Sneak preview: Next month on TED.com

We’re not posting a new TED Talk today or tomorrow — it’s Thanksgiving Day in the United States. But here are some talks we’re excited to post in December:

Next week: Richard Preston on the giant trees
You might know Richard Preston from his groundbreaking reportage on disease, like The Hot Zone and his new collection, Panic in Level 4 (which has been passed around the TED office with the warning, “Don’t read the last chapter while eating”). But here he talks about an equally awe-inspiring topic: the giant trees of the Pacific Northwest US. Springing from a seed smaller than a dime, they become among the largest organisms on the planet, and we know very little about them.

Week of December 9: Eva Zeisel on a long life in design
Video editor Marla Mitchnick writes: “This is a total gem of a talk. Zeisel is a real grande dame of design, and a very dry wit. She was imprisoned in Russia during Stalin’s day for 16 months, her work is stunning and ground-breaking and elegant, and she has a hilarious story about her first ‘job’ (as a woman working in an industrial pottery in Budapest around 1925) where — on her very first day — the guys left her a ‘surprise’ …”

Week of December 16: Dan Gilbert with more surprising thoughts on happiness
Dan Gilbert is a perennial TED Talks favorite. In this talks from TEDGlobal 2005 at Oxford, he shares more amazing, hilarious tales from the frontiers of happiness research.

Week of Dec. 23: Jennifer 8. Lee on American Chinese food
If you’ve seen Jennifer 8. Lee’s byline in the New York Times, you’ll know what to expect here: a sparkling, funny and well-researched talk on the dishes that Americans think of as Chinese food. Who was the real General Tso? Lee goes to China to find out.