PBS News, Kaizen Habits, TED Talks, SciShow, Thisiscolossal, and mindsof ldaniels

PBS News: December 20 – 24, 2019

Kaizen Habits: 5 Habits That Will Help Your Brain Stay in Peak Condition

TED Talks: Jane Fonda Why I protest for climate justice, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin a hilarious celebration of lifelong femalefriendship, Greta Thunberg The disarming case to act right now on climate change and 6 ways mushrooms can save the world by Paul Stamets

SciShow: What Really Killed the Dinosaurs?

Thisiscolossal: Blooms of Insect Wings Created by Photographer Seb Janiak, New Ornate Insects Drawn by Alex Konahin, and New Ornate Ink Portraits of Lovable Dogs, and Fantastic Fungi: A New Film Explores Earth’s Vast Network of Mycelium and Mushrooms

mindsofldaniels: Snippet Series The Inevitable Intermission

PBS NewsHour full episode December 24, 2019

Dec 24, 2019  PBS NewsHour

Tuesday on the NewsHour, thousands of Syrian civilians are caught in the crossfire as forces loyal to the Assad regime advance on Idlib province. Plus: British officials investigate the mysterious death of White Helmets co-founder James Le Mesurier, how President Trump is rolling back energy-efficiency standards for household goods, the decade in entertainment and a festive song from U.S. troops. Stream your PBS favorites with the PBS app: Find more from PBS NewsHour at Subscribe to our YouTube channel:

PBS NewsHour live episode, Dec 23, 2019

Streamed live 8 hours ago

PBS NewsHour

Stream your PBS favorites with the PBS app: Find more from PBS NewsHour at Subscribe to our YouTube channel:

PBS NewsHour Weekend full episode December 22, 2019

Dec 22, 2019  PBS NewsHour

On this edition for Sunday, December 22, both parties weigh in on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision to delay submitting articles of impeachment to the Senate, and Democratic outsiders Andrew Yang and Tom Steyer discuss their campaign promises. Also, new details emerge on the freezing of aid to Ukraine. Yamiche Alcindor anchors from New York. Stream your PBS favorites with the PBS app: Find more from PBS NewsHour at Subscribe to our YouTube channel:

PBS NewsHour Weekend full episode December 21, 2019

Dec 21, 2019  PBS NewsHour

On this edition for Saturday, December 21, the historic impeachment of Donald Trump, a government shutdown is averted, and Democratic presidential candidates Julian Castro and Deval Patrick join NewsHour Weekend from the campaign trail to discuss the 2020 race. Also, nationwide protests against a controversial citizenship law grip India. Yamiche Alcindor anchors from New York. Stream your PBS favorites with the PBS app: Find more from PBS NewsHour at Subscribe to our YouTube channel:

PBS NewsHour full episode, Dec 20, 2019

Dec 20, 2019  PBS NewsHour

Friday on the NewsHour, seven leading 2020 Democrats face off at the year’s final debate. Plus: Immigrants temporarily held in for-profit prisons complain of abuse, what happens to U.S. asylum seekers forced to remain in Mexico while their cases are processed, Shields and Brooks on politics, a new film version of the classic “Little Women” and two songwriters rediscover their passion for music. WATCH TODAYS SEGMENTS 2020 Democrats go from civil to combative in 6th debate… News Wrap: House of Commons approves Johnson’s Brexit plan… Why ICE is relying on for-profit prisons to house immigrants… Asylum seekers waiting in Mexico face threat of violence… Shields and Brooks on impeachment fallout, Democratic debate… Greta Gerwig’s fresh take on the old favorite ‘Little Women’… Songwriting duo Louis York on rediscovering musical passion… Stream your PBS favorites with the PBS app: Find more from PBS NewsHour at Subscribe to our YouTube channel:

5 Habits That Will Help Your Brain Stay in Peak Condition

Train your brain, change your brain

Thomas Oppong    Dec 12 · 5 min read

Image from

Nothing about our brains is set in stone. Our brains are surprisingly dynamic. It can adapt, heal, renew or rewire itself.

