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17:11
5 619 150

10 things you didn't know about orgasm

"Bonk" author Mary Roach delves into obscure scientific research, some of it centuries old, to make 10 surprising claims about sexual climax, ranging from the bizarre to the hilarious. (This talk is aimed at adults. Viewer discretion advised.)
17:40
2 114 673

Big history

Backed by stunning illustrations, David Christian narrates a complete history of the universe, from the Big Bang to the Internet, in a riveting 18 minutes. This is "Big History": an enlightening, wide-angle look at complexity, life and humanity, set against our slim share of the cosmic timeline.
15:40
613 311

The unheard story of David and Goliath

It's a classic underdog tale: David, a young shepherd armed only with a sling, beats Goliath, the mighty warrior. The story has transcended its biblical origins to become a common shorthand for unlikely victory. But, asks Malcolm Gladwell, is that really what the David and Goliath story is about?
15:33
581 721

The 4 stories we tell ourselves about death

Philosopher Stephen Cave begins with a dark but compelling question: When did you first realize you were going to die? And even more interestingly: Why do we humans so often resist the inevitability of death? In a fascinating talk Cave explores four narratives -- common across civilizations -- that we tell ourselves "in order to help us manage the terror of
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03:57
447 963

Why is 'x' the unknown?

Why is 'x' the symbol for an unknown? In this short and funny talk, Terry Moore gives the surprising answer.
17:08
363 062

What explains the rise of humans?

Seventy thousand years ago, our human ancestors were insignificant animals, just minding their own business in a corner of Africa with all the other animals. But now, few would disagree that humans dominate planet Earth; we've spread to every continent, and our actions determine the fate of other animals (and possibly Earth itself). How did we get from there to here?
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17:08
200 297

What happens when you have a disease doctors can't diagnose

Five years ago, TED Fellow Jennifer Brea became progressively ill with myalgic encephalomyelitis, commonly known as chronic fatigue syndrome, a debilitating illness that severely impairs normal activities and on bad days makes even the rustling of bed sheets unbearable. In this poignant talk, Brea describes the obstacles she's encountered in seeking treatment for her
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16:24
194 848

What's so sexy about math?

Hidden truths permeate our world; they're inaccessible to our senses, but math allows us to go beyond our intuition to uncover their mysteries. In this survey of mathematical breakthroughs, Fields Medal winner Cédric Villani speaks to the thrill of discovery and details the sometimes perplexing life of a mathematician. "Beautiful mathematical explanations are not only
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16:47
190 437

Tim Brown urges designers to think big

Tim Brown says the design profession has a bigger role to play than just creating nifty, fashionable little objects. He calls for a shift to local, collaborative, participatory "design thinking" -- starting with the example of 19th-century design thinker Isambard Kingdom Brunel.
20:54
190 368

How we discovered DNA

Nobel laureate James Watson opens TED2005 with the frank and funny story of how he and his research partner, Francis Crick, discovered the structure of DNA.
17:39
184 498

Scott McCloud on comics

In this unmissable look at the magic of comics, Scott McCloud bends the presentation format into a cartoon-like experience, where colorful diversions whiz through childhood fascinations and imagined futures that our eyes can hear and touch.
14:42
177 399

My friend Richard Feynman

What's it like to be pals with a genius? Onstage at TEDxCaltech, physicist Leonard Susskind spins a few stories about his friendship with the legendary Richard Feynman, discussing his unconventional approach to problems both serious and ... less so.
20:13
165 341

Music and emotion through time

In this epic overview, Michael Tilson Thomas traces the development of classical music through the development of written notation, the record, and the re-mix.
18:50
160 746

Parag Khanna maps the future of countries

Many people think the lines on the map no longer matter, but Parag Khanna says they do. Using maps of the past and present, he explains the root causes of border conflicts worldwide and proposes simple yet cunning solutions for each.
16:38
157 005

Jennifer 8. Lee hunts for General Tso

Reporter Jennifer 8. Lee talks about her hunt for the origins of familiar Chinese-American dishes -- exploring the hidden spots where these two cultures have (so tastily) combined to form a new cuisine.
14:27
136 551

Can we build AI without losing control over it?

