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TED Talks  Ideas worth spreading


Reefs in the Pacific are losing corals faster than ever before, and humans are to blame. But when coral is given a chance to survive, it thrives. @TEDFellow Kristen Marhaver saw this first-hand when she dove underwater by the north shore of Curaçao. There, she found corals 1,000 years old lined up one after another. Kristen’s work explores how these magnificent organisms make babies, and she’s trying to create new methods to help them survive during the fragile, early days of their lives -- and hopefully for generations more. “We can be incredibly pessimistic on the short term, and mourn what we lost and what we really took for granted,” she says. “But we can still be optimistic on the long term, and we can still be ambitious about what we fight for.” To watch her full #TEDTalk, visit go.ted.com/hopeforcoral

Photo courtesy of Kristen Marhaver

A legacy of racial injustice follows us in America. What will it take to stop it? Watch Bryan Stevenson’s full call to action at go.ted.com/BryanStevenson.

TED speakers Alexa Meade, Jon Boogz, and Lil Buck came together to create this striking collaboration of movement and visual art. “Color of Reality” features Jon Boogz and Lil Buck’s movement artistry and Alexa Meade’s extraordinary body art. The result is a mesmerizing video of performative protest against gun violence in America. For the full version, visit go.ted.com/colorofreality. Watch Alexa’s TED Talk at go.ted.com/bodyart and Jon Boogz and Lil Buck’s at go.ted.com/honorthymother.

Art by @alexameadeart; written and directed by @jonboogz; movement artistry and choreography by @movementartis (@jonboogz and @lilbuckdalegend); music by @wondagurl and @danielroumain; produced by @animi.design

What would you do if someone asked you “What’s 25 times 25?” in a job interview? Would you get embarrassed? Feel defensive? Even walk out of the room? Turns out, your reaction tells the interviewer a great deal about how you handle conflict and work with others. It’s not about whether or not you get the right answer, says entrepreneur Anthony Tjan. “It’s about whether you can roll with the discomfort and work with me to solve the problem,” he says. Questions like this one help Anthony look beyond competency and identify character in potential hires. He believes focusing on people and values throughout the hiring process is key to giving your organization a long-term competitive advantage. To see more questions that will help you hire better people, visit go.ted.com/hirebetter.

Illustration by @jonny_wan

On the newest episode of Sincerely, X (a podcast where people share ideas anonymously), a former hedge fund manager reveals how he went from Wall Street to prison. Hear his story on Apple Podcasts: go.ted.com/excon

This is Spot. Spot is a very good boy. He can deliver packages, open doors and play dead. Marc Raibert, founder of Boston Dynamics, is currently developing a new generation of animal-like robots like Spot that can carry boxes, lift hundreds of pounds, trek through 10 inches of snow, and more. His goal is for robots to one day be able to travel almost anywhere on earth, regardless of terrain — just like humans can. To see Marc’s full demo of Spot and other robots, watch his #TEDTalk at

In this image, dancer and choreographer Richard Move portrays 20th century dance icon Martha Graham. Richard often uses dance to explore a non-binary view of gender, gender nonconformity and gender identity. One of his newer pieces, XXYY, was greatly inspired and informed by Earl Lind (one of the earliest known trans individuals in America) and Alessandro Moreschi (the Vatican’s last castrato). “I feel that both Moreschi and Lind sacrificed themselves for the betterment of humanity,” says Richard, a @TEDFellow. “The essence of these very special beings is more relevant than ever as LGBTQ lives, and in particular trans lives, are more under siege than ever.” To see more activist art from the @TEDFellow community, visit go.ted.com/activistart

Photo by Josef Astor

In honor of #SharkWeek, meet a biofluorescent swellshark. Marine biologist David Gruber found this glowing guy in a deep, dark canyon off the coast of California, and it’s the first one ever documented on camera. These sharks are only capable of seeing blue-green, so they use their sparkling fluorescents to add some color contrast to the ocean. To learn more about the sea’s other biofluorescent inhabitants, watch David’s #TEDTalk at go.ted.com/greenglow

This is a Cricket Shelter, a modular farm for growing edible insects. Architect and @TEDFellow Mitchell Joachim wanted to encourage sustainable eating, so he created this design to help incorporate insects into a Western urban diet. 100 grams of cricket contains 12.9 grams of protein, and it requires less than 2% of the land that we’d need to get the same amount of protein from cows. “There’s no place on earth that hasn’t been affected by humans influencing the environment,” Mitchell says. “And it’s all becoming this one new nature. I just see ‘city’ as another version of that nature, no different than Yosemite in many ways.” To see more of his earth-friendly designs created for the next generation of urban living, visit go.ted.com/ecohabitat

Doesn’t this habitat diorama look real? Artist Aaron Delehanty spent months meticulously crafting every tiny detail, going back and forth with botanists and biologists to make sure the final product was an accurate representation of the environment. Aaron’s mission is to teach people to love rare animals – animals they probably won’t ever see in person, like the near-threatened striped hyenas represented here. “That’s the goal of a great diorama, to make it feel like a real encounter with nature,” he adds. To learn more about the art and science behind these incredible murals, visit go.ted.com/diorama

Photo by John Weinstein


This paper device can help diagnose disease in remote areas within 90 seconds, and it costs 20 cents to make. It’s a type of centrifuge, which is a tool that spins blood and other fluids at insanely high speeds (over 15,000 RPM) to separate its components. Centrifuges typically cost between $1,000 and $5,000 and require a power source to use, but this one is a game-changer. Whirligigs, the kid’s toy, inspired bioengineering professor and @TEDFellow Manu Prakash, whose inventive low- or no-cost health tools are already changing healthcare worldwide. To learn more about this device and Manu’s other inventions, visit go.ted.com/paperfuge

Video courtesy of Nature, Prakash Lab and Stanford University

Do you ever feel déjà vu — that goosebumps-inducing sensation that you’ve experienced a moment before? We still don’t know what causes it, but psychologist Anne Cleary is determined to find out. Anne’s theory is that déjà vu occurs when we encounter a scene that resembles something we’ve already experienced but can’t consciously recall. To test this, she uses The Sims to try and recreate this prickly sensation in her subjects. Her research is just beginning, but the key takeaway is that there’s always a way to study phenomena that seem impossible to reproduce in a lab. “I don’t think there is much that’s out of the reach of science,” Anne says. “Looking for an explanation is the interesting part.” To learn more about her research, visit go.ted.com/dejavu

Illustrated GIF by @thokamaer

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