Roman Mars: Why city flags may be the worst-designed thing you’ve never noticed – TED.com

Watch Roman Mars’s TEDTalk on city flags. In case you’ve never heard of him, he’s the host of one of my favorite podcasts, 99% Invisible.

Roman Mars is obsessed with flags — and after you watch this talk, you might be, too. These ubiquitous symbols of civic pride are often designed, well, pretty terribly. But they don’t have to be. In this surprising and hilarious talk about vexillology — the study of flags — Mars reveals the five basic principles of flag design and shows why he believes they can be applied to just about anything. ~ TED.com

Bruce Feiler: Agile programming — for your family  – TED.com

I was a little skeptical as I started watching Bruce Feiler’s talk Agile programming — for your family. However, I found that there is a lot of truth in what he says.

One good reminder: Children love a checklist as much as adults do. Note to self: Reinstitute our family’s morning checklists.

Bruce Feiler has a radical idea: To deal with the stress of modern family life, go agile. Inspired by agile software programming, Feiler introduces family practices which encourage flexibility, bottom-up idea flow, constant feedback and accountability. One surprising feature: Kids pick their own punishments.

Source: Agile Programming – for your family

Motion Microscope – Michael Rubinstein – TED.com

Michael Rubinstein talks about the “motion microscope” his team has developed: Michael Rubinstein – Motion Microscrope – TED.com

Meet the “motion microscope,” a video-processing tool that plays up tiny changes in motion and color impossible to see with the naked eye. Video researcher Michael Rubinstein plays us clip after jaw-dropping clip showing how this tech can track an individual’s pulse and heartbeat simply from a piece of footage. Watch him recreate a conversation by amplifying the movements from sound waves bouncing off a bag of chips. The wow-inspiring and sinister applications of this tech you have to see to believe. ~ TED.com