Scared of superintelligent AI? You should be, says neuroscientist and philosopher Sam Harris and not just in some theoretical way. We're going to build superhuman machines, says Harris, but we haven't yet grappled with the problems associated with creating something that may treat us the way we treat ants.
20:05
135 074

When people of Muslim heritage challenge fundamentalism

Karima Bennoune shares four powerful stories of real people fighting against fundamentalism in their own communities refusing to allow the faith they love to become a tool for crime, attacks and murder. These personal stories humanize one of the most overlooked human-rights struggles in the world.
08:50
123 030

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.
21:42
120 368

Peter Ward on Earth's mass extinctions

Asteroid strikes get all the coverage, but "Medea Hypothesis" author Peter Ward argues that most of Earth's mass extinctions were caused by lowly bacteria. The culprit, a poison called hydrogen sulfide, may have an interesting application in medicine.
23:50
107 135

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."
25:18
106 545

Irwin Redlener on surviving a nuclear attack

The face of nuclear terror has changed since the Cold War, but disaster-medicine expert Irwin Redlener reminds us the threat is still real. He looks at some of history's farcical countermeasures and offers practical advice on how to survive an attack.
13:42
102 473

3 ways to plan for the (very) long term

We increasingly make decisions based on short-term goals and gains an approach that makes the future more uncertain and less safe. How can we learn to think about and plan for a better future in the long term ... like, grandchildren-scale long term? Ari Wallach shares three tactics for thinking beyond the immediate.
11:26
99 793

Reinventing feminism

Blogger Courtney Martin examines the perennially loaded word "feminism" in this personal and heartfelt talk. She talks through the three essential paradoxes of her generation's quest to define the term for themselves.
19:37
99 552

2600 years of history in one object

A clay cylinder covered in Akkadian cuneiform script, damaged and broken, the Cyrus Cylinder is a powerful symbol of religious tolerance and multi-culturalism. In this enthralling talk Neil MacGregor, Director of the British Museum, traces 2600 years of Middle Eastern history through this single object.
17:14
98 362

A new way to explain explanation

For tens of thousands of years our ancestors understood the world through myths, and the pace of change was glacial. The rise of scientific understanding transformed the world within a few centuries. Why? Physicist David Deutsch proposes a subtle answer.
12:34
88 190

The Philosophical Breakfast Club

In 1812, four men at Cambridge University met for breakfast. What began as an impassioned meal grew into a new scientific revolution, in which these men -- who called themselves “natural philosophers” until they later coined “scientist” -- introduced four major principles into scientific inquiry. Historian and philosopher Laura Snyder tells their intriguing
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17:01
88 176

A Rosetta Stone for the Indus script

Rajesh Rao is fascinated by "the mother of all crossword puzzles": How to decipher the 4000 year old Indus script. At TED 2011 he tells how he is enlisting modern computational techniques to read the Indus language, the key piece to understanding this ancient civilization.
19:15
85 847

Why we should trust scientists

Many of the world's biggest problems require asking questions of scientists but why should we believe what they say? Historian of science Naomi Oreskes thinks deeply about our relationship to belief and draws out three problems with common attitudes toward scientific inquiry and gives her own reasoning for why we ought to trust science.
14:21
77 554

Finding the story inside the painting

When Tracy Chevalier looks at paintings, she imagines the stories behind them: How did the painter meet his model? What would explain that look in her eye? Why is that man blushing? She shares three stories inspired by portraits, including the one that led to her best-selling novel "Girl With a Pearl Earring."
15:57
77 407

Why public beheadings get millions of views

In a disturbing but fascinating walk through history, Frances Larson examines humanity's strange relationship with public executions and specifically beheadings. As she shows us, they have always drawn a crowd, first in the public square and now on YouTube. What makes them horrific and compelling in equal measure?
17:19
76 415

George Dyson at the birth of the computer

Historian George Dyson tells stories from the birth of the modern computer -- from its 17th-century origins to the hilarious notebooks of some early computer engineers.
11:59
74 783

Meet the inventor of the electronic spreadsheet

Dan Bricklin changed the world forever when he codeveloped VisiCalc, the first electronic spreadsheet and grandfather of programs you probably use every day like Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets. Join the software engineer and computing legend as he explores the tangled web of first jobs, daydreams and homework problems that led to his transformational invention.
04:26
74 293

The mathematics of history

What can mathematics say about history? According to TED Fellow Jean-Baptiste Michel, quite a lot. From changes to language to the deadliness of wars, he shows how digitized history is just starting to reveal deep underlying patterns.
08:32
69 040

George Dyson on Project Orion

Author George Dyson spins the story of Project Orion, a massive, nuclear-powered spacecraft that could have taken us to Saturn in five years. His insider’s perspective and a secret cache of documents bring an Atomic Age dream to life.
13:34
68 159

There's no such thing as not voting

Many people like to talk about how important voting is, how it's your civic duty and responsibility as an adult. Eric Liu agrees with all that, but he also thinks it's time to bring joy back to the ballot box. The former political speechwriter details how he and his team are fostering the culture around voting in the 2016 US presidential election and closes with a
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10:20
67 709

