Is there any truth to the King Arthur legends? – Alan Lupack

“Here lies Arthur, king who was, and king who will be.” So reads the inscription on King Arthur’s gravestone in Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur. Writing in the 15th century, Malory couldn’t have known how prophetic this inscription would turn out to be. King Arthur has risen again and again in our collective imagination, along […]

Why societies collapse | Jared Diamond

I think all of us have been interested, at one time or another, in the romantic mysteries of all those societies that collapsed, such as the classic Maya in the Yucatan, the Easter Islanders, the Anasazi, Fertile Crescent society, Angor Wat, Great Zimbabwe and so on. And within the last decade or two, archaeologists have […]

Your time in Iraq makes you a threat to society: Andrew Chambers at TEDxMarionCorrectionalSalon 2013

Translator: Angélica Zetina González Reviewer: Elisabeth Buffard Soldier, attention! Sargent! What makes the green grass grow? BLOOD, BLOOD, RED BRIGHT BLOOD! What’s the spirit of the warrior? KILL, KILL, KILL WITHOUT MERCY! What are the two types of people in this world? THE QUICK AND THE DEAD! What are you? THE QUICK! What are they? […]

History vs. Henry VIII – Mark Robinson and Alex Gendler

He was a powerful king whose break with the church of Rome would forever change the course of English history. But was he a charismatic reformer or a bullying tyrant? Find out on History versus Henry VIII. Judge: Order, order. Now, who do we have here? Looks like quite the dashing fellow. Defense: Indeed, your […]

How economic inequality harms societies | Richard Wilkinson

You all know the truth of what I’m going to say. I think the intuition that inequality is divisive and socially corrosive has been around since before the French Revolution. What’s changed is we now can look at the evidence, we can compare societies, more and less equal societies, and see what inequality does. I’m […]

Jared Diamond: How societies can grow old better

To give me an idea of how many of you here may find what I’m about to tell you of practical value, let me ask you please to raise your hands: Who here is either over 65 years old or hopes to live past age 65 or has parents or grandparents who did live or […]

Where did English come from? – Claire Bowern

When we talk about English, we often think of it as a single language but what do the dialects spoken in dozens of countries around the world have in common with each other, or with the writings of Chaucer? And how are any of them related to the strange words in Beowulf? The answer is […]

How turtle shells evolved… twice – Judy Cebra Thomas

Meet Odontochelys semitestacea. This little creature spends its days splashing in Late Triassic swamps with a host of other reptiles. Under the surface lies its best defense against attack: a hard shell on its belly. Odontochelys is an early ancestor of the turtle. Its half-shelled body illustrates an important point about the modern turtle: it […]

AJ Jacobs: The world’s largest family reunion … we’re all invited!

Six months ago, I got an email from a man in Israel who had read one of my books, and the email said, “You don’t know me, but I’m your 12th cousin.” And it said, “I have a family tree with 80,000 people on it, including you, Karl Marx, and several European aristocrats.” Now I […]

Cinema as a medium of change in society: Nagesh Kukunoor at TEDxSITM

Translator: Denise RQ Reviewer: Mary Kay Good afternoon. I guess I am the only thing that stands between you and the lunch, so I am going to try and get through this as quickly as possible. My topic today is “Сan cinema cause social change?” I genuinely believe it can; while it may not effect […]