TEDEducation

Celebrating African-American Social Dance

This is the Bop. The Bop is a type of social dance. Dance is a language, and social dance is an expression that emerges from a community. A social dance isn’t choreographed by any one person. It can’t be traced to any one moment. Each dance has steps that everyone can agree on, but it’s about the individual and their creative identity Because of that, social dances bubble up, they change, and they spread like wildfire. They are as old as our remembered history.

In African-American social dances, we see over 200 years of how African and African-American traditions influenced our history. The present always contains the past. And the past shapes who we are and who we will be.

Now, social dance is about community and connection; if you knew the steps, it meant you belonged to a group. But what if it becomes a worldwide craze? Enter the Twist.

It’s no surprise that the Twist can be traced back to the 19th century, brought to America from the Congo during slavery. But in the late ‘50s, right before the Civil Rights Movement, the Twist is popularized by Chubby Checker and Dick Clark. Suddenly, everybody’s doing the Twist: white teenagers, kids in Latin America, making its way into songs and movies. Through social dance, the boundaries between groups become blurred.

The story continues in the 1980s and '90s. Along with the emergence of hip-hop, African-American social dance took on even more visibility, borrowing from its long past, shaping culture and being shaped by it. Today, these dances continue to evolve, grow and spread.

Why do we dance? To move, to let loose, to express.

Why do we dance together? To heal, to remember, to say: “We speak a common language. We exist and we are free.”

From the TED-Ed Lesson The history of African-American social dance - Camille A. Brown

Camille A. Brown is a choreographer fusing dance and social commentary to explore race, sexuality and femininity.

Title Design by Kozmonot Animation Studio 

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Have you seen the latest TED-ed lesson on History of Tea? Amazing animation by
@steffleeartist
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Excited to share my latest project! :D Here is Queen Catherine of Braganza enjoying a cuppa. 🍵 Check out the full film at the link in my bio.

This clip is from ‘A History of Tea’ that was released yesterday. This is the latest animation I created for @tededucation with @teadrunk. Such a great project to work on

#historyoftea #tea #drinktea #teded #education #animation #filmstill #history #educationalanimation #CatherineofBraganza #britishempire (at Tea Drunk)

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7 healthy tips for a better night’s sleep

It’s back to school time! Here’s a healthy reminder to get your sleep on - consistently & intentionally - this semester. 

Sleep is critical for mind and body health. Without it, the effects can be severe. Below, neuroscientist Claudia Aguirre provides 7 healthy tips for a better night’s sleep:

1. Aim for power hours. Sleep the recommended amount for a restorative night. That is: between 9 and 12 hours for school-aged children, 8 to 10 hours for teenagers, and 7 to 9 hours for adults. [Animation by TED-Ed + Josephine Mark]

2. Ban the blue. Filter the blue light of your electronic device and sleep better. Studies show that blue light from electronic devices can delay sleep onset and affect overall circadian rhythm. [Animation by Javier Saldeña/TED-Ed]

3. Spoon. Sleeping on the side may help the brain clear waste more efficiently than sleeping on the back or belly. [Animation by TED-Ed + Josephine Mark]

4. Breathe deep. Deep breathing triggers the body’s relaxation response. What’s more, inhaling can drive cerebrospinal fluid flow to help clear brain waste and oxygenate the brain. [Animation by TED-Ed + Josephine Mark]

5. Don’t overdo it. Science is still working this one out, but there are some cases where too much sleep can pose a health risk. Better set that alarm. [Animation by Alan Foreman/TED-Ed]

6. Exercise. Lab experiments show that regular exercise can protect the brain from sleep deprivation-induced memory deficits. [Animation by Andrew Zimbelman/TED-Ed]

7. Keep cool. You just might get a better night’s rest if you sleep in a cool room (or stick your feet out). [Animation by TED-Ed + Josephine Mark]

For more health tips from experts, check out 7 TED-Ed Lessons for a healthier you.

