TED News in Brief: A timelapse of 6,000 portraits, and a novel about botany

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Over the past week, we’ve noticed a lot of TED-related news items in the ether. Here, some highlights:

TED Prize winner JR (watch his talk) has shared this stunning timelapse video of 6,000 people stopping by his Inside Out photo truck in New York City, and pasting their photos on the sidewalk in Times Square.

Elizabeth Gilbert (watch her talk) has released a new novel — about 19th-century botany, naturally. Here, she has a conversation with The New York Times about it.

Fast Co. Design gives a beautiful preview of TED 2.0. Head to to get invited to the beta of the site.

In an op-ed in The Los Angeles Times, Robert Greene wonders if Janette Sadikh-Khan could do great things for the unofficial city of freeways. What made him think about it? Watching her TED Talk. He writes, “If only there were a vacancy for her to fill in some other large U.S. city that badly needs her bold vision and drive to recover wasted street space and to enhance wider use and greater safety for cyclists and pedestrians as well as cars and buses.”

Here, 3 TED Talks that will change your life, according to a piece by Alex Banayan on LinkedIn.

In the article “How an Abandoned Skyscraper Became ‘The World’s Tallest Slum,’Popular Science takes a closer look at one of the places Iwan Baan so beautifully described in his TED Talk, the so-called Tower of David in Caracas, Venezuela.

Julie Taymor’s staging of A Midsummer Night’s Dream has opened at the Brooklyn Theater. New York Magazine’s review of it begins: “If you were a director whose godlike reputation had recently suffered a nightmare involving flying pests, malicious sprites, and braying asses, what project would be more fitting than A Midsummer Night’s Dream to mark your re-emergence into the world of sanity and sunlight?” (Watch her talk on her Spider-Man experience.)

The Washington Post pulled 10 stunning images from the TED Book Would You Stay?, of people who live near Chernobyl and Fukushima, despite the radiation risk.


Hans Rosling (watch any of his 9 TED Talks) shares his “Yardstick of Wealth” with the BBC, breaking down the population of the world into those who save for shoes, for a bike, for a car and for a plane ride. Plus, the very, very few who are saving for a rocket to Mars.

In The New York Times article, “Finding the Higgs Leads to More Puzzles,” Gian Giudice (watch his talk) says, “The near criticality of the universe is the most important thing we have learned from the discovery of the Higgs boson so far.”

The Economist makes the argument that MOOCs are ill-suited to the form of online video. One of their preferred alternatives: TED Talks.

Steve Marsh of Delta Sky Magazine gives the play-by-play of his experience last summer at TEDGlobal 2013.

The Globe and Mail interviews Cindy Gallop (watch her talk) about her website,, and the need to re-educate young men about what real sex looks like.

Here, 5 TED Talks to help you master your finances, from

And finally, woo hoo! The website Giant Freakin Robot featured a new project from Hetain Patel (watch his talk) — a Ford Fiesta made into a gigantic Transformer. (Read about it on the TED Blog.)