Posted on 25 April 2010
Too much of the world lacks access to clean drinking water. Engineer Michael Pritchard did something about it — inventing the portable Lifesaver filter, which can make the most revolting water drinkable in seconds. It can filter up to 6000 liters of water completely free of all viruses, bacteria, and heavy metals.
This makes it very well suited for saving lives in poor countries and providing clean water for disaster stricken areas. Plus it is a nice portable way to get some fresh clean water when camping, hiking, or for outdoor sports like long distance running and biking.
“For $20 billion everyone can have access to safe drinking water. So the 3.5 billion people that suffer every year… and the 2 million kids that die every year will live.” -Michael Pritchard
You can read more about the Lifesaver and order it over at www.lifesaversystems.com
At the same time it is no match to the reversed osmosis (RO) filtration system’s ability to filter out anything larger than 0.1nm. How’s that possible you might ask, well RO filtering systems use a membrane as one of the steps in the filtration process. This “hyperfiltration” is more suitable for home usage for two reasons: (1) It produces the cleanest water (2) the convenience of not having to pump manually to get water clean.
Posted on 13 April 2010
We should teach more statistics & probability and earlier while we should teach less calculus and later.
Arthur Benjamin is a mathematician and in his pithy TED Talk, Formula for Changing Math Education (2009), he calls for this re-emphasis of math education. He argues that we as a society would greatly benefit from a better understanding of statistics and probabilities which would help us make better decisions about risks, rewards, randomness, and understanding and evaluating data in our everyday lives.
Take for example, few of us would use calculus on a daily bases but most of us are faced with making decisions about car insurance plans, student loans, mortgage rates, credit card interest rates, payment plan options, interpreting polls, planning our income investments and expenses, making decisions about bank loans and interest rates, stock market investments, interpreting results from scientific studies, analyzing trends, predicting the future, gambling, and so forth. This is just a short list I came up in the three minutes I watched Arthur’s presentation and I think it is fairly obvious that some of these are be very serious decisions that can have long lasting effects on our lives. They can mean the difference between unmanageable dept and a financially healthy lifestyle. And since education is supposed to prepare us for making the best possible decisions about our own lives, I think it only makes sense to include more of such important foundations for sound reasoning such as those that come with understanding statistics and probabilities.
I don’t know about the education you had but mine has not covered statistics or probabilities in any applicable way to the everyday life, nor do I know of any that does (please let me know if you do). The closest it got was in college and that was more geared towards understanding and conducting research, which isn’t necessarily everyday stuff. I think statistics and probabilities are one of the big missing ingredients of both primary and secondary education systems and should be a required educational component. And teaching these shouldn’t be too difficult since the very same reasons that make it so relevant can also make it easy and fun to teach to children.
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Posted on 26 March 2010
Sam Harris talks about the relationship between science, human values and how the seperation between the two is an illusion. There are truths to be known about how human communities flourish and how morality relates to these truths. Moral values are also a certain kind of fact that talk about the well-being of conscious creatures. In other words Sam Harris is saying that science is not only descriptive (by helping us get what we value) but can also be prescriptive (by telling us what we should value).
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hj9oB4zpHww Read the full story
Posted on 27 January 2010
Our health depends in part on environmental impacts. As Bill Davenhall shared at TEDMED, there are trends of specific health risks associated with specific locations. We need to know more about where we live and what impact it may have on our health.
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Posted on 26 January 2010
Mind-blowing advances in bio-engineering and medicine presented by Anthony Atala at TEDMED. Repairing, reconstructing, and growing functioning organs with your own cell. The future of solving organ damage and organ donor shortages is arriving.
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Posted on 17 December 2008
In his presentation at TED, psychologist Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi, shares what creativity, fulfillment, and flow are as well as their relationship to each other. He starts off with a brief personal history and transitions that to what is known of flow experiences and their importance to both creativity and fulfillment. Read the full story
Posted on 11 December 2008
In his appearance at TED Talks, psychologist Martin Seligman presented a compact introduction to what positive psychology is and why it matters. If you are already familiar with the field, you will find it a real treat to have your memory refreshed by the man who is considered to be the father of this organized re-balancing of psychology. Read the full story
Posted on 07 December 2008
In his presentation, biochemist Gregory Petsk talks about the aging world population and the expected epidemic of neurological diseases. In particular he focuses on individuals above the age of 65 who have an exponentially greater risk of being afflicted. Read the full story
Posted on 06 December 2008
TED is a yearly conference where great thinkers and doers share through inspirational presentations their thoughts, experience, and knowledge. The central philosophy is summed up by their slogan: Ideas worth spreading. It is a real treat to have free access to over 340 presentations and I would urge everyone to take advantage of this invaluable resource, it is something worthy of each of our time. Read the full story
Posted on 02 December 2008
In this brief presentation Andy Hobsbawm urges all of us to employ the power of creativity in the service of fighting global warming. As an example during the second half of the video he shows a video clip that calls on us to walk instead of drive and does so through a story told in a very creative way. Read the full story