9 062 958
How I held my breath for 17 min
In this highly personal talk from TEDMED, magician and stuntman David Blaine describes what it took to hold his breath underwater for 17 minutes -- a world record (only two minutes shorter than this entire talk!) -- and what his often death-defying work means to him. Warning: do NOT try this at home.
5 895 475
Reggie Watts disorients you in the most entertaining way
Reggie Watts’ beats defy boxes. Unplug your logic board and watch as he blends poetry and crosses musical genres in this larger-than-life performance.
4 370 336
If I should have a daughter ...
"If I should have a daughter, instead of Mom, she's gonna call me Point B ... " began spoken word poet Sarah Kay, in a talk that inspired two standing ovations at TED2011. She tells the story of her metamorphosis -- from a wide-eyed teenager soaking in verse at New York's Bowery Poetry Club to a teacher connecting kids with the power of self-expression through Project
[ . . . ]
4 010 368
A Saudi, an Indian and an Iranian walk into a Qatari bar …
Iranian-American comedian Maz Jobrani takes to the TEDxSummit stage in Doha, Qatar to take on serious issues in the Middle East -- like how many kisses to give when saying “Hi,” and what not to say on an American airplane.
3 782 194
My journey to yo-yo mastery
Remember the days you struggled just to make a yo-yo spin, and if you were really fancy, to “walk the dog”? You ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Japanese yo-yo world champion BLACK tells the inspiring story of finding his life's passion, and gives an awesome performance that will make you want to pull your yo-yo back out of the closet.
1 236 544
How to truly listen
In this soaring demonstration, deaf percussionist Evelyn Glennie illustrates how listening to music involves much more than simply letting sound waves hit your eardrums.
1 172 174
Arthur Benjamin does "Mathemagic"
In a lively show, mathemagician Arthur Benjamin races a team of calculators to figure out 3-digit squares, solves another massive mental equation and guesses a few birthdays. How does he do it? He’ll tell you.
1 052 160
Einstein the Parrot talks and squawks
This whimsical wrap-up of TED2006 -- presented by Einstein, the African grey parrot, and her trainer, Stephanie White -- simply tickles. Watch for the moment when Einstein has a moment with Al Gore.
A TED speaker's worst nightmare
Colin Robertson had 3 minutes on the TED stage to tell the world about his solar-powered crowdsourced health care solution. And then...
Are you human?
Have you ever wondered: Am I a human being? Ze Frank suggests a series of simple questions that will determine this. Please relax and follow the prompts. Let's begin …
Teenaged boy wonders play bluegrass
Brothers Jonny, Robbie and Tommy Mizzone are The Sleepy Man Banjo Boys, a trio of virtuoso bluegrass musicians who play with dazzling vivacity. Did we mention they're all under 16?
Sarah Jones as a one-woman global village
In this hilariously lively performance, actress Sarah Jones channels an opinionated elderly Jewish woman, a fast-talking Dominican college student and more, giving TED2009 just a sample of her spectacular character range.
An 11-year-old prodigy performs old-school jazz
Raised listening to his dad's old records, Joey Alexander plays a brand of sharp, modern piano jazz that you likely wouldn't expect to hear from a pre-teenager. Listen as the 11-year-old delights the TED crowd with his very special performance of a Thelonious Monk classic.
Pamelia Kurstin plays the theremin
Virtuoso Pamelia Kurstin performs and discusses her theremin, the not-just-for-sci-fi electronic instrument that is played without being touched. Songs include "Autumn Leaves," "Lush Life" and David Mash’s "Listen, Words Are Gone."
If I controlled the Internet …
How many poets could cram eBay, Friendster and Monster.com into 3-minute poem worthy of a standing ovation? Enjoy Rives' unique talent.
Andrew Bird's one-man orchestra of the imagination
Musical innovator Andrew Bird winds together his trademark violin technique with xylophone, vocals and sophisticated electronic looping. Add in his uncanny ability to whistle anything, and he becomes a riveting one-man orchestra.
Ursus Wehrli tidies 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.
