Mark Ronson: How sampling transformed music

TED2014

Mark Ronson: How sampling transformed music


Sampling isn't about "hijacking nostalgia wholesale," says Mark Ronson. It's about inserting yourself into the narrative of a song while also pushing that story forward. In this mind-blowingly original talk, watch the DJ scramble 15 TED Talks into an audio-visual omelette, and trace the evolution of "La Di Da Di," Doug E. Fresh and Slick Rick's 1984 hit that has been reimagined for every generation since.

Randall Munroe: Comics that ask "what if?"

TED2014

Randall Munroe: Comics that ask "what if?"


Web cartoonist Randall Munroe answers simple what-if questions ("what if you hit a baseball moving at the speed of light?") using math, physics, logic and deadpan humor. In this charming talk, a reader’s question about Google's data warehouse leads Munroe down a circuitous path to a hilariously over-detailed answer — in which, shhh, you might actually learn something.

Stanley McChrystal: The military case for sharing knowledge

TED2014

Stanley McChrystal: The military case for sharing knowledge


When General Stanley McChrystal started fighting al Qaeda in 2003, information and secrets were the lifeblood of his operations. But as the unconventional battle waged on, he began to think that the culture of keeping important information classified was misguided and actually counterproductive. In a short but powerful talk McChrystal makes the case for actively sharing knowledge.

Marco Tempest: And for my next trick, a robot

TED2014

Marco Tempest: And for my next trick, a robot


Marco Tempest uses charming stagecraft to demo EDI, the multi-purpose robot designed to work very closely with humans. Less a magic trick than an intricately choreographed performance, Tempest shows off the robot’s sensing technology, safety features and strength, and makes the case for a closer human-robot relationship. (Okay, there’s a little magic, too.)

Mellody Hobson: Color blind or color brave?

TED2014

Mellody Hobson: Color blind or color brave?


The subject of race can be very touchy. As finance executive Mellody Hobson says, it's a "conversational third rail." But, she says, that's exactly why we need to start talking about it. In this engaging, persuasive talk, Hobson makes the case that speaking openly about race — and particularly about diversity in hiring -- makes for better businesses and a better society.

Gavin Schmidt: The emergent patterns of climate change

TED2014

Gavin Schmidt: The emergent patterns of climate change


You can't understand climate change in pieces, says climate scientist Gavin Schmidt. It's the whole, or it's nothing. In this illuminating talk, he explains how he studies the big picture of climate change with mesmerizing models that illustrate the endlessly complex interactions of small-scale environmental events.

Andrew Bastawrous: Get your next eye exam on a smartphone

TED2014

Andrew Bastawrous: Get your next eye exam on a smartphone


Thirty-nine million people in the world are blind, and the majority lost their sight due to curable and preventable diseases. But how do you test and treat people who live in remote areas, where expensive, bulky eye equipment is hard to come by? TED Fellow Andrew Bastawrous demos a smartphone app and cheap hardware that might help.

David Epstein: Are athletes really getting faster, better, stronger?

TED2014

David Epstein: Are athletes really getting faster, better, stronger?


When you look at sporting achievements over the last decades, it seems like humans have gotten faster, better and stronger in nearly every way. Yet as David Epstein points out in this delightfully counter-intuitive talk, we might want to lay off the self-congratulation. Many factors are at play in shattering athletic records, and the development of our natural talents is just one of them.

Wendy Chung: Autism — what we know (and what we don’t know yet)

TED2014

Wendy Chung: Autism — what we know (and what we don’t know yet)


In this factual talk, geneticist Wendy Chung shares what we know about autism spectrum disorder — for example, that autism has multiple, perhaps interlocking, causes. Looking beyond the worry and concern that can surround a diagnosis, Chung and her team look at what we’ve learned through studies, treatments and careful listening.

James Patten: The best computer interface? Maybe ... your hands

TED Fellows Retreat 2013

James Patten: The best computer interface? Maybe ... your hands


"The computer is an incredibly powerful means of creative expression," says designer and TED Fellow James Patten. But right now, we interact with computers, mainly, by typing and tapping. In this nifty talk and demo, Patten imagines a more visceral, physical way to bring your thoughts and ideas to life in the digital world, taking the computer interface off the screen and putting it into your hands.

