December 16, 2011

5 Great Christopher Hitchens Debates

christopher-hitchens-debates-blog.jpg Author and journalist Christopher Hitchens passed away yesterday at the age of 62. Hitchens was known as a polemicist and contrarian and his skills in rhetoric made for very engaging debates which he participated in. We’ve picked out five of the best debates on audio & video from the past few years in which Hitchens debated a worthy opponent. Since the publication of his bestselling book God Is Not Great in which he argues against religion, Hitchens has been one of the more vocal advocates of atheism in today’s world. Four of the debates we feature here are about religion. Hitchens also stirred controversy with his support of the Iraq War and his sympathy for neoconservative ideas, and in one debate we feature Hitchens argues his political stance. Enjoy these debates from the late Christopher Hitchens:

1. Tony Blair and Christopher Hitchens Debate Religion

Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and Christopher Hitchens debate “Is Religion a Force for Good in the World?”. Blair, who recently converted to Catholicism, uses his oratory skills to passionately argue that religion motivates a great deal of good in the modern world, and that a world without religion would be worse off for many reasons. Blair concedes that a great deal of harm has been committed by religious fanatics throughout history, but that this is not a reason to get rid of religion anymore than bad politicians are a valid reason to get rid of politics. Hitchens agrees that religion is not going away, but counters that the world would be better with a great deal more secularism and less religion. He focuses on problems which are compounded when religion intrudes such as poverty and its relation to the subjugation of women. They field over an hour of questions from the audience. It’s an excellent debate from two very talented rhetoricians. It is available on streaming video from the C-SPAN video library.

2. Christopher Hitchens and Rabbi David Wolpe: The Great God Debate

In this debate Hitchens and Rabbi David Wolpe take a look at many aspects of religion starting with answering “What is God?” and then arguing the various merits of the religious and secular worldviews. Rabbi Wolpe argues that religious belief leads to more basic goodness for the individual and for society as a whole as believers are more charitable and do more good works than non-believers. Hitchens argues that much of religious practice is wicked such as missionaries who prosthelytize to those who are weak and vulnerable. It’s a very well conducted debate with both sides contributing strong arguments. This debate is available on MP3 audio download and streaming video from the Forum Network.

3. On Whether Christopher Hitchens Was Wrong

In this 2008 Hitchens debate liberal author and blogger Eric Alterman talks with Christopher Hitchens via webcam on bloggingheads.tv. The majority of the hour long debate revolves around Hitchens’ support of the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Both argue many points about foreign policy in the Middle East. Alterman argues that liberals have become the true conservative and common sense party in America and the neo-conservatives to which he feels Hitchens belongs are the true radicals. Hitchens begs to differ. In the end they do both agree that they are voting for Barack Obama in 2008. This debate is available on MP3 audio download and streaming video from bloggingheads.tv.

4. The God Debate: Hitchens vs. D’Souza

Christopher Hitchens debates conservative author and Christian apologist Dinesh D’Souza in this debate from the University of Notre Dame. D’Souza argues on the grounds of reason that God is best explanation for the origins of life, the human moral compass, and our capacity of good and evil. Hitchens argues that the universe isn’t as ordered as D’Souza would like to believe and that science can prove how the universe came from nothing without the need of a Creator or intelligent design. This debates is available on for free on streaming video on YouTube.

5. Al Sharpton and Christopher Hitchens Debate

Listen to a stimulating debate between the Reverand Al Sharpton and God Is Not Great author Christopher Hitchens. Hitchens provides many arguments against religion, arguing against religious texts, dogmatic beliefs, and a creator God. Al Sharpton contends that Hitchens cannot prove the non-existence of God and argues that if immoral acts are performed in the name of God that they have no relation to the great character of God. They both reflect on the modern implications of a belief in God, as Hitchens denounces the intrusion of religion into politics and culture (particularly in the Middle East) and Sharpton emphasizes the role of religion in positive social change such as in the American Civil Rights Movement. The whole debate is handled with good humor, even if neither Sharpton nor Hitchens are able to change one another’s minds. This debate was held at the New York Public Library and is available on streaming video from FORA.tv.

And if those aren’t enough, here are four more Christopher Hitchens debates:

Christopher Hitchens and Rabbi Shmuley Boteach Debate at 92nd Street Y

Does Atheism Poison Everything?: Christopher Hitchens Debates David Berlinski

Poison or Cure? Religious Belief in the Modern World: Christopher Hitchens Debates Alister McGrath

Christopher Hitchens and John Haldane at Oxford – We Don’t Do God?: God in the Public Square

And for more great audio & video from Christopher Hitchens check out our author pages for him: Christopher Hitchens Audio & Video

December 9, 2011

2011 Audio Book Gift Guide

christmas2011audiobookfeatureblog.jpgWe’ve finally finished our 2011 Audio Book Gift Guide. Looking for some great holiday gifts? At LearnOutLoud.com we’ve assembled a list of the best new and most popular audio book releases from 2011. You can check out all of our new releases here:

Popular 2011 Audiobook New Releases

All the audio books on our list are available on Audio CD and are in stock and ready to ship from LearnOutLoud.com. And many of them are available on Audio Download. No matter who you’re giving gifts to this year, you’re sure to find an audio book they’ll enjoy and learn from. To make it easy, we’ve divided this list of the best new releases from 2011 into categories. We’ve picked a selection of audio books from our most popular categories. Here is a selection of great audio book gifts from the categories of Self Development, Business, and Religion & Spirituality:

Self Development Audio Book Gifts:

1. How To Win Friends and Influence People in the Digital Age by Dale Carnegie

2. The Four Purposes of Life by Dan Millman (Only on Audio Download)

3. Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength by Roy Baumeister & John Tierney

4. Take Back Your Life by Geneen Roth

5. The Millionaire Messenger by Brendon Burchard

6. Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being by Martin Seligman

7. Spontaneous Happiness by Dr. Andrew Weil

8. Change Anything: The New Science of Personal Success by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, David Maxfield, Ron McMillan, & Al Switzler

9. Meditations for Weight Loss by Marianne Williamson

10. Finding Inner Courage by Mark Nepo

11. Thinking, Fast and Slow by Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman

12. Unlimited: How to Build an Exceptional Life by Jillian Michaels

13. The Mindful Therapist by Dr. Daniel Siegel

14. Transcendence: Healing and Transformation Through Transcendental Meditation by Norman Rosenthal

15. The South Beach Wake-Up Call Dr. Arthur Agatston

16. Free Yourself from Anxiety: A Mind-Body Prescription by Erin Olivio

17. The Secret of Love by Deepak Chopra

18. The 17 Day Diet Essentials by Dr. Mike Moreno

19. The Power of Your Spirit: A Guide to Joyful Living by Sonia Choquette

20. ScreamFree Marriage by Hal Edward & Jenny Runkel

Business Audio Book Gifts:

1. The 3rd Alternative: Solving Life’s Most Difficult Problems by Stephen R. Covey

2. EntreLeadership: 20 Years of Practical Business Wisdom from the Trenches by Dave Ramsey

3. The 5 Levels of Leadership by John C. Maxwell

4. Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World by Michael Lewis

5. The Steve Jobs Way: iLeadership for a New Generation by Jay Elliot & William L. Simon

6. Midas Touch: Why Some Entrepreneurs Get Rich – and Why Most Don’t by Donald Trump & Robert T. Kiyosaki

7. StandOut: The Groundbreaking New Strengths Assessment from the Leader of the Strengths Revolution by Marcus Buckingham

8. The Price of Civilization by Jeffrey Sachs

9. The Money Class by Suze Orman

10. The Investment Answer by Daniel C. Goldie & Gordon S. Murray

Religion & Spirituality Audio Book Gifts:

1. Every Day a Friday by Joel Osteen

2. How to Be Compassionate by His Holiness the Dalai Lama

3. Radical Together by David Platt

4. Living Beyond Your Feelings by Joyce Meyer

5. NIV Audio Bible, Pure Voice Narrated by George W. Sarris

6. Natural Awareness by Pema Chodron

7. Nearing Home: Life, Faith, and Finishing Well by Billy Graham

8. 2012: Prophecies and Possibilities by Mike Dooley

9. Thinking. Loving. Doing. by John Piper

10. The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar by Zig Ziglar & Ike Reighard

Best of Biographies, A&E, and Literature

Have someone on your list who enjoys listening to literature or learning about the life of a renowned individual. We’ve made our selections for the Best of Biographies, A&E, and Literature on Audio Book in 2011.

Biographies as Audio Book Gifts:

1. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

2. Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope by Gabrielle Giffords & Mark Kelly

3. Bossypants by Tina Fey

4. Blue Nights by Joan Didion

5. The Best Advice I Ever Got by Katie Couric

Arts & Entertainment Audio Book Gifts:

1. The History of Western Art by Peter Whitfield

2. Seriously…I’m Kidding by Ellen Degeneres

3. Drama: An Actor’s Education by John Lithgow

4. Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend by Susan Orlean

5. Happy Accidents by Jane Lynch

Literature Audio Book Gifts:

1. The Grapes of Wrath (Unabridged) by John Steinbeck

And about 10 other John Steinbeck books were released on audio this year by Penguin Audiobooks:

John Steinbeck Audio Books

2. A River Runs Through It by Norman MacLean

3. She Walks in Beauty: A Woman’s Journey Through Poems Selected & Introduced by Caroline Kennedy

4. The Iliad by Homer, translated by Stephen Mitchell

5. Faust by Johann Wolfgang Goethe (Full Cast Dramatization)

Best of History, Politics, & Science

If one of your special loved ones loves nonfiction we’ve got some the best history, politics, & science audio books released in the past year. Browse this selection of the Best of History, Politics, & Science Audio Books of 2011.

History Audio Book Gifts:

1. Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination That Changed America Forever by Bill O’Reilly & Martin Dugard

2. Grand Pursuit: The Story of Economic Genius by Sylvia Nasar

3. 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created by Charles C. Mann

4. The Patriot’s History Reader: Essential Documents for Every American by Larry Schweikart, Dave Dougherty, & Michael Allen

5. Civilization: The West and the Rest by Niall Ferguson

Politics Audio Book Gifts:

1. Back to Work: Why We Need Smart Government for a Strong Economy by Bill Clinton

2. A Nation Like No Other: Why American Exceptionalism Matters by Newt Gingrich

3. That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back by Thomas L. Friedman & Michael Mandelbaum

4. Here Comes Trouble by Michael Moore

5. Liberty Defined by Ron Paul

6. The Original Argument: The Federalists’ Case for the Constitution by Glenn Beck & Pat Gray

7. Arguably: Essays by Christopher Hitchens by Christopher Hitchens

8. Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025? by Pat Buchanan

9. Demonic: How the Liberal Mob Is Endangering America by Ann Coulter

10. In My Time by Dick Cheney

Science Audio Book Gifts:

1. War of the Worldviews: Science vs. Spirituality by Deepak Chopra & Leonard Mlodinow

2. How the Mind Works by Steven Pinker

3. The Hidden Reality by Brian Greene

4. The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood by James Gleick

5. The Magic of Reality: How We Know What’s Really True by Richard Dawkins

Free Shipping Coupon

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On the bottom of the payment page of checkout below where you enter your credit card information click “Apply a LearnOutLoud.com Gift Certificate or Coupon” and enter in this coupon code. Note: this coupon only works with credit cards and not Paypal. This coupon is valid through Christmas Day, December 25th, 2011.

