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TED News in Brief: Edi Rama becomes prime minister of Albania, Human kaleidoscope wins award

The past two weeks have seen some fascinating TED-related news items. Below, highlights.

As the mayor of Tirana, Albania, Edi Rama transformed his city into a multi-colored explosion of geometric pattern. (Watch his TED Talk.) The leader of Albania’s opposition Socialist Party, Rama has now been named the nation’s new Prime Minister following his party’s commanding win in the parliamentary election on Sunday. The win is significant, not only for boosting the profile of this politician who refuses to wear a tie, but also for ending Sali Berisha’s eight-year rule of the country. 

The D&AD Yellow Pencil awards are highly coveted in the design and advertising world, so we’re thrilled that TEDxSummit’s short film ‘Human Arabesque‘ — a beautiful red, white and black kaleidoscope of bodies used to illustrate the “power of x” — won the D&AD Yellow Pencil for Branding. We especially love the video below because it uses no editing tricks whatsoever. 

Here, a very cool visualization from Jonathan Harris (watch his TED Talk) questioning what big data can and cannot do. 

Amy Cuddy (watch her TED Talk) looks at how the qualities of warmth and strength deeply influence how people view and react to leaders in the July-August issue of the Harvard Business Review. In this piece, she gives her answer to Machiavelli’s classic question, “Is it better to be feared or loved?” Cuddy says leaders should demonstrate warmth, and then strength.

Ben Goldacre (watch his talk, “Battling Bad Science”) runs a nonprofit, Better Data, that aims to use healthcare and academic data in new, clever ways. On Twitter earlier this month, Goldacre announced that the organization’s first project is now in beta. Called Randomise Me, it allows any individual or organization to design a randomized trial.

Camille Seaman’s beautiful photos of super-sized storm clouds thrilled TED fans last week. (Watch her talk.) Now, she’s released the video below video which shows how she finds these clouds.

Marc Goodman (watch his TED Talk) takes a disconcerting look at the emerging field of biological hacking in an essay for Wired UK called “The Bio-Crime Prophecy.” In it, he writes, “Cells are hardware and DNA is software. The result? Biology, like other forms of computing, can be hacked.”

Dr. Charlene Hauser, who was profiled in Upstream Doctors, the TED Book by Rishi Manchanda, was interviewed on Capital Public Radio, talking about how she considers a patient’s social and environmental context when treating them.

TEDGlobal 2013 wrapped on June 14, and in the week and a half since, many fascinating pieces have been written about the event. Wired UK took a look at Mark Kendall’s nanopatch vaccines that don’t require refrigeration, CBS News was fascinated by Steve Howard’s presentation of Ikea’s sustainability goals, and Agence France Presse zoomed in on the session “Those Flying Things” and the potential for drones to do good.  Overall, there were more than 250 articles written about TEDGlobal 2013 in 20 languages.

Ever wondered what kind of talk General Zod and other supervillians would give? ZOD Talks, from The Nerdist, brings the answer below.