April 12, 2013
Today we're featuring two free talks on video from Dr. Louann Brizendine covering her books The Female Brain and The Male Brain. In these talks she covers the differences between the the female and male brains:
Louann Brizendine: The Female Brain
Dr. Louann Brizendine authored the book The Female Brain back in 2006. She gave this talk at Book Passage which covered some of her findings from that book. Brizendine focuses primarily on hormones and the role that they play in the brain during various stages of a woman's life. She clarifies some of the differences between male and female brains and answers a number of questions. Definitely a good listen for parents, couples, and individuals of both sexes.
Louann Brizendine: The Male Brain
Dr. Louann Brizendine also authored the book The Male Brain in 2010. In this talk which she delivered at Dominican University of California, Dr. Brizendine shows some of the differences in the male brain covering the important hormone testosterone. She discusses puberty in males and the changes that take place at that time. In the Q&A she addresses the important nature vs. nuture question when it comes to the differences in the sexes.
Posted by LearnOutLoud
March 7, 2013
Today we're featuring 5 free video talks delivered by economist Steven Levitt, who co-authored the bestselling books Freakonomics and the sequel SuperFreakonomics, along with journalist Stephen Dubner:
1. Steven Levitt: Freakonomics and Quirky Economic Stories
In this talk delivered at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit in 2011, Steven Levitt explains what "Freakonomics" is and how he came to study the "freaky" underbelly of economics. Since Levitt was terrible at complex mathematics, he took advice from his father and decided to study economic subjects which no one else wanted to touch. In the latter half of this talk Levitt answers questions and provides some economic observations on the country of India.
2. Steven Levitt Analyzes Crack Economics
In this humorous sketch provided by TED Talks, Steven Levitt analyzes what it takes to make a living selling drugs. Taking America's crack epidemic as a template, Levitt discusses how inner city gangs developed a corporate structure that consolidated power, left little room for promotion, and was incredibly dangerous to boot. In the end Levitt argues that selling drugs on the street is about as lucrative as working at McDonald's, but this fact hasn't diluted its mystique.
3. Beyond Freakonomics: New Musings on the Economics of Everyday Life
In this lecture from Princeton's University Channel, economist and author of Freakonomics Steven D. Levitt lectures on his unique methods of economic research. Through entertaining stories Levitt discusses the economics of prostitution, whether or not people are generally altruistic, and many other interesting topics. This lecture was recorded at Princeton University and is available on streaming video through YouTube.
4. Steve Levitt & Stephen Dubner on SuperFreakonomics
In this talk economist Steve Levitt & journalist Stephen Dubner discuss their follow up book to Freakonomics called SuperFreakonomics. Levitt & Dubner describe how they met and ultimately came to write Freakonomics. They discuss their unique approach of applied microeconomics to make "freaky" observations about "the hidden side of everything". They address the financial crisis, but conclude that the macroeconomics of it are a little beyond their comprehension. And they tell many tales from their SuperFreakonomics book.
5. Are Children's Carseats Necessary?
In this TED talk Steve Levitt tells the story of children's carseats and how they became mandatory and created a $300 million industry. Levitt then looks at the data for children over 2 years of age and concludes that children's carseats are no safer than adult seat belts when it comes to protecting children. Levitt even conducted crash tests of child dummies to further prove his point and he shows these tests in the video. He suggests a new solution for children's safety belts when they are over 2 years of age. It's an interesting talk that uses data to challenge the status quo of safety.
And if you want even more Freakonomics, check out the popular NPR podcast:
Freakonomics Radio Podcast
Freakonomics co-author Stephen J. Dubner has been hosting the audio podcast since 2010 and there are now over 100 podcasts on the feed that you can listen to. Most of the podcasts are 30 minutes long as Dubner goes into the economics and statistics of a topic, and comes up with often unexpected results. On certain podcast episodes co-author Steve Levitt joins him. Dubner also hosts short 5-minute podcasts where he converses with Kai Ryssdal, host and senior editor of Marketplace. In most of the podcasts the economic topics are often related to current events to give you a unique point of view that goes beneath the headlines. Listen to the "freaky" ideas on this wildly popular and highly rated podcast!
We also sell the Freakonomics audio book now. If you've never read it you're in for a treat:
Freakonomics on MP3 Audio Download
Here's a blog post we made on the book way back in 2005:
Freakonomics Reviewed in a 2005 Blog Post
Posted by LearnOutLoud
March 4, 2013
Dr. T. Colin Campbell is a professor of nutritional biochemistry at Cornell University who led a massive study of nutrition in rural China in the 1980s. He published his findings in the now bestselling book The China Study and he was featured prominently in the popular 2011 documentary Forks Over Knives.