Browse over 12,000 titles to buy on CD and download in our audio book sale section:

LearnOutLoud Audio Book Sale Section

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December 5, 2011

Top Authors at Google Talks

authorsatgoogleblogfeature.jpgThe Authors@Google program features authors of recently published books who visit Google’s Mountain View headquarters or other Google offices and give a talk about their book along with fielding questions from Google employees. We’ve recently added over 100 of the best Authors@Google talks to our site, along with adding Google Tech Talks and other talks delivered at Google such as their Health@Google series, Women@Google series, and their Personal Growth Series. All these talks are available to stream on YouTube. And if you’ve got a smart phone, they’re great to cue up on YouTube in the car to listen to while you’re driving. We now have over 250 Google Talks and you can browse through them all right here:

Browse Over 250 Google Talks

Their author talks cover a wide variety of books, but the focus tends to be more on business, technology, leadership, and other topics that pertain to Google employees. We’ve compiled this list of Google talks for which we also offer the book being discussed on audio download. So if you enjoy one of these talks, you might want to download the audio book to get the full knowledge of the book the author is talking about. Watch some author talks from the Authors@Google program:

Chris Anderson on Free

(If you like this talk, you can get the audio book for FREE!: Free: The Future of a Radical Price)

Christopher Hitchens on God Is Not Great

(If you like this talk, you can get the audio book: God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything)

Dave Logan on Tribal Leadership

(If you like this talk, you can get the audio book for FREE!: Tribal Leadership)

Don Tapscott on Wikinomics

(If you like this talk, you can get the audio book: Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything)

Dr. John Ratey on Spark

(If you like this talk, you can get the audio book: Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain)

Dr. Mark Hyman on The UltraMind Solution

(If you like this talk, you can get the audio book: The UltraMind Solution)

Fred Kofman on Conscious Business

(If you like this talk, you can get the Sounds True course on the book: Conscious Business)

Ian Ayres on Super Crunchers

(If you like this talk, you can get the audio book: Super Crunchers: Why Thinking-by-Numbers Is the New Way to Be Smart)

J. Craig Venter on A Life Decoded

(If you like this talk, you can get the audio book: A Life Decoded: My Genome – My Life)

Jon Meacham on American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House

(If you like this talk, you can get the audio book: American Lion)

Lama Surya Das on Buddha Is as Buddha Does

(If you like this talk, you can get the Sounds True course on the book: Buddha Is As Buddha Does)

Lauren Weber on In Cheap We Trust

(If you like this talk, you can get the audio book: In Cheap We Trust: The Story of a Misunderstood American Virtue)

Leading at Google: Andrew Bernstein on The Myth of Stress

(If you like this talk, you can get the audio book: The Myth of Stress)

Leading at Google: Jim Kouzes on The Leadership Challenge

(If you like this talk, you can get the audio book: The Leadership Challenge)

Leading at Google: Michael Carroll on The Mindful Leader

(If you like this talk, you can get the audio book: The Mindful Leader: Ten Principles for Bringing Out the Best in Ourselves and Others)

Louann Brizendine on The Female Brain

(If you like this talk, you can get the audio book: The Female Brain)

Michael Lewis on The Blind Side

(If you like this talk, you can get the audio book: The Blind Side)

Noah Goldstein on Yes!: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive

(If you like this talk, you can get the audio book: Yes!: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive)

Richard Brookhiser on George Washington on Leadership

(If you like this talk, you can get the audio book: George Washington on Leadership)

Richard Thaler on Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness

(If you like this talk, you can get the audio book: Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness)

Rob Walker on Buying In

(If you like this talk, you can get the audio book: Buying In: The Secret Dialogue Between What We Buy and Who We Are)

Steve Wozniak on iWoz

(If you like this talk, you can get the audio book: iWoz: How I Invented the Personal Computer and Had Fun Along the Way)

Tim Ferriss on The 4-Hour Body

(If you like this talk, you can get the audio book: The 4-Hour Body)

Tina Fey on Bossypants

(If you like this talk, you can get the audio book: Bossypants)

And there are many more great Google Talks to choose from:

Browse Over 250 Google Talks

November 10, 2011

100 Best TED Talks

TEDTalksTop100.jpgAfter watching or listening to hundreds of the most popular and highest rated TED talks, we’ve compiled this list of the 100 Best TED Talks of All Time! For over five years now the Technology, Entertainment, Design (TED) Conference has been releasing talks from their conference on video featuring leading thinkers not only in technology, entertainment, and design, but also science, psychology, personal growth, and numerous other areas. They now offer over 900 talks on their website and numerous other TED conferences have popped up including TED Global, TED India, TED Women, and 100s of TEDx Events which have produced almost 10,000 TEDx videos on YouTube.

For this top 100 list we’ve selected mostly videos from the main TED conferences but have also added some talks from these special TED events. We’ve divided the top 100 list up by categories and ranked the TED talks within each category according to the ones we enjoyed the most. We’ve generally left out the really short TED talks and the ones that are more entertainment rather than educational.

If you watch or listen to all these TED Talks, we guarantee that they will change the way you view the world! The TED Talks give you a global outlook in a way that few other resources can provide. And at 20 minutes or less you can get through a lot of them and gain a lot of condensed knowledge very quickly. Expand your mind and inspire yourself to learn more with these amazing TED talks!

Here are the categories we’ve featured below with the number of TED talks that we featured for each category:

ART & DESIGN (5 talks)
EDUCATION (5 talks)
PSYCHOLOGY (15 talks)

And here are all of the 100 Best TED Talks with in depth write ups of why they’re so great. Start your TED education right now!


1. Benjamin Zander on Music and Passion

Conductor Benjamin Zander shares his passion for classical music in this TED talk. While the statistics say 3% of the population are classical music lovers, Zander attempts to prove that we are all lovers of classical music. He takes listeners on a journey of what he calls one-buttock playing where the pianist is moved with the music and in turn moves the audience. He then plays a Chopin prelude and proves that nobody is tone deaf.

2. Chimamanda Adichie: The Danger of a Single Story

Novelist Chimamanda Adichie talks about the danger of only knowing a single story about a particular culture and relates it to events that have happened throughout her life. Growing up in Nigeria she started reading only European literature and she began writing stories only about whites. When she moved to the United States for college her roommate had been told only one story about Africa and was shocked by the similar middle class upbringing that Adichie had had. Adichie tells the story of going to Mexico while the media was reporting on the immigration crisis and she embarrassed by her cultural bias and at the diversity of Mexican culture she saw. She encourages us all to seek out a variety of stories about cultures and not just adhere to the one definitive story that is often told by the powerful of one’s own culture.

3. Amy Tan on Creativity

In this TED Talk author Amy Tan probes into the roots of creativity or how “out of nothing comes something”. She examines her own life and the many influences that have fed into her novels. She also tells of the many fascinating coincidences that have happened to her over the years at key moments of creativity. It’s an intriguing and often humorous talk from a beloved author.

4. The Wisdom of Designing Cradle to Cradle

Green-minded architect and designer William McDonough presents many of his ideas for creating sustainable businesses which he introduced in his book Cradle to Cradle. By creating products, buildings, and more that are non-toxic and reusable he shows how they can not only have a positive environmental affect but also how they can be profitable for companies in the long run. He presents many of the designs that his architectural firm has created for companies around the world.

5. Elizabeth Gilbert: A Different Way to Think About Creative Genius

Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert examines the way society looks at artists and the way artists look at themselves in this TED talk. She feels that the creative people should view their work as channeling God’s creative gift to them rather than as their own personal creative genius. And she hopes such a shift might prevent some of the madness and self-destruction that occurs in so many of our modern artists.


1. Malcolm Gladwell: What We Can Learn From Spaghetti Sauce

In this interesting talk delivered by bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell, he explores how the food industry went from looking for the perfect single spaghetti sauce recipe to a more diverse approach of creating a variety of spaghetti sauces to suit the desires of shoppers. He examines this trend through one of its main proponents Howard Moskowitz who used the field of psychophysics to create a variety of original sauces for Prego in the 1980s. Once this variability was proven to be successful it spread to the rest of the food industry, and Gladwell feels we are all happier for this increase in choices.

2. Barry Schwartz: The Paradox of Choice

Barry Schwartz, author of The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less, discusses some of the observations he makes in his book in this talk from the TED conference. He argues that the vast explosion of choices in advanced capitalist societies has led to increased paralysis in terms of decision making and ultimately decreased satisfaction. He provides a number of examples to back up his thesis that more choice and individual freedom is not always best.

3. Jason Fried: Why Work Doesn’t Happen at Work

37signals co-founder and Rework author Jason Fried makes some provocative suggestions regarding why work doesn’t get done in the workplace. He suggests that interruptions are the key component contributing to the lack work accomplished in the workplace and that managers and meetings are to blame. He relates the stage of work to the stages of sleep and in order to get the best work done one needs to go through these stages without interruption. This talk was delivered at the TEDxMidwest Conference.

4. Seth Godin on Standing Out

Seth Godin feels that days of status quo marketing through the television industrial complex are coming to an end. People are too busy to pay attention to the nonstop advertising of average products for average people. What grabs people’s attention is something remarkable, or rather something worth making a remark about. And their remarks spread the ideas or products to the world and make it a success. Learn about the cutting edge of spreading ideas with this talk by Seth Godin.

5. Rory Sutherland: Life Lessons from an Ad Man

Ad man Rory Sutherland takes a look at his profession and shows how advertising makes regular things valuable and that this perceived value is often just as satisfying as what we consider “real” value. He makes many telling jokes about this matter such as why don’t we sell placebos as medication if they’re actually shown to work in the perception of the ailing person. Throughout the talk he makes his point that advertising can often do a better job at spreading an idea or a product than rational problem solving.

6. Johanna Blakley: Lessons from Fashion’s Free Culture

Johanna Blakley delivers an eye-opening talk on copyrights in the world of fashion. Because the courts have deemed garments as too utilitarian to be copyrighted, the fashion industry has a complete lack of copyrights when it comes to their designs. They do have trademarks over their brands, but when it comes to the design anyone can copy it. This has led to the fashion imitations we are familiar with, but Blakley points out this hasn’t really hurt the industry because the customers who are buying the fakes are not the same as the customers who buy the real thing. If anything Blakley feels this has spawned creativity in fashion as designers are able to mix and match with any designs throughout history and they increasingly try to make designs that can’t easily be copied. Blakley points to other industries where items can’t be copyrighted and she feels that the struggling industries of movies, books, and music might need to update their ideas on copyright in this new digital age.

7. 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 that this fact hasn’t diluted its mystique.

8. Chip Conley: Measuring What Makes Life Worthwhile

While businesses are obsessed with measuring the tangible elements for their business, hotelier and author of Peak: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo from Maslow Chip Conley makes a strong case for businesses to measure the intangibles of business such as the feelings of customers or the whether the employees find their work meaningful. After studying the “hierarchy of needs” developed by psychologist Abraham Maslow, Conley realized that there was a lot more to his business than making sure his customer’s basic needs were met. He set out to measure and improve the metrics of intangible benefits to his customers and employees and his hotel business boomed to become the second largest boutique hotelier in the world.

9. William Ury: The Walk from “No” to “Yes”

Master negotiator and Getting to YES author William Ury tells stories of successful negotiations he has conducted throughout his life often in heated political arenas. He talks about the Abraham Path Initiative which he conducted as a way of getting to the root of the conflicts in the Middle East by having people walk the path Abraham walked and practice Abrahamic hospitality along the way. This talk was delivered at the TEDxMidwest Conference.

10. Richard Branson’s Life at 30,000 Feet

TED’s Chris Anderson sits down with multibillionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson to discuss his some of the over 400 companies he’s started in his Virgin Group. Branson gives some advice and tells of his adventures along the way. He talks about his Virgin Galactic which is now booking sub-orbital spaceflights to the paying public. And he tells of his philanthropic efforts around the world.


1. Jamie Oliver’s TED Prize Wish: Teach Every Child About Food

Chef Jamie Oliver gets serious of food education in this impassioned TED Talk that confronts the preventable obesity epidemic. He shows that diet-related disease is the leading cause of death in America and that 10% of our national health care costs goes towards treating these diseases. He then discusses childhood obesity and his campaign to reform school lunches along with his call for all children to be educated about food so that we can prevent the growing obesity crisis.

