playlist

Spooky, creepy talks for Halloween

While you carve your pumpkins and put the final touches on your costume, these talks will get you into the Halloween spirit.

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  1. 16:25
    Emma Teeling The secret of the bat genome

    In Western society, bats are often characterized as creepy, even evil. Zoologist Emma Teeling encourages us to rethink common attitudes toward bats, whose unique and fascinating biology gives us insight into our own genetic makeup.

  2. 18:01
    Jon Ronson Strange answers to the psychopath test

    Is there a definitive line that divides crazy from sane? With a hair-raising delivery, Jon Ronson, author of The Psychopath Test, illuminates the gray areas between the two. (With live-mixed sound by Julian Treasure and animation by Evan Grant.)

  3. 10:06
    Joshua Klein A thought experiment on the intelligence of crows

    Hacker and writer Joshua Klein is fascinated by crows. (Notice the gleam of intelligence in their little black eyes?) After a long amateur study of corvid behavior, he's come up with an elegant thought experiment: a machine that could form a new bond between animal and human.

  4. 6:32
    Jim Fallon Exploring the mind of a killer

    Psychopathic killers are the basis for some must-watch TV, but what really makes them tick? Neuroscientist Jim Fallon talks about brain scans and genetic analysis that may uncover the rotten wiring in the nature (and nurture) of murderers. In a too-strange-for-fiction twist, he shares a fascinating family history that makes his work chillingly personal.

  5. 18:02
    J.J. Abrams The mystery box

    J.J. Abrams traces his love for the unseen mystery –- a passion that's evident in his films and TV shows, including Lost, Star Trek and the upcoming Star Wars VII — back to its magical beginnings.

  6. 8:13
    Theo Jansen My creations, a new form of life

    Artist Theo Jansen demonstrates the amazingly lifelike kinetic sculptures he builds from plastic tubes and lemonade bottles. His creatures are designed to move — and even survive — on their own.

  7. 14:28
    Cheryl Hayashi The magnificence of spider silk

    Cheryl Hayashi studies spider silk, one of nature's most high-performance materials. Each species of spider can make up to 7 very different kinds of silk. How do they do it? Hayashi explains at the DNA level — then shows us how this super-strong, super-flexible material can inspire.

  8. 6:31
    Marco Tempest A magical tale (with augmented reality)

    Marco Tempest spins a beautiful story of what magic is, how it entertains us and how it highlights our humanity — all while working extraordinary illusions with his hands and an augmented reality machine.

  9. 13:14
    Ed Yong Zombie roaches and other parasite tales

    In this fascinating, hilarious and ever-so-slightly creepy talk, science writer Ed Yong tells the story of his favorite parasites — animals and organisms that live on the bodies (and brains!) of other organisms, causing them to do their bidding. Do humans have them too? Maybe ...

  10. 18:15
    Béatrice Coron Stories cut from paper

    With scissors and paper, artist Béatrice Coron creates intricate worlds, cities and countries, heavens and hells. Striding onstage in a glorious cape cut from Tyvek, she describes her creative process and the way her stories develop from snips and slices.