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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.
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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.)
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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.
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What you don't know about marriage
In this funny, casual talk from TEDx, writer Jenna McCarthy shares surprising research on how marriages (especially happy marriages) really work. One tip: Do not try to win an Oscar for best actress.
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Close-up card magic with a twist
Like your uncle at a family party, the rumpled Swedish doctor Lennart Green says, "Pick a card, any card." But what he does with those cards is pure magic -- flabbergasting, lightning-fast, how-does-he-do-it? magic.
The $8 billion iPod
Comic author Rob Reid unveils Copyright Math (TM), a remarkable new field of study based on actual numbers from entertainment industry lawyers and lobbyists.
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 …
J.J. Abrams' mystery box
J.J. Abrams traces his love for the unseen mystery –- a passion that’s evident in his films and TV shows, including Cloverfield, Lost and Alias -- back to its magical beginnings.
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.
I’m not your inspiration, thank you very much
Stella Young is a comedian and journalist who happens to go about her day in a wheelchair — a fact that doesn’t, she’d like to make clear, automatically turn her into a noble inspiration to all humanity. In this very funny talk, Young breaks down society's habit of turning disabled people into “inspiration porn.”
What's so funny about mental illness?
Diseases of the body garner sympathy, says comedian Ruby Wax -- except those of the brain. Why is that? With dazzling energy and humor, Wax, diagnosed a decade ago with clinical depression, urges us to put an end to the stigma of mental illness.
How healthy living nearly killed me
For a full year, A.J. Jacobs followed every piece of health advice he could -- from applying sunscreen by the shot glass to wearing a bicycle helmet while shopping. Onstage at TEDMED, he shares the surprising things he learned.
Nellie McKay sings "Mother of Pearl" and "If I Had You"
The wonderful Nellie McKay sings "Mother of Pearl" (with the immortal first line "Feminists don't have a sense of humor") and "If I Had You" from her sparkling set at TED2008.
Comics that ask "what if?"
Web cartoonist Randall Munroe answers simple what-if questions ("what if you hit a baseball moving at the speed of light?") using math, physics, logic and deadpan humor. In this charming talk, a reader’s question about Google's data warehouse leads Munroe down a circuitous path to a hilariously over-detailed answer — in which, shhh, you might actually learn something.
A story of mixed emoticons
Rives tells a typographical fairy tale that's short and bittersweet ;)
Designing books is no laughing matter. OK, it is.
Chip Kidd doesn’t judge books by their cover, he creates covers that embody the book -- and he does it with a wicked sense of humor. In one of the funniest talks from TED2012, he shows the art and deep thought of his cover designs. (From The Design Studio session at TED2012, guest-curated by Chee Pearlman and David Rockwell.)
Cute, sexy, sweet, funny
Why are babies cute? Why is cake sweet? Philosopher Dan Dennett has answers you wouldn't expect, as he shares evolution's counterintuitive reasoning on cute, sweet and sexy things (plus a new theory from Matthew Hurley on why jokes are funny).
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 the dark." In this witty talk, Firestein gets to the heart of science as it is really practiced and suggests that we should value what we don’t know -- or “high-quality ignorance” -- just as
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The myth of the gay agenda
In a humorous talk with an urgent message, LZ Granderson points out the absurdity in the idea that there's a "gay lifestyle," much less a "gay agenda." (Filmed at TEDxGrandRapids.)
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 and lifelong math geek, shares his passion for these odd numbers, and for the mysterious magic of math.
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.
Aliens, love -- where are they?
Humorist John Hodgman rambles through a new story about aliens, physics, time, space and the way all of these somehow contribute to a sweet, perfect memory of falling in love.
A.J. Jacobs' year of living biblically
Speaking at the most recent EG conference, author, philosopher, prankster and journalist A.J. Jacobs talks about the year he spent living biblically -- following the rules in the Bible as literally as possible.