2. Sir Ken Robinson: Do Schools Kill Creativity?

Sir Ken Robinson gives a humorous and inspiring talk on rethinking education and its relation to creativity. He feels that education becomes increasingly narrow as students proceed through it leaving many forms of intelligence and creativity behind. In order to confront the unknown future, Robinson sees creativity as the essential component as future generations face new challenges with new ideas.

3. Salman Khan: Let’s Use Video to Reinvent Education

In 2004 Salman Khan began posting math tutorials on YouTube and now he has created Khan Academy which features over 2,000 educational videos. In this talk at the 2011 TED Conference Khan describes how using video can help students learn at their pace and reduce the lecturing time a teacher needs to take which will allow for more one on one interaction with students. These video lectures can also become the homework that students do, and their actual “homework” can be done in the classroom with the teacher their to help. Watch this video on Salman Khan’s innovative use of educational video available on TED.com. And if you want to check out Salman Khan’s videos you can check them all out here: Khan Academy Videos.

4. Dave Eggers’ Wish: Once Upon a School

This entertaining and amusing talk was delivered by writer Dave Eggers at the TED conference. In the talk he tells about his founding of the literacy project 826 Valencia in San Francisco which brings together creative people with kids in the community for one-to-one tutoring. Instead of making it a non-profit they instead made the storefront a shop which sells pirate supplies and they actually ended up making a profit. Since then similar literacy projects have opened in major cities serving neighborhoods throughout the United States.

5. Jon Bischke on The Learning and Reputation Graph

In this TEDx talk, our very own founder and CEO of LearnOutLoud.com Jon Bischke talks about the future of education and how data on the progress of learning can transform our education system. Through adapting one’s education based on the progress of one’s learning schools can possibly do away with the idea of teaching the exact same things at the same time to every student and they might even be able to get rid of standardized testing. Jon also looks at how to achieve reputational data on people so that employers can make better decisions on hiring employees based on how they are rated in different areas by the people around them, such as who could be the best leader for a job and other areas where it is difficult for people to currently make judgments. Watch our LearnOutLoud.com CEO speak at this TED event!


1. John Wooden on True Success

Hear some wisdom from a man who is often considered the greatest college basketball coach of all time: John Wooden. The legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden passed away last year at the age of 99. Under Coach Wooden, UCLA won a record ten NCAA national championships in a 12-year period. John Wooden left a legacy of leadership wisdom through his numerous books including his conception of “The Pyramid of Success”. In this talk delivered at the TED conference a few years ago, Wooden talks about true success being the satisfaction of knowing you that put forth your utmost effort in the game despite whether you win or lose. He readily quotes poetry and other sources of his inspiration throughout his life. This 20-minute talk is loaded with wisdom from a lifetime of success.

2. Dan Buettner: How to Live to Be 100+

Dan Buettner talks about the findings of his team as they studied the world’s “Blue Zones,” communities whose elders live with vim and vigor to record-setting age. He talks about a culture in Okinawa where the elderly were seen as the peak of society and they don’t have a concept such as retirement. There they stay in a close knit communities and have a strong sense of purpose, they make it a rule to eat only up to the point that they are 80% full, and they have physical activity built into their everyday lives. In America one of the communities that lives the longest are the Seventh Day Adventists who take a whole day every week to worship God, to be in nature, and to socialize within their faith based communities. For more tips on living to 100 definitely listen to this talk from TEDxTC.

3. Tony Robbins Asks Why We Do What We Do

Self development expert Anthony Robbins speaks at the TED Conference on what motivates people. Robbins insists that he isn’t a motivator, but instead he is out to find what motivates people and what is it that makes the difference in the quality of people’s lives. He discusses briefly the core human needs that drive people.

4. Dr. Dean Ornish on Healing

In this talk from the TED conference, holistic healing physician Dr. Dean Ornish prescribes easy and effective ways that you can prevent heart disease and other illnesses through changes in lifestyle and diet. He also points to the numerous ways in which diet and exercise can actually help to treat existing illnesses including cancer. Dr. Ornish addresses carbohydrates and fats and their relation to the obesity epidemic in America, along with ways people can lose weight and still be healthy. This talk is full of great pointers for improving your health.

5. Christopher McDougall: Are We Born to Run?

Christopher McDougall lays out the endurance running hypothesis that not only can all human beings run long distances but that in our early evolution humanity developed in hunting packs that ran long distances for food. By tying together insights from the world of running to the Tarahumara Indian tribe in the Mexican Copper Canyons who are capable of running great distances to some facts from evolutionary history, McDougall argues that all humans are born to run. After numerous running injuries, McDougall looked at the world’s best long distances runners such as the Tarahumara Indian tribe, and concludes that modern cushioned running shoes are a major cause of running injury.

6. William Li: Can We Eat to Starve Cancer?

In this talk William Li teaches TEDsters about angiogenesis, which is the growth of blood vessels, and how it relates to cancer. When a cancer develops angiogenesis feeds the tumor through blood vessel growth. Many medical breakthroughs have been made in treating cancer through anti-angiogenesis and some of these have been very effective at treating certain types of cancers. William Li and his Angiogenesis Foundation have looked beyond treatment of cancer and looked at how certain foods are naturally anti-angiogenesis and can “starve cancer”. He goes over a number of these foods and some of the studies that they’ve conducted around diet and nutrition. Li gives us an interesting glimpse into an area of cancer prevention and treatment that we might not have heard of before.

7. Slowing Down in a World Built for Speed

Journalist and author of the book In Praise of Slowness, Carl Honore talks about the rise of speed in almost every imaginable area of human life from fast food and instant gratification, to even such things as speed yoga and the 1-minute bedtime story. It was the 1-minute bedtime story which caused Carl Honore to take pause. A reformed speedaholic, Honore would rush through bedtime stories with his son and initially thought a 1-minute bedtime story was a great idea, but then realized how crazy his speed addiction had become. He tells the story of how he slowed down and also points out to slow movements happening throughout the world and the benefits that slowing down can have in many aspects of life.

8. Mark Hyman at TEDMED 2010

In this talk delivered at TEDMED, Dr. Mark Hyman presents his functional view medicine which focuses on the underlying causes of symptoms people experience rather than diagnosing them with a disease and putting them on medication. His holistic views of medicine started with himself when his health began to collapse earlier in his life. By studying many aspects in his life from stress to diet to toxins that he was unwittingly taking in, he was able to turn in health around. He hopes his promotion of this new kind of treating illness will transform medicine in the 21st century.

9. Elizabeth Lesser: Take “the Other” to Lunch

Author, activist, and Omega Institute co-founder Elizabeth Lesser talks about the importance of sitting down and talking with “the other”, referring to those people who you might consider your enemies or your ideological opposites. As a liberal activist she tells of her lunch with a conservative tea party activist and how they both felt the other side demonized their side. In reality they acknowledged that the harsh rhetoric of the fringes of either side really didn’t apply to anyone that the both of them knew. Listen to her interesting experiment which she challenges each of us to do.

10. Nigel Marsh: How to Make Work-Life Balance Work

Nigel Marsh takes a tough look at work-life balance and imagines ways we might be able to obtain a new outlook our busy lives. He took a year off of work and realized it was easy to balance your time when you didn’t have to work which is fine until the money runs out. Taking a more realistic view he imagined his ideally balanced day between work and life and tried practicing it and made some interesting discoveries.


1. Jill Bolte Taylor’s Stroke of Insight

In this moving talk delivered at the TED conference, brain researcher Jill Bolte Taylor provides a first-person account of her own stroke and the experience of losing control of her bodily functions as well the functions of the left side of her brain. Instead of it being a painful or frightening experience, she said the stroke put her in a intense state of bliss and nirvana. Sharing this experience became her motivation for recovery.

2. Martin Seligman on Positive Psychology

In this TED talk Martin Seligman, the founder of positive psychology and the author Authentic Happiness and Learned Optimism, looks at ways healthy people can lead happier, more engaged, and more meaningful lives. While Seligman acknowledges that psychology has done a pretty good job over the past 50 years of making miserable people feel less miserable, he shows that there is a whole other realm of positive psychology which he and a group of other psychologists are only beginning to study. Seligman tells some of his findings on what contributes to healthy states of mind and what fosters genius. Going beyond the conventional pleasure seeking form of happiness, Seligman points to practices that truly give life meaning.

3. The Surprising Science of Motivation

Learn how to better motivate yourself and others in this recent popular TED Talk. In this talk writer Daniel H. Pink lays out the facts about what drives the best results in business. In study after study any work that requires creative problem solving does not benefit from external rewards such as money. Only mechanical tasks benefit when there is reward and punishment, but when creative solutions are required, workers are more motivated when they feel there is intrinsic value to what they are doing. Pink lays out some of the ways businesses have benefited by implementing policies to encourage the best in right brained, creative thinking.

4. Helen Fisher: The Science of Love, and the Future of Women

In this TED talk, anthropologist Helen Fisher discusses a study she was involved in which examined the brains and biochemistry of people in love. She points out the ways in which we have evolved in order to trigger love, lust, and attachment to a mate. She also examines the changes of women’s roles in society and how she feels this will ultimately lead to the happiest marriages.

5. 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.

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 if 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 to tap into the deeper happiness of the awareness that we are more than our fleeting emotional states.

7. Vilayanur Ramachandran: A Journey to the Center of Your Mind

In this TED talk, neurologist Vilayanur Ramachandran provides some neuroscientific explanations for puzzling psychological and physiological phenomena. He covers why after certain brain injuries patients cannot visually recognize their mother, how to amputated patients can overcome the pain of phantom limbs for only $3, and why certain people see colors when they look at numbers and letters.

8. Temple Grandin: The World Needs All Kinds of Minds

In this TED Talk, Animals in Translation author Temple Grandin discusses her autism and the wide spectrum of autism, and how she has used her insights into autism to help her relate to the inner worlds of animal. Her autism leads to hypersensitivity to noise and other sensory stimuli and she correlates it to how animals perceive the world through their senses.

9. 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.

10. How Ordinary People Become Monsters… or Heroes

Renowned social psychologist Philip Zimbardo talks about the ideas in his book The Lucifer Effect which explores how good people turn evil. He looks at Abu Ghraib prison scandal which he was called as a witness to, and he compares it to the influential Stanford prison study which he conducted in the early 1970s. In both these circumstances normal individuals were given power without oversight over the prisoners. Zimbardo emphasizes the importance of circumstance when it comes to the potential evil, indifference, or heroism in all of us. Note: Zimbardo shows some graphic imagery of Abu Ghraib in this video.

11. Why We Think It’s OK to Cheat and Steal (Sometimes)

In this TED talk Dan Ariely, author of the bestselling book Predictably Irrational, talks about his experiments in cheating in an attempt to understand the economic cheating that happened during the Enron scandal and later the Wall Street financial crisis. At MIT Ariely tested students at various activities and he details the many findings him and his colleagues discovered such as that most people like to cheat a little bit but not so much that it gives them negative impression of themselves as a “cheater”.

12. 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.

13. Daniel Goleman: Why Aren’t We All Good Samaritans?

In this brief TED talk, psychologist and author of Emotional Intelligence Daniel Goleman discusses his research into the psychology of compassion and being a “good Samaritan”. He suggests that our emotional response to be compassionate towards others is an automatic response when we see people suffering, and it is only by turning this emotion off through the busyness of our daily lives that we suppress this desire to help others. He then provides some inspirational stories for how we might all work towards being good Samaritans.

14. Sherwin B. Nuland on Electroshock Therapy

In this TED talk American surgeon, author, and Yale professor Sherwin B. Nuland talks about the history of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) for treatment of severe major depression and other mental illnesses. He then proceeds to tell about his own recovery from major depression through electroshock therapy back in the 1970s. After his first marriage failed he fell into a deep depression until he could no longer function. When no other treatments worked the doctors attempted electroshock therapy which led to a remarkable recovery.