Resolving the Health Care Crisis
In this 20-minute TEDx talk, Dr. T. Colin Campbell summarizes many of his findings from his over 40 years of experience at the forefront of nutrition research. He prescribes changes in nutrition instead of prescription drugs for resolving our current health care crisis. Through a plant-based diet that cuts out excess sugar, fat, and salt, along with cutting out excessive consumption of animal protein and dairy products, Dr. Campbell argues that we can prevent and cure many of the diseases that haunt consumers of the Western affluent diet. This talk is available on streaming video along with a visual slide show that Dr. Campbell presents.
And if you're interested in learning more about Dr. Campbell's ideas along with nutritional advice from many other doctors, then watch the documentary Forks Over Knives which is now available for free (with commercial interruption) on Hulu.com. It will definitely get you thinking about what you eat!
Forks Over Knives
Posted by LearnOutLoud
February 27, 2013
Of all the universities offering free courses online now, the best courses might be coming from Yale University. Both in terms of the quality of their content and the quality of the way the courses were recorded. Yale offers the courses on streaming video, audio download, and video download, making it optimal for audio & video learners who can watch the videos at home or listen to them on-the-go. All the courses are introductory level courses so you don't have to worry about starting one that might be over your head. On LearnOutLoud.com we've embedded the courses from YouTube's player and we link to the courses on YouTube for streaming video. We also link to the courses on the Open Yale Courses website for downloading on audio or video. We've created a publisher page showcasing the over 40 courses we now offer from Yale University:
Over 40 Free Courses from Yale Open Courses
A little over a year ago we added hundreds of courses to our site and created our Free Courses Collection of over 400 courses available for free online. Since then Yale has added six new courses and we'll feature them today. The complete course lectures are up for each of these new courses. And please note: To download these courses you'll need to click "SESSIONS" or "VIEW CLASS SESSIONS" on the Yale website:
African American History: From Emancipation to the Present by Professor Jonathan Holloway
The Atmosphere, the Ocean, and Environmental Change by Professor Ron Smith
The Early Middle Ages, 284-1000 by Professor Paul Freedman
Freshman Organic Chemistry II by Professor Michael McBride (a follow up to Freshman Organic Chemistry I)
Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Faulkner by Professor Wai Chee Dimock
Philosophy and the Science of Human Nature by Professor Tamar Gendler
For this last course we started watching it, and it was excellent. Professor Tamar Gendler dives right in with the first lecture covering some of the fundamental questions of human nature which will be examined in the course. The course combines classic texts from the Western philosophical tradition (including works by Plato, Aristotle, Epictetus, Hobbes, Kant, Mill, Rawls, and Nozick) with recent findings in cognitive science and related fields. Gendler addresses the core question featured in Plato's Republic, along with presenting the ethical dilemma of the "trolley problem", and even examines defeating procrastination with the ideas of behavioral economists. This 19-hour, 26-lecture free offering sounds like a great course!
And here are some of the free Yale courses which we've featured in the past:
Introduction to Psychology by Professor Paul Bloom
Take PSYC 110 with Professor Paul Bloom at Yale University and learn the basics about your mind and brain. Bloom is the author of numerous books and popular articles including his most recent book How Pleasure Works: The New Science of Why We Like What We Like. He's a very good lecturer as well and in this course he'll introduce you to key psychological topics like Freud, Skinner, language, consciousness, memory, emotion, sex & motivation, morality & the brain, and mental illness. Throughout the course he brings in numerous guest lecturers as well. You can watch this 18-hour course on YouTube or download it on audio & video through the Yale website.
The Psychology, Biology, and Politics of Food by Professor Kelly Brownell
We're featuring this Yale University course that relates both to the health of humanity and our environment. In this course Yale Professor Kelly Brownell, who is also the Director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale, takes on the issue of food in the modern world in a comprehensive way. Through 23 lectures, including a number of special guest lectures, a variety of topics on food are covered such as how our diet has changed, the psychology of eating, obesity, the food industry, modern agriculture, food marketing, and much, much more. Professor Kelly Brownell offers a glimpse into food today and ways we can all make a difference in creating a healthier eating environment and a healthier planet. This talk is available on audio download and streaming video.
Introduction to Political Philosophy by Professor Steven B. Smith
We're featuring the Yale course "Introduction to Political Philosophy" taught by Professor Steven B. Smith. This course introduces you to the major political works of Plato and Aristotle along with Machiavelli's The Prince, Hobbes' Leviathan, Locke's Second Treatise on Government, Tocqueville's Democracy in America, and more. You can watch these 24 lectures online or download them on MP3 and take them with you.
Capitalism: Success, Crisis, and Reform by Professor Douglas W. Rae
In the course "Capitalism: Success, Crisis, and Reform" from Yale University, Professor Douglas W. Rae looks at the history of capitalism along with its leading economists including Adam Smith, Karl Marx, and other influential economists. Throughout the course he examines the contemporary global economy with a focus on the current economic crisis. Professor Douglas W. Rae is an engaging lecturer who interacts with his students during the course (thankfully he passes a microphone around so we can hear the questions!), and it provides for a worthy introduction to the complex economic and political ideas surrounding capitalism in the 21st century. This course is available on streaming video through YouTube and free audio & video download on Yale's Open Courses site. He does have a slide show going with images as he lectures for those interested in the video. Also you can view the syllabus and download transcripts of the lectures through the Yale website.
