What happens when you combine a macho Russian security guard and a whole lot of Barbie dolls? Russian artist Uldus Bakhtiozina creates portraits that challenge common stereotypes about gender and culture—all with a playful dose of irony. Her aesthetic is inspired by Victorian Era paintings, each featuring a clever modern update and a message about societal norms. These two portraits specifically explore the internal struggle of her subjects to balance their masculine and feminine sides.

To see more of Uldus’s work, watch her talk now»

What do you do with an abandoned trolley station? Build a massive underground park!

That’s exactly what Dan Barasch wants to do. New York City has two-thirds the green space per resident as other big cities, but converting the Williamsburg Bridge Trolley Terminal into a park the size of a football field would create a respite from the bustling streets. By redirecting sunlight from the roads above, it is possible to illuminate a luscious community space below, nicknamed the Lowline for its similarity to Manhattan’s beloved High Line.

Watch Dan's talk to see renderings of the park and the science behind his prototype »

SCIENCE NEWS! There’s life way, way below Antarctica — chilling out in a subglacial lake. Just a few weeks ago, a team of scientists confirmed that half a mile beneath the Antarctic ice sheet, a bunch of tiny, single-celled organisms are alive and well… in a lake boasting sub-zero temperatures and no access to sunlight. 

The discovery is groundbreaking, leading some to wonder if there might also be life on a similar place — Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons. 

John Priscu is one of the lead scientists behind the study. In a talk at TEDxBozeman, he explains what it’s like to be a scientist drilling though thousands of feet of ice while living in a tent in Antarctica. 

Watch the whole talk here»

Photos courtesy of NASA

Thornback Skate. (Ken Lucas/Caters News) Paper nautilus. (Valerie Taylor/Caters News) Glasswing butterfly. (Hans Dossenbach/Caters News) Box jellyfish. (Valerie Taylor/Caters News)

yahoonews:

Transparent animals

They’re some of the most intriguing and complex creatures on the planet but they really do have nothing to hide - because they’re totally see-through. Transparent animals - creatures with clear glass-like skin - can be found all over the world but their very existence is still shrouded in mystery. 

The fascinating organisms verge on the invisible and their translucent skin often helps them elude predators. These extraordinary images were taken by a whole host of photographers from around the globe. (Caters News)

Find more news related pictures on our photo galleries page.

These critters are gorgeous! Learn more about unique sea creatures from oceanographer David Gallo »

In this brave talk, Zak Ebrahim discusses empathy’s power to overcome hatred. He was just seven years old when his father helped plan the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and many expected him to follow in his father’s footsteps. Zak tells his story of choosing peace in The Terrorist’s Son, published by TED Books and available now. 

Watch the full talk here »

"And sometimes in class I might pause the intellectual-sounding flow to ask, ‘Yo! Why dese books neva be about my peoples?’ Yes, I have decided to treat all three of my languages as equals because I’m ‘articulate.’"

Jamila Lyiscott responds to the pseudo-compliment that she is “articulate” in her powerful spoken-word essay “Broken English” from a recent TEDSalon in New York City.

You can’t go a day in New York without seeing something really weird. Illustrator Bruce McCall takes that one step further with his playful New Yorker covers. He illustrates the wacky realities of life in the Big Apple… and lovingly makes it weirder than it is.

Learn more about urban absurdism and other serious nonsense»