Join us at noon in room SH141 each Tuesday for another entertaining, educational, provocative, and inspiring TED Talk. Each talk lasts less than 30 minutes followed by a short discussion. Bring your lunch, bring a friend and come as you are! (TED is a non-profit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Talks are prerecorded.)
Dan Phillips: Creative houses from reclaimed stuff
Dan Phillips tours us through a dozen homes he’s built in Texas using recycled and reclaimed materials in wildly creative ways.
Ziauddin Yousafzai: My daughter, Malala
Pakistani educator Ziauddin Yousafzai reminds the world of a simple truth that many don’t want to hear: Women and men deserve equal opportunities for education, autonomy, and an independent identity. He tells stories from his own life and the life of his daughter who was shot by the Taliban in 2012 simply for daring to go to school.
Peter Norvig: The 100,000-student classroom
In the fall of 2011 Peter Norvig taught a class with Sebastian Thrun on artificial intelligence at Stanford attended by 175 students and over 100,000 via an interactive webcast.
Yoruba Richen: What the gay rights movement learned from the civil rights movement
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 she dispels a myth about their points of conflict.
Fabian Oefner: Psychedelic science
Swiss artist and photographer Fabian Oefner is on a mission to make eye-catching art from everyday science. In this charming talk, he shows off some recent psychedelic images, including photographs of crystals as they interact with soundwaves.
Michel Laberge: How synchronized hammer strikes could generate nuclear fusion
Energy future depends on nuclear fusion. This physicist runs a small company with a big idea for a new type of nuclear reactor that could produce clean, cheap energy.
Matt Ridley: When ideas have sex
Author Matt Ridley shows how, throughout history, the engine of human progress has been the meeting and mating of ideas to make new ideas.
Ed Yong: Suicidal crickets, zombie roaches, and other parasite tales
We humans set a premium on our own free will and independence and yet there’s an influence we might not be considering. Science writer Ed Yong explains in this fascinating, hilarious and disturbing talk how parasites have perfected the art of manipulation to an incredible degree.
Lawrence Lessig: The unstoppable walk to political reform
In this fiery, deeply personal talk, Lawrence Lessig calls for all citizens to engage, and offers a heartfelt reminder to never give up hope.
Wes Moore: How to talk to veterans about the war
Wes Moore joined the US Army to pay for college, but the experience became core to who he is. In this heartfelt talk, he explains the shock of returning home from Afghanistan.
Janine Shepherd: A broken body isn’t a broken person
Cross-country skier Janine Shepherd hoped for an Olympic medal—until she was hit by a truck during a training bike ride. She shares a powerful story about the human potential for recovery.
Anne Curzan: What makes a word “real”?
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.
Jon Mooallem: How the teddy bear taught us compassion
In 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt legendarily spared the life of a black bear and prompted a plush toy craze for “teddy bears.” Writer Jon Mooallem digs into this toy story and asks us to consider how the tales we tell about wild animals have consequences for a species’ chance of survival and the natural world at large.
Kwame Anthony Appiah: Is religion good or bad? (This is a trick question)
Plenty of good things are done in the name of religion and plenty of bad things, too. But what is religion, exactly—good or bad, in and of itself? Philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah offers a generous, surprising view.
Sara Lewis: The loves and lies of fireflies
Biologist Sara Lewis has spent 20 years getting to the bottom of the magic and wonder of fireflies. In this charming talk, she tells us how and why the beetles produce silent sparks, what happens when fireflies have sex, and why one group of females is known as the firefly vampire.