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About Ted’s first escape on June 07, 1977 :

Bundy arrived for a hearing on his motions (He wanted the Utah case suppressed as evidence in the murder trial, the suppression hearing closed and the death penalty ruled unconstitutional). After a 10:30 recess, he was left alone for a few minutes. Bundy paused for a moment by a second-story window and then jumped. Walking so he wouldn’t draw attention, Bundy ambled four blocks to the Roaring Fork River. Diving under a bush, he pulled off his turtleneck sweater, changed the part in his hair and then headed back through the center of town. He reached the tree line in fifteen minutes.

For six days, deputies, dogs and helicopters searched for Ted Bundy. Spending the night in the rain, Bundy broke into an empty cabin on Conundrum Creek. He stayed there for twenty-four hours, wolfing down a can of tomato sauce and a box of brown sugar. The morning of the third day, he grabbed a .22 rifle out of the cabin and headed up the creek, hoping to cross the Continental Divide. He took a wrong turn and stumble back to the cabin with a sprained ankle the following evening, passing a civilian armed with a rifle.

I’m looking for Ted Bundy,” the man with the rifle said.

Good luck,” Bundy said.

Discovering that the searchers had been in the cabin, he slept in the brush. Cutting north, he crossed a golf course and found a Cadillac with the keys in the ignition.

Bundy was pulled over as he tried to slip out of the county. A Band-Aid plastered on his nose and a hat pulled low over his eyes, Bundy ducked behind the steering wheel.

Hi, Ted,” Deputy Gene Flatt said.

Welcome home, Ted” Sheriff Ken Keinsat said when Bundy arrived back at the jail.

Thank you,” Bundy said. - Rolling Stone, December 14, 1978

How to tell fake news from real news

In November 2016, Stanford University researchers made an alarming discovery: across the US, many students can’t tell the difference between a reported news article, a persuasive opinion piece, and a corporate ad. This lack of media literacy makes young people vulnerable to getting duped by “fake news” — which can have real consequences.


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Want to strengthen your own ability to tell real news from fake news? Start by asking these five questions of any news item.


Animation by Patrick Smith

Who wrote it? Real news contains the real byline of a real journalist dedicated to the truth. Fake news (including “sponsored content” and traditional corporate ads) does not. Once you find the byline, look at the writer’s bio. This can help you identify whether the item you’re reading is a reported news article (written by a journalist with the intent to inform), a persuasive opinion piece (written by an industry expert with a point of view), or something else entirely.

Animation by Patrick Smith

What claims does it make? Real news — like these Pulitzer Prize winning articles — will include multiple primary sources when discussing a controversial claim. Fake news may include fake sources, false urls, and/or “alternative facts” that can be disproven through further research. When in doubt, dig deeper. Facts can be verified.

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When was it published? Look at the publication date. If it’s breaking news, be extra careful. Use this tipsheet to decode breaking news.

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Where was it published? Real news is published by trustworthy media outlets with a strong fact-checking record, such as the BBC, NPR, ProPublica, Mother Jones, and Wired. (To learn more about any media outlet, look at their About page and examine their published body of work.) If you get your news primarily via social media, try to verify that the information is accurate before you share it. (On Twitter, for example, you might look for the blue “verified” checkmark next to a media outlet name to double-check a publication source before sharing a link.)

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How does it make you feel? Fake news, like all propaganda, is designed to make you feel strong emotions. So if you read a news item that makes you feel super angry, pause and take a deep breath. Then, double-check the item’s claims by comparing it to the news on any three of the media outlets listed above — and decide for yourself if the item is real news or fake news. Bottom line: Don’t believe everything you read. There is no substitute for critical thinking.

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If you get in the habit of asking all 5 of these questions whenever you read a news article, then your basic news literacy skills will start to grow stronger. However, these are just the basics! To dive deeper into news and media literacy, watch the TED-Ed Lesson: How to choose your news. To find out more about what students need, read the Stanford University report, published here.

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Laura McClure is an award-winning journalist and the TED-Ed Editor. To learn something new every week, sign up here for the TED-Ed Newsletter.

Aphasia: The disorder that makes you lose your words

It’s hard to imagine being unable to turn thoughts into words. But, if the delicate web of language networks in your brain became disrupted by stroke, illness or trauma, you could find yourself truly at a loss for words. This disorder, called “aphasia,” can impair all aspects of communication. Approximately 1 million people in the U.S. alone suffer from aphasia, with an estimated 80,000 new cases per year.  About one-third of stroke survivors suffer from aphasia, making it more prevalent than Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis, yet less widely known.

There are several types of aphasia, grouped into two categories: fluent (or “receptive”) aphasia and non-fluent (or “expressive”) aphasia. 

People with fluent aphasia may have normal vocal inflection, but use words that lack meaning. They have difficulty comprehending the speech of others and are frequently unable to recognize their own speech errors. 

People with non-fluent aphasia, on the other hand, may have good comprehension, but will experience long hesitations between words and make grammatical errors. We all have that “tip-of-the-tongue” feeling from time to time when we can’t think of a word. But having aphasia can make it hard to name simple everyday objects.  Even reading and writing can be difficult and frustrating.

It’s important to remember that aphasia does not signify a loss in intelligence. People who have aphasia know what they want to say, but can’t always get their words to come out correctly. They may unintentionally use substitutions, called “paraphasias” – switching related words, like saying dog for cat, or words that sound similar, such as house for horse. Sometimes their words may even be unrecognizable.  

