playlist

David Blaine: My favorite talks

For the last 17 years, I've had the good fortune of participating in TED, both as a listener and a speaker. The talks often move me to tears. Listening to stories of passion, dedication and triumph remind me of how truly amazing humans can be. Below are some of my favorites.

  1. 5:27
    David Gallo Underwater astonishments

    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. This short talk celebrates the pioneering work of ocean explorers like Edith Widder and Roger Hanlon.

  2. 24:09
    JR My wish: Use art to turn the world inside out

    French street artist JR uses his camera to show the world its true face, by pasting photos of the human face across massive canvases. At TED2011, he makes his audacious TED Prize wish: to use art to turn the world inside out.

  3. 8:47
    Apollo Robbins The art of misdirection

    Hailed as the greatest pickpocket in the world, Apollo Robbins studies the quirks of human behavior as he steals your watch. In a hilarious demonstration, Robbins samples the buffet of the TEDGlobal 2013 audience, showing how the flaws in our perception make it possible to swipe a wallet and leave it on its owner’s shoulder while they remain clueless.

  4. 9:58
    Aimee Mullins My 12 pairs of legs

    Athlete, actor and activist Aimee Mullins talks about her prosthetic legs — she's got a dozen amazing pairs — and the superpowers they grant her: speed, beauty, an extra 6 inches of height ... Quite simply, she redefines what the body can be.

  5. 18:05
    Charity Tillemann-Dick Singing after a double lung transplant

    You'll never sing again, said her doctor. But in a story from the very edge of medical possibility, operatic soprano Charity Tillemann-Dick tells a double story of survival — of her body, from a double lung transplant, and of her spirit, fueled by an unwavering will to sing. A powerful story from TEDMED 2010.

  6. 25:35
    Dave Eggers My wish: Once Upon a School

    Accepting his 2008 TED Prize, author Dave Eggers asks the TED community to personally, creatively engage with local public schools. With spellbinding eagerness, he talks about how his 826 Valencia tutoring center inspired others around the world to open

  7. 25:18
    Irwin Redlener How to survive a nuclear attack

    The face of nuclear terror has changed since the Cold War, but disaster-medicine expert Irwin Redlener reminds us the threat is still real. He looks at some of history's farcical countermeasures and offers practical advice on how to survive an attack.