I guess doctors, especially doctors-in-training, have to get used to sudden, inexplicable endings. You are trained to heal. That's the goal, that's the point. But every so often, you don't win. Something you didn't see coming, comes. I don't know which hurts more, the 'suddenly' or the 'why?" If the patient is clearly dying, it's easier. You can prepare.
If mosquitoes used Yelp, they might look for their next meal by searching nearby for a heavy-breathing human with Type O blood, sporting a red shirt and more than a smattering of skin bacteria. Preferably either pregnant or holding a beer.
Rarer than any metal, any mineral, so rare that if you scan the entire earth, all six million billion billion kilos or 13,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 pounds of our planet, you would find only one ounce of it?
What is so rare it has never been seen directly, because if you could get enough of it together, it would self-vaporize from its own radioactive heat?
A day at the shore can leave beachgoers with more than a sunburn — a gulp of seawater can expose swimmers to disease-causing microbes like norovirus, salmonella, and adenovirus. Marine scientist Rachel Noble and environmental medicine researcher Samuel Dorevitch discuss the risk, and what's being done to limit swimmers' exposure.
As New Yorkers braced themselves for Hurricane Sandy, coastal geologist Cheryl Hapke was out surveying Fire Island, a barrier island off the Long Island coast. Days later, Hapke was back to document the hurricane's effects and found a breach cutting the island in two. Now locals and scientists are debating whether the inlet should be filled in or left as nature intended.
"Someone described my office as an eight-year-old's daydream," says astronomer Jill Tarter, who has been collecting E.T.-themed office ornaments for 30 years. Tarter was the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute's first employee, and the inspiration for the character in Carl Sagan's Contact.
A group of British academic researchers has announced plans to band together in a search for extraterrestrial intelligence. Alan Penney, the coordinator of the newly-formed UK SETI Research Network, describes the group's strategy for looking for signals from the stars.
With the NSA conducting surveillance on our data and Google scanning our email, how can we protect our personal information? Jon Xavier, digital producer at Silicon Valley Business Journal, discusses the services that you can use to make your information more secure and private.
For years, electrical experts have been calling for a "smart grid" that could better sense and adapt to changing conditions, from electrical outages to shifts in power consumption. Massoud Amin, referred to by some as the "father of the smart grid," talks about how and why the country should improve its aging electrical infrastructure.
Reporting in Science, researchers write of discovering four radio bursts from outer space. Physicist Duncan Lorimer, who detected the first such explosion in 2007, discusses what could be causing these radio signals, such as evaporating black holes, an idea proposed by Stephen Hawking in the 1970s.
Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 8:53 am
What motivates dozens, thousands, even millions of people to come together on the Internet and commit their time to a project for free? In this hour, TED speakers unravel ideas behind the mystery of mass collaborations that build a better world.
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Founder of Wikipedia Jimmy Wales recalls how he assembled "a ragtag band of volunteers," gave them tools for collaborating to create a self-organizing, self-correcting, never-finished online encyclopedia.
Social media guru Clay Shirky looks at "cognitive surplus" — the shared, online work we do with our spare brain cycles. While we're busy contributing to the web in our small ways, we're building a better, more cooperative world.
Computer programmer Luis von Ahn wondered how else to use small contributions done by millions on the Internet for greater good. He put CAPTCHAs, those online puzzles to verify you're not a robot, to work by digitizing books and teaching foreign languages.