Best Teded podcasts we could find (Updated December 2018)
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TED-Ed's commitment to creating lessons worth sharing is an extension of TED's mission of spreading great ideas. Within TED-Ed's growing library of TED-Ed animations, you will find carefully curated educational videos, many of which represent collaborations between talented educators and animators nominated through the TED-Ed website (ed.ted.com).
 
Two moms see if there's anything for them to love in the TV and movies made for their kids.
 
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Does Netflix’ latest entry into the family Christmas movie canon land them on the Nice list? In this episode about The Christmas Chronicles, we discuss the merits of a foxy Santa, what helps a holiday movie stand the test of time, and the superior Chicago-based holiday romp, Adventures in Babysitting.…
 
If insects suddenly morphed into large beings and decided to wage war on us, there's no doubt that humans would lose. There are an estimated 10 quintillion individual insects on earth, outnumbering humans by more than a billion to one. So what's their secret to success? Murry Gans details the reasons behind insect abundance.…
 
Did you ever notice how many jokes start with “Did you ever notice?” And what’s the deal with “What’s the deal?” There’s a lot of funny to be found simply by noticing the ordinary, everyday things you don’t ordinarily notice every day. Emmy Award-winning comedy writer Cheri Steinkellner offers a few tips and tricks for finding the funny in your ...…
 
The Great Wall of China is a 13,000-mile dragon of earth and stone that winds its way through the countryside of China. As it turns out, the wall’s history is almost as long and serpentine as its structure. Megan Campisi and Pen-Pen Chen detail the building and subsequent decay of this massive, impressive wall.…
 
Stress isn’t always a bad thing; it can be handy for a burst of extra energy and focus, like when you’re playing a competitive sport or have to speak in public. But when it’s continuous, it actually begins to change your brain. Madhumita Murgia shows how chronic stress can affect brain size, its structure, and how it functions, right down to th ...…
 
Does the world need another Star Wars property? Probably not, but we need to discuss the latest: Star Wars Resistance. We tackle questions like: What does it take to be a good spy? Could Deborah hack it on a Star Wars quiz show? What does this Disney cartoon have in common with a show about a divorced comedian in crisis? And we introduce a new ...…
 
We’ve harnessed electricity, sequenced the human genome, and eradicated smallpox. But after billions of dollars in research, we haven’t found a solution for a disease that affects more than 14 million people and their families at any given time. Why is it so difficult to cure cancer? Kyuson Yun explains the challenges. Lesson by Kyuson Yun, dir ...…
 
On July 26, 1943, Los Angeles was blanketed by a thick gas that stung people’s eyes and blocked out the Sun. Panicked residents believed their city had been attacked using chemical warfare. But the cloud wasn’t an act of war. It was smog. So what is this thick gray haze actually made of? And why does it affect some cities and not others? Kim Pr ...…
 
We discuss the 2017 movie everyone loved, Paddington 2. Other topics include: whether or not a kid can genuinely be “supergood”; our mutual love of Hugh Grant; if Hollywood should keep its grimy mitts off our beloved childhood classics; and Wes Anderson: awesome or awful?
 
Over 100,000 metric tons of caffeine are consumed around the world every year. That’s equivalent to the weight of 14 Eiffel Towers! Caffeine helps us feel alert, focused, and energetic, even if we haven’t had enough sleep — but it can also raise our blood pressure and make us feel anxious. So how does it keep us awake? Hanan Qasim shares the sc ...…
 
As the cargo director on the maiden voyage of the S.S. Buoyant, you’ve agreed to transport several tanks containing the last specimens of an endangered fish species to their new aquarium. Unfortunately, the boat is battered by a fierce storm, throwing your precious cargo overboard. Can you get the fish to safety and save the day? Steve Wyborney ...…
 
For the microscopic lab worm C. elegans, life equates to just a few short weeks on Earth. The bowhead whale, on the other hand, can live over two hundred years. Why are these lifespans so different? And what does it really mean to ‘age' anyway? Joao Pedro de Magalhaes explains why the pace of aging varies greatly across animals.…
 
Imagine a group of people. How big do you think the group would have to be before there’s more than a 50% chance that two people in the group have the same birthday? The answer is … probably lower than you think. David Knuffke explains how the birthday problem exposes our often-poor intuition when it comes to probability. Lesson by David Knuffk ...…
 
It’s our first foray into so-called family programming as we watch A Little Help with Carol Burnett. Is comic legend, Carol Burnett, enough to save this advice show starring a panel of pint sized experts? How about said pint sized experts - adorable or exploited? And most importantly, where can we score Carol’s collection of tasteful scarves an ...…
 
