A brief history of dumplings – Miranda Brown

From TED Ed. Trace the diverse and delicious history of dumplings, from their first recorded origins to their spread across the Asian continent and beyond. — As archaeologists pored over ancient tombs in western China, they discovered some surprisingly well-preserved and familiar relics. Though hardened over 1,000 years, there sat little crescent-shaped dumplings. So who…

What is the rarest color in nature? – Victoria Hwang

From TED Ed. Discover what colors are the most rare to see in nature, and how physics and evolution drive their scarcity. — Plants, animals, or minerals found in nature bear almost every color imaginable. There are two factors that influence what hues you see in the wild: physics and evolution. So, which colors are…

Can you outsmart the college admissions fallacy? – Elizabeth Cox

From TED Ed. Explore the circular reasoning fallacy, which occurs when the end of an argument comes back to the start without having proven itself. — It’s 1990. A prospective student has filed a complaint about Virginia Military institute’s admissions policy that excludes women. The state argues that VMI’s single sex education is an “important…

Ethical dilemma: Would you lie? – Sarah Stroud

From TED Ed. Puzzle through the ethical dilemma of lying to a friend, and decide: is lying always wrong or can it be justifiable? — Your plan to set up your friend Carey with your acquaintance Emerson is finally coming together. You’ve made them a dinner reservation, but suddenly realize that there’s a problem: Carey…

Ugly History: Cambodian Genocide – Timothy Williams

From TED Ed. Dig into the era of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, which perpetuated a genocide that killed a quarter of the country’s population. — From 1975 to 1979, the Communist Party of Kampuchea ruled Cambodia with an iron fist, perpetrating a genocide that killed one fourth of the country’s population. Roughly one million…

How does heart transplant surgery work? – Roni Shanoada

From TED Ed. Dig into the science of how heart transplants happen, how donors are matched and find out how this complex surgery saves lives. — Your heart beats more than 100,000 times a day. In just a minute, it pumps over five liters of blood throughout your body. But unlike skin and bones, the…

Why are eating disorders so hard to treat? – Anees Bahji

From TED Ed. Dig into the psychiatric conditions of eating disorders, and explore the complex effects they have on the body and mind. — Globally, about 10% of people will experience an eating disorder during their lifetime. And yet, eating disorders are profoundly misunderstood. Misconceptions about everything from symptoms to treatment make it difficult to…

Does trickle-down economics actually work? – Jonathan Smith

From TED Ed. Dig into trickle-down economics, which claims that tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy stimulate the economy and improve people’s lives. — In 1981, the US economy was struggling: unemployment rates were climbing and inflation had peaked at an all-time high. To combat these issues, President Reagan introduced a number of economic…

The biggest mistakes in mapmaking history – Kayla Wolf

From TED Ed. Travel through the history of mapmaking and discover what big mistakes cartographers made about the world’s geography. — For thousands of years, people made both functional maps and what are known as cosmographies, illustrating the earth and its position in the cosmos, often including constellations, gods, and mythic locations. These maps were…

How the Suez Canal changed the world – Lucia Carminati

From TED Ed. Dig into the construction of the Suez Canal, and discover how it became one of the world’s busiest maritime passages. — Today, nearly 30% of all global ship traffic passes through the Suez Canal, totaling over 20,000 ships in 2021. The site of the canal had been of interest to rulers as…

The dark history of zombies – Christopher M. Moreman

From TED Ed. Trace the origins of zombies from the Afro-Haitian religion of vodou, and discover how zombification was a reflection of slavery. — Zombies have a distinct lineage— one that traces back to Equatorial and Central Africa. For three centuries, African people were enslaved and brought to the Caribbean Islands. There, a religion known…

Why are cockroaches so hard to kill? – Ameya Gondhalekar

From TED Ed. Dig into the genetic adaptations of cockroaches, and find out what makes it so hard to get rid of these tenacious creatures. — In ancient Egypt, there was a spell that declared, “Be far from me, O vile cockroach.” Thousands of years later, we’re still trying to oust these insects. But from…

The myth of Hades and Persephone – Iseult Gillespie

From TED Ed. Dig into the Greek myth of Persephone, who is abducted by Hades and is only allowed to leave the underworld every spring. — One day, Persephone was frolicking in a meadow with the nymph, Cyane. As they admired a flower, they noticed it tremble in the ground. Suddenly, the earth split, and…

The ethical dilemma of the accused spouse – Alex Worsnip

From TED Ed. Puzzle through the ethical dilemma of a spouse accused of murder and decide: do you believe your spouse or the evidence? — You’re sitting on the couch, when you hear a knock on the door. The police have arrived to arrest your spouse— for murder. This accusation comes as a total shock,…

