old school

What are people doing to solve the biggest problems in education today? Sal Khan discusses how he’s reinventing education with more than just online videos. Author Amanda Ripley tackles the fear of many American parents that their kids are falling behind and psychologist David Anderegg gives us his remedy: stop stigmatizing nerdiness. Read More...

Harvard U

In the 1930’s, the president of Harvard devised a military-inspired way to bring in middle and lower-income scholarship students. However, in the past 80 years, it’s expanded way beyond the original purpose. Read More...

two matches

Here are three things you should know about this week's show:

1. Kids may love Sesame Street, but Jim Henson’s first televised muppet show was actually geared toward adults. That’s right, imagine the nightly news…with puppets.

2. Be careful if you play the slots because the buttons getting pushed could be yours. According to cultural anthropologist Natasha Dow Schull, casinos are using behavioral science and data tracking to make penny slots into big business.

3. Johnny Carson helped launch one of America’s favorite board games. Twister became an American icon, thanks to a team of inventors, the gang at Milton Bradley, and the magic touch of Johnny Carson.

slot machines

The gambling industry has made serious money by manipulating the science of human behavior, according to Natasha Dow Schull, a cultural anthropologist at MIT. Read More...

Twister board

The twisted tale of a game that you've probably played, thanks to Johnny Carson. Read More...

Cue ball

Is the stereotypical lone genius just a myth? There would be no Beatles without Lennon and McCartney, no Google without Page and Brin, no Apple without Jobs and Wozniak. Read More...

muppet mural

Jim Henson breathed new life into puppeteering by embracing technology and offering up a few of his own inventions. Read More...

Idylic Vermont

How do states with smaller populations grab young talent? We look at Vermont’s strategy - and why it’s so tough to lure millennials away from New York, San Francisco, and Chicago. Read More...

Measuring Tape

Three things you should know about the small stuff:

1. Frank Gehry, Chris Rock, and Google all have at least one thing in common. They build on what works and aren’t afraid to let everything else fall by the wayside, says author Peter Sims.

2. Sharknado is a sign of things to come. Deb Roy, Chief Media Scientist for Twitter, sees a future in which mass & micro media come together to revolutionize news.

3. A new breed of philanthropists want to fund Indiana Jones reenactments and giant hammocks. In chapters around the world, the Awesome Foundation now doles out “micro-genius grants for flashes of micro-brilliance.”

Diamond in the rough

In order to sell this everyday item, marketers mythologized it. And consumers happily paid excessive prices. What is it? Listen to find out. Read More...

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