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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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Photographer Timm Suess is passionate about capturing decay in our world. He travels to abandoned factories, clinics, and military installations to photograph the places people leave behind.

In a talk at TEDxGundeldingen, Suess details his Chernobyl Journal: a project that led him to the city of Pripyat, Ukraine, which was abandoned after the Chernobyl disaster.

Above, photos from the project, which documents places lost to the disaster.

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Perspectives from Dark Space: A TEDx Talk by Tamara Davis

This talk by Tamara Davis is super interesting. She talks about how studying physics influences our everyday lives and the wonder that we get from looking up to space.

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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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Rafflesia arnoldii and Rafflesia arnoldii: close up by Tamara van Molken

Everyone sees plants as passive and benign. But, actually, plants are hugely manipulative. Plants have to do everything animals do. They have to cope with predators; they have to find food; they have to find a mate. They have to do all of that sitting still.

One of the largest flowers in the world, Rafflesia, tricks its pollinator by pretending to be a slab of rotting meat. So this flower is large, sort of red, with sort of lumps and bumps on it that look like rotting pustules. It also releases the most awful stench, like a rotting corpse, and heats itself up to the same temperature as a corpse. Flies are tricked, very successfully, by this flower’s impersonation, so they lay their eggs on the flower and get covered in pollen as they do.

—from “The Secret Language of Flowers,” a talk by molecular biologist Dr. Heather Whitney at TEDxSalford.

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The dung beetle is more than just a poo pusher. This fascinating animal has a brain about the size of a grain of rice, and yet it is capable of doing some amazing things — says dung beetle researcher Marcus Byrne in a talk at TEDxWitsUniversity — like use celestial cues to roll giant balls of dung in a straight line, keep cool in sweltering heat through a complex dance, and track landmarks on the way to its nest. 

In his talk, Byrne explains how he and his team used refrigerated balls of poo, tiny dung-beetle-sized boots, and mini dung beetle highways to learn how these fascinating creatures have evolved to handle their very peculiar food source.

Watch the whole talk here»

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The surprising story of medical marijuana and pediatric epilepsy: Josh Stanley at TEDxBoulder

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Talent is an Illusion: TEDxAthens talk by Olivia Bee 

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

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SCIENCE NEWS! There’s life way, way below Antarctica — chilling out in a subglacial lake. Just a few weeks ago, a team of scientists confirmed that half a mile beneath the Antarctic ice sheet, a bunch of tiny, single-celled organisms are alive and well… in a lake boasting sub-zero temperatures and no access to sunlight. 

The discovery is groundbreaking, leading some to wonder if there might also be life on a similar place — Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons. 

John Priscu is one of the lead scientists behind the study. In a talk at TEDxBozeman, he explains what it’s like to be a scientist drilling though thousands of feet of ice while living in a tent in Antarctica. 

Watch the whole talk here»

Photos courtesy of NASA

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Prosthetic limbs that match your body … and your style:  Industrial designer Scott Summit uses 3D printing technology to create individualized artificial limbs that users can choose and personalize to fit their unique style.

In a talk at TEDxCambridge, Summit explains how this process not only gives users autonomy over the aesthetics of their prosthetics, but also makes for artificial limbs that factor in the quirks, curves, and uniqueness of a user’s body, eliminating the need for prosthetic-wearers to hack their artificial limbs — with socks, bubble wrap, even duct tape — to feel comfortable. Watch the whole talk here»

Above, photos of some of the creations made by Summit’s design firm, Bespoke Innovations.

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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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My TEDx talk from last month, “Using Google Maps to Reinvestigate the Built Environment”… 10 minutes of me talking about power lines with an attempt to get deep at the end.

How to use just one paper towel -- and save a ton of trees

Americans use 13 billion pounds of paper towels every single year.

If each of us used only one paper towel per day, we would save 571,230,000 pounds of paper. That’s a lot of trees. 

So, think we can do that? Watch and learn, folks. 

Step one: Wet your hands. 

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Step two: Shake your hands a bunch of times. (Joe says 12 times, but it’s not an exact science here, so pick your lucky number.)

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Step three: Fold one paper towel in half — the fold allows for interstitial suspension if you want to get nerdy about it — and use it to dry your hands.

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BOOM. Dry hands. 

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Want to see the full demonstration? Check it out here » 

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