DAY 173: I have a confession to make about pickpocketing

For today's instalment of my 365 Days of TED challenge I watched a TED talk by Apollo Robbins on the art of misdirection demonstrated by pickpocketing a member of the audience! I first heard of Apollo Robbins when I was watching the National Geographic show Brain Games which he is a part of as co-producer and appears on as a deception specialist. Can you imagine introducing yourself to people, "Hi I'm a deception specialist" How awkward would that be! I have a confession to make. I am fascinated by pickpocketing. Okay so firstly let me clear one thing up. I am not fascinated by the crime aspect of pick-pocketing, not at all, I think that aspect of it is really low and I have no respect for anyway who thinks that it’s okay to take another person’s belonging just because they decide they want to. What does fascinate me though is that a pickpocketer can remove another person’s watch without them even realising. I mean how is that … [Read more...]

Day 145: Do you have the same values that you had 10 years ago?

Can Iask you a question? It might be a little personal.  Do you have the same values that you had ten years ago?  Have you changed? I'm guessing, for better or worse  the answer is yes. Who you are right now in this very moment is most probably not the same person you were ten years ago and is very likely not who you will be in ten years time. This was the topic of Dan Gilbert’s Ted talk “The psychology of your future self." The rate of change   Kids seem to change by the minute where as parents seem to change by the year. It is well known and understood that the youth will change quite a lot in ten years. A lot can happen between being eighteen and twenty-eight.   I remember when I was ten I wrote a letter to my eighteen year old-self. I read the letter when I was about nineteen and it was quite clear that my thirteen year old self thought being eighteen was more like being twenty-eight! The thing is that people assume that as we … [Read more...]

Day 113: Emotional Correctness

Emotional correctness. What the heck is that? I have heard of political correctness but emotional correctness? Do we need another form of correctness? Sally Kohn thinks so and her TED talk "Let's talk emotional correctness" she explains why. Sally kicks off her TED talk by sharing a rather poignant truth for her, the better she does her job the more people hate her. What's her occupation? Sally says her role as "a gay talking head on Fox News" has made her the target for hate mail. Really vile hate mail. One would understand if this made Sally bitter and twisted but she has actually got a pretty profound lesson from it. "We spend so much time talking past each other and not enough time talking through our disagreements, and if we can start to find compassion for one another, then we have a shot at building common ground." How true is that! Sally uses the example that when a person might say they hate immigrants she tries to … [Read more...]

day 112: How to make up new words

Ted speaker Erik McKean is a lexiographer with an odd request First things first, what the heck is a lexicographer? A lexicographer is a person that compiles a dictionary. Erin is quick to point out that she doesn't decide what the meaning of a word is - that's everyone else's job and she goes as far to say that we should "Go ahead, make up new words!" We create new music, new art and invent things all the time so why not create new words asks Erin? I can think of one reason why this can be tricky. Sure I can come up with a new word in this very moment, but how on Earth am I going to let everyone know about it? Should their be a "new words" memo that needs to be sent out each day? Of course if you are the creator of The Big Bang Theory all it takes is a popular character dropping catchphrase -bazinga! How to make up new words If you do decide to make up a new word (or words) Erin has put together a list of six tips to make up new … [Read more...]

Day 96: Are we reading the right news stories?

Day 96- Are we reading the right news stories-

Ted speaker Kirk Citron is part of a project called The Now Foundation. It’s a foundation that seeks out news that will still matter, fifty, one-hundred even a thousands years from now. They look for stories that might make a difference to the future. So what type of news stories make up The Long News? This Ted talk was recorded in 2010 and the top news back then was the conflict in Afghanistan,  the swine flu outbreak, Michael Jacksons death, the Obama inauguration, the poor state of the economy  and the miraculous survival  stories after a plane crashed into the Hudson River. Kirk says that none of those stories will matter in the long term. The recession will soon become old news .  Kirk offers some suggestions on the type of news that will make a difference such as Science. Resources Global Politics New discoveries Kirk’s pick for the top news story of 2010? Water found on the moon. Kirk ends his talk by … [Read more...]

