(TED is on its annual two-week vacation. During the break, we’re posting playlists from the TEDTalks archive. We’ll be back with new talks on August 29th.)
From the day-to-day to the once-in-a-lifetime, sometimes people are driven to do extraordinary things. Here are five talks about jobs and adventures that will make your jaw drop, and maybe inspire you undertake your own spectacular feats.
1) Five years ago, Roz Savage quit her high-powered London job to become an ocean rower. She’s crossed the Atlantic solo, and just started the third leg of a Pacific solo row, the first for a woman. Why does she do it? Hear her reasons, both deeply personal and urgently activist.
2) Author, philosopher, prankster and journalist A.J. Jacobs talks about the year he spent living biblically — following the rules in the Bible as literally as possible.
3) Lewis Pugh talks about his record-breaking swim across the North Pole. He braved the icy waters (in a Speedo) to highlight the melting icecap.
4) Mike Rowe, the host of “Dirty Jobs,” tells some compelling (and horrifying) real-life job stories. Listen for his insights and observations about the nature of hard work, and how it’s been unjustifiably degraded in society today.
5) In a lively show, mathemagician Arthur Benjamin races a team of calculators to figure out 3-digit squares, solves another massive mental equation and guesses a few birthdays. How does he do it? He’ll tell you.
Playlist by Becca McClain