The union man

10 minutes

A janitor with dashed dreams of athletic stardom finds dignity in his work

Earl Thompson was a football player with great prospects in college until a fluke injury ended his dreams of a career as a pro athlete. Now working the night shift as a janitor at a Texas university, he tempers the disappointment and feelings of humiliation with a quiet but steadfast resolve to do good with his life. Focused on achieving new goals, Thompson brings dignity to the drudgery of his job, striking notes of occasional grace as he does work so often taken for granted.

Director: Bobby Lewis

Video/Gender & Sexuality

How a dairy farmer preached radical self-acceptance to his gay son in the 1950s

4 minutes


If soldiers act with unjust aggression they are as culpable as civilian criminals

6 minutes

Video/History of Technology

Breakthroughs, quackery and strange beauty: the afterlife of outmoded medical devices

5 minutes


A happy life is built on pleasures such as sex and food, but also company and variety

7 minutes


Tripping in the ICU

For those suffering the trauma of intensive care, the soothing swoosh of otherworldly ambient music can be a welcome gift

Charles Fernyhough

Idea/Cognition & Intelligence

The bilingual brain: why one size doesn’t fit all

Angela Grant

Video/Cognition & Intelligence

Optical illusions show how past experience dramatically influences perception

4 minutes

Idea/Social Psychology

Dishonesty gets easier on the brain the more you do it

Neil Garrett


Living in the now

She can paint, but not name a painting; learn new music without knowing a tune. Lonni Sue is teaching us much about memory.

Michael D Lemonick