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What is TED? A category on tonight’s episode of Jeopardy!

What is TED? A category on tonight’s episode of Jeopardy!

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In January, Alex Trebek read the following Final Jeopardy! prompt: “This intellectual forum started in 1984, bringing together people from three different industries, hence its 3-letter name.” The answer, of course: What is TED? Tonight, Jeopardy! took its TED enthusiasm to the next level, with a full category about TED Talks. See if you can answer some []

J.J. Abrams creates an actual mystery box

J.J. Abrams creates an actual mystery box

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J.J. Abrams’ talk has perhaps the best title of all time: “The mystery box.” In it, the Star Trek director and Lost co-creator reveals how, years ago, he purchased a box at a magic shop that promised $50 of magic for $15. Only, he has never had the heart to open it because “it represents []

Books to get you ready for TED2014

Books to get you ready for TED2014

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TED2014, our 30th anniversary conference, is less than a month away! If you’re counting the days like we are, get a head start by reading some of the insightful and compelling books by the groundbreaking thinkers who will speak in Vancouver. Books from speakers in Session 1, “Liftoff” Being Digital, by Nicholas Negroponte. This 1995 []

The daily battles of life, cut from paper and animated in 3D

The daily battles of life, cut from paper and animated in 3D

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Béatrice Coron doesn’t so much tell stories, as cut them. At TED2011, the French-born artist shared how she creates intricate, fantastical worlds by slashing paper into beautiful silhouettes. During a party at TED, held in the rotunda of Long Beach’s Aquarium of the Pacific, Coron ran into James Stewart, the Canadian film director who pioneered digital []

David Blaine shares the last magic trick that boggled his mind

David Blaine shares the last magic trick that boggled his mind

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David Blaine, the magician, illusionist and endurance artist, is back on prime time TV tonight with the special, David Blaine: Real or Magic. Traveling around the world, the TED speaker (watch his talk, “How I held my breath for 17 minutes“) performs magic and elicits astonished reactions from people on the street — as well as from []

The next evolutions of thumb wrestling

The next evolutions of thumb wrestling

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No one is exactly sure who invented thumb wrestling. According to Wikipedia, Julian Koenig — the advertising copywriter who helped coin the slogan “It takes a licking and keeps on ticking” for Timex — claimed to have invented the game in 1936 while at summer camp. Meanwhile, author Paul Davidson says that his grandfather was []

Songs, poems, a miniature TED: Some incredible TEDYouth applications

Songs, poems, a miniature TED: Some incredible TEDYouth applications

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TEDYouth “The Spark” is about to ignite. The annual conference for middle and high school students will take place this Saturday in New Orleans, with 400 teens from across the region gathering to listen to talks from scientists, designers, technologists, explorers, artists and performers — some of them adults and some of them peers. The []

9 memorable, manic moments of jealousy in literature

9 memorable, manic moments of jealousy in literature

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“When we feel jealous, we tell ourselves a story. We tell ourselves a story about other people’s lives,” says Parul Sehgal, an editor for The New York Times Book Review, in her TED Talk, a poetic meditation on an oft-resented emotion. “These stories make us feel terrible because they are designed to make us feel []

The Muslims Are Coming!: Fellows Friday with Negin Farsad

The Muslims Are Coming!: Fellows Friday with Negin Farsad

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Ever bowled with a Muslim? Why not? Negin Farsad wants to know. The comedian and filmmaker’s new documentary The Muslims Are Coming! follows a group of Muslim-American comedians as they travel through Middle America setting up street actions — Hug a Muslim, Bowl with a Muslim, Ask a Muslim — skewering stereotypes and turning Islamophobia []

Studying human nature by picking pockets: A Q&A with Apollo Robbins

Studying human nature by picking pockets: A Q&A with Apollo Robbins

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If you ever meet Apollo Robbins in person, hold onto your wallet. The professional sleight-of-hand artist, who has been studying magic for more than 25 years, made headlines in 2001 when he pickpocketed Jimmy Carter’s Secret Service detail, taking their badges and even the keys to the motorcade. Since then, he has gained a reputation []

TED Weekends reveals sleight of mind

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Hypnosis is a source of both debate and fear. It’s an intimidating thought that the subconscious mind can listen and react to outside sources. But there are still many questions to be answered: Does the subconscious work independently of the conscious mind? Is it programmed by experiences or instructions? These are questions posed by Keith []