Forget multitasking, try monotasking
People aren’t just cooking anymore -- they’re cooking, texting, talking on the phone, watching YouTube and uploading photos of the awesome meal they just made. Designer Paolo Cardini questions the efficiency of our multitasking world and makes the case for -- gasp -- "monotasking." His charming 3D-printed smartphone covers just might help.
The agony of trying to unsubscribe
It happens to all of us: you unsubscribe from an unwanted marketing email, and a few days later another message from the same company pops up in your inbox. Comedian James Veitch turned this frustration into whimsy when a local supermarket refused to take no for an answer. Hijinks ensued.
Everyday moments, caught in time
Combining dry wit with artistic depth, Billy Collins shares a project in which several of his poems were turned into delightful animated films in a collaboration with Sundance Channel. Five of them are included in this wonderfully entertaining and moving talk -- and don't miss the hilarious final poem!
Emily Levine's theory of everything
Philosopher-comedian Emily Levine talks (hilariously) about science, math, society and the way everything connects. She's a brilliant trickster, poking holes in our fixed ideas and bringing hidden truths to light. Settle in and let her ping your brain.
The Museum of Four in the Morning
Beware: Rives has a contagious obsession with 4 a.m. At TED2007, the poet shared what was then a minor fixation with a time that kept popping up everywhere. After the talk, emails starting pouring in with an avalanche of hilarious references—from the cover of "Crochet Today!" magazine to the opening scene of "The Metamorphosis." A lyrical peek into his Museum of Four
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Please, please, people. Let's put the 'awe' back in 'awesome'
Which of the following is awesome: your lunch or the Great Pyramid of Giza? Comedian Jill Shargaa sounds a hilarious call for us to save the word "awesome" for things that truly inspire awe.
A science award that makes you laugh, then think
As founder of the Ig Nobel awards, Marc Abrahams explores the world’s most improbable research. In this thought-provoking (and occasionally side-splitting) talk, he tells stories of truly weird science — and makes the case that silliness is critical to boosting public interest in science.
David Macaulay's Rome Antics
David Macaulay relives the winding and sometimes surreal journey toward the completion of Rome Antics, his illustrated homage to the historic city.
Wry photos that turn stereotypes upside down
Artist Uldus Bakhtiozina uses photographs to poke fun at societal norms in her native Russia. A glimpse into Russian youth culture and a short, fun reminder not to take ourselves too seriously.
Ze Frank's web playroom
On the web, a new "Friend" may be just a click away, but true connection is harder to find and express. Ze Frank presents a medley of zany Internet toys that require deep participation -- and reward it with something more nourishing. You're invited, if you promise you'll share.
David Carson on design + discovery
Great design is a never-ending journey of discovery -- for which it helps to pack a healthy sense of humor. Sociologist and surfer-turned-designer David Carson walks through a gorgeous (and often quite funny) slide deck of his work and found images.
How a dead duck changed my life
One afternoon, Kees Moeliker got a research opportunity few ornithologists would wish for: A flying duck slammed into his glass office building, died, and then … what happened next would change his life. [Note: Contains graphic images and descriptions of sexual behavior in animals.]
John Hodgman, comedian and resident expert, "explains" the design of three iconic modern objects. (From The Design Studio session at TED2012, guest-curated by Chee Pearlman and David Rockwell.)
High-tech art (with a sense of humor)
Artist and TED Fellow Aparna Rao re-imagines the familiar in surprising, often humorous ways. With her collaborator Soren Pors, Rao creates high-tech art installations -- a typewriter that sends emails, a camera that tracks you through the room only to make you invisible on screen -- that put a playful spin on ordinary objects and interactions.
Bruce McCall's faux nostalgia
Bruce McCall paints a future that never happened -- full of flying cars, polo-playing tanks and the RMS Tyrannic, "The Biggest Thing in All the World." At Serious Play '08, he narrates a brisk and funny slideshow of his faux-nostalgic art.
Chris Abani tells stories of people: People standing up to soldiers. People being compassionate. People being human and reclaiming their humanity. It's "ubuntu," he says: the only way for me to be human is for you to reflect my humanity back at me.
