The few days before a holiday are brutal. It doesn’t matter if you have a lot of work on your plate or have midterms to study for — your mind just wants to be distracted from it all. And so, we bring you the best TED Talks for procrastinating, so you don’t have to feel completely guilty for not doing what you are supposed to be doing. After all, you are learning.
This post is partially inspired by this Reddit user, who asked for great talks to get him/her over the desire to procrastinate. But we say: what’s the fun in that? Though do check out the thread for ideas, as some good talks are suggested.
|Andrew Fitzgerald: Adventures in Twitter fictionAndrew Fitzgerald: Adventures in Twitter fiction
Social media wormholes: incredible for procrastination. So enjoy this talk all about how people are using Twitter as a space for creative storytelling. Bonus: go read the feeds he suggests.
|Anna Mracek Dietrich: A plane you can driveAnna Mracek Dietrich: A plane you can drive
Because, you just need to know what this means, right?
|Alexa Meade: Your body is my canvasAlexa Meade: Your body is my canvas
“If I want to paint your portrait, I’m painting it on you, physically on you. That means you are probably going to end up with an ear full of paint.”
|The interspecies internet? An idea in progressThe interspecies Internet? An idea in progress
The internet is perhaps the best tool for procrastination, ever. Could it also be the same … for animals? Watch this talk about how apes, dolphins and elephants might someday join us online.
|Dan Dennett: Cute, sexy, sweet, funnyDan Dennett: Cute, sexy, sweet, funny
There is a evolutionary reason why we find things cute, sexy, sweet and even funny. But the logic doesn’t go in the direction you think. Watch the talk to understand.
|Marcus Byrne: The dance of the dung beetleMarcus Byrne: The dance of dung beetle
This talk will give you fun facts to pull out over holiday meals to shock your most uptight relatives. “Pass the cranberry sauce. Did you know that dung beetles roll animal dung over hundreds of miles?”
|Fabian Oefner: Psychedelic scienceFabian Oefner: Psychedelic science
Fabian Oefner creates stunning pop images from scientific phenomenon, like soundwaves and centrifugal force. Plus, see what happens when he sets whiskey on fire.
|Bryan Stevenson: We need to talk about an injusticeBryan Stevenson: We need to talk about an injustice
For some people, the perfect procrastination material is light. For others, it is more serious—so you feel justified in taking time away from important tasks. For this specific subsect, we recommend this highly powerful talk. See also: Aaron Huey’s “America’s native prisoners of war.”
|Rives: Reinventing the encyclopedia gameRives: The Encyclopedia Game
Miss the printed version of the Encyclopaedia Britannica? Then you’ll want to play Rives’ encyclopedia game. Chimborazo!
|Frank Warren: Half a million secretsFrank Warren: Half a million secrets
In 2012, the website PostSecret.com crossed the line of having half a million secrets. In this talk, hear some of the juiciest and most moving.
|Shea Hembrey: How I became 100 artistsShea Hembrey: How I became 100 artists
A look at how one man created a 100-person biennial.
|Chip Kidd: Designing books is no laughing matter. OK, it is.Chip Kidd: Designing books is no laughing matter. OK it is.
As you put off reading the book you need to read, we recommend this talk about book covers.
|Reggie Watts: Beats that defy boxesReggie Watts: Beats that defy boxes
This performance is just mesmerizing. Take some time to be disoriented in the most entertaining way, in Reggie Watts’ signature style.
|Miguel Nicolelis: A monkey that controls a robot with its thoughts. No, really.Miguel Nicolelis: A monkey that controls a robot with its thoughts. No, really
|Charlie Todd: The shared experience of absurdityCharlie Todd: The shared experience of absurdity
The founder of Improv Anywhere launches experiences — like the No Pants Subway Ride — that are just so funny and disruptive, you need to watch.
|Neil Harbisson: I listen to colorNeil Harbisson: I listen to color
This talk is great for imagining what it’s like for a grocery store aisle to feel like a dance club, thanks to the brightly colored packaging.