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Preview: TEDTalks (audio)

TEDTalks (audio)

TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. On this feed, you'll find TEDTalks video to inspire, intrigue and stir the imagination from some of the world's leading thinkers and doers, speaking from the stage at TED conferences, TEDx events and pa

Last Build Date: Sun, 23 Oct 2016 08:42:58 +0000

Copyright: Creative Commons:

Inside the mind of a former radical jihadist | Manwar Ali

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 15:17:43 +0000

"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: let go of anger and hatred, he says, and instead cultivate your heart to see goodness, beauty and truth in others.(image)

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Machine intelligence makes human morals more important | Zeynep Tufekci

Wed, 19 Oct 2016 15:18:26 +0000

Machine intelligence is here, and we're already using it to make subjective decisions. But the complex way AI grows and improves makes it hard to understand and even harder to control. In this cautionary talk, techno-sociologist Zeynep Tufekci explains how intelligent machines can fail in ways that don't fit human error patterns -- and in ways we won't expect or be prepared for. "We cannot outsource our responsibilities to machines," she says. "We must hold on ever tighter to human values and human ethics."(image)

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A temporary tattoo that brings hospital care to the home | Todd Coleman

Tue, 18 Oct 2016 15:04:25 +0000

What if doctors could monitor patients at home with the same degree of accuracy they'd get during a stay at the hospital? Bioelectronics innovator Todd Coleman shares his quest to develop wearable, flexible electronic health monitoring patches that promise to revolutionize healthcare and make medicine less invasive.(image)

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We've stopped trusting institutions and started trusting strangers | Rachel Botsman

Mon, 17 Oct 2016 14:48:54 +0000

Something profound is changing our concept of trust, says Rachel Botsman. While we used to place our trust in institutions like governments and banks, today we increasingly rely on others, often strangers, on platforms like Airbnb and Uber and through technologies like the blockchain. This new era of trust could bring with it a more transparent, inclusive and accountable society -- if we get it right. Who do you trust?(image)

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5 ways to lead in an era of constant change | Jim Hemerling

Thu, 13 Oct 2016 15:08:44 +0000

Who says change needs to be hard? Organizational change expert Jim Hemerling thinks adapting your business in today's constantly-evolving world can be invigorating instead of exhausting. He outlines five imperatives, centered around putting people first, for turning company reorganization into an empowering, energizing task for all.(image)

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Art can heal PTSD's invisible wounds | Melissa Walker

Wed, 12 Oct 2016 15:09:02 +0000

Trauma silences its victims, says creative arts therapist Melissa Walker, but art can help those suffering from the psychological wounds of war begin to open up and heal. In this inspiring talk, Walker describes how mask-making, in particular, allows afflicted servicemen and women reveal what haunts them -- and, finally, start to let it go.(image)

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The beauty of what we'll never know | Pico Iyer

Tue, 11 Oct 2016 15:10:36 +0000

Almost 30 years ago, Pico Iyer took a trip to Japan, fell in love with the country and moved there. A keen observer of the human spirit, Iyer professes that he now feels he knows far less about Japan -- or, indeed, about anything -- than he thought he knew three decades ago. In this lyrical meditation on wisdom, Iyer expands on this curious insight about knowledge gained with age: that the more we know, the more we see how little we know.(image)

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How we talk about sexual assault online | Ione Wells

Mon, 10 Oct 2016 15:25:42 +0000

We need a more considered approach to using social media for social justice, says writer and activist Ione Wells. After she was the victim of an assault in London, Wells published a letter to her attacker in a student newspaper that went viral and sparked the #NotGuilty campaign against sexual violence and victim-blaming. In this moving talk, she describes how sharing her personal story gave hope to others and delivers a powerful message against the culture of online shaming.(image)

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4 reasons to learn a new language | John McWhorter

Fri, 07 Oct 2016 18:54:52 +0000

English is fast becoming the world's universal language, and instant translation technology is improving every year. So why bother learning a foreign language? Linguist and Columbia professor John McWhorter shares four alluring benefits of learning an unfamiliar tongue.(image)

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What reality are you creating for yourself? | Isaac Lidsky

Thu, 06 Oct 2016 15:07:13 +0000

Reality isn't something you perceive; it's something you create in your mind. Isaac Lidsky learned this profound lesson firsthand, when unexpected life circumstances yielded valuable insights. In this introspective, personal talk, he challenges us to let go of excuses, assumptions and fears, and accept the awesome responsibility of being the creators of our own reality.(image)

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We can start winning the war against cancer | Adam de la Zerda

Wed, 05 Oct 2016 15:13:27 +0000

Learn about the latest advances in the war against cancer from Stanford researcher Adam de la Zerda, who's working on some cutting-edge techniques of his own. Using a remarkable imaging technology that illuminates cancer-seeking gold particles injected into the body, de la Zerda's lab hopes to light the way for surgeons to remove even the tiniest trace of deadly tumors.(image)

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Immigrant voices make democracy stronger | Sayu Bhojwani

