Denis Dutton has a provocative theory on beauty — that art, music and other beautiful things, far from being simply "in the eye of the beholder," are a core part of human nature with deep evolutionary origins.
Psychologist Nancy Etcoff joins philosopher Denis Dutton to explain why beauty inspires and motivates us. Etcoff says our response to beauty is visceral, and we use strong words — like "bombshell" — when we talk about it.
"Beauty draws us in. We can't stop looking or listening or touching. It takes us outside ourselves and it motivates us. It's essential to life and to happiness." — Nancy Etcoff
Beauty surrounds us, draws us in, gives joy and creates conflict. In this hour, TED speakers conjure up beauty both ancient and modern, and suggest reasons why humans are hardwired to crave and respond to beauty.
Originally published on Mon April 22, 2013 8:35 am
This isn't finished. But it will be. Two residential towers, dense with trees, will have their official opening later this year in downtown Milan, Italy, near the Porta Garibaldi railroad station. (The image is not a photograph, but an architect's rendering. The towers are built and the trees are going in right now.) I love this. I think these towers are gorgeous. Milan is a very polluted town; these trees will cleanse the air, pumping out oxygen and greening the cityscape.
Now, all of this began when the FBI released photos and videos yesterday of the two suspects in the marathon attack. Federal officials reportedly sifted through terabytes of data - an unbelievable amount of data - much of it images and videos recorded near the finish line. Now, if you were to sit down and watch it all, it would take one person years to do. However, as NPR's Steve Henn reports, in past decades, technology has transformed how these large-scale investigations play out.
The small squares superimposed on this image of the Milky Way galaxy show where in the sky the Kepler telescope is hunting for Earth-like planets. Kepler, which launched in 2009, has identified more than 100 planets.
Astronomers have found three planets orbiting far-off stars that are close to Earth-sized and in the "habitable zone": a distance from their suns that makes the planets' surfaces neither too hot nor too cold, but just right.
One of the three planets orbits a star with the prosaic name Kepler-69.