David Goggins
Former Navy Seal
Career Development
Bryan Cranston
Critical Thinking
Liv Boeree
International Poker Champion
Emotional Intelligence
Amaryllis Fox
Former CIA Clandestine Operative
Chris Hadfield
Retired Canadian Astronaut & Author
from the world's big
Start Learning

What is beauty?

Question: What is beauty?

Antonelli: What is beauty?  Well beauty is very interesting because it’s changed a lot in the 20th century in a much more interesting way – a much more interesting way than it used to be before.  When Philip Johnson, you know the great curator, and architect, and patron of MOMA, and one of the people that interviewed me for my job . . . and he was so provocative I cannot tell you.  He did a show called Machine Art in 1934.  He took propeller blades and coils and put them on white pedestals against walls as if they were ____________ sculptures, because he wanted to show people how beautiful design can be.  But at that time he was talking about platonic beauty.  He wanted to show an absolute beauty – something that is above the fray of the world; that is universal; and that everybody can recognize.  Now that idea completely burst during the 20th century.  And you know I used to be a punk, so hey!  What can you say?  You know beauty is so relative.  And you can see that today beauty is really up to the individual, and it’s more an expression of something that is a personal composition.  I used to say that it’s Madonna and _________ that kind of destroyed the idea of platonic beauty.  Because if you look at the __________ actresses – the ones that have profiles that look like not even ski slopes; that are completely vertical and are these beautiful Picasso women – they’re not classical beauty.  They are a beauty that is completely . . . that is completely subjective; but at the same time because it is so strong and objective it becomes universal.  So so much happened in the ‘60s, and ‘70s, and ‘80s in terms of new ideas of beauty in the body and human beings; the fact that, you know, the first Black model on the cover of Vogue.  You know just all of these different changes; or even the Dove commercial last year with the kind of heavyset women showing that they were beautiful too.  When it comes to the human body you can go through this narration very easily.  When it comes to design it’s not that different.  You can’t anymore talk about a certain platonic beauty.  But it’s more about what people see in the object.  It’s more about communication and meaning than it is about form.

From propeller blades to Dove models, the definition has changed greatly.

Remote learning vs. online instruction: How COVID-19 woke America up to the difference

Educators and administrators must build new supports for faculty and student success in a world where the classroom might become virtual in the blink of an eye.

Credit: Shutterstock
Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
  • If you or someone you know is attending school remotely, you are more than likely learning through emergency remote instruction, which is not the same as online learning, write Rich DeMillo and Steve Harmon.
  • Education institutions must properly define and understand the difference between a course that is designed from inception to be taught in an online format and a course that has been rapidly converted to be offered to remote students.
  • In a future involving more online instruction than any of us ever imagined, it will be crucial to meticulously design factors like learner navigation, interactive recordings, feedback loops, exams and office hours in order to maximize learning potential within the virtual environment.
Keep reading Show less

Has science made religion useless?

Placing science and religion at opposite ends of the belief spectrum is to ignore their unique purposes.

  • Science and religion (fact versus faith) are often seen as two incongruous groups. When you consider the purpose of each and the questions that they seek to answer, the comparison becomes less black and white.
  • This video features religious scholars, a primatologist, a neuroendocrinologist, a comedian, and other brilliant minds considering, among other things, the evolutionary function that religion serves, the power of symbols, and the human need to learn, explore, and know the world around us so that it becomes a less scary place.
  • "I think most people are actually kind of comfortable with the idea that science is a reliable way to learn about nature, but it's not the whole story and there's a place also for religion, for faith, for theology, for philosophy," says Francis Collins, American geneticist and director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). "But that harmony perspective doesn't get as much attention. Nobody is as interested in harmony as they are in conflict."

Signs of Covid-19 may be hidden in speech signals

Studying voice recordings of infected but asymptomatic people reveals potential indicators of Covid-19.

Ezra Acayan/Getty Images
It's often easy to tell when colleagues are struggling with a cold — they sound sick.
Keep reading Show less

Octopus-like creatures inhabit Jupiter’s moon, claims space scientist

A leading British space scientist thinks there is life under the ice sheets of Europa.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SETI Institute
Surprising Science
  • A British scientist named Professor Monica Grady recently came out in support of extraterrestrial life on Europa.
  • Europa, the sixth largest moon in the solar system, may have favorable conditions for life under its miles of ice.
  • The moon is one of Jupiter's 79.
Keep reading Show less

Supporting climate science increases skepticism of out-groups

A study finds people are more influenced by what the other party says than their own. What gives?

Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
  • A new study has found evidence suggesting that conservative climate skepticism is driven by reactions to liberal support for science.
  • This was determined both by comparing polling data to records of cues given by leaders, and through a survey.
  • The findings could lead to new methods of influencing public opinion.
Keep reading Show less