playlist

Talks to make your commute go faster

These engrossing stories will make your drive — or train ride — fly by. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you won't feel an ounce of road rage. And you won't miss a thing if you can't watch the visuals.

  1. 12:21
    Ed Gavagan A story about knots and surgeons

    One day, Ed Gavagan was sitting on the subway, watching two young med students practicing their knots. And a powerful memory washed over him — of one shocking moment that changed his life forever. An unforgettable story of crime, skill and gratitude.

  2. 6:34
    Abigail Washburn Building US-China relations ... by banjo

    TED Fellow Abigail Washburn wanted to be a lawyer improving US-China relations — until she picked up a banjo. She tells a moving story of the remarkable connections she's formed touring across the United States and China while playing that banjo and singing in Chinese.

  3. 11:30
    Karen Thompson Walker What fear can teach us

    Imagine you're a shipwrecked sailor adrift in the enormous Pacific. You can choose one of three directions and save yourself and your shipmates — but each choice comes with a fearful consequence too. How do you choose? In telling the story of the whaleship Essex, novelist Karen Thompson Walker shows how fear propels imagination, as it forces us to imagine the possible futures and how to cope with them.

  4. 15:13
    Billy Collins Everyday moments, caught in time

    Combining dry wit with artistic depth, Billy Collins shares a project in which several of his poems were turned into delightful animated films in a collaboration with Sundance Channel. Five of them are included in this wonderfully entertaining and moving talk — and don't miss the hilarious final poem!

  5. 19:04
    Susan Cain The power of introverts

    In a culture where being social and outgoing are prized above all else, it can be difficult, even shameful, to be an introvert. But, as Susan Cain argues in this passionate talk, introverts bring extraordinary talents and abilities to the world, and should be encouraged and celebrated.

  6. 23:41
    Bryan Stevenson We need to talk about an injustice

    In an engaging and personal talk — with cameo appearances from his grandmother and Rosa Parks — human rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson shares some hard truths about America's justice system, starting with a massive imbalance along racial lines: a third of the country's black male population has been incarcerated at some point in their lives. These issues, which are wrapped up in America's unexamined history, are rarely talked about with this level of candor, insight and persuasiveness.

  7. 20:43
    Benjamin Zander The transformative power of classical music

    Benjamin Zander has two infectious passions: classical music, and helping us all realize our untapped love for it — and by extension, our untapped love for all new possibilities, new experiences, new connections.