15. Oliver Sacks: What Hallucination Reveals About our Minds

Neurologist Oliver Sacks talks about Charles Bonnet syndrome where visually impaired people experience lucid hallucinations. Sacks points out that about 10% of visually impaired people experience these hallucinations, but few mention it because they are often frightened that they are losing their minds. Sacks gives examples of many of his patients who have had these hallucinations and what they often consist of. Through brain scans scientists have actually been able to identify which parts of the brain are activated when such hallucinations occur.


1. David Christian: Big History

Oxford University Professor David Christian takes us on our 13.7 billion year journey in this TED Talk that covers “big history” from the big bang all the way up to the rise of humanity. He tells us how rare it is that complexity arises in the universe and particularly the “Goldilocks” conditions for which life on Earth arose. He finds humanity as a new threshold in the complex development of “big history” because we are able to accumulate knowledge and pass it onto the next generation. He does point out that it is not entirely clear that we are in charge of this learning that we have acquired considering the current threats of nuclear devastation and global warming that potentially threaten the conditions for life on Earth. This fabulous TED lecture is available on MP3 audio download and streaming video. And if you’re interested you might want to check out Professor David Christian’s Teaching Company course Big History: The Big Bang, Life on Earth, and the Rise of Humanity.

2. Alain de Botton: A Kinder, Gentler Philosophy of Success

In this talk at TEDGlobal philosopher Alain de Botton looks at the contemporary notion of success and why he feels it is such a source of anxiety for so many people. He finds that in today’s world the appearance of equality, such as Bill Gates dressing just like everybody else, makes most people feel they too can be rich & successful. He also relates contemporary success to the meritocracy that exists today when people are made to feel that they own their successes and failures. And he looks at how failure is treated today by referencing the tabloids that often portray failures without any empathy, whereas in past societies tragedy was often used to encourage empathy of people that might’ve failed at something. Ultimately Alain de Botton encourages you to try to not live according to the models of success & failure around you, but to instead make success your own!

3. East vs. West: The Myths that Mystify

Mythologist Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik compares the roots of Eastern and Western mythologies and shows how understanding these myths can explain a lot about the every aspect of these cultures and help us overcome our misunderstandings and conflicts between these world views. He tells the story of Alexander the Great who encountered what the Greeks called a Gymnosophists who were ancient Indian philosophers that pursued asceticism. The Gymnosophist told the Alexander the Great that he was seeking nothingness and Alexander the Great told the Gymnosophist that was seeking to conquer the World and they both laughed at each other. Dr. Pattanaik then examines the myths that two men grew up with and shows how understanding this can give us insight into the supposed clash of civilizations throughout history. He relates this to the differing ways in which Indians and Americans conduct business today, and when questioned which view is better Pattanaik says we should choose for ourselves and we shouldn’t never be fundamentalist about our world views since they are man made.

4. Karen Armstrong’s Wish: Charter for Compassion

Comparative religion scholar Karen Armstrong talks about how she stumbled into her field during a trip to Jerusalem and ever since she has studied the Abrahamic religions of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. She looks at the concept of belief and how it has changed over the centuries and how in today’s religious practice the need to be right is often elevated over the call to be compassionate. She points out that the golden rule is at the center of all major world religions, and at the end she makes her TED Prize wish for a “Charter for Compassion” put together by thoughtful leaders of all faiths around the world.

5. Rick Warren: Living a Life of Purpose

Pastor Rick Warren authored the mega-bestselling book The Purpose Driven Life. In this TED Talk he talks about how the popularity of the book altered his life’s purpose. With the bestselling book comes tons of money and before spending any of it he sat down with his wife and laid out that there were going to not spend it on themselves and instead would give back to their church and give 90% of it to charity. He also talk about the fame and influence that came with the book, and how this influence has enabled him to expand the purpose that he feels God put him on Earth to do. He encourages us all to use our influence to speak up for those that have little influence in our society.

6. A Secular, Scientific Rebuttal to Rick Warren

Philosopher Dan Dennett starts this TED Talk by arguing that the facts of all major world religions should be taught in schools. He addresses pastor Rick Warren who was speaking at that year’s TED conference. Dennett quotes from Rick Warren’s mega-bestselling book The Purpose-Driven Life and mentions some things he finds troubling about the book. He denounces intelligent design and questions the God designed the environment just so we could live in it. He also doesn’t feel that without God life is meaninglessness and we cannot be good.

7. Barry Schwartz: Using Our Practical Wisdom

In this TED Talk Barry Schwartz, author of The Paradox of Choice and his latest book Practical Wisdom, talks about the absence of calling on virtue and wisdom in our personal and professional lives. While most businesses bribe their employees with incentives or try to control them by rules and regulations, Schwartz feels this demoralizes professional activity and he provides some examples of this in action. Schwartz argues that all people want to be allowed to be virtuous in their workplace and their personal lives, and leaders should encourage practical wisdom in all walks of life.

8. Steven Johnson: Where Good Ideas Come From

Eclectic author Steven Johnson talks about his recent book Where Good Ideas Come From in this talk from TEDGlobal. Through researching good ideas throughout history Johnson tries to discover best environments in which good ideas are fostered. He covers the history of the coffee shop and how in British culture the switch from the bar to the coffee shop (with its stimulant accompaniment coffee) helped to foster the ideas of the Age of Enlightenment in Great Britain. He also talks about how great ideas often take a long time to germinate and aren’t necessarily the “eureka” moments we often here about.

9. Billy Graham: Technology, Faith and Human Shortcomings

Rev. Billy Graham talks about science and technology and that despite it’s many advances it hasn’t been able to solve the problems of evil, suffering, and death. He quotes from many famous thinkers throughout history that have grappled with these problems. At 80 years old he tells some of his own experiences that he has encountered when facing these questions. He quotes from the Bible and points to his faith in Jesus Christ when it comes to facing life’s ultimate questions regarding evil, suffering, and death.

10. Richard Dawkins on Militant Atheism

In this TED talk, Oxford professor and author Richard Dawkins calls for atheists to step forward and join forces against religions unquestioned dominance of politics and culture. Dawkins argues that the majority of intelligentsia are atheists and yet in American political and social life their voices are seldom heard because of their reluctance to stand up for atheism. Dawkins suggests some alternatives to the taboo word atheist such as agnostic, humanist, naturalist, and he finally settles on “non-theist”. Since 9/11 Dawkins feels it is time for all atheists to stop being respectful and to start being militant with their beliefs.


1. Stephen Hawking Asks Big Questions About the Universe

Theoretical physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking takes a look at the big questions of the universe and gives the best answers that science has produced to date. He gives insight into how the universe began and how we discovered the universe is still expanding. Hawking also discusses the search for intelligent life and how we haven’t found anything yet in the nearest 100 light years. He cautions about the threats of destruction to life on Earth and feels man needs to keep venturing out into space in the future. He then answers a question about whether he thinks there is life in Milky Way.

2. Debunking Third-World Myths with the Best Stats You’ve Ever Seen

Professor of global health Hans Rosling brings data to life in his first TED talk which dispels common myths about the so-called developing world. While many people assume that there is a large gap between technologically advanced western world and the rest of the developing world in terms of health and wealth, Rosling shows some tremendous animated graphs which show that from 1960 to the present day the so-called developing world has made enormous strides in terms of life expectancy, particularly in Asia. He presents a lot of other interesting data showing the rise of a global middle class and how diverse the statistics are in Africa. He hopes that by making data interesting and accessible to the average person it will give us a clearer picture of the way we view the world. And if you liked this one watch all of Hans Rosling’s TED talks.

3. Earth in Its Final Century?

British cosmologist Sir Martin Rees gives a wise talk on the history and future of Earth in this TED Talk. Viewed as a whole the Earth has seen very gradual change in its 4 billion year history. Since the dawn of man though there has been some quite rapid change on the planet particularly in the last 2000 years. And in just the past 50 years the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has begun to rise abruptly, the planet has been emitting radio waves, and small metallic objects have begun orbiting the Earth and some have journeyed out of that orbit. With 6 billion years yet to come on Earth it remains to be seen what sort of life will inhabit it, and we will need the humane wisdom of the elder Albert Einstein to prevent catastrophe.

4. Brian Greene on String Theory

Try wrapping your mind around string theory with this TED talk delivered by physicist Brian Greene. He starts the talk with the story of the German mathematician and physicist Theodor Kaluza who proposed that the universe might have more dimensions than the three-dimensional space apparent in of the physical world. This led much later to the attempt at discovering a unified theory through string theory and superstring theory which proposes 10 dimensions. Brian Greene ends the talk with describing some experiments which are being conducted that could lead to proving the existence of other dimensions.

5. James Watson on How He Discovered DNA

Legendary scientist James D. Watson tells the story of how he and Francis Crick co-discoverered the structure of DNA in 1953. As detailed in his bestselling book The Double Helix, Watson gives an entertaining account of how scientific discoveries are made in the modern world. He goes into some talks on genetics and DNA which may require some basic genetic knowledge to understand, but even without this knowledge one gets a taste for the excitement of scientific discovery. At the end of the talk he looks at the more recent discoveries of the genes that are thought to give predisposition to autism, schizophrenia, and more.

6. Debate: Does the World Need Nuclear Energy?

Listen to this brief debate at the TED conference over nuclear energy between environmentalist and Whole Earth Catalog editor Stewart Brand who argues in favor of nuclear energy in the face of global warming and Stanford University environmental engineering professor Mark Z. Jacobson who argues for using renewable energy sources of energy instead of resorting to nuclear power. Brand sees nuclear power as the best way to reduce the massive amount of carbon dioxide that coal plants emit. Jacobson provides stats on wind and solar power and warns of the dangers of countries secretly developing nuclear weapons in conjunction with establishing nuclear power.

7. E.O. Wilson on Saving Life on Earth

In this 2007 TED Prize talk biologist E.O. Wilson takes a look at the vastness of the biosphere and points out that the majority of species on Earth we’ve yet to discover. From his studies of insects he has come to understand immense beauty and variation in the smallest living things. Yet he cautions that humanity’s actions are set to destroy over half of the surviving animal and plant species on the planet by the end of the century along with destroying many species of living things before they are even discovered. He sums up these extinctions as being caused by H.I.P.P.O.: habitat destruction, invasive species, pollution, population expansion, and over-harvesting by excessive hunting and fishing. With this destruction of life, we will lose a vast amount of knowledge, along with the potentials of what this life can provide for the world. He wishes for an online encyclopedia of life to be created that researchers all over the world can contribute to in order to catalog our ever-expanding knowledge of life on Earth and value you it enough to avoid its destruction.

8. Richard Dawkins: The Universe is Queerer Than We Can Suppose

In this mind-bending lecture from TED.com, biologist Richard Dawkins examines the universe from the standpoint of contemporary science and finds that our universe is much stranger than we are capable of supposing. He provides many examples in the biological world about how assumptions such as a rock being solid and our bodies being the same throughout our life are incorrect. Stretch your perspective with Dawkin’s case for “thinking the improbable”.

9. Craig Venter is on the Verge of Creating Synthetic Life

Craig Venter is famous for his role in the Human Genome Project and their accomplishment in being the first group to sequence the human genome. In this TED talk he talks about his attempts to create life with a synthetic genome, and in 2010 Venter announced the creation of first self-replicating semi-synthetic bacterial cell. This talk from 2008 describes what they were doing in their attempts to create synthetic life and more importantly why they attempting to create synthetic life. Venter argues that synthetic life can create new forms of energy that convert carbon dioxide to fuel and replace the entire petrol-chemical industry. It’s an ambitious goal from one of the leading figures in genetics.

10. Paul Root Wolpe: It’s Time to Question Bio-Engineering

Bioethicist Paul Root Wolpe shows some of the latest feats in bio-engineering from creating animal hybrids such as the zorse (a zebra-horse hybrid) to genetically creating bio-luminescent animals that glow in the dark. He also covers the advances in cloning, genetically modified foods, and animal-robots which can be controlled by computers. After presenting all these fascinating and sometimes terrifying bio-engineering advances, Wolpe asks some very important ethical questions about the future of bio-engineering.