Author bio: Claudia Aguirre is a neuroscientist and the author of several TED-Ed Lessons, including What would happen if you didn’t sleep? and Does stress cause pimples? Check her work and research out on Twitter & Facebook & Instagram.

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Tsunamis are caused by energy originating underwater from a volcanic eruption, a submarine landslide, or, most commonly, an earthquake on the ocean floor.

1. For example, the tectonic plates of the Earth’s surface slip, releasing a massive amount of energy into the water. 2. This energy travels up to the surface, displacing water and raising it above the normal sea level.

3. Gravity pulls that energy back down.

4. As a result, the energy ripples outwards horizontally. Thus, the tsunami is born, moving at over 500 miles per hour.  

From the TED-Ed Lesson How tsunamis work - Alex Gendler

Animation by Augenblick Studios

In ancient Greece the study of astronomy was linked to the same physical principles as musical harmony.  For example, many Greek thinkers believed that each of the planets and stars created their own unique sound as they traveled through the cosmos, thrumming like an enormous guitar string light-years long.

From the TED-Ed Lesson Music and creativity in Ancient Greece - Tim Hansen

Animation by Together

Homemade Special Effects

Today, we’re hoping to inspire a little animated fun! We’re using a neat animation method called ‘pixilation’, in which humans are used as stop-motion puppets, to get from Point A to Point B. So grab your tablet or your smart phone or your camera, and come make human stop-motion with us!

Why walk there when you could slide there? Just like in stop-motion animation, the puppet moves just a bit for every photo that’s taken. So: Step to your left, Photo, Repeat!

Here’s the oldest trick in the ‘Special Effects’ book! In George Méliès’ ‘A Trip to the Moon’ from 1902, he infamously turn the camera off, had the subject leave the screen, and turned the camera back on to continue the shot, thus creating cinema’s first disappearing act! So, remember that film is just a series of photographs, and that you, too, can teleport!

Fly there! This one also counts as a daily work out. Just like we did in the slide, except with a jump! And a very well timed cameraperson… So: Step to your left, Jump, Photo, Repeat! You’ll notice we did a few jumping photos in place at the beginning and end to really make the puppet look like she can fly.

Have fun with it! What do you have in your home that you can play with and add to the animation?

Our favorite part about animation is that truly everything is possible! So whatever kooky idea you have, you can make happen with just a little planning and the right tools. 

For more details on how we made these animations, be sure to watch Animation basics: Homemade special effects - TED-Ed

In a brain affected by Alzheimer’s, the presence of misfolded proteins, called plaques, and neurofibrillary tangles in the tissue work together to break down the brain’s structure. 

The destructive pairing of plaques and tangles starts in a region called the hippocampus, which is responsible for forming memories. That’s why short-term memory loss is usually the first symptom of Alzheimer’s.

From the TED-Ed Lesson What is Alzheimer’s disease? - Ivan Seah Yu Jun

Animation by STK Films

In the retina, there are two different types of light-detecting cells: rods and cones. The rods are used for seeing in low-light conditions, and there’s only one kind of those. The cones are a different story. There are three kinds of cone cells that roughly correspond to the colors red, green and blue.

From the TED-Ed Lesson How we see color - Colm Kelleher

Animation by TED-Ed

French fries are delicious. French fries with ketchup are a little slice of heaven. The problem is it’s basically impossible to pour the exactly right amount. Ketchup can’t seem to make up its mind. Is it is a solid? Or a liquid? The answer is: it depends.

From the TED-Ed Lesson Why is ketchup so hard to pour? - George Zaidan

Animation by TOGETHER

How could you dispose of your cooking oil when you’re done cooking? The easiest thing to do might be to pour it down your drain — but if you save it up and send it to a processing plant, it can gain useful new life as biodiesel, a biodegradable energy source which can run in diesel engines instead of refined petroleum.

From the TED-Ed Lesson Biodiesel: The afterlife of oil - Natascia Radice

Animation by Lippy