-types or cultural elitists understand. And then there are those social sciences, the kind that don’t deal with the real or hard sciences like chemistry or physics, but the unscientific ones like society and behavior. They don’t involve some of the hard choices that come from important fields of today like business and computer science. In fact, what good are the humanities anyways? And just who needs (or even likes) social sciences?

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