Tue, 04 Oct 2016 15:01:06 +0000

In politics, representation matters -- and that's why we should elect leaders who reflect their country's diversity and embrace its multicultural tapestry, says Sayu Bhojwani. Through her own story of becoming an American citizen, the immigration scholar reveals how her love and dedication to her country turned into a driving force for political change. "We have fought to be here," she says, calling immigrant voices to action. "It's our country, too."(image)

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What you need to know about CRISPR | Ellen Jorgensen

Mon, 03 Oct 2016 15:12:14 +0000

Should we bring back the wooly mammoth? Or edit a human embryo? Or wipe out an entire species that we consider harmful? The genome-editing technology CRISPR has made extraordinary questions like these legitimate -- but how does it work? Scientist and community lab advocate Ellen Jorgensen is on a mission to explain the myths and realities of CRISPR, hype-free, to the non-scientists among us.(image)

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Technology hasn't changed love. Here's why | Helen Fisher

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 15:03:27 +0000

In our tech-driven, interconnected world, we've developed new ways and rules to court each other, but the fundamental principles of love have stayed the same, says anthropologist Helen Fisher. Our faster connections, she suggests, are actually leading to slower, more intimate relationships. At 12:20, couples therapist and relationship expert Esther Perel steps in to make an important point -- that while love itself stays the same, technology has affected the way we form and end relationships.(image)

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Can we build AI without losing control over it? | Sam Harris

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 14:51:38 +0000

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.(image)

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How we're harnessing nature's hidden superpowers | Oded Shoseyov

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 15:15:16 +0000

What do you get when you combine the strongest materials from the plant world with the most elastic ones from the insect kingdom? Super-performing materials that might transform ... everything. Nanobiotechnologist Oded Shoseyov walks us through examples of amazing materials found throughout nature, in everything from cat fleas to sequoia trees, and shows the creative ways his team is harnessing them in everything from sports shoes to medical implants.(image)

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America's forgotten working class | J.D. Vance

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 15:22:05 +0000

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 American Dream feels like and raises an important question that everyone from community leaders to policy makers needs to ask: How can we help kids from America's forgotten places break free from hopelessness and live better lives?(image)

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We can fight terror without sacrificing our rights | Rebecca MacKinnon

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 14:17:46 +0000

Can we fight terror without destroying democracy? Internet freedom activist Rebecca MacKinnon thinks that we'll lose the battle against extremism and demagoguery if we censor the internet and press. In this critical talk, she calls for a doubling-down on strong encryption and appeals to governments to better protect, not silence, the journalists and activists fighting against extremists.(image)

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The era of personal DNA testing is here | Sebastian Kraves

Thu, 22 Sep 2016 14:35:01 +0000

From improving vaccines to modifying crops to solving crimes, DNA technology has transformed our world. Now, for the first time in history, anyone can experiment with DNA at home, in their kitchen, using a device smaller than a shoebox. We are living in a personal DNA revolution, says biotech entrepreneur Sebastian Kraves, where the secrets buried in DNA are yours to find.(image)

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Why open a school? To close a prison | Nadia Lopez

Wed, 21 Sep 2016 14:59:41 +0000

Our kids are our future, and it's crucial they believe it themselves. That's why Nadia Lopez opened an academic oasis in Brownsville, Brooklyn, one of the most underserved and violent neighborhoods in New York -- because she believes in every child's brilliance and capabilities. In this short, energizing talk, the founding principal of Mott Hall Bridges Academy (and a star of Humans of New York) shares how she helps her scholars envision a brighter future for themselves and their families.(image)

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Why you should know how much your coworkers get paid | David Burkus

Tue, 20 Sep 2016 15:09:39 +0000

How much do you get paid? How does it compare to the people you work with? You should know, and so should they, says management researcher David Burkus. In this talk, Burkus questions our cultural assumptions around keeping salaries secret and makes a compelling case for why sharing them could benefit employees, organizations and society.(image)

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There's no such thing as not voting | Eric Liu

Mon, 19 Sep 2016 15:03:54 +0000

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 powerful analysis of why anyone eligible should show up on Election Day.(image)

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Why some people are more altruistic than others | Abigail Marsh

Fri, 16 Sep 2016 14:47:18 +0000

Why do some people do selfless things, helping other people even at risk to their own well-being? Psychology researcher Abigail Marsh studies the motivations of people who do extremely altruistic acts, like donating a kidney to a complete stranger. Are their brains just different?(image)

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Architecture that's built to heal | Michael Murphy

Thu, 15 Sep 2016 15:03:59 +0000

Architecture is more than a clever arrangement of bricks. In this eloquent talk, Michael Murphy shows how he and his team look far beyond the blueprint when they're designing. Considering factors from airflow to light, theirs is a holistic approach that produces community as well as (beautiful) buildings. He takes us on a tour of projects in countries such as Rwanda and Haiti, and reveals a moving, ambitious plan for The Memorial to Peace and Justice, which he hopes will heal hearts in the American South.(image)

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How fear of nuclear power is hurting the environment | Michael Shellenberger

Wed, 14 Sep 2016 14:51:50 +0000

"We're not in a clean energy revolution; we're in a clean energy crisis," says climate policy expert Michael Shellenberger. His surprising solution: nuclear. In this passionate talk, he explains why it's time to overcome longstanding fears of the technology, and why he and other environmentalists believe it's past time to embrace nuclear as a viable and desirable source of clean power.(image)