Rives remixes TED2006
Rives recaps the most memorable moments of TED2006 in the free-spirited rhyming verse of a fantastical mockingbird lullaby.
Natalie Merchant sings old poems to life
Natalie Merchant sings from her new album, Leave Your Sleep. Lyrics from near-forgotten 19th-century poetry pair with her unmistakable voice for a performance that brought the TED audience to its feet.
On being just crazy enough
At TED's Full Spectrum Auditions, comedian Joshua Walters, who's bipolar, walks the line between mental illness and mental "skillness." In this funny, thought-provoking talk, he asks: What's the right balance between medicating craziness away and riding the manic edge of creativity and drive?
Massively multi-player… thumb-wrestling?
What happens when you get an entire audience to stand up and connect with one another? Chaos, that's what. At least, that's what happened when Jane McGonigal tried to teach TED to play her favorite game. Then again, when the game is "massively multiplayer thumb-wrestling," what else would you expect?
Hurdy-gurdy for beginners
Caroline Phillips cranks out tunes on a seldom-heard folk instrument: the hurdy-gurdy, a.k.a. the wheel fiddle. A searching, Basque melody follows her fun lesson on its unique anatomy and 1,000-year history.
Four American characters
Writer and actor Anna Deavere Smith gives life to author Studs Terkel, convict Paulette Jenkins, a Korean shopkeeper and a bull rider, excerpts from her solo show "On the Road: A Search for American Character."
David Byrne sings "(Nothing But) Flowers"
David Byrne sings the Talking Heads' 1988 hit, "(Nothing But) Flowers." He's accompanied by Thomas Dolby and string quartet Ethel, who made up the TED2010 house band.
Kaki King rocks out to "Pink Noise"
Kaki King, the first female on Rolling Stone's "guitar god" list, rocks out to a full live set at TED2008, including her breakout single, "Playing with Pink Noise." Jaw-dropping virtuosity meets a guitar technique that truly stands out.
A dance in a hurricane of paper, wind and light
Choreographer Aakash Odedra is dyslexic and has always felt that his best expression comes through movement. “Murmur” is his ode to that experience, teaming up with co-creators Lewis Major and Ars Electronica Futurelab. Watch him spin his way through the center of a storm, as pages of books take flight all around him.
Happiness in body and soul
Eve Ensler, creator of "The Vagina Monologues," shares how a discussion about menopause with her friends led to talking about all sorts of sexual acts onstage, waging a global campaign to end violence toward women and finding her own happiness.
New York Times columnist David Pogue takes aim at technology’s worst interface-design offenders, and provides encouraging examples of products that get it right. To funny things up, he bursts into song.
A sci-fi vision of love from a 318-year-old hologram
Science fiction writer Monica Byrne imagines rich worlds populated with characters who defy our racial, social and gender stereotypes. In this performance, Byrne appears as a hologram named Pilar, transmitting a story of love and loss back to us from a near future when humans have colonized the universe. "It's always funny what you think the future is going to be like
[ . . . ]
The dancer, the singer, the cellist ... and a moment of creative magic
Legendary dance choreographer Bill T. Jones and TED Fellows Joshua Roman and Somi didn't know exactly what was going to happen when they took the stage at TED2015. They just knew they wanted to offer the audience an opportunity to witness creative collaboration in action. The result: An improvised piece they call "The Red Circle and the Blue Curtain," so extraordinary
[ . . . ]
The art of the interview
Marc Pachter has conducted live interviews with some of the most intriguing characters in recent American history as part of a remarkable series created for the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery. He reveals the secret to a great interview and shares extraordinary stories of talking with Steve Martin, Clare Booth Luce and more.
Home is a song I've always remembered
For musician Teitur, singing is about giving away a piece of yourself to others. "If your intentions are to impress people or to get the big applause at the end," he says, "then you are taking, not giving." Listen as he plays on stage at TED2015, offering two songs about love, distance and home.
Tom Rielly delivers a comic sendup of TED2006
Satirist Tom Rielly delivers a wicked parody of the 2006 TED conference, taking down the $100 laptop, the plight of the polar bear, and people who mention, one too many times, that they work at Harvard. Watch for a special moment between Tom and Al Gore.
