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The Rise of Social Networking

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In this video segment from FRONTLINE: "Digital Nation," teens talk about why they use social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook.

Water Pressures | Students in India

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Follow a group of Northwestern University students as they live in the villages of Rajasthan, India and experience a water crisis firsthand, in this video clip from Water Pressures.

Doctors Need Cheaper, Faster Ways to Detect Ebola Virus

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See what is being done to update diagnostic tests used in the fight against Ebola with this video and educational resources from PBS NewsHour from June 5, 2015.

The Next Outbreak? | Spillover - Zika, Ebola & Beyond: Part 10

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As global populations continue to grow and spread, strong healthcare systems are critical to disease prevention. OXITEC is a biotechnology company that has released a genetically modified mosquito in hopes of reducing the spread of Zika virus. At Connaught Hosipital in Sierra Leone, a much-anticipated trial Ebola virus vaccine is now available. 

Is Your Fleece Jacket Polluting the Oceans? | Above the Noise

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By 2050, the World Economic Forum predicts that the amount of plastic in the oceans will outweigh ALL the fish. When you hear “plastic” pollution, you might picture six-pack rings wrapped around seagulls or beaches littered with plastic bottles. But now, researchers are discovering a new menace -- microfibers. They're tiny strands of synthetic fibers that come from the synthetic clothing that many of us love to wear -- think fleece jackets and yoga pants. Find out what we can do about microfiber pollution in this week's Above the Noise video.

Do You Choose To Have Your Privacy Invaded By Using Tech? | PBS Idea Channel

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The recent Heartbleed bug was, for many, just another reminder that our information will never be secure on the internet. We feel vulnerable and hopeless in the face of a long string of privacy concerns, and many argue that this is an inevitable result of technology. But since our culture has wholly jumped on the digital bandwagon, do we as individuals truly choose to sacrifice our privacy? Or maybe the better question is, how much do we even choose to use technology? 

Is There an Introvert Craze Because of Technology? | PBS Idea Channel

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Introverts are super popular right now, celebrated to the point of meme-level. Stereotypically quiet, smart, and reserved, they are often conflated with nerds, who are also currently deemed awesome according to pop culture. But why do we suddenly want to self-identify as nerds and introverts? Is this popularity connected to technology? 

Are There Internet Dialects? | PBS Idea Channel

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We consider ourselves natives of Internetland, which has made us wonder if there's such a thing as an internet dialect. Is there a common way of communicating through word choice, vocabulary, and how these words are arranged and used? So what is Standard Internet Speak? Acronyms, emoticons, and hashtags? Purposeful misspellings and abbreviations? 

Net Neutrality: Is the Internet a Public Utility? | PBS Idea Channel

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Is the internet a public utility? No. Should it be? That's an interesting question. The internet, as we've said many a time, is a glorious series of tubes, and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) sell us access to those tubes. But the FCC is considering a new two tiered system, in which some companies could pay ISPs for faster delivery. This topic (aka net neutrality) has made us think about the important role the internet plays in our lives. Is internet access so important that it should be classified as a public utility or common carrier, like water & electricity, or public buses and subways? 

How Powerful Are Algorithms? | PBS Idea Channel

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If you've ever used Google, Netflix, Facebook, or Amazon, then you've come into contact with algorithms. In fact, it's guaranteed that your life has been impacted by algorithms, even in ways you're unaware of. The importance of algorithms in today's world cannot be overstated, and their role has been the focus of much discussion- especially in how they're shaping our lives, for better or for worse. But, how far does the algorithmic rabbit hole go? Could their influence even have spiritual correlations? 

LITERALLY OUR MOST AMAZING EPISODE EVER!!! | PBS Idea Channel

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"This is literally the best episode of Idea Channel EVER." Is it? Or are we just continuing the cultural trend of hyperbole? (side note: the episode is pretty gosh darn enjoyable) It's like EVERY SINGLE THING people describe is AWESOME and AMAZING and THE BEST. We're all seemingly competing to have the ultimate meaningful experiences, so how are we supposed to articulate genuine sentiment? I mean it's THE WORST I cannot even. Literally, I can't even find words to accurately describe the limits to our vocabulary and our ability to express true enthusiasm. So where does our vernacular develop from here? 

Coffee, Mesmerism, and Morning Routines | PBS Idea Channel

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This episode is about glorious morning coffee. Or, more specifically, about our time-tested morning routines. Everybody has their morning routine that they rely on and cling to dearly. The simple acts of brewing coffee, showering, and whatever else you do makes that first act of climbing out of bed easier. The comfort and familiarity of those repeated actions give us a sense of ownership, and cause us to self identify with these simple set of actions. So what is it about these routines that make them so important to us? Watch the episode to find out, and tell us what you think!

Did Someone Say Philosophical? | PBS Idea Channel

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In this short episode, Mike responds to Michael from VSauce's philosophical question: Are the bacteria and skin cells that live on your body "You?"

What Do Hot Sauce Labels Say About America? | PBS Idea Channel

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Peppers are the essence of hot sauce, and hot sauce is the essence of spicy. You might be a hot sauce lover, but how much thought have you given to their labels? If you've ever taken a second to examine them, you might notice some patterns and similarities amongst them. What does this say about Americans' attitude towards hot sauces, or even towards food in general? 

What Is Personal Information?

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Personal information identifies who we are, where we live, and how family, friends and others can find us to talk to us or come over and visit us. Personal information can help us communicate with others, but we have to be careful with that information when on the computer.

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