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How to raise successful kids -- without over-parenting | Julie Lythcott-Haims

Tue, 13 Sep 2016 15:08:37 +0000

By loading kids with high expectations and micromanaging their lives at every turn, parents aren't actually helping. At least, that's how Julie Lythcott-Haims sees it. With passion and wry humor, the former Dean of Freshmen at Stanford makes the case for parents to stop defining their children's success via grades and test scores. Instead, she says, they should focus on providing the oldest idea of all: unconditional love.(image)

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The future of money | Neha Narula

Mon, 12 Sep 2016 15:02:58 +0000

What happens when the way we buy, sell and pay for things changes, perhaps even removing the need for banks or currency exchange bureaus? That's the radical promise of a world powered by cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. We're not there yet, but in this sparky talk, digital currency researcher Neha Narula describes the collective fiction of money -- and paints a picture of a very different looking future.(image)

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A new way to heal hearts without surgery | Franz Freudenthal

Fri, 09 Sep 2016 15:16:55 +0000

At the intersection of medical invention and indigenous culture, pediatric cardiologist Franz Freudenthal mends holes in the hearts of children across the world, using a device born from traditional Bolivian loom weaving. "The most complex problems in our time," he says, "can be solved with simple techniques, if we are able to dream."(image)

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Why helmets don't prevent concussions -- and what might | David Camarillo

Thu, 08 Sep 2016 15:27:48 +0000

What is a concussion? Probably not what you think it is. In this talk from the cutting edge of research, bioengineer (and former football player) David Camarillo shows what really happens during a concussion -- and why standard sports helmets don't prevent it. Here's what the future of concussion prevention looks like.(image)

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The new American Dream | Courtney E. Martin

Wed, 07 Sep 2016 14:52:02 +0000

For the first time in history, the majority of American parents don't think their kids will be better off than they were. This shouldn't be a cause for alarm, says journalist Courtney Martin. Rather, it's an opportunity to define a new approach to work and family that emphasizes community and creativity. "The biggest danger is not failing to achieve the American Dream," she says in a talk that will resonate far beyond the US. "The biggest danger is achieving a dream that you don't actually believe in."(image)

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Let's teach for mastery -- not test scores | Sal Khan

Tue, 06 Sep 2016 14:44:01 +0000

Would you choose to build a house on top of an unfinished foundation? Of course not. Why, then, do we rush students through education when they haven't always grasped the basics? Yes, it's complicated, but educator Sal Khan shares his plan to turn struggling students into scholars by helping them master concepts at their own pace.(image)

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The risky politics of progress | Jonathan Tepperman

Thu, 01 Sep 2016 14:56:44 +0000

Global problems such as terrorism, inequality and political dysfunction aren't easy to solve, but that doesn't mean we should stop trying. In fact, suggests journalist Jonathan Tepperman, we might even want to think riskier. He traveled the world to ask global leaders how they're tackling hard problems -- and unearthed surprisingly hopeful stories that he's distilled into three tools for problem-solving.(image)

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Why you should talk to strangers | Kio Stark

Wed, 31 Aug 2016 15:02:28 +0000

"When you talk to strangers, you're making beautiful interruptions into the expected narrative of your daily life -- and theirs," says Kio Stark. In this delightful talk, Stark explores the overlooked benefits of pushing past our default discomfort when it comes to strangers and embracing those fleeting but profoundly beautiful moments of genuine connection.(image)

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Bring on the female superheroes! | Christopher Bell

Tue, 30 Aug 2016 15:00:57 +0000

Why is it so hard to find female superhero merchandise? In this passionate, sparkling talk, media studies scholar (and father of a Star Wars-obsessed daughter) Christopher Bell addresses the alarming lack of female superheroes in the toys and products marketed to kids -- and what it means for how we teach them about the world.(image)

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How women wage conflict without violence | Julia Bacha

Mon, 29 Aug 2016 15:34:06 +0000

Are you setting out to change the world? Here's a stat you should know: nonviolent campaigns are 100 percent more likely to succeed than violent ones. So why don't more groups use nonviolence when faced with conflict? Filmmaker Julia Bacha shares stories of effective nonviolent resistance, including eye-opening research on the crucial leadership role that women play.(image)

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The spellbinding art of human anatomy | Vanessa Ruiz

Fri, 26 Aug 2016 15:21:54 +0000

Vanessa Ruiz takes us on an illustrated journey of human anatomical art over the centuries, sharing captivating images that bring this visual science -- and the contemporary artists inspired by it -- to life. "Anatomical art has the power to reach far beyond the pages of a medical textbook," she says, "connecting our innermost selves with our bodies through art."(image)

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How the blockchain is changing money and business | Don Tapscott

Thu, 25 Aug 2016 14:55:46 +0000

What is the blockchain? If you don't know, you should; if you do, chances are you still need some clarification on how it actually works. Don Tapscott is here to help, demystifying this world-changing, trust-building technology which, he says, represents nothing less than the second generation of the internet and holds the potential to transform money, business, government and society.(image)

