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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 partner events around the world. This podcast is also available in high-def video and audio-only formats.
Updated: 5 weeks 5 days ago

TED: Anne Curzan: What makes a word “real”? - Anne Curzan (2014)

Tue, 2014-06-17 22:52
One could argue that slang words like ‘hangry,’ ‘defriend’ and ‘adorkable’ fill crucial meaning gaps in the English language, even if they don't appear in the dictionary. After all, who actually decides which words make it into those vaulted pages? Language historian Anne Curzan gives a charming look at the humans behind dictionaries, and the choices they make on a constant basis.

TED: Kwame Anthony Appiah: Is religion good or bad? (This is a trick question) - Kwame Anthony Appiah (2014)

Mon, 2014-06-16 23:04
Plenty of good things are done in the name of religion, and plenty of bad things too. But what is religion, exactly — is it good or bad, in and of itself? Philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah offers a generous, surprising view.

TED: AJ Jacobs: The world's largest family reunion … we're all invited! - AJ Jacobs (2014)

Fri, 2014-06-13 23:09
You may not know it yet, but AJ Jacobs is probably your cousin (many, many times removed). Using genealogy websites, he’s been following the unexpected links that make us all, however distantly, related. His goal: to throw the world’s largest family reunion. See you there?

TED: Uri Alon: Why truly innovative science demands a leap into the unknown - Uri Alon (2013)

Thu, 2014-06-12 23:05
While studying for his PhD in physics, Uri Alon thought he was a failure because all his research paths led to dead ends. But, with the help of improv theater, he came to realize that there could be joy in getting lost. A call for scientists to stop thinking of research as a direct line from question to answer, but as something more creative. It's a message that will resonate, no matter what your field.

TED: Will Potter: The shocking move to criminalize nonviolent protest - Will Potter (2014)

Wed, 2014-06-11 22:57
In 2002, investigative journalist and TED Fellow Will Potter decided to take a break from his regular beat, writing about shootings and murders for the Chicago Tribune. He went to help a local group campaigning against animal testing: "I thought it would be a safe way to do something positive," he says. Instead, he was arrested, and so began his ongoing journey into a world in which peaceful protest is branded as terrorism.

TED: Keren Elazari: Hackers: the Internet's immune system - Keren Elazari (2014)

Tue, 2014-06-10 22:58
The beauty of hackers, says cybersecurity expert Keren Elazari, is that they force us to evolve and improve. Yes, some hackers are bad guys, but many are working to fight government corruption and advocate for our rights. By exposing vulnerabilities, they push the Internet to become stronger and healthier, wielding their power to create a better world.

TED: Stella Young: I’m not your inspiration, thank you very much - Stella Young (2014)

Mon, 2014-06-09 23:10
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.”

TED: Yoruba Richen: What the gay rights movement learned from the civil rights movement - Yoruba Richen (2014)

Fri, 2014-06-06 22:58
As a member of both the African American and LGBT communities, filmmaker Yoruba Richen is fascinated with the overlaps and tensions between the gay rights and the civil rights movements. She explores how the two struggles intertwine and propel each other forward — and, in an unmissable argument, she dispels a myth about their points of conflict. A powerful reminder that we all have a stake in equality.

TED: Robert Full: The secrets of nature's grossest creatures, channeled into robots - Robert Full (2014)

Thu, 2014-06-05 23:09
How can robots learn to stabilize on rough terrain, walk upside down, do gymnastic maneuvers in air and run into walls without harming themselves? Robert Full takes a look at the incredible body of the cockroach to show what it can teach robotics engineers.

TED: Stephen Burt: Why people need poetry - Stephen Burt (2013)

Wed, 2014-06-04 23:09
"We're all going to die -- and poems can help us live with that." In a charming and funny talk, literary critic Stephen Burt takes us on a lyrical journey with some of his favorite poets, all the way down to a line break and back up to the human urge to imagine.

TED: Dan Gilbert: The psychology of your future self - Dan Gilbert (2014)

Tue, 2014-06-03 22:56
"Human beings are works in progress that mistakenly think they're finished." Dan Gilbert shares recent research on a phenomenon he calls the "end of history illusion," where we somehow imagine that the person we are right now is the person we'll be for the rest of time. Hint: that's not the case.

