Lectures
Kevin Breel: Confessions of a depressed comic
Kevin Breel didn't look like a depressed kid: team captain, at every party, funny and confident. But he tells the story of the night he realized that -- to save his own...


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James Flynn: Why our IQ levels are higher than our grandparents'
It's called the "Flynn effect" -- the fact that each generation scores higher on an IQ test than the generation before it. Are we actually getting smarter, or just thinking...


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Onora O'Neill: What we don't understand about trust
Trust is on the decline, and we need to rebuild it. That’s a commonly heard suggestion for making a better world … but, says philosopher Onora O’Neill, we don’t really...


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Stuart Firestein: The pursuit of ignorance
What does real scientific work look like? As neuroscientist Stuart Firestein jokes: It looks a lot less like the scientific method and a lot more like "farting around … in...


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Elizabeth Loftus: The fiction of memory
Psychologist Elizabeth Loftus studies memories. More precisely, she studies false memories, when people either remember things that didn't happen or remember them...


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Benjamin Barber: Why mayors should rule the world
It often seems like federal-level politicians care more about creating gridlock than solving the world's problems. So who's actually getting bold things done? City mayors....


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Andras Forgacs: Leather and meat without killing animals
By 2050, it will take 100 billion land animals to provide the world's population with meat, dairy, eggs and leather goods. Maintaining this herd will take a huge,...


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Eric Berlow and Sean Gourley: Mapping ideas worth spreading
What do 24,000 ideas look like? Ecologist Eric Berlow and physicist Sean Gourley apply algorithms to the entire archive of TEDx Talks, taking us on a stimulating visual...


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Marla Spivak: Why bees are disappearing
Honeybees have thrived for 50 million years, each colony 40 to 50,000 individuals coordinated in amazing harmony. So why, seven years ago, did colonies start dying en...


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James Lyne: Everyday cybercrime -- and what you can do about it
How do you pick up a malicious online virus, the kind of malware that snoops on your data and taps your bank account? Often, it's through simple things you do each day...


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Apollo Robbins: The art of misdirection
Hailed as the greatest pickpocket in the world, Apollo Robbins studies the quirks of human behavior as he steals your watch. In a hilarious demonstration, Robbins samples...


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Sonia Shah: 3 reasons we still haven’t gotten rid of malaria
We’ve known how to cure malaria since the 1600s, so why does the disease still kill hundreds of thousands every year? It’s more than just a problem of medicine, says...


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Ron McCallum: How technology allowed me to read
Months after he was born, in 1948, Ron McCallum became blind. In this charming, moving talk, he shows how he is able to read -- and celebrates the progression of clever...


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Jake Barton: The museum of you
A third of the world watched live as the World Trade Center collapsed on September 11, 2001; a third more heard about it within 24 hours. (Do you remember where you were?)...


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George Monbiot: For more wonder, rewild the world
Wolves were once native to the US' Yellowstone National Park -- until hunting wiped them out. But when, in 1995, the wolves began to come back (thanks to an aggressive...


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Alexa Meade: Your body is my canvas
Alexa Meade takes an innovative approach to art. Not for her a life of sketching and stretching canvases. Instead, she selects a topic and then paints it--literally. She...


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Chrystia Freeland: The rise of the new global super-rich
Technology is advancing in leaps and bounds -- and so is economic inequality, says writer Chrystia Freeland. In an impassioned talk, she charts the rise of a new class of...


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Kelly McGonigal: How to make stress your friend
Stress. It makes your heart pound, your breathing quicken and your forehead sweat. But while stress has been made into a public health enemy, new research suggests that...


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Adam Spencer: Why I fell in love with monster prime numbers
They're millions of digits long, and it takes an army of mathematicians and machines to hunt them down -- what's not to love about monster primes? Adam Spencer, comedian...


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May El-Khalil: Making peace is a marathon
In Lebanon there is one gunshot a year that isn’t part of a scene of routine violence: The opening sound of the Beirut International Marathon. In a moving talk, marathon...


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Steve Ramirez and Xu Liu: A mouse. A laser beam. A manipulated memory.
Can we edit the content of our memories? It’s a sci-fi-tinged question that Steve Ramirez and Xu Liu are asking in their lab at MIT. Essentially, the pair shoot a laser...


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Russell Foster: Why do we sleep?
Russell Foster is a circadian neuroscientist: He studies the sleep cycles of the brain. And he asks: What do we know about sleep? Not a lot, it turns out, for something we...


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Shigeru Ban: Emergency shelters made from paper
Long before sustainability became a buzzword, architect Shigeru Ban had begun his experiments with ecologically-sound building materials such as cardboard tubes and paper....


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Margaret Heffernan: The dangers of "willful blindness"
Gayla Benefield was just doing her job -- until she uncovered an awful secret about her hometown that meant its mortality rate was 80 times higher than anywhere else in the...


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Derek Paravicini and Adam Ockelford: In the key of genius
Born three and a half months prematurely, Derek Paravicini is blind and has severe autism. But with perfect pitch, innate talent and a lot of practice, he became an...


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Eleanor Longden: The voices in my head
To all appearances, Eleanor Longden was just like every other student, heading to college full of promise and without a care in the world. That was until the voices in her...


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Saki Mafundikwa: Ingenuity and elegance in ancient African alphabets
From simple alphabets to secret symbolic languages, graphic designer Saki Mafundikwa celebrates the many forms of written communication across the continent of Africa. He...


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Jinsop Lee: Design for all 5 senses
Good design looks great, yes -- but why shouldn't it also feel great, smell great and sound great? Designer Jinsop Lee (a TED Talent Search winner) shares his theory of...


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Daniel H. Cohen: For argument’s sake
Why do we argue? To out-reason our opponents, prove them wrong, and, most of all, to win! ... Right? Philosopher Daniel H. Cohen shows how our most common form of argument...


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Beardyman: The polyphonic me
Frustrated by not being able to sing two notes at the same time, musical inventor Beardyman built a machine to allow him to create loops and layers from just the sounds he...


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Peter van Manen: How can Formula 1 racing help ... babies?
During a Formula 1 race, a car sends hundreds of millions of data points to its garage for real-time analysis and feedback. So why not use this detailed and rigorous data...


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Julie Taymor: Spider-Man, The Lion King and life on the creative edge
Showing spectacular clips from productions such as Frida, The Tempest and The Lion King, director Julie Taymor describes a life spent immersed in theater and the movies....


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