Chaos, squeaky toys, and deranged millionaires: 5 TEDx Talks to get you laughing

You might think that the world of TEDx is full of only serious, hard-hitting, insightful ideas — each with the potential to cause earth-shattering change. But every once in a while, a talk comes along that lightens the mood and sends a few chuckles though the cubicles.

Some are funny, some are silly, and some are just plain weird, but all are guaranteed to entertain. Today, five of the funniest TEDx Talks we could find:

Lessons from the super rich: John Hodgman at TEDxMidwest
The “PC” in Apple’s famous ad campaign, John Hodgman is a TEDx favorite. The self-described “deranged millionaire” shares a few personal stories at TEDxMidwest that are both uproariously funny and surprisingly touching.

Squeaky toy performance: Greg Sheehan at TEDxSydney
Yes, this is pretty much what it seems. At TEDxSydney, musician Greg Sheehan presents a hilarious musical performance comprised completely of squeaks and squawks from a collection of children’s toys.

Being silly: Sam Simmons at TEDxSydney
Sam Simmons turns the whole idea of seriousness on its head in one of the wackiest and most irreverent performances you will ever see on the TEDx stage. Quit worrying and get silly!

Organizational dynamics embrace chaos: Professor Kay Ottik at TEDxMongKok

At TEDxMongKok, Professor Kay Ottik explores the ways that our organizations might benefit from a little chaos. Keep watching — her conclusions just might take you by surprise.

Grand Bard of Exeter: Jackie Juno at TEDxExeter
In a must-watch TEDx performance, “free-range organic poet” Jackie Juno delights with her insightful, timely and funny poetry.

TEDx Intern Picks: 5 favorites for February

imageTEDx’ers contribute to the TEDx blackboard at TEDActive (Photo: Marla Aufmuth)

It’s that time again — time for another TEDx intern playlist. Today, one of our screening interns provides a glimpse into the vast variety of ideas circling the TEDx community — ideas that confront, surprise, and astound — even when you watch dozens of talks daily.

Comedy, economics, and carbon taxes: Yoram Bauman at TEDxTheEvergreenStateCollege

As an economics major, I understand that talking about the economy can be a little dry. Okay, VERY dry. So I was thrilled to find a talk in the TEDx library that was not only econ-related, but entertaining! Economics Ph.D Yoram Bauman takes us through some of the basic principles that economists use to show how a revenue-neutral carbon tax would benefit Americans by reducing or eliminating payroll taxes.

Learn 100 songs in five minutes: Jordan Hume at TEDxMacquarieUniversity

By now, a lot of people are familiar with the fact that many of our favorite songs from rock, pop, folk, and country share essentially the same chord structure.Jordan Hume took this phenomenon a little deeper by giving the audience at TEDxMacquarieUniversity a crash course in piano and music theory.

Building highways in the sky: Steve Fulton at TEDxCincy

In this talk, Steve Fulton explains the problems with our current disjointed and messy air traffic systems, and shows great real world examples of how airports are using computers to streamline flight paths in and out of travel hubs. As a lover of air travel, I thought that this talk was something we all should watch.

Classical architecture in modern times: G.S. Smith & F. Terry at TEDxLondonBusinessSchool

Sometimes I can’t help but cringe when I see a flashy new building go up in an otherwise traditionally-designed neighborhood. In this talk, G.S. Smith and F. Terry alleviate my fears by showing their old-world designs for brand new buildings — to bring a touch of classical style into our ever-changing cities.

Being silly: Sam Simmons at TEDxSydney

THIS PLAYLIST HAS GOTTEN TOO SERIOUS! If you need a quick dose of irreverence, check out the absolutely hysterical performance by Sam Simmons at TEDxSydney, before it’s too late! Bananas.