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PosterPoster

TED Talks

Season 2008 2008
TV-PG

  • 2008-02-01T00:00:00-05:00 on YouTube
  • 15 mins
  • 10 hours, 30 mins (42 episodes)
  • United States
  • Documentary, Special Interest

TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader. Along with two annual conferences -- the TED Conference in Long Beach and Palm Springs each spring, and the TEDGlobal conference in Edinburgh UK each summer -- TED includes the award-winning TEDTalks video site, the Open Translation Project and TED Conversations, the inspiring TED Fellows and TEDx programs, and the annual TED Prize.

TEDTalks began as a simple attempt to share what happens at TED with the world. Under the moniker "ideas worth spreading," talks were released online. They rapidly attracted a global audience in the millions. Indeed, the reaction was so enthusiastic that the entire TED website has been reengineered around TEDTalks, with the goal of giving everyone on-demand access to the world's most inspiring voices.

42 episodes

2008x01 Johnny Lee demos Wii Remote hacks

  • Season Premiere

    2008-02-01T00:00:00-05:00 — 15 mins

Building sophisticated educational tools out of cheap parts, Johnny Lee demos his cool Wii Remote hacks, which turn the $40 video game controller into a digital whiteboard, a touchscreen and a head-mounted 3-D viewer.

Mycologist Paul Stamets lists 6 ways the mycelium fungus can help save the universe: cleaning polluted soil, making insecticides, treating smallpox and even flu.

2008x03 Rives tells a story of mixed emoticons

  • 2008-02-01T00:00:00-05:00 — 15 mins

Rives -- star of the Bravo special "Ironic Iconic America" -- tells a typographical fairy tale that's short and bittersweet.

Physicist and surfer Garrett Lisi presents a controversial new model of the universe that -- just maybe -- answers all the big questions. If nothing else, it's the most beautiful 8-dimensional model of elementary particles and forces you've ever seen.

Humorist John Hodgman rambles through a new story about aliens, physics, time, space and the way all of these somehow contribute to a sweet, perfect memory of falling in love.

Jay Walker, curator of the Library of Human Imagination, conducts a surprising show-and-tell session highlighting a few of the intriguing artifacts that backdropped the 2008 TED stage.

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.

2008x08 Brian Cox on CERN's supercollider

  • 2008-03-01T00:00:00-05:00 — 15 mins

"Rock-star physicist" Brian Cox talks about his work on the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. Discussing the biggest of big science in an engaging, accessible way, Cox brings us along on a tour of the massive project.

In keeping with the theme of TED2008, professor Stephen Hawking asks some Big Questions about our universe -- How did the universe begin? How did life begin? Are we alone? -- and discusses how we might go about answering them.

2008x10 Negroponte takes OLPC to Colombia

  • 2008-12-01T00:00:00-05:00 — 15 mins

TED follows Nicholas Negroponte to Colombia as he delivers laptops inside territory once controlled by guerrillas. His partner? Colombia's Defense Department, who see One Laptop per Child as an investment in the region. (And you too can get involved.)

2008x11 Richard Preston on the giant trees

  • 2008-02-01T00:00:00-05:00 — 15 mins

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.

2008x12 Andy Hobsbawm says: Do the green thing

  • 2008-02-01T00:00:00-05:00 — 15 mins

Andy Hobsbawm shares a fresh ad campaign about going green -- and some of the fringe benefits.

Can happiness be bought? To find out, author Benjamin Wallace sampled the world's most expensive products, including a bottle of 1947 Chateau Cheval Blanc, 8 ounces of Kobe beef and the fabled (notorious) Kopi Luwak coffee. His critique may surprise you.

2008x14 Paula Scher gets serious

  • 2008-05-01T00:00:00-04:00 — 15 mins

Paula Scher looks back at a life in design (she's done album covers, books, the Citibank logo ...) and pinpoints the moment when she started really having fun. Look for gorgeous designs and images from her legendary career.

The face of nuclear terror has changed since the Cold War, but disaster-medicine expert Irwin Redlener reminds us the threat is still real. He looks at some of history's farcical countermeasures and offers practical advice on how to survive an attack.

2008x16 David Hoffman on losing everything

  • 2008-02-01T00:00:00-05:00 — 15 mins

Nine days before TED2008, filmmaker David Hoffman lost almost everything he owned in a fire that destroyed his home, office and 30 years of passionate collecting. He looks back at a life that's been wiped clean in an instant -- and looks forward.

2008x17 John Francis walks the Earth

  • 2008-02-01T00:00:00-05:00 — 15 mins

For almost three decades, John Francis has been a planetwalker, traveling the globe by foot and sail with a message of environmental respect and responsibility (for 17 of those years without speaking). A funny, thoughtful talk with occasional banjo.

2008x18 Robert Lang folds way-new origami

  • 2008-02-01T00:00:00-05:00 — 15 mins

Robert Lang is a pioneer of the newest kind of origami -- using math and engineering principles to fold mind-blowingly intricate designs that are beautiful and, sometimes, very useful.

Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin talks about what we can learn from American presidents, including Abraham Lincoln and Lyndon Johnson. Then she shares a moving memory of her own father, and of their shared love of baseball.

