40 brilliant idioms that simply can’t be translated literally

Language

40 brilliant idioms that simply can’t be translated literally

on

By Helene Batt and Kate Torgovnick May It’s a piece of cake. You can’t put lipstick on a pig. Why add fuel to the fire? Idioms are those phrases that mean more than the sum of their words. As our Open Translation Project volunteers translate TED Talks into 105 languages, they’re often challenged to translate English []

How to learn a new language: 7 secrets from TED Translators

Language

How to learn a new language: 7 secrets from TED Translators

on

By Krystian Aparta They say that children learn languages the best. But that doesn’t mean that adults should give up. We asked some of the polyglots in TED’s Open Translation Project to share their secrets to mastering a foreign language. Their best strategies distill into seven basic principles: Get real. Decide on a simple, attainable []

25+ apps to make your everyday life easier

Insights from Our Office

25+ apps to make your everyday life easier

on

At our small, fast-moving nonprofit company, everyone does a couple of jobs — and productivity apps help us manage roles that shift between coding, writing/designing and running a full-scale conference twice a year. We asked the TED staff what apps they can’t live without. And beyond the classics—Instagram, Google Maps, Spotify, Uber, Seamless—we found some []

Data becomes art in Julie Freeman’s “We Need Us”

Art

Data becomes art in Julie Freeman’s “We Need Us”

on

. Artist Julie Freeman creates kinetic sculptures, compositions and animations from nature-generated data. Think: the motion of fish swimming, or the quiver of moths’ wings. This week, Freeman revealed a new piece of work from the TED Fellows stage. Called “We Need Us,” it’s an online, data-driven artwork that explores the nature of metadata. It’s now []

10 steps to tame your email inbox and keep chaos at bay

Insights from Our Office

10 steps to tame your email inbox and keep chaos at bay

on

Just like you, we at TED get inundated with email. And just like you, many of us think of an overflowing inbox as a guilt-inducing, anxiety-laden reminder of things left undone. As TED’s User Experience Architect, I like my inbox the same way I like my designs: simple, orderly, and communicating clearly what to do []

10 tips on how to make slides that communicate your idea, from TED’s in-house expert

Insights from Our Office

10 tips on how to make slides that communicate your idea, from TED’s in-house expert

on

  Aaron Weyenberg is the master of slide decks. Our UX Lead creates Keynote presentations that are both slick and charming—the kind that pull you in and keep you captivated, but in an understated way that helps you focus on what’s actually being said. He does this for his own presentations and for lots of []

Why the eff didn’t you watch these TED Talks? The 2014 edition

Entertainment

Why the eff didn’t you watch these TED Talks? The 2014 edition

on

At the end of every December, we at the office get a little indignant that some of our favorite TED Talks from the year didn’t seem to do as well as we’d hoped. Some amazing talks, for whatever reason — whether they’re too absurd, niche or quirky, or simply were posted at a less than ideal time []

How to make a tabletop telepresence robot to beam yourself into meetings

Insights from Our Office

How to make a tabletop telepresence robot to beam yourself into meetings

on

I manage TED’s online community from my home on the West Coast, and while many of my interactions are with people based all over the world, the majority of my colleagues are based across the country at TED HQ in New York City. As anyone who works remotely knows, attending meetings as a giant videoconferencing head-on-the-wall isn’t []

The 10 weirdest things that have happened in TED Talks

Entertainment

The 10 weirdest things that have happened in TED Talks

on

Many unusual things have happened on the TED stage over the years. Our incredible speakers have done everything from perform magic tricks to attempt to set themselves on fire, all in the name of spreading their ideas. Although far from a complete list, here are some of the weirdest TED moments that we still haven’t []

How to take great photos—even on your cell phone

Insights from Our Office

How to take great photos—even on your cell phone

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Taking great photos isn’t just about having a nice camera. I’m a firm believer that good photography comes from smart photographers who think creatively and know how to make the most of what they’ve got—whether they’re working with fancy DSLR or an iPhone. On TED’s design team, where I manage TED’s Instagram account, we’re always []

Your summer reading list: Rashida Jones, Elizabeth Gilbert, Bill and Melinda Gates and many more share their book recommendations

Entertainment

Your summer reading list: Rashida Jones, Elizabeth Gilbert, Bill and Melinda Gates and many more share their book recommendations

on

  Summer: the season for cracking open a good book under the shade of a tree. Below, we’ve compiled about 70 stellar book recommendations from members of the TED community. Warning: not all of these books can be classified as beach reads. And we think that is a good thing. Picks from Elizabeth Gilbert, author  []

10 tips for editing video

Insights from Our Office

10 tips for editing video

on

By Kari Mulholland* The techniques that video editors use to shape their content reveal a lot about how people create meaning in the world. Editors have a deep understanding of how people think, feel, remember and learn, and we use this knowledge to build powerful, moving stories and experiences. The best editing decisions come from []

Could you build your own house, car or tractor? A TED Fellow on his adventures in extreme manufacturing

Fellows Friday

Could you build your own house, car or tractor? A TED Fellow on his adventures in extreme manufacturing

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What if you could build a civilization from scratch, using tools that could also be built from scratch? In his talk “Open-sourced blueprints for civilization” at TED2011, Marcin Jakubowski introduced the Global Village Construction Set, open-source blueprints that would essentially allow anyone with a heap of scrap metal — and a few production tools — to make []

The real 10 most fascinating people of 2014, from StoryCorps

News

The real 10 most fascinating people of 2014, from StoryCorps

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By Dave Isay, founder of StoryCorps (and 2015 TED Prize winner) Last week, I saw Barbara Walters’ list of “The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2014.” It included interesting thinkers like Elon Musk (watch his TED Talk) and George R.R. Martin (the author of Game of Thrones), along with crowd-pleasers like Taylor Swift and Oprah. But reading this []

Leave work for a year to go live on a remote island? How a TED Talk inspired me to take a mid-career sabbatical

Impact of Ideas

Leave work for a year to go live on a remote island? How a TED Talk inspired me to take a mid-career sabbatical

on

By Winston Chen Odysseus…Gauguin…Robinson Crusoe…and me? Many people dream of the ultimate escape: throwing all the baggage of civilization away and taking off to live on a remote island. But few people—particularly professional couples with young kids—actually go through with it. And yet, that’s just what my family did: we left Boston, and my reliable []

5 studies that offer fascinating conclusions about human sexuality

Culture

5 studies that offer fascinating conclusions about human sexuality

on

The standard narrative of human sexual evolution says: men provide women with goods and services in exchange for women’s sexual fidelity. But is that really true or relevant today? Christopher Ryan, the co-author of Sex at Dawn with Cacilda Jethá, takes a deeper look and has quite a few bones to pick with this idea. Ryan []