Improv Everywhere: Gotta share!

Gel Conference

Improv Everywhere: Gotta share!

April 28, 2011


At the onstage introduction of Twirlr, a new social-sharing platform, someone forgets to silence their cell phone. And then ... this happens. (Song by Scott Brown and Anthony King; edit by Nathan Russell.)

Terry Moore: How to tie your shoes

TED2005

Terry Moore: How to tie your shoes

February 2, 2005


Terry Moore found out he'd been tying his shoes the wrong way his whole life. In the spirit of TED, he takes the stage to share a better way. (Historical note: This was the very first 3-minute audience talk given from the TED stage, in 2005.)

Edith Widder: The weird, wonderful world of bioluminescence

TED2011

Edith Widder: The weird, wonderful world of bioluminescence

March 3, 2011


In the deep, dark ocean, many sea creatures make their own light for hunting, mating and self-defense. Bioluminescence expert Edith Widder was one of the first to film this glimmering world. At TED2011, she brings some of her glowing friends onstage, and shows more astonishing footage of glowing undersea life.

Elliot Krane: The mystery of chronic pain

TED2011

Elliot Krane: The mystery of chronic pain

March 2, 2011


We think of pain as a symptom, but there are cases where the nervous system develops feedback loops and pain becomes a terrifying disease in itself. Starting with the story of a girl whose sprained wrist turned into a nightmare, Elliot Krane talks about the complex mystery of chronic pain, and reviews the facts we're just learning about how it works and how to treat it.

Thomas Heatherwick: Building the Seed Cathedral

TED2011

Thomas Heatherwick: Building the Seed Cathedral

March 2, 2011


A future more beautiful? Architect Thomas Heatherwick shows five recent projects featuring ingenious bio-inspired designs. Some are remakes of the ordinary: a bus, a bridge, a power station ... And one is an extraordinary pavilion, the Seed Cathedral, a celebration of growth and light.

Ed Boyden: A light switch for neurons

TED2011

Ed Boyden: A light switch for neurons

March 3, 2011


Ed Boyden shows how, by inserting genes for light-sensitive proteins into brain cells, he can selectively activate or de-activate specific neurons with fiber-optic implants. With this unprecedented level of control, he's managed to cure mice of analogs of PTSD and certain forms of blindness. On the horizon: neural prosthetics. Session host Juan Enriquez leads a brief post-talk Q&A.

Leonard Susskind: My friend Richard Feynman

TEDxCaltech

Leonard Susskind: My friend Richard Feynman

January 14, 2011


What's it like to be pals with a genius? Onstage, physicist Leonard Susskind spins a few stories about his friendship with the legendary Richard Feynman, discussing his unconventional approach to problems both serious and ... less so. (Filmed at TEDxCaltech.)

Amit Sood: Building a museum of museums on the web

TED2011

Amit Sood: Building a museum of museums on the web

March 2, 2011


Imagine being able to see artwork in the greatest museums around the world without leaving your chair. Driven by his passion for art, Amit Sood tells the story of how he developed Art Project to let people do just that.

Ron Gutman: The hidden power of smiling

TED2011

Ron Gutman: The hidden power of smiling

March 2, 2011


Ron Gutman reviews a raft of studies about smiling, and reveals some surprising results. Did you know your smile can be a predictor of how long you'll live -- and that a simple smile has a measurable effect on your overall well-being? Prepare to flex a few facial muscles as you learn more about this evolutionarily contagious behavior.

Fiorenzo Omenetto: Silk, the ancient material of the future

TED2011

Fiorenzo Omenetto: Silk, the ancient material of the future

March 3, 2011


Fiorenzo Omenetto shares 20+ astonishing new uses for silk, one of nature's most elegant materials -- in transmitting light, improving sustainability, adding strength and making medical leaps and bounds. On stage, he shows a few intriguing items made of the versatile stuff.

