TED News in Brief: TED app featured during iPhone reveal, Pico Iyer breaks our hearts

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Today, Apple thrilled the tech world by revealing its two new iPhones, one a candy-colored, lower-priced model. And we were very excited to see our new TED iOS7 app featured in the presentation, toward the middle of the grid above. More on that soon.

In Sunday’s New York Times, Pico Iyer (watch his TED Talk) searches for the value of suffering in a quietly shattering essay that ties together the aftermath of the Japanese tsunami in 2011 and our reaction to seeing the desperate suffering in Syria now.

Time magazine’s list of the hottest university classes, as expected, contains a few TED stars — Nina Jablonski, Laurie Santos, Sebastian Thrun, Peter Norvig, Dan Ariely. It’s also an insanely fun read, full of quirky profs and niche topics you suddenly need to know everything about. Anyone else feel like going back to school?

The Stir takes a look at what Brene Brown’s “Listening to Shame” means for moms.


To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s March on Washington, artist JR (read about his TED Prize wish) headed to the Atlanta neighborhood where King grew up and pasted enormous images from the march on local buildings. Photo, above.

Sylvia Earle (watch her talk) has written the intro for a buzzed-about new book on the rise of jellyfish in our degraded oceans. As Jeremy Jackson said in his TED Talk: As we crash fishery after fishery, our ocean will come to be dominated by bacteria and jellyfish.

The Lasker Awards (which MetaFilter calls “America’s Nobels”) were announced this week, and Bill Gates (check out his talks) and Melinda Gates (watch her talk) share the Lasker~Bloomberg Public Service Award. (Another award went to three inventors of the cochlear implant.)

We love celebrities, Robert Sapolsky admits in the new Nautilus. Why? “Because we’re primates with vested interests in tracking social hierarchies and patterns of social affiliation. And celebrities provide our primate minds with stimulating gyrations of hierarchy.”


This week, the comic “Betty” (above) references Amy Cuddy’s TED Talk “Your body languages shapes who you are” and her praise of power posing. While Cuddy does not recommend power posing as a way to get the upper hand in a relationship, she does say it’s a great way to boost confidence before a job interview.

Cass Sunstein (an economist and coincidentally the husband of TED speaker Samantha Power) reviews TED speaker Sendhil Mullainathan’s new book, Scarcity, cowritten with Eldar Shafir. The book offers an astonishing look at the pervasive effects of scarcity — of food, of time, of attention — and how it affects your power to make good decisions. Bonus: Within the review, Sunstein surfaces a knockout quote from another TED speaker, economist Esther Duflo (watch the talk):

“We tend to be patronizing about the poor in a very specific sense, which is that we tend to think, ‘Why don’t they take more responsibility for their lives?’ And what we are forgetting is that the richer you are the less responsibility you need to take for your own life because everything is taken care [of] for you. And the poorer you are, the more you have to be responsible for everything about your life…. Stop berating people for not being responsible and start to think of ways instead of providing the poor with the luxury that we all have, which is that a lot of decisions are taken for us. If we do nothing, we are on the right track. For most of the poor, if they do nothing, they are on the wrong track.”