Watch this if you’re scared of snakes – Andrew Whitworth

From TED Ed. Travel around the world to visit some of nature’s most incredible snakes: vipers, and find out which are the most dangerous. — As of 2021, there are 368 species of viper worldwide. The name comes from the term viviparity, which means giving birth to live young. Vipers are often highly venomous, with…

History vs. Tamerlane the Conqueror – Stephanie Honchell Smith

From TED Ed. Tamerlane was one of history’s greatest conquerors— but was he a great state builder or a bloodthirsty tyrant? You decide. — He was born in the 1330s in the Chaghatayid Khanate, formerly the Mongol Empire. On the steppe, he rose from a lowly sheep thief to become one of history’s greatest conquerors,…

Why the Sun could crash your internet – Fabio Pacucci

From TED Ed. Explore the science of solar storms, and find out why they occur and just how prepared we are for a major event. — In September 1859, miners following the Colorado gold rush woke up to another sunny day. Or so they thought. To their surprise, they soon discovered it was actually 1am…

4 signs of emotional abuse – Viann Nguyen-Feng

From TED Ed. Learn how to spot some of the most common signs of emotional abuse and what you can do if someone is experiencing these behaviors. — Emotional abuse can be incredibly damaging, increasing a person’s chances of developing depression and anxiety. But these behaviors can be subtle and difficult to spot, both from…

The myth of the moon goddess – Cynthia Fay Davis

From TED Ed. Dig into the Maya myth of the moon goddess, Ix Chel, and follow her story as she falls in— and out of— love with the sun god. — The sun god was in love with the moon goddess, Ix Chel. But the goddess’ grandfather was very possessive, and would not let the…

The ingredient in almost everything you eat – Francesca Bot

From TED Ed. Dig into the science of soy, and discover what makes soybeans such versatile plants and whether it’s healthy for you and the planet. — Soybeans have been cultivated in Asia for thousands of years, and have since spread across the globe. Today, soy is in so many foods that most people consume…

Building the impossible: Golden Gate Bridge – Alex Gendler

From TED Ed. Explore the construction of California’s Golden Gate Bridge, and dig into the engineering innovations that made the structure possible. — Stretching 227 meters tall, two towers were assembled to support California’s Golden Gate Bridge. They were just one of the challenges facing engineers Charles Ellis and Joseph Strauss. Even before construction began,…

The dark history of the overthrow of Hawaii – Sydney Iaukea

From TED Ed. Get to know the story of Queen Liliʻuokalani, the last queen of Hawaii, and how she fought the US annexation of the islands. — On January 16th, 1895, two men arrived at Liliʻuokalani’s door, arrested her, and imprisoned her. The Missionary Party had recently seized power and now confiscated her diaries, ransacked…

The myth of Gawain and the Green Knight – Dan Kwartler

From TED Ed. Dig into the myth of the Green Knight, who comes to King Arthur’s court to challenge the honor and bravery of Camelot’s knights. — It was Christmas in Camelot and King Arthur was throwing a party. In the midst of the revelry, a towering knight proposed a game. He challenged the warriors…

Which animal has the best eyesight? – Thomas W. Cronin

From TED Ed. Explore the incredible diversity of eyes and vision in the animal kingdom, and find out which creature has the best eyesight. — The animal kingdom boasts an incredible diversity of eyes. Some rotate independently while others have squiggly-shaped pupils. Some have protective lids, others squirt blood. But which creature has the best…

Why do cats have vertical pupils? – Emma Bryce

From TED Ed. Dive into the incredible diversity of animal pupils, and how the different shapes indicate the animal’s role in an ecosystem. — Peering into the eyes of different animals, you’ll see some extraordinarily shaped pupils. House cats, for one, are twilight hunters with vertically elongated pupils. Many grazing animals, like goats, have rectangular…

Why is it so hard to escape poverty? – Ann-Helén Bay

From TED Ed. Explore the paradox of welfare programs, and learn how they inadvertently reinforce generational poverty, and what we can do to fix them. — Imagine that you’ve been unemployed for months. Government benefit programs have helped you cover your expenses, but you’re barely getting by. Finally, you receive a paycheck— but there’s a…

Why is the Mona Lisa so famous? – Noah Charney

From TED Ed. Discover what factors helped Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” become the world’s most famous painting. — More than 500 years after its creation, Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” is arguably the world’s most famous painting. Many scholars consider it an outstanding work of Renaissance art— but history is full of great paintings.…

Can stereotypes ever be good? – Sheila Marie Orfano and Densho

From TED Ed. Explore the model minority stereotype, and discover how it became a label for Asian Americans and is used to enforce racial hierarchies. — In 2007, researchers surveyed 180 teachers to understand if they held stereotypes about their students. The most commonly held opinion was that Asian students were significantly more industrious, intelligent,…