Natasha Tsakos' multimedia theatrical adventure
Natasha Tsakos presents part of her one-woman, multimedia show, "Upwake." As the character Zero, she blends dream and reality with an inventive virtual world projected around her in 3D animation and electric sound.
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.
Dolby + Garniez play "La Vie en Rose"
Featuring the vocals and mischievous bell-playing of accordionist and singer Rachelle Garniez, the TED House Band -- led by Thomas Dolby on keyboard -- delivers this delightful rendition of the Edith Piaf standard "La Vie en Rose."
Stew says "Black Men Ski"
What happens when a black man visits Aspen? Singer/songwriter Stew and his band are about to let you know.
Eddi Reader sings "Kiteflyer's Hill"
Singer/songwriter Eddi Reader performs "Kiteflyer's Hill," a tender look back at a lost love. With Thomas Dolby on piano.
John Walker re-creates great performances
Imagine hearing great, departed pianists play again today, just as they would in person. John Q. Walker demonstrates how recordings can be analyzed for precise keystrokes and pedal motions, then played back on computer-controlled grand pianos.
Golan Levin on software (as) art
Engineer and artist Golan Levin pushes the boundaries of what’s possible with audiovisuals and technology. In an amazing TED display, he shows two programs he wrote to perform his original compositions.
A young poet tells the story of Darfur
Emtithal "Emi" Mahmoud writes poetry of resilience, confronting her experience of escaping the genocide in Darfur in verse. She shares two stirring original poems about refugees, family, joy and sorrow, asking, "Will you witness me?"
A beatboxing lesson from a father-daughter duo
Nicole Paris was raised to be a beatboxer — when she was young, her father, Ed Cage, used to beatbox her to sleep at night. Now the duo is known for their beatbox battles and jam sessions, which mix classic rap beats with electronic dance sounds. Prepare yourself for a bit of a hip-hop history lesson, and enjoy the show.
John Legend is on a mission to transform America's criminal justice system. Through his Free America campaign, he's encouraging rehabilitation and healing in our prisons, jails and detention centers — and giving hope to those who want to create a better life after serving their time. With a spoken-word prelude from James Cavitt, an inmate at San Quentin State Prison,
[ . . . ]
Singer, songwriter and actress Sara Ramirez is a woman of many talents. Joined by Michael Pemberton on guitar, Ramirez sings of opportunity, wisdom and the highs and lows of life in this live performance of her song, "Rollercoaster."
A visual history of social dance in 25 moves
Why do we dance? African-American social dances started as a way for enslaved Africans to keep cultural traditions alive and retain a sense of inner freedom. They remain an affirmation of identity and independence. In this electric demonstration, packed with live performances, choreographer, educator and TED Fellow Camille A. Brown explores what happens when
[ . . . ]
Ananda Shankar Jayant fights cancer with dance
Renowned classical Indian dancer Ananda Shankar Jayant was diagnosed with cancer in 2008. She tells her personal story of not only facing the disease but dancing through it, and gives a performance revealing the metaphor of strength that helped her do it.
"St. James Infirmary Blues"
Singer Rhiannon Giddens joins international music collective Silk Road Ensemble to perform "St. James Infirmary Blues," spiking the American folk song that Louis Armstrong popularized in the 1920s with Romani influence and mischievous energy.
Singer Amanda Palmer pays tribute to the inimitable David Bowie with a cover of "Space Oddity." She's joined onstage by Jherek Bischoff, TED Fellow Usman Riaz and, no, your eyes are not deceiving you, none other than former Vice President Al Gore.
An electrifying acoustic guitar performance
Guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela combine furiously fast riffs and dazzling rhythms to create a style that draws on both flamenco guitar and heavy metal in this live performance of their song, "The Soundmaker."
Rory Bremner's one-man world summit
Scottish funnyman Rory Bremner convenes a historic council on the TEDGlobal stage -- as he lampoons Gordon Brown, Barack Obama, George W. Bush and a cast of other world leaders with his hilarious impressions and biting commentary. See if you can catch a few sharp TED in-jokes.