Lectures
Eli Beer: The fastest ambulance? A motorcycle
As a young EMT on a Jerusalem ambulance, Eli Beer realized that, stuck in brutal urban traffic, they often arrived too late to help. So he organized a group of volunteer...


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Bastian Schaefer: A 3D-printed jumbo jet?
Designer Bastian Schaefer shows off a speculative design for the future of jet planes, with a skeleton inspired by strong, flexible, natural forms and by the needs of the...


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Tania Luna: How a penny made me feel like a millionaire
As a young child, Tania Luna left her home in post-Chernobyl Ukraine to take asylum in the US. And one day, on the floor of the New York homeless shelter where she and her...


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Paul Kemp-Robertson: Bitcoin. Sweat. Tide. Meet the future of...
Currency -- the bills and coins you carry in your wallet and in your bank account -- is founded on marketing, on the belief that banks and governments are trustworthy. Now,...


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Roberto D'Angelo + Francesca Fedeli: In our baby's illness, a life...
Roberto D'Angelo and Francesca Fedeli thought their baby boy Mario was healthy -- until at 10 days old, they discovered he'd had a perinatal stroke. With Mario unable to...


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Kate Stone: DJ decks made of... paper
"I love paper, and I love technology," says physicist and former sheep herder Kate Stone, who's spent the past decade working to unite the two. Her experiments combine...


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John Searle: Our shared condition -- consciousness
Philosopher John Searle lays out the case for studying human consciousness -- and systematically shoots down some of the common objections to taking it seriously. As we...


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Tom Thum: The orchestra in my mouth
In a highly entertaining performance, beatboxer Tom Thum slings beats, comedy and a mouthful of instrumental impersonations into 11 minutes of creativity and fun that will...


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Two young scientists break down plastics with bacteria
Once it's created, plastic (almost) never dies. While in 12th grade Miranda Wang and Jeanny Yao went in search of a new bacteria to biodegrade plastic -- specifically by...


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Pico Iyer: Where is home?
More and more people worldwide are living in countries not considered their own. Writer Pico Iyer -- who himself has three or four “origins” -- meditates on the meaning of...


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Gavin Pretor-Pinney: Cloudy with a chance of joy
You don't need to plan an exotic trip to find creative inspiration. Just look up, says Gavin Pretor-Pinney, founder of the Cloud Appreciation Society. As he shares charming...


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Bernie Krause: The voice of the natural world
Bernie Krause has been recording wild soundscapes -- the wind in the trees, the chirping of birds, the subtle sounds of insect larvae -- for 45 years. In that time, he has...


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Al Vernacchio: Sex needs a new metaphor. Here's one ...
For some reason, says educator Al Vernacchio, the metaphors for talking about sex in the US all come from baseball -- scoring, getting to first base, etc. The problem is,...


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Jack Andraka: A promising test for pancreatic cancer ... from a...
Over 85 percent of all pancreatic cancers are diagnosed late, when someone has less than two percent chance of survival. How could this be? Jack Andraka talks about how he...


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The interspecies internet? An idea in progress
Apes, dolphins and elephants are animals with remarkable communication skills. Could the internet be expanded to include sentient species like them? A new and developing...


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Michael Green: Why we should build wooden skyscrapers
Building a skyscraper? Forget about steel and concrete, says architect Michael Green, and build it out of … wood. As he details in this intriguing talk, it's not only...


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Charmian Gooch: Meet global corruption's hidden players
When the son of the president of a desperately poor country starts buying mansions and sportscars on an official monthly salary of $7,000, Charmian Gooch suggests,...


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Sleepy Man Banjo Boys: Bluegrass virtuosity from ... New Jersey?
All under the age of 16, brothers Jonny, Robbie and Tommy Mizzone are from New Jersey, a US state that's better known for the rock of Bruce Springsteen than the bluegrass...


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Jinha Lee: Reach into the computer and grab a pixel
The border between our physical world and the digital information surrounding us has been getting thinner and thinner. Designer and engineer Jinha Lee wants to dissolve it...


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Joel Selanikio: The surprising seeds of a big-data revolution in...
Collecting global health data was an imperfect science: Workers tramped through villages to knock on doors and ask questions, wrote the answers on paper forms, then input...


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Eric X. Li: A tale of two political systems
It's a standard assumption in the West: As a society progresses, it eventually becomes a capitalist, multi-party democracy. Right? Eric X. Li, a Chinese investor and...


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Rodney Brooks: Why we will rely on robots
Scaremongers play on the idea that robots will simply replace people on the job. In fact, they can become our essential collaborators, freeing us up to spend time on less...


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Michael Archer: How we'll resurrect the gastric brooding frog, the...
The gastric brooding frog lays its eggs just like any other frog -- then swallows them whole to incubate. That is, it did until it went extinct 30 years ago. Paleontologist...


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Bob Mankoff: Anatomy of a New Yorker cartoon
The New Yorker receives around 1,000 cartoons each week; it only publishes about 17 of them. In this hilarious, fast-paced, and insightful talk, the magazine's longstanding...


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Peter Attia: Is the obesity crisis hiding a bigger problem?
As a young surgeon, Peter Attia felt contempt for a patient with diabetes. She was overweight, he thought, and thus responsible for the fact that she needed a foot...


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Lesley Hazleton: The doubt essential to faith
When Lesley Hazleton was writing a biography of Muhammad, she was struck by something: The night he received the revelation of the Koran, according to early accounts, his...


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Camille Seaman: Photos from a storm chaser
Photographer Camille Seaman has been chasing storms for 5 years. In this talk she shows stunning, surreal photos of the heavens in tumult.


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Paul Pholeros: How to reduce poverty? Fix homes
In 1985, architect Paul Pholeros was challenged by the director of an Aboriginal-controlled health service to "stop people getting sick" in a small indigenous community in...


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Joseph Kim: The family I lost in North Korea. And the family I gained.
A refugee now living in the US, Joseph Kim tells the story of his life in North Korea during the famine years. He's begun to create a new life -- but he still searches for...


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Juliana Rotich: Meet BRCK, Internet access built for Africa
Tech communities are booming all over Africa, says Nairobi-based Juliana Rotich, cofounder of the open-source software Ushahidi. But it remains challenging to get and stay...


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Didier Sornette: How we can predict the next financial crisis
The 2007-2008 financial crisis, you might think, was an unpredictable one-time crash. But Didier Sornette and his Financial Crisis Observatory have plotted a set of early...


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Manal al-Sharif: A Saudi woman who dared to drive
There's no actual law against women driving in Saudi Arabia. But it's forbidden. Two years ago, Manal al-Sharif decided to encourage women to drive by doing so -- and...


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