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A friend’s cancer diagnosis can feel overwhelming and scary, but don’t let that fear keep you from being there for them. When journalist Suleika Jaouad was 22, she was diagnosed with leukemia and given a 35% chance of survival. She’s now 30 and cancer-free, and she has some practical advice on how to support a loved one during this difficult time. 1. Research their diagnosis on your own. It’s emotionally and physically draining for a recently-diagnosed person to keep repeating medical details. 2. Avoid asking “how can I help?” Instead, offer concrete ways of providing support, such as driving them to appointments, babysitting, tending their garden, etc. 3. Keep your word as best as you can. If you commit to helping or visiting, follow through. 4. Don’t ignore your friend out of fear. “When people don’t know what to say, they often say nothing at all. It’s better to show up than to err on the side of silence. Your friend needs your love and support more than ever,” @suleikajaouad says. For more of her advice, visit the link in our bio. Image courtesy of @mayasariahmed

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This is a negative image of a handprint, one of the oldest signs to appear in caves. They were most common during the earlier parts of the Ice Age (between 22,000 and 40,000 years ago). To make them, early humans would place their hand on a cave wall and spit paint over and around it. While scientists don’t definitively know the meaning of the image, some theorize that it was an early form of sign language or made to state “I am here.” The negative handprint is one of 32 signs repeatedly used by our ancestors across Europe, as documented by paleoarchaeologist and  @TEDFellow Genevieve von Petzinger. To learn more about these mysterious markings, visit the link in our bio. Photo courtesy of Dillon von Petzinger

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This dress was made by a 3D printer. Using a strong and flexible filament called Filaflex, fashion designer Danit Peleg uses laser cutting and 3D technology to create jackets, shoes, shirts and more. Imagine how easy your morning routine would be if you could wake up and use your home printer to download a perfectly tailored outfit in minutes! Danit is working to make that dream a reality. “I felt so empowered and free when I could just design a garment from my home and then print it by myself,” she says. “I wonder what our world will look like when our clothes will be digital.” Watch her #TEDTalk at go.ted.com/3dfashion. Image courtesy of @danitpeleg3d

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This isn’t a creepy alien stashed at Area 51 — it’s what pollen looks like through a scanning electron microscope. Flowering plants use pollen to reproduce, spreading their genes through the wind and pollen-carrying animals like insects. Next time your allergies act up, you’ll know that your nose is full of a plant’s genetic material. Gesundheit! To learn more about the hidden lives of flowers, head to go.ted.com/iseepollen Photo courtesy of Jonathan Drori

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This is the du Pont, a two-and-a-half meter telescope at the Las Campanas Observatory in Chile. It’s one of two big telescopes that are being used by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) to image millions of stars, black holes and galaxies in unprecedented detail. The SDSS is led by astrophysicist Juna Kollmeier, and she’s on a mission to create the most detailed 3D maps of the universe ever made. Learn how you can get involved and help explore the cosmos at go.ted.com/junakollmeier. Photo courtesy of Juna Kollmeier

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Don’t let the glow fool you — you probably won’t see these biofluorescent swell sharks anytime soon. Marine biologist David Gruber and his team discovered them deep in a canyon off the coast of California. Females (left) and males (right) have distinct twinkling spots and patterns that make it easier for them to see each other in their dark underwater world. Curious why they’re called “swell sharks”? Well, when they’re threatened, they can gulp down water and blow up like an inner tube to twice their original size to avoid getting eaten. To learn more about biofluorescent sea creatures, go to go.ted.com/glowsharks. Happy #sharkweek! Photo courtesy of David Gruber

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You may have seen the viral photographs of kids playing on seesaws across the US-Mexico border. Architect Ronald Rael and designer Virginia San Fratello created this unusual playground to explore the architecture of the borderlands between the two countries. The image above is one of the concept drawings for the seesaw. In his TED Talk, Ronald describes how architecture communicates complex cultural and political ideas. “Perhaps the best way to illustrate the mutual relationship that we have with Mexico and the United States is by imagining a teeter-totter,” he says. “The actions on one side have a direct consequence on what happens on the other side.” To learn more about the political power of architecture, watch his TED Talk at go.ted.com/borderlanddesign and follow @rrael. Photo courtesy of Rael San Fratello.

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Need a new beach read, a road trip book, or something to do on a lazy afternoon? We’ve got you covered. Visit go.ted.com/shortbooklist for 24 books under 200 pages — all recommended by past TED speakers. What do you think we should add to our next reading list? Tell us in the comments!

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We’re having a party! At the #TEDSummit conference in Edinburgh, TEDx, TED Fellows, and TED Translators are celebrating their 10th birthdays —  that’s two whole hands! To help us celebrate, TEDx organizer Emeline Parizel drew this sketch to highlight just some of the places this year’s attendees hail from (in full, we have people from 84 different countries here this week!). Where are you from? Tell us in the comments! And to get involved with @tedx_official, @tedfellow, or @tedtranslators, visit TED.com. Image courtesy of @instamimile

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This community hall on the streets of Mumbai is made out of paper-mache and plaster. Thousands of people congregated inside for dinners, Bollywood films, and celebrations during the Ganesh festival. The hall was designed to be disassembled overnight when the 10-day festival concluded. Afterward, the street went back to normal with not a trace left behind (swipe left to see!). In his new TED Talk, architect Rahul Mehrotra explores the beauty and sustainability of buildings and cities that are not meant to last. “We are, as humans, obsessed with permanence,” Rahul says. “Are we really, in our cities, making permanent solutions for temporary problems?” To learn more about the value of impermanent architecture, watch his TED Talk at go.ted.com/temporarycity Photo courtesy of Rahul Mehrotra

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Surf photographer Chris Burkard is obsessed with the coldest, choppiest and most isolated beaches on Earth. He isn’t bothered by stepping over chunks of ice on the coastline, and in his opinion, the rougher the waves, the better. Each picture Chris takes is precious, because he is forced to earn every stunning shot. “Anything that is worth pursuing is going to require us to suffer, just a little bit,” he says. To see more of Chris’s jaw-dropping photography, head to go.ted.com/snowsurf and follow @chrisburkard Photo courtesy of Chris Burkard

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This isn’t a still painting. You’re looking at a real person. Artist Alexa Meade paints directly onto the bodies of her subjects, taking three-dimensional scenes and making them look like two-dimensional paintings. The idea began with Alexa’s fascination with shadows. She wanted to create art that played around with the absence of light. “You can find the strange in the familiar, as long as you can see what's below the surface, hiding in the shadows, and recognize that there can be more there than meets the eye,” she says. To learn more, watch her #TEDTalk at go.ted.com/bodyart Image courtesy of @alexameadeart

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Unnecessary work meetings are such a waste of time. Steven G. Rogelberg, a professor of organizational science, management and psychology, has some advice on how to lead meetings that truly engage and inspire the group: 1. Keep things small. Eliminate anyone there “just to listen” and weed out all the non-essential people. 2. Mix up the length. Aim for 20 or 30-minute meetings with clear agendas and goals. 3. Try new formats, such as walking meetings. Research shows they lead to higher satisfaction and more creativity. For three more tips, visit go.ted.com/bettermeetings Illustration by @justintran

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Doesn’t this look like a ghost heart?? It’s actually a pig heart. We know that’s slightly less exciting, but the reason why it looks translucent is still pretty cool — the living cells were washed off using a soap solution, which bursts the cells and leaves only the protein structure behind. This lets the heart serve as a scaffold to grow a new working heart out of human stem cells. Believe it or not, scientists at the Texas Heart Institute have successfully implanted tissue-engineered hearts like this one into rats and pigs. Next up: humans! You can read about this and other bio-engineering experiments in the TED Book, “Super Cells.” Photo courtesy of RMR Labs, Texas Heart Institute

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Do you ever feel lonely or like you don’t belong? Almost like you’re an alien? Writer and artist Jonny Sun can relate. To practice being more open and vulnerable, he created the character Jomny, an alien who often feels like an outsider. Through his drawings, Jonny depicts Jomny finding community and common ground in unexpected locations — like a bouncy castle. “I think the inflatable metaphorical bouncy castle in this case is really our relationships and our connections to other people,” he says. “The thing that we have to hold on to is other people. And I know that is a small thing made up of small moments, but I think it is one tiny, tiny sliver of light in all the darkness.” Swipe to see one of Jonny’s cartoons, and watch his #TEDTalk at go.ted.com/jomny. Happy Friday — we hope you find your own personal bouncy castle this weekend. Images courtesy of @jonnysun

