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TED Theme: Tales of Invention

TED has always loved a good creation story. No matter the scale -- kitchen, continent, or solar system -- invention grants us access to the frontiers of our understanding. Legendary designer Philippe Starck's lively ruminations on his own creative process suggest how the patterns of ...

TED has always loved a good creation story. No matter the scale -- kitchen, continent, or solar system -- invention grants us access to the frontiers of our understanding. Legendary designer Philippe Starck's lively ruminations on his own creative process suggest how the patterns of a civilization might affect, say, the design of a citrus juicer. Jan Chipchase investigates the worldwide impact of mobile phones -- and the impact of culture on next-generation mobile technology. Explorer and adventurer Bill Stone, meanwhile, fires up a rapt audience with his ambitious plan to harvest energy from the moon. Copyright lawyer Larry Lessig gives a brief history of creative freedom and copyright, and talks about how contemporary copyright law could strangle future artistic invention and interpretation. William Kamkwamba tells how he built a windmill from scrap metal when he was 14 years old. And Amy Smith shares her transformative low-tech tools for saving life in the developing world.

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    John Hunter: Teaching with the World Peace Game

    John Hunter puts all the problems of the world on ...

    John Hunter puts all the problems of the world on a 4'x5' plywood board -- and lets his 4th-graders solve them. At TED2011, he explains how his World Peace Game engages schoolkids, and why the complex lessons it teaches -- spontaneous, and always surprising -- go further than classroom lectures can.

    Apr 20, 2011 Read more
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    Marcin Jakubowski: Open-sourced blueprints for civilization

    Using wikis and digital fabrication tools, TED Fellow Marcin Jakubowski ...

    Using wikis and digital fabrication tools, TED Fellow Marcin Jakubowski is open-sourcing the blueprints for 50 farm machines, allowing anyone to build their own tractor or harvester from scratch. And that's only the first step in a project to write an instruction set for an entire self-sustaining village (starting cost: $10,000).

    Apr 14, 2011 Read more
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    Mick Ebeling: The invention that unlocked a locked-in artist

    The nerve disease ALS left graffiti artist TEMPT paralyzed from ...

    The nerve disease ALS left graffiti artist TEMPT paralyzed from head to toe, forced to communicate blink by blink. In a remarkable talk at TEDActive, entrepreneur Mick Ebeling shares how he and a team of collaborators built an open-source invention that gave the artist -- and gives others in his circumstance -- the means to make art again.

    Apr 7, 2011 Read more
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    Sebastian Thrun: Google's driverless car

    Sebastian Thrun helped build Google's amazing driverless car, powered by ...

    Sebastian Thrun helped build Google's amazing driverless car, powered by a very personal quest to save lives and reduce traffic accidents. Jawdropping video shows the DARPA Challenge-winning car motoring through busy city traffic with no one behind the wheel, and dramatic test drive footage from TED2011 demonstrates how fast the thing can really go.

    Mar 31, 2011 Read more
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    Eythor Bender: Human exoskeletons -- for war and healing

    Eythor Bender of Berkeley Bionics brings onstage two amazing exoskeletons, ...

    Eythor Bender of Berkeley Bionics brings onstage two amazing exoskeletons, HULC and eLEGS -- robotic add-ons that could one day allow a human to carry 200 pounds without tiring, or allow a wheelchair user to stand and walk. It's a powerful onstage demo, with implications for human potential of all kinds.

    Mar 24, 2011 Read more
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    Paul Root Wolpe: It's time to question bio-engineering

    Bioethicist Paul Root Wolpe describes an astonishing series of recent ...

    Bioethicist Paul Root Wolpe describes an astonishing series of recent bio-engineering experiments, from glowing dogs to mice that grow human ears. He asks: Isn't it time to set some ground rules? (Filmed at TEDxPeachtree.)

    Mar 23, 2011 Read more
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    Danny Hillis: Understanding cancer through proteomics

    Danny Hills makes a case for the next frontier of ...

    Danny Hills makes a case for the next frontier of cancer research: proteomics, the study of proteins in the body. As Hillis explains it, genomics shows us a list of the ingredients of the body -- while proteomics shows us what those ingredients produce. Understanding what's going on in your body at the protein level may lead to a new understanding of how cancer happens.

    Feb 24, 2011 Read more
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    Michael Pawlyn: Using nature's genius in architecture

    How can architects build a new world of sustainable beauty? ...

    How can architects build a new world of sustainable beauty? By learning from nature. At TEDSalon in London, Michael Pawlyn describes three habits of nature that could transform architecture and society: radical resource efficiency, closed loops, and drawing energy from the sun.

    Feb 10, 2011 Read more
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    Dale Dougherty: We are makers

    America was built by makers -- curious, enthusiastic amateur inventors ...

    America was built by makers -- curious, enthusiastic amateur inventors whose tinkering habit sparked whole new industries. At TED@MotorCity, MAKE magazine publisher Dale Dougherty says we're all makers at heart, and shows cool new tools to tinker with, like Arduinos, affordable 3D printers, even DIY satellites.

    Feb 1, 2011 Read more
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    Thomas Thwaites: How I built a toaster -- from scratch

    It takes an entire civilization to build a toaster. Designer ...

    It takes an entire civilization to build a toaster. Designer Thomas Thwaites found out the hard way, by attempting to build one from scratch: mining ore for steel, deriving plastic from oil ... it's frankly amazing he got as far as he got. A parable of our interconnected society, for designers and consumers alike.

    Jan 12, 2011 Read more
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