Ron Gutman: The hidden power of smiling

TED2011

Ron Gutman: The hidden power of smiling


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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?


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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.)

Dave Meslin: The antidote to apathy

TEDxToronto 2010

Dave Meslin: The antidote to apathy


Local politics -- schools, zoning, council elections -- hit us where we live. So why don't more of us actually get involved? Is it apathy? Dave Meslin says no. He identifies 7 barriers that keep us from taking part in our communities, even when we truly care. (Filmed at TEDxToronto.)

David Christian: The history of our world in 18 minutes

TED2011

David Christian: The history of our world in 18 minutes


Backed by stunning illustrations, David Christian narrates a complete history of the universe, from the Big Bang to the Internet, in a riveting 18 minutes. This is "Big History": an enlightening, wide-angle look at complexity, life and humanity, set against our slim share of the cosmic timeline.

Jackson Browne: A song inspired by the ocean

TEDxGreatPacificGarbagePatch

Jackson Browne: A song inspired by the ocean


Jackson Browne plays a song he started writing last April aboard Mission Blue Voyage, the Sylvia Earle-inspired trip to brainstorm ways to save the ocean. "If I could be anywhere," he sings, "anywhere right now, I would be here." (Filmed at TEDxGPGP.)

Caroline Casey: Looking past limits

TEDWomen 2010

Caroline Casey: Looking past limits


Activist Caroline Casey tells the story of her extraordinary life, starting with a revelation (no spoilers). In a talk that challenges perceptions, Casey asks us all to move beyond the limits we may think we have.

Mick Ebeling: The invention that unlocked a locked-in artist

TEDActive 2011

Mick Ebeling: The invention that unlocked a locked-in artist


The nerve disease ALS left graffiti artist TEMPT paralyzed from head to toe, forced to communicate blink by blink. In a remarkable talk at TEDActive, entrepreneur Mick Ebeling shares how he and a team of collaborators built an open-source invention that gave the artist -- and gives others in his circumstance -- the means to make art again.

Morgan Spurlock: The greatest TED Talk ever sold

TED2011

Morgan Spurlock: The greatest TED Talk ever sold


With humor and persistence, filmmaker Morgan Spurlock dives into the hidden but influential world of brand marketing, on his quest to make a completely sponsored film about sponsorship. (And yes, onstage naming rights for this talk were sponsored too. By whom and for how much? He'll tell you.)

Stanley McChrystal: Listen, learn ... then lead

TED2011

Stanley McChrystal: Listen, learn ... then lead


Four-star general Stanley McChrystal shares what he learned about leadership over his decades in the military. How can you build a sense of shared purpose among people of many ages and skill sets? By listening and learning -- and addressing the possibility of failure.