Day 85: “The thing is, I stutter” An honest Tedx talk by Megan Washington

Day 85- “The thing is, I stutter” An honest Tedx  talk by Megan Washington

Continuing on in my 365 Days of Ted journey I decided to watch a Ted talk from my own soil - Australia. I watched a Tedx talk from Australian singer Megan Washington  who she shared a personal truth with the audience “The thing is, I stutter.” Although I have been following Megan’s music for a couple of years I had no idea that she had a speech impediment.  I have heard countless interviews and speeches from Megan in the past but never heard a hint of a stutter. Had she not done this Ted talk I and many of her fans would have been none the wiser. Finding new ways to communicate Megan found out when she was a child that when she sings the stutter is gone. Apparently it is impossible to stutter when you sing. Singing is a way of fluently communicating for Megan and a way for her to get a message exactly as she had intended. I have such an awesome new-found respect for Megan Washington. It could not have been easy to give a Ted … [Read more...]

Day 78: Connected, but alone?

Day 78- Connected, but alone-

Can I ask you a question? A personal one? Do you think that the internet has enriched your life? Do you think that it has made your social connections stronger or has it made you feel more alone?  In 2012 Sherry Turkle used her Ted talk to put forward the notion that although the internet has made us all connection, we can still feel very alone. Connected, but alone? The title of Sherry’s ted talk is Connected, but alone? Think  about that for a moment. Never in history have we been more tangled in each other’s lives. We get  real time status updates, of important, and not-so important (but entertaining)  milestones such as birth announcements or the fact that Jimmy from work just polished off the entire first season of Breaking Bad in one day. Kudos to him. We are also bystanders witnessing blossoming romances as love notes are swapped through status updates.  We congratulate the happy coupling, aww you two are so sweet. We … [Read more...]

Day 77: Is it okay to Facebook my friends during work hours?

Day 77- Is it okay to Facebook my friends during work hours by website confetti

Is is acceptable to contact your family and friends during work hours? Should workplaces  create a modern work environment were personal and professional life can coexist.  Ted speaker Stefana Broadbent seems to think that this is where society is headed in her Ted talk “How the internet enables intimacy.” I agree with parts of Stefana’s talk. The internet is great for intimacy. It can break the barriers of location and help strengthen the bonds of family and friends who are separated by oceans. Distance is no longer an issue in maintaining emotional connections. My grandmother died when I was around ten years old. She lived overseas and we only ever met in person when I was three.  I don’t really remember ever actually remember seeing her in flesh.   We used to write aerograms to each other, but it would take weeks for the letters to arrive. If video chatting had existed back them that whole experience would have been … [Read more...]

Day 75: The danger of silence

Day 75- The danger of silence inspired by a Clint Smith Ted talk Website Confetti

Silence is bliss.  That’s something we have been told our entire lives, and sure silence can be a beautiful break from a long day, it can be just what we need to recharge and regain focus, but silence is not always the answer. Ted speaker Clint Smith wants us to be aware of the danger of letting silence run rampant in our lives. Clint kicks off his Ted talk with a very powerful quote by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends.” The words that we don’t speak matter, perhaps even more so than the words that we do speak. Clint had a Catholic upbringing and was taught to give up something that he valued each year during Lent. One year Clint gave up his voice and vowed not to speak during Lent. Clint decided that his voice would be the most valuable sacrifice that he could possible offer. Clint says that he didn't realise that he had actually given up his … [Read more...]

Day 69: Write a love letter to a stranger

When was the last time you put pen to paper and wrote a letter to somebody? And no, messages in a greeting card don’t count.  Ted speaker Hannah Brencher is passionate about the handwritten letter. It has got here through some tough times and it has also helped others through their rough patches too. Hannah’s mother doesn’t believe in communicating by technology,  so when Hannah was away at the college the only way for her to get news from home was to check the P.O box each afternoon. The familiarity of her mother’s cursive writing  was a comfort away from home.  Fast forward post college and Hannah relocated to New York City. In her own words she was  “sucker-punched” by depression. Hannah sought solace in the comfort of letter writing, but this time there was a twist. Hannah wasn’t writing letters to family and friends and swapping stories of their respective lives. These letters were written to strangers and left all around her … [Read more...]