Note To Self Host Manoush Zomorodi talks with everyone from big names techies to elementary school teachers about the effects of technology on our lives, in a quest for the smart choices that will help you think and live better.
Note To Self

Note To Self

From WNYC Radio

Host Manoush Zomorodi talks with everyone from big names techies to elementary school teachers about the effects of technology on our lives, in a quest for the smart choices that will help you think and live better.More from Note To Self »

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Bonus: Behind the Scenes at TED

TED! TED!! TED!!! A few months ago, Manoush traveled to Vancouver to tell the story of Bored and Brilliant on the TED main stage. And yes, it was big, and nerve-wracking, and totally exhilarating. Listen for her behind-the-scenes memories, and then watch the talk here. Oh, and pre-order the Bored and Brilliant book if you haven't already. Because full transparency: algorithms love pre-orders, and more means the book might make it to Amazon's homepage. Which means more wacko experiments for us to do together in the future. We want to hear from you (as always). If you did the Bored and Brilliant project in 2015, what's the one thing that sticks out in your mind two years later? Maybe you made a change to your phone habits? Maybe you watch a pot of water boil when you need to solve a problem in your life? I want to know what continues to resonate most with you. For those wacko experiments to come. Share a memory, a story, a tip with us. Record a voice memo and email it to notetoself@wnyc.org. Don't forget to binge our Save the Planet five-pack, if you haven't already. Whale poop, giant vacuum cleaners, hard-shelled plants - it's a weird and wonderful world out there. And in your feed.

Save the Planet! Part 1: I'm Gonna Take My Clothes Off

This is part of our five-episode pack on how science and technology can fight climate change. With better air conditioning, more whale poop, souped-up plants, and a giant vacuum. If all else fails, planet B. With David Biello, science curator at TED, author of The Unnatural World: The Race to Remake Civilization in Earth's Newest Age, and contributing editor at Scientific American. It's August. It's hot, and no, you're not imagining things, it is getting hotter. But whatever New York Magazine says, we can still save the planet. And technology can help. We kick off our five-part series with a look at one technology the planet can't live with, and humans can't (or won't) live without. Air conditioning. As the planet heats up, we're blasting it in more places, and more often. Which heats the planet more, so we need more AC, and around and around. But there is a better way. Thanks, in part, to the internet of things. And a little tweak from you.

Save the Planet! Part 2: Whale Poop

This is part of our five-episode pack on how science and technology can fight climate change. With better air conditioning, more whale poop, souped-up plants, and a giant vacuum. If all else fails, planet B. With David Biello, science curator at TED, author of The Unnatural World: The Race to Remake Civilization in Earth's Newest Age, and contributing editor at Scientific American. We love blue whales. They're our ocean's majestic, floating giants. They have hearts the size of cars. They travel alone or with a single friend. And also they poop. Super-fertilizing, massive turds. The iron in whale poop fertilizes ocean algae. Which then blooms, makes oxygen for us, and helps sink CO2 into the Earth. Our guide David explains how whale poop has inspired innovations, like iron fertilization and ocean gardening. And how other technologies, riskier but cheaper ones, are stealing the spotlight a little. Note to self, beware of the climate change quick fix.

Save the Planet! Part 3: Super Powered Sweet Corn

This is part of our five-episode pack on how science and technology can fight climate change. With better air conditioning, more whale poop, souped-up plants, and a giant vacuum. If all else fails, planet B. With David Biello, science curator at TED, author of The Unnatural World: The Race to Remake Civilization in Earth's Newest Age, and contributing editor at Scientific American. Do you want a blue tomato? Because we can make one, thanks to the magic of gene editing. The question, of course, is should we. Genetically-modified foods have been a battleground for years. And the debate about genetically-modified humans is ratcheting up. But what about tweaking the genes in algae? David Biello says we can alter our plants to suck up more CO2 - buying us a little time to get our carbon-spewing habits under control. Closer to home, we can aim for control over our meat-heavy, food-wasting diets. Meatless Mondays, meet tofu Tuesday and fried-egg Friday.