Elizabeth Gilbert: Success, failure and the drive to keep creating

TED2014

Elizabeth Gilbert: Success, failure and the drive to keep creating


Elizabeth Gilbert was once an "unpublished diner waitress," devastated by rejection letters. And yet, in the wake of the success of 'Eat, Pray, Love,' she found herself identifying strongly with her former self. With beautiful insight, Gilbert reflects on why success can be as disorienting as failure and offers a simple -- though hard -- way to carry on, regardless of outcomes.

Will Marshall: Tiny satellites show us the Earth as it changes in near-real-time

TED2014

Will Marshall: Tiny satellites show us the Earth as it changes in near-real-time


Satellite imaging has revolutionized our knowledge of the Earth, with detailed images of nearly every street corner readily available online. But Planet Labs' Will Marshall says we can do better and go faster -- by getting smaller. He introduces his tiny satellites -- no bigger than 10 by 10 by 30 centimeters -- that, when launched in a cluster, provide high-res images of the entire planet, updated daily.

Hamish Jolly: A shark-deterrent wetsuit (and it's not what you think)

TEDxPerth

Hamish Jolly: A shark-deterrent wetsuit (and it's not what you think)


Hamish Jolly, an ocean swimmer in Australia, wanted a wetsuit that would deter a curious shark from mistaking him for a potential source of nourishment. (Which, statistically, is rare, but certainly a fate worth avoiding.) Working with a team of scientists, he and his friends came up with a fresh approach — not a shark cage, not a suit of chain-mail, but a sleek suit that taps our growing understanding of shark vision.

Michel Laberge: How synchronized hammer strikes could generate nuclear fusion

TED2014

Michel Laberge: How synchronized hammer strikes could generate nuclear fusion


Our energy future depends on nuclear fusion, says Michel Laberge. The plasma physicist runs a small company with a big idea for a new type of nuclear reactor that could produce clean, cheap energy. His secret recipe? High speeds, scorching temperatures and crushing pressure. In this hopeful talk, he explains how nuclear fusion might be just around the corner.

Sarah Lewis: Embrace the near win

TED2014

Sarah Lewis: Embrace the near win


At her first museum job, art historian Sarah Lewis noticed something important about an artist she was studying: Not every artwork was a total masterpiece. She asks us to consider the role of the almost-failure, the near win, in our own lives. In our pursuit of success and mastery, is it actually our near wins that push us forward?

Matthew Carter: My life in typefaces

TED2014

Matthew Carter: My life in typefaces


Pick up a book, magazine or screen, and more than likely you'll come across some typography designed by Matthew Carter. In this charming talk, the man behind typefaces such as Verdana, Georgia and Bell Centennial (designed just for phone books -- remember them?), takes us on a spin through a career focused on the very last pixel of each letter of a font.

Jeremy Kasdin: The flower-shaped starshade that might help us detect Earth-like planets

TED2014

Jeremy Kasdin: The flower-shaped starshade that might help us detect Earth-like planets


Astronomers believe that every star in the galaxy has a planet, one fifth of which might harbor life. Only we haven't seen any of them -- yet. Jeremy Kasdin and his team are looking to change that with the design and engineering of an extraordinary piece of equipment: a flower petal-shaped "starshade" positioned 50,000 km from a telescope to enable imaging of planets about distant stars. It is, he says, the "coolest possible science."

Jennifer Senior: For parents, happiness is a very high bar

TED2014

Jennifer Senior: For parents, happiness is a very high bar


The parenting section of the bookstore is overwhelming—it's "a giant, candy-colored monument to our collective panic," as writer Jennifer Senior puts it. Why is parenthood filled with so much anxiety? Because the goal of modern, middle-class parents—to raise happy children—is so elusive. In this honest talk, she offers some kinder and more achievable aims.

David Brooks: Should you live for your résumé ... or your eulogy?

TED2014

David Brooks: Should you live for your résumé ... or your eulogy?


