Sean Gourley: The mathematics of war

TED2009

Sean Gourley: The mathematics of war

929,118 views

Readability: 3.6


By analyzing raw data on violent incidents in the Iraq war and others, Sean Gourley and his team claim to have found a surprisingly strong mathematical relationship linking the fatality and frequency of attacks.

Brian Cox: What went wrong at the LHC

TED2009

Brian Cox: What went wrong at the LHC

1,024,092 views

Readability: 4.4


In this short talk from TED U 2009, Brian Cox shares what's new with the CERN supercollider. He covers the repairs now underway and what the future holds for the largest science experiment ever attempted.

Laurie Garrett: Lessons from the 1918 flu

TED2007

Laurie Garrett: Lessons from the 1918 flu

452,528 views

Readability: 4.5


In 2007, as the world worried about a possible avian flu epidemic, Laurie Garrett, author of "The Coming Plague," gave this powerful talk to a small TED University audience. Her insights from past pandemics are suddenly more relevant than ever.

Sarah Jones: A one-woman global village

TED2009

Sarah Jones: A one-woman global village

2,064,440 views

Readability: 3.2


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.

Alex Tabarrok: How ideas trump crises

TED2009

Alex Tabarrok: How ideas trump crises

788,436 views

Readability: 4.2


The "dismal science" truly shines in this optimistic talk, as economist Alex Tabarrok argues free trade and globalization are shaping our once-divided world into a community of idea-sharing more healthy, happy and prosperous than anyone's predictions.

Ben Katchor: Comics of bygone New York

TED2002

Ben Katchor: Comics of bygone New York

303,016 views

Readability: 4.6


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.

Erik Hersman: Reporting crisis via texting

TED2009

Erik Hersman: Reporting crisis via texting

420,165 views

Readability: 3.5


At TEDU 2009, Erik Hersman presents the remarkable story of Ushahidi, a GoogleMap mashup that allowed Kenyans to report and track violence via cell phone texts following the 2008 elections, and has evolved to continue saving lives in other countries.

Nate Silver: Does racism affect how you vote?

TED2009

Nate Silver: Does racism affect how you vote?

449,757 views

Readability: 4


Nate Silver has data that answers big questions about race in politics. For instance, in the 2008 presidential race, did Obama's skin color actually keep him from getting votes in some parts of the country? Stats and myths collide in this fascinating talk that ends with a remarkable insight.

Niels Diffrient: Rethinking the way we sit down

TED2002

Niels Diffrient: Rethinking the way we sit down

567,003 views

Readability: 3.1


Design legend Niels Diffrient talks about his life in industrial design (and the reason he became a designer instead of a jet pilot). He details his quest to completely rethink the office chair starting from one fundamental data set: the human body.

Margaret Wertheim: The beautiful math of coral

TED2009

Margaret Wertheim: The beautiful math of coral

1,344,981 views

Readability: 4.3


Margaret Wertheim leads a project to re-create the creatures of the coral reefs using a crochet technique invented by a mathematician -- celebrating the amazements of the reef, and deep-diving into the hyperbolic geometry underlying coral creation.

Tim Ferriss: Smash fear, learn anything

EG 2008

Tim Ferriss: Smash fear, learn anything

3,123,672 views

Readability: 3.8


From the EG conference: Productivity guru Tim Ferriss' fun, encouraging anecdotes show how one simple question -- "What's the worst that could happen?" -- is all you need to learn to do anything.

Gregory Stock: To upgrade is human

TED2003

Gregory Stock: To upgrade is human

509,962 views

Readability: 3.4


In this prophetic 2003 talk -- just days before Dolly the sheep was stuffed -- biotech ethicist Gregory Stock looked forward to new, more meaningful (and controversial) technologies, like customizable babies, whose adoption might drive human evolution.

Renny Gleeson: Our antisocial phone tricks

TED2009

Renny Gleeson: Our antisocial phone tricks

1,257,715 views

Readability: 4.3


In this funny (and actually poignant) 3-minute talk, social strategist Renny Gleeson breaks down our always-on social world -- where the experience we're having right now is less interesting than what we'll tweet about it later.

Emily Levine: A theory of everything

TED2002

Emily Levine: A theory of everything

2,235,474 views

Readability: 3.9


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.

Bonnie Bassler: How bacteria "talk"

TED2009

Bonnie Bassler: How bacteria "talk"

2,326,540 views

Readability: 4


Bonnie Bassler discovered that bacteria "talk" to each other, using a chemical language that lets them coordinate defense and mount attacks. The find has stunning implications for medicine, industry -- and our understanding of ourselves.

Nathaniel Kahn: Scenes from "My Architect"

TED2002

Nathaniel Kahn: Scenes from "My Architect"

350,352 views

Readability: 2.9


Nathaniel Kahn shares clips from his documentary "My Architect," about his quest to understand his father, the legendary architect Louis Kahn. It's a film with meaning to anyone who seeks to understand the relationship between art and love.

Ueli Gegenschatz: Extreme wingsuit flying

TED2009

Ueli Gegenschatz: Extreme wingsuit flying

1,491,154 views

Readability: 3.6


Wingsuit jumping is the leading edge of extreme sports -- an exhilarating feat of almost unbelievable daring, where skydivers soar through canyons at over 100MPH. Ueli Gegenschatz talks about how (and why) he does it, and shows jawdropping film.

Jacek Utko: Can design save newspapers?

TED2009

Jacek Utko: Can design save newspapers?

1,076,574 views

Readability: 3.7


Jacek Utko is an extraordinary Polish newspaper designer whose redesigns for papers in Eastern Europe not only win awards, but increase circulation by up to 100%. Can good design save the newspaper? It just might.

C.K. Williams: Poetry of youth and age

TED2001

C.K. Williams: Poetry of youth and age

259,144 views

Readability: 4.2


Poet C.K. Williams reads his work at TED2001. As he colors scenes of childhood resentments, college loves, odd neighbors and the literal death of youth, he reminds us of the unique challenges of living.

Nathan Wolfe: The jungle search for viruses

TED2009

Nathan Wolfe: The jungle search for viruses

1,166,681 views

Readability: 4.4


Virus hunter Nathan Wolfe is outwitting the next pandemic by staying two steps ahead: discovering deadly new viruses where they first emerge -- passing from animals to humans among poor subsistence hunters in Africa -- before they claim millions of lives.

David Pogue: Cool tricks your phone can do

EG 2008

David Pogue: Cool tricks your phone can do

757,952 views

Readability: 3.3


In this engaging talk from the EG'08 conference, New York Times tech columnist David Pogue rounds up some handy cell phone tools and services that can boost your productivity and lower your bills (and your blood pressure).

Jacqueline Novogratz: An escape from poverty

TED2009

Jacqueline Novogratz: An escape from poverty

1,027,607 views

Readability: 3.3


Jacqueline Novogratz tells a moving story of an encounter in a Nairobi slum with Jane, a former prostitute, whose dreams of escaping poverty, of becoming a doctor and of getting married were fulfilled in an unexpected way.