Author: TED-Ed - Gifs worth sharing

Oh, hi, didn’t see you there.

Oh, hi, didn’t see you there.

Excuse us while we get ready for a little summer vacation! See you again in the Fall!

From the TED-Ed Lesson Which sunscreen should you choose? – Mary Poffenroth with animation by Rob Kohr & Travis Spangler

How 3 animators interpreted the same Whitman p…

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One of the most amazing things about poetry is its seemingly infinite capacity for interpretation. To illustrate that fact, TED-Ed launched a great poetic experiment. We gave one Walt Whitman poem to three of our in-house animators, and asked them to interpret it using three different styles of animation. They were each given a recording of the text to work from, which was supplied by three local poets who also interpreted the text using their voices. The result? A stunning video that breathes three very different lives into Walt Whitman’s timeless poem, “A Noiseless Patient Spider.” 

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Interpretation #1 by Jeremiah Dickey

Medium: Paint on Glass

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Interpretation #2 by Biljana Labovic

Medium: Video

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Interpretation #3 by Lisa LaBracio

Medium: Scratchboard

Watch all of the interpretations here: A poetic experiment: Walt Whitman, interpreted by three animators – Justin Moore

Happy Birthday to Walt Whitman today!

Today, we celebrate Walt Whitman’s 200th birthday!
Happy birthday, Walt!!

teded: Fun Fact Friday! Did you know that over…

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Fun Fact Friday!

Did you know that over 100,000 metric tons of caffeine are consumed around the world every year? That’s equivalent to the weight of 14 Eiffel Towers!

From the TED-Ed Lesson How does caffeine keep us awake? – Hanan Qasim

Animation by Adriatic Animation

teded: Today, the treadmill is one of the mos…

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Today, the treadmill is one of the most common ways to get in your weekly workout, but did you know that in the 1800s, treadmills were created to punish English prisoners?

The original version was invented in 1818 by English engineer Sir William Cubitt. While the prisoners stepped on 24 spokes of a large paddle wheel, the rotation made gears pump out water,  crush grain, or power mills, which is where the name “treadmill” originated.

Watch the dark and twisted history of the treadmill: The treadmill’s dark and twisted past – Conor Heffernan

Animation by Yukai Du

Fun Fact Friday!

What is imposter syndrome?

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Even after writing eleven books and winning several prestigious awards, Maya Angelou couldn’t escape the nagging doubt that she hadn’t really earned her accomplishments. 

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Albert Einstein experienced something similar: he described himself as an “involuntary swindler” whose work didn’t deserve as much attention as it had received. Accomplishments at the level of Angelou’s or Einstein’s are rare, but their feeling of fraudulence is extremely common. Why can’t so many of us shake feelings that we haven’t earned our accomplishments, or that our ideas and skills aren’t worthy of others’ attention?

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Psychologist Pauline Rose Clance was the first to study this unwarranted sense of insecurity. She and her patients experienced something that goes by a number of names– imposter phenomenon, imposter experience, and imposter syndrome. Together with colleague Suzanne Imes, Clance first studied imposterism in female college students and faculty. Their work established pervasive feelings of fraudulence in this group. Since that first study, the same thing has been established across gender, race, age, and a huge range of occupations, though it may be more prevalent and disproportionately affect the experiences of underrepresented or disadvantaged groups. 

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To call it a syndrome is to downplay how universal it is. It’s not a disease or an abnormality, and it isn’t necessarily tied to depression, anxiety, or self-esteem. Where do these feelings of fraudulence come from? People who are highly skilled or accomplished tend to think others are just as skilled. This can spiral into feelings that they don’t deserve accolades and opportunities over other people. And as Angelou and Einstein experienced, there’s often no threshold of accomplishment that puts these feelings to rest.

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The good news? Talking about imposter syndrome helps! Hearing that an advisor or mentor has experienced feelings of imposterism can help relieve those feelings. The same goes for peers. Even simply finding out there’s a term for these feelings can be an incredible relief. Once you’re aware of the phenomenon, you can combat your own imposter syndrome by collecting and revisiting positive feedback. One scientist who kept blaming herself for problems in her lab started to document the causes every time something went wrong. Eventually, she realized most of the problems came from equipment failure, and came to recognize her own competence. We may never be able to banish these feelings entirely, but we can have open conversations about academic or professional challenges. With increasing awareness of how common these experiences are, perhaps we can feel freer to be frank about our feelings and build confidence in some simple truths: you have talent, you are capable, and you belong.

Learn more about imposter syndrome by watching the TED-Ed Lesson What is imposter syndrome and how can you combat it? – Elizabeth Cox

Animation by Sharon Colman

How do vaccines work?