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This massive mechanical elephant marched the streets of London for four days. It was part of a parade created by visual artist Helen Marriage, whose goal was to transform a city into a playground of the imagination. It took seven years for her to make this dream a reality, but when the big day arrived, millions of people showed up to witness the amazing spectacle. “It was our first show, and it changed the nature of the appreciation of culture, not in a gallery, not in a theater, not in an opera house, but live and on the streets, transforming public space for the broadest possible audience, people who would never buy a ticket to see anything,” Helen says. “[Imagination] can transform our physical surroundings, but in doing so, we can change forever how we feel and how we feel about the people that we share the planet with.” To watch her #TEDTalk, visit go.ted.com/parade Photo courtesy of Helen Marriage

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Ignore the threatening vibe of this image — this 1,000-pound leopard seal is actually flashing her teeth to protect @natgeo photographer Paul Nicklen from an enemy. Paul spent some time with this magnificent creature, and eventually she started to develop a bit of a soft spot for him. She even began bringing him penguins as a snack, going as far as throwing them onto his head to get him to eat them. If that’s not true love, we don’t know what is. To see more stunning Arctic photography, watch Paul’s #TEDTalk at go.ted.com/seallove Photo courtesy of @paulnicklen

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Zoom in to see the FIREBall, a telescope that hangs from a giant balloon and looks for clues about how stars are created. Unfortunately, this picture shows the FIREBall as it’s failing. There’s a hole in it (which is why it’s teardrop-shaped instead of spherical), and soon it’ll fall from space and crash in the New Mexico desert, losing all of the data it collected. @TEDFellow and astronomer Erika Hamden leads the team building FIREBall, and the journey to send it into orbit has been a rollercoaster of successes and failures. But she knows that failure is inevitable when you’re pushing the limits of knowledge. Her team plans to launch the telescope again in 2020. “The reality of my job is that I fail almost all the time and still keep going, because that’s how telescopes get built,” she says. “It’s only going to stay a failure if I give up.” To learn more about her work, watch her #TEDTalk at tedtalks.social/erikahamden Photo courtesy of Erika Hamden

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These are Baobab trees. West African legend says that God turned them upside down to punish them for lording over other plants, but many Africans actually consider them the “tree of life.” They produce fruit with pulp richer in nutrients and proteins than human milk, their trunks store water for thirsty travelers, and their leaves are even used in traditional medicine to fight infectious diseases. To learn more about this plant and many others with hidden, surprising secrets and capabilities, visit go.ted.com/treeoflife Photo courtesy of Ameenah Gurib-Fakim

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Transgender activist and TED Resident Samy Nour Younes shares the centuries-old history of the trans community, filled with courageous stories, inspiring triumphs — and a fight for civil rights that's been raging for a long time. "Whenever people ask me why trans people are suddenly everywhere, I just want to tell them that we've been here. These stories have to be told, along with the countless others that have been buried by time,” he says. Swipe through to listen to his #TEDTalk. #pride #pridemonth #lgbtqia

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As you drive over the Granville bridge into downtown Vancouver, this is the building that welcomes you to the Canadian city. Architect Bjarke Ingels built it right where the bridge triforks, and his goal was to create a landmark that serves as a gateway, that feels like you’re pulling a curtain back to reveal someplace magical. Part of the reason for the building’s top-heavy shape is that Bjarke only had a tiny, triangular plot of land to work with. So, he decided to build upwards 100-feet and use air space to add back some of the width. To see more futuristic architecture, watch his #TEDTalk at go.ted.com/vancouverhouse Photo courtesy of @bjarkeingels

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This is a tiny lab test, and yes, it really is the size of a postage stamp! When you dip the corners into a liquid, like blood or urine, the dots change color to reveal the diagnosis. This ingenious device is made entirely out of paper and carpet tape, and it can be produced at almost zero cost. To learn more, watch chemist George Whitesides’s #TEDTalk at go.ted.com/tinylabtest Photo courtesy of George Whitesides

