TED: Do schools kill creativity? by Sir Ken Robinson

Sir Ken Robinson talks on education and creativity, and how our education system destroys creativity in children. This talk is extremely entertaining and rated one of the funniest talks on TED.com. Ken authored a number of books on education and creativity, and was knighted in June 2003 for his achievements in this area. Please enjoy.

Original video on TED.com (might be better quality).

Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism (2004) – documentary

If you’ve been long suspicious that “Fair and Balanced” slogan of Fox News channel is nothing but propaganda, you will enjoy this one. This documentary is harsh critics of the channel, exposing its huge right-wing bias and predatory journalism tactics. In my personal opinion, Fox News is anything but a “news channel”. Please see a list of Fox News Channel controversies on Wikipedia, I especially enjoyed the “photo manipulation” section.

“Outfoxed” official website.

Zeitgeist, the Movie (2007) – documentary

This pretty famous documentary was released free online in June 2007. Its main three topics are religion, the attack of 9/11 and the Federal Reserve bank, and views presented are rather conspirological. It won Best Feature Documentary at Activist Awards in 2007.

Although I am not a great fun of conspiracy theories, I must admit watching it was rather entertaining, so here it is:

It can be downloaded as AVI from here, but strangely not from the movie official website.

[Russian translation below]

Этот достаточно известный документальный фильм был выложен для просмотра бесплатно в июне 2007-го. В нем обсуждаются три темы: религия, террористическая атака на США 11 сентября, и Федеральный Резервная Система США, причем в довольно конспирологическом ключе. Фильм получил награду “Лучший Документальный Фильм” на церемонии Activist Awards в 2007 году.

Несмотря на то, что я критично отношусь к всевозможным “теориям заговора”, должен признать, что фильм смотреть было довольно интересно. Вот русскоязычная версия фильма на Google Video:

Shame on you, California! – Proposition 8 passes

My tears of joy from hearing about Barack Obama winning US presidential election had not yet run dry, as I was shocked and crushed to learn that Californians voted “Yes” on Proposition 8, which bans gay marriage in this state. I find it amusing that “Proposition Eight” and “Proposition Hate” sound so similar. 

It is my belief that the “Yes on Prop 8” campaign was based on lies, fear, bigotry and intimidation . Oh, and don’t forget appeals to God and Jesus the Saviour. Just take a look at their ads and videos of their supporters on YouTube. They want you to be scared of turning your kids gay through education and more public acceptance of gay couples, which is just laughable. Here’s a great video that goes into details on the Prop 8 Poll on IProtectMarriage.com:

The most shocking part is question #8 where they propel an old myth that homosexuality is a choice, despite most scientific research suggesting it is not, massive evidence of animals homosexual behavior (do they choose their lifestyles, too?), and plain logic – if it’s pure choice, why so many choose “the hard way”? They also seem to be quite scared of gay couple adopting kids, although, existing research suggests that neither it does increase chances of children growing gay, nor it strangles their social development and aptitude.

One of “Yes” campaign’s strongest arguments was that children would have to be taught about gay marriage in public schools. Although, I personally do not see anything wrong with it, it was also false, according to California Superintendent of Public Schools Jack O’Connell:

Here’s a great little parody on these lines of thinking:

When one of the smartest states falls victim to appeals to ignorance, stupid, God and religion, tactics of fear and intimidation, I am quite surprised (though relieved!) that the country as a whole withstood McCain’s campaign that pretty much employed the same strategy:

I’m heterosexual by the way, and I don’t even have any friends which I’d knew were gay. But sometimes I’m ashamed to be one. 😦

TED: how to survive a nuclear attack by Irwin Redlener

Disaster-medicine expert Dr. Irwin Redlener talks about the reality of nuclear terrorism, surviving a nuclear attack, what works and what doesn’t.

Original video on TED.com (might be better quality).

The Century of the Self (2002) – documentary

This 4 episodes BBC documentary explores the influence of Freud’s theory of psychoanalysis on PR, marketing industries and, later, politics. It tracks the emergence and shaping of the new “consumer citizen”, and how individualism affected elections in US and Great Britain. Won 2 and nominated for 4 best documentary awards.

Also available for AVI download from the Internet Archive.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

The Corporation (2003) – documentary

A must see Canadian documentary on the role, legal status and “evil-ness” of modern corporations. The film won 11 international awards, including Sundance Film Festival Audience Award.

Also can be downloaded in AVI format from here (direct link).

Part 1:

Part 2: