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7 StoryCorps stories that Dave Isay just can’t get out of his head

7 StoryCorps stories that Dave Isay just can’t get out of his head

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By Dave Isay I can’t tell you how completely shocked I am to win the TED Prize. For those of you who haven’t heard of StoryCorps, it’s a Brooklyn-based nonprofit I founded 11 years ago that, so far, has given 100,000 Americans the chance to record audio interviews about their lives. Participating in StoryCorps couldn’t be easier: you invite a loved one []

Kermit the Frog gives a TEDx Talk, and Twitter loves it

Kermit the Frog gives a TEDx Talk, and Twitter loves it

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Twitter was ablaze yesterday with some interesting news: Kermit the Frog had just become the first frog (albeit puppet) to give a TEDx Talk. On Thursday afternoon, the green superstar hopped on over to Jackson, Mississippi, to give a standing-ovation-grabbing talk at TEDxJackson. Kermit was a natural fit for the event, as The Muppets creator []

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 []

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 []