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Here’s a fun fact: Three-toed sloths fart through their mouths. You’re welcome for this knowledge. Sloths are typically known for their lazy, sluggish behavior, and let’s be honest — sleeping all day doesn’t sound half bad. But the truth is, there’s so much more to these incredible creatures. They also have a four-chambered stomach, and it takes them up to a month to digest a single leaf! “Sloths have taught me a lot about slowing down,” says zoologist Lucy Cooke. “I think that the planet would benefit if we all took a slowly digested leaf out of their book.” For more sloth fun facts (plus some adorable footage!), visit go.ted.com/slothfacts Photo courtesy of @luckycooke

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This mural depicts calligraphy of a quote by Saint Athanasius of Alexandria that states, “Anyone who wants to see the sunlight clearly needs to wipe his eyes first.” Artist and @TEDFellow eL Seed painted this incredible piece across 50 different buildings, and you have to go to a nearby mountain to see it fully. It’s located in a neighborhood of Cairo known as Garbage City, and eL Seed chose that Saint Athanasius of Alexandria quote to break the negative stereotypes of the people who live there. “If you want to go to a place and know its people, you cannot judge them without knowing them,” he says. Learn more about this project at go.ted.com/perception and follow @elseed

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You know what’s great? Not getting eaten by a shark. That’s why inventor Hamish Jolly teamed up with scientists to create a wetsuit designed to prevent shark attacks. The bold pattern here mirrors the pilot fish, which typically trail behind sharks and eat their leftovers. Sharks know not to snack on that specific species, and this suit helps the wearer reap those same benefits. To see how sharks responded to this wetsuit and other designs, visit go.ted.com/sharksuit Photo courtesy of Hamish Jolly

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Excuse us while we stare at this image FOREVER. This is what happens when watercolor paint mixes with ferrofluid (a black liquid containing tiny particles of metal). Artist Fabian Oefner placed a magnet under the ferrofluid, which caused the metallic liquid to form unique patterns. Then he added the watercolors, which repel the ferrofluid like oil repels water. You’re looking at the result of this incredible process. See the full demo in action at go.ted.com/magneticliquid. Image courtesy of @fabianoefner

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This is a sculpture of a gun covered in yarn. The piece is called “Non-violence,” and it was created by Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd and decorated by textile artist Magda Sayeg. Magda started the “yarn bombing” movement around 15 years ago, and since then she has inspired people all over the world to decorate everything from door handles to city buses in colorful yarn. “I was very curious about this idea of enhancing the ordinary, the mundane, even the ugly,” she says. “We all live in this fast-paced, digital world, but we still crave and desire something that’s relatable.” Learn more at go.ted.com/yarnbombing and follow @magdasayeg

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See this drone? It’s being used to collect whale snot. Technology is wild, y’all. The drone (named Parley SnotBot) is mounted with Petri dishes to hover over these massive creatures and collect samples of “exhaled breath condensate.” Researcher Iain Kerr studies it to learn more about whales’ pregnancies, stress levels, and DNA. Plus, the snot can even tell him more about the health of the ocean, too. To learn about Iain’s work and see more amazing whale footage, visit go.ted.com/whalesnot Photo credit: @christian_miller_photo; Courtesy of @parley.tv

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Let’s be honest — choking under pressure sucks. You spend weeks, months, even years preparing for a competition or presentation, but then suddenly you find yourself undone by the stress when it’s time to perform. Luckily, there’s an explanation for why this happens, and cognitive scientist Sian Leah Beilock even has some psychological tools to help us out. Sian studies a phenomenon called overattention, or paralysis by analysis. It’s the theory that we choke under pressure because we are so concerned about performing our best that we concentrate too much and try to control aspects of the situation that we’re capable of handling on autopilot. So what can you do about it? Try to unhook your brain from the over-analyzing cycle. Sing a song beforehand, focus your attention on your pinky toe, or find some other mindless activity to distract yourself. Visit go.ted.com/underpressure for two more tips from Sian, and we’d love to hear your own advice in the comments! Illustration by @jordan_awan

