The 7 Best Neil deGrasse Tyson Talks

June 12, 2014
Neil Degrasse Tyson

Source: Parade

Neil deGrasse Tyson is the world-renowned America astrophysicist who waxes philosophical—yet approachable—on all things science and space. To his credit, he is also a lecturer, author, radio personality, TV host of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, director of the Hayden Planetarium and research associate in the department of astrophysics at the American Museum of Natural History. As eloquent as he is engaging, Dr. Tyson has captured the imagination of the public the world over with his wisdom. Here are seven of his best sermons on science – from state addresses and conferences to interviews on talk shows.

1. Beyond Belief, 2006

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The Most WTF Science Experiments Ever Conducted

June 9, 2014

History is filled with examples of cruel and unusual experiments performed on human beings and animals for the so-called sake of advancing science. Even at the time they were performed, such experiments should have been considered crazy. And today, at the very least they should elicit a “WTF?”. In some cases it seems that the psychology professionals administering the tests were the crazy ones—not the subjects involved. In the following experiments, the victims can be categorized into five groups: chimps, dogs, gays, unsuspecting participants and Jews.

The Chimps

WTF Science Experiments Monkeys Despair

Harry Harlow experimented on monkeys by depriving them of all stimulation for as long as a year in a device he called the ‘pit of despair.’ Source: Indian Institute of Technology

As disturbing as the experiments by Dr. Harry Harlow on rhesus monkeys were, they did generate some—albeit inadvertent—“good” results. Public outrage at Harlow’s work comprised one of the early steps toward the United States animal rights movement, which aims to wipe out the use of animals in the research, food, clothing and entertainment industries. His work is also said to be partially responsible for various ethical standards established for scientific study.

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Life On Biosphere 2

June 8, 2014

Bisophere 2

Is there life on other planets? Maybe, maybe not. But is there life on an other worldly closed system in the middle of Arizona? Absolutely. Or, well, at least there was. Beginning at the tail end of the 20th century, researchers squeezed a rain forest, ocean, coral reef, wetlands, grasslands and deserts into this steel structure, which was intended to study the interactions between different life systems. Researchers would spend years of their lives sealed away from humanity in the Biosphere, but after years of managerial conflict, the site’s future is uncertain. Read more about one of the researchers, Jane Poynter, at TED.

6 Of The Most Interesting Diseases To Have Ravaged Humanity

June 7, 2014

Poor health is one of those things that, like divorce and the loss of a loved one, you know will touch your life at some point but would rather not think about too much. At least, we generally expect that somebody, somewhere is “working” on the problem. Certain interesting diseases, however, compel our attention and call into question the notion that humans have this whole “modern medicine” thing figured out.

Some interesting diseases count as such because their symptoms are so bizarre, others because they’re so incredibly rare, and still others because they’re so mysterious that doctors who study them have no choice but to shrug and guess that the sufferers are under a sorcerer’s curse. Here are six of the more interesting diseases to have appeared in the literature for the expressed purpose of robbing you of sleep.

Interesting Diseases: Progressive Multifocal Leukoncephalopathy

Interesting Diseases Brain

Source: Hash Slush

Imagine you’re recovering from a heart transplant. You might feel as if you’ve been given a new lease on life. Sure, you have to take drugs that suppress your immune system so your body won’t reject the donor heart, but hey—beats the alternative, right?

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DIY X-Men Pyro Flamethrowers, Anyone?

June 3, 2014

If you didn’t understand the latest X-Men series, you’re not alone. And surprisingly, what might actually be easier to comprehend is how to make a flamethrower a la cinema’s most-beloved mutants.

5 Of The World’s Weirdest Mental Disorders

June 3, 2014

Are you normal? It seems like an easy question, but our grip on reality can be thinner and more tenuous than you think. This shouldn’t be surprising, since everything that you are—your hopes, your memories, your conditioned responses—is contained in one small, fragile brain. The brain is just an organ, after all, and things sometimes go wrong with it. Unlike a wonky liver, however, a malfunctioning brain tends to yield some really unpredictable consequences. Sometimes, the stuff you’ve always taken for granted—such as not being a cannibal, for example—suddenly evaporates, and you’re left with a disorder so bizarre that you get written up in an article like this.

Mental Disorders: Aboulomania

Think back to when you clicked the link to this article. Those were the days, huh? Now—why did you click on this article, rather than this site’s many other fine offerings? How? While you’re at it, try to remember what you were thinking when you decided to put down the gun that you were cleaning with a Confederate flag (we’ve done audience research) and come over to the computer in the first place. Why did you choose not to wear pants to work today?

Mental Disorders Lindsay Lohan

Bad decisions take many forms. This is one of them.
Source: Fashion Rat


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