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  • What is the Tragedy of the Commons? – Nicholas Amendolare | TED-Ed (2017)

    What is the Tragedy of the Commons? – Nicholas Amendolare | TED-Ed (2017)

    The tragedy of the commons is an economic hypothesis popularized in 1968 by ecologist Garrett Hardin. The concept was examined in a 1987 BBC documentary called “Nice Guys Finish First” by Richard Dawkins with a game theoretical framework. The Tragedy of the Commons predicts ecological degradation due to human conflict of self-interest over the long-term well-being of their community. There are many examples of common resource exploitation such as destruction of cashew trees in Mozambic. However, this theory was heavily […]

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  • The Last Neanderthal – Pierangelo Pirak (2016)

    The Last Neanderthal – Pierangelo Pirak (2016)

    Neandertals form a curious part of Human heritage. Fossil and genetic evidence suggest that the two Human populations split sometime between 400,000 to 800,000 years ago. Neandertals went extinct 30,000 years ago. For decades, the general impression about the Neandertals were as brutish, primitive beings. However the more we investigate the more we learn and become intrigued about these master ice age survivors. The director Pierangelo Pirak’s documentary is a concatenation of multiple short episodes exploring issues such as what […]

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  • Cave of Forgotten Dreams – Werner Herzog (2010)

    Cave of Forgotten Dreams – Werner Herzog (2010)

    Since its discovery in 1994 it was quickly realized that the Chauvet Cave of France harbors one of the most impressive art ever been studied belonging to Aurignacian. The Werner Herzog documentary articulates the findings in his characteristic story telling style. Archeologists had a bitter experience in opening such caves to public. The Lascaux cave paintings have been sadly damaged beyond repair due to increased humidity from visitors breath. Happily we can take a virtual tour of the Chauvet cave […]

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  • Ice Age Art – Arrival of the Modern Mind

    Ice Age Art – Arrival of the Modern Mind

    Starting from the middle paleolithic going back to 100 thousand years Human intellect shows strong signs of complex behavior. Cognitive capacity were in place to track seasons, animal movements and resources spatially distributed over large areas. Here you will find a concatenation of short clips compiled from scholarly resources such as the Nature Magazine, the British Museum, the Khan Academy, the Economist and the National Geographic all featuring great examples of art within the last 40,000 years. These include the […]

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  • 48 Cantones: The Mayan Forest – Thomas & Julian Moll-Rocek (2014)

    48 Cantones: The Mayan Forest – Thomas & Julian Moll-Rocek (2014)

    In their documentary, Thomas & Julian Moll-Rocek explore the Mayan Cosmovision. For Meso-Americans this is a worldview that integrates the structure of space and rhythms of time into a unified whole. In Guatemala’s western mountains, in the state of Totonicapán, a large community forest has prospered for centuries adjacent to densely populated valleys. The Mayan forest cover the hills and the mountain ridge. The management of local resources by the Mayan community provides a counter-argument for the ‘tragedy of the […]

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  • NASA TV live

    NASA TV live

    Ever since the successful landing of Mars rover Curiosity in August 6th of 2012, NASA TV broadcasts have experienced a big surge in viewers. Since then many other successful missions and interesting Earth-based as well as cosmic phenomena have been transmitted to curious masses of viewers all over the world. NASA TV has a rich body of programming including about analysis of significant global events such as the Chelyabinsk airburst event. There are regular broadcasts from the International Space Station. […]

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  • The Man Who Planted Trees – CBS – (1987)

    The Man Who Planted Trees – CBS – (1987)

    Forests are under intense pressure. The story by the French author Jean Giono published in 1953 is one of the most poetic depiction of landscape restoration that has touched feelings of so many people. The story inspired many restoration projects around the world. When read it for the first time many thought it was real. In fact, there are genuine independent reforestation projects impressively achieved by determined individuals and NGOs such as Plant a Billion and People and Reforestation in […]

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  • Protecting Forests – Equator Initiative (2015)

    Protecting Forests – Equator Initiative (2015)

