Teenage Power

Panchen Lama, the man “picked” by China as the second-highest figure in Tibetan Buddhism, has been appointed to the country’s top government advisory body.

Panchen Lama, the man "picked" by China as the second-highest figure in Tibetan Buddhism, has been appointed to the country’s top government advisory body. "According to Chinese state media the 19-year-old Panchen Lama was named a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) on Sunday. He was among 13 people named to the CPCC ahead of a meeting of the body next week in Beijing, the Xinhua News Agency reported. The CPPCC, whose annual session begins on Wednesday, is made up of about 2,200 business leaders, religious figures, academics and celebrities. It serves in an advisory capacity to the National People's Congress, China's largely ceremonial legislature. The Panchen Lama, whose name is Gyaltsen Norbu, was appointed by Chinese authorities in 1995 over a boy chosen by the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader. Gyaltsen Norbu is emerging as Beijing's choice to supplant the Dalai Lama as the public face of Tibetan Buddhism and has taken on an increasingly political role in recent years. He has made appearances with Communist Party leaders and publicly praised Chinese rule in Tibet."

​There are two kinds of failure – but only one is honorable

Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.

Big Think Edge
  • Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
  • At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
  • Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Keep reading Show less

Why is 18 the age of adulthood if the brain can take 30 years to mature?

Neuroscience research suggests it might be time to rethink our ideas about when exactly a child becomes an adult.

Mind & Brain
  • Research suggests that most human brains take about 25 years to develop, though these rates can vary among men and women, and among individuals.
  • Although the human brain matures in size during adolescence, important developments within the prefrontal cortex and other regions still take pace well into one's 20s.
  • The findings raise complex ethical questions about the way our criminal justice systems punishes criminals in their late teens and early 20s.
Keep reading Show less

Apparently even NASA is wrong about which planet is closest to Earth

Three scientists publish a paper proving that Mercury, not Venus, is the closest planet to Earth.

Strange Maps
  • Earth is the third planet from the Sun, so our closest neighbor must be planet two or four, right?
  • Wrong! Neither Venus nor Mars is the right answer.
  • Three scientists ran the numbers. In this YouTube video, one of them explains why our nearest neighbor is... Mercury!
Keep reading Show less

Mini-brains attach to spinal cord and twitch muscles

A new method of growing mini-brains produces some startling results.

(Lancaster, et al)
Surprising Science
  • Researchers find a new and inexpensive way to keep organoids growing for a year.
  • Axons from the study's organoids attached themselves to embryonic mouse spinal cord cells.
  • The mini-brains took control of muscles connected to the spinal cords.
Keep reading Show less