Ancient Egyptians believed that in order to become immortal after death, a spirit must first pass through the underworld — a realm of vast caverns, lakes of fire, and magical gates. Needless to say, one needed to come prepared. But how? Tejal Gala describes an Egyptian "Book of the Dead" -- a customized magic scroll written by the living to p ...…
 
Mastering any physical skill takes practice. Practice is the repetition of an action with the goal of improvement, and it helps us perform with more ease, speed, and confidence. But what does practice actually do to make us better at things? Annie Bosler and Don Greene explain how practice affects the inner workings of our brains.…
 
Some perfumers can distinguish individual odors in a fragrance made of hundreds of scents; tea-experts have been known to sniff out the exact location of a particular tea; and the NYC Transit Authority once had a employee responsible only for sniffing out gas leaks. But can anyone learn to smell with the sensitivity of those experts? Alexandra ...…
 
Your research team has found a prehistoric virus preserved in the permafrost and isolated it for study. After a late night working, you’re just closing up the lab when a sudden earthquake hits and breaks all the sample vials. Will you be able to destroy the virus before the vents open and unleash a deadly airborne plague? Lisa Winer shows how. ...…
 
Katie and Deborah watch Zou, a preschool show imported from France, on Hulu. We discuss:Zebra rhymes with Deborah in French!Fall TV for adults, like Maniac, Dr. Who, Ozark, and The Good Place.French vs. American attitudes toward baking, parenting, and the patriarchy.Is sculpturing a word?
 
Computers can beat us in board games, transcribe speech, and instantly identify almost any object. But will future robots go further by learning to figure out what we’re feeling? Kostas Karpouzis imagines a future where machines and the people who run them can accurately read our emotional states — and explains how that could allow them to assi ...…
 
Our ability to mine great amounts of energy from uranium nuclei has led some to bill nuclear power as a plentiful, utopian source of electricity. But rather than dominate the global electricity market, nuclear power has declined from a high of 18% in 1996 to 11% today. What happened to the great promise of this technology? M.V. Ramana and Sajan ...…
 
Perpetual motion machines — devices that can do work indefinitely without any external energy source — have captured many inventors’ imaginations because they could totally transform our relationship with energy. There’s just one problem: they don’t work. Why not? Netta Schramm describes the pitfalls of perpetual motion machines.…
 
Imagine, for a second, a duck teaching a French class. A ping-pong match in orbit around a black hole. A dolphin balancing a pineapple. You probably haven’t actually seen any of these things. But you could imagine them instantly. How does your brain produce an image of something you’ve never seen? Andrey Vyshedskiy details the neuroscience of i ...…
 
Deborah and Katie think they’re probably not sporty enough to appreciate the nuance of the Dude Perfect YouTube channel, but they try anyway. They do, however, want to explore the possibility of tossing waffles into the toaster from across the room and throwing perfectly folded towels onto the rack.
 
Sloths spend most of their time eating, resting, or sleeping; in fact, they descend from their treetops canopies just once a week, for a bathroom break. How are these creatures so low energy? Kenny Coogan describes the physical and behavioral adaptations that allow sloths to be so slow.By contact@ted.com (TED).
 
The average person experiences dozens of individual itches each day. We’ve all experienced the annoyance of an inconvenient itch — but have you ever pondered why we itch in the first place? Is there actually an evolutionary purpose to the itch, or is it simply there to annoy us? Emma Bryce digs deep into the skin to find out. Lesson by Emma Bry ...…
 
When a team of archeologists recently came across some 15,000-year-old human remains, they made an interesting discovery: the teeth of those ancient humans were riddled with holes. So what causes cavities, and how can we avoid them? Mel Rosenberg takes us inside our teeth to find out. Lesson by Mel Rosenberg, animation by Andrew Foerster.…
 
Light, bright, and cheerful, "The Four Seasons" by Antonio Vivaldi is some of the most familiar of all early 18th century music, featured in numerous films and television commercials. But what is its significance, and why does it sound that way? Betsy Schwarm uncovers the underlying narrative of this musical masterpiece.…
 
Katie and Deborah review Netflix’s animated remake of White Fang, discuss the best dog-themed movies and books, why Jack London’s classic doesn’t pass the Bechdel test, and how Grumpy Cat and Justin Bieber are related to Manifest Destiny.
 
