The stories behind The New Yorker’s iconic covers | Françoise Mouly

Meet Françoise Mouly, The New Yorker’s art director. For the past 24 years, she’s helped decide what appears on the magazine’s famous cover, from the black-on-black depiction of the Twin Towers the week after 9/11 to a recent, Russia-influenced riff on the magazine’s mascot, Eustace Tilley.

What six years in captivity taught me about fear and faith (English subtitles) | Ingrid Betancourt

(Full English subtitles are available for this talk — click the CC button in the bottom right of your screen to turn subtitles on.) In 2002, the Colombian guerrilla movement known as the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) kidnapped Ingrid Betancourt in the middle of her presidential campaign.

Meet Spot, the robot dog that can run, hop and open doors | Marc Raibert

That science fiction future where robots can do what people and animals do may be closer than you think. Marc Raibert, founder of Boston Dynamics, is developing advanced robots that can gallop like a cheetah, negotiate 10 inches of snow, walk upright on two legs and even open doors and deliver packages.

Can art amend history? | Titus Kaphar

Artist Titus Kaphar makes paintings and sculptures that wrestle with the struggles of the past while speaking to the diversity and advances of the present. In an unforgettable live workshop, Kaphar takes a brush full of white paint to a replica of a 17th-century Frans Hals painting, obscuring parts of the composition and bringing its hidden story into view.

Why I still have hope for coral reefs | Kristen Marhaver

Corals in the Pacific Ocean have been dying at an alarming rate, particularly from bleaching brought on by increased water temperatures. But it’s not too late to act, says TED Fellow Kristen Marhaver. She points to the Caribbean — given time, stable temperatures and strong protection, corals there have shown the ability to survive and recover from trauma.

You owe it to yourself to experience a total solar eclipse | David Baron

On August 21, 2017, the moon’s shadow will race from Oregon to South Carolina in what some consider to be the most awe-inspiring spectacle in all of nature: a total solar eclipse. Umbraphile David Baron chases these rare events across the globe, and in this ode to the bliss of seeing the solar corona, he explains why you owe it to yourself to witness one, too.

Why our screens make us less happy | Adam Alter

What are our screens and devices doing to us? Psychologist Adam Alter has spent the last five years studying how much time screens steal from us and how they’re getting away with it. He shares why all those hours you spend staring at your smartphone, tablet or computer might be making you miserable — and what you can do about it.