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X marks the spot: This week’s TEDx Talks

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Photo: Kris Krüg

Photo: Kris Krüg

Designs for rethinking the toilet, how to transcend tragedy and a look at “soft,” flexible robotics — these topics are all covered in featured TEDx Talks this week. Each week, TEDx chooses four of our favorite talks, highlighting just a few of the enlightening speakers from the TEDx community and its diverse constellation of ideas worth spreading. Below, this week’s talks, given on three continents.

In defense of whistleblowers: Margaret Heffernan at TEDxDanubia 2013
Bad things happen when good people fail to act, says Margaret Heffernan. At TEDxDanubia, she explores the crucial role of whistleblowers, despite the sometimes high cost paid for uncovering the truth. (Filmed at TEDxDanubia.)

A path to smarter sanitation: Mathew Lippincott at TEDxConcordiaUPortland
In an ever-changing world, the basic design of the toilet remains the same. Through a humorous critique of this “antique device,” Mathew Lippincott asks us to think a little harder about how society deals with the problems of sanitation. (Filmed at TEDxConcordiaUPortland.)

Seeing beyond my suffering: Ali Taleb Almarrany at TEDxSanaa 2012
Growing up in Yemen in extreme poverty, Ali Taleb Almarrany lost an eye in a tragic firearm accident. At TEDxSanaa, he tells the story of how this led him to his biggest success: becoming a TV journalist, despite the odds. (Filmed at TEDxSanaa.)

Are flexible electronics in our future?: Stephanie Lacour and Jamie Palk at TEDxHelvetia
At TEDxHelvetia, Stephanie Lacour and Jamie Paik share a novel new “soft” robotic material incorporating flexible electronic circuits. Based on origami, these robotic sheets can fold into almost any shape, and might someday provide stretchable screens for smartphones, or muscle support for patients after facial surgery. (Filmed at TEDxHelvetia.)

And here, some highlights from the TEDx blog this week:

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