WATCH: Strange Beauty — How Reading the Classics Will Change You

Yale Professor Jeffrey Brenzel argues that reading the great classics can not only enrich your education, but also actually make your life better.

In this Floating University video — number 10 of 12 in our ongoing series — Yale Professor Jeffrey Brenzel argues that reading the great classics can not only enrich your education, but also actually make your life better. We can't possibly read all of the books in the world, so Brenzel makes a case for reading the right books the right way.


Which books qualify in the canon of the "right" books is one of the most controversial subjects in academia, and Brenzel outlines his take on the five key characteristics that every great book must fulfill in order to make that coveted list.

Brenzel will try to convince you that having intimate conversations with these great works will not only build your intellectual muscle, but also help you to grapple with the big questions in your own life and improve your judgment.

Stand up against religious discrimination – even if it’s not your religion

As religious diversity increases in the United States, we must learn to channel religious identity into interfaith cooperation.

Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
  • Religious diversity is the norm in American life, and that diversity is only increasing, says Eboo Patel.
  • Using the most painful moment of his life as a lesson, Eboo Patel explains why it's crucial to be positive and proactive about engaging religious identity towards interfaith cooperation.
  • The opinions expressed in this video do not necessarily reflect the views of the Charles Koch Foundation, which encourages the expression of diverse viewpoints within a culture of civil discourse and mutual respect.
Keep reading Show less

NASA's idea for making food from thin air just became a reality — it could feed billions

Here's why you might eat greenhouse gases in the future.

Jordane Mathieu on Unsplash
Technology & Innovation
  • The company's protein powder, "Solein," is similar in form and taste to wheat flour.
  • Based on a concept developed by NASA, the product has wide potential as a carbon-neutral source of protein.
  • The man-made "meat" industry just got even more interesting.
Keep reading Show less

Where the evidence of fake news is really hiding

When it comes to sniffing out whether a source is credible or not, even journalists can sometimes take the wrong approach.

Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
  • We all think that we're competent consumers of news media, but the research shows that even journalists struggle with identifying fact from fiction.
  • When judging whether a piece of media is true or not, most of us focus too much on the source itself. Knowledge has a context, and it's important to look at that context when trying to validate a source.
  • The opinions expressed in this video do not necessarily reflect the views of the Charles Koch Foundation, which encourages the expression of diverse viewpoints within a culture of civil discourse and mutual respect.
Keep reading Show less