Paul Nicklen: Tales of ice-bound wonderlands

TED2011

Paul Nicklen: Tales of ice-bound wonderlands

March 2, 2011


Diving under the Antarctic ice to get close to the much-feared leopard seal, photographer Paul Nicklen found an extraordinary new friend. Share his hilarious, passionate stories of the polar wonderlands, illustrated by glorious images of the animals who live on and under the ice.

Louie Schwartzberg: The hidden beauty of pollination

TED2011

Louie Schwartzberg: The hidden beauty of pollination

March 2, 2011


Pollination: it's vital to life on Earth, but largely unseen by the human eye. Filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg shows us the intricate world of pollen and pollinators with gorgeous high-speed images from his film "Wings of Life," inspired by the vanishing of one of nature's primary pollinators, the honeybee.

Sean Carroll: Distant time and the hint of a multiverse

TEDxCaltech

Sean Carroll: Distant time and the hint of a multiverse

January 14, 2011


Cosmologist Sean Carroll attacks -- in an entertaining and thought-provoking tour through the nature of time and the universe -- a deceptively simple question: Why does time exist at all? The potential answers point to a surprising view of the nature of the universe, and our place in it.

Suzanne Lee: Grow your own clothes

TED2011

Suzanne Lee: Grow your own clothes

March 2, 2011


Designer Suzanne Lee shares her experiments in growing a kombucha-based material that can be used like fabric or vegetable leather to make clothing. The process is fascinating, the results are beautiful (though there's still one minor drawback ...) and the potential is simply stunning.

Carlo Ratti: Architecture that senses and responds

TED2011

Carlo Ratti: Architecture that senses and responds

March 2, 2011


With his team at SENSEable City Lab, MIT's Carlo Ratti makes cool things by sensing the data we create. He pulls from passive data sets -- like the calls we make, the garbage we throw away -- to create surprising visualizations of city life. And he and his team create dazzling interactive environments from moving water and flying light, powered by simple gestures caught through sensors.

Aicha el-Wafi + Phyllis Rodriguez: The mothers who found forgiveness, friendship

TEDWomen 2010

Aicha el-Wafi + Phyllis Rodriguez: The mothers who found forgiveness, friendship

December 12, 2010


Phyllis Rodriguez and Aicha el-Wafi have a powerful friendship born of unthinkable loss. Rodriguez' son was killed in the World Trade Center attacks on September 11, 2001; el-Wafi's son Zacarias Moussaoui was convicted of a role in those attacks and is serving a life sentence. In hoping to find peace, these two moms have come to understand and respect one another.

Arvind Gupta: Turning trash into toys for learning

INK Conference

Arvind Gupta: Turning trash into toys for learning

December 9, 2010


At the INK Conference, Arvind Gupta shares simple yet stunning plans for turning trash into seriously entertaining, well-designed toys that kids can build themselves -- while learning basic principles of science and design.

Mike Matas: A next-generation digital book

TED2011

Mike Matas: A next-generation digital book

March 2, 2011


Software developer Mike Matas demos the first full-length interactive book for the iPad -- with clever, swipeable video and graphics and some very cool data visualizations to play with. The book is "Our Choice," Al Gore's sequel to "An Inconvenient Truth."

Angela Belcher: Using nature to grow batteries

TEDxCaltech

Angela Belcher: Using nature to grow batteries

January 14, 2011


Inspired by an abalone shell, Angela Belcher programs viruses to make elegant nanoscale structures that humans can use. Selecting for high-performing genes through directed evolution, she's produced viruses that can construct powerful new batteries, clean hydrogen fuels and record-breaking solar cells. In her talk, she shows us how it's done.

Bruce Schneier: The security mirage

TEDxPSU

Bruce Schneier: The security mirage

October 10, 2010


The feeling of security and the reality of security don't always match, says computer-security expert Bruce Schneier. In his talk, he explains why we spend billions addressing news story risks, like the "security theater" now playing at your local airport, while neglecting more probable risks -- and how we can break this pattern.