How to build an information time machine

Imagine if you could surf Facebook ... from the Middle Ages. Well, it may not be as far off as it sounds. In a fun and interesting talk, researcher and engineer Frederic Kaplan shows off the Venice Time Machine, a project to digitize 80 kilometers of books to create a historical and geographical simulation of Venice across 1000 years. (Filmed at TEDxCaFoscariU.
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20:55
65 030

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.
14:42
62 167

America's forgotten working class

J.D. Vance grew up in a small, poor city in the Rust Belt of southern Ohio, where he had a front-row seat to many of the social ills plaguing America: a heroin epidemic, failing schools, families torn apart by divorce and sometimes violence. In a searching talk that will echo throughout the country's working-class towns, the author details what the loss of the
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04:18
59 339

Siegfried Woldhek shows how he found the true face of Leonardo

Mona Lisa is one of the best-known faces on the planet. But would you recognize an image of Leonardo da Vinci? Illustrator Siegfried Woldhek uses some thoughtful image-analysis techniques to find what he believes is the true face of Leonardo.
10:49
57 506

Steven Johnson tours the Ghost Map

Author Steven Johnson takes us on a 10-minute tour of The Ghost Map, his book about a cholera outbreak in 1854 London and the impact it had on science, cities and modern society.
05:20
57 301

Archeology from space

In this short talk, TED Fellow Sarah Parcak introduces the field of "space archeology" -- using satellite images to search for clues to the lost sites of past civilizations.
20:39
52 561

How technology evolves

Tech enthusiast Kevin Kelly asks "What does technology want?" and discovers that its movement toward ubiquity and complexity is much like the evolution of life.
16:05
50 729

An interview with the founders of Black Lives Matter

Born out of a social media post, the Black Lives Matter movement has sparked discussion about race and inequality across the world. In this spirited conversation with Mia Birdsong, the movement's three founders share what they've learned about leadership and what provides them with hope and inspiration in the face of painful realities. Their advice on how to
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17:02
48 161

Kevin Kelly tells technology's epic story

In this wide-ranging, thought-provoking talk, Kevin Kelly muses on what technology means in our lives -- from its impact at the personal level to its place in the cosmos. (Filmed at TEDxAmsterdam.)
12:20
47 456

Ancient wonders captured in 3D

Ancient monuments give us clues to astonishing past civilizations -- but they're under threat from pollution, war, neglect. Ben Kacyra, who invented a groundbreaking 3D scanning system, is using his invention to scan and preserve the world's heritage in archival detail. (Watch to the end for a little demo.)
31:32
43 884

Kary Mullis celebrates the experiment

Biochemist Kary Mullis talks about the basis of modern science: the experiment. Sharing tales from the 17th century and from his own backyard-rocketry days, Mullis celebrates the curiosity, inspiration and rigor of good science in all its forms.
02:15
42 848

Murray Gell-Mann on the ancestor of language

After speaking at TED2007 on elegance in physics, the amazing Murray Gell-Mann gives a quick overview of another passionate interest: finding the common ancestry of our modern languages.
19:05
40 294

Toward a science of simplicity

Simplicity: We know it when we see it -- but what is it, exactly? In this funny, philosophical talk, George Whitesides chisels out an answer.
05:42
36 791

The day I turned down Tim Berners-Lee

Imagine it's late 1990, and you've just met a nice young man named Tim Berners-Lee, who starts telling you about his proposed system called the World Wide Web. Ian Ritchie was there. And ... he didn't buy it. A short story about information, connectivity and learning from mistakes.
20:07
35 478

Brewster Kahle builds a free digital library

Brewster Kahle is building a truly huge digital library -- every book ever published, every movie ever released, all the strata of web history ... It's all free to the public -- unless someone else gets to it first.
16:09
34 299

Unintended consequences

Every new invention changes the world -- in ways both intentional and unexpected. Historian Edward Tenner tells stories that illustrate the under-appreciated gap between our ability to innovate and our ability to foresee the consequences.
19:19
32 371

Doris Kearns Goodwin on learning 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.
14:00
31 317

My father the forger

Sarah Kaminsky tells the extraordinary story of her father Adolfo and his activity during World War II -- using his ingenuity and talent for forgery to save lives.
14:56
29 352

Who would the rest of the world vote for in your country's election?

