Day 219: The Modern Euphonium

The euphonium is rarely heard outside of traditional brass bands. It is also notoriously difficult to master. In this short performance, Matthew White gives a solo performance of  ‘The Warrior Comes out to Play.’ The distinctive sound of the euphonium will be recognisable to most people,  but White proves it works as a stand-alone instrument when played by a master, even one as young as himself. 

Day 215: Making maps to fight disasters

In 2009, Google’s Lalitesh Katragadda watched as parts of his country were destroyed by a cyclone. The U.N. was unable to deliver help quickly enough, as the area hadn’t yet been mapped. Indeed, Katragdda reminds us its difficult to imagine, but in 2005 less than 15% of the world was mapped to geocortical detail. 
Forty Google employees decided to change this over four days. Using a program called Mapmaker, they mapped everything from roads to rivers to create a detailed map. The result was that aid could reach the area faster. Since then, this project has been used extensively throughout the world. So, to the 70% of previously unmapped areas: welcome to the grid! 

Day 214: Taylor Mali- what teachers make

Taylor Mali is one of the few people in the world to have no other job other than that of poet. In this poem, he delivers a comeback to those who’ve ever used the phrase, ‘Those who can’t do, teach.’ Inspirational stuff for teachers everywhere.

“I make parents tremble in fear when I call them.”
“I can make a C+ feel like a congressional medal of honour.”

Day 213: Bobby McFerrin hacks your brain with music

How tuneful can one TED audience be? In ‘Notes and Neurons: in search of the common chorus’, Bobby McFerrin uses the pentatonic scale to show how our brains are wired to play certain notes, corresponding to his movements. Interestingly, every audience he’s seen gets it.


Day 212: David Byrne

David Byrne can be described as many things, amongst them: musician, author, filmmaker, curator, conservationist, digital music theorist, bicycle advocate, urban designer, visual artist, humanist. In this video, he shows his voice is as good as ever, as he performs the 1988 Talking Heads hit, ‘Nothing But Flowers’ with 21st century string quartet Ethel and Thomas Dolby. Well worth a look. 

Day 207: How can technology transform the human body?

Fancy three minutes of unusually pretty artworks based on the human body? Watch this talk with TED fellow Lucy McRae, a body architect who blends biology and technology in her work. 

Her videos include images of clothes which are based on human insides, to a pill which lets you sweat perfume. It’s not for everybody, but if you appreciate art and human beings, watch it!