20 Modern Sculptures You Will Fall in Love With While traveling abroad, it’s hard not to notice the works of art created by talented modern sculptors out of simple stone and metal. To save you from flying across the world, we put together a list of the most creative sculptural masterpieces that brighten up our globe. Force of Nature, Doha, Qatar This is a series of sculptures by Italian artist Lorenzo Quinn depicting Mother Nature as a woman hurling the planet around in circles. On raising kids who are more than “hoop jumpers”: A teenage TED speaker’s mom on how she encourages her sons to innovate Jane Andraka has raised two remarkable sons. Luke, age 20, is studying electrical engineering at Virginia Tech. “He was always tinkering and taking things apart — wondering how they worked, wondering how they could be made better.
A new way to combat food waste Cucumbers wasted per week at The Netherland’s largest cucumber farm. (Credit: Fiona Jongejans) It is normal — and sometimes even regulated — for absolutely edible and healthy food products to be discarded merely due to cosmetic reasons, says industrial designer Fiona Jongejans at TEDxMaastricht. In the Netherlands, where Jongejans lives, fruits and vegetables are placed into different classes, with a cucumber required to be “practically straight … [with the] maximum height of the inner arc [being] 10 mm per 10 cm of length” to be considered “class I.” The Secret to Raising Smart Kids A brilliant student, Jonathan sailed through grade school. He completed his assignments easily and routinely earned As. Jonathan puzzled over why some of his classmates struggled, and his parents told him he had a special gift.
How to give a persuasive presentations: A Q&A with Nancy Duarte Stepping onto the TED or TEDx stage — or speaking in front of any group of people, for that matter — is truly nerve-wracking. Will you remember everything you wanted to say, or get so discombobulated that you skip over major points? Will the audience be receptive to your ideas, or will you notice a guy in row three nodding off to sleep? Presentation expert Nancy Duarte, who gave the TED Talk “The secret structure of great talks,” has built her career helping people express their ideas in presentations.
Education and the brain: what happens when children learn? Researchers looking at child development often use search-and-find tasks to look at the ways in which children apply what they are learning about the physical world. Tests carried out on toddlers reveal that something quite remarkable happens in child development between the ages of two and five – a stage identified by both educationalists and neuroscientists as critical to the capacity for learning. Dr Sara Baker is a researcher into early childhood at the Faculty of Education. She is interested in the role of the brain’s prefrontal lobe in how young children learn to adapt their understanding to an ever-shifting environment. Many of her studies chart changes in children’s ways of thinking about the world. She uses longitudinal designs to examine the shape of individual children’s learning curves month by month.
Want to be happy? SLOW DOWN In 1972, Matthieu Ricard had a promising career in biochemistry, trying to figure out the secrets of E. coli bacteria. A chance encounter with Buddhism led to an about turn, and Ricard has spent the past 40+ years living in the Himalayas, studying mindfulness and happiness. In this free-wheeling discussion at TED Global in October 2014, Ricard talked with journalist and writer Pico Iyer about some of the things they’ve learned over the years, not least the importance of being conscious about mental health and how to spend time meaningfully. An edited version of the conversation, moderated by TED Radio Hour host Guy Raz, follows. First, Pico Iyer on how he became taken with the idea of staying still:
Tim Minchin: 'You've always wanted to be an actor', Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts - 2015 — Speakola 9 November 2015, Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, United Kingdom Not the easiest guy to follow. I knew Dennis (Kelly) would say something amazing so I made mine rhyme a bit. Not properly just, like, free versey. Why are we being such idiots about climate change? When I started covering climate change more than thirty years ago, the underlying science was already clear. Heat from the sun warms the Earth. Gases like carbon dioxide in the atmosphere then act like a snuggly blanket or greenhouse to trap much of that warmth, keeping much of the heat from radiating back out to space.
The unexpected math behind Van Gogh's "Starry Night" - Natalya St. Clair A few lesson plans exist for teaching visual arts and self-similarity (objects that have the same pattern) that could be used after showing this lesson. Shodor has some free lesson plans for students in grades 4 through 8. High school students can learn recursion algorithms to create the Koch curve using Scratch for free.
How to watch a presidential debate (or win it): Tips from Amy Cuddy Amy Cuddy’s TED Talk, Your body language shapes who you are, has millions of views for a reason — everyone who watched it understood a little bit more about themselves. But the flip side of her research is equally fascinating — how we can understand others through the body language they, consciously or unconsciously, choose to use. Back during the last U.S. presidential election in 2012, our writer Ben Lillie sat down to ask Dr. Cuddy: Can we use your research to understand the people who want to be the next President of the US? (Read the full interview here).
Why we need to slow down our lives The idea of going nowhere is as universal as the law of gravity; that’s why wise souls from every tradition have spoken of it. “All the unhappiness of men,” the seventeenth-century French mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal famously noted, “arises from one simple fact: that they cannot sit quietly in their chamber.” After Admiral Richard E. Byrd spent nearly five months alone in a shack in the Antarctic, in temperatures that sank to 70 degrees below zero, he emerged convinced that “Half the confusion in the world comes from not knowing how little we need.” Or, as they sometimes say around Kyoto, “Don’t just do something. Sit there.”
Gallery: How networks help us understand the world As designer Manuel Lima points out in his TED Talk, A visual history of human knowledge, the network has become a powerful way to visualize much of what is going on in the world around us. “Networks really embody notions of decentralization, of interconnectedness, of interdependence,” says Lima. “This way of thinking is critical for us to solve many of the complex problems we are facing nowadays, from decoding the human brain to understanding the vast universe out there.” Here, Lima shares a few of his favorite network graphics.