playlist

Short talks for parents who are short on time but starved for intellectual stimulation

You aren't sleeping. You barely have time to eat, let alone peruse TED Talks. Here, talks under six minutes that will give you a quick dose of inspiration.

  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. 3:57
    Terry Moore Why is 'x' the unknown?

    Why is 'x' the symbol for an unknown? In this short and funny talk, Terry Moore gives the surprising answer.

  3. 4:24
    Lucianne Walkowicz Finding planets around other stars

    How do we find planets — even habitable planets — around other stars? By looking for tiny dimming as a planet passes in front of its sun, TED Fellow Lucianne Walkowicz and the Kepler mission have found some 1,200 potential new planetary systems. With new techniques, they may even find ones with the right conditions for life.

  4. 4:11
    Camille Seaman Haunting photos of polar ice

    Photographer Camille Seaman shoots icebergs, showing the world the complex beauty of these massive, ancient chunks of ice. Dive in to her photo slideshow, "The Last Iceberg."

  5. 4:03
    Uldus Bakhtiozina Wry photos that turn stereotypes upside down

    Artist Uldus Bakhtiozina uses photographs to poke fun at societal norms in her native Russia. A glimpse into Russian youth culture and a short, fun reminder not to take ourselves too seriously.

  6. 3:21
    Kirk Citron And now, the real news

    How many of today's headlines will matter in 100 years? 1000? Kirk Citron's "Long News" project collects stories that not only matter today, but will resonate for decades — even centuries — to come. At TED2010, he highlights recent headlines with the potential to shape our future.

  7. 4:02
    Christopher deCharms A look inside the brain in real time

    Neuroscientist and inventor Christopher deCharms demonstrates a new way to use fMRI to show brain activity — thoughts, emotions, pain — while it is happening. In other words, you can actually see how you feel.

  8. 6:24
    Arthur Benjamin The magic of Fibonacci numbers

    Math is logical, functional and just ... awesome. Mathemagician Arthur Benjamin explores hidden properties of that weird and wonderful set of numbers, the Fibonacci series. (And reminds you that mathematics can be inspiring, too!)

  9. 5:07
    Robert Full The secrets of nature's grossest creatures, channeled into robots

    How can robots learn to stabilize on rough terrain, walk upside down, do gymnastic maneuvers in air and run into walls without harming themselves? Robert Full takes a look at the incredible body of the cockroach to show what it can teach robotics engineers.

  10. 3:38
    Steven Addis A father-daughter bond, one photo at a time

    A long time ago in New York City, Steve Addis stood on a corner holding his 1-year-old daughter in his arms; his wife snapped a photo. The image has inspired an annual father-daughter ritual, where Addis and his daughter pose for the same picture, on the same corner, each year. Addis shares 15 treasured photographs from the series, and explores why this small, repeated ritual means so much.