The 10 Best Talks from TED 2010

Every year, the technology, entertainment, and design worlds' most inspired movers and shakers convene in Long Beach,...

Every year, the technology, entertainment, and design worlds' most inspired movers and shakers convene in Long Beach, California, for a week of forward thinking revelry. TED 2010, which ran from February 9 to 13, and which a few GOOD team members attended, was no exception. After taking some time to reflect on the event, we've compiled our 10 favorite talks from TED 2010.

1. Mark Roth, biochemist and cell biologist, on suspended animation
In maybe the most jaw-dropping talk of the entire event, Roth explained "reversible metabolic hibernation," wherein we could put animals into states of suspended animation-and bring them back, safely.

2. Sam Harris, neuroscientist and philosopher, on fact-based morality
Harris argues that questioning religious faith might be the only way to save the human race; his Reason Project attempts to erode "the influence of dogmatism, superstition, and bigotry in our world."

3. Dan Barber, chef, on food
Barber's work to transform the way we interact with food, and to tell the stories of why we eat what we do, has made him an indelible force in the world of eating.

4. Christopher Poole, founder of 4Chan, on anonymity and censorship
Poole, also known as "moot," has built what's arguably the most bizarrely influential community on the internet.

5. Jane McGonigal, game designer, on how reality ought to be more like video games
The idea that video games could improve the world might seem far fetched, but McGonigal wants to make that a reality.

6. Seth Berkeley, vaccine researcher, on HIV vaccination
As Berkeley races to find a vaccine for HIV, he wants to ensure that meds make their way to the places they're needed most: throughout the developing world.

7. Nathan Myhrvold, polymath, on shooting mosquitoes out of the sky with lasers
The former Microsoft employee has been a barbecue champion, a wildlife photographer, a chef, a contributor to SETI, and a volcano explorer, and now he's invented a mosquito death ray, which could be the x-factor in the effort to solve the global malaria crisis.

8. William Li, cancer researcher, on how what we eat can save us from cancer
Could your diet keep you from getting cancer hard? Li shows just how how easy to swallow that idea might be; here's his list of antiangiogenic foods.

9. Nicholas Christakis, physician and sociologist, on how social networks affect our health and happiness
We previously profiled his research partner, James Fowler, and we're still endlessly fascinated by the way that social networks can determine whether we smoke-and how healthy or happy we'll be.

10. Cheryl Hayashi, spider silk scientist, on the tremendous strength of spider silk
Hayashi sees in spider silk the potential to supplant armor and protect soldiers on the battle field-this is biomimicry at its best.

Note: Videos of the talks are on a delayed roll-out; you can view the recently released talks here.

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National Tell a Joke Day dates back to 1944 when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was having a meeting with Vice-President, Henry Wallace. The two men were tired and depressed due to the stress caused by leading a country through world war.

During a lull in the meeting, Wallace said, "Frank, to cheer you up I have a joke I'd like to share."

"Let's have it, Henry," Roosevelt replied while ashing his cigarette.

"Why did the chicken cross the road?" Wallace asked. "Not sure," Roosevelt replied.

"To get to the other side," Wallace responded.

Roosevelt laughed so hard that the bourbon he was drinking sprayed out of his nose and onto the floor of the oval office.

RELATED: A comedian shuts down a sexist heckler who, ironically, brought his daughters to the show

The joke was so funny, and did such a great job at lightening both their moods, Roosevelt proclaimed that every year, August 16 would be National Tell a Joke Day.

Just kidding.

Nobody knows why National Tell a Joke Day started, but in a world where the President of the United States is trying to buy Greenland, "Beverly Hills, 90210" is back on TV, and the economy is about to go off a cliff, we could all use a bit of levity.

To celebrate National Tell a Joke Day, the people on Twitter responded with hundreds of the corniest dad jokes ever told. Here are some of the best.


The Judean date palm was once common in ancient Judea. The tree itself was a source of shelter, its fruit was ubiquitous in food, and its likeness was even engraved on money. But the plant became extinct around 500 A.D., and the prevalent palm was no more. But the plant is getting a second chance at life in the new millennium after researchers were able to resurrect ancient seeds.

Two thousand-year-old seeds were discovered inside a pottery jar during an archaeological excavation of Masada, a historic mountain fortress in southern Israel. It is believed the seeds were produced between 155 B.C. and 64 A.D. Those seeds sat inside a researcher's drawer in Tel Aviv for years, not doing anything.

Elaine Solowey, the Director of the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies at Kibbutz Ketura in Israel, wondered if she could revive the Judean Date Palm, so in 2005, she began to experiment. "I assumed the food in the seed would be no good after all that time. How could it be?" Solewey said.

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But some restrictions on ESAs don't fly with the Department of Transportation (DOT), leading them to crack down on the crack down.

Delta says that there has been an 84 percent increase in animal incidents since 2016, thanks in part to the increase of ESAs on airplanes. Last year, Delta airlines banned pit bulls and pit bull-related dog breeds after two airline staff were bitten by the breed while boarding a flight from Atlanta to Tokyo.

"We must err on the side of safety. Most recently, two Delta employees were bit by a pit bull traveling as a support animal last week. We struggled with the decision to expand the ban to service animals, knowing that some customers have legitimate needs, but we have determined that untrained, pit bull-type dogs posing as both service and support animals are a potential safety risk," Delta told People regarding the new rule.

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via Liam Beach / Facebook

Trying to get one dog to sit still and make eye contact with a camera for more than half a second is a low-key miracle. Lining up 16 dogs, on steps, and having them all stare at the camera simultaneously is the work of a God-like dog whisperer.

This miracle worker is Liam Beach, a 19-year-old animal management graduate from Cardiff, Wales. A friend of his dared him to attempt the shot and he accepted the challenge.

"My friend Catherine challenged me to try to get all of my lot sat on the stairs for a photo. She said, 'I bet you can't pull it off,' so I thought 'challenge accepted,'" he said, accoriding to Paws Planet.

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via Rails-to-Trails Conservancy

Americans on both sides of the political aisle can agree on one thing: our infrastructure needs a huge upgrade. While politicians drag their feet on high-speed rail projects, fixing bridges, and building new airports, one amazing project is picking up steam.

The Great American Rail-Trail, a bike path that will connect Washington state to Washington, D.C., is over 50% complete.

The trail is being planned by the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, a nonprofit that is working with local governments to make the dream a reality.

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