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This bug was ready for its close up, that’s for sure. Photographer Levon Biss takes magnified portraits of insects, and the results are shockingly beautiful. To create just one photo, he raises the camera magnification high enough to shoot 10 microns of the bug at a time — that’s about one-seventh the width of human hair! This totals to around 8,000-10,000 separate shots that he combines together for the finished result. The entire process takes three and a half weeks. “I think there is a danger, as we get older, that our curiosity becomes slightly muted or dulled by familiarity,” Levon says. “As a visual creator, one of the challenges for me is to present the familiar in a new and engaging way.” To learn more about his work, watch his #TEDTalk at go.ted.com/beautifulbugs and follow @levonbiss

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In 2014, writer and podcaster Nora McInerny lost her second pregnancy, her dad to cancer, and her husband Aaron to brain cancer. That gut-wrenching experience has made her a professional at talking about grief. In her #TEDTalk that is both heartbreaking and hilarious, she encourages us to change our mindset about loss, mainly that we don’t “move on” from grief but we can move forward with it. Visit go.ted.com/noramcinerny to watch @noraborealis’s TED Talk, and check out our Instagram story to hear her advice on helping a loved one who is dealing with grief.

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Warning: This clip includes flashing images and lights. When you go to a concert, do you ever stop to think about the stage design? Well, once you watch legendary artist and designer Es Devlin’s #TEDTalk, you’ll definitely start paying attention. Es is the mastermind behind the iconic stage sculptures for artists such as Beyoncé, Adele, Kanye West, U2, and more. She often starts with a simple sketch, but the end result is larger-than-life. For Beyoncé’s “Formation” tour, Es took inspiration from Beyoncé's poem "Bey The Light” and created a 60-foot revolving sculpture that broadcast Beyoncé to the entire stadium like a preacher speaking to a congregation. For the audience, who has come together to sing along with every word and feel a connection with the performer, the result is a deep sense of intimacy — and that’s precisely the point. “I call my work stage sculpture, but of course what's really being sculpted is the experience of the audience, and as directors and designers, we have to take responsibility for every minute that the audience spends with us,” Es says. “We're a bit like pilots navigating a flight path for a hundred thousand passengers.” To watch her full #TEDTalk, visit go.ted.com/esdeviln Visuals courtesy of @esdevlin

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This is the Sarpi Border Checkpoint in Sarpi, Georgia. It was designed by J. Mayer H. Architects, and it is the customs checkpoint at the Georgian border to Turkey. The stunningly unique zig-zag design is meant to inspire anyone who enters the country. Architect Marc Kushner profiled this groundbreaking building and many others in his #TEDBook, The Future of Architecture in 100 Buildings.” For more, check out his book at go.ted.com/futureofarchitecture Photo credit Marcus Buck

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These are the ice caves of the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier. There are currently over 400,000 glaciers and ice caps scattered across the Earth, and each one is exceptionally unique. We often use glaciers as an indicator of climate change, a way to measure the impact of global environmental changes, but we rarely think about the relationship people have to glaciers. @TEDFellow and glaciologist M Jackson traveled to Iceland to explore this relationship between people and ice, specifically looking at how these environmental changes affect the development of communities. “Glaciers are profoundly entangled with people, with individual and community lifeways — and glaciers influence human societies as much as human societies influence glaciers,” M says. “It is these connections that shed light on the harrowing complexity of being alive today during this time of immense environmental and social change.” To learn more, visit go.ted.com/glacierlink Photo courtesy of Stephan Mantler

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We may have missed #NationalBookDay on April 23, but let’s just say that we were too busy reading to notice. If you need an excuse to get out of Friday night plans, we have just the list for you: 101 different books. Yes, 101. We've got books to read when you're in the mood for adventure, books to read while lying in the sun, and even books to read if you're plotting to take over the world. Visit go.ted.com/101books to see what’s out there. Happy reading! Illustration by @mayasariahmed

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This is an underwater cement sculpture of a Bahamian girl. It was created by artist Jason deCaires Taylor, and it weighs 60 tons — too heavy for most cranes to lift. Many of Jasons’s sculptures can be found underwater where coral and other life can grow on them, ultimately becoming part of the ocean’s ecosystem. “I am making these inert objects, but the environment is giving them their souls,” he says. Watch his #TEDTalk at go.ted.com/oceanatlas Photo courtesy of @jasondecairestaylor

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Hours after giving his #TEDTalk at #TED2019, writer and illustrator Jonny Sun sat down with us to draw this illustration of one of his characters, Jomny. Jomny is a lonely alien who finds a home on Earth after learning that humans sometimes feel lonely, too. Jonny’s drawings feature Jomny on his search for love and acceptance, interacting with all sorts of earth-bound creatures as he navigates life on this planet. Check out TED’s Instagram story to watch a sped-up time-lapse of @jonnysun at work, and stay tuned for the posting of his incredible TED Talk.