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What we can do to die well | Timothy Ihrig

Tue, 23 Aug 2016 15:04:39 +0000

The healthcare industry in America is so focused on pathology, surgery and pharmacology -- on what doctors "do" to patients -- that it often overlooks the values of the human beings it's supposed to care for. Palliative care physician Timothy Ihrig explains the benefits of a different approach, one that fosters a patient's overall quality of life and navigates serious illness from diagnosis to death with dignity and compassion.(image)

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The next manufacturing revolution is here | Olivier Scalabre

Mon, 22 Aug 2016 15:16:06 +0000

Economic growth has been slowing for the past 50 years, but relief might come from an unexpected place -- a new form of manufacturing that is neither what you thought it was nor where you thought it was. Industrial systems thinker Olivier Scalabre details how a fourth manufacturing revolution will produce a macroeconomic shift and boost employment, productivity and growth.(image)

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A letter to all who have lost in this era | Anand Giridharadas

Thu, 18 Aug 2016 15:02:25 +0000

Summer, 2016: amid populist revolts, clashing resentments and fear, writer Anand Giridharadas doesn't give a talk but reads a letter. It's from those who have won in this era of change, to those who have, or feel, lost. It confesses to ignoring pain until it became anger. It chides an idealistic yet remote elite for its behind-closed-doors world-saving and airy, self-serving futurism — for at times worrying more about sending people to Mars than helping them on Earth. And it rejects the exclusionary dogmas to which we cling, calling us instead to "dare to commit to the dream of each other."(image)

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Hunting for Peru's lost civilizations -- with satellites | Sarah Parcak

Wed, 17 Aug 2016 15:07:50 +0000

Around the world, hundreds of thousands of lost ancient sites lie buried and hidden from view. Satellite archaeologist Sarah Parcak is determined to find them before looters do. With the 2016 TED Prize, Parcak is building an online citizen-science tool called GlobalXplorer that will train an army of volunteer explorers to find and protect the world's hidden heritage. In this talk, she offers a preview of the first place they'll look: Peru -- the home of Machu Picchu, the Nazca lines and other archaeological wonders waiting to be discovered.(image)

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3 moons and a planet that could have alien life | James Green

Tue, 16 Aug 2016 15:08:21 +0000

Is there life beyond Earth? Join NASA's director of planetary science James Green for a survey of the places in our solar system that are most likely to harbor alien life.(image)

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A small country with big ideas to get rid of fossil fuels | Monica Araya

Mon, 15 Aug 2016 15:08:11 +0000

How do we build a society without fossil fuels? Using her native Costa Rica as an example of positive action on environmental protection and renewables, climate advocate Monica Araya outlines a bold vision for a world committed to clean energy in all sectors.(image)

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What a planet needs to sustain life | Dave Brain

Fri, 12 Aug 2016 14:49:58 +0000

"Venus is too hot, Mars is too cold, and Earth is just right," says planetary scientist Dave Brain. But why? In this pleasantly humorous talk, Brain explores the fascinating science behind what it takes for a planet to host life -- and why humanity may just be in the right place at the right time when it comes to the timeline of life-sustaining planets.(image)

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How Africa can keep rising | Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Thu, 11 Aug 2016 13:41:56 +0000

African growth is a trend, not a fluke, says economist and former Finance Minister of Nigeria Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. In this refreshingly candid and straightforward talk, Okonjo-Iweala describes the positive progress on the continent and outlines eight challenges African nations still need to address in order to create a better future.(image)

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The taboo secret to better health | Molly Winter

Wed, 10 Aug 2016 14:52:10 +0000

Our poop and pee have superpowers, but for the most part we don't harness them. Molly Winter faces down our squeamishness and asks us to see what goes down the toilet as a resource, one that can help fight climate change, spur innovation and even save us money.(image)

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How to build a business that lasts 100 years | Martin Reeves

Tue, 09 Aug 2016 15:04:50 +0000

If you want to build a business that lasts, there may be no better place to look for inspiration than your own immune system. Join strategist Martin Reeves as he shares startling statistics about shrinking corporate life spans and explains how executives can apply six principles from living organisms to build resilient businesses that flourish in the face of change.(image)

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The jobs we'll lose to machines -- and the ones we won't | Anthony Goldbloom

Mon, 08 Aug 2016 14:51:42 +0000

Machine learning isn't just for simple tasks like assessing credit risk and sorting mail anymore -- today, it's capable of far more complex applications, like grading essays and diagnosing diseases. With these advances comes an uneasy question: Will a robot do your job in the future?(image)

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How trees talk to each other | Suzanne Simard

Fri, 22 Jul 2016 15:11:46 +0000

"A forest is much more than what you see," says ecologist Suzanne Simard. Her 30 years of research in Canadian forests have led to an astounding discovery -- trees talk, often and over vast distances. Learn more about the harmonious yet complicated social lives of trees and prepare to see the natural world with new eyes.(image)

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A new way to study the brain's invisible secrets | Ed Boyden

