TED-Ed

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"Jabberwocky": One of literature's best bits of nonsense

Dive into Lewis Carroll’s epic nonsense poem, “Jabberwocky” from his novel "Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There." -- As Alice wanders through the dreamscape of Looking-Glass Land in Lewis Carroll's "Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There," she happens across a book written in an unintelligible language. Inside,...

A day in the life of an ancient Greek architect - Mark Robinson

Follow Pheidias, the chief builder for the Parthenon, as he supervises the construction of the new temple and faces charges of embezzlement. -- The year is 432 BCE. As dawn breaks over Athens, Pheidias is already late for work. He is the chief builder for the Parthenon — Athens’ newest and largest temple— and when he arrives onsite, city officials...

The Japanese folktale of the selfish scholar - Iseult Gillespie

Dive into the Japanese folktale of a scholar’s quest to purify his body and mind, and the spiritual secret he discovers along the way. -- In ancient Kyoto, a Shinto scholar found himself distracted from his prayers and sought to perform a purification ritual that would cleanse him. He decided to travel to the revered Hie Shrine; walking the path...

A brief history of plastic

Trace the history of the invention of plastic, and how the material ushered in what became known as the plastics century. -- For centuries, billiard balls were made of ivory from elephant tusks. But when excessive hunting caused elephant populations to decline, they began to look for alternatives. John Wesley Hyatt took up the challenge. In five...

Are all of your memories real? - Daniel L. Schacter

Dig into the psychology of how memories are susceptible to false information and why we shouldn’t treat them as truth. -- In a 1990’s study, participants recalled getting lost in a shopping mall as children. Some shared these memories in vivid detail, but there was one problem: none of these people had actually gotten lost in a mall. They produced...

Why people fall for misinformation - Joseph Isaac

How does a fact become a misconception? Dig into the world of misinformation to see how facts can become distorted and misleading. -- In 1901, David Hänig published research that led to what we know today as the taste map: an illustration that divides the tongue into four separate areas. It has since been published in textbooks and newspapers....

Can you solve the sorting hat riddle? - Dan Katz and Alex Rosenthal

Practice more problem-solving at https://brilliant.org/TedEd/ -- It’s your first day at Magnificent Marigold’s Magical Macademy. But before you can learn your first spell you must get through the sorting ceremony. And the sorting hat has chosen you for a special challenge. The Macademy had 8 founders who established four houses, and there was...

The fish that walk on land - Noah R. Bressman

Explore the challenges facing amphibious fish when they leave water and the ingenious ways they survive on land. -- We think of fish as completely aquatic animals. But there are actually hundreds of fish species that are amphibious, meaning that they possess adaptations that enable them to survive on land. Once on land, however, they face suffocation,...

How to outsmart the Prisoner’s Dilemma - Lucas Husted

Puzzle through the classic game theory challenge, The Prisoner’s Dilemma, and decide: would you choose to spare or sacrifice? -- Two perfectly rational gingerbread men, Crispy and Chewy, are out strolling when they’re caught by a fox. Instead of simply eating them, he decides to put their friendship to the test with a cruel dilemma. He’ll ask...

Is the weather actually becoming more extreme? - R. Saravanan

Explore the differences between weather and climate – what they are, how we predict them, and what those predictions can tell us. -- From 2016 to 2019, the world saw record-breaking heat waves, rampant wildfires, and the longest run of category 5 tropical cyclones on record. The number of extreme weather events has been increasing for the last...

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