Katie Bouman: What does a black hole look like?

TEDxBeaconStreet

Katie Bouman: What does a black hole look like?

November 19, 2016


At the heart of the Milky Way, there's a supermassive black hole that feeds off a spinning disk of hot gas, sucking up anything that ventures too close -- even light. We can't see it, but its event horizon casts a shadow, and an image of that shadow could help answer some important questions about the universe. Scientists used to think that making such an image would require a telescope the size of Earth -- until Katie Bouman and a team of astronomers came up with a clever alternative. Learn more about how we can see in the ultimate dark.

Emtithal Mahmoud: A young poet tells the story of Darfur

TEDMED 2016

Emtithal Mahmoud: A young poet tells the story of Darfur

November 30, 2016


Emtithal "Emi" Mahmoud writes poetry of resilience, confronting her experience of escaping the genocide in Darfur in verse. She shares two stirring original poems about refugees, family, joy and sorrow, asking, "Will you witness me?"

Moshe Szyf: How early life experience is written into DNA

TEDxBratislava

Moshe Szyf: How early life experience is written into DNA

July 3, 2016


Moshe Szyf is a pioneer in the field of epigenetics, the study of how living things reprogram their genome in response to social factors like stress and lack of food. His research suggests that biochemical signals passed from mothers to offspring tell the child what kind of world they're going to live in, changing the expression of genes. "DNA isn't just a sequence of letters; it's not just a script." Szyf says. "DNA is a dynamic movie in which our experiences are being written."

Katie Hinde: What we don't know about mother's milk

TEDWomen 2016

Katie Hinde: What we don't know about mother's milk

October 26, 2016


Breast milk grows babies' bodies, fuels neurodevelopment, provides essential immunofactors and safeguards against famine and disease -- why, then, does science know more about tomatoes than mother's milk? Katie Hinde shares insights into this complex, life-giving substance and discusses the major gaps scientific research still needs to fill so we can better understand it.

Ashton Cofer: A young inventor's plan to recycle Styrofoam

TED-Ed Weekend

Ashton Cofer: A young inventor's plan to recycle Styrofoam

December 3, 2016


From packing peanuts to disposable coffee cups, each year the US alone produces some two billion pounds of Styrofoam -- none of which can be recycled. Frustrated by this waste of resources and landfill space, Ashton Cofer and his science fair teammates developed a heating treatment to break down used Styrofoam into something useful. Check out their original design, which won the Scientific American Innovator Award from Google Science Fair.

Mona Chalabi: 3 ways to spot a bad statistic

TEDNYC

Mona Chalabi: 3 ways to spot a bad statistic

February 15, 2017


Polls that predict political candidates' chances to two decimal places are a problem. But we shouldn't count out stats altogether ... instead, we should learn to look behind them. In this delightful, hilarious talk, data journalist Mona Chalabi shares handy tips to help question, interpret and truly understand what the numbers are saying.

Sō Percussion: "Music for Wood and Strings"

TED2016

Sō Percussion: "Music for Wood and Strings"

February 15, 2016


Sō Percussion creates adventurous compositions with new, unconventional instruments. Performing "Music for Wood and Strings" by Bryce Dessner of The National, the quartet plays custom-made dulcimer-like instruments that combine the sound of an electric guitar with the percussionist's toolkit to create a hypnotic effect.

Gretchen Carlson, David Brooks: Political common ground in a polarized United States

TED Dialogues

Gretchen Carlson, David Brooks: Political common ground in a polarized United States

March 1, 2017


How can we bridge the gap between left and right to have a wiser, more connected political conversation? Journalist Gretchen Carlson and op-ed columnist David Brooks share insights on the tensions at the heart of American politics today -- and where we can find common ground. Followed by a rousing performance of "America the Beautiful" by Vy Higginsen's Gospel Choir of Harlem.

Simon Anholt: How would the rest of the world vote in your country's election?

TEDxFrankfurt

Simon Anholt: How would the rest of the world vote in your country's election?

November 29, 2016


To make the world work, we need leaders who consider the needs of every man, woman, child and animal on the planet -- not just their own voters. With the Global Vote, an online platform that lets anybody, anywhere in the world vote in the election of any country on earth, policy advisor Simon Anholt hopes to fill the gap between the few people who elect the world's most powerful leaders ... and the rest of us.

Dan Bell: Inside America's dead shopping malls

TEDxMidAtlantic

Dan Bell: Inside America's dead shopping malls

October 21, 2016


What happens when a mall falls into ruin? Filmmaker Dan Bell guides us through abandoned monoliths of merchandise, providing a surprisingly funny and lyrical commentary on consumerism, youth culture and the inspiration we can find in decay.