Thu, 21 Jul 2016 15:14:39 +0000

Neuroengineer Ed Boyden wants to know how the tiny biomolecules in our brains generate emotions, thoughts and feelings -- and he wants to find the molecular changes that lead to disorders like epilepsy and Alzheimer's. Rather than magnify these invisible structures with a microscope, he wondered: What if we physically enlarge them and make them easier to see? Learn how the same polymers used to make baby diapers swell could be a key to better understanding our brains.(image)

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How the Panama Papers journalists broke the biggest leak in history | Gerard Ryle

Wed, 20 Jul 2016 15:19:50 +0000

Gerard Ryle led the international team that divulged the Panama Papers, the 11.5 million leaked documents from 40 years of activity of the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca that have offered an unprecedented glimpse into the scope and methods of the secretive world of offshore finance. Hear the story behind the biggest collaborative journalism project in history.(image)

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A project of peace, painted across 50 buildings | eL Seed

Tue, 19 Jul 2016 15:07:46 +0000

eL Seed fuses Arabic calligraphy with graffiti to paint colorful, swirling messages of hope and peace on buildings from Tunisia to Paris. The artist and TED Fellow shares the story of his most ambitious project yet: a mural painted across 50 buildings in Manshiyat Naser, a district of Cairo, Egypt, that can only be fully seen from a nearby mountain.(image)

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A forgotten Space Age technology could change how we grow food | Lisa Dyson

Mon, 18 Jul 2016 15:06:40 +0000

We're heading for a world population of 10 billion people -- but what will we all eat? Lisa Dyson rediscovered an idea developed by NASA in the 1960s for deep-space travel, and it could be a key to reinventing how we grow food.(image)

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My love letter to cosplay | Adam Savage

Fri, 15 Jul 2016 15:07:43 +0000

Adam Savage makes things and builds experiments, and he uses costumes to add humor, color and clarity to the stories he tells. Tracing his lifelong love of costumes -- from a childhood space helmet made of an ice cream tub to a No-Face costume he wore to Comic-Con -- Savage explores the world of cosplay and the meaning it creates for its community. "We're connecting with something important inside of us," he says. "The costumes are how we reveal ourselves to each other."(image)

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How to grow a forest in your backyard | Shubhendu Sharma

Thu, 14 Jul 2016 14:42:42 +0000

Forests don't have to be far-flung nature reserves, isolated from human life. Instead, we can grow them right where we are -- even in cities. Eco-entrepreneur and TED Fellow Shubhendu Sharma grows ultra-dense, biodiverse mini-forests of native species in urban areas by engineering soil, microbes and biomass to kickstart natural growth processes. Follow along as he describes how to grow a 100-year-old forest in just 10 years, and learn how you can get in on this tiny jungle party.(image)

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Nature is everywhere -- we just need to learn to see it | Emma Marris

Wed, 13 Jul 2016 15:00:19 +0000

How do you define "nature?" If we define it as that which is untouched by humans, then we won't have any left, says environmental writer Emma Marris. She urges us to consider a new definition of nature -- one that includes not only pristine wilderness but also the untended patches of plants growing in urban spaces -- and encourages us to bring our children out to touch and tinker with it, so that one day they might love and protect it.(image)

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What will be the next big scientific breakthrough? | Eric Haseltine

Tue, 12 Jul 2016 15:05:04 +0000

Throughout history, speculation has spurred beautiful, revolutionary science -- opening our eyes to entirely new universes. "I'm not talking about science that takes baby steps," says Eric Haseltine. "I'm talking about science that takes enormous leaps." In this talk, Haseltine passionately takes us to the edges of intellectual pursuit with two ideas -- one that's already made history, and the other that's digging into one of humanity's biggest questions with admirable ambition (and a healthy dose of skepticism from many).(image)

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3 lessons on success from an Arab businesswoman | Leila Hoteit

Mon, 11 Jul 2016 15:00:17 +0000

Professional Arab women juggle more responsibilities than their male counterparts, and they face more cultural rigidity than Western women. What can their success teach us about tenacity, competition, priorities and progress? Tracing her career as an engineer, advocate and mother in Abu Dhabi, Leila Hoteit shares three lessons for thriving in the modern world.(image)

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When we design for disability, we all benefit | Elise Roy

Fri, 08 Jul 2016 14:23:33 +0000

"I believe that losing my hearing was one of the greatest gifts I've ever received," says Elise Roy. As a disability rights lawyer and design thinker, she knows that being Deaf gives her a unique way of experiencing and reframing the world -- a perspective that could solve some of our largest problems. As she says: "When we design for disability first, you often stumble upon solutions that are better than those when we design for the norm."(image)

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Why I keep speaking up, even when people mock my accent | Safwat Saleem

Thu, 07 Jul 2016 15:21:10 +0000

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.(image)

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Why Brexit happened -- and what to do next | Alexander Betts

Wed, 06 Jul 2016 15:26:08 +0000

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 nationalism? Join Betts as he discusses four post-Brexit steps toward a more inclusive world.(image)

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How Syria's architecture laid the foundation for brutal war | Marwa Al-Sabouni

