Kamal Meattle: How to grow fresh air

TED2009

Kamal Meattle: How to grow fresh air

February 5, 2009


Researcher Kamal Meattle shows how an arrangement of three common houseplants, used in specific spots in a home or office building, can result in measurably cleaner indoor air.

Bruce McCall: What is retro-futurism?

Serious Play 2008

Bruce McCall: What is retro-futurism?

May 12, 2008


Bruce McCall paints a retro-future that never happened -- full of flying cars, polo-playing tanks and the RMS Tyrannic, "The Biggest Thing in All the World." At Serious Play '08, he narrates a brisk and funny slideshow of his faux-nostalgic art.

Adam Savage: My obsession with objects and the stories they tell

EG 2008

Adam Savage: My obsession with objects and the stories they tell

December 12, 2008


Adam Savage talks about his fascination with the dodo bird, and how it led him on a strange and surprising double quest. It's an entertaining adventure through the mind of a creative obsessive.

Dan Ariely: Our buggy moral code

TED2009

Dan Ariely: Our buggy moral code

February 7, 2009


Behavioral economist Dan Ariely studies the bugs in our moral code: the hidden reasons we think it's OK to cheat or steal (sometimes). Clever studies help make his point that we're predictably irrational -- and can be influenced in ways we can't grasp.

Dan Dennett: Cute, sexy, sweet, funny

TED2009

Dan Dennett: Cute, sexy, sweet, funny

February 5, 2009


Why are babies cute? Why is cake sweet? Philosopher Dan Dennett has answers you wouldn't expect, as he shares evolution's counterintuitive reasoning on cute, sweet and sexy things (plus a new theory from Matthew Hurley on why jokes are funny).

Tim Berners-Lee: The next web

TED2009

Tim Berners-Lee: The next web

February 5, 2009


20 years ago, Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web. For his next project, he's building a web for open, linked data that could do for numbers what the Web did for words, pictures, video: unlock our data and reframe the way we use it together.

Stuart Brown: Play is more than just fun

Serious Play 2008

Stuart Brown: Play is more than just fun

May 8, 2008


A pioneer in research on play, Dr. Stuart Brown says humor, games, roughhousing, flirtation and fantasy are more than just fun. Plenty of play in childhood makes for happy, smart adults -- and keeping it up can make us smarter at any age.

Aimee Mullins: My 12 pairs of legs

TED2009

Aimee Mullins: My 12 pairs of legs

February 5, 2009


Athlete, actor and activist Aimee Mullins talks about her prosthetic legs -- she's got a dozen amazing pairs -- and the superpowers they grant her: speed, beauty, an extra 6 inches of height ... Quite simply, she redefines what the body can be.

Pattie Maes + Pranav Mistry: Meet the SixthSense interaction

TED2009

Pattie Maes + Pranav Mistry: Meet the SixthSense interaction

February 6, 2009


This demo -- from Pattie Maes' lab at MIT, spearheaded by Pranav Mistry -- was the buzz of TED. It's a wearable device with a projector that paves the way for profound interaction with our environment. Imagine "Minority Report" and then some.

Don Norman: 3 ways good design makes you happy

TED2003

Don Norman: 3 ways good design makes you happy

February 2, 2003


In this talk from 2003, design critic Don Norman turns his incisive eye toward beauty, fun, pleasure and emotion, as he looks at design that makes people happy. He names the three emotional cues that a well-designed product must hit to succeed.

Eric Lewis: Piano jazz that rocks

TED2009

Eric Lewis: Piano jazz that rocks

February 6, 2009


Eric Lewis, an astonishingly talented crossover jazz pianist -- seen by many for the first time at TED2009 -- sets fire to the keys with his shattering rendition of Evanescence's chart-topper, "Going Under."

Mike Rowe: Learning from dirty jobs

EG 2008

Mike Rowe: Learning from dirty jobs

December 12, 2008


Mike Rowe, the host of "Dirty Jobs," tells some compelling (and horrifying) real-life job stories. Listen for his insights and observations about the nature of hard work, and how it’s been unjustifiably degraded in society today.

Nalini Nadkarni: Conserving the canopy

TED2009

Nalini Nadkarni: Conserving the canopy

February 6, 2009


A unique ecosystem of plants, birds and monkeys thrives in the treetops of the rainforest. Nalini Nadkarni explores these canopy worlds -- and shares her findings with the world below, through dance, art and bold partnerships.

Willie Smits: How to restore a rainforest

TED2009

Willie Smits: How to restore a rainforest

February 6, 2009


By piecing together a complex ecological puzzle, biologist Willie Smits believes he has found a way to re-grow clearcut rainforest in Borneo, saving local orangutans — and creating a thrilling blueprint for restoring fragile ecosystems. NOTE: The core content of this talk has been challenged on a number of grounds. For details, and Willie Smits' response, please see "A challenge to Willie Smits' talk" below.

Brenda Laurel: Games for girls

TED1998

Brenda Laurel: Games for girls

February 2, 1998


A TED archive gem. At TED in 1998, Brenda Laurel asks: Why are all the top-selling videogames aimed at little boys? She spent two years researching the world of girls (and shares amazing interviews and photos) to create a game that girls would love.