What you do or don’t do daily is literally changing your brain for better or worse. But it’s not too late rejuvenate, remodel, and reshape your brain to stay in peak condition.

Experiments in neuroplasticity (the brain’s ability to change in response to experience) have proven that the brain is capable of modifying itself, either by changing its structure, increasing and reducing its size or altering its biochemistry.

Can you physically change your brain at any age? The answer is: yes, within limits. You can start with these science-backed activities and habits.

1. Juggling improves the brain’s grey matter

Yes, the simple act of juggling has recently been linked with better brain function. A new study reveals that learning to juggle may cause certain areas of your brain to grow.

The study found that volunteers who participated in a juggling exercise improved white matter in two areas of their brains involved in visual and motor activity.

‘We have demonstrated that there are changes in the white matter of the brain — the bundles of nerve fibres that connect different parts of the brain — as a result of learning an entirely new skill,’ explains Dr Heidi Johansen-Berg of the Department of Clinical Neurology, University of Oxford, who led the work.

‘In fact, we find the structure of the brain is ripe for change. We’ve shown that it is possible for the brain to condition its own wiring system to operate more efficiently,’ she added.

Four weeks after the study, the researchers found that new white matter in the jugglers’ brains had stayed put and the amount of grey matter had even increased.

The researchers chose juggling as a complex new skill for people to learn. Juggling is one of the many activities you can choose to help your brain improve its grey matter.

2. Never go to bed without learning one new thing, your brain will notice: stretch your brain muscles

It’s a Spanish saying. It’s profound and so true.

Juggling is not the only activity you can use to build white matter.

You can learn a variety of new things that are unrelated to what you normally do. Variety is key.. meet new people, learn a new skill, learn to dance, take up drawing, design, etc. Do something every day that stretches you and makes you somewhat uncomfortable.

Norman Doidge, explains in his book, “The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science”, “Not all activities are equal in this regard. Those that involve genuine concentration — studying a musical instrument, playing board games, reading, and dancing — are associated with a lower risk for dementia. Dancing, which requires learning new moves, is both physically and mentally challenging and requires much concentration.”

Learning a new language makes the brain grow by increasing grey matter in the areas related to the use of language, according to research. The study revealed that “The right hippocampus and the left superior temporal gyrus were structurally more malleable in interpreters acquiring higher proficiency in the foreign language.”

Leaning at least one new thing not only improves your brain, but it also helps you focus by ignoring irrelevant information.

Don’t do what you’ve always done.

3. Sleeping poorly is linked to rapid reductions in brain volume

Many people don’t take good sleep seriously. The bad news is that if you sleep poorly, your brain shrinks.

That was the surprising conclusion reached by Claire E. Sexton, DPhil, Andreas B. Storsve, MSc, Kristine B. Walhovd, PhD, Heidi Johansen-Berg, DPhil, and Anders M. Fjell, PhD in their study to examine the relationship between sleep quality and cortical and hippocampal volume.

The findings showed that having trouble sleeping, or not getting enough sleep is linked to rapid reductions in brain volume. The decline can affect important areas of the brain where language, touch, balance and the ability to calculate mathematically or make decisions reside.

“Studies have shown poor sleep can cause protein buildup in the brain that attacks brain cells. So we’re still trying to put the puzzle together,” says Dr Neal Maru, a neurologist and sleep specialist with Integrated Sleep Services in Alexandria, Virginia, who is not associated with the study.

Sleep repair and restore the brain. Improving your sleep habits could be an important way to improve brain health. 7–8 hours/night of good sleep is essential for stimulating new connections and brain growth.

4. Any form of exercise rewires the brain: keep your body active

You already know that physical activity is important for your better health. Exercise also helps your cerebral quality that affects memory, motor skills, and the ability to learn.

In fact, just pedalling on a stationary bike for 30 minutes can do wonders for your brain. In a study to determine whether hippocampal volume would increase with exercise in humans, the researchers discovered an increase in hippocampal size.