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We're in Vancouver for #TED2019! This year’s theme is Bigger Than Us, and we’re exploring the inspiring possibilities that happen when we ask what ideas are truly worth fighting for. Follow along all week for a behind-the-scenes look at the action! Photo by @marlaaufmuth/TED

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Flip through the images to learn why a mass fish extinction millions of years ago still matters today. This post is based on a #TEDTalk by Lauren Sallan, a paleobiologist and @TEDFellow. Watch the full version at go.ted.com/fishextinction Illustration and animation by @dennism00re

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You may have seen that black hole photo all over the internet this week, but here’s why it’s such a big deal: until now, the existence of black holes was only inferred from the movements of other objects, such as stars and light. For the first time ever, we now have visual proof of one! Capturing this image required an international team of scientists, a virtual Earth-sized telescope (yes, really), and an algorithm created by imaging scientist Katie Bouman, among others. This wasn’t just any algorithm, though — it was an algorithm that could piece together each tiny measurement of light radiating from the black hole, captured by the component radio telescopes as the Earth spins. The image shown here is a construction of that algorithm using simulated data, since Katie gave her TED Talk before the official black hole image was released. Katie began this project without any background in astrophysics, and she’s proof that we need people from all disciplines working together to achieve the impossible. “I’d like to encourage all of you to go out and help push the boundaries of science, even if it may at first seem as mysterious to you as a black hole,” she says. To watch her #TEDTalk, visit go.ted.com/blackhole. Image courtesy of Katie Bouman

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Imagine going to a concert but being unable to block out any of the noises, touches, smells, and movements happening around you. Whispers sound like screams, a tiny nudge is painful, flashing lights are blinding. That’s the reality for many kids with autism, particularly those with sensory processing issues. They often can’t filter out sensory input like those with neurotypical processing systems. To relieve the pressure and cope, they might cry, cover their ears, close their eyes, scream, hit, or perform some other repetitive behavior. As a result, places like zoos, arenas, and museums are particularly difficult for these children and their parents — especially when other people don’t understand the behavior. Julian Maha and Michele Kong have a six-year-old with autism, and they are familiar with the social stigma around the disorder. They founded a nonprofit called KultureCity, which aims to change the way we treat people with sensory differences. They’re working to train employees in public places to teach them how to work compassionately and safely with people who have sensory issues. “Autistic individuals have great potential, but we have to give them a chance,” says Julian. “We need to create environments where they can thrive, where they can learn better ways to teach themselves. We need to help communities understand.” To learn more about the incredible progress KultureCity has made, visit go.ted.com/kulturecity #AutismAwarenessDay Illustration by @jared_oriel

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Phoenix and Roman Hai Lash are twins who want to transform the way we think about communication. Using ground-breaking psychological research, they hope to draw our attention to how tone and hand gestures can be used to both elevate and stigmatize the voices of infants. “Your baby language truly shapes who you are,” says Phoenix, age 8 months. Her twin brother Roman backs her up. “It’s time to stop thinking we can’t see you during peek-a-boo. Obviously we see your face behind your hands.” Together, they’re working to revolutionize the future of infant-grown up relations, one baby talk at a time. “You can’t just wait around for change to happen. Crawl boldly toward the world you’ve always dreamed of,” adds Roman. (Well, technically they both just cried the whole interview, but it’s clear what they meant). To watch their full #TEDDYTalk, visit go.ted.com/aprilfools #AprilFools Photo courtesy of @ryanlashphotography

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Artist Laolu Senbanjo uses skin as a canvas. He was inspired by his grandmother’s tattoos, which are beautiful lines and symbols from Yoruba mythology. He calls his project “The Sacred Art of the Ori” — a reference to the word “Ori,” meaning ‘your soul’ in Yoruba mythology. “Only when you tap into your Ori, then you can actually move mountains,” @laolunyc says. Watch his #TEDTalk at go.ted.com/sacredart. Photo courtesy of Laolu Senbanjo

