As many of us head home for the holidays, we'll gather together around kitchen tables, dinner tables, and, of course, the TV.
This year, in addition to rejoicing in classics like A Christmas Story or Love Actually, consider making room for a TED Talk or two. They could prove a welcome distraction from Yahtzee, or simply a different way of connecting with relatives. After all, families that learn together...get smarter.
Here are the top 12 TED Talks of 2016 by views:
1. "Inside the Mind of a Master Procrastinator," by Tim Urban
A runaway hit, this funny and perceptive talk suggests that, yes, it's important to understand how to overcome procrastination. But it may be equally as important to consider what we're procrastinating on.
Views: 9.2 million
Run time: 14:03
2. "Teach Girls Bravery, Not Perfection," by Reshma Saujani
"I need each of you to tell every young woman you know to be comfortable with imperfection," says Saujani, founder of Girls Who Code. She's on a mission to get us to see how our culture teaches boys to be brave and girls to be perfect -- and how destructive this is. She argues that in order to progress and evolve together, we need our entire population to feel safe to take risks, not just half of it.
Views: 2.8 million
Run time: 12:39
3. "The Magic Ingredient That Brings Pixar Movies to Life," by Danielle Feinberg
Get the behind-the-scenes skinny on how classics like Finding Nemo, Toy Story, and WALL-E were made. In this fascinating talk, Danielle Feinberg, Pixar's director of photography, describes how Pixar uses math, science, and coding to enhance the magic of storytelling.
Views: 2.3 million
Run time: 12:04
4. "You Have No Idea Where Camels Really Come From," by Latif Nasser
Everything you thought you knew about camels is wrong...or so says Latif Nasser. He explains how a tiny fossil completely shifted his view of camels, world history, and possibility.
Views: 2 million
Run time: 12:27
5. "What Do You Think of When You Look at Me?" by Dalia Mogahed
This important and timely talk explores prejudice and compassion, separation and unity, personal stories and press perceptions. Mother, teacher, and Muslim scholar Dalia Mogahed challenges us to think critically, openly, and carefully about how Islam is perceived and the effect of that view on all of us.
Views: 1.9 million
Run time: 16:16
6. "Meet the Dazzling Flying Machines of the Future", by Raffaello D'Andrea
Drones aren't just coming -- they've arrived, and will perhaps be more beautiful than expected. In this unexpectedly charming talk, autonomous systems expert Raffaello D'Andrea shows the power of drone swarming, its glittering elegance, and its potential impact on our future.
Views: 1.8 million
Run time: 11:35
7. "The Beauty of Being a Misfit," by Lidia Yuknavitch
"You don't know it yet, but you have the ability to reinvent yourself endlessly. That's your beauty," Yuknavitch says in this lovely exploration of what it means to fit in, stand out, and truly accept yourself. If there are kids in your house, don't miss this one.
Views: 1.7 million
Run time: 12:58
8. "The Laws That Sex Workers Really Want," by Toni Mac
"If you care about gender equality, or poverty, or migration, or public health, then sex worker rights matter to you," says activist Toni Mac. But should sex work be legalized, banned, or even taxed? In this illuminating talk, Mac outlines four legal models in use in different countries today, and offers the one she thinks is in the best interest of all.
Views: 1.6 million
Run time: 17:50
9. "The Beauty of Human Skin in Every Color," by Angélica Dass
Ethnic identity is often tied to skin color, and Angélica Dass's photography challenges the "traditional" white, black, red, and yellow labels that are actually wholly inaccurate. She shares her inspiration for Humanæ, her stunning portrait project, and leaves viewers uplifted with her loving outline of humanity's true colors.
Views: 1.6 million
Run time: 11:27
10. "Why We Need Gender-Neutral Bathrooms," by Ivan Coyote
As TED's description of this one says, "There are a few things that we all need: fresh air, water, food, shelter, love...and a safe place to pee." Public restrooms can be downright dangerous for trans people, emotionally and even physically. Coyote lays out a compelling personal and cultural argument for the stakes when it comes to having gender-neutral restrooms everywhere.
Views: 1.4 million
Run time: 11:50
11. "A Prosecutor's Vision for a Better Justice System," by Adam Foss
This poignant exploration of youth, crime, punishment, and justice is compelling, given the insider view Foss offers as a prosecutor in Boston's Suffolk County District Attorney's Office. He lays out how a reformed system could lead to healthier individuals, stronger communities, and more opportunity overall.
Views: 1.4 million
Run time: 15:57
12. "How Humans Could Evolve to Survive in Space," by Lisa Nip
As climate change looms large, the prospect of leaving Earth becomes more compelling -- but how realistic is it? Nip discusses synthetic biology and what it will take to become beings who can survive in outer space. In her words, "Augmenting the human body with new abilities is no longer a question of how, but of when."
Views: 1.3 million
Run time: 12:51