In Brief

An album with charm (bracelet), a Mayday call to action, an astronaut sing-along and more

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Chris Hadfield thrilled the audience with his TED2014 talk about fear in space. This week, he does a sing-along with kids. Photo: James Duncan Davidson

At TED2014, astronaut Chris Hadfield talked honestly about experiencing fear in space. This week, he does a sing-along with kids. Photo: James Duncan Davidson

Just a few of the intriguing headlines involving members of the TED community this week:

Jill Sobule’s new album, Dottie’s Charms, is streaming free at Harper’s. Each song is inspired by a charm on a vintage bracelet, with lyrics penned by a writer Jill admires, including Jonathan Lethem and Sam Lipsyte. (Watch Jill sing “Global warming’s theme song, ‘Manhattan in January.'”)

Larry Lessig has cried “Mayday.” This is the name of his new SuperPAC, a campaign contribution fund. Long opposed to the role of money in politics, he acknowledges the irony of creating such a thing, but says it’s time to “pay the ransom” to take American democracy back. His campaign is 65% funded so far. (Watch Larry’s TED Talk, “We the people and the republic we must take back.”)

On May 1, the Prince George’s County Police Department announced they would be live-tweeting a prostitution sting. In her blog on Slate, Jennifer Golbeck explains why this was exactly the way not to use social media. (Watch Jennifer’s talk, “The curly fry conundrum.”)

Climate modeler Gavin Schmidt has a conversation with the Natural Resources Defense Council about why the gulf between scientific papers and newspaper headlines is so wide, and how scientists can fill in the blanks. (Watch Gavin’s talk, “The emergent patterns of climate change.”)

1 Second Everyday, the app created by Cesar Kuriyama, has a role in the new film Chef—written and directed by Jon Favreau. The app’s fellow guest stars? Scarlett Johansson and Robert Downey Jr. (Watch Cesar’s talk, “One second every day.”)

Retired astronaut Chris Hadfield leads a sing-along with kids to stress the importance of music education in schools. An avid photographer, Hadfield recently announced an upcoming book of amazing images taken aboard the International Space Station, titled You Are Here. (Watch his TED Talk, “What I learned from going blind in space.”)

TED Fellow Ryan Holladay, a sound artist, launches a new exhibit, “FERMATA: A Celebration of Sound,” in Washington, DC. (Watch Ryan’s TED Talk, “To hear this music you have to be there.”)

ShaoLan is bringing Chineasy to Italy. (Watch ShaoLan’s talk, “Learn to read Chinese … with ease.”)

Annette Heuser talks to Wired UK about her plans to reform national credit ratings through INCRA, an international nonprofit credit rating agency. (Watch Annette’s talk, “The 3 agencies with the power to make or break economies.”)

Andrew Solomon has won the 2014 Wellcome Trust Book Prize for Far from the Tree. He accepted the award on behalf of the 300 families he interviewed, “who told me their stories with such bracing honesty and such unyielding passion.” (Watch Andrew’s TED Talks, “Love, no matter what” and “Depression, the secret we share” — and watch for his next TED Talk, coming up this month.)

—By Kate Torgovnick May and Simon Marcus