Brain Pickings

Reads tagged with “TED”

Happy Birthday, Standard Time: How the Railroads Gave Us Time Zones
Happy Birthday, Standard Time: How the Railroads Gave Us Time Zones

How the quest to prevent train collisions forever changed the global clock.

read article

Thoroughly Conscious Ignorance: How the Power of Not-Knowing Drives Progress and Why Certainty Stymies the Evolution of Knowledge
Thoroughly Conscious Ignorance: How the Power of Not-Knowing Drives Progress and Why Certainty Stymies the Evolution of Knowledge

“It’s a wonderful idea: thoroughly conscious ignorance.”

read article

Horizontal vs. Vertical Identity and How Love Both Changes Us and Makes Us More Ourselves
Horizontal vs. Vertical Identity and How Love Both Changes Us and Makes Us More Ourselves

“I do not accept subtractive models of love, only additive ones.”

read article

How the Universe Was Born: An Animated Explanation from CERN
How the Universe Was Born: An Animated Explanation from CERN

From cosmology to particle physics, or how to bring the Big Bang into the lab.

read article

The History of Photography, Animated
The History of Photography, Animated

From ancient witchcraft to the camera obscura to the iPhone, or why Victorians always looked stern.

read article

A Miraculous “Accident of Physics”: The Animated Story of How Feathers Evolved
A Miraculous “Accident of Physics”: The Animated Story of How Feathers Evolved

“Feathers are some of the most remarkable things ever made by an animal. They’re gorgeous in their complexity, delicate in their construction, and yet strong enough to hold a bird thousands of feet in the air.”

read article

What Elvish, Klingon, and Dothraki Reveal about Real Language & the Essence of Human Communication
What Elvish, Klingon, and Dothraki Reveal about Real Language & the Essence of Human Communication

Why a good language, like a good life, requires both rules and messiness.

read article

Who Invented Writing? An Animated Historical Detective Story
Who Invented Writing? An Animated Historical Detective Story

From Sumerian cuneiform to hieroglyphics to Chinese script, a tale of simultaneous invention.

read article

The Science of How Your Mind-Wandering Is Robbing You of Happiness
The Science of How Your Mind-Wandering Is Robbing You of Happiness

Why the secret of life remains in the living.

read article

Amanda Palmer on the Art of Asking and the Shared Dignity of Giving and Receiving
Amanda Palmer on the Art of Asking and the Shared Dignity of Giving and Receiving

“When we really see each other, we want to help each other.”

read article

View Full Site

Brain Pickings participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn commissions by linking to Amazon. In more human terms, this means that whenever you buy a book on Amazon from a link on here, I receive a small percentage of its price, which goes straight back into my own colossal biblioexpenses. Privacy policy.