How the ‘John Oliver Effect’ Is Having a Real-Life Impact


TIME

Comedians mock our cultural and political institutions on TV all the time. But it’s not every day that a comic’s jokes crash a government website or directly inspire legislators to push for new laws.

John Oliver, host of HBO comedy news program Last Week Tonight, is quickly building up that level of cultural cachet. While his forebears and former colleagues Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart spend as much time lampooning the news media covering world events as they do analyzing events themselves, Oliver’s show stands out for its investigations into topics as varied as the militarization of the police state, Net neutrality and Argentina’s debt crisis.

MORE Feds Limit Law That Lets Cops Seize Your Stuff

Now Oliver’s approach has been cited as an inspiration for local government transparency. Just last week a Washington State legislator proposed a new bill that would let citizens comment on new legislation using videos…

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7 Things Learned From Watching TEDxCERN


1) Water is weird.
2) Thanks to a particle detector mounted on the International Space Station, scientists are keeping tabs on a lot of cosmic rays.
3) A surprising threat to the rainforest? Noise.
4) The future of antibiotics may lie in silver nanoparticles.
5) Cardiovascular medicine is becoming easier to get (in Cameroon).
6) We owe our lives to aerosol particles.
7) Despite what it may seem at times, we are living in a hugely exciting moment.

Read more about each thing at: 7 things learned from a day spent watching TEDxCERN

TED Blog

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Wednesday marked the second-ever TEDxCERN, the event organized by the folks at CERN, the famed particle physics research center in Geneva, Switzerland, responsible for bringing us the World Wide Web, the Large Hadron Collider, and confirmation of the existence of the Higgs boson. You know, just a few minor things.

TEDxCERN brought together a mix of experts from across the sciences and the world, people all working to answer the question: “What are the big ideas in science that will help us address tomorrow’s major global problems?” Particle physicist (and three-time TED speaker) Brian Cox served as quippy host, while more than a thousand attendees watched live in CERN’s Globe of Science and Innovation.

If you weren’t one of the lucky thousand, or were too swamped with work to catch the live webcast, don’t despair. We watched for you. And created a list of things we…

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