TED Talks@ted

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TED Talks

In the Arctic, ice caps are melting at a dangerous rate, and polar bears roam the land starving, eating the eggs of birds to get by. Photographer and @TEDFellow Camille Seaman took this photo in 2010, and conditions have only gotten worse. “As a species, we stand at a precipice, and the choices we make in this moment — individually, as a collective — determine a great many things,” Camille says. “It can be hard letting go of habits, especially the ones that are not good for us. It will be harder still to live on a dead planet.” Think about the world you want to live in — a world of clean air, clean water, and thriving natural life. What duty or responsibility do we hold ourselves to in service of this planet? “Now more than ever we need every hand on deck to right this ship and chart a better course,” adds Camille. To learn more, visit go.ted.com/tippingpoint
Photo by @camilleseaman


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This programmable temporary tattoo uses biological and chemical sensors to monitor everything from sun exposure to hydration levels to air pollution. It’s called LogicInk, and it is a new wearable health-monitoring platform founded by TED Fellows Skylar Tibbits and Tal Danino. It’s designed to be an easy way to keep tabs on your body — and even signal if something is wrong. The possibilities are endless. “Creating unique tattoos for people speaks to our vision for the future, where a single tattoo might have different design and function elements, customized to individual needs,” Skylar says. To learn more about this futuristic invention, visit go.ted.com/techtattoo
Photo courtesy of @wearlogicink


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TED Talks

Jeanie, Adina and Will are three senior citizens who found a shield against the loneliness of aging: engaging in a love triangle together. Photojournalist and @TEDFellow Isadora Kosofsky met the trio when she was 17, and she shadowed them for four years, documenting their love and partnership. Many people display unease toward Isadora’s photos, but she finds that there’s something innately human about their relationship. “I saw their behavior as a mirror to the fears of exclusion and desires for intimacy that I also carried,” Isadora says. “Perhaps the discomfort of looking at Jeanie, Will and Adina's story is truly a reminder that even at the end of life, we may never reach the fantasy we have envisioned for ourselves.” To watch @isadorakosofsky’s #TEDTalk, visit go.ted.com/lovetriangle


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This is 3,000 people listening to the same MP3 at a park. It was an event formed by comedian Charlie Todd, whose mission is to create bizarre, unexpected public scenes. He founded the group Improv Everywhere, and together they facilitate absurd events (like running through the New York Public Library dressed as Ghost Busters or bursting into song in a grocery store) to bring people together and create a shared experience. “There is no point and there doesn't have to be a point,” Charlie says. “As adults, we need to learn that there's no right or wrong way to play.” To watch his #TEDTalk, visit go.ted.com/improveverywhere

Photo courtesy of Charlie Todd


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TED Talks

This is part of the Arabic alphabet depicted using LEGO blocks. Designer Ghada Wali developed this fun, accessible method of learning Arabic as a way to preserve the language of her Egyptian homeland. Her system called “Let’s Play” uses toy blocks to create a unique representation of all 29 Arabic letters and the four different forms. Arabic is a bit tricky for non-native speakers to learn because it’s very calligraphic, doesn’t have capital letters, uses its own punctuation system, and more. But with her bilingual method, Ghada hopes to make it easier and ultimately spread the beauty of the language. “I can see a future where the barriers between people all come tumbling down,” Ghada says. “Design can change the world. All you need is for someone to catch a glimpse of your work, feel, connect.” To watch her #TEDTalk, visit go.ted.com/arabiclego
Image courtesy of @ghada_wali


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“What do you do?” might be the most boring get-to-know-you question out there, but it’s almost impossible to avoid. The good news is that there’s a better way to introduce yourself so you’ll be unforgettable — and maybe even make a real friend in the process! First, go beyond your title. What is it you would like to be known for? For example, if you’re a journalist, instead of stating your position, say something like, “The world can be an overwhelming place, so I help people connect to each other by telling stories as a journalist.” Second, ask your friends and colleagues what they think you do well. It’ll give you a new perspective on your skills that you can then share with others. Third, be vulnerable. Take a chance and reveal something honest about yourself. Communicating emotion and enthusiasm primes others to respond similarly. For five more tips from Joanna Bloor, CEO of Amplify Labs, visit go.ted.com/newintro
GIF by @alex.gilbeaux


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TED Talks

Journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas cannot show his face. He has broken dozens of stories of corruption and organized crime all over Ghana, and revealing his identity could cost him his life. Through his stealthy and often dangerous undercover reporting, he faces injustice head-on and strives to name, shame, and jail those who abuse power and cause harm to marginalized people. “Journalism is about affecting your community or your society in the most progressive way,” Anas says. To watch his #TEDTalk, visit go.ted.com/anas
Photo by James Duncan Davidson/TED


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TED Talks

Would you ever live next to an active volcano? Photographer Cris Toala Olivares traveled all over the world to talk to people who do, and they each have a unique, deeply personal relationship with these unstable forces of nature. “Every person who lives with a volcano has some kind of connection with this phenomenon that can destroy them,” Cris says. To hear some of their stories and see more of @toalaolivares's photos, visit go.ted.com/volcanohome


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TED Talks

This is a hand-drawn data visualization of the distribution of flu season in the US. Looks like we’re safe for a little while longer, but February will be here before we know it (so don’t forget to get your flu shot!). Data journalist Mona Chalabi set out to find a better way to communicate data to people. It’s often difficult to know which stats to trust, so she uses hand-drawn visualizations to highlight how imprecise data often can be and teach us how to look behind the numbers. In her #TEDTalk, @monachalabi shares three questions to help you spot bad statistics. Watch at go.ted.com/badstat


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Not quite ready for summer to end? Take a look at these blue ghost fireflies in the Smoky Mountains. A firefly’s light is actually a chemical reaction, and it’s used to attract a mate. Unfortunately, light pollution is starting to make it difficult for these little guys to send signals to each other and partner up. “Every time a species is lost, it's like extinguishing a room full of candles one by one. You might not notice when the first few flames flicker out, but in the end, you're left sitting in darkness,” says biologist Sara Lewis. “I hope we can find a way to keep these bright lights shining.” To learn more about the magic of fireflies, visit go.ted.com/fireflies
Photo by @spencerkblack


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When faced with life's toughest circumstances, how should we respond: as an optimist, a realist or something else? It’s a question that explorer Mark Pollock and human rights lawyer Simone George still grapple with to this day. When the two met and fell in love, Mark was already blind. Then, an accident left him paralyzed. In the midst of insurmountable grief and hardship, the two maneuver the tension between acceptance and hope together, and now they’re working to find a cure for paralysis. To watch their #TEDTalk, visit go.ted.com/markandsimone


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This tree might have a better social life than we do. Ecologist Suzanne Simard discovered that trees use their roots to share resources and talk to each other, forming massive social networks through the forest. Mother trees even send excess carbon and messages of wisdom onto their seedlings, which helps strengthen the whole community. To learn more about how trees communicate with each other, watch Suzanne’s #TEDTalk at go.ted.com/treeroots


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