George Smoot: The design of the universe

Serious Play 2008

George Smoot: The design of the universe


At Serious Play 2008, astrophysicist George Smoot shows stunning new images from deep-space surveys, and prods us to ponder how the cosmos -- with its giant webs of dark matter and mysterious gaping voids -- got built this way.

Stewart Brand: The Long Now

TED2004

Stewart Brand: The Long Now


Stewart Brand works on the Clock of the Long Now, a timepiece that counts down the next 10,000 years. It's a beautiful project that asks us to think about the far, far future. Here, he discusses a tricky side problem with the Clock: Where can we put it?

Ursus Wehrli: Tidying up art

TED2006

Ursus Wehrli: Tidying up art


Ursus Wehrli shares his vision for a cleaner, more organized, tidier form of art -- by deconstructing the paintings of modern masters into their component pieces, sorted by color and size.

Isaac Mizrahi: Fashion and creativity

TED2008

Isaac Mizrahi: Fashion and creativity


Fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi spins through a dizzying array of inspirations -- from '50s pinups to a fleeting glimpse of a woman on the street who makes him shout "Stop the cab!" Inside this rambling talk are real clues to living a happy, creative life.

Samantha Power: A complicated hero in the war on dictatorship

TED2008

Samantha Power: A complicated hero in the war on dictatorship


Would you negotiate with someone you knew to be evil, to save lives? Samantha Power tells a story of a complicated hero, Sergio Vieira de Mello. This UN diplomat walked a thin moral line, negotiating with the world's worst dictators to help their people survive crisis. It's a compelling story told with a fiery passion.

Lee Smolin: Science and democracy

TED2003

Lee Smolin: Science and democracy


Physicist Lee Smolin talks about how the scientific community works: as he puts it, "we fight and argue as hard as we can," but everyone accepts that the next generation of scientists will decide who's right. And, he says, that's how democracy works, too.

Luca Turin: The science of scent

TED2005

Luca Turin: The science of scent


What's the science behind a sublime perfume? With charm and precision, biophysicist Luca Turin explains the molecular makeup -- and the art -- of a scent.

Tim Brown: Tales of creativity and play

Serious Play 2008

Tim Brown: Tales of creativity and play


At the 2008 Serious Play conference, designer Tim Brown talks about the powerful relationship between creative thinking and play -- with many examples you can try at home (and one that maybe you shouldn't).

John Francis: Walk the earth ... my 17-year vow of silence

TED2008

John Francis: Walk the earth ... my 17-year vow of silence


For almost three decades, John Francis has been a planetwalker, traveling the globe by foot and sail with a message of environmental respect and responsibility (for 17 of those years without speaking). A funny, thoughtful talk with occasional banjo.

James Surowiecki: The power and the danger of online crowds

TED2005

James Surowiecki: The power and the danger of online crowds


James Surowiecki pinpoints the moment when social media became an equal player in the world of news-gathering: the 2005 tsunami, when YouTube video, blogs, IMs and txts carried the news -- and preserved moving personal stories from the tragedy.

Graham Hawkes: A flight through the ocean

TED2005

Graham Hawkes: A flight through the ocean


Graham Hawkes takes us aboard his graceful, winged submarines to the depths of planet Ocean (a.k.a. "Earth"). It's a deep blue world we landlubbers rarely see in 3D.

Newton Aduaka: The story of Ezra

TEDGlobal 2007

Newton Aduaka: The story of Ezra


Filmmaker Newton Aduaka shows clips from his powerful, lyrical feature film "Ezra," about a child soldier in Sierra Leone.

Paul MacCready: Nature vs. humans

TED1998

Paul MacCready: Nature vs. humans


In 1998, aircraft designer Paul MacCready looks at a planet on which humans have utterly dominated nature, and talks about what we all can do to preserve nature's balance. His contribution: solar planes, superefficient gliders and the electric car.

Virginia Postrel: On glamour

TED2004

Virginia Postrel: On glamour


In a timely talk, cultural critic Virginia Postrel muses on the true meaning, and the powerful uses, of glamour -- which she defines as any calculated, carefully polished image designed to impress and persuade.

Garrett Lisi: An 8-dimensional model of the universe

TED2008

Garrett Lisi: An 8-dimensional model of the universe


Physicist and surfer Garrett Lisi presents a controversial new model of the universe that -- just maybe -- answers all the big questions. If nothing else, it's the most beautiful 8-dimensional model of elementary particles and forces you've ever seen.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi: Flow, the secret to happiness

TED2004

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi: Flow, the secret to happiness


Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi asks, "What makes a life worth living?" Noting that money cannot make us happy, he looks to those who find pleasure and lasting satisfaction in activities that bring about a state of "flow."

Jared Diamond: Why do societies collapse?

TED2003

Jared Diamond: Why do societies collapse?


Why do societies fail? With lessons from the Norse of Iron Age Greenland, deforested Easter Island and present-day Montana, Jared Diamond talks about the signs that collapse is near, and how -- if we see it in time -- we can prevent it.

Doris Kearns Goodwin: Lessons from past presidents

TED2008

Doris Kearns Goodwin: Lessons from past presidents


Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin talks about what we can learn from American presidents, including Abraham Lincoln and Lyndon Johnson. Then she shares a moving memory of her own father, and of their shared love of baseball.

Steven Johnson: The Web as a city

TED2003

Steven Johnson: The Web as a city


Outside.in's Steven Johnson says the Web is like a city: built by many people, completely controlled by no one, intricately interconnected and yet functioning as many independent parts. While disaster strikes in one place, elsewhere, life goes on.

David Perry: Are games better than life?

TED2006

David Perry: Are games better than life?


Game designer David Perry says tomorrow's videogames will be more than mere fun to the next generation of gamers. They'll be lush, complex, emotional experiences -- more involving and meaningful to some than real life. With an excerpt from Michael Highland's film "As Real as Your Life."