Enjoy these free courses from one of the most prestigious universities in the World!
Posted by LearnOutLoud
January 29, 2013
Our month of motivation continues today with eight great talks on happiness! We'll start off with three talks on happiness that we've never featured before:
1. The Art of Happiness in Troubled Times by His Holiness the Dalai Lama
In this hour long talk, His Holiness the Dalai Lama reminds the audience that it has always been troubled times, and that while the kinds of suffering changes throughout history, the suffering still remains. He discusses training oneself in compassion in order to overcome self-centeredness, fear, anger, and hatred towards others. His prescription for happiness is keeping oneself open for love and compassion no matter what problems may arise. Watch this talk on streaming video.
2. Don't Worry, Be Happy Now: The Science and Philosophy of the Happiness Movement
In this talk from UCTV, James Fallows, National Correspondent for The Atlantic, interviews The Happiness Project author Gretchen Rubin. Her book is subtitled "Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun", and in this talk Gretchen Rubin talks about all the things she attempted in her year-long pursuit of happiness, and all the ways towards happiness she has learned from others since her book was published. Acknowledging that different things make different people happy, she does have one piece of sage advice to make everyone happier: "Make your bed in the morning." :)
3. Understanding Happiness
In this dialogue from bloggingheads.tv, American psychologist Martin Seligman and British economist Richard Layard take a macro view of happiness and how societies can attempt to measure happiness and achieve greater levels of happiness as a whole. Layard has pushed for governments to start analyzing GWB (General Well-Being) along with GDP and other indicators for how well a country is performing. Seligman questions him about how this is measured and advocates measuring according to his own acronym PERMA (which Seligman laid out his in latest book Flourish). PERMA stands for Positive Emotion, Engagement, Positive Relationships, Meaning, and Accomplishment/Achievement, and Seligman expounds on these points. Seligman and Layard then both take a look at the role public policy can play in leaning toward the greatest happiness for the greatest number. This dialogue can be watched on video or downloaded on MP3 audio.
Here are some more talks on happiness that we've featured in the past. A number of them are from the TED conference:
4. Nancy Etcoff on the Surprising Science of Happiness
In this fast-paced talk from cognitive researcher Nancy Etcoff she looks the science of happiness and the many ways in which it is achieved along with the ways that it eludes us. She describes in basic terms the neuroscience of happiness including the importance of neurotransmitter dopamine and the hormone oxytocin. She also talks about the rise of stress, depression, and anxiety in the modern world. It's an interesting overall view of some of the recent findings in the science of happiness.
5. Dan Gilbert: Why Are We Happy? Why Aren't We Happy?
Check out this TED talk from Harvard psychologist and the author of Stumbling on Happiness, Dan Gilbert. Gilbert provides info from studies that reveal that what we often think will make us happy is the opposite of the case. He shows that because we have the ability to consider the future, we are much better prepared for the results and can usually be happy regardless. This talk is available on streaming video and MP3 download from the TED.com website.
6. Matthieu Ricard: Habits of Happiness
Biochemist turned Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard examines happiness and well-being in this TED talk. He differentiates between pleasure and happiness as pleasure is fleeting and reliant upon circumstance. He feels that true happiness is found by training the mind to be happy regardless of the situation we find ourselves in and by tapping into the deeper happiness of the awareness that we are more than our fleeting emotional states. This talk is available on streaming video and MP3 download from the TED.com website.
7. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi on Flow
Check out this TED talk from psychology professor Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi who authored the book Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. Csikszentmihalyi talks about how he became interested in psychology after World War II when he heard a lecture by Carl Jung. Csikszentmihalyi eventually began his psychological study of how average people become extraordinary which he attributes to the idea of "flow" when one become completely involved in an activity for its own sake. Csikszentmihalyi provides many examples of individuals who have tapped into this "flow" state.
8. Positive Psychology: Praising Others, Changing the Self
Jonathan Haidt is a professor of psychology at the University of Virginia and the author of The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom. In this talk he discusses his research into some positive emotions that are rarely studied in psychology including moral elevation, admiration, and awe. Going back to ancient religious teachings which brought out these emotions, Haidt attempts to analyze them from a more scientific viewpoint and see if there are ways in which we can increase these positive emotions in the modern age. Learn about these new insights into the psychology of these important positive emotions. This talk is available from the Forum Network on streaming audio. Note: The Forum Network website is currently not working but the embedded player we have does work so you can listen to it that way.
Enjoy these talks on happiness and learn how to be happier today!
Posted by LearnOutLoud