11. Ray Kurzweil on How Technology Will Transform Us

Futurist Ray Kurzweil takes a look the exponential growth of many forms of technology and where these technologies will take us in the not to distant future. From the spread of the cell phones to the development of nanotechnology, Kurzweil feels this is all leading to a technological singularity. It’s an interesting glimpse into the future with a leading technological thinker.

12. An Inside Tour of the World’s Biggest Supercollider

Physicist Brian Cox talks about the Large Hadron Collider which is the world’s largest and highest-energy particle accelerator. Cox talks about how it is hoped that it will explain many of the most fundamental questions in physics. He explains the creation story as know by physics starting with the theory of the Big Bang 13.7 billion years ago and taking us through time to the present day.

13. Jeff Bezos on the Next Web Innovation

Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos takes a look at the history of internet and compares it to past historical developments. He starts off relating it to the gold rush of the mid 19th century. At first people were skeptical but by a certain point everyone wanted in on the gold rush and the internet riches that were arising the late 20th century. They both had a bust and their excesses led to some tragic losses, but the internet has continued to be resilient in its innovations. Bezos then compares the internet to the development of electricity. By the early 20th century the ground work had been laid for electricity to be delivered to houses in urban areas and immediately people started developing electrical appliances. These rudimentary appliances were a long way away from the ones we know of today and Bezos feels we are at that early stage with the internet where we haven’t even begun to think of all the things we are going to be able to use it for.

14. Jared Diamond on Why Societies Collapse

Scientist Jared Diamond takes a look at the many factors that go into the causes for societies that have collapsed throughout history in this TED talk. He analyzes the Greenland Norse and the many environmental and social factors that led to its societal demise, and then focuses on the modern US state of Montana which, as a society within the United States, is facing many of the same issues. Diamond then points out some ways we can learn from history in order to prevent the collapse of contemporary societies and lead us off our current path of unsustainability.

15. Aubrey de Grey Says We Can Avoid Aging

Theoretician in the field of gerontology Aubrey de Grey looks at how new medical technologies are going to increase the lifespan of humans to the point of “longevity escape velocity” where we will be able to essentially live forever. He addresses a number of the arguments against his theory and provides some projections how old we are going to live on average in the coming years. He quickly addresses some of the scientific research behind his ideas and fields a few questions.

16. Chris Anderson: Technology’s Long Tail

Chris Anderson of WIRED magazine gives his grand unified theory of technology in this TED talk. He points out the four stages of a technology: first they fall below a critical price, then they rise to a critical mass, then they often displace an existing technology, and finally they often become nearly free. He walks us through the stages with the rise of the DVD from the 1990s into the 2000s. This talk was delivered back in 2004 and he does make some predictions with the rise of hybrid cars, free phone calls (Skype), and other technologies that were rising at the time. For the most part Anderson’s theory of technology seems to still hold up.

17. Sam Harris: Science Can Answer Moral Questions

Sam Harris, author of the recent book The Moral Landscape, posits that just as there are scientific facts there are also moral facts and science can play a role in determining morality when in comes to the well-being of humanity. He sets up the idea of a moral spectrum of what is optimal for human well-being within a culture and argues that there are universal truths which contribute towards this well-being just as there are truths when it comes to the physical health of a human being. With humor and clarity he questions certain religious practices as being the best way to confront moral dilemmas.

18. The Vision Behind One Laptop Per Child

In this TED talk the founder of the One Laptop per Child Association, Nicholas Negroponte, shares his ambitious vision of distributing $100 laptops to the children of the world. To date his organization has delivered 2 million laptops worldwide. He delivered this talk in 2006 when they were just ramping up their distribution and he tells of the challenges they faced in making a $100 laptop. He also talks about some of the successes they’ve had in the program in aiding the education of children throughout the globe.

19. Jimmy Wales on the Birth of Wikipedia

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales separates fact from fiction regarding the founding of his super popular online encyclopedia and how it operates. He talks about the close knit community which is at the heart of developing Wikipedia and the team of volunteers which have helped it grow technologically and have keep the costs down. Wales discusses some of the controversies and criticisms that have arisen about the Wikipedia project. It’s an interesting look behind-the-scenes at one of the most popular websites on the world wide web.

20. Bill Gates on Energy: Innovating to Zero

In this TED Talk Bill Gates speaks on innovating our energy policy so we reach zero carbon emissions globally by 2050. In this talk Gates provides a simple equation for the increase in carbon dioxide globally and he sees that the only way to reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is to reduce carbon emissions from the equation. He calls for innovation in all alternative methods of creating energy and says it will take a miracle of innovation to come up with a solution. He suggests one possible “miracle” which he is investing in is a new kind of nuclear power which generates power from what we currently designate as nuclear waste. Listen to this clear and concise talk about how one of America’s top business & technology leaders is looking at solving the climate crisis.

21. Michael Pollan Gives a Plant’s-Eye View

Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma and The Botany of Desire, talks about how he came to the idea of viewing the world from other species points of view. And while humanity often assumes human consciousness is the end-all and be-all of evolution, he humorously suggests that humanity was maybe grass’s way of getting another species to mow the lawn so there are less trees to prevent its growth. He presents a way of farming that he has discovered in which viewing the farming process from the point of view of other species could produce a new world where it is not a zero sum game of humanity winning.

22. Julian Assange: Why the World Needs WikiLeaks

WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange sits down with TED’s Chris Anderson at TEDGlobal 2010 for a discussion of his controversial website. Assange talks about the purpose of WikiLeaks which takes highly classified documents and video from whistleblowers and other sources in order to alert the press and public and instigate political change. Assange provides many examples of leaks which his site has released that have had an impact on global politics.

23. Al Gore: 15 Ways to Avert a Climate Crisis

Al Gore lays out 15 ways to avert climate crisis through our personal and professional lives. He plays a brief slide show and provides examples of many of the ways that these steps are being used in action. Speaking to a business audience at the TED conference he also points out important steps that businesses can take to influence climate change.

24. Leonard Susskind: My Friend Richard Feynman

Physicist Leonard Susskind talks about his friendship with the legendary Richard Feynman. Feynman made many contributions to various areas of physics and won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1965. Susskind tells stories of Feynman and his scientific method which sought to eliminate the “baloney” and make physics explainable. Through the many stories Susskind portrays the complexity of this brilliant 20th century physicist. This TED talk is available on streaming video and video download.

25. Jane Goodall on What Separates Us From the Apes

In this TED Talk from primatologist Jane Goodall, she discusses her many years spent with chimpanzees in Tanzania and the many ways in which she and other researchers have discovered that chimpanzees are similar to humans. From their ability to make tools to their emotional lives Goodall lays out the characteristics of chimps that may make us second guess how they are treated. She then talks about how chimpanzees are being endangered and she connects this to the many ways in which life and our environment are being threatened. At the end of the talk she gives reasons for hope with telling of some of the courageous acts of young people throughout the world that participate in the Roots & Shoots program she started.


1. Joseph Nye on Global Power Shifts

Joseph Nye is an international relations theorist who coined the term “soft power” which is the “ability to get others to want what you want, to get the outcomes you want, without coercion or payment”. In this TED talk he takes a look at the current power shifts of the 21st century which in broad terms are shifting from West to East. While traditionally these power shifts were seen in terms of economics and military power, he argues that the trends in power have shifted with more importance on non-state actors from corporations to international organizations to terrorist networks. And he feels that the shift in power from the United States to China should not be framed in as a zero sum game, but one in which both parties can benefit from the power shift.

2. Steven Pinker on the Myth of Violence

Steven Pinker shatters some commonly held assumptions about the violence of our times showing how in actuality we live in the least violent time in human history. He shows data on the homicide rate throughout human history, dispelling myths that our ancestors lived in peaceful harmony with one another. Pinker finally presents a number of theories as to why humanity is less violent that it has ever been.

3. Sunitha Krishnan Fights Sex Slavery

Indian social activist Sunitha Krishnan addresses the global problem of sex slavery. She tells some disturbing stories surrounding the issue and then talks about how people often do not wish to become involved with this sad abuse of human rights. After telling her own story of abuse, she tells of the heroic ways that she has helped over 3000 people out of sex slavery. She encourages everyone to become informed about this issue and to do one thing to combat sex slavery. This talk was delivered at TEDIndia.

4. Misha Glenny Investigates Global Crime Networks

In this TED talk journalist Misha Glenny takes a deep look into the world of organized crime which now is estimated to account for 15% of the global economy. He tells the story of the rise of the mafia in Eastern Europe after the collapse of the Berlin Wall where many of the Communist government workers moved into the world of organized crime. Glenny traveled all over the world examinging organized crime from the production centers in the third world to the areas of trafficking in places like the Balkans and Mexico to the consumers of the products of organized crime in the European Union, Japan, and the United States. From money laundering to cyber crime to drugs & prostitution, Glenny provides an interesting glimpse into the shadow economy that is all around us.

5. Larry Lessig: How Creativity is Being Strangled by the Law

Harvard Law professor Lawrence Lessig has been advocating reduced legal restrictions on copyright and trademark for years now. He starts this TED talk by quoting American composer John Philip Sousa who argued against music players because he felt that they would ruin artistic development in the young since they would not sing the songs of the day but rather listen to these “infernal machines” and just become consumers of music. Lessig feels that throughout much of the 20th century Sousa was right, but that with the arrival the digital age, the new technologies have made way for more and more amateurs to become creators. While the youth are busy remixing the culture of the day, the copyright law in America has not adapted to these new creations and has turned these amateurs in criminals. Lessig argues for new sorts of copyright that allow for simple ways to allow for this new creative expression.

6. David Logan on Tribal Leadership

Management consultant David Logan has been studying “tribes” for decades now which he describes as the many groups of 20-150 people that human beings associate with on a daily basis. In this TED talk he takes us through the five stages of tribes from the first stage of anti-social groups that basically assert that “life sucks” all the way up to the fifth stage of tribes who seek to transcend their tribe and make the world a better place. He gives many examples of the tribes at these various stages and how they interact with one another. It’s an great model for analyzing any of the many tribes you might be inhabit.

7. Sheryl WuDunn: Our Century’s Greatest Injustice

Sheryl WuDunn is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the book Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide. In this TED Global talk she gives us the facts on the inequalities of women worldwide, such as the fact that there are less women in the world than men due to mostly to the injustices inflicted on women in the developing world. She goes on to tell many interesting stories of women worldwide who are empowered by the smallest efforts in aiding their education and opportunities, and how these efforts ripple onto their children and future generations. At the end she gives us a few reasons to help women globally to those of us who have won the lottery of life by being born into an affluent society.

8. Nicholas Christakis: How Social Networks Predict Epidemics

Nicholas Christakis speaks at TED on his studies of social networks and how things spread amongst these networks. He looks at a study of obesity and the ways in which obese people connect to other obese people over time. After those findings he looked at the spread of certain emotions within social networks. At the end of the talk he encourages more social connections as being ultimately beneficial.

9. Shashi Tharoor: Why Nations Should Pursue “Soft” Power

Indian Parliament member and author Shashi Tharoor takes a fresh look at India’s rise as a world superpower. Instead of pursuing the economic and military superiority of past world superpowers, Tharoor argues that his country should pursue “soft” power when presenting themselves to the rest of the world. He points out how the story of America and American culture have often had more influence globally than their economic or military might. Tharoor demonstrates how from ancient history to the present India has had a very rich story to tell and how Indian culture is now beginning pervade throughout the rest of the world.

10. Sheryl Sandberg: Why We Have Too Few Women Leaders

Chief Operating Officer of Facebook Sheryl Sandberg gives the statistics on women in leadership around the world and tells why she thinks women are not moving into these roles in politics and business. Sandberg gives examples of the subtle ways that women often shy away from the roles men are so driven to get and she encourages women to overcome these cultural barriers in order to get to a more equal balance of male vs. female leaders. This talk was delivered at TEDWomen.

