The shocking move to nonviolent protest

14 Mar 2015
In 2002, investigative journalist and TED Fellow Will Potter took a break from his regular beat, writing about shootings and murders for the Chicago Tribune. He went to help a local group campaigning against animal testing. Instead, he was arrested, and so began his ongoing journey into a world in w...

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How to disagree politely

12 Mar 2015
“Some people say that daily journeys to work or school will not be so common in the future. Do you agree or disagree?” — IELTS Speaking, Cambridge IELTS 9. In answer to this question, some candidates might say “I disagree!”; however, this is too direct and considered rude! There are much b...

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A shark-deterrent wetsuit and it's not what you think

12 Mar 2015
Hamish Jolly, an ocean swimmer in Australia, wanted a wetsuit that would deter a curious shark from mistaking him for a potential source of nourishment. Working with a team of scientists, he and his friends came up with a fresh approach — not a shark cage, not a suit of chain-mail, but a sleek sui...

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For parents, happiness is a very high bar

07 Mar 2015
The parenting section of the bookstore is overwhelming—it's "a giant, candy-colored monument to our collective panic," as writer Jennifer Senior puts it. Why is parenthood filled with so much anxiety? Because the goal of modern, middle-class parents—to raise happy children—is so elusive. In th...

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What you don't know about the Oscars

06 Mar 2015
When the Oscars began in 1929, the winners were announced three months prior to their triumphs. Now there are 200-dollar envelopes, golden statuettes and all the glamor surrounding this annual event. Here are three secrets followed by a typical IELTS reading task.

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Hidden miracles of the natural world

05 Mar 2015
We live in a world of unseeable beauty, so subtle and delicate that it is imperceptible to the human eye. To bring this invisible world to light, filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg bends the boundaries of time and space with high-speed cameras, time lapses and microscopes.

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Dare to disagree

22 Feb 2015
Most people instinctively avoid conflict, but as Margaret Heffernan shows us, good disagreement is central to progress. She illustrates (sometimes counterintuitively) how the best partners aren’t echo chambers — and how great research teams, relationships and businesses allow people to deeply di...

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Strange laws of the world

20 Feb 2015
Every country has its own laws. Some are logical and useful, but some are strange or in some cases even hilarious! In this lesson, you will learn some useful expressions you can use when talking about what is legal and what is not.

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"Very" is not always very good

19 Feb 2015
The adverb "very" is a very common word but often is not used very correctly. It seems like a very useful word which can collocate with many adjectives; however, when you want to have very neat speaking, it is very important not to use it excessively. The overuse of "very" will make your English sou...

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I am not your inspiration - thank you very much

19 Feb 2015
Stella Young is a comedian and journalist who happens to go about her day in a wheelchair — a fact that doesn’t, she’d like to make clear, automatically turn her into a noble inspiration to all humanity.

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