Tue, 05 Jul 2016 15:15:31 +0000

What caused the war in Syria? Oppression, drought and religious differences all played key roles, but Marwa Al-Sabouni suggests another reason: architecture. Speaking to us over the Internet from Homs, where for the last six years she has watched the war tear her city apart, Al-Sabouni suggests that Syria's architecture divided its once tolerant and multicultural society into single-identity enclaves defined by class and religion. The country's future now depends on how it chooses to rebuild.(image)

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"Redemption Song" | John Legend

Fri, 01 Jul 2016 15:08:54 +0000

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, Legend treats us to his version of Bob Marley's "Redemption Song." "Won't you help to sing these songs of freedom?"(image)

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Clues to prehistoric times, found in blind cavefish | Prosanta Chakrabarty

Thu, 30 Jun 2016 15:18:38 +0000

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.(image)

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Why you think you're right -- even if you're wrong | Julia Galef

Wed, 29 Jun 2016 15:31:08 +0000

Perspective is everything, especially when it comes to examining your beliefs. Are you a soldier, prone to defending your viewpoint at all costs -- or a scout, spurred by curiosity? Julia Galef examines the motivations behind these two mindsets and how they shape the way we interpret information, interweaved with a compelling history lesson from 19th-century France. When your steadfast opinions are tested, Galef asks: "What do you most yearn for? Do you yearn to defend your own beliefs or do you yearn to see the world as clearly as you possibly can?"(image)

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How computers are learning to be creative | Blaise Agüera y Arcas

Tue, 28 Jun 2016 14:46:01 +0000

We're on the edge of a new frontier in art and creativity -- and it's not human. Blaise Agüera y Arcas, principal scientist at Google, works with deep neural networks for machine perception and distributed learning. In this captivating demo, he shows how neural nets trained to recognize images can be run in reverse, to generate them. The results: spectacular, hallucinatory collages (and poems!) that defy categorization. "Perception and creativity are very intimately connected," Agüera y Arcas says. "Any creature, any being that is able to do perceptual acts is also able to create."(image)

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How a blind astronomer found a way to hear the stars | Wanda Diaz Merced

Mon, 27 Jun 2016 14:36:11 +0000

Wanda Diaz Merced studies the light emitted by gamma-ray bursts, the most energetic events in the universe. When she lost her sight and was left without a way to do her science, she had a revelatory insight: the light curves she could no longer see could be translated into sound. Through sonification, she regained mastery over her work, and now she's advocating for a more inclusive scientific community. "Science is for everyone," she says. "It has to be available to everyone, because we are all natural explorers."(image)

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What can we learn from shortcuts? | Tom Hulme

Fri, 24 Jun 2016 14:46:05 +0000

How do you build a product people really want? Allow consumers to be a part of the process. "Empathy for what your customers want is probably the biggest leading indicator of business success," says designer Tom Hulme. In this short talk, Hulme lays out three insightful examples of the intersection of design and user experience, where people have developed their own desire paths out of necessity. Once you know how to spot them, you'll start noticing them everywhere.(image)

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Who are you, really? The puzzle of personality | Brian Little

Thu, 23 Jun 2016 15:05:37 +0000

What makes you, you? Psychologists like to talk about our traits, or defined characteristics that make us who we are. But Brian Little is more interested in moments when we transcend those traits -- sometimes because our culture demands it of us, and sometimes because we demand it of ourselves. Join Little as he dissects the surprising differences between introverts and extroverts and explains why your personality may be more malleable than you think.(image)

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How to fix a broken education system ... without any more money | Seema Bansal

Wed, 22 Jun 2016 14:54:41 +0000

Seema Bansal forged a path to public education reform for 15,000 schools in Haryana, India, by setting an ambitious goal: by 2020, 80 percent of children should have grade-level knowledge. She's looking to meet this goal by seeking reforms that will work in every school without additional resources. Bansal and her team have found success using creative, straightforward techniques such as communicating with teachers using SMS group chats, and they have already measurably improved learning and engagement in Haryana's schools.(image)

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Why genetic research must be more diverse | Keolu Fox

Tue, 21 Jun 2016 15:07:40 +0000

Ninety-six percent of genome studies are based on people of European descent. The rest of the world is virtually unrepresented -- and this is dangerous, says geneticist and TED Fellow Keolu Fox, because we react to drugs differently based on our genetic makeup. Fox is working to democratize genome sequencing, specifically by advocating for indigenous populations to get involved in research, with the goal of eliminating health disparities. "The research community needs to immerse itself in indigenous culture," he says, "or die trying."(image)

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How better tech could protect us from distraction | Tristan Harris

Fri, 17 Jun 2016 15:13:22 +0000

How often does technology interrupt us from what we really mean to be doing? At work and at play, we spend a startling amount of time distracted by pings and pop-ups -- instead of helping us spend our time well, it often feels like our tech is stealing it away from us. Design thinker Tristan Harris offers thoughtful new ideas for technology that creates more meaningful interaction. He asks: "What does the future of technology look like when you're designing for the deepest human values?"(image)

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The birth of virtual reality as an art form | Chris Milk

