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19 April 2009

Nothing but TED Talks

I love TED talks. For those of you who don't know what TED is (technology, entertainment, and design) it's a gathering of the world's best and brightest each year in California. Speakers give talks on a range of fascinating subjects generally related to making the world a better place. I started watching a bunch of videos today and here are some of my favorites.

Paul Collier on "the bottom billion". 17 min.

Bonnie Bassler on how bacteria communicate and what that means for next generation antibiotics. 18 min.

This isn't a very good video, but the story is crazy. Fast forward to 50 seconds into this talk about an African boy who built a windmill when he was 14. "How did you [learn to build a windmill]?" "I went to library, and I read a book titled Using Energy and I get information about windmill and I try and I made it." - William Kamkwamba, on building a windmill out of trash as a 14 year old in Africa.

Joseph Lekuton tells a Kenyan parable. 5 min.

Johnathan Haidt on the psychology of liberals and conservatives. This is a must view. 19 min.

Jill Bolte is a neuroscientist at Harvard who experienced a stroke and lives to tell you about it. She gets a bit trippy but her insights are stunning. Being a scientist she's very left (rational) hemisphere dominate but this portion of her brain is shut down during her stroke. She then for the first time sees the world from here right hemisphere's perspective. 19 min.

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