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Imagine spending a Friday night on this floating movie theater in the ocean of Thailand. Architect Ole Scheeren built this small modular platform using recycled materials from the local community. It became a space for locals to gather together, watching movies from the British film archive like “Alice in Wonderland” as they gently swayed in the water. “The most primordial experiences of the audience merged with the stories of the movies,” Ole Scheeren says. “Architecture exceeds the domain of physical matter, of the built environment, but is really about how we want to live our lives, how we script our own stories and those of others.” To learn more about how he blends storytelling and architecture, visit go.ted.com/floatingtheater Image courtesy of Ole Scheeren

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Let’s talk about clouds because why not! This type of cloud is called Cataractagenitus, which is a combination of the Latin ‘cataracta,’ meaning waterfall, and ‘genitus,’ meaning generated. It’s a special cloud induced by the rising spray of large waterfalls. The World Meteorological Organization uses the term “special cloud” to describe formations that may form or grow as a result of localized activity such as a waterfall or wildfire. Dreamy, right? It’s about to be cloud-watching weather, so visit go.ted.com/cloudappreciation to learn more about the different formations you could see! Photo courtesy of WMO International Cloud Atlas and Yves Courtel.

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Meet engineer Gwynne Shotwell, employee number seven at SpaceX and now the company’s President and Chief Operating Officer. She is working on the organization’s next big project, the BFR (Big Falcon Rocket). Her goal is to get the BFR to fly like an aircraft, sending people across the globe in 30 minutes. “This is basically space travel for earthlings,” she says. To learn more about her plans for SpaceX, watch her #TED2018 interview with TED’s Curator, Chris Anderson, at go.ted.com/gwynneshotwell Photo by @brethartman/TED

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These are the remains of a new species of ancient humans called Homo naledi. They were discovered in a cave in South Africa in 2013, and they really shook up all of our notions about what it means to be human. For one, the fossils reveal that Homo naledi had a mix of primitive and derived traits — something that was previously unheard of. Another wild realization was that this new species coexisted with modern humans. Did they interbreed with each other? Did they compete with each other? These are just a couple of the questions that paleoanthropologist Juliet Brophy is working on answering. To learn more, visit go.ted.com/homonaledi Image courtesy of Juliet Brophy

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Studies show that people working in more colorful spaces are more alert, more confident, and friendlier than those working in drab spaces. The same is also true for schools, like the Bronx high school pictured here. Administrators say that painted schools lead to higher attendance rates and less graffiti — plus, students even say they feel safer. “Color, in a very primal way, is a sign of life, a sign of energy,” says designer Ingrid Fetell Lee. ”Deep within us, we all have this impulse to seek out joy in our surroundings. It's directly connected to our fundamental instinct for survival. On the most basic level, the drive toward joy is the drive toward life.” To watch Ingrid’s #TEDTalk, visit go.ted.com/findjoy and follow her at @aestheticsofjoy Photos courtesy of Publicolor

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Want to build stronger connections and get closer to the people in your life? Here’s the secret: let your life be messy. It’s okay to not be 100% put together and perfect all of the time. In fact, a study from psychology researchers at the University of Mannheim, Germany, examined the “beautiful mess effect” and found that showing vulnerability (such as confessing romantic feelings to a friend, apologizing during a fight, or admitting a mistake at work) leads people to think you’re courageous, not weak. “[Being a beautiful mess] is an understanding that regardless of how I show up, I’m enough because I said so,” says Chidera Eggerue, an author practicing this in her daily life. To learn more, visit go.ted.com/beautifulmess Illustration by @ajmollon

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This is rock climber Alex Honnold. On the side of a 3,000 vertical cliff. Without a rope. Do we even have to say, “don’t try this at home”? This picture shows Alex in the middle of accomplishing one of his biggest dreams: solo climbing Yosemite’s El Capitan. To hear the story of how he did it, watch his #TEDTalk at go.ted.com/alexhonnold and check out his Oscar-winning documentary, Free Solo. Image courtesy of @alexhonnold