Thu, 16 Jun 2016 20:00:55 +0000

Chris Milk uses innovative technologies to make personal, interactive, human stories. Accompanied by Joshua Roman on cello and McKenzie Stubbert on piano, Milk traces his relationship to music and art -- from the first moment he remembers putting on headphones to his current work creating breakthrough virtual reality projects. VR is the last medium for storytelling, he says, because it closes the gap between audience and storyteller. To illustrate, he brought the TED audience together in the world's largest collective VR experience. Join them and take part in this interactive talk by getting a Google Cardboard and downloading the experience at

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This scientist makes ears out of apples | Andrew Pelling

Wed, 15 Jun 2016 14:50:15 +0000

TED Fellow Andrew Pelling is a biohacker, and nature is his hardware. His favorite materials are the simplest ones (and oftentimes he finds them in the garbage). Building on the cellulose structure that gives an apple its shape, he "grows" lifelike human ears, pioneering a process that might someday be used to repair body parts safely and cheaply. And he has some even wilder ideas to share ... "What I'm really curious about is if one day it will be possible to repair, rebuild and augment our own bodies with stuff we make in the kitchen," he says.(image)

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The secret to effective nonviolent resistance | Jamila Raqib

Tue, 14 Jun 2016 15:22:06 +0000

We're not going to end violence by telling people that it's morally wrong, says Jamila Raqib, executive director of the Albert Einstein Institution. Instead, we must find alternative ways to conduct conflict that are equally powerful and effective. Raqib promotes nonviolent resistance to people living under tyranny -- and there's a lot more to it than street protests. She shares encouraging examples of creative strategies that have led to change around the world and a message of hope for a future without armed conflict. "The greatest hope for humanity lies not in condemning violence but in making violence obsolete," Raqib says.(image)

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3 reasons why we can win the fight against poverty | Andrew Youn

Mon, 13 Jun 2016 15:18:47 +0000

Half of the world's poorest people have something in common: they're small farmers. In this eye-opening talk, activist Andrew Youn shows how his group, One Acre Fund, is helping these farmers lift themselves out of poverty by delivering to them life-sustaining farm services that are already in use all over the world. Enter this talk believing we'll never be able to solve hunger and extreme poverty, and leave it with a new understanding of the scale of the world's biggest problems.(image)

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A highly scientific taxonomy of haters | Negin Farsad

Fri, 10 Jun 2016 15:22:49 +0000

TED Fellow Negin Farsad weaves comedy and social commentary to cleverly undercut stereotypes of her culture. In this uproarious talk/stand-up hybrid, Farsad speaks on her documentary, The Muslims Are Coming!, narrates her fight with the MTA in New York and offers a detailed breakdown of the different types of haters she's encountered in her work. "Comedy is one of our best weapons," she says. "We've tried a lot of approaches to social justice, like war and competitive ice dancing -- but a lot of things are still kind of awful. I think it's time we try and tell a really good poop joke."(image)

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How college loans exploit students for profit | Sajay Samuel

Thu, 09 Jun 2016 15:17:02 +0000

"Once upon a time in America," says professor Sajay Samuel, "going to college did not mean graduating with debt." Today, higher education has become a consumer product -- costs have skyrocketed, saddling students with a combined debt of over $1 trillion, while universities and loan companies make massive profits. Samuel proposes a radical solution: link tuition costs to a degree's expected earnings, so that students can make informed decisions about their future, restore their love of learning and contribute to the world in a meaningful way.(image)

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The Chinese zodiac, explained | ShaoLan Hsueh

Wed, 08 Jun 2016 14:55:35 +0000

A quarter of the world's population cares a lot about the Chinese zodiac. Even if you don't believe in it, you'd be wise to know how it works, says technologist and entrepreneur ShaoLan Hseuh. In this fun, informative talk, ShaoLan shares some tips for understanding the ancient tradition and describes how it's believed to influence your personality, career, marriage prospects and how you'll do in a given year. What does your sign say about you?(image)

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Every piece of art you've ever wanted to see -- up close and searchable | Amit Sood

Tue, 07 Jun 2016 15:01:43 +0000

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 glimpse the exciting future of accessibility to arts and culture.(image)

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What's so sexy about math? | Cédric Villani

Mon, 06 Jun 2016 15:15:26 +0000

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 for our pleasure," he says. "They change our vision of the world."(image)

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The passing of time, caught in a single photo | Stephen Wilkes

Fri, 03 Jun 2016 14:51:37 +0000

Photographer Stephen Wilkes crafts stunning compositions of landscapes as they transition from day to night, exploring the space-time continuum within a two-dimensional still photograph. Journey with him to iconic locations like the Tournelle Bridge in Paris, El Capitan in Yosemite National Park and a life-giving watering hole in heart of the Serengeti in this tour of his art and process.(image)

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An entertainment icon on living a life of meaning | Norman Lear / Eric Hirshberg

Thu, 02 Jun 2016 15:05:29 +0000

In the 1970s (and decades following), TV producer Norman Lear touched the lives of millions with culture-altering sitcoms like All in the Family, The Jeffersons and Good Times, pushing the boundaries of the era and giving a primetime voice to underrepresented Americans. In an intimate, smart conversation with Eric Hirshberg, he shares with humility and humor how his early relationship with "the foolishness of the human condition" shaped his life and creative vision.(image)

