This TED-Ed Video Asks Why We Feel Sad… And Should We Really Worry About It?

Everyone feels sad from time to time. It’s a natural part of our human experience. And while today we mostly look for ways to overcome sadness or even get rid of it all together, it hasn’t always been viewed as something to banish.

This video from TED-Ed asks what melancholy actually is, and what (if anything) we should do about it. Courtney Stephens guides us through a short-history of our still evolving understanding of sadness, and hints at reasons it may even be useful.

How Sugar Affects the Brain: A TED-Ed Motion Graphic

This will come as no surprise to your average chocoholic, but eating sugar is just about a full body experience. It affects your tongue, your gut and your brain in powerful ways. In this new addition to the TED-Ed series, Dr. Nicole Avena explores the many ways sugar acts on the body and why sugar in moderation isn’t bad, but a lot is a very slippery, if not addictive, slope.

2011 TED Prize Winner Brings INSIDE OUT Photo Booth Truck to London to Give the City a Makeover

1 Inside Out Project by JR

Once upon a time, French street artist J R had a wish to use art to turn the world inside out, so he shared it with the world and in 2011 his wish was granted when he was awarded the TED Prize. Ever since he has been making his dream a reality with “INSIDE OUT: a large-scale participatory art project that transforms messages of personal identity into pieces of artistic work.” The project has been spread all over the globe empowering the people, transforming the cities, and spreading positive messages that vary from place to place. Rather than plastering advertisements around cities, these large scale black and white paste ups represent the real people in each community. The European Photo Booth Truck just spent a few weeks in London at the Somerset House & Waterloo Bridge racking up nearly 2,000 beautiful participants.

Documenting Life- One Second at a Time

Cesar Kuriyama

Do you ever look back at photos from a trip and wonder why you took so many? Did you really enjoy everything as much as you could have if you weren’t trying to document it all? Do you look at the times in between travel and events and realize you barely have any photos and can hardly remember what you’ve done. In this inspirational TED talk, director Cesar Kuriyama, who documented his 30th year one second each day, and received viral attention, shares why he started this project and why he hopes to continue it for as long as he lives.

TED-Ed: Bringing Hundreds of Classrooms Home

Teachers are an amazing resource to all of us, helping us to understand everything from mathematics to the mysteries of the universe. But while some are lucky enough to have wonderful, educated teachers in their life, the actual reach of those individual teachers is quite small… much of the time only as big as a classroom. How can this small influence be broadened? How can we make these incredible lessons more accessible to all? Enter the newest chapter in the TED saga: TED-Ed.

Defend Our Freedom to Share (why SOPA is a bad idea)

If you are a regular reader of Visual News, you may have noticed that today we participated in what is turning out to be the largest ever internet blackout in history… a protest symbolically showing what the internet could look like if the proposed PIPA or SOPA bills pass in the US Congress. The massive voluntary shutdown garnered attention just about everywhere and was participated in by behemoth sites the likes of Craigslist, Reddit and Wikipedia. So what does PIPA and SOPA mean for our shareable internet world, and why should you sign this online letter to congress? Below, Clay Shirky delivers a brilliant talk at the TED offices, challenging us to defend our freedom to create, discuss, link and share in the digital world.

Real or Computer Generated? You Be the Judge

With the advent of modern day computer animation tech, it has become harder and harder to tell the difference between real and make believe.  On the converse, in some cases real images seem to look fake because of the amazing clarity we can achieve. Louie Schwartzberg is an award winning cinematographer that has been pushing the limits of cameras and video for the last 30 years.  Using time-lapse, super slow motion and a slew of other techniques, he achieves some of the most incredible images caught on film: images that blur the line between reality and the digital world.

Balloons of Bhutan: Stories of a Nations Happiness

The country of Bhutan has a unique interpretation of what makes their nation a success: instead of focusing on the countries Gross National Product, a concept mostly unrelated to a populations well being, since 1972 they have officially focused on “Gross National Happiness.” Now renowned traveling story collector Jonathan Harris has put together an inspiring website of his 2007 project Balloons of Bhutan. Harris traveled the Himalayan kingdom giving out balloons and capturing a storied portrait of the nations happiness

How Language Transformed Humanity

In this captivating TED talk, biologist Mark Pagel expounds on his very intriguing theory of how and why the human species developed such a complex system of language, furthering and setting us apart from the other inhabitants of the planet. He then looks at the future of communication, asking why the worlds 7000-8000 languages came into existence and wonders at what will become of them in our ever more communicative and global world.

Growing New Dinosaurs From Chickens

Ever since he was a child, Jack Horner has been dreaming of two things: becoming a paleontologist and having a pet dinosaur. So far he’s accomplished one of those tasks and the other is the subject of this TED Talk.

Horner is fun and captivating in his account of the various experiments and discoveries along his rocky path toward creating one of the prehistoric behemoths. He then details the ways in which we are now studying chickens, distant relatives of dinosaurs, and what roll they will play in the process.