TED News in Brief: A sneak peek at the new, plus a new documentary from Jehane Noujaim

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TED-UniverseIn June of 2006, we posted six talks online. Since then, our universe has grown exponentially to 1600+ talks and all the initiatives you see on the map above. Thus, we’re planning an exciting new version of, designed for deeper exploration of ideas. To find out how we’re rebuilding the site, and how you can get invited to the beta, head to And while you’re at it, checkout The Next Web’s take on the redesign.

But this isn’t the only TED News this week. Below, more briefs on news related to TED Talks and speakers:

TED Prize winner Jehane Noujaim (watch her talk) has her new documentary, The Square, called “stunning” by A.O. Scott of The New York Times. Meanwhile, Time describes it as “Oscar worthy.”

J. J. Abrams (watch his talk) has his new mystery project, known as S. And it has now been revealed to be … a book?

Jane Poynter (watch her talk) has founded a space tourism company that will offer tours to the Earth’s stratosphere 18.5 miles up in the air, reports The New York Times.

Check out these “5 Incredible TED Talks on Animals,” courtesy of

Miwa Matreyek (watch her talk) is premiering her new work, “This World Made Itself,” this week at Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Ohio. After that, she will perform the piece at the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, followed by more soon-to-be-announced tour dates.

Feminist scholar bell hooks offers a critique of Sheryl Sandberg’s book, Lean In (watch her talk about it), via Feminist Wire, joining the cadre of feminists who have weighed in on Sandberg’s first book.

The Daily Muse names its “50 Fearless Minds Changing the World” and includes teenage TED speaker Jack Andraka (watch his talk) as their #1 pick. Homaru Cantu (watch his talk), Aimee Mullins (watch any of her three talks), Diana Nyad (watch her talk), Caitria O’Neill (watch her talk), Nate Silver (watch his talk) and Sebastian Thrun (watch his talk) also made the list.

Johanna Blakley (watch her talks) and Michael Pollan (watch his talk) are among the judges for the Real Food Media Contest, which is looking for great short films about food, farming and sustainability. (Plus: On the contest’s board of advisors is Mischa Nachtigal, founder of a food film festival and a former TED intern.) Deadline to submit your short film is February 3, 2014.

And finally, The New York Times looks at “Making robots more like us,” and not only mentions roboticist Rodney Brooks and Baxter (watch the talk), but includes a look at the tiny humanoid Nao robots who dance in this amazing talk.