See the big ones broken down here. Python is named after the British humor troupe, Monty Python. In fact, its creator resisted snake imagery for a long time. This young Canadian programmer breaks down the big jokes and then previews her efforts to find more.
A History of Ideas, animated, on YouTube. Philosophical concepts in under 2 minutes from the BBC Radio 4 programme | A History of Ideas, animated, on BBC Radio | All episodes, both animated and podcasts on BBC, downloadable. Narrated by Gillian Anderson and others. A fresh take on the History of Ideas as big subjects like beauty, freedom, technology and morality get dissected by a team of thinkers.
Quintin Smith (of Shut Up & Sit Down) argues that we're entering a golden age of boardgames (45m Vimeo talk). [more inside]
In this sprightly talk (transcript and video) Daniel Lieberman describes why our bodies are so good at running long distances, how our social intelligence developed and how modernity and capitalism require us to learn (or relearn) how to use our bodies. (May inspire tolerance for people who wear five-fingered shoes.) Prof. Lieberman studies human evolution at Harvard where he focuses on heads and feet. (via Tyler Cowen)
Australia's Qantas Airlines has been left red-faced after an ill-timed public relations campaign and Twitter competition backfired, drawing thousands of angry responses. The contest ran a day after talks with unions broke down, and after Qantas grounded its entire fleet in October. Thousands of passengers were stranded worldwide after the firm halted flights in an attempt to end months of strike action by workers angered by the firm's restructuring plans. The "Qantas Luxury" promotion, launched on 22 November, quickly tapped into customers' ire. ~ BBC
You know about TED, but do you know about the WGBH Forum Network? A project of the venerable Boston public TV station, the Forum is a web platform which aggregates lectures from cultural institutions, museums, libraries, bookstores, and colleges across the US - everything from current research in social science and hard science to author and poet talks. Presentations vary in topic, length, format, and level of eggheadiness, but if you love ideas, you'll find some good stuff here. Streams on demand, downloads often available if you register.
The Kavli Institute of Theoretical Physics hosts a treasure-trove of online scientific talks from leading scientists in their fields. [more inside]
Live From Davos: Frank talk and subtle spin as heads of state take Q&A from corporate honchos, in a session heavy on talk of terror: John Ashcroft shares the stage with Prince Turki al Faisal al Saud, Pervez Musharraf touts his vision of "enlightened moderation," the handsome young King of Jordan keeps his finger on the roadmap, and embattled Ecuadoran president Lucio Gutierrez takes a break from the tear gas to reassure skeptical capital markets. CSPAN for foreign filmgoers. (RealPlayer and Windows Media)
Is peace now possible in Israel? In the wake of this terrible tragedy, perhaps one good thing may come of it: solid talks between Israel and the Palestinians. After Arafat announced a unilateral cease fire, the Israeli military disbanded all forces from Palestinian zones. If something comes of this, it could set a majestic example for the rest of the world. Is it wishful thinking to believe that peace can, at long last, happen somewhere on this wartorn planet?