Wednesday, March 2, 2011

On the road again: TEDActive, day 3

More snapshots from a day in beautiful Palm Springs, where the weather is doing a pretty darn good impression of a sunny day in Camelot.

Damon Horowitz, a philosophy professor, gave an entertaining, enlightening, and moving talk on the importance of philosophy by speaking briefly about his encounters with a prison inmate who became a student of his.

Deb Roy blew the socks off all the attendees with the data analysis that he and his team at MIT's Media Lab did on the huge (200TB) library of audio and video recordings they had made of his home since his son's birth. Watching the flow of the wordscape (his term) as it built over time to his son's first word was extremely cool.

Multiple overlaid videorecordings of Maya Beiser on cello accompanied her live on cello in a beautiful concert that veered close to feeling like a gimmick but that ultimately was simply lovely.

Quantum physicist Aaron O'Connell reviewed the experiment in which he became the first person to demonstrate a visible object being in two places at once--one place being static, the other vibrating, but still, cool quantum stuff.

Julie Taymor made me want to watch her Prospero and see her SpiderMan show in NYC; I hope she succeeds with the latter so I could go see it.

Documentarian Morgan Spurlock put his upcoming The Greatest Movie Ever Sold high on my must-see list with his charming footage and presentation.

Indra Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo, showed all the good her company is doing with its Pepsi Refresh projects. I wish I liked the taste of their products, but I don't.

I don't know where I'm going to find the time to explore all the things that grabbed me today, but David Christian's presentation on his Big History course and Salman Khan's talks about his online tutorials both inspired me to seek out their work.

Parisian artist JR won the TED prize and inspired me on two fronts: I want more than ever to do more random acts of happiness, and I want to assemble a Raleigh group to paste portraits on buildings.

The world is so full of amazing and beautiful things that I will never have enough time to touch even the smallest fraction of them. I love that about life, but it does make me yearn for ever more years alive.

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