President Obama?

Michael York: I'm an American, you know and I have the vote.  But I do think we're at a crucial time politically and magically a candidate I think has come along for president, who I think could be perfect.  He's almost so perfect that people don't believe it, that they are-- and this of course is Barack Obama.  And last year I traveled practically all the year around America.  I was in Russia.  I was in Poland.  I was in Germany.  I was in England.  I was, you name it, Israel.  And talking to people, getting a reflection of how America was-- the esteem that was held in the world.  America's image is bruised and battered and misunderstood and you know, people feel they've been let down.  But everyone without exception, said that but if, you know, Obama is elected president, this will be a redemption almost overnight and I really feel this.  As I said, it's almost too good to be true.  But he seems to represent a new future, a new turn.  Not the same old, old things that we've been-- and I know you hear this kind of talk on every TV channel.  But coming from you know, a traveler's perspective, I really feel this is an exciting and powerful moment.  And of course the young people feel it.  You know, it's their future.  He is going to shepherd them into the, you know, into a new era.  And I think he'll be, you know, a great guide and an inspiration to have.

Question: What will be his biggest challenge?

Michael York:  He has a lot to take on but he seems to me, not just competent in the sense that he can crack out a good speech that makes you very excited and hopeful, but in very practical terms you know, that he can come out of nowhere with two cents and create a viable, you know, presidential campaign.  His organizational skills, maybe his ability to select people who can do this is extraordinary.  While the other candidates are tripping over themselves and I don't mean to demean them.  This is-- but I just feel that strongly, as much as I would love a woman to be president, that somehow he is for the time being, for the Zeitgeists, for the where we are in the world, he is absolution for us.

Questoin: What’s your next role?


Michael York:  I've no idea.  I'm popping up all over the place.  I'm actually going off to England to make a film this summer.  But I do have a film I made in Russia last year, coming out in the fall, based on a novel by Vladimir Kunin, called "Mika and Alfred".  So that will be-- I hope it will be released here.

York says only Obama can save America's image abroad.

​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

This is the best (and simplest) world map of religions

Both panoramic and detailed, this infographic manages to show both the size and distribution of world religions.

(c) CLO / Carrie Osgood
Strange Maps
  • At a glance, this map shows both the size and distribution of world religions.
  • See how religions mix at both national and regional level.
  • There's one country in the Americas without a Christian majority – which?
Keep reading Show less

Why are so many objects in space shaped like discs?

It's one of the most consistent patterns in the unviverse. What causes it?

Videos
  • Spinning discs are everywhere – just look at our solar system, the rings of Saturn, and all the spiral galaxies in the universe.
  • Spinning discs are the result of two things: The force of gravity and a phenomenon in physics called the conservation of angular momentum.
  • Gravity brings matter together; the closer the matter gets, the more it accelerates – much like an ice skater who spins faster and faster the closer their arms get to their body. Then, this spinning cloud collapses due to up and down and diagonal collisions that cancel each other out until the only motion they have in common is the spin – and voila: A flat disc.