1 023 614
Lessons from death row inmates
What happens before a murder? In looking for ways to reduce death penalty cases, David R. Dow realized that a surprising number of death row inmates had similar biographies. In this talk he proposes a bold plan, one that prevents murders in the first place. (Filmed at TEDxAustin.)
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
[ . . . ]
My son was a Columbine shooter. This is my story
Sue Klebold is the mother of Dylan Klebold, one of the two shooters who committed the Columbine High School massacre, murdering 12 students and a teacher. She's spent years excavating every detail of her family life, trying to understand what she could have done to prevent her son's violence. In this difficult, jarring talk, Klebold explores the intersection between
[ . . . ]
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.
Billy Graham on technology and faith
Speaking at TED in 1998, Rev. Billy Graham marvels at technology's power to improve lives and change the world -- but says the end of evil, suffering and death will come only after the world accepts Christ. A legendary talk from TED's archives.
“Am I dying?” The honest answer.
Matthew O’Reilly is a veteran emergency medical technician on Long Island, New York. In this talk, O’Reilly describes what happens next when a gravely hurt patient asks him: “Am I going to die?”
My mushroom burial suit
Here's a powerful provocation from artist Jae Rhim Lee. Can we commit our bodies to a cleaner, greener Earth, even after death? Naturally -- using a special burial suit seeded with pollution-gobbling mushrooms. Yes, this just might be the strangest TEDTalk you'll ever see ...
Peter Reinhart on bread
Batch to batch, crust to crust ... In tribute to the beloved staple food, baking master Peter Reinhart reflects on the cordial couplings (wheat and yeast, starch and heat) that give us our daily bread. Try not to eat a slice.
Our lonely society makes it hard to come home from war
Sebastian Junger has seen war up close, and he knows the impact that battlefield trauma has on soldiers. But he suggests there's another major cause of pain for veterans when they come home: the experience of leaving the tribal closeness of the military and returning to an alienating and bitterly divided modern society. "Sometimes, we ask ourselves if we can save the
[ . . . ]
Compassion and the true meaning of empathy
Buddhist roshi Joan Halifax works with people at the last stage of life (in hospice and on death row). She shares what she's learned about compassion in the face of death and dying, and a deep insight into the nature of empathy.
What happens when a city runs out of room for its dead
"If you want to go out and start your own cemetery" in the UK, says Alison Killing, "you kind of can." She thinks a lot about where we die and are buried — and in this talk, the architect and TED Fellow offers an eye-opening economic and social perspective on an overlooked feature of our towns and cities: the cemetery. Speaking specifically to UK laws, she unpacks the
[ . . . ]
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?
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
[ . . . ]
There’s a better way to die, and architecture can help
In this short, provocative talk, architect Alison Killing looks at buildings where death and dying happen — cemeteries, hospitals, homes. The way we die is changing, and the way we build for dying ... well, maybe that should too. It's a surprisingly fascinating look at a hidden aspect of our cities, and our lives.
Prepare for a good end of life
Thinking about death is frightening, but planning ahead is practical and leaves more room for peace of mind in our final days. In a solemn, thoughtful talk, Judy MacDonald Johnston shares 5 practices for planning for a good end of life.
The chilling aftershock of a brush with death
In April 2003, just as American troops began rolling into Baghdad, a shell smashed into the building author and war correspondent Jean-Paul Mari was reporting from. There he had a face-to-face encounter with death, beginning his acquaintance with a phantom that has haunted those who have risked their lives on battlefields since ancient times. "What is this thing that
[ . . . ]
What really matters at the end of life
At the end of our lives, what do we most wish for? For many, it’s simply comfort, respect, love. BJ Miller is a palliative care physician at Zen Hospice Project who thinks deeply about how to create a dignified, graceful end of life for his patients. Take the time to savor this moving talk, which asks big questions about how we think on death and honor life.
A tribute to nurses
Carolyn Jones spent five years interviewing, photographing and filming nurses across America, traveling to places dealing with some of the nation's biggest public health issues. She shares personal stories of unwavering dedication in this celebration of the everyday heroes who work at the front lines of health care.
I survived a terrorist attack. Here's what I learned
Gill Hicks's story is one of compassion and humanity, emerging from the ashes of chaos and hate. A survivor of the London terrorist bombings on July 7, 2005, she shares her story of the events of that day — and the profound lessons that came as she learned how to live on.
The real harm of the global arms trade
In some parts of the world, it's easier to get an automatic rifle than a glass of clean drinking water. Is this just the way it is? Samantha Nutt, doctor and founder of the international humanitarian organization War Child, explores the global arms trade — and suggests a bold, common sense solution for ending the cycle of violence. "War is ours," she says. "We buy it,
[ . . . ]
What I learned from 2,000 obituaries
Lux Narayan starts his day with scrambled eggs and the question: "Who died today?" Why? By analyzing 2,000 New York Times obituaries over a 20-month period, Narayan gleaned, in just a few words, what achievement looks like over a lifetime. Here he shares what those immortalized in print can teach us about a life well lived.
Two nameless bodies washed up on the beach. Here are their stories
When two bodies wearing identical wetsuits washed ashore in Norway and the Netherlands, journalist Anders Fjellberg and photographer Tomm Christiansen started a search to answer the question: who were these people? What they found and reported in Norway’s “Dagbladet” is that everybody has a name, everybody has a story and everybody is someone.
Amy Smith shares simple, lifesaving design
Fumes from indoor cooking fires kill more than 2 million children a year in the developing world. MIT engineer Amy Smith details an exciting but simple solution: a tool for turning farm waste into clean-burning charcoal.
David Rockwell builds at Ground Zero
In this emotionally charged conversation with journalist Kurt Andersen, designer David Rockwell discusses the process of building a viewing platform at Ground Zero shortly after 9/11.
Stories from a home for terminally ill children
To honor and celebrate young lives cut short, Kathy Hull founded the first freestanding pediatric palliative care facility in the United States, the George Mark Children's House. Its mission: to give terminally ill children and their families a peaceful place to say goodbye. She shares stories brimming with wisdom, joy, imagination and heartbreaking loss.
How my son's short life made a lasting difference
After Sarah Gray's unborn son Thomas was diagnosed with anencephaly, a terminal condition, she decided to turn her family's tragedy into an extraordinary gift and donate his organs to scientific research. In this tribute to life and discovery, she shares her journey to find meaning in loss and spreads a message of hope for other grieving families.
Say your truths and seek them in others
In a lyrical, unexpectedly funny talk about heavy topics such as frayed relationships and the death of a loved one, Elizabeth Lesser describes the healing process of putting aside pride and defensiveness to make way for soul-baring and truth-telling. "You don't have to wait for a life-or-death situation to clean up the relationships that matter to you," she says. "Be
[ . . . ]
Inside the mind of a former radical jihadist
"For a long time, I lived for death," says Manwar Ali, a former radical jihadist who participated in violent, armed campaigns in the Middle East and Asia in the 1980s. In this moving talk, he reflects on his experience with radicalization and makes a powerful, direct appeal to anyone drawn to Islamist groups that claim violence and brutality are noble and virtuous:
[ . . . ]