Michele L. Sullivan: Asking for help is a strength, not a weakness

TEDWomen 2016

Michele L. Sullivan: Asking for help is a strength, not a weakness

October 26, 2016


We all go through challenges -- some you can see, most you can't, says Michele L. Sullivan. In a talk about perspective, Sullivan shares stories full of wit and wisdom and reminds us that we're all part of each other's support systems. "The only shoes you can walk in are your own," she says. "With compassion, courage and understanding, we can walk together, side by side."

Peter Weinstock: Lifelike simulations that make real-life surgery safer

TEDxNatick

Peter Weinstock: Lifelike simulations that make real-life surgery safer

January 23, 2016


Critical care doctor Peter Weinstock shows how surgical teams are using a blend of Hollywood special effects and 3D printing to create amazingly lifelike reproductions of real patients -- so they can practice risky surgeries ahead of time. Think: "Operate twice, cut once." Glimpse the future of surgery in this forward-thinking talk.

Silk Road Ensemble: "Turceasca"

TED2016

Silk Road Ensemble: "Turceasca"

February 15, 2016


Grammy-winning Silk Road Ensemble display their eclectic convergence of violin, clarinet, bass, drums and more in this energetic rendition of the traditional Roma tune, "Turceasca."

John Koenig: Beautiful new words to describe obscure emotions

TEDxBerkeley

John Koenig: Beautiful new words to describe obscure emotions

February 6, 2016


John Koenig loves finding words that express our unarticulated feelings -- like "lachesism," the hunger for disaster, and "sonder," the realization that everyone else's lives are as complex and unknowable as our own. Here, he meditates on the meaning we assign to words and how these meanings latch onto us.

Peggy Orenstein: What young women believe about their own sexual pleasure

TEDWomen 2016

Peggy Orenstein: What young women believe about their own sexual pleasure

October 26, 2016


Why do girls feel empowered to engage in sexual activity but not to enjoy it? For three years, author Peggy Orenstein interviewed girls ages 15 to 20 about their attitudes toward and experiences of sex. She discusses the pleasure that's largely missing from their sexual encounters and calls on us to close the "orgasm gap" by talking candidly with our girls from an early age about sex, bodies, pleasure and intimacy.

Caitlin Doughty: A burial practice that nourishes the planet

TEDMED 2016

Caitlin Doughty: A burial practice that nourishes the planet

November 30, 2016


Here's a question we all have to answer sooner or later: What do you want to happen to your body when you die? Funeral director Caitlin Doughty explores new ways to prepare us for inevitable mortality. In this thoughtful talk, learn more about ideas for burial (like "recomposting" and "conservation burial") that return our bodies back to the earth in an eco-friendly, humble and self-aware way.

Jude Kelly: Why women should tell the stories of humanity

TEDWomen 2016

Jude Kelly: Why women should tell the stories of humanity

October 26, 2016


For many centuries (and for many reasons) critically acclaimed creative genius has generally come from a male perspective. As theater director Jude Kelly points out in this passionately reasoned talk, that skew affects how we interpret even non-fictional women's stories and rights. She thinks there's a more useful, more inclusive way to look at the world, and she calls on artists -- women and men -- to paint, draw, write about, film and imagine a gender-equal society.

Joy Buolamwini: How I'm fighting bias in algorithms

TEDxBeaconStreet

Joy Buolamwini: How I'm fighting bias in algorithms

November 19, 2016


MIT grad student Joy Buolamwini was working with facial recognition software when she noticed a problem: the software didn't recognize her face -- because the people who coded the algorithm hadn't taught it to identify a broad range of skin tones and facial structures. Now she's on a mission to fight bias in machine learning, a phenomenon she calls the "coded gaze." It's an eye-opening talk about the need for accountability in coding ... as algorithms take over more and more aspects of our lives.

Caroline Paul: To raise brave girls, encourage adventure

TEDWomen 2016

Caroline Paul: To raise brave girls, encourage adventure

October 26, 2016


Gutsy girls skateboard, climb trees, clamber around, fall down, scrape their knees, get right back up -- and grow up to be brave women. Learn how to spark a little productive risk-taking and raise confident girls with stories and advice from firefighter, paraglider and all-around adventurer Caroline Paul.

Megan Phelps-Roper: I grew up in the Westboro Baptist Church. Here's why I left

TEDNYC

Megan Phelps-Roper: I grew up in the Westboro Baptist Church. Here's why I left

February 15, 2017


What's it like to grow up within a group of people who exult in demonizing ... everyone else? Megan Phelps-Roper shares details of life inside America's most controversial church and describes how conversations on Twitter were key to her decision to leave it. In this extraordinary talk, she shares her personal experience of extreme polarization, along with some sharp ways we can learn to successfully engage across ideological lines.

