Ted Talks: Lawrence Lessig: We the People, and the Republic We Must Reclaim

There is a corruption at the heart of American politics, caused by the dependence of Congressional candidates on funding from the tiniest percentage of citizens. That's the argument at the core of this blistering talk by legal scholar Lawrence Lessig. With rapid-fire visuals, he shows how the funding process weakens the Republic in the most fundamental way, and issues a rallying bipartisan cry that will resonate with many in the U.S. and beyond.

TED Talk: Beardyman, The Polyphonic Me

Frustrated by not being able to sing two notes at the same time, musical inventor Beardyman built a machine to allow him to create loops and layers from just the sounds he makes with his voice. Given that he can effortlessly conjure the sound of everything from crying babies to buzzing flies, not to mention mimic pretty much any musical instrument imaginable, that's a lot of different sounds. Sit back and let the wall of sound of this dazzling performance wash over you.

Ted Talk: Rodney Mullen, Pop an Ollie and Innovate

The last thing Rodney Mullen, the godfather of street skating, wanted were competitive victories. In this exuberant talk he shares his love of the open skateboarding community and how the unique environments it plays in drive the creation of new tricks -- fostering prolific ingenuity purely for passion's sake. (Filmed at TEDxUSC.)


Known as the godfather of street skating, Rodney Mullen is one of the most prolific and influential skateboarders in history. Despite initial objections, his father eventually gave in and purchased Rodney's first skateboard in 1977, when he was ten years old, on the condition that he would always wear his safety pads and stop skating the moment he was injured. That same year he entered his first contest and came in third; then, over the next three years, he would place first in every contest he entered -- nearly thirty in all. In 1980, after winning the Oasis Pro competition in San Diego, Rodney began his professional skating career with the Powell-Peralta Bones Brigade. He would go on to invent tricks, like the flat-ground ollie, Kicklip, Heelflip, and 360 Flip that would completely revolutionize the art of skating. In 2002, Mullen won the Transworld Readers' Choice Award for Skater of the Year and founded the Almost skateboard company. In 2003, he wrote an autobiography titled The Mutt: How to Skateboard and Not Kill Yourself.
"Rodney Mullen is, for me, hands down the best skater we've got."
Steve Cave, Skateboarding Guide I do not own the rights. No copyright infringement intended.

TED Talk: Beatbox Brilliance with Tom Thum in Sydney

Tom Thum: Armed with just a microphone, Thum pushes the limits of the human voice to create incredible soundtracks of impossible beats and phenomenal sounds, with scratched vinyl, the Michael Jackson back-catalogue, the didgeridoo and an entire fifties jazz band amongst his vocal repertoire.

TED Talk: Building the Seed Cathedral

A future more beautiful? Architect Thomas Heatherwick shows five recent projects featuring ingenious bio-inspired designs. Some are remakes of the ordinary: a bus, a bridge, a power station ... And one is an extraordinary pavilion, the Seed Cathedral, a celebration of growth and light.

Talk by Thomas Heatherwick.

TED Talk: Colin Camerer, Neuroscience and Game Theory

When two people are trying to make a deal -- whether they're competing or cooperating -- what's really going on inside their brains? Behavioral economist Colin Camerer shows research that reveals just how little we're able to predict what others are thinking. And he presents an unexpected study that shows chimpanzees might just be better at it than we are. (Filmed at TEDxCalTech.)

Jeremy Bailenson: Improving Human Behavior

(May 19, 2012) Jeremy Bailenson discusses the history of virtual reality, his work at Stanford's Virtual Human Interaction Lab, and how advances in this exciting field can be used to improve human behavior.

Ted Talks: Catarina Mota: Play with Smart Materials

Ink that conducts electricity; a window that turns from clear to opaque at the flip of a switch; a jelly that makes music. All this stuff exists, and Catarina Mota says: It's time to play with it. Mota leads us on a tour of surprising and cool new materials, and suggests that the way we'll figure out what they're good for is to experiment, tinker and have fun.

TED Talk: The Danger of Science Denial

View full lesson: http://ed.ted.com/lessons/the-danger-of-science-denial-michael-specter

Vaccine-autism claims, "Frankenfood" bans, the herbal cure craze: All point to the public's growing fear (and, often, outright denial) of science and reason, says Michael Specter. He warns the trend spells disaster for human progress.

Talk by Michael Specter.

Ted Talks: Tyler DeWitt: Hey Science Teachers, Make It Fun

High school science teacher Tyler DeWitt was ecstatic about a lesson plan on bacteria (how cool!) -- and devastated when his students hated it. The problem was the textbook: it was impossible to understand. He delivers a rousing call for science teachers to ditch the jargon and extreme precision, and instead make science sing through stories and demonstrations. (Filmed at TEDxBeaconStreet.)

Ted Talks: Leslie Morgan Steiner: Crazy Love

Leslie Morgan Steiner was in "crazy love" -- that is, madly in love with a man who routinely abused her and threatened her life. Steiner tells the dark story of her relationship, correcting misconceptions many people hold about victims of domestic violence, and explaining how we can all help break the silence. (Filmed at TEDxRainier.)

TedEd: How Containerization Shaped The World

Sometimes a single unlikely idea can have massive impact across the world. Sir Harold Evans describes about how frustration drove Malcolm McLean, a small-town truck driver, to invent the shipping container. Containerization was born, and it transformed the modern global economy. (Launching a series on Inventions that Shaped History)

"How Containerization Shaped the Modern World" was animated by Sunni Brown (http://www.sunnibrown.com)

How Simple Ideas Lead to Scientific Discoveries

Adam Savage walks through two spectacular examples of profound scientific discoveries that came from simple, creative methods anyone could have followed -- Eratosthenes' calculation of the Earth's circumference around 200 BC and Hippolyte Fizeau's measurement of the speed of light in 1849. (Launching a series on Inventions that Shaped History)