So, how does this language-loss happen? The human brain has two hemispheres. In most people, the left hemisphere governs language.  We know this because in 1861, the physician Paul Broca studied a patient who lost the ability to use all but a single word: “tan.” During a postmortem study of that patient’s brain, Broca discovered a large lesion in the left hemisphere, now known as “Broca’s area.” Scientists today believe that Broca’s area is responsible in part for naming objects and coordinating the muscles involved in speech. Behind Broca’s area is Wernicke’s area, near the auditory cortex. That’s where the brain attaches meaning to speech sounds. Damage to Wernicke’s area impairs the brain’s ability to comprehend language. Aphasia is caused by injury to one or both of these specialized language areas.

Fortunately, there are other areas of the brain which support these language centers and can assist with communication.  Even brain areas that control movement are connected to language. Our other hemisphere contributes to language too, enhancing the rhythm and intonation of our speech. These non-language areas sometimes assist people with aphasia when communication is difficult.

However, when aphasia is acquired from a stroke or brain trauma, language improvement may be achieved through speech therapy.  Our brain’s ability to repair itself, known as “brain plasticity,” permits areas surrounding a brain lesion to take over some functions during the recovery process. Scientists have been conducting experiments using new forms of technology, which they believe may encourage brain plasticity in people with aphasia.  

Meanwhile, many people with aphasia remain isolated, afraid that others won’t understand them or give them extra time to speak. By offering them the time and flexibility to communicate in whatever way they can, you can help open the door to language again, moving beyond the limitations of aphasia.

From the TED-Ed Lesson Aphasia: The disorder that makes you lose your words - Susan Wortman-Jutt

Animation by TED-Ed

Ted the Animator: “I think you might have skipped some between frames, seeing as he does this a couple times.”

Carl the Animator: “Nah, he’s just on waaaaay too much caffeine.”

Ted the Animator: “…ok, y’know what, that’s fair.”

Why do we knock on wood?

Chances are you’ve knocked on wood in the past week. But, really, why? Here’s one origin story:

Knocking on wood is thought to come from the folklore of the ancient Indo-Europeans, or possibly people who predated them, who believed that trees were home to various spirits.  

Touching a tree would invoke the protection or blessing of the spirit within.

And somehow, this tradition has survived long after belief in these spirits had faded away.

What are some other origin stories of knocking on wood that you’ve heard?

From the TED-Ed Lesson Where do superstitions come from? - Stuart Vyse

Animation by TED-Ed & @jefflebars

How high can you count on your fingers?

How high can you count on your fingers? It seems like a question with an obvious answer. After all, most of us have ten fingers, or to be more precise, eight fingers and two thumbs. This gives us a total of ten digits on our two hands, which we use to count to ten. 

It’s no coincidence that the ten symbols we use in our modern numbering system are called digits as well. But that’s not the only way to count. In some places, it’s customary to go up to twelve on just one hand. How? Well, each finger is divided into three sections, and we have a natural pointer to indicate each one, the thumb. That gives us an easy to way to count to twelve on one hand. 

And if we want to count higher, we can use the digits on our other hand to keep track of each time we get to twelve, up to five groups of twelve, or 60.

Better yet, let’s use the sections on the second hand to count twelve groups of twelve, up to 144.

That’s a pretty big improvement, but we can go higher by finding more countable parts on each hand. For example, each finger has three sections and three creases for a total of six things to count. Now we’re up to 24 on each hand. 

And using our other hand to mark groups of 24 gets us all the way to 576. Can we go any higher? It looks like we’ve reached the limit of how many different finger parts we can count with any precision. So let’s think of something different.

One of our greatest mathematical inventions is the system of positional notation, where the placement of symbols allows for different magnitudes of value, as in the number 999. Even though the same symbol is used three times, each position indicates a different order of magnitude. So we can use positional value on our fingers to beat our previous record. Let’s forget about finger sections for a moment and look at the simplest case of having just two options per finger, up and down. This won’t allow us to represent powers of ten, but it’s perfect for the counting system that uses powers of two, otherwise known as ‘binary’. 

In binary, each position has double the value of the previous one, so we can assign our fingers values of 1, 2, 4, 8…all the way up to 512. And any positive integer, up to a certain limit, can be expressed as a sum of these numbers. For example, the number seven is 4+2+1. So we can represent it by having just these three fingers raised. How high an we go now? That would be the number with all ten fingers raised, or 1,023. Is it possible to go even higher? It depends on how dexterous you feel! If you can bend each finger just halfway, that gives us three different states -down, half bent, and raised. Now, we can count using a base-three positional system, up to 59,048. And if you can bend your fingers into four different states or more, you can get even higher. That limit is up to you, and your own flexibility and ingenuity.

Even with our fingers in just two possible states, we’re already working pretty efficiently. In fact, our computers are based on the same principle. Each microchip consists of tiny electrical switches that can be either on or off, meaning that base-two is the default way they represent numbers. And just as we can use this system to count past 1,000 using only our fingers, computers can perform billions of operations just by counting off 1’s and 0’s.

From the TED-Ed Lesson How high can you count on your fingers? (Spoiler: much higher than 10) - James Tanton

Animation by TED-Ed