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Using the same principles that the body uses to defend itself, scientists use vaccines to trigger the body’s adaptive immune system, without exposing humans to the full strength disease. This has resulted in many vaccines, which each work uniquely, separated into many different types.

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First, we have live attenuated vaccines. These are made of the pathogen itself, but a much weaker and tamer version.

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Next, we have inactive vaccines, in which the pathogens have been killed. The weakening and inactivation in both types of vaccine ensures that pathogens don’t develop into the full-blown disease. But just like a disease, they trigger an immune response, teaching the body to recognize and attack by making a profile of pathogens in preparation.

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Another type, the subunit vaccine, is only made from one part of the pathogen, called an antigen, the ingredient that actually triggers the immune response. By even further isolating specific components of antigens, like proteins or polysaccharides, these vaccines can prompt specific responses.

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Scientists are now building a whole new range of vaccines called DNA vaccines. For this variety, they isolate the very genes that make the specific antigens the body needs to trigger its immune response to specific pathogens. When injected into the human body, those genes instruct cells in the body to make the antigens. This causes a stronger immune response and prepares the body for any future threats, and because the vaccine only includes specific genetic material, it doesn’t include any other ingredients from the rest of the pathogen.

If these vaccines become a success, we might be able to build more effective treatments for invasive pathogens in years to come.

To learn more about the body’s adaptive immune system and how vaccines work, watch the TED-Ed Lesson How do vaccines work? – Kelwalin Dhanasarnsombut

Animation by Cinematic

On this day in 1980, the World Health Organization announced that the smallpox virus had been eradicated, largely thanks to the smallpox vaccine. 

Help us spread scientific information about vaccines and how they work!

Watch + share the TED-Ed Lesson How do vaccines work? – Kelwalin Dhanasarnsombut

5 actions to protect birds where you live

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Welcome to Earth Week on TED-Ed Tumblr! We’ll be sharing ways for you to be a more considerate resident of Planet Earth all week (that you can apply…all year!)

In honor of Earth Day, we took a few tips from Audubon on how to take action to protect birds! We’ve paired them with some of our favorite bird visuals from our TED-Ed Lessons <3

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1. Reduce or eliminate pesticide and herbicide use. By using few chemicals in and around your home, you will help keep birds, pets, and your family healthy.

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2. Plant native plants. Native flora provides birds with food in the form of fruit and seeds, and is home to tasty invertebrates like bugs and spiders.

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3. Identify the non-native invasive plants in your region, and work to remove them from your yard. And don’t bring any new invasives into your backyard! Invasives don’t provide as much good food or habitat as natives do, and can threaten healthy ecosystems.

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4. Attract hummingbirds with sugar water, made by combining four parts hot water to one part white sugar, boiled for one to two minutes. Never use honey, artificial sweeteners, or food coloring. Clean hummingbird feeders with a solution of one part white vinegar to four parts water once a week.

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5. Make your windows visible to birds to prevent crashes. Put up screens, close drapes and blinds when you leave the house, or stick multiple decals on the glass (decals need to be no more than two to four inches apart to be effective).

And here are some TED-Ed Lessons to watch for the love of the birds:

Bird migration, a perilous journey – Alyssa Klavans

How do birds learn to sing? – Partha Mitra

How did feathers evolve? – Carl Zimmer

Love the Earth, and the Earth will love you back! Happy Earth Week!

Artwork & Animation above by Artrake Studio, Lisa LaBracio + Tara Sunil Thomas, & Compote Collective.

Today is Bird Day! Here are some ways to make the planet a happier place for all the birdies of the world!

teded: May the Fourth be with you. From the T…

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May the Fourth be with you.

From the TED-Ed Lesson The hidden meanings of yin and yang – John Bellaimey

Animation by TED-Ed

Happy 455th, William Shakespeare!

Happy 455th, William Shakespeare!

Let Shakespeare be your matchmaker in Shakespearean dating tips – Anthony John Peters

Animation by Kat Llewellyn

teded: We just love this Earth Day TED-Ed medl…

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We just love this Earth Day TED-Ed medley so much, we have to celebrate it again.

For Earth Day, we decided to create a short video that shows off the animated Earths from all of our TED-Ed lessons. We gathered more than 60 beautifully designed Planet Earths from over 600 animated lessons, and we’re so excited to share the results with you!

We hope this medley helps to celebrate our ONE beautiful Planet Earth each and every day.

Love the Earth, and the Earth will love you back! Happy Earth Day, Tumblr! Thanks for joining us this week!

And, an extra special shout out to the amazing composer behind this video – Cem Misirlioglu // WORKPLAYWORK.

Happy Earth Day tumblr!!