Evan Williams: The voices of Twitter users

TED2009

Evan Williams: The voices of Twitter users

February 5, 2009


In the year leading up to this talk, the web tool Twitter exploded in size (up 10x during 2008 alone). Co-founder Evan Williams reveals that many of the ideas driving that growth came from unexpected uses invented by the users themselves.

Miru Kim: My underground art explorations

EG 2008

Miru Kim: My underground art explorations

December 12, 2008


At the 2008 EG Conference, artist Miru Kim talks about her work. Kim explores industrial ruins underneath New York and then photographs herself in them, nude -- to bring these massive, dangerous, hidden spaces into sharp focus.

Richard Pyle: A dive into the reef's Twilight Zone

TED2004

Richard Pyle: A dive into the reef's Twilight Zone

February 2, 2004


In this illuminating talk, Richard Pyle shows us thriving life on the cliffs of coral reefs and groundbreaking diving technologies he has pioneered to explore it. He and his team risk everything to reveal the secrets of undiscovered species.

Charles Moore: Seas of plastic

TED2009

Charles Moore: Seas of plastic

February 5, 2009


Capt. Charles Moore of the Algalita Marine Research Foundation first discovered the Great Pacific Garbage Patch -- an endless floating waste of plastic trash. Now he's drawing attention to the growing, choking problem of plastic debris in our seas.

Ed Ulbrich: How Benjamin Button got his face

TED2009

Ed Ulbrich: How Benjamin Button got his face

February 4, 2009


Ed Ulbrich, the digital-effects guru from Digital Domain, explains the Oscar-winning technology that allowed his team to digitally create the older versions of Brad Pitt's face for "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button."

Jill Tarter: Join the SETI search

TED2009

Jill Tarter: Join the SETI search

February 5, 2009


The SETI Institute's Jill Tarter makes her TED Prize wish: to accelerate our search for cosmic company. Using a growing array of radio telescopes, she and her team listen for patterns that may be a sign of intelligence elsewhere in the universe.

Sylvia Earle: My wish: Protect our oceans

TED2009

Sylvia Earle: My wish: Protect our oceans

February 5, 2009


Legendary ocean researcher Sylvia Earle shares astonishing images of the ocean -- and shocking stats about its rapid decline -- as she makes her TED Prize wish: that we will join her in protecting the vital blue heart of the planet.

Gustavo Dudamel and the Teresa Carreño Youth Orchestra: El Sistema's top youth orchestra

TED2009

Gustavo Dudamel and the Teresa Carreño Youth Orchestra: El Sistema's top youth orchestra

February 5, 2009


The Teresa Carreño Youth Orchestra contains the best high school musicians from Venezuela's life-changing music program, El Sistema. Led here by Gustavo Dudamel, they play Shostakovich's Symphony No. 10, 2nd movement, and Arturo Márquez' Danzón No. 2.

Jose Antonio Abreu: The El Sistema music revolution

TED2009

Jose Antonio Abreu: The El Sistema music revolution

February 5, 2009


Jose Antonio Abreu is the charismatic founder of a youth orchestra system that has transformed thousands of kids' lives in Venezuela. Here he shares his amazing story and unveils a TED Prize wish that could have a big impact in the US and beyond.

Juan Enriquez: The next species of human

TED2009

Juan Enriquez: The next species of human

February 4, 2009


Even as mega-banks topple, Juan Enriquez says the big reboot is yet to come. But don't look for it on your ballot -- or in the stock exchange. It'll come from science labs, and it promises keener bodies and minds. Our kids are going to be ... different.

Barry Schwartz: Our loss of wisdom

TED2009

Barry Schwartz: Our loss of wisdom

February 7, 2009


Barry Schwartz makes a passionate call for "practical wisdom" as an antidote to a society gone mad with bureaucracy. He argues powerfully that rules often fail us, incentives often backfire, and practical, everyday wisdom will help rebuild our world.

David Merrill: Toy tiles that talk to each other

TED2009

David Merrill: Toy tiles that talk to each other

February 6, 2009


MIT grad student David Merrill demos Siftables -- cookie-sized, computerized tiles you can stack and shuffle in your hands. These future-toys can do math, play music, and talk to their friends, too. Is this the next thing in hands-on learning?

Milton Glaser: Using design to make ideas new

TED1998

Milton Glaser: Using design to make ideas new

February 2, 1998


From the TED archives: The legendary graphic designer Milton Glaser dives deep into a new painting inspired by Piero della Francesca. From here, he muses on what makes a convincing poster, by breaking down an idea and making it new.

Elizabeth Gilbert: Your elusive creative genius

TED2009

Elizabeth Gilbert: Your elusive creative genius

February 5, 2009


Elizabeth Gilbert muses on the impossible things we expect from artists and geniuses -- and shares the radical idea that, instead of the rare person "being" a genius, all of us "have" a genius. It's a funny, personal and surprisingly moving talk.

Bill Gates: Mosquitos, malaria and education

TED2009

Bill Gates: Mosquitos, malaria and education

February 2, 2009


Bill Gates hopes to solve some of the world's biggest problems using a new kind of philanthropy. In a passionate and, yes, funny 18 minutes, he asks us to consider two big questions and how we might answer them. (And see the Q&A on the TED Blog.)