Why are babies cute? Why is cake sweet? Philosopher Dan Dennett has answers you wouldn't expect, as he shares evolution's counterintuitive reasoning on cute, sweet and sexy things (plus a new theory from Matthew Hurley on why jokes are funny).
Diseases of the body garner sympathy, says comedian Ruby Wax -- except those of the brain. Why is that? With dazzling energy and humor, Wax, diagnosed a decade ago with clinical depression, urges us to put an end to the stigma of mental illness.
What if all the motivational speakers are wrong? Writer and humorist Harrison Scott Key uses his own unremarkable journey from country boy to -- if you ask his mom -- literary star to illustrate the mildly outrageous truth about what it really takes to achieve the American Dream.
It may seem counterintuitive, but comedy is often key to a serious story. As a writer, you need your audience to experience a range of emotions, no matter what your genre. Comic relief is a tried-and-true way of creating the varied emotional texture a compelling story needs. So how can you create this effect in your own stories? Jodie Houlston-L...
There's nothing funny about climate change, but Rainn Wilson and 16 of his friends give it their best shot. (Featuring Mayim Bialik, Retta, Conan O'Brien, Randall Park, Maria Bamford, Chris Gethard, Tig Notaro, Al Madrigal, "Weird Al" Yankovic, Larry Wilmore, Ed Helms, Nick Kroll, Margaret Cho, Maz Jobrani, Omid Djalili and Aisha Tyler. Directed...
How would you prefer to spend the last years of your life: in a sterile, hospital-like institution or in a village with a supermarket, pub, theater and park within easy walking distance? The answer seems obvious now, but when Yvonne van Amerongen helped develop the groundbreaking Hogeweyk dementia care center in Amsterdam 25 years ago, it was se...
Rob Legato creates movie effects so good they (sometimes) trump the real thing. In this warm and funny talk, he shares his vision for enhancing reality on-screen in movies like Apollo 13, Titanic and Hugo.
What happens when a mall falls into ruin? Filmmaker Dan Bell guides us through abandoned monoliths of merchandise, providing a surprisingly funny and lyrical commentary on consumerism, youth culture and the inspiration we can find in decay.
In this funny (and actually poignant) 3-minute talk, social strategist Renny Gleeson breaks down our always-on social world -- where the experience we're having right now is less interesting than what we'll tweet about it later.
Bruce McCall paints a retro-future that never happened -- full of flying cars, polo-playing tanks and the RMS Tyrannic, "The Biggest Thing in All the World." At Serious Play '08, he narrates a brisk and funny slideshow of his faux-nostalgic art.