Within each of us are two selves, suggests David Brooks in this meditative short talk: the self who craves success, who builds a résumé, and the self who seeks connection, community, love -- the values that make for a great eulogy. (Joseph Soloveitchik has called these selves "Adam I" and "Adam II.") Brooks asks: Can we balance these two selves?

Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly: Be passionate. Be courageous. Be your best.

TED2014

Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly: Be passionate. Be courageous. Be your best.


On January 8, 2011, Congresswoman Gabby Giffords was shot in the head while meeting constituents in her home town of Tucson, Arizona. Her husband, the astronaut Mark Kelly, immediately flew to be by her side. In this emotional conversation with Pat Mitchell, the pair describe their lives both before and after the accident -- and describe their views on responsible gun ownership.

David Sengeh: The sore problem of prosthetic limbs

TED2014

David Sengeh: The sore problem of prosthetic limbs


What drove David Sengeh to create a more comfortable prosthetic limb? He grew up in Sierra Leone, and too many of the people he loves are missing limbs after the brutal civil war there. When he noticed that people who had prosthetics weren’t actually wearing them, the TED Fellow set out to discover why — and to solve the problem with his team from the MIT Media Lab.

Louie Schwartzberg: Hidden miracles of the natural world

TED2014

Louie Schwartzberg: Hidden miracles of the natural world


We live in a world of unseeable beauty, so subtle and delicate that it is imperceptible to the human eye. To bring this invisible world to light, filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg bends the boundaries of time and space with high-speed cameras, time lapses and microscopes. At TED2014, he shares highlights from his latest project, a 3D film titled "Mysteries of the Unseen World," which slows down, speeds up, and magnifies the astonishing wonders of nature.

Amanda Burden: How public spaces make cities work

TED2014

Amanda Burden: How public spaces make cities work


More than 8 million people are crowded together to live in New York City. What makes it possible? In part, it’s the city’s great public spaces — from tiny pocket parks to long waterfront promenades — where people can stroll and play. Amanda Burden helped plan some of the city’s newest public spaces, drawing on her experience as, surprisingly, an animal behaviorist. She shares the unexpected challenges of planning parks people love -- and why it's important.

Christopher Emdin: Teach teachers how to create magic

TED@NYC

Christopher Emdin: Teach teachers how to create magic


What do rap shows, barbershop banter and Sunday services have in common? As Christopher Emdin says, they all hold the secret magic to enthrall and teach at the same time — and it’s a skill we often don't teach to educators. A longtime teacher himself, now a science advocate and cofounder of Science Genius B.A.T.T.L.E.S. with the GZA of the Wu-Tang Clan, Emdin offers a vision to make the classroom come alive.

Allan Adams: The discovery that could rewrite physics

TED2014

Allan Adams: The discovery that could rewrite physics


On March 17, 2014, a group of physicists announced a thrilling discovery: the “smoking gun” data for the idea of an inflationary universe, a clue to the Big Bang. For non-physicists, what does it mean? TED asked Allan Adams to briefly explain the results, in this improvised talk illustrated by Randall Munroe of xkcd.

TED staff: It's TED, the Musical

TED in the Field

TED staff: It's TED, the Musical


Do you have a TED Talk inside, just bursting to come out? Take this tongue-in-cheek musical journey to “Give Your Talk.” A musical love letter to our speakers -- written, directed and performed by the TED staff.

Geena Rocero: Why I must come out

TED2014

Geena Rocero: Why I must come out


When fashion model Geena Rocero first saw a photo of herself in a bikini, "I thought ... you have arrived!" As she reveals, that’s because she was born with the gender assignment “boy.” In this moving talk, Rocero tells the story of becoming who she always knew she was.

Lawrence Lessig: The unstoppable walk to political reform

TED2014

Lawrence Lessig: The unstoppable walk to political reform


Seven years ago, Internet activist Aaron Swartz convinced Lawrence Lessig to take up the fight for political reform. A year after Swartz's tragic death, Lessig continues his campaign to free US politics from the stranglehold of corruption. In this fiery, deeply personal talk, he calls for all citizens to engage, and offers a heartfelt reminder to never give up hope.