David Holt: The joyful tradition of mountain music

TED2004

David Holt: The joyful tradition of mountain music

538,293 views

Readability: 2.7


Folk musician and storyteller David Holt plays the banjo and shares photographs and old wisdom from the Appalachian Mountains. He also demonstrates some unusual instruments like the mouth bow -- and a surprising electric drum kit he calls "thunderwear."

Nick Sears: Demo: The Orb

TED2007

Nick Sears: Demo: The Orb

463,911 views

Readability: 4.9


Inventor Nick Sears demos the first generation of the Orb, a rotating persistence-of-vision display that creates glowing 3D images. A short, cool tale of invention.

Larry Burns: The future of cars

TED2005

Larry Burns: The future of cars

587,817 views

Readability: 4.1


General Motors veep Larry Burns previews cool next-gen car design: sleek, customizable (and computer-enhanced) vehicles that run clean on hydrogen -- and pump energy back into the electrical grid when they're idle.

Philip Rosedale: Life in Second Life

Serious Play 2008

Philip Rosedale: Life in Second Life

572,257 views

Readability: 3.7


Why build a virtual world? Philip Rosedale talks about the virtual society he founded, Second Life, and its underpinnings in human creativity. It's a place so different that anything could happen.

Richard Preston: The mysterious lives of giant trees

TED2008

Richard Preston: The mysterious lives of giant trees

681,018 views

Readability: 4.1


Science writer Richard Preston talks about some of the most enormous living beings on the planet, the giant trees of the US Pacific Northwest. Growing from a tiny seed, they support vast ecosystems -- and are still, largely, a mystery.

Gregory Petsko: The coming neurological epidemic

TED2008

Gregory Petsko: The coming neurological epidemic

939,612 views

Readability: 4.2


Biochemist Gregory Petsko makes a convincing argument that, in the next 50 years, we'll see an epidemic of neurological diseases, such as Alzheimer's, as the world population ages. His solution: more research into the brain and its functions.

Dan Barber: A foie gras parable

Taste3 2008

Dan Barber: A foie gras parable

1,347,710 views

Readability: 3.7


At the Taste3 conference, chef Dan Barber tells the story of a small farm in Spain that has found a humane way to produce foie gras. Raising his geese in a natural environment, farmer Eduardo Sousa embodies the kind of food production Barber believes in.

George Smoot: The design of the universe

Serious Play 2008

George Smoot: The design of the universe

1,732,059 views

Readability: 3.6


At Serious Play 2008, astrophysicist George Smoot shows stunning new images from deep-space surveys, and prods us to ponder how the cosmos -- with its giant webs of dark matter and mysterious gaping voids -- got built this way.

Stewart Brand: The Long Now

TED2004

Stewart Brand: The Long Now

253,806 views

Readability: 3.4


Stewart Brand works on the Clock of the Long Now, a timepiece that counts down the next 10,000 years. It's a beautiful project that asks us to think about the far, far future. Here, he discusses a tricky side problem with the Clock: Where can we put it?

Ursus Wehrli: Tidying up art

TED2006

Ursus Wehrli: Tidying up art

1,369,845 views

Readability: 3.7


Ursus Wehrli shares his vision for a cleaner, more organized, tidier form of art -- by deconstructing the paintings of modern masters into their component pieces, sorted by color and size.

Isaac Mizrahi: Fashion and creativity

TED2008

Isaac Mizrahi: Fashion and creativity

958,980 views

Readability: 2.5


Fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi spins through a dizzying array of inspirations -- from '50s pinups to a fleeting glimpse of a woman on the street who makes him shout "Stop the cab!" Inside this rambling talk are real clues to living a happy, creative life.

Samantha Power: A complicated hero in the war on dictatorship

TED2008

Samantha Power: A complicated hero in the war on dictatorship

473,570 views

Readability: 4.4


Would you negotiate with someone you knew to be evil, to save lives? Samantha Power tells a story of a complicated hero, Sergio Vieira de Mello. This UN diplomat walked a thin moral line, negotiating with the world's worst dictators to help their people survive crisis. It's a compelling story told with a fiery passion.

Lee Smolin: Science and democracy

TED2003

Lee Smolin: Science and democracy

277,134 views

Readability: 4.2


Physicist Lee Smolin talks about how the scientific community works: as he puts it, "we fight and argue as hard as we can," but everyone accepts that the next generation of scientists will decide who's right. And, he says, that's how democracy works, too.

Luca Turin: The science of scent

TED2005

Luca Turin: The science of scent

526,736 views

Readability: 3.7


What's the science behind a sublime perfume? With charm and precision, biophysicist Luca Turin explains the molecular makeup -- and the art -- of a scent.

Tim Brown: Tales of creativity and play

Serious Play 2008

Tim Brown: Tales of creativity and play

2,001,193 views

Readability: 3.4


At the 2008 Serious Play conference, designer Tim Brown talks about the powerful relationship between creative thinking and play -- with many examples you can try at home (and one that maybe you shouldn't).

Paul MacCready: Nature vs. humans

TED1998

Paul MacCready: Nature vs. humans

207,116 views

Readability: 4


In 1998, aircraft designer Paul MacCready looks at a planet on which humans have utterly dominated nature, and talks about what we all can do to preserve nature's balance. His contribution: solar planes, superefficient gliders and the electric car.

Virginia Postrel: On glamour

TED2004

Virginia Postrel: On glamour

390,545 views

Readability: 4.2


In a timely talk, cultural critic Virginia Postrel muses on the true meaning, and the powerful uses, of glamour -- which she defines as any calculated, carefully polished image designed to impress and persuade.