Harvey Fineberg: Are we ready for neo-evolution?

TED2011

Harvey Fineberg: Are we ready for neo-evolution?

March 2, 2011


Medical ethicist Harvey Fineberg shows us three paths forward for the ever-evolving human species: to stop evolving completely, to evolve naturally -- or to control the next steps of human evolution, using genetic modification, to make ourselves smarter, faster, better. Neo-evolution is within our grasp. What will we do with it?

Ric Elias: 3 things I learned while my plane crashed

TED2011

Ric Elias: 3 things I learned while my plane crashed

March 4, 2011


Ric Elias had a front-row seat on Flight 1549, the plane that crash-landed in the Hudson River in New York in January 2009. What went through his mind as the doomed plane went down? At TED, he tells his story publicly for the first time.

Anil Ananthaswamy: What it takes to do extreme astrophysics

INK Conference

Anil Ananthaswamy: What it takes to do extreme astrophysics

December 8, 2010


All over the planet, giant telescopes and detectors are looking (and listening) for clues to the workings of the universe. At the INK Conference, science writer Anil Ananthaswamy tours us around these amazing installations, taking us to some of the most remote and silent places on Earth.

John Hunter: Teaching with the World Peace Game

TED2011

John Hunter: Teaching with the World Peace Game

March 4, 2011


John Hunter puts all the problems of the world on a 4'x5' plywood board -- and lets his 4th-graders solve them. At TED2011, he explains how his World Peace Game engages schoolkids, and why the complex lessons it teaches -- spontaneous, and always surprising -- go further than classroom lectures can.

Kathryn Schulz: On being wrong

TED2011

Kathryn Schulz: On being wrong

March 4, 2011


Most of us will do anything to avoid being wrong. But what if we're wrong about that? "Wrongologist" Kathryn Schulz makes a compelling case for not just admitting but embracing our fallibility.

Sam Richards: A radical experiment in empathy

TEDxPSU

Sam Richards: A radical experiment in empathy

October 10, 2010


By leading the Americans in his audience step by step through the thought process, sociologist Sam Richards sets an extraordinary challenge: can they understand -- not approve of, but understand -- the motivations of an Iraqi insurgent? And by extension, can anyone truly understand and empathize with another? (Filmed at TEDxPSU.)

Susan Lim: Transplant cells, not organs

INK Conference

Susan Lim: Transplant cells, not organs

December 7, 2010


Pioneering surgeon Susan Lim performed the first liver transplant in Asia. But a moral concern with transplants (where do donor livers come from ...) led her to look further, and to ask: Could we be transplanting cells, not whole organs? At the INK Conference, she talks through her new research, discovering healing cells in some surprising places.

Marcin Jakubowski: Open-sourced blueprints for civilization

TED2011

Marcin Jakubowski: Open-sourced blueprints for civilization

March 1, 2011


Using wikis and digital fabrication tools, TED Fellow Marcin Jakubowski is open-sourcing the blueprints for 50 farm machines, allowing anyone to build their own tractor or harvester from scratch. And that's only the first step in a project to write an instruction set for an entire self-sustaining village (starting cost: $10,000).

Roger Ebert: Remaking my voice

TED2011

Roger Ebert: Remaking my voice

March 4, 2011


When film critic Roger Ebert lost his lower jaw to cancer, he lost the ability to eat and speak. But he did not lose his voice. In a moving talk from TED2011, Ebert and his wife, Chaz, with friends Dean Ornish and John Hunter, come together to tell his remarkable story.

Sarah Kaminsky: My father the forger

TEDxParis 2010

Sarah Kaminsky: My father the forger

January 30, 2010


Sarah Kaminsky tells the extraordinary story of her father Adolfo and his activity during World War II -- using his ingenuity and talent for forgery to save lives. (Filmed at TEDxParis.)