50¢ rugged, printable microscope for diagnosing malaria and more

I watch TED talks every day, but I haven’t been blown away by one quite like this in some time.

This inventor has created a microscope that can be printed on paper for just 50¢, is rugged and waterproof and can be used in the most remote parts of the world to diagnose a whole host of diseases (including malaria) where hauling around and protecting a $10,000 microscope just isn’t practical.

Astonishing creation with potentially game-changing consequences. Keep watching out for news about the Foldscope. Continue reading “50¢ rugged, printable microscope for diagnosing malaria and more”

Challenging environmental folklore

In this talk, Leyla challenges our perception of what and what is not environmentally friendly, such as whether to use paper or plastic bags.

She highlights her point by noting that in the UK, at the end of popular TV shows, the National Grid buys nuclear electricity from France because everyone goes to turn on their tea kettle. Furthermore, people always boil more water than they need, to the point that all of the energy used to boil excess water in tea kettles in a single day could provide enough electricity to light every single street light in the whole of the UK for a whole night. That’s a pretty striking stat! Continue reading “Challenging environmental folklore”

Sleep is God: Go worship

Russell Foster is a neuroscientist and he does a lot of research into sleep. His engaging TED talk reiterates a lot of what we’ve probably heard our whole lives: that we aren’t getting enough sleep. But we are now starting to understand some of the science behind it. Russell encourages us to stop the cycle of limited sleep and caffeine stimulation in favour of listening to our bodies and honouring the light/dark cycle that our bodies observe to keep us being the best that we can be. Continue reading “Sleep is God: Go worship”

An inside view of politics in China

In the West, we’ve long been taught that the success of any modern nation is dependent on a deomcratic political system. Eric Li does an excellent job of challenging that perception by offering an insight into the Chinese political arena, a country which has risen far up the ranks to be one of the most prosperous nations on Earth. And all with a one-party system.

The very mention of communism scares the West (mostly America) to death, but any intelligent person can see that he has some good points. After all, in democracies, we go through a cycle of anticipation, excitement at the prospect of change, and ultimately, disappointment. The system is clearly broken, and Eric suggests that democracy may not be the only path forward. Continue reading “An inside view of politics in China”

Christianity, Islam, Judaism, faith, doubt and fanaticism

I happened upon a thought-provoking TED talk this morning, about an agnostic Jewish woman (Lesley Hazleton) who spent several years studying Muhammad and his revelation of the Quran. She discusses how he had doubt about what happened to him that night and it’s doubt that forms up the very fibre of our faith: a point that applies to all of us, regardless of what we believe (or don’t believe).

Despair is self-fulfilling. If we call something impossible, we act in such a way that we make it so.
-Lesley Hazleton

Continue reading “Christianity, Islam, Judaism, faith, doubt and fanaticism”

Ken Robinson discusses the current state of education

In this talk, Ken discusses the current state of education and how the culture of schools is failing the children that attend them, by trying to find common ground across 30 very different minds.

It is always a pleasure to listen to Ken Robinson speak. He’s one of my favourite orators and even though his delivery is very calm and controlled, it always stokes a fire inside of me. In this talk, he discusses the current state of education and how the culture of schools is failing the children that attend them. In particular, the emphasis on standardised testing and “No Child Left Behind” are ironically, leaving millions of children behind.

Insist on changing the current school culture and filling the gaps created by your child’s education: it’s critical to well-rounded children who enjoy learning who go on to be independent thinkers and creators. Continue reading “Ken Robinson discusses the current state of education”