Take a load off


By: Meghan Henoumont

If you haven’t heard of TED yet, you will.

TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) has become a worldwide phenomenon. Essentially, top experts in every imaginable field give speeches under 18 minutes on a variety of topics directly impacting the global community.

A wide range of topics are discussed, ranging from music to biology, and even storm chases. These short speeches are designed to inspire and educate through a global platform, accessible to anyone with an internet connection, anywhere in the world.

TED operates around the slogan “Ideas worth spreading,” with an emphasis on innovation through design and technology. New talks are added every week. There are currently 1,700 talks available through TED.com.

The talks are superb for a quick pick-me-up on a bad day, or as food-for-thought before bed. The talks selected here are under 15 minutes, some as short as 5 minutes, to fit a busy student’s schedule.

1. Kees Moeliker: How a dead duck changed my life. 11 minutes

Be prepared to life until you cry. The trajectory of Animal behaviorist Kees Moelikers life changes forever when a duck flies into his office window and dies. Who knew Science could be so funny?


2. Ze Frank: Are you human? 5 minutes

Online comedian Ze Frank gives a simple test through a series of questions that examine the humorous and sometimes painful experiences that connect us all as humans. Sit back, listen up, and follow the cues to find out how human you truly are.


3. Sarah Kay: How many lives can you live? 12 minutes

Spoken word poet Sarah Kay performs two stunning poems about the many lives we collectively live and the art of telling our own specific stories.


4. Joachim de Posada: Don’t eat the marshmallow! 5 minutes

In this hilarious and eye-opening talk, author and motivational speaker Joachim de Posada shares a milestone psychological study. The study examines delayed gratification as an indicator of future success, using, yes, marshmallows.

5. Phil Hansen: Embrace the Shake 10 minutes

While still in art school, artist Phil Hansen discovered he had permanent nerve damage, which resulted in an indefinite shaking hand. Hansen believed his career was over, until a neurologist told him to “embrace the shake.” In this inspiring talk Hansen shows that by embracing limitations, creativity can be ignited.


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