11. Robert Wright: How Cooperation (Eventually) Trumps Conflict

Author Robert Wright argues that the ongoing evolution of human interactions have become increasingly complex which has lead to greater rewards for cooperation amongst all peoples. He calls these interactions non-zero-sum games because in general both parties are profiting from cooperation. Where in past societies families, tribes, and nations often participated in non-cooperation, zero-sum games that led to violence and warfare, in our globalized, capitalistic society there is often a lot at stake when peoples or nations do not cooperate with one another. He does provide some cautionary notes to this otherwise optimistic tale of global cooperation.

12. Tony Porter: A Call to Men

Tony Porter co-founder behind the nonprofit A Call to Men: The National Association of Men and Women Committed to Ending Violence Against Women. In this TED Talk which he delivered at TEDWomen he talks about the socialization of men in society and how boys are taught to stay in the “man box” where men don’t show emotion or cry. They’re also taught to treat women like objects and to not act “like a woman”. Born and raised in the Bronx, Porter tells some stories which changed his views on how men are raised and what inspired him to break out of his own “man box”.

13. Martin Jacques: Understanding the Rise of China

Author of When China Rules the World Martin Jacques shows the rapid economic expansion of China with projections that it might eclipse the U.S. economy by 2020 and by 2050 be possibly double that of the U.S. with a GDP of $70 trillion. While many in the West assume that this economic growth will be coupled with increasing westernization of China’s society and institution, Martin Jacques argues that this is a very ignorant point of view. He demonstrates how different Chinese culture is in fundamental ways from Western countries, and while people of the major powers of the West may think they know a lot about the world it is actually these developing Eastern countries that know much more about the West.

14. David Brooks on The Social Animal

New York Times columnist David Brooks speaks at the 2011 TED conference about some of the ideas in his latest book The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement. From his work in covering politics he has observed amazing social and emotional skills in politicians as they interact amongst themselves and with their constituents but has seen a disconnect when it comes to reasoning out policy. In this talk he emphasizes the importance of training the emotions and the unconscious as well as the reasonable, logical brain that we develop in education.

15. Isabel Allende: Tales of Passion

In this TED talk, Chilean-American novelist Isabel Allende stands up for passionate feminism when confronting global issues. She feels women’s energy is needed to alleviate the suffering of women and poor people in developing countries. During the talk she tells tales of courageous women throughout the world.


1. J.J. Abrams’ Mystery Box

Get inspired for creativity with this enjoyable talk by film director and creator of TV’s Lost Series J.J. Abrams. Abrams talks about his grandfather and the sense of mystery that he instilled into Abrams as a child. As a memento to his grandfather he kept a box of magic box sealed that his grandfather gave to him. He always has kept the box with him in his creative endeavors and has tried to use mystery to constantly propel his stories forward.

2. Doris Kearns Goodwin on Learning from Past Presidents

In this short lecture provided by TED Talks, Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer and historian Doris Kearns Goodwin explores what we can learn about life from the lives of the Great Presidents. In trying to balance work, love, and play, we see how the ambitious Lincoln was always trying to find respite in Shakespeare, and how Lyndon Johnson found it difficult adjusting to family life after the fast pace of the Presidency. Viewed through the prism of the Presidents, Goodwin demonstrates that even our most celebrated leaders had a hard time sustaining a balanced, happy life.

3. David Blaine: How I Held My Breath for 17 Min.

Magician David Blaine talks about his tireless attempts at doing what is thought impossible. He begin looking into holding the breath and researching what it takes to hold the breath for longer than scientists thought possible. At first he experimented with creating the illusion of holding the breath, but when those attempts failed he began exploring what it would take to actual hold his breath for the longest period of time and break the world record. After much trial and error he finally broke the record holding his breath for 17 minutes and 4.4 seconds on the The Oprah Winfrey Show in 2008. This talk was filmed at TEDMED.

4. How to Survive a Nuclear Attack

Disaster-medicine expert Dr. Irwin Redlener takes a look at the threat of nuclear attacks. From the first development of the nuclear bomb and the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, the number of nuclear weapons expanded throughout the Cold War and today there are still an estimated 21,000 nuclear warheads in the World. While all out nuclear war between nations is unlikely in the current state of global affairs, Dr. Redlener looks at the real threat of nuclear terrorism. He then proceeds to tell us how to possibly survive a nuclear terrorist attack and gives us concrete advice on what to do if you survive the initial blast. Currently there are no major American cities that have developed effective plans to deal with nuclear detonation despite that there are ways to minimize fatalities. He concludes by reminding us that the only way to truly deal with the threat of nuclear war or terrorism is the complete abolition of nuclear weapons and encourages everyone to work on this matter.

5. Keith Barry Does Brain Magic

While not necessarily educational since Barry doesn’t tell us how he did his tricks, it is nevertheless a very entertaining TED Talk. He starts with a brain trick that even works at home. He goes on to do many tricks such as driving with a blindfold, doing some puzzling voodoo experiments, and more. It’s a TED talk that is sure to get you scratching your head.

That’s it! The best 100 TED talks in the world!

November 6, 2011

Best of CSPAN Video

cspanvideolibrarybestof.jpgToday we’ll look at C-SPAN and the selection of videos we’ve added from them. While these are all videos, most of them can just be listened to without the video component so you can play them while you do other things on your computer or around the house. We’ll start off by highlighting some of the best programs from C-SPAN.

We’ve added over 100 titles featuring videos and speakers on the C-SPAN video library. C-SPAN has been broadcasting since 1979 and they now offer a complete, freely accessible video archive going back to 1987. They offer over 250,000 video programs in the C-SPAN video library! We can’t say that we went through all of the programs, but we went through a lot of them. And we found that the C-SPAN video library is much more than hours and hours of Senate committee meetings, White House press briefings, and House sessions (although that stuff is all there if you’re interested). If you would like to go way back you can check out their:

First Televised House Session (featuring Al Gore)

But mostly we’ve picked out special programs from the most well known political figures, the most highly regarded authors, and some of the most popular thinkers that we feature on our site. Many of the people we feature have numerous videos on C-SPAN and for them we are linking to the page on C-SPAN that features all of their C-SPAN appearances. We’ve embedded many of these videos, and we saw on C-SPAN’s video library blog that for many of their programs they are now offering the MP3 audio downloads for $0.99 per program. A small price to pay for some of these recorded gems if you want them “on-the-go” on audio. You can check out all the C-SPAN offerings we’ve added along with a lot of free C-SPAN offerings on audio download from Audible.com and free C-SPAN podcasts right here:

Browse Over 200 Titles from C-SPAN

C-SPAN features a number of series in their video library. For example they feature 2-3 hour “life portraits” of some of the most popular presidents of all time. You can check out all of their Peabody Award winning series on American Presidents right here:

American Presidents Series on C-SPAN

And here are some of the presidents they feature:

Life Portrait of Abraham Lincoln

Life Portrait of George Washington

Life Portrait of Thomas Jefferson

Life Portrait of Theodore Roosevelt

In addition to these portraits, we’ve added links to all of the videos for every president of the past 100 years from Franklin D. Roosevelt to Barack Obama. Here are some of them:

Franklin D. Roosevelt Videos on C-SPAN

John F. Kennedy Videos on C-SPAN

Richard Nixon Videos on C-SPAN

Ronald Reagan Videos on C-SPAN

Barack Obama Videos on C-SPAN

C-SPAN also offers some of their own unique programming. They’ve produced special feature documentaries on the American institutions hold our three branches of government. They’ve also done a re-creation of the seven Lincoln-Douglas debates, they’ve retraced the journey of Alexis de Tocqueville, and they’ve done features on every presidential library. Check out these C-SPAN unique programs:

The Capitol – History, art, and architecture of the U.S. Capitol.

The White House: Inside America’s Most Famous Home, 2011 Edition – A documentary-style look behind the scenes at White House operations and history of the president’s home.

The Supreme Court: Home to America’s Highest Court, 2010 Edition – A look into the role, traditions, and history of the Supreme Court featuring interviews with all the sitting and retired Justices.

Tocqueville Series on C-SPAN – C-SPAN retrace the steps of Alexis de Tocqueville, author of Democracy in America, who traveled throughout the U.S. in 1831.

Lincoln Douglas Debates Series on C-SPAN – A re-enactment of the series of seven historic debates held in each of the original seven towns.

Presidential Library Series on C-SPAN – A look inside all 12 of the nation’s presidential libraries.

And if you’d like to hear some political figures we also have featured the videos of some of the leading political voices on the right and the left. We’ll divide them up here:

Leading Conservative Voices:

Ann Coulter Videos on C-SPAN

Bill O’Reilly Videos on C-SPAN

Glenn Beck Remarks to Conservative Political Action Conference and Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, and Others at the Restoring Honor Rally

Michael Medved Videos on C-SPAN

Mitt Romney Videos on C-SPAN

Ron Paul Videos on C-SPAN

William F. Buckley, Jr. Videos on C-SPAN

William Kristol Videos on C-SPAN

Leading Liberal Voices:

Arianna Huffington Videos on C-SPAN

Dennis Kucinich Videos on C-SPAN

Gloria Steinem Videos on C-SPAN

Jesse Jackson Videos on C-SPAN

Michael Moore Videos on C-SPAN

Noam Chomsky Videos on C-SPAN

Ralph Nader Videos on C-SPAN

Robert Reich Videos on C-SPAN

And there are a lot of other great individual videos we discovered in the C-SPAN video library that we thought would be of interest. Here are some of C-SPAN’s top videos:

2011 State of the Union Address by Barack Obama

The Atomic Bomb by J. Robert Oppenheimer

Drugs and Public Policy by Dr. Andrew Weil

Financial Future of American Youth by Warren Buffett

Future of Space Travel by Stephen Hawking

Gay Marriage Debate by Evan Wolfson & David Blankenhorn

Interview with Ayn Rand

Tony Blair and Christopher Hitchens Debate Religion

Israel and Palestine After Disengagement – Debate between Noam Chomsky & Alan Dershowitz

Author James Baldwin National Press Club Speech

Leadership Styles & Ethics by Steven R. Covey

Martin Luther King, Jr. and Foreign Policy by Clayborne Carson

Mike Wallace Interview with Eleanor Roosevelt

Nixon-Khrushchev Kitchen Debate

Richard Nixon & John F. Kennedy First Presidential Debate

And of course there is much, much more to discover from the C-SPAN video library. Search some of your favorite authors there from the past 30 years and chances are you’ll find some videos of them. You can check out their programs right here:


October 21, 2011

2000 New Free Audio & Video Resources

It has been months in the making, and we have now added over 2000 new free audio & video learning resources to our free directory. We’ve added hundreds of audio books, lectures, speeches, interviews, and every free college course on audio & video that we could find. This now brings our free directory to over 5000 of the very best free audio & video learning resources from across the web!

Browse Over 5000 Free Audio & Video Learning Resources in Our Free Directory

These new free titles come from a variety of sources and in choosing them we sifted through 1000s of titles and picked out the best ones featuring the highest quality content from 100s of the leading thinkers, authors, professors, and speakers of our time. We’ll be featuring these resources more in depth in the coming months in our newsletters and our Free Resource of the Day Emails, but in this blog post we’ll just mention what we’ve added with some brief descriptions of the content.

We’ll break it down by the type of resources we added starting with the new university courses we’ve added to our site, then featuring the talks & interviews we’ve added, and finishing with the free audio books we’ve added. Probably the best way to browse the new free stuff is with the links listed below as these new titles haven’t risen in popularity yet and are currently a little buried in our free audio & video directory. Enjoy over 2000 of great new free audio & video learning resources that we found on the world wide web!

