Tag «TED»

History vs. Sigmund Freud – Todd Dufresne

History vs. Sigmund Freud – Todd Dufresne

Working in Vienna at the turn of the 20th century, he began his career as a neurologist before pioneering the discipline of psychoanalysis. He proposed that people are motivated by unconscious desires and repressed memories, and their problems can be addressed by making those motivations conscious through talk therapy. His influence towers above that of …

William Noel: Revealing the lost codex of Archimedes

William Noel: Revealing the lost codex of Archimedes

The great texts of the ancient world don’t survive to us in their original form. They survive because medieval scribes copied them and copied them and copied them. And so it is with Archimedes, the great Greek mathematician. Everything we know about Archimedes as a mathematician we know about because of just three books, and …

The secret messages of Viking runestones – Jesse Byock

The secret messages of Viking runestones – Jesse Byock

In the 8th century CE, Vikings surged across the misty seas. They came from Scandinavia in Northern Europe but would travel far and wide. Some plundered and settled in the British Isles and France; others braved Artic exploration or forged clever new trade routes to the Middle East. With their steely navigational skills, advanced long-ships …

How do blood transfusions work? – Bill Schutt

In 1881, doctor William Halsted rushed to help his sister Minnie, who was hemorrhaging after childbirth. He quickly inserted a needle into his arm, withdrew his own blood, and transferred it to her. After a few uncertain minutes, she began to recover. Halsted didn’t know how lucky they’d gotten. His transfusion only worked because he …

Can you solve the fish riddle? – Steve Wyborney

Can you solve the fish riddle? –  Steve Wyborney

You are the cargo director on the maiden voyage of the S.S. Buoyant, and you’ve agreed to transport several tanks containing the last specimens of a critically endangered fish species to their new aquarium. Unfortunately, as you’re passing through shark-infested waters, the boat is battered by a fierce storm, throwing your precious cargo overboard. And …

One of the most epic engineering feats in history – Alex Gendler

One of the most epic engineering feats in history – Alex Gendler

In the mid-19th century, suspension bridges were collapsing all across Europe. Their industrial cables frayed during turbulent weather and snapped under the weight of their decks. So when a German-American engineer named John Roebling proposed building the largest and most expensive suspension bridge ever conceived over New York’s East River, city officials were understandably skeptical. …