TED News in Brief: “What is TED?” a Final Jeopardy question, Taryn Simon photographs Bond Girls, and much more

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“This intellectual forum started in 1984, bringing together people from three different industries, hence its 3-letter name.” This was the Final Jeopardy! prompt on January 1, 2014 — on the very first episode of the new year. The answer, of course: What is TED.

Taryn Simon (watch her two TED Talks) has a new exhibit, “Birds of the West Indies,” that re-imagines the iconography of James Bond, from the golden gun to the steel teeth. As part of it, she’s photographed all but 10 of the legendary actors who played “Bond girls” — catching these powerful women gazing directly at the camera on their own terms.

Proust and Buddhism. These are the subjects of this very fun piece from Pico Iyer (watch his talk). Enjoy.

Two TED Fellows appear in Forbes magazine’s 30 Under 30 spectacular, in the field of social entrepreneurship: Joel Jackson and Esra’a Al Shafei. But definitely read up on all the thinkers in this group — their work is inspiring.

Using a robotic exoskeleton, a paralyzed young athlete may be kicking the first ball of the World Cup this summer. The Walk Again Project, an international consortium behind the project, is headed up by Brazilian scientist Miguel Nicolelis (watch his TED Talk) and his lab at Duke.

An interesting interview with Liz Diller (watch her TED Talks) in Architect Magazine, in which she talks about inspiring Spike Jonze and the futuristic cityscapes of his movie, Her.

Sean Carroll (watch his TED Talks) is hosting a new Friday night series on Turner Classic Movies, and it’s dedicated to science flicks. He writes on his blog, “Every Friday night they’ll be playing no fewer than four classic films (we interpret ‘classic’ a bit loosely in some cases) with some kind of scientific theme … I managed to watch or re-watch (almost) all of the films, and discovered a few gems I hadn’t heard of. The Man in the White Suit, starring a young Alec Guiness, was a lot of fun. And the biographical films, like Pasteur, were more enjoyable than I expected; back in the day Hollywood really knew how to make a good biopic.”

JR and NYC Ballet

JR (watch his TED Prize wish) has turned his lens on the dancers of the New York City Ballet, photographing them in a rippling vortex of bodies that — upon closer examination — forms the shape of an eye.

Asha de Vos (read about this TED Fellow’s research on whales), has been selected as a winner of the 2013 President’s Award for Scientific Publications. She says of the news, “What a way to end 2013 and kickstart 2014!”

A phrase to stop using in 2014: “the mentally ill.” Carey Goldberg talks to doctors and journalists about why. A few weeks ago, we asked TED speakers for their thoughts on how to talk about mental health. Here’s what they had to say.

NPR talks to TED Fellow Ola Orekunrun (read about her work) about Flying Doctors Nigeria, the air ambulance service she created. Listen to the fascinating interview.

Michael Norton (watch his TED Talk) shows a fascinating experiment that takes the kids’ game “Guess Who” and turns it into a study about race and racism.

Paul Bloom (watch his talk) has a new Coursera class, “The Moralities of Everyday Life,” starting January 20. Check out the first lecture on YouTube.

And finally, read up on TED Fellow Angelo Vermeulen’s new project, Seeker, which allows people across the globe to create starship sculptures that evolve over time. Read more about his effort to cook real food on Mars.