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Category: Humanities

Alltime Numbers: Bet You Didn’t Know This About Halloween!

Ever wondered where Halloween comes from? Or how much money Americans spend on candy each October 31st? Find out here!  

Mental Floss: 26 Not-So-Scary Facts About Halloween

A weekly show where knowledge junkies get their fix of trivia-tastic information. This week, John discusses some not-so-spooky facts about Halloween.  

TED Ed: How to build a fictional world

Why is J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy so compelling? How about The Matrix or Harry Potter? What makes these disparate worlds come alive are clear, consistent rules for how people, societies — and even the laws of physics — function in these fictional universes. Author Kate Messner offers a few tricks for you, …

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The 2014 Nobel Prize in Literature

Following the announcement, Peter Englund, Permanent Secretary of the Swedish Academy, was interviewed by freelance journalist Sven Hugo Persson about the 2014 Nobel Prize in Literature to Patrick Modiano.  

The British Library: Noam Chomsky in conversation with Jonathan Freedland

Philosopher, cognitive scientist and political activist Noam Chomsky discusses the roles of the state and the mass media, 25 years on from his essential work Manufacturing Consent.  

The British Library: The Gothic

Professor John Bowen discusses key motifs in Gothic novels, including the uncanny, the sublime and the supernatural. Filmed at Strawberry Hill House, Twickenham.  

Tim Berners-Lee: A Magna Carta for the web

Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the world wide web 25 years ago. So it’s worth a listen when he warns us: There’s a battle ahead. Eroding net neutrality, filter bubbles and centralized corporate control all threaten the web’s wide-open spaces. It’s up to users to fight for the right to access and openness. The question is, …

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Simon Anholt: Which country does the most good for the world?

It’s an unexpected side effect of globalization: problems that once would have stayed local—say, a bank lending out too much money—now have consequences worldwide. But still, countries operate independently, as if alone on the planet. Policy advisor Simon Anholt has dreamed up an unusual scale to get governments thinking outwardly: The Good Country Index. In …

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Stephen Burt: Why people need poetry

“We’re all going to die — and poems can help us live with that.” In a charming and funny talk, literary critic Stephen Burt takes us on a lyrical journey with some of his favorite poets, all the way down to a line break and back up to the human urge to imagine.  

Steven Pinker in a Conversation with Noam Chomsky

Believe it or not, violence has been in decline for long stretches of time, and we may be living in the most peaceful era in our species existence. Harvard psychology professor Steven Pinker presents the data supporting this surprising conclusion, and explains the trends by showing how changing historical circumstances have engaged different components of …

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Oxford London Lecture 2014 Panel discussion: Keeping Our Secrets: Shaping internet technologies for the public good

Published on Mar 21, 2014 Professor Sally Mapstone chairs a panel discussion with Dr Ian Brown (Oxford University), Rt Hon David Davis MP, Stephen Deadman (Vodafone), and Nick Hopkins (Guardian). The topic of the lecture and panel is Keeping Our Secrets: Shaping internet technologies for the public good.  

Barry Bergdoll: Three great architects of European architecture in the 19th Century

Published on Mar 10, 2014 Barry Bergdoll, Professor of 19th- and 20th-century Architectural History at Columbia University and curator of architecture at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, in his lecture accompanying the exhibition 19th-century Architecture juxtaposed three greats of European architecture of the period: German architects Karl Friedrich Schinkel and Heinrich …

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Conversations with History: Steven Pinker

Published on Apr 1, 2014 Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes Harvard’s Steven Pinker, Johnstone Family Professor of Psychology, for a discussion of his intellectual journey. Pinker discusses the origins and evolution of his thinking on human nature. Topics include: growing up in Montreal in a Jewish family, the impact of the 1960’s, his education, and …

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Authors@Google: Anthony Bourdain

Anthony Bourdain is interviewed by Google Executive Chef Nate Keller at Google’s Mountain View, CA headquarters. This event took place on November 20, 2007 as part of the Authors@Google series. Anthony Michael Bourdain is an American chef, author, and television personality.

Authors@Google: Kyle Johnson ‘Inception and Philosophy’

The book explores the movie’s key questions and themes, including how we can tell if we’re dreaming or awake, how to make sense of a paradox, and whether or not inception is possible. It also gives new insights into the nature of free will, time, dreams, and the unconscious mind. In addition, it discusses different …

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Conversations with History: Noam Chomsky

On this edition of Conversations with History, UC Berkeley’s Harry Kreisler is joined by linguist and political activist Noam Chomsky to discuss activism, anarchism and the role the United States plays in the world today. Chomsky is an American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, logician, political commentator and activist. Sometimes described as the “father of modern …

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Gary Pruitt: The Free Press vs. National Security: A False Choice?

AP President and CEO Gary Pruitt argues that a free and independent press is fundamental to a functioning democracy. It differentiates democracy from dictatorship; separates a free society from tyranny. Governments who try to set up a situation where citizens think they must choose between a free press and security are making a mistake that …

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The Meaning of Life with Gay Burne: Bono

In this episode of The Meaning of Life with Gay Byrne, Bono from U2 is interviewed. The Meaning of Life is an Irish television program, the first series of which was broadcast on RTÉ One in 2009. It is presented by the veteran broadcaster Gay Byrne. Each episode involves Byrne interviewing a well-known public figure.

The Meaning of Life with Gay Byrne: Richard Branson

In this episode of The Meaning of Life with Gay Byrne, Richard talks to entrepreneur and atheist, Richard Branson, who admits to envying the faith of his friends Desmond Tutu and Jimmy Carter. His first business venture was after his 15 year old girlfriend fell pregnant, this was an agentcy that guided woman to abortion clinics …

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Discussion: Is 21st Century Media Weakening Democracy?

From the explosion of the Twitter-verse and the political blogosphere to the round-the-clock chatter of cable news, the American public is awash in a flurry of political coverage. But what impact are the expanded pace and platforms of American media having on the quality of our politics in the 21st century? Our panel takes an …

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