Inside the mind of a master procrastinator
Tim Urban knows that procrastination doesn't make sense, but he's never been able to shake his habit of waiting until the last minute to get things done. In this hilarious and insightful talk, Urban takes us on a journey through YouTube binges, Wikipedia rabbit holes and bouts of staring out the window — and encourages us to think harder about what we're really
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Nathan Myhrvold on archeology, animal photography, BBQ ...
Nathan Myhrvold talks about a few of his latest fascinations -- animal photography, archeology, BBQ and generally being an eccentric genius multimillionaire. Listen for wild stories from the (somewhat raunchy) edge of the animal world.
Marvin Minsky on health and the human mind
Listen closely -- Marvin Minsky's arch, eclectic, charmingly offhand talk on health, overpopulation and the human mind is packed with subtlety: wit, wisdom and just an ounce of wily, is-he-joking? advice.
Jaime Lerner sings of the city
Jaime Lerner reinvented urban space in his native Curitiba, Brazil. Along the way, he changed the way city planners worldwide see what’s possible in the metropolitan landscape.
Sculptor and engineer Arthur Ganson talks about his work -- kinetic art that explores deep philosophical ideas and is gee-whiz fun to look at.
Stefan Sagmeister on what he has learned
Rockstar designer Stefan Sagmeister delivers a short, witty talk on life lessons, expressed through surprising modes of design (including ... inflatable monkeys?).
Isaac Mizrahi on fashion and creativity
Fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi spins through a dizzying array of inspirations -- from '50s pinups to a fleeting glimpse of a woman on the street who makes him shout "Stop the cab!" Inside this rambling talk are real clues to living a happy, creative life.
Philippe Starck thinks deep on design
Designer Philippe Starck -- with no pretty slides to show -- spends 18 minutes reaching for the very roots of the question "Why design?" Listen carefully for one perfect mantra for all of us, genius or not.
David Pogue on the music wars
New York Times tech columnist David Pogue performs a satirical mini-medley about iTunes and the downloading wars, borrowing a few notes from Sonny and Cher and the Village People.
The Jill and Julia Show
Two TED favorites, Jill Sobule and Julia Sweeney, team up for a delightful set that mixes witty songwriting with a little bit of social commentary.
Yossi Vardi fights local warming
Investor and prankster Yossi Vardi delivers a ballsy lecture on the dangers of blogging. Specifically, for men.
Ben Katchor's comics of bygone New York
In this captivating talk from the TED archive, cartoonist Ben Katchor reads from his comic strips. These perceptive, surreal stories find the profound hopes and foibles of history (and modern New York) preserved in objects like light switches and signs.
Reed Kroloff on modern and romantic architecture
Reed Kroloff gives us a new lens for judging new architecture: is it modern, or is it romantic? Look for glorious images from two leading practices -- and a blistering critique of the 9/11 planning process.
"Success is a continuous journey"
In his typically candid style, Richard St. John reminds us that success is not a one-way street, but a constant journey. He uses the story of his business' rise and fall to illustrate a valuable lesson -- when we stop trying, we fail.
Do the green thing
Andy Hobsbawm shares a fresh ad campaign about going green -- and some of the fringe benefits.
Drawing on humor for change
New Yorker cartoonist Liza Donnelly shares a portfolio of her wise and funny cartoons about modern life -- and talks about how humor can empower women to change the rules.
Why I keep speaking up, even when people mock my accent
Artist Safwat Saleem grew up with a stutter — but as an independent animator, he decided to do his own voiceovers to give life to his characters. When YouTube commenters started mocking his Pakistani accent, it crushed him, and his voice began to leave his work. Hear how this TED Fellow reclaimed his voice and confidence in this charming, thoughtful talk.
All things are Moleeds
In a presentation that can only be described as epic, comedian Charles Fleischer delivers a hysterical send-up of a time-honored TED theme: the map. Geometry, numbers, charts and stamp art also factor in (somehow), as he weaves together a unique theory of everything called "Moleeds."