Prolonged space travel plays a severe toll on the human body: microgravity impairs muscle and bone growth, and high doses of radiation cause irreversible mutations. As we seriously consider the human species becoming space-faring, a big question stands: even if we do break free from Earth’s orbit, can we adapt to the extreme environments of spa ...…
 
Nostalgia was once considered an illness confined to specific groups of people. Today, people all over the world report experiencing and enjoying nostalgia. But how does nostalgia work? And is it healthy? Clay Routledge details the way our understanding of nostalgia has changed since the term was first coined in the late 17th century.…
 
Few individuals have influenced the world and many of today’s thinkers like Plato. He created the first Western university and was teacher to Ancient Greece’s greatest minds, including Aristotle. But even he wasn’t perfect. Along with his great ideas, Plato had a few that haven’t exactly stood the test of time. Wisecrack gives a brief rundown o ...…
 
The word bipolar means ‘two extremes.’ For the many millions experiencing bipolar disorder around the world, life is split between two different realities: elation and depression. So what causes this disorder? And can it be treated? Helen M. Farrell describes the root causes and treatments for bipolar disorder. Lesson by Helen M Farrell, animat ...…
 
Turns out YouTube is more than a home for unwrapping videos and charming animation - smart people go there too! Can TedEd’s animated shorts drill new knowledge into even our calcified brains?
 
How do you get what you want, using just your words? Aristotle set out to answer exactly that question over two thousand years ago with a treatise on rhetoric. Camille A. Langston describes the fundamentals of deliberative rhetoric and shares some tips for appealing to an audience's ethos, logos, and pathos in your next speech.…
 
There's an organism that changed the world. It caused the first mass extinction in Earth's history ... and also paved the way for complex life. How? Anusuya Willis explains how cyanobacteria, simple organisms that don't even have nuclei or any other organelles, wrote a pivotal chapter in the story of life on Earth.…
 
Often people make decisions that are not “rational” from a purely economical point of view — meaning that they don’t necessarily lead to the best result. Why is that? Are we just bad at dealing with numbers and odds? Or is there a psychological mechanism behind it? Sara Garofalo explains heuristics, problem-solving approaches based on previous ...…
 
When we hear the word radiation, it’s tempting to picture huge explosions and frightening mutations. But that’s not the full story — radiation also applies to rainbows and a doctor examining an X-ray. So what is it, really, and how much should we worry about its effects? Matt Anticole describes the different types of radiation.…
 
They’re cute, they’re lovable, and judging by the 26 billion views on over 2 million YouTube videos of them, one thing is certain: cats are very entertaining. But their strange feline behaviors, both amusing and baffling, leave many of us asking: Why do cats do that? Tony Buffington explains the science behind some of your cat’s strangest behav ...…
 
At 8,850 meters above sea level, Qomolangma, also known as Mount Everest, has the highest altitude on the planet. But how did this towering formation get so tall? Michele Koppes peers deep into our planet’s crust, where continental plates collide, to find the answer.By contact@ted.com (TED).
 
In space, no one can judge you for negligent parenting.
 
What’s not to love about a reboot of a game show that involves picking a giant nose and sliding down a chute of nacho cheese? Nothing, that’s what.
 
The human brain is one of the most sophisticated organs in the world, a supercomputer made of billions of neurons that control all of our senses, thoughts, and actions. But there was something Charles Darwin found even more impressive: the brain of an ant, which he called “one of the most marvelous atoms of matter in the world.” Anna Stöckl tak ...…
 
Human bodies aren't built for extreme aging: our capacity is set at about 90 years. But what does aging really mean, and how does it counteract the body's efforts to stay alive? Monica Menesini details the nine physiological traits that play a central role in aging.By contact@ted.com (TED).
 
After the French Revolution erupted in 1789, Europe was thrown into chaos. Neighboring countries' monarchs feared they would share the fate of Louis XVI and attacked the new Republic, while at home, extremism and mistrust between factions led to bloodshed. In the midst of all this conflict, Napoleon emerged. But did he save the revolution, or d ...…
 
In a dystopian world, your resistance group is humanity's last hope. Unfortunately, you've all been captured by the tyrannical rulers and brought to the ancient coliseum for their deadly entertainment. Will you be able to solve the passcode riddle and get everyone out safely? Ganesh Pai shows how.By contact@ted.com (TED).
 
Plants have a hard time finding mates -- their inability to get up and move around tends to inhibit them. Luckily for plants, bees and other pollinator species (including butterflies, moths and birds) help matchmake these lonely plants in exchange for food. Fernanda S. Valdovinos explains how these intricate pollination networks work and how it ...…
 
At any moment, there is an electrical storm coursing through your body. Discover how chemical reactions create an electric current that drives our responses to everything from hot pans to a mother’s caress.By contact@ted.com (TED).
 
The story of the word X-Ray is one of great thinkers. French philosopher Rene Descartes isolated the letters X, Y and Z to stand for unknowns, and centuries later, Wilhelm Röntgen discovered the X-ray, using the X for the unknown nature of the radiation. Jessica Oreck and Rachael Teel shed some light on the etymology of this modern marvel.…
 
Watch the miraculous journey of infant sea turtles as these tiny animals run the gauntlet of predators and harsh conditions. Then, in numbers, see how human behavior has made their tough lives even more challenging.By contact@ted.com (TED).
 
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