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TED Trivia: The 30th anniversary edition

Posted by: Tedstaff

TEDTrivia_BlogHeaderNext month, TED turns 30 years old. And to celebrate, we’ve put together a lightning round of trivia to test your TED Talk and speaker knowledge. For kicks, post your answers in the comments section below. We’ll post the official answer sheet today, February 13, at 1pm.

  1. Ken Robinson, who gave the most-watched talk in TED history, was deeply inspired by this meteorological phenomenon occurring in California’s Death Valley.
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  2. This classic TED speaker isn’t the only one to have used a brain as a prop on stage—she’s just the only one to have used a real one.
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  3. The “D” in TED stands for this field, which has spawned its own specific type of “thinking.”
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  4. Kees Moeliker won which scientific award for his research on homosexual necrophiliac ducks?
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  5. Poet Rives dubbed this time of night “the most surreal of hours.”
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  6. Neil Harbisson isn’t just a loud dresser — he created a device that allows him to hear colors, because he was born fully color blind. What is his medical condition called?
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  7. Christopher McDougall highlights some differences between the running ability of men and women. In which gender did he note that the longer the race, the better they perform?
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  8. This speaker, who has the most talks on TED.com, is not only an accomplished sword-swallower but one of the cofounders of Doctors Without Borders Sweden.
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  9. In his TED Talk, Colin Powell shares his weakness for this New York City street treat.
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  10. Book lover Lisa Bu has read some of the world’s most esteemed literature. What much-beloved book does she call “interesting but strange?”
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  11. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie warns us not to listen to a single story about life in other parts of the world. She discovers her own single story impressions when she travels to which country?
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  12. This TED speaker, who shares a name with an insect, dedicates a full minute of her talk to the story of a woman who had an orgasm every time she brushed her teeth.
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  13. Soft-speaker Susan Cain landed in hot water at summer camp as a child for doing this not-so-dangerous activity.
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  14. The first TED was held in 1984. The second was held in this year, also known as the year that Tim Berners-Lee created the first web server.
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  15. Paola Antonelli found herself at the center of a controversy after daring to add this genre to the Museum of Modern Art’s collection.
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  16. Stefan Sagmeister thinks we’d all be more productive if we sprinkled some of our retirement years throughout our working ones. How often does he take a year off?
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  17. In Stewart Brand’s most recent talk, he explains that scientists are trying to “de-extinct” this North American bird that once lived in flocks 400 miles long.
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  18. What are the “M&M”’s that Jason Fried blames for holding back progress in the workplace?
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  19. In his talk, Terry Moore shares that many of smart people are tying their shoes incorrectly. What does he say is the secret?
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  20. This TED Prize-winning artist had his first gallery exhibition at age 17—on a sidewalk.
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  21. Originally created in 1941 by an American psychologist, this comic book character was the fitting inspiration for one of social psychologist Amy Cuddy’s ‘power poses.’
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  22. Out of 1600+ TED Talks, how many clock in under 3 minutes? Is it 13, 27, 71, or 203?

Answer away! We can’t wait to see which questions are easy … and which stump you.

Note: These questions were written by Kate Torgovnick, Morton Bast and Dan Powell.

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