Dustin Yellin ocean lady creature

When Dustin Yellin was eight years old, he buried a dollar bill, a pen and a fork inside a box, with the specific idea that aliens might find it in the future. It’s unclear what would happen then or, indeed, what happened to the box, but it did start Yellin on an artistic journey of discovery, one in which he still merrily makes boxes. Take a spin through the work (and mind) of a singular artist.

PamelaRonald

Genetic engineering and organic farming are often set up in opposition to one another. After all, how could one agricultural practice that eschews any influence other than Nature coexist with another that is entirely cultivated in a lab? Well, in the household of Pamela Ronald and Raoul Adamchak, they live together up close and personally, as the genetic scientist and organic farmer are married. Here, the pair discuss the complexity of modern agriculture.

Theaster_Gates_why_beauty_matters

Think about everyday services, and what comes to mind? Probably practical matters: housing, food, health, education. Artist Theaster Gates wants to add a new item to the list. He makes the case for why, really, beauty is the most important basic service.

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Humans are off to live on Mars. At least, that’s the case journalist Stephen Petranek makes in his TED Book, “How We’ll Live on Mars.” According to Petranek, the move is no less than an “essential back-up plan for humanity.” Here, he shares just some of the factors those who make the first trip will have to manage.

Linda Cliatt-Wayman has spent her career working in low-income, low-performing schools. She has developed a thick skin and a tough attitude … laced with fierce love for her students. Here, she shares her approach to fixing a broken system and doing right by kids who deserve the best.

Formula E, the world’s first fully electric racing series, has cars that swish rather than scream — and all the drivers drive the same design of car. Driver Nicolas Prost shares the secrets behind a very modern contest.

TED_Ideas_Chris_Milk

It’s still early days for virtual reality, but filmmaker Chris Milk is bullish about the possibilities. Here, the man who melted the Internet with projects for Arcade Fire and Johnny Cash mulls the possibilities of the medium he’s betting on in a big way.