“Following exercise training, relative hippocampal volume increased significantly in patients (12%) and healthy subjects (16%), with no change in the nonexercise group of patients (-1%),” they revealed.

Exercise the brain in many areas. It increases your heart rate, which pumps more oxygen to the brain. It also helps release body hormones, which provide a nourishing environment for the growth of brain cells.

Indirectly, it also improves mood, sleep and reduces stress and anxiety.

In another study, Dr Scott McGinnis, a neurologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and an instructor in neurology at Harvard Medical School said, “Even more exciting is the finding that engaging in a program of regular exercise of moderate intensity over six months or a year is associated with an increase in the volume of selected brain regions.”

Any form of aerobic exercise that gets your heart pumping is a great start. Apart from hitting the gym, you can also consider adding walking to your daily routine. Other moderate-intensity exercises, such as swimming, stair climbing, tennis, or dancing can also help.

5. Mindfulness is becoming a global phenomenon for a good reason

People have sworn by meditation for millennia. It’s now supported by rigorous scientific research, driven in part by a desire for new practices to improve our mental health.

The simple idea of being present throughout your day, being more conscious of life as it happens, and noticing any tension or preoccupations of the mind, without judging or analysing can improve your mental health. It’s highly effective in combating stress.

Studies report that meditation can “permanently rewire” your brain to raise levels of happiness. “In the past decade, research has shown that the benefits of mindfulness include: stress reduction, improved concentration, boosts to working memory, reduced rumination, less emotional reactivity, more cognitive flexibility, a higher level of relationship satisfaction, etc.” writes Christopher Bergland of Psychology Today.

Our brains are on auto-pilot most of the time. Begin to notice the world around you. Awaken your senses to the world around you.

You can upgrade our brain in many different ways. Adopting better habits will not only increase your brain’s grey matter, but it will also slow cognitive decline, speed up your memory recall and improve your mental health.

Written by   Thomas Oppong

Founder at AllTopStartups | Author | Creator of Thinking in Models and Kaizen Habits | Featured at Inc. Magazine, Business Insider, Forbes, Entrepreneur, etc.

At age 81, actor and activist Jane Fonda is putting herself on the line for the planet — literally. In a video interview with TEDWomen curator Pat Mitchell, Fonda speaks about getting arrested multiple times during Fire Drill Fridays, the weekly climate demonstrations she leads in Washington, DC — and discusses why civil disobedience is becoming a new normal in the age of climate change.

This talk was presented at an official TED conference, and was featured by our editors on the home page.

About the speaker

Jane Fonda · Actor and activist

Jane Fonda has had four extraordinary careers (so far): Oscar-winning actor, author, fitness guru and impassioned activist.

Take Action


Our house is on fire. Join us in the streets for Fire Drill Fridays.

Learn more ?

TEDWomen 2019 | December 2019

Legendary duo Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin have been friends for decades. In a raw, tender and wide-ranging conversation hosted by Pat Mitchell, the three discuss longevity, feminism, the differences between male and female friendship, what it means to live well and women’s role in future of our planet. “I don’t even know what I would do without my women friends,” Fonda says. “I exist because I have my women friends.”

This talk was presented at an official TED conference, and was featured by our editors on the home page.

About the speakers

Jane Fonda · Actor and activist

Jane Fonda has had four extraordinary careers (so far): Oscar-winning actor, author, fitness guru and impassioned activist.

Lily Tomlin · Comedian and actor

Lily Tomlin has been honored by the Kennedy Center and awarded the Mark Twain Prize — and she’s still making vital, hilarious comedy.

TEDWomen 2015 | May 2015

In this passionate call to action, 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg explains why, in August 2018, she walked out of school and organized a strike to raise awareness of global warming, protesting outside the Swedish parliament and grabbing the world’s attention. “The climate crisis has already been solved. We already have all the facts and solutions,” Thunberg says. “All we have to do is to wake up and change.”

This talk was presented to a local audience at TEDxStockholm, an independent event. TED’s editors chose to feature it for you.

