The dung beetle is more than just a poo pusher. This fascinating animal has a brain about the size of a grain of rice, and yet it is capable of doing some amazing things — says dung beetle researcher Marcus Byrne in a talk at TEDxWitsUniversity like use celestial cues to roll giant balls of dung in a straight line, keep cool in sweltering heat through a complex dance, and track landmarks on the way to its nest. 

In his talk, Byrne explains how he and his team used refrigerated balls of poo, tiny dung-beetle-sized boots, and mini dung beetle highways to learn how these fascinating creatures have evolved to handle their very peculiar food source.

Watch the whole talk here»

A TEDx language playlist: 5 TEDx Talks in Japanese


Konichiwa! Welcome to the first TEDx playlist in Japanese. Below, 5 great Japanese-language TEDx Talks, on topics ranging from Harajuku fashion to the mechanics of an insect eye.


Fashion and Beyond [日本語]: Rei Shito at TEDxTokyo
We can’t have a Japanese playlist without a talk about Harajuku. At TEDxTokyo, join Rei Shito on a visual journey through the streets of Harajuku as she explores the structure of this vibrant fashion community.(Filmed in Japanese. English version here.)

ファッション、その先にあるもの: シトウレイ at TEDxTokyo

My, myself and my android [日本語]: Hiroshi Ishiguro [石黒 浩]: TEDxSeeds
At TEDxSeeds, Hiroshi Ishiguro (and his android) philosophize over human/android relations as we become ever closer to bridging the gap between humans and androids.

半神: 石黒浩 at TEDxSeeds

End Slavery in Japan [日本語]: Shihoko Fujiwara at TEDxTokyo
At TEDxTokyo, Shihoko Fujiwara discusses the problem of sex trafficking in Japan, and looks at how the commodification of sex is affecting Japanese youth. (Filmed in Japanese. English version here.)

日本における人身取引の根絶に向けて: 藤原志帆子 at TEDxTokyo

Rebuilding the city [日本語]: Masayuki Shimada at TEDxTohoku 2012
The day after the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, Masayuki Shimada started a food project which eventually grew to provide more than 20,000 meals to people in evacuation centers. After the success of the cookouts, Shimada branched out with other projects to revitalize spirit in the community and reverse the declining population of Tōhoku with new employment opportunities.

地域の生きる力を育むプロジェクト: 島田昌幸 at TEDxTohoku

 [日本語]: Kenji Kohiyama at TEDxKeioSFC
At TEDxKeioSFC, Kenji Kohiyama shows off his micro insect archiving project, featuring some beautiful photos of the fascinating insects of Japan. (Filmed in Japanese. English version here.)

マイクロプレゼンス: 小檜山 賢二 at TEDxKeioSFC

7 TEDx Talks from women making change

This Friday and Saturday, November 30 and December 1, over 150 TEDx events will join the anchor TEDxWomen event in Washington D.C. in a global conversation about the state of women in the world today. To celebrate this momentous occasion, here are seven talks from women innovating the way we live — the way we eat, educate, heal and care.

The aftermath of Occupy: Naomi Colvin at TEDxHousesofParliament

Last year, the Occupy Wall Street movement spread like wildfire across the globe. It sparked countless protests and its “We are the 99%” slogan has been canonized into the progressive lexicon. Just as quickly as it gained champions, however, it found critics from the left and right who dismiss the campaign for its inability to articulate specific demands. Naomi Colvin thinks they miss the point entirely; that the protests were not about rushing into specific negotiations based on conventional principles, but about disrupting the way we reform altogether. In this reflective talk, she lays out a new vision of political identity.

Barbara Bush at TEDxBrooklyn

Young people can make an extraordinary impact on the global health crisis. Through the story of an anti-HIV campaign in Malawi, Barbara Bush demonstrates the power of motivated volunteers to solve problems of health equity.

Read More