    Under the umbrella of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Equator Initiative supports the work of local and indigenous communities worldwide in creating sustainable development solutions. In 2015, the Equator Prize was awarded to 20 communities in recognition of their efforts. This short film highlights the work of five of the recipients of the Equator Initiative Prize protecting forests around the world. These include Wanang Conservation Area in Papua New Guinea, Prey Lang Community Network in Cambodia, Mtandao wa […]

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  • Forest Man – William D. McMaster (2013)

    Forest Man – William D. McMaster (2013)

    Since 1979, Jadav Payeng has been planting hundreds of trees on an Indian river island threatened by erosion. Payeng is truly the embodiment of the protagonist in the famous story “The Man Who Planted Trees” published in 1953 by the French author Jean Giono. The photographer Jitu Kalita guides us through Payeng’s home the Majuli Island. This is the largest river island in the world located on Brahmaputra River. Floods generated by monsoon season threatens the Majuli Island by rapid […]

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  • Origins of Human Cumulative Culture – UCL (2017)

    Origins of Human Cumulative Culture – UCL (2017)

    Captain James Cook was fascinated by Polynesians’ ability to converse with each other. In Tahiti a high priest named Tupaia got on board and accompanied him along their voyage to Hawaii. Despite the fact that the two islands were separated by more than 2500 miles Tupaia was able to converse perfectly with Hawaiians. In order to maintain a common language these seemingly isolated islands must have been connected by frequent trans-oceanic voyages. Genetical and ecological theory dictates that connectivity is […]

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  • At an Mbendjele Camp in Congo – Gül Deniz Salalı (2015)

    At an Mbendjele Camp in Congo – Gül Deniz Salalı (2015)

    These footage were recorded in an Mbendjele BaYaka Pygmies camp of northern Congo-Brazzaville during a year long field study on Human behavior by a UCL researcher Gül Deniz Salalı. The Mbendjele camp filmed here is called Masia. The videos highlighted here are a part of a much larger project aiming to understand the origins of the human cumulative culture. The main video shows how a woman named Semoi (wearing red African fabric) harvests tubers of wild yam (Dioscorea) locally called […]

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  • The Navigators / Pathfinders of the Pacific – Sanford Low and Boyd Estus (1983)

    The Navigators / Pathfinders of the Pacific – Sanford Low and Boyd Estus (1983)

    Navigation on the open ocean has been a grand challenge for Humanity. Vikings used Icelandic feldspar chrystals called sunstones enabling detection of the direction of the sun through polarizing light. Chinese used magnetic compass. Calculation of the longitude was an immense problem. Celestial objects have been used by almost all seafarers globally. Polinesians mastered the star compass technique and carried it to a new level in Human history. “The Navigators” was co-directed by Sam Low and Boyd Estus covering the […]

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  • Domestication as a Signature of Human Nature / One Man and His Dog – BBC (1985)

    Domestication as a Signature of Human Nature / One Man and His Dog – BBC (1985)

    Johnny Wilson and his dogs earned their fame when they won BBC2’s One Man and His Dog competition. Here in this short clip we see a remarkable section from the program that highlights a signature of one of the hallmark characters in Human nature: Domestication. Domestication expanded Human abilities beyond the natural boundaries. Note that domestication in animals almost always starts with selection of “behavior”. Using this unintentional primary cue as a starting point Humans in different parts of the […]

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  • Welcome to the Anthropocene – a Film About the State of the Planet – UN Rio+20 Summit (2012)

    Welcome to the Anthropocene – a Film About the State of the Planet – UN Rio+20 Summit (2012)

    Due to Human activities our planet has now reported to have entered into a “no analog state”. This means our planet has never experienced fast changing present-day conditions in its geological and evolutionary history. The closest geological event to what is happening now is known as (PETM) Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum. PETM took place 56 million years ago. Changes happening now is way too fast, much faster than those in PETM. We are indeed in a no analog state in ecological […]

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  • Great Moments in Science with Dr Karl – Karl Kruszelnicki – Royal Institution (2015)

    Great Moments in Science with Dr Karl – Karl Kruszelnicki – Royal Institution (2015)

    Dr. Karl Kruszelnicki is an Australian science communicator with an amazing talent for concatenating subjects with a free-associative style. Just watch his whirlwind lecture full of interesting and eccentric facts and learn…

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