Save the Planet! Part 4: Suck It

This is part of our five-episode pack on how science and technology can fight climate change. With better air conditioning, more whale poop, souped-up plants, and a giant vacuum. If all else fails, planet B. With David Biello, science curator at TED, author of The Unnatural World: The Race to Remake Civilization in Earth's Newest Age, and contributing editor at Scientific American. Humans produce a lot of CO2. When we burn coal, drive a car, take a plane. When we breathe, except we can't help that. Unfortunately, carbon emissions are what's heating up the planet - shooting out of our tailpipes and smoke stacks into the atmosphere. This week, tackling those emissions with a giant vacuum, taking the CO2 and sticking it underground. Which sounds suspiciously like that classic teenage slob move - shove your mess into the closet, deal with it later. Luckily, underground turns out to be a pretty big place. Bigger than our New York City closets, at least.

Save the Planet! Part 5: Do Over?

This is part of our five-episode pack on how science and technology can fight climate change. With better air conditioning, more whale poop, souped-up plants, and a giant vacuum. If all else fails, planet B. With David Biello, science curator at TED, author of The Unnatural World: The Race to Remake Civilization in Earth's Newest Age, and contributing editor at Scientific American. Mars is the escape hatch, the backup plan. Planet B. Except for one thing. Mars is uniquely hostile to humans. Its surface is basically rocket fuel. Which means that for Mars to sustain human life, it needs a lot of support from Earth. Oops. So why talk about it at all? Because it sparks innovation - solar panels were an offshoot of the space race. Because it's freaking cool. And because it inspires. But let's not put all our eggs in that space shuttle just yet.

Escape From Yahoo!

Manoush has a secret tech shame: a Yahoo email address. Even with the (three) hacks, the company's sale to Verizon, and its plummeting cool factor, she's stayed. Call it loyalty, inertia, or a bad case of privacy paradox. We heard from many of you, listeners, about your own digital traps. The services you just can't seem to log out of, even when you probably should. This week: the tech loyalties we keep past their expiration date. And how to extricate yourself - logistically and emotionally. Plus, what happens when big companies like Verizon buy big companies like Yahoo. Because it happens a lot, and there are casualties besides your pride. With Brian Feldman, writer for New York Magazine, and Andy Yen, founder of ProtonMail. Maybe the best escape hatch is an encrypted folder in Switzerland.

Your Mailman is A Drug Dealer. He Just Doesn't Know It.

The Dark Web conjures images of gothic fonts and black backgrounds, like a metal fan's MySpace page circa 2001. But this section of the internet looks surprisingly normal. Accessible only through the TOR browser, there are Google-style search engines and Amazon-style marketplaces. Except what they're selling are mostly illegal things—stolen passports, hacked account numbers, and drugs. A lot of drugs. This week, we stress out WNYC'S IT department and venture onto the Dark Web. Where you can get heroin, fentanyl, or oxycontin shipped right to your door via USPS. And we talk to Nick Bilton, author of American Kingpin: The Epic Hunt for the Criminal Mastermind Behind the Silk Road, about how Libertarian philosophy and tech-bro hubris combined to spark an online drug revolution—and an opioid crisis.

Should We Post Photos of Our Kids Online?

There's David after the dentist. The BBC interview crashers. The Charlie bit my finger kid. That hero girl blanking Snow White. To say nothing of the baby pics in your Facebook feed, kid pics in your Instagram, and the teens in your Snapchat. Kids are all over the Internet. But... should they be? This week, we revisit a friendly debate about whether or not to post pics of children. With one of our favorite podcast hosts, Hillary Frank of the Longest Shortest Time. TELL US WHAT YOU THINK Do your parents post pictures of you? Or did they when you were younger? Do you post pictures of your kid? Let us know. Our team made two surveys—one for parents and guardians, one for teens and young adults. Take just a couple minutes to answer, then share the surveys with your networks. It's all research for an upcoming episode.

When Was the Last Time You Peed Without Your Phone?

Yeah, it's been a while for us too. So after a long weekend of photo sharing, music streaming, and group texts, let's reset. It's the Bored and Brilliant bootcamp: three quick challenges to help you make space for brilliance in our accelerating world. Maybe you've heard this episode before, but even if you have, a boredom refresher can't hurt. Take some time to daydream, and see what ideas bubble up as your mind wanders. Try the radio instead of Spotify. Chase down the ice cream truck instead of ordering Postmates. Stare at the clouds instead of Facebook. Just for a day. Or an hour. It'll feel weird. And then it'll feel great.

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