TED: Beware Online “Filter Bubbles”

As web companies tailor their services (including news and search results) to our personal tastes, there’s a dangerous unintended consequence: We get trapped in a “filter bubble.” Eli Pariser argues this will ultimately be bad for us, and for democracy.

TED: Turning Trash Into Toys for Learning

Arvind Gupta shares simple yet stunning plans for turning trash into seriously entertaining, well-designed toys that kids can build themselves — while learning basic principles of science and design.

TED: Using Nature To Grow Batteries

Angela Belcher programs viruses to make nanoscale structures humans can use. Selecting for high-performing genes through directed evolution, she’s produced viruses that construct powerful batteries, clean hydrogen fuels and record-breaking solar cells.

TED: The Security Mirage

The feeling of security and the reality of security don’t always match, says computer-security expert Bruce Schneier. He explains why we spend billions addressing news story risks, while neglecting more probable risks — and how we can break this pattern.

TED: Are We Ready for Neo-Evolution?

Medical ethicist Harvey Fineberg shows us three paths forward for the ever-evolving human species: to stop evolving, to evolve naturally — or to use genetic modification. Neo-evolution is within our grasp. What will we do with it?

TED: A Next-Generation Digital Book

Software developer Mike Matas demos the first full-length interactive book for the iPad — with swipeable video and graphics and some very cool data visualizations to play with. The book is “Our Choice,” Al Gore’s sequel to “An Inconvenient Truth.”

TED: The World Peace Game

John Hunter puts all the world’s problems on a 4’x5′ plywood board — and lets his 4th-graders solve them. He explains how his World Peace Game engages schoolkids, and why the complex lessons it teaches go further than classroom lectures can.

TED: Roger Ebert On ‘Remaking My Voice’

When film critic Roger Ebert lost his lower jaw to cancer, he lost the ability to eat and speak. But he did not lose his voice. In a moving talk from TED2011, Ebert and his wife, Chaz, with friends Dean Ornish and John Hunter, tell his remarkable story.

TED: The Antidote to Apathy

David Christian narrates a complete history of the universe, from the Big Bang to the Internet. This is “Big History”: an enlightening, wide-angle look at complexity, life and humanity, set against our slim share of the cosmic timeline.

TED: What It Takes to Do Extreme Astrophysics

All over the planet, giant telescopes and detectors are looking and listening for clues to the workings of the universe. Science writer Anil Ananthaswamy tours us around these amazing installations in some of the most remote and silent places on Earth.

TED: 3 Things I Learned While My Plane Crashed

Ric Elias had a front-row seat on Flight 1549, the plane that crash-landed in the Hudson River in New York in January 2009. What went through his mind as the doomed plane went down? At TED, he tells his story publicly for the first time.