About the speaker

Greta Thunberg · Climate activist

Greta Thunberg is a Swedish climate activist.

Take Action


Wherever you are, no matter your age, join me in my climate strike. Sit outside your parliament or local government building every Friday until your country is on a safe pathway to being well below the two-degree Celsius warming target.

Learn more ?


Follow Greta Thunberg on Twitter.

Learn more ?

About TEDx

TEDx was created in the spirit of TED’s mission, “ideas worth spreading.” It supports independent organizers who want to create a TED-like event in their own community.

Find a TEDx event near you ?

TEDxStockholm | November 2018

What Really Killed the Dinosaurs?

Aug 16, 2014  SciShow

What wiped out the dinosaurs? Most of us were taught it was a killer asteroid—which is true. But it turns out there was more than one disaster movie playing at the cineplex that was Earth 66 million years ago. If you liked this video, check out more videos about natural history and paleontology on SciShow’s sister channel, Eons: Hosted by: Hank Green ———- Messages from our Subbable subscribers: Wanna read comics by a nerdfighter? Check out! DFTBA! – Lonnie Comics Science for life! And corn dogs. DFTBA – William Brehm ———- Like SciShow? Want to help support us, and also get things to put on your walls, cover your torso and hold your liquids? Check out our awesome products over at DFTBA Records: Or help support us by subscribing to our page on Subbable: ———- Looking for SciShow elsewhere on the internet? Facebook: Twitter: Tumblr: Thanks Tank Tumblr: Sources:………………………………

Category   Education

Blooms of Insect Wings Created by Photographer Seb Janiak

November 11, 2015  Christopher Jobson

Mimesis – Fecunditatis, 2014. Chromogenic print. Format 180 x 180cm (70.9 x 70.9 in)

Mimesis is an ongoing photomontage project by Paris-based photographer Seb Janiak that depicts the wings of insects as the petals of flowers. Janiak is deeply interested in the mechanisms behind mimicry in nature, where an organism develops appendages, textures, and colors that directly mirror its surroundings. This process involves a strange interaction between different organisms he describes as “a complex co-evolutionary mechanism involving three species: the model, the imitator and the dupe.”

To create each artwork Janiak scours antique stores and taxidermist shops to find examples of wings which he then photographs at extremely high resolution. The pieces are digitally edited and pieced together into flower-like forms (a sort of meta mimic of a mimic) which are then output as chromogenic prints measuring nearly 6 feet square.

The Mimesis series, which now comprises 22 pieces, was shown for the first time at the Photo Shanghai art fair last September. The series also won an IPA Lucy award earlier this year. All images courtesy the artist. (via My Modern Met)

Mimesis – Lubon Tranquillitatis, 2014. Chromogenic print. Format 180 x 180cm (70.9 x 70.9 in)

Mimesis – Lubhyati Solitudinis, 2014. Chromogenic print. Format 180 x 180cm (70.9 x 70.9 in)

Mimesis – Lacus Luxuriae, 2014. Chromogenic print. Format 180 x 180cm (70.9 x 70.9 in)

Mimesis – Hibiscus Trinium, 2012. Chromogenic print. Format 180 x 180cm (70.9 x 70.9 in)

Mimesis – Aphyllae Maleakht, 2014. Chromogenic print. Format 180 x 180cm (70.9 x 70.9 in)

Mimesis – Precognitus Christium, 2014. Chromogenic print. Format 180 x 180cm (70.9 x 70.9 in)

Mimesis – Tradescantia Ganymedia, 2012. Chromogenic print. Format 180 x 180cm (70.9 x 70.9 in)

Mimesis – Precognitus Christium, 2014. Chromogenic print. Format 180 x 180cm (70.9 x 70.9 in)

Mimesis – Ornithogale Venusiaïs, 2012. Chromogenic print. Format 180 x 180cm (70.9 x 70.9 in)

