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Aditi Gupta grew up believing that her monthly menstrual periods were shameful incidents that made her impure, unclean. The shame she felt surrounding menstruation led to dangerous personal hygiene habits (hiding rags in damp, dark places; using improper sanitary methods) and a lack of confidence in herself and her right to better healthcare.

Three out of 10 girls in India don’t learn about periods before they hit puberty. And the numbers are even more striking where Aditi lives: 9 out of 10 girls in Rajasthan do not know what a period is when they get their first menses.

This culture of shame, silence, and myth compelled her to create Menstrupedia, a 90-page comic book introducing the concept of menstruation and the basics of female health to young girls in India. 

Learn more about Menstrupedia here »

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George Takei’s TEDx Talk on patriotism and internment is a must-see

For most people, George Takei is most closely associated with Mr. Sulu from the famous Star Trek series. But the 77-year-old actor has worn many hats since then, especially as an outpoken advocate for the LGBT community and as a human rights activist. In an inspiring and emotional TED Talk he gave last month in Kyoto, Japan, Takei poignantly used his personal story to explain his own complicated, powerful definition of patriotism.

Read more | Follow micdotcom 

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Megan Washington gave a TEDx talk about her lifelong struggles with a serious speech impediment and it’s impacts on her life 

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Talent is an Illusion: TEDxAthens talk by Olivia Bee 

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The amazing problem-solving skills of crows — measured by science!

Here, one of these smarty-pants birds is being put to the ultimate test: get a basket of food out of an upright cylinder with a single straight wire. And get it she does, in a feat of intuitive problem solving.

Want to know why crows are so smart? Check out this talk from TEDxRainier by bird researcher John Marzluff, on the wildly fascinating intricacies of the bird brain. (Take that one out of your insult bucket.)

Watch the talk here » 

P.S. Do not skip 14:38, when you get to hear a crow speak English.

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Former U.S. Marine Mike Hoffmann now holds a leadership position at Cornell University. In this TEDx talk, he challenges his audience to consider how climate change will impact their daily lives. Milk, wine, coffee, oysters, rainfall, etc. Pretty good way of presenting the issue. H/T, Andy Revkin of the NYTimes.

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How can tiny houses offer the ultimate freedom to our generation? Amy Henion at TEDxNortheasternU

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wow. wow, wow, wow.
please watch this.


“You can’t let your fears, worries, and doubts about the future prevent you from living the life you want to live.”
“In the face of something you fear you must stand up and be brave. Life is too short to live cautiously.”
“Choose to be something when your life starts to spin.”


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Not Another Cancer Story: Brianna Mercado at TEDxBend

At only 22-years-old, Mercado lives by the personal credo “Go big.” A professional dancer with two college degrees, she has survived bone cancer and works tirelessly as a role model for children with cancer and as an advocate for cancer study, treatment and prevention. Mercado is a native Californian, living and dancing in New York City. She is admired by family, friends and fellow dancers as a warm and glowing soul who has lived more intensely, intentionally, gratefully and lovingly in the past eight years than most people live in a lifetime.

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Third grader makes a compelling case for video games in schools

Do you remember being bored in class and zoning out when you were a kid? What if someone, at that moment, had thrown a video game controller into your hands?

Cordell Steiner’s third grade teacher decided that Cordell could start playing educational video games at school. In a TEDx talk delivered at the University of St. Thomas, Cordell talks about his experience, and enthusiastically advocates education through failure. Because when the shame factor is removed, classroom failure can be just as instructive as classroom success.

[Read more]

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Scorpion venom is helping doctors make tumors glow. How? With something called Tumor Paint, a drug created from the venom of the Israeli deathstalker scorpion. (Just ignore that scary name, this stuff can be a lifesaver.) 

At TEDxSeattle, Dr. Jim Olson explains how he and his team at Seattle Children’s Hospital developed the altered scorpion venom. It acts as a “targeting agent,” says Olson, going after cancer cells like the venom targets the brain of its prey. Once attached to these cells, the drug uses fluorescent molecules to “paint” the tumor’s cells and give surgeons a glowing map of where to operate (as seen in the second picture above).

This paint is about 100,000 times more sensitive than the MRI scans often used to map out tumors, says Olson, and has great potential for helping surgeons remove an entire tumor during just one surgery.

Learn more about how it works »

(Scorpion photo: Matt Reinbold)

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The history of Somalia in paintings | Aden Farah Affei | TEDxMogadishu

One of the best TEDx videos I’ve seen

One of these photos is of bone, the other is of cement foam. Which one is which? Yeah, we’re not that sure either.

And that’s the point, says bone researcher David Pastorino, who — at TEDxBarcelona — shared how he and a team of researchers have come up with a crazy new way to regenerate bone with a material quite similar to the foam of a cappuccino.

How? Well, doctors inject a foam cement made from calcium phosphate into the body after a big break and the foam mimics bone scaffolding so well that it tricks bone cells (osteoclasts and osteoblasts) into “eating” the material and replacing it with real bone. Magic? No, science!

Learn more here»