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TED Talks

By Dianne Witte

I am always surprised when people don’t know about TED talks.  Thought I would write about them in case you haven’t had the opportunity to share my treasure. TED is a non-profit devoted to spreading ideas via videos of powerful talks given in 18 minutes or less. TED is an acronym for Technology, Entertainment and Design which comes from a 1984 conference with that name. Today the “talks” cover almost all topics from science to business and global issues.

For example, I serendipitously came across a TED talk recently that has over 6 million views, called “How to Tie Your Shoes.” At first it seemed like a no brainer, but I clicked in anyway because I, like you, have tied and re-tied many a shoelace. I couldn’t believe I might not know the “correct” way, so I was curious.  The talk is only 3 minutes long, but fascinating. Terry Moore demonstrates a simple technique, but rather than divulging his secret, I invite you to visit http://www.ted.com watch and learn.

While you’re there, you might watch Joe Smith’s talk on “How to Use a Paper Towel” that could save half the 13 billion pounds of paper towels used every year. He uses a “Shake and Fold” technique that really works. I’ve used it ever since.

These are fun, novel demonstrations, but there are many more serious, thoughtful, creative and ingenious presentations.  Among the classic talks are topics on body language, creativity in schools, and even the history of the world in 18 minutes.  Lifelong learners, I hope I’ve sparked your interest.

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