New Ornate Insects Drawn by Alex Konahin,

November 29, 2013  Christopher Jobson

Latvia-based graphic artist and illustrator Alex Konahin (previously) recently completed work on a new series of ornate insect drawings titled Little Wings. The illustrations were made using pens and india ink in his distinctive style that makes used of ornate scrolls and intricate floral designs. If this is the first time you’ve seen Konahin’s work, be sure to check out his amazing Anatomy drawings, and you can also see lots more on Facebook and Tumblr. (via Faith is Torment)

? New Ornate Ink Portraits of Lovable Dogs by Alex Konahin

April 6, 2016  Kate Sierzputowski

Graphic artist and illustrator Alex Konahin (previously here and here) has just finished a new illustration-based project centered around the subject of seriously detailed dogs. The Latvia-based artist is known for his highly decorative style which he illustrates in each of his drawn subjects, a trait that is exemplified in the ornate fur of the included animals.

Konahin’s series was inspired by no inspiration at all, the works coming from a time when Konahin was going through an intense creative block after a long break from his personal creative work. Konahin’s first portrait in the series was of an English Bulldog, and after liking the result, followed that piece up with a German Shepherd and Pit Bull Terrier. You can see more of Konahin’s work on his Behance, Instagram, and Facebook.

All images courtesy of Alex Konahin

Fantastic Fungi: A New Film Explores Earth’s Vast Network of Mycelium and Mushrooms

December 17, 2019  Grace Ebert

A new film considers how mycelium and mushrooms have created an often-unseen network, similar to an underground internet, that has connected all living beings for the last 3.5 billion years. Featuring conversations with food journalist Eugenia Bone, mycologist Paul Stamets, and writer Michael Pollan, Fantastic Fungi: The Magic Beneath Us dives into how the diverse underground web creates the soil necessary for plants and trees to root. “It’s amazing what we don’t know about mushrooms. They really are a frontier of knowledge,” Pollan says in the film.

Fantastic Fungi explores seven benefits of the organisms, including those dealing with biodiversity, innovation, food, arts, and mental, physical, and spiritual health. Screenings are scheduled worldwide through February 2020. Follow updates on the film directed by Louie Schwartzberg and the broader fungi movement on Instagram. (Thnx, Laura!)

Fantastic Fungi, Official Film Trailer | Moving Art by Louie Schwartzberg

Aug 14, 2019  Louie Schwartzberg

When so many are struggling for connection, inspiration and hope, Fantastic Fungi brings us together as interconnected creators of our world. Fantastic Fungi, directed by Louie Schwartzberg, is a consciousness-shifting film that takes us on an immersive journey through time and scale into the magical earth beneath our feet, an underground network that can heal and save our planet. Through the eyes of renowned scientists and mycologists like Paul Stamets, best-selling authors Michael Pollan, Eugenia Bone, Andrew Weil and others, we become aware of the beauty, intelligence and solutions the fungi kingdom offers us in response to some of our most pressing medical, therapeutic, and environmental challenges. Official Website: Showtimes & Tickets: Take Action: Help Spread the Word: Saw the film? Leave a Review: Join the Conversation Instagram: @fantasticfungi Facebook: @FungiFilm Twitter: @FantasticFungi Saw the film? Tell us about it! Text “FUNGI” to #38470 to record a video review now Take action now and get ready to feel hope, resilience and connection. Mycelium is a life preserver not only for our species but for so many species on this Earth that we love. We’re asking you to start this revolution in the ecology of consciousness. Please help us. We can save this planet with your help and the help of Mycelium. How can you help? Watch the film. Grab as many people as you can and watch the film together. Discuss the subject matter with each other. Tell others to do the same. Follow the mycelium network’s guidance and example. Spread the word and pass it forward.

Category   Entertainment

6 ways mushrooms can save the world | Paul Stamets

May 8, 2008  TED Mycologist Paul Stamets studies the mycelium — and lists 6 ways that this astonishing fungus can help save the world. TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world’s leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design, and TEDTalks cover these topics as well as science, business, development and the arts. Closed captions and translated subtitles in a variety of languages are now available on, at Follow us on Twitter Checkout our Facebook page for TED exclusives

Category   Science & Technology

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