Carrie Poppy: A scientific approach to the paranormal

TEDxVienna

Carrie Poppy: A scientific approach to the paranormal

October 22, 2016


What's haunting Carrie Poppy? Is it ghosts or something worse? In this talk, the investigative journalist narrates her encounter with a spooky feeling you'll want to warn your friends about and explains why we need science to deal with paranormal activity.

Sara Ramirez: "Rollercoaster"

TED Talks Live

Sara Ramirez: "Rollercoaster"

November 1, 2015


Singer, songwriter and actress Sara Ramirez is a woman of many talents. Joined by Michael Pemberton on guitar, Ramirez sings of opportunity, wisdom and the highs and lows of life in this live performance of her song, "Rollercoaster."

Ani Liu: Smelfies, and other experiments in synthetic biology

TEDxBeaconStreet

Ani Liu: Smelfies, and other experiments in synthetic biology

November 19, 2016


What if you could take a smell selfie, a smelfie? What if you had a lipstick that caused plants to grow where you kiss? Ani Liu explores the intersection of technology and sensory perception, and her work is wedged somewhere between science, design and art. In this swift, smart talk, she shares dreams, wonderings and experiments, asking: What happens when science fiction becomes science fact?

Kathy Hull: Stories from a home for terminally ill children

TEDWomen 2016

Kathy Hull: Stories from a home for terminally ill children

October 26, 2016


To honor and celebrate young lives cut short, Kathy Hull founded the first hospice for children in the United States, the George Mark Children's House. Its mission: to give terminally ill children and their families a peaceful place to say goodbye. She shares stories brimming with wisdom, joy, imagination and heartbreaking loss.

Lux Narayan: What I learned from 2,000 obituaries

TEDNYC

Lux Narayan: What I learned from 2,000 obituaries

January 26, 2017


Lux Narayan starts his day with scrambled eggs and the question: "Who died today?" Why? By analyzing 2,000 New York Times obituaries over a 20-month period, Narayan gleaned, in just a few words, what achievement looks like over a lifetime. Here he shares what those immortalized in print can teach us about a life well lived.

Jeff Kirschner: This app makes it fun to pick up litter

TED Residency

Jeff Kirschner: This app makes it fun to pick up litter

December 13, 2016


The earth is a big place to keep clean. With Litterati -- an app for users to identify, collect and geotag the world's litter -- TED Resident Jeff Kirschner has created a community that's crowdsource-cleaning the planet. After tracking trash in more than 100 countries, Kirschner hopes to use the data he's collected to work with brands and organizations to stop litter before it reaches the ground.

Yuval Noah Harari: Nationalism vs. globalism: the new political divide

TED Dialogues

Yuval Noah Harari: Nationalism vs. globalism: the new political divide

February 15, 2017


How do we make sense of today's political divisions? In a wide-ranging conversation full of insight, historian Yuval Harari places our current turmoil in a broader context, against the ongoing disruption of our technology, climate, media -- even our notion of what humanity is for. This is the first of a series of TED Dialogues, seeking a thoughtful response to escalating political divisiveness. Make time (just over an hour) for this fascinating discussion between Harari and TED curator Chris Anderson.

Stacy Smith: The data behind Hollywood's sexism

TEDWomen 2016

Stacy Smith: The data behind Hollywood's sexism

October 26, 2016


Where are all the women and girls in film? Social scientist Stacy Smith analyzes how the media underrepresents and portrays women -- and the potentially destructive effects those portrayals have on viewers. She shares hard data behind gender bias in Hollywood, where on-screen males outnumber females three to one (and behind-the-camera workers fare even worse.)

Michael Botticelli: Addiction is a disease. We should treat it like one

TEDxMidAtlantic

Michael Botticelli: Addiction is a disease. We should treat it like one

October 21, 2016


Only one in nine people in the United States gets the care and treatment they need for addiction and substance abuse. A former Director of National Drug Control Policy, Michael Botticelli is working to end this epidemic and treat people with addictions with kindness, compassion and fairness. In a personal, thoughtful talk, he encourages the millions of Americans in recovery today to make their voices heard and confront the stigma associated with substance use disorders.

Karina Galperin: Should we simplify spelling?

TEDxRiodelaPlata

Karina Galperin: Should we simplify spelling?

September 24, 2015


How much energy and brain power do we devote to learning how to spell? Language evolves over time, and with it the way we spell -- is it worth it to spend so much time memorizing rules that are filled with endless exceptions? Literary scholar Karina Galperin suggests that it may be time for an update in the way we think about and record language. (In Spanish with English subtitles.)