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TED-Ed
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TED-Ed is TED's new education initiative.
TED-Ed is TED's new education initiative.

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If you were to take a coffee cup, and break it in half, then in half again, and keep carrying on, where would you end up? Could you keep on going forever? Or would you eventually find a set of indivisible building blocks out of which everything is made? Jonathan Butterworth explains the Standard Model theory and how it helps us understand the world we live in.
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Sisyphus was both a clever ruler who made his city prosperous, and a devious tyrant who seduced his niece and killed visitors to show off his power. While his violation of the sacred hospitality tradition greatly angered the gods, it was Sisyphus’ reckless confidence that proved to be his downfall -- resulting in Zeus condemning him for all eternity. Alex Gendler shares the myth of Sisyphus.
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Every star, black hole, human being, smartphone and atom are all constantly pulling on each other due to one force: gravity. So why don’t we feel pulled in billions of different directions? And is there anywhere in the universe where we'd be free of its pull? Rene Laufer details the inescapability of gravity.
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Spindly trees, rusted gates, crumbling stone, a solitary mourner: these things come to mind when we think of cemeteries. But not long ago, many burial grounds were lively places, with gardens and crowds of people -- and for much of human history, we didn’t bury our dead at all. How did cemeteries become what they are today? Keith Eggener delves into our ever-evolving rituals for honoring the dead.
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In 1895, crowds flooded Coney Island to see America’s first-ever looping coaster: the Flip Flap Railway. But its thrilling flip caused cases of severe whiplash, neck injury and even ejections. Today, coasters can pull off far more exciting tricks and do it safely. Brian D. Avery investigates what rollercoasters are doing to your body and how they’ve managed to get scarier and safer at the same time.
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The earliest time measurements were observations of cycles of the natural world, using patterns of changes from day to night and season to season to build calendars. More precise time-keeping eventually came along to put time in more convenient boxes. But what exactly are we measuring? Andrew Zimmerman Jones contemplates whether time is something that physically exists or is just in our heads.
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Anna Komnene, daughter of Byzantine emperor Alexios, spent the last decade of her life creating a 500-page history of her father’s reign called “The Alexiad.” As a princess writing about her own family, she had to balance her loyalty to her kin with her obligation to portray events accurately. Leonora Neville investigates this epic historical narrative.
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Two men, Estragon and Vladimir, meet by a tree at dusk to wait for someone named “Godot.” So begins a vexing cycle where the two debate when Godot will come, why they’re waiting and whether they’re even at the right tree. The play offers a simple but stirring question- what should the characters do? Iseult Gillespie shares everything you need to know to read the tragicomedy.
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The Ancient Egyptian king Thutmose III described the chicken as a marvelous foreign bird that “gives birth daily.” Romans brought them on their military campaigns to foretell the success of future battles. Today, this bird occupies a much less honorable position – on dinner plates. Chris Kniesly explains the evolving role of chickens throughout history.
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The good news is that your experimental robo-ants are a success. The bad news is that you accidentally gave them the ability to shoot deadly lasers … and you can’t turn it off. Can you stop them from escaping their habitat before the lasers are activated? Dan Finkel shows how.
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