Wish you could vote in another country's election? Simon Anholt unveils the Global Vote, an online platform that lets anybody, anywhere in the world, "vote" in the election of any country on earth (with surprising results).
21:06
29 011

Laurie Garrett on lessons from the 1918 flu

In 2007, as the world worried about a possible avian flu epidemic, Laurie Garrett, author of "The Coming Plague," gave this powerful talk to a small TED University audience. Her insights from past pandemics are suddenly more relevant than ever.
04:45
27 427

Capturing memories in video art

Using video mapping and projection, artist Gabriel Barcia-Colombo captures and shares his memories and friendships. At TED Fellow Talks, he shows his charming, thoughtful work -- which appears to preserve the people in his life in jars, suitcases, blenders ...
16:39
26 985

Eric Sanderson pictures New York -- before the City

400 years after Hudson found New York harbor, Eric Sanderson shares how he made a 3D map of Mannahatta's fascinating pre-city ecology of hills, rivers, wildlife -- accurate down to the block -- when Times Square was a wetland and you couldn't get delivery.
18:38
13 665

The refugee crisis is a test of our character

Sixty-five million people were displaced from their homes by conflict and disaster in 2016. It's not just a crisis; it's a test of who we are and what we stand for, says David Miliband and each of us has a personal responsibility to help solve it. In this must-watch talk, Miliband gives us specific, tangible ways to help refugees and turn empathy and altruism into
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31:39
13 618

Peter Hirshberg on TV and the web

In this absorbing look at emerging media and tech history, Peter Hirshberg shares some crucial lessons from Silicon Valley and explains why the web is so much more than "better TV."
03:50
10 709

David Hoffman shares his Sputnik mania

Filmmaker David Hoffman shares footage from his feature-length documentary Sputnik Mania, which shows how the Soviet Union's launch of Sputnik in 1957 led to both the space race and the arms race -- and jump-started science and math education around the world.
17:27
8 734

Why Brexit happened — and what to do next

We are embarrassingly unaware of how divided our societies are, and Brexit grew out of a deep, unexamined divide between those that fear globalization and those that embrace it, says social scientist Alexander Betts. How do we now address that fear as well as growing disillusionment with the political establishment, while refusing to give in to xenophobia and
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09:27
3 912

Tom Wujec demos the 13th-century astrolabe

Rather than demo another new technology, Tom Wujec reaches back to one of our earliest but most ingenious devices -- the astrolabe. With thousands of uses, from telling time to mapping the night sky, this old tech reminds us that the ancient can be as brilliant as the brand-new.
18:17
3 865

Could a drug prevent depression and PTSD?

The path to better medicine is paved with accidental yet revolutionary discoveries. In this well-told tale of how science happens, neuroscientist Rebecca Brachman shares news of a serendipitous breakthrough treatment that may prevent mental disorders like depression and PTSD from ever developing. And listen for an unexpected and controversial twist.
04:40
1 364

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
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16:00
674

How architecture helped music evolve

As his career grew, David Byrne went from playing CBGB to Carnegie Hall. He asks: Does the venue make the music? From outdoor drumming to Wagnerian operas to arena rock, he explores how context has pushed musical innovation.
13:38
590

There's no such thing as not voting

Many people like to talk about how important voting is, how it's your civic duty and responsibility as an adult. Eric Liu agrees with all that, but he also thinks it's time to bring joy back to the ballot box. The former political speechwriter details how he and his team are fostering the culture around voting in the 2016 US presidential election and closes with a
[ . . . ]
15:04
364

Every piece of art you've ever wanted to see — up close and searchable

What does a cultural Big Bang look like? For Amit Sood, director of Google's Cultural Institute and Art Project, it's an online platform where anyone can explore the world's greatest collections of art and artifacts in vivid, lifelike detail. Join Sood and Google artist in residence Cyril Diagne in a mind-bending demo of experiments from the Cultural Institute and
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15:35
315

Behind the lies of Holocaust denial

"There are facts, there are opinions, and there are lies," says historian Deborah Lipstadt, telling the remarkable story of her research into Holocaust deniers and their deliberate distortion of history. Lipstadt encourages us all to go on the offensive against those who assault the truth and facts. "Truth is not relative," she says.
04:53
147

Clues to prehistoric times, found in blind cavefish

TED Fellow Prosanta Chakrabarty explores hidden parts of the world in search of new species of cave-dwelling fish. These subterranean creatures have developed fascinating adaptations, and they provide biological insights into blindness as well as geological clues about how the continents broke apart million of years ago. Contemplate deep time in this short talk.
07:29
12

How music led to the invention of modern computers

Necessity is the mother of invention, right? Well, not always. Steven Johnson shows us how some of the most transformative ideas and technologies, like the computer, didn't emerge out of necessity at all but instead from the strange delight of play. Share this captivating, illustrated exploration of the history of invention. Turns out, you'll find the future wherever
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10:53
10

Art made of the air we breathe

Emily Parsons-Lord re-creates air from distinct moments in Earth's history from the clean, fresh-tasting air of the Carboniferous period to the soda-water air of the Great Dying to the heavy, toxic air of the future we're creating. By turning air into art, she invites us to know the invisible world around us. Breathe in the Earth's past and future in this
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