2008x20 John Maeda on his journey in design

  • 2008-05-01T00:00:00-04:00 — 15 mins

Designer John Maeda talks about his path from a Seattle tofu factory to the Rhode Island School of Design, where he became president in 2008. Maeda, a tireless experimenter and a witty observer, explores the crucial moment when design met computers.

In this brand-new slideshow (premiering on TED.com), Al Gore presents evidence that the pace of climate change may be even worse than scientists recently predicted. He challenges us to act.

2008x22 Samantha Power on a complicated hero

  • 2008-02-01T00:00:00-05:00 — 15 mins

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.

X Prize founder Peter Diamandis talks about how he helped Stephen Hawking fulfill his dream of going to space -- by flying together into the upper atmosphere and experiencing weightlessness at zero g.

2008x24 Peter Reinhart on bread

  • 2008-07-01T00:00:00-04:00 — 15 mins

Batch to batch, crust to crust ... In tribute to the beloved staple food, baking master Peter Reinhart reflects on the cordial couplings (wheat and yeast, starch and heat) that give us our daily bread. Try not to eat a slice.

2008x25 Paul Rothemund details DNA folding

  • 2008-02-01T00:00:00-05:00 — 15 mins

In 2007, Paul Rothemund gave TED a short summary of his specialty, DNA folding. Now he lays out in clear, abundant detail the immense promise of this field -- to create tiny machines that assemble themselves.

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.

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.

In this deceptively simple 3-minute talk, Dr. Laura Trice muses on the power of the magic words "thank you" -- to deepen a friendship, to repair a bond, to make sure another person knows what they mean to you. Try it.

Psychologist Jonathan Haidt studies the five moral values that form the basis of our political choices, whether we're left, right or center. In this eye-opening talk, he pinpoints the moral values that liberals and conservatives tend to honor most.

2008x30 Charles Elachi on the Mars Rovers

  • 2008-05-01T00:00:00-04:00 — 15 mins

At Serious Play 2008, Charles Elachi shares stories from NASA's legendary Jet Propulsion Lab -- including tales and video from the Mars Rover project.

Rockstar designer Stefan Sagmeister delivers a short, witty talk on life lessons, expressed through surprising modes of design (including ... inflatable monkeys?).

2008x32 Dennis vanEngelsdorp: a plea for bees

  • 2008-07-01T00:00:00-04:00 — 15 mins

Bees are dying in droves. Why? Leading apiarist Dennis vanEngelsdorp looks at the gentle, misunderstood creature's important place in nature and the mystery behind its alarming disappearance.

2008x33 Jennifer 8. Lee hunts for General Tso

  • 2008-07-01T00:00:00-04:00 — 15 mins

Reporter Jennifer 8. Lee talks about her hunt for the origins of familiar Chinese-American dishes -- exploring the hidden spots where these two cultures have (so tastily) combined to form a new cuisine.

Alisa Miller, head of Public Radio International, talks about why -- though we want to know more about the world than ever -- the US media is actually showing less. Eye-opening stats and graphs.

Philip Zimbardo knows how easy it is for nice people to turn bad. In this talk, he shares insights and graphic unseen photos from the Abu Ghraib trials. Then he talks about the flip side: how easy it is to be a hero, and how we can rise to the challenge.

2008x36 Dave Eggers' wish: Once Upon a School

  • 2008-02-01T00:00:00-05:00 — 15 mins

Accepting his 2008 TED Prize, author Dave Eggers asks the TED community to personally, creatively engage with local public schools. With spellbinding eagerness, he talks about how his 826 Valencia tutoring center inspired others around the world to open.

Physicist Patricia Burchat sheds light on two basic ingredients of our universe: dark matter and dark energy. Comprising 96% of the universe between them, they can't be directly measured, but their influence is immense.

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.

Artist Chris Jordan shows us an arresting view of what Western culture looks like. His supersized images picture some almost unimaginable statistics -- like the astonishing number of paper cups we use every single day.

Benjamin Zander has two infectious passions: classical music, and helping us all realize our untapped love for it -- and by extension, our untapped love for all new possibilities, new experiences, new connections. Since 1979, Benjamin Zander has been the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic. He is known around the world as both a guest conductor and a speaker on leadership -- and he's been known to do both in a single performance. He uses music to help people open their minds and create joyful harmonies that bring out the best in themselves and their colleagues. His provocative ideas about leadership are rooted in a partnership with Rosamund Stone Zander, with whom he co-wrote The Art of Possibility. "Arguably the most accessible communicator about classical music since Leonard Bernstein, Zander moves audiences with his unbridled passion and enthusiasm." Sue Fox, London Sunday Times

2008x41 Helen Fisher: The brain in love

  • 2008-02-01T00:00:00-05:00 — 15 mins

Why do we crave love so much, even to the point that we would die for it? To learn more about our very real, very physical need for romantic love, Helen Fisher and her research team took MRIs of people in love — and people who had just been dumped.

2008x42 Tim Ferriss: Smash fear, learn anything

  • 2008-12-01T00:00:00-05:00 — 15 mins

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.

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