New Free Courses We’ve Added

In the past few years the number of freely available courses on audio & video has greatly increased as universities have opened up their classrooms to the world by giving away a number of their courses. Recently YouTube launched YouTube EDU which now features videos from 100s of universities around the globe and a number of these universities are offering full courses available for free on video through YouTube. Also prestigious universities like MIT and Yale have launched “OpenCourseWare” sections of their own sites and universities like UC San Diego and UCLA have started podcasting a number of courses on audio. We searched high and low for every free audio or video course we could find and have now added them all into our free directory (with the exception of courses available exclusively through iTunes U because Apple gave us a cease-and-desist notice that we can no longer link to iTunes U unfortunately). For the video courses from YouTube we’ve embedded the video playlist right on our pages. Here’s what is new:

Harvard University – We’ve added 15+ free courses on video from this Ivy League university including a half dozen computer science courses.

Khan Academy – While not an official university (yet!), this not-for-profit educational organization has risen in popularity from the over 2500 micro video lectures that educator Salman Khan has created mostly in the area of mathematics. We’ve added all their major video playlists to our site and the math ones take you from the Arithmetic Playlist all the way up to the Calculus Playlist and beyond.

MIT OpenCourseWare – We’ve added 30+ free courses mostly available on video with some available on audio download from the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology. MIT’s free courses include ones on science, technology, and engineering, but they also include courses on law, business, biology, psychology, and philosophy.

New York University – 5 great video courses from NYU including “American Literature I: From Beginnings to the Civil War” and “Introduction to Sociology”.

Stanford University – We’ve added 15+ free courses on video from Stanford University which include 9 physics courses by the brilliant professor of theoretical physics Leonard Susskind. Included in these listings from Stanford is a collection of individual lectures delivered at the university.

UC San Diego – We’ve added 50+ free courses that are podcasted on audio from the University of California at San Diego. These courses are in a variety of subjects from many of the schools of study at UC San Diego including many courses in biology and psychology. Download them on MP3 or stream them right through our podcast player.

UCLA BruinCast – We’ve added 40+ free courses that are podcasted on audio from the University of California at Los Angeles. Again these courses are from a variety of subjects from many of the schools of study at UCLA. Download them on MP3 or stream them right through our podcast player.

University of Houston – We’ve added 35 free courses on video from the University of Houston. The courses cover world history, literature, psychology, and a whole lot more.

University of Notre Dame – We’ve added 8 free courses available on audio download or video download through the OpenCourseWare section of Notre Dame’s site.

Yale University – We’ve added 30+ free courses on audio download & video from Yale University. They offer many courses on literature, history, economics, and more.

And along with all of these great courses we’ve also added one or two courses or series of lectures from the following institutions:

Biola University
Cambridge University
Columbia University
Dominican University of California
McMaster University
Otis College of Art and Design
Oxford University
Rutgers University
Spring Arbor University
Stony Brook University
U.S. Army War College
UC Davis
UC Irvine
University of Michigan
University of Missouri-Kansas City
University of New South Wales
University of Virginia
University of Washington
Vanderbilt University

Enjoy these many courses on audio & video!

New Talks & Interviews We’ve Added

Along with all the great new courses we’ve added we also went back to some of our favorite resources for free talks & lectures by notable authors and public figures. We’ve updated a number of these providers with the latest talks that they’ve added over the past years. And we’ve also added some new providers that feature great talks on audio & video. For all these providers we’ve chosen talks that are from the most popular authors and public figures along with other talks that we thought would be of interest. Most of these providers have many more talks on their sites which you can further explore. We’ve added some of the best talks from these providers:

bloggingheads.tv – We’ve added 30+ videos and MP3 audio downloads of dialogues from bloggingheads.tv featuring two prominent intellectuals, journalists, or bloggers discussing via video chat important contemporary issues involving politics, science, religion, and more.

Book TV and C-SPAN – We’ve added over 300 titles featuring videos and speakers on the C-SPAN video library. C-SPAN has been broadcasting since 1979 and they now offer a complete, freely accessible archive going back to 1987. They offer 160,000 hours of archived programming in the C-SPAN video library! We can’t say that we went through all of their 150,000 programs, but we went through a lot of them. And we found that the C-SPAN video library much more than hours and hours of Senate committee meetings, White House press briefings, and House sessions (although that stuff is all there if you’re interested). Instead we picked out special programs from the most well known political figures, the most highly regarded authors, and some of the most popular thinkers that we feature on our site. Many of the people we feature have numerous videos on C-SPAN and for them we are linking to the page on C-SPAN that features all of their C-SPAN appearances.

C-SPAN also features authors on their Book TV weekend programming and we’ve separated the C-SPAN political videos from the Book TV author videos if you’re more interested in authors than in political figures. We’ve added many titles from Book TV’s In Depth series which is a 3-hour interview and call-in show that covers an author’s life and career. We could go on pointing out other C-SPAN series but we’ll save that for later. For now check out over 200 new titles from Book TV and over 100 new titles from C-SPAN. We’ve embedded many of these videos, and we saw on C-SPAN’s video library blog that for many of their programs they are now offering the MP3 audio downloads for $0.99 per program. A small price to pay for some of these recorded gems!

Charlie Rose – We’ve added over 350 of the best videos from the Charlie Rose talk show on PBS. Charlie Rose has been conducting interviews on his show since 1991 and his entire archive of over 4000 hours of video is online at www.charlierose.com. We went through the entire archive and picked out his best interviews with notable politicians, authors, artists, actors, film directors, and many other figures he has interviewed over the past 20 years. Truly the best of Charlie Rose!

Conversations with History – From the Institute of International Studies at the University of California at Berkeley host Harry Kreisler talks with leading thinkers and public figures in the areas of global politics and world history. We’ve chosen 80+ talks from the over 500 interviews that have been conducted since 1982. All of these talks are available on streaming video and many of them are available on MP3 audio download from the UCTV website.

Forum Network – We’ve added over 250 new talks from The Forum Network (formerly the WGBH Forum Network) which is a collection of talks recorded at over 150 locations on the East Coast. Many talks feature authors on book tour discussing their latest book. Political figures and public intellectuals are also featured on many of the talks discussing specific contemporary issues. All of these talks are available on streaming video and many of them are available on MP3 audio download from the Forum Network website.

Google Talks – Google brings in many authors and speakers into their offices often to talk about their latest book and Google captures them all on video. They’ve posted 1000s of these talks to YouTube and from those we’ve added over 200 new talks. Most of these come from their “@Google Talks” channel and their “GoogleTechTalks” channel on YouTube. For authors speaking about a book we’ve also added the name of the book into the title. They feature many talks from business authors including their Leading@Google series, and they also feature many personal growth authors from their personal growth series.

MIT World – We’ve added over 50 new talks from MIT World. They offer streaming audio and video lectures of speakers at events that occur at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Many of these talks feature business & technology leaders, along with lectures from MIT faculty.

TED Talks – We’ve added over 100 of the best talks from TED. We’ll feature more about this later, but we’ll let you know that at LearnOutLoud.com we’ve watched almost all of the most popular and most viewed TED talks and from the 900 that they offer and we’ve picked out the ones we thought were the very best. In the future we’ll feature our selections for the Top 100 TED Talks of All Time.

UCTV – University of California Television – UCTV features talks from all of the University of California campuses. They offer all of these talks on YouTube and many of the talks are also available on audio download on the UCTV website (which we link to when the MP3 is available). The talks feature visiting authors along with lectures from UC professors. We’ve added over 100 new talks from them.

Talks by the Dalai Lama – Also we’ve added over 20 talks by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama has their own YouTube channel and we’ve added many of their talks along with featuring other talks that the Dalai Lama gave at various locations. In all we now have 50 free talks by His Holiness the Dalai Lama along with over 20 of his audio books for sale on CD and audio download.

In all we’ve added over 1000 talks to watch or listen to! Enjoy!

New Free Audio Books We’ve Added

And if all this wasn’t enough, we’ve also added about 200 new free audio books. Last year we picked over 1000 new free audio books from LibriVox to add to our site. Now we’ve added even more free audio books from a couple sources. Here they are:

Lit2Go – Years ago we discovered Lit2Go which is a collection of audio books made freely available by the University of South Florida’s Educational Technology Clearinghouse. They offer 100s of free classic literature audio books, poems, and short stories on MP3 audio download and we’ve now added over 150 of their audio books to our site. The narration of these audio books sounds basically professional and they offer some of the greatest works of classic literature of all time. We’ve also picked out 30 of their audio books that are devoted mostly to kids and put them on our Kids.LearnOutLoud.com site. You can access them here:

Over 30 Free Kids Audio Books from Lit2Go on Kids.LearnOutLoud.com

And our other source of free audio books that we’ve added:

Mises Institute – The Mises Institute offers lots of free media on their site and they cover the ideas of economist Ludwig von Mises and the Austrian School and modern free-market libertarian movement that followed. On their site they now feature many audio books along with courses and lecture series available on MP3 audio download. Their audio books are professionally narrated and they feature them on podcast RSS feeds which we’ve added onto our site as well. Learn about economics, libertarian politics, and history from the Mises Institute.

So that’s about it. If you notice any mistakes in the data for all these titles or you run into any issues with them please let us know. We are very excited to be offering all these new free audio & video learning resources. We can’t wait to watch and listen to them and do more in depth features in the future. With the addition of all these great free resources, we feel we are well on our way to our goal of becoming the best destination for audio & video learning on the internet! Spread the word! Learn Out Loud!

October 5, 2011

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs on Audio

The godfather of the modern positive psychology movement is humanistic psychologist Abraham Maslow, who coined the term “positive psychology” in his 1954 book Motivation and Personality. Maslow created a theory on the hierarchy of human needs placing self actualization at the top of his pyramid. His focus on human potential and peak experiences would lay the groundwork for authors like Martin Seligman and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi to further study the science of human happiness.

We are pleased to be offering a free audio book which is an audio recording of Maslow’s 1943 paper A Theory of Human Motivation. This work is the cornerstone of psychiatrist Abraham Maslow’s concept of the human hierarchy of needs. In this paper, Maslow describes humanity as a “wanting” species, and traces a chain of needs from the most basic (hunger), to the most self serving (personal safety, financial security), to the most social (esteem) and finally to the most transcendent (self-actualization).

Download A Theory of Human Motivation by Abraham Maslow

This paper was originally published in Psychological Review in 1943 and is now in the public domain as the copyright was not renewed. The audio book is 1 hour in length and read by our very own Seth Anderson. Download this audio book for free on MP3 audio download today!

Download A Theory of Human Motivation by Abraham Maslow

At LearnOutLoud we are also excited to be offering some exclusive audio recordings available on audio download from Abraham Maslow. During the 1960s, Abraham Maslow gave many excellent lectures and workshops at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California. Maslow was an easy speaker to listen to and he speaks on psychology with the same enjoyment that Joseph Campbell spoke of mythology and Alan Watts spoke of Eastern religion. The audio programs we feature have been selected from the recordings of Maslow’s many lectures and workshops at Esalen. We feature seven of these audio programs and have created descriptions for the content of each of them. Here they are:

1. The Aims of Education

This lecture on the aims of education attempts to reconceive the goals of education under a Maslow framework:

  • How do we develop the humanness of a child? What are the ingredients?
  • What do we lose when we become adults that we should have been taught earlier?
  • What system of values is most important for a child to remember? How do we train teachers to instill these values?
  • How do we enhance peak experiences within a child so we retain that into adulthood. Why do we lose this as childhood gives way to maturity?

These, and more fascinating questions are brought up and discussed in Maslow’s exploratory dialogues. Ultimately he feels the primary aim of education is in nurturing the child towards the self-actualization that is the primary goal of all healthy human beings.

2. The B-language Workshop

In the B-Language Workshop, we listen in as Maslow presides over a group think-tank on how to convert Maslow’s concept of B-Values into a workable language. What comes about is a series of discussions on such topics as the role of humor, transcendent love, why power motivates us, how we should define success in our culture and ultimately what all of these conversations mean when we try to find certain words for vague, sometimes elusive (yet interrelated) concepts. This workshop is an interesting time capsule of an era where several like-minded people came together to suss out a novel vocabulary of experience steeped in a psychological framework they all agreed was exciting.

