Ron Eglash: The fractals at the heart of African designs
June 6, 2007
'I am a mathematician, and I would like to stand on your roof.' That is how Ron Eglash greeted many African families he met while researching the fractal patterns he’d noticed in villages across the continent.
Designer Philippe Starck -- with no pretty slides to show -- spends 18 minutes reaching for the very roots of the question "Why design?" Listen carefully for one perfect mantra for all of us, genius or not.
Biologist Robert Full shares slo-mo video of some captivating critters. Take a closer look at the spiny legs that allow cockroaches to scuttle across mesh and the nanobristle-packed feet that let geckos to run straight up walls.
Armed with a sense of humor and laypeople's terms, Nobel winner Murray Gell-Mann drops some knowledge on TEDsters about particle physics, asking questions like, Are elegant equations more likely to be right than inelegant ones?
Juan Enriquez: Using biology to rethink the energy challenge
September 9, 2007
Juan Enriquez challenges our definition of bioenergy. Oil, coal, gas and other hydrocarbons are not chemical but biological products, based on plant matter -- and thus, growable. Our whole approach to fuel, he argues, needs to change.
What is happiness, and how can we all get some? Biochemist turned Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard says we can train our minds in habits of well-being, to generate a true sense of serenity and fulfillment.
Nokia researcher Jan Chipchase's investigation into the ways we interact with technology has led him from the villages of Uganda to the insides of our pockets. He's made some unexpected discoveries along the way.
Sherwin Nuland: How electroshock therapy changed me
February 2, 2001
Surgeon and author Sherwin Nuland discusses the development of electroshock therapy as a cure for severe, life-threatening depression -- including his own. It’s a moving and heartfelt talk about relief, redemption and second chances.
Eleni Gabre-Madhin: A commodities exchange for Ethiopia
June 6, 2007
Economist Eleni Gabre-Madhin outlines her ambitious vision to found the first commodities market in Ethiopia. Her plan would create wealth, minimize risk for farmers and turn the world's largest recipient of food aid into a regional food basket.
Paul Rothemund: Playing with DNA that self-assembles
March 3, 2007
Paul Rothemund writes code that causes DNA to arrange itself into a star, a smiley face and more. Sure, it's a stunt, but it's also a demonstration of self-assembly at the smallest of scales -- with vast implications for the future of making things.
Author and illustrator Maira Kalman talks about her life and work, from her covers for The New Yorker to her books for children and grown-ups. She is as wonderful, as wise and as deliciously off-kilter in person as she is on paper.
Richard Branson talks to TED's Chris Anderson about the ups and the downs of his career, from his multibillionaire success to his multiple near-death experiences -- and reveals some of his (very surprising) motivations.
Kenichi Ebina moves his body in a manner that appears to defy the limits imposed by the human skeleton. He combines breakdancing and hip-hop with mime using movements that are simultaneously precise and fluid.
We've known about global warming for 50 years and done little about it, says Google.org director Larry Brilliant. In spite of this and other depressing trends, he's optimistic and tells us why. From Skoll World Forum, Oxford, UK, www.skollfoundation.org
Speaking at LIFT 2007, Sugata Mitra talks about his Hole in the Wall project. Young kids in this project figured out how to use a PC on their own -- and then taught other kids. He asks, what else can children teach themselves?
Architect Norman Foster discusses his own work to show how computers can help architects design buildings that are green, beautiful and "basically pollution-free." From the 2007 DLD Conference, Munich; www.dld-conference.com
Zeresenay Alemseged: The search for humanity's roots
June 7, 2007
Paleoanthropologist Zeresenay Alemseged looks for the roots of humanity in Ethiopia's badlands. Here he talks about finding the oldest skeleton of a humanoid child -- and how Africa holds the clues to our humanity.