TED: Ray Kurzweil: Get ready for hybrid thinking - Ray Kurzweil (2014)

Mon, 2014-06-02 23:02
Two hundred million years ago, our mammal ancestors developed a new brain feature: the neocortex. This stamp-sized piece of tissue (wrapped around a brain the size of a walnut) is the key to what humanity has become. Now, futurist Ray Kurzweil suggests, we should get ready for the next big leap in brain power, as we tap into the computing power in the cloud.

TED: Sting: How I started writing songs again - Sting (2014)

Fri, 2014-05-30 22:46
Sting’s early life was dominated by a shipyard—and he dreamed of nothing more than escaping the industrial drudgery. But after a nasty bout of writer’s block that stretched on for years, Sting found himself channeling the stories of the shipyard workers he knew in his youth for song material. In a lyrical, confessional talk, Sting treats us to songs from his upcoming musical, and to an encore of “Message in a Bottle.”

TED: Stephen Friend: The hunt for "unexpected genetic heroes" - Stephen Friend (2014)

Thu, 2014-05-29 23:18
What can we learn from people with the genetics to get sick — who don’t? With most inherited diseases, only some family members will develop the disease, while others who carry the same genetic risks dodge it. Stephen Friend suggests we start studying those family members who stay healthy. Hear about the Resilience Project, a massive effort to collect genetic materials that may help decode inherited disorders.

TED: Kitra Cahana: A glimpse of life on the road - Kitra Cahana (2014)

Wed, 2014-05-28 23:11
As a young girl, photojournalist and TED Fellow Kitra Cahana dreamed about running away from home to live freely on the road. Now as an adult and self-proclaimed vagabond, she follows modern nomads into their homes -- boxcars, bus stops, parking lots, rest stop bathrooms -- giving a glimpse into a culture on the margins.

TED: Jon Mooallem: How the teddy bear taught us compassion - Jon Mooallem (2014)

Tue, 2014-05-27 22:50
In 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt legendarily spared the life of a black bear -- and prompted a plush toy craze for so-called "teddy bears." Writer Jon Mooallem digs into this toy story and asks us to consider how the tales we tell about wild animals have real consequences for a species' chance of survival -- and the natural world at large.

TED: Sebastian Junger: Why veterans miss war - Sebastian Junger (2014)

Fri, 2014-05-23 23:12
Civilians don’t miss war. But soldiers often do. Journalist Sebastian Junger shares his experience embedded with American soldiers at Restrepo, an outpost in Afghanistan's Korengal Valley that saw heavy combat. Giving a look at the "altered state of mind" that comes with war, he shows how combat gives soldiers an intense experience of connection. In the end, could it actually be "the opposite of war" that soldiers miss? 

TED: Wes Moore: How to talk to veterans about the war - Wes Moore (2014)

Fri, 2014-05-23 22:47
Wes Moore joined the US Army to pay for college, but the experience became core to who he is. In this heartfelt talk, the paratrooper and captain—who went on to write "The Other Wes Moore"—explains the shock of returning home from Afghanistan. He shares the single phrase he heard from civilians on repeat, and shows why it's just not sufficient. It's a call for all of us to ask veterans to tell their stories — and listen.

TED: Chris Kluwe: How augmented reality will change sports ... and build empathy - Chris Kluwe (2014)

Thu, 2014-05-22 23:00
Chris Kluwe wants to look into the future of sports and think about how technology will help not just players and coaches, but fans. Here the former NFL punter envisions a future in which augmented reality will help people experience sports as if they are directly on the field -- and maybe even help them see others in a new light, too.

TED: Andrew Solomon: How the worst moments in our lives make us who we are - Andrew Solomon (2014)

Wed, 2014-05-21 23:03
Writer Andrew Solomon has spent his career telling stories of the hardships of others. Now he turns inward, bringing us into a childhood of adversity, while also spinning tales of the courageous people he's met in the years since. In a moving, heartfelt and at times downright funny talk, Solomon gives a powerful call to action to forge meaning from our biggest struggles.