3. The Eupsychian Ethic

In this workshop Abraham Maslow confronts the humanist alternative education community of the Esalen Institute about what is to be done with the psychological growth and personal insights they’ve learned. Maslow worries that for many the journey towards self-actualization becomes self-absorbed and he lays out his idea of the “Eupsychian Ethic” where the personal growth knowledge is taken to the practical level of helping to improve individuals in the community and towards making a more peaceful and united world.

4. The Farther Reaches of Human Nature

In this in-depth workshop Abraham Maslow looks at human potential in many aspects of modern culture from business to science to family to education and more. He applies his hierachy of needs to these different aspects of society and gives examples, from the basics of survival in these areas up the pyramid to the self-actualization or transcendence beyond these social institutions. With humor and candor he lays out the methods of achieving these farther reaches of human nature.

5. Psychology and Religious Awareness

Through his own scientific pursuits and his determination to shatter psychiatric dogma, Maslow came to believe that the best scientists are looking for the same thing as the saints: a transcendence of dichotomies. He argues that scientific breakthroughs are akin to religious euphoria in that both experiences provide a rare understanding of our existence. Thus science can be “the religion of the non religious person, or the music of the man who can’t sing” as he puts it. He concludes that if we all tried to seek higher, probe deeper, and leave room for doubt as we search, we might form a new brotherhood of man, where we combine previously trivial divisions into a single force that is dedicated to an open minded approach to learning more about life’s mysteries.

6. Self-Actualization

This lecture on Self-Actualization recorded in 1966, sketches out a definition of the ideal self-actualized person. What he traces here are common traits he noted after studying self-fulfilled people, such as:

  • Selfishness: how being good to yourself is the best way to be good to the world.
  • Vocation: how the self-actualized person tends to link what they do inextricably with their sense of who they are.
  • B-Values: How these people derive the most excitement from their work the more it correlates with universal human, or as Maslow terms it “B-values”.

Maslow goes on to point out that Self-Actualization is only possible after our biological needs are met and thus spiritual motivation emerges only after lower, physical needs such as hunger, safety, love and other bodily motivations are satisfied. In general this lecture is a great introduction to some of the ultimate aims of Maslow’s project.

7. Weekend with Maslow

In this weekend workshop, Abraham Maslow lectures on a wide variety of topics related to his ideas on psychology. He looks at the idea of success and goals and tells how he discovered his purpose. He addresses the potential for positive change and the problem of evil from the perspective of his hierachy of needs theory. He talks about values and counter-values, gratitude and entitlement, and many more interesting topics that he had explored throughout his life.

Enjoy this exclusive audio from Abraham Maslow!

If you want a free sampling of some of these audio recordings check out: The Maslow Podcast

September 20, 2011

LearnOutLoud.com on YouTube

We recently launched our LearnOutLoud.com YouTube channel!


On the channel we’ll be posting videos you can learn from along with recommending other great learning videos and educational channels on YouTube. Please watch some videos, rate and comment on them, and subscribe!

To kick off our YouTube channel we’ve taken the audio from our audio book Art Masterpieces and combined it with HD videos of the artworks themselves so you can learn about some of the greatest paintings of all time! We feature over 20 videos of different paintings and all the videos can be played in high definition so you can blow them up full screen and look at a high quality image of the painting while you listen and learn about the painting (select 720p in the bottom right of the video in order to view it in HD).

We plan to do a lot more with our YouTube video in the near future so please subscribe if you have a YouTube account or bookmark the channel and stay tuned!

August 20, 2011

L.A. Theatre Works Plays for Only $4.95

We currently have a special deal from L.A. Theatre Works. For a limited time download any of their plays for just $4.95.

L.A. Theatre Works produces professionally recorded versions of hundreds of classic and contemporary plays featuring well known stage & screen actors including Richard Dreyfuss, Laurence Fishburne, Ed Asner, and hundreds of other great actors. The plays have been featured on public radio across the United States, and we’re now pleased to offer over 250 of these plays as a la carte downloads:

Browse Over 250 Plays on Audio Download from L.A. Theatre Works for just $4.95

And here are some classic plays they’ve put on:

Macbeth by William Shakespeare (Brand New Production!)

The Grapes of Wrath (Dramatized) by John Steinbeck, Tony Award-winning adaption by Frank Galati

Twelve Angry Men by Reginald Rose

The Crucible by Arthur Miller

A Lesson Before Dying by Romulus Linney, based on the novel by Ernest J. Gaines

The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

Oedipus the King by Sophocles

The Misanthrope by Moliere

Blithe Spirit by Noel Coward

Brighton Beach Memoirs by Neil Simon

August 11, 2011

Learn to Be A Leader

EntrepreneurialThoughtLeadersblog.jpgWant to learn to be a leader? Check out our top 10 podcasts, MP3s, and videos dedicated to teaching you leadership philosophy from the cutting-edge voices that are helping to shape the modern business world. Over the years, we’ve given special attention to sharing the most up to date leadership training available on the web via our Free Resource of the Day Email service. To that end, we’ve selected inspirational audio that covers everything from a history of America’s business masters, to lectures and conversations on how management practices are evolving, to keep up with an ever-changing modern marketplace. With this list, you’ll gather valuable advice from “Good to Great” author Jim Collins, get discipline tips from Stephen Covey, pick up management strategy from Peter Drucker and learn how to track emerging business models with Seth Godin. With these 10 resources, we’re confident you can learn how to be the best leader you can be!

1. Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders Podcast

Since 2005 a group at Stanford University has been podcasting talks from some of the most successful people in business and technology. The speaker generally gives an overview of their experiences as an entrepreneur along with advice for anyone looking to start a business. On this podcast you’ll hear from such thought leaders as former AOL CEO Steve Case, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, sustainability architect & co-author of Cradle to Cradle William McDonough, Former CEO of HP Carly Fiorina, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, and people from Google, Yahoo, and dozens of other companies you’re probably familiar with. They have all their podcasts up on the feed going back five years. Learn from these successful business & technology thought leaders.

2. Catalyst Podcast

The Catalyst Podcast features an impressive collection of 100 podcast interviews with leadership authors and experts in the areas of business and church ministry. It stems from the Catalyst Conference which is a Christian leadership conference that features many of the speakers that are interviewed on the podcast. Interviewees include Seth Godin discussing his latest book Linchpin, Patrick Lencioni discussing his book The Three Signs of a Miserable Job, Guy Kawasaki talking about his book Reality Check, Tim Sanders talking about his book The Likeability Factor, and John C. Maxwell providing his sage leadership advice. The podcast features Christian leaders like Mark Driscoll, Andy Stanley, Rick Warren, Rob Bell, and many others. On the podcast you’ll also hear from a diverse range of other leaders in other areas such as Jimmy Wales, Tony Dungy, Malcolm Gladwell, Dave Ramsey, Mike Huckabee, and more. A true gem of a podcast that we just discovered. Become a better leader in every area of your life with the Catalyst Podcast.

3. Tribal Leadership

Zappos.com (a popular online retailer specializing in footwear) is currently offering a free audio download of the book Tribal Leadership by Dave Logan, John King, and Halee Fischer-Wright (published by Harper Collins in 2008). The book is a result of an eight-year study of approximately 24,000 people in over two dozen corporations focusing on how tribes (groups of 20 to 150 people in which everyone knows everyone else, or at least knows of everyone else) drive organization’s to success. The book examines the five stages of employee tribal development and how an effective tribal leader can drive an organization to success. This audio book is available on MP3 download through Zappos.com. Note: Registration is required on the Zappos.com site in order to download this audio book. For more on Zappos leadership check out Delivering Happiness by Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh.

4. JimCollins.com Lecture Hall

Listen to over 50 MP3 downloads in the JimCollins.com Lecture Hall. Jim Collins (author of Good to Great & Built to Last) provides succinct advice for leadership both in business and in the social sectors in this series of MP3 downloads. Everyone can benefit from these lecture snippets which include great ideas such as how to make a “Stop Doing” list and how to evolve into a “Level 5” leader. Enjoy these free MP3 downloads from JimCollins.com. If you like this free title, you might also be interested in Good to Great by Jim Collins.

5. Leadership Podcasts from LeaderNetwork.org

We recently stumbled upon this podcast gem for those of you interested in leadership in any area of your life. Host Brian McCormick from LeaderNetwork.org conducts interviews with some of the greatest leadership experts in business today including Stephen Covey, Ken Blanchard, and Patrick Lencioni. He also interviews some of the all-time great coaches such as Lou Holtz and the late John Wooden who both provide a lifetime of knowledge about how they achieved success and inspired their teams. The podcast even features a lengthy excerpt from Earl Nightingale’s “Acres of Diamonds” audio program. Enjoy this excellent leadership podcast from LeaderNetwork.org.

6. Marshall Goldsmith Podcast

Listen to this podcast of interviews featuring leadership & management expert Marshall Goldsmith. Since serving as a board member of the Peter Drucker Foundation and learning a lot from the management authority Peter Drucker, Goldsmith has gone on to write dozens of books on leadership & management. In these interviews he discusses one of his latest books What Got You Here Won’t Get You There which confronts the cutting edge of today’s rapidly changing business world. From his executive coaching experience, Goldsmith discusses how one of the main issues with business leaders is their unwillingness to accept anything less than success and their refusal to listen to criticism. He also talks about leadership from the bottom up and ways for employees to lead their companies by influencing up. These podcasts provide insight into the ideas of one of today’s top management consultants.

7. A Conversation with Richard Branson

Entrepreneur, adventurer, political activist and all around firebrand Richard Branson sits down to talk about his plans for the future in this interview hosted by Bob Schieffer at the Aspen Ideas Festival. Starting with the formation of his company Virgin, Branson talks about how his uncompromising attitude and complete willingness to risk big has led to a worldwide reputation for innovation. He also gives a tantalizing glimpse at his latest venture, Virgin Galactic, the first large scale attempt to make private space travel a reality. This talk is available on streaming video from FORA.tv.

8. The Surprising Science of Motivation

Learn how to better motivate yourself and others in this recent popular TED Talk. In this talk writer Daniel H. Pink lays out the facts about what drives the best results in business. In study after study any work that requires creative problem solving does not benefit from external rewards such as money. Only mechanical tasks benefit when there is reward and punishment, but when creative solutions are required, workers are more motivated when they feel there is intrinsic value to what they are doing. Pink lays out some of the ways businesses have benefited by implementing policies to encourage the best in right brained, creative thinking. This talk is available on MP3 download and streaming video from TED.com.

9. The Business of America: Masters of Enterprise – Lecture 1

Download Lecture 1 of this Modern Scholar course entitled Masters of Enterprise: American Business History and the People Who Made It taught by award-winning professor and historian H.W. Brands. In this first lecture called “The Business of America” Professor Brands gives a brief overview of the course and then proceeds to cover 200 years of American business history in 20 minutes from 1776 to the 20th century. He covers the importance of business in colonial times and its influence on the American Revolution. He then examines the 19th century which brought in industrialization and finance as important factors along with the central issue of slavery and its relation to business. And in the 20th century he briefly covers how businesses shifted their focus to the consumers who would buy all of the products that industrial capitalism was producing. This free lecture is available as an MP3 download or on streaming audio through LearnOutLoud.com.

10. Seth Godin on the Tribes We Lead

In this talk from the TED conference, best-selling business author Seth Godin shows how revolutionary business ideas have changed over time. Over the course of history we have moved from a factory model of business to a mass marketing model and now to a model based on tribes. A tribe model of business requires a leader who can connect all the people who are passionate about a specific product or movement and unite them to promote their passion. Godin provides examples of leaders who through the internet and other means of mass communication have arisen and created lasting change in business and society through the power of leading their tribes. This 20-minute talk is available on streaming video and MP3 download through TED.com.

Enjoy these leadership lessons from the leading leadership thinkers and leaders in the world!