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The real harm of the global arms trade | Samantha Nutt

Wed, 01 Jun 2016 15:10:18 +0000

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, sell it, spread it and wage it. We are therefore not powerless to solve it."(image)

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A smarter, more precise way to think about public health | Sue Desmond-Hellmann

Tue, 31 May 2016 15:08:32 +0000

Sue Desmond-Hellmann is using precision public health -- an approach that incorporates big data, consumer monitoring, gene sequencing and other innovative tools -- to solve the world's most difficult medical problems. It's already helped cut HIV transmission from mothers to babies by nearly half in sub-Saharan Africa, and now it's being used to address alarming infant mortality rates all over the world. The goal: to save lives by bringing the right interventions to the right populations at the right time.(image)

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My journey from Marine to actor | Adam Driver / Jesse Perez / Matt Johnson

Fri, 27 May 2016 15:10:29 +0000

Before he fought in the galactic battles of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Adam Driver was a United States Marine with 1/1 Weapons Company. He tells the story of how and why he became a Marine, the complex transition from soldier to civilian -- and Arts in the Armed Forces, his nonprofit that brings theater to the military. Because, as he says: "Self-expression is just as valuable a tool as a rifle on your shoulder." Followed by a spirited performance of Marco Ramirez's "I am not Batman" by Jesse J. Perez and Matt Johnson. (Adult language)(image)

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How barbershops can keep men healthy | Joseph Ravenell

Thu, 26 May 2016 15:06:43 +0000

The barbershop can be a safe haven for black men, a place for honest conversation and trust -- and, as physician Joseph Ravenell suggests, a good place to bring up tough topics about health. He's turning the barbershop into a place to talk about medical problems that statistically affect black men more often and more seriously, like high blood pressure. It's a new approach to problem solving with broad applications. "What is your barbershop?" he asks. "Where is that place for you where people affected by a unique problem can meet a unique solution?"(image)

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Drawings that show the beauty and fragility of Earth | Zaria Forman

Wed, 25 May 2016 15:00:38 +0000

Zaria Forman's large-scale compositions of melting glaciers, icebergs floating in glassy water and waves cresting with foam explore moments of transition, turbulence and tranquility. Join her as she discusses the meditative process of artistic creation and the motivation behind her work. "My drawings celebrate the beauty of what we all stand to lose," she says. "I hope they can serve as records of sublime landscapes in flux."(image)

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Your words may predict your future mental health | Mariano Sigman

Tue, 24 May 2016 15:10:38 +0000

Can the way you speak and write today predict your future mental state, even the onset of psychosis? In this fascinating talk, neuroscientist Mariano Sigman reflects on ancient Greece and the origins of introspection to investigate how our words hint at our inner lives and details a word-mapping algorithm that could predict the development of schizophrenia. "We may be seeing in the future a very different form of mental health," Sigman says, "based on objective, quantitative and automated analysis of the words we write, of the words we say."(image)

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The beauty of being a misfit | Lidia Yuknavitch

Mon, 23 May 2016 14:58:15 +0000

To those who feel like they don't belong: there is beauty in being a misfit. Author Lidia Yuknavitch shares her own wayward journey in an intimate recollection of patchwork stories about loss, shame and the slow process of self-acceptance. "Even at the moment of your failure, you are beautiful," she says. "You don't know it yet, but you have the ability to reinvent yourself endlessly. That's your beauty."(image)

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How free is our freedom of the press? | Trevor Timm

Fri, 20 May 2016 15:24:40 +0000

In the US, the press has a right to publish secret information the public needs to know, protected by the First Amendment. Government surveillance has made it increasingly more dangerous for whistleblowers, the source of virtually every important story about national security since 9/11, to share information. In this concise, informative talk, Freedom of the Press Foundation co-founder and TED Fellow Trevor Timm traces the recent history of government action against individuals who expose crime and injustice and advocates for technology that can help them do it safely and anonymously.(image)

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The laws that sex workers really want | Toni Mac

Thu, 19 May 2016 15:09:27 +0000

Everyone has an opinion about how to legislate sex work (whether to legalize it, ban it or even tax it) ... but what do workers themselves think would work best? Activist Toni Mac explains four legal models that are being used around the world and shows us the model that she believes will work best to keep sex workers safe and offer greater self-determination. "If you care about gender equality or poverty or migration or public health, then sex worker rights matter to you," she says. "Make space for us in your movements." (Adult themes)(image)

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Good news in the fight against pancreatic cancer | Laura Indolfi

Tue, 17 May 2016 14:46:20 +0000

Anyone who has lost a loved one to pancreatic cancer knows the devastating speed with which it can affect an otherwise healthy person. TED Fellow and biomedical entrepreneur Laura Indolfi is developing a revolutionary way to treat this complex and lethal disease: a drug delivery device that acts as a cage at the site of a tumor, preventing it from spreading and delivering medicine only where it's needed. "We are hoping that one day we can make pancreatic cancer a curable disease," she says.(image)

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