Originally posted on TED Blog:

2012 was the year of radical openness at TED. In that spirit, while our office is closed for winter break, TED’s editorial staffers have selected their favorite talks of the year …  giving you a peek into both our process and our personalities. We hope you enjoy.

I’m impressed and intimidated by people who can give a TED Talk in more than one language. So let me start by saying: Arunachalam Muruganantham speaks much better English than I do Tamil. He even cracks jokes in English — really funny jokes. Respect.

Muruganantham is an inventor from Tamil Nadu who started a business making something he knew nothing about: maxipads. It’s a painfully intriguing topic — of regular interest to some of us, it makes others squirm in their chairs. (And given the number of people on Earth who have periods, compared to the number who have, say, robotic prosthetic arms, it’s actually…

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