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In todays post I will give you a quick overview of one of the amazing sites on the internet I have found, and a quick look at one of the most inspiring, one of the most interesting and one of the funniest Ted talks I have ever seen (with update link).

The site is Ted: Ideas Worth Spreading, and bills itself as a platform for ‘Riveting talks by remarkable people, free to the world’.  Ted has been around since 1984 and now consists of both formal Ted Talk events and Tedx events, where community members organise their own mini Ted events.  We have them in Australia, and just this week in Ontario the first Tedx LibrariansTO talk was held.

For more about Ted see here.

If you have never seen or heard a Ted talk, I encourage you to have a look. Based on all topics, from all over the world they are informative, engaging, funny, inspiring, breathtaking, concerning, thought-provoking and any other adjectives you wish to add.

Here are my top-5 Ted talks.  Please let me know of any of your favourites in thh comments.


Any of Hans Rosling’s talks would make be amongst my favourites, but this one has over 2.8 million views, so look, enjoy and be wowed.  I would watch all his talks many many times (and have).

See them all here

In 2000 he gave this talk described as, “You’ve never seen data presented like this. With the drama and urgency of a sportscaster, statistics guru Hans Rosling debunks myths about the so-called “developing world.”(From the Ted Blog.)


In 2006 David Gallo gave this talk descriped as, “David Gallo shows jaw-dropping footage of amazing sea creatures, including a color-shifting cuttlefish, a perfectly camouflaged octopus, and a Times Square’s worth of neon light displays from fish who live in the blackest depths of the ocean”. (From the Ted Blog.) It needs to be seen to be believed.

In 2008 Jay Walker gave this talk, “Jay Walker, curator of the Library of Human Imagination, conducts a surprising show-and-tell session highlighting a few of the intriguing artifacts that backdropped the 2008 TED stage”. (From the Ted Blog.)


In 2010 Sebastian Wernicke gave this talk described as: “In a brilliantly tongue-in-cheek analysis, Sebastian Wernicke turns the tools of statistical analysis on TEDTalks, to come up with a metric for creating “the optimum TEDTalk” based on user ratings. How do you rate it? “Jaw-dropping”? “Unconvincing”? Or just plain “Funny”?” (From the Ted Blog.)

He updated it the other day with new statistics here

In 2009 Alexis Ohanian combined humor and the Internet for this talk described as, “In a funny, rapid-fire 4 minutes, Alexis Ohanian of Reddit tells the real-life fable of one humpback whale’s rise to Web stardom. The lesson of Mister Splashy Pants is a shoo-in classic for meme-makers and marketers in the Facebook age.” (From the Ted Blog.)