Day 83: Have you stopped and looked at the clouds today?

Day 83- Have you stopped and looked at the clouds today-

Can I ask you something? When was the last time that you looked up at the clouds?  I am not talking about a quick glance upwards to check the rain status.  No, I mean the last time that you really just looked up to appreciate the beauty of the clouds. Gavin Pretor-Pinney, founder of the  Cloud Appreciation Society, thinks that clouds are unfairly  used for a doom and gloom metaphor and has decided to uses his Ted talk to show us some pictures to change the perception. Are clouds really used as a metaphor for doom? When someone is depressed “they’re under a cloud” when bad news is approaching “there’s a cloud on the horizon.”  Until I watched Gavin’s Ted talk I had never really thought about clouds as being seen as a bad thing. Then again until I watched Rives talk a few days ago I never thought that 4 a.m. was such a historical shorthand for bad things. A cloudy night at 4 a.m. must be really bad news then! Gavin says that … [Read more...]

Day 79: Can we please rebrand 4 a.m. ?

Day 79- I think we need to rebrand 4 a.m by website confetti

Have you ever noticed that 4am is the one hour of the day that is most commonly associated with mishaps?  Ted speaker Rives certainly has and in his eight minute Ted talk “The 4 a.m. mystery” Rives  gives us some insight behind this enigma. The 4 a.m. shorthand Song lyrics, movies, authors, conversationalist and society must have all unanimously decided that 4 a.m would be shorthand for “inconveniences, mishaps and yearnings” says Rives. “For a time that I find to be the most placid and uneventful hour of the day, four in the morning sure gets an awful lot of bad press” When did this begin? Rives backs up this claim with a number of  examples, comic strips, historical events, paintings and even  a clip of The Simpsons all depicting four in the morning as this horrible time to be awake.   It really is fascinating when you actually think how often 4 a.m. is used to reference bad things. Rives also goes on to explain what he … [Read more...]

Day 76: Using spoken word to figure stuff out

Day 76- Using spoken word to figure stuff out

Continuing on with my 365 Days of Ted theme week on poetry slam is a post about spoken word artist Sarah Kay who uses her Ted talk to talk about the power of self-expression. Sarah Kay kicks off her Ted talk with a spoken word piece, “If I should have a daughter”  It’s a heartfelt piece that shows both the beauty and painful moments that make up life as a whole.  It’s rawness and truths brought the audience to the first standing ovation of the Ted talk. Finding your vehicle for self-expression This wasn't a Ted talk just about a spoken-word piece from a mother to daughter. It was  a Ted talk about using poetry as a way self-expression and  empowerment.  Sometimes we struggle to make sense of things and when this happens to Sarah she puts pen to paper to find the answers. Sarah says that spoken word poetry is not necessarily the ideal art form, but it is the art form that is accessible to everyone.  Expression through film … [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 74: High school training ground

Poetical activist and Ted speaker Malcolm London used his Ted talk to share an extract of his poem "High school training ground."  Written and performed in 2011 when Malcolm was still at high school, it's full of raw truths that can make you uncomfortable, but nonetheless, needs to be heard. Whether you graduated this decade or some time ago, the relevance is still very much there for everyone. Malcolm paints a pretty brutal picture of the public school system and the inequalities within the school's walls. His talk is not  about the curriculum which we go to school for, but the "training" that happens in-between.  "This is a training ground where one group is taught to lead and the other is made to follow" says Malcolm.  "Taught now that capitalism raises you but you have to step on someone else to get there. " "A training ground to sort out the Regulars from the Honors, a reoccurring cycle built to recycle the trash of this … [Read more...]

Day 73: What happens when you mix a Ted talk with poetry slam and a rubik’s cube?

I am a bit of a poetry slam fan girl. I would never dare perform poetry slam, that would be an awkward mess, but I do enjoy watching it.  It's full of passion and heart and just makes you pay attention.  To kick off this new theme week "Ted talks and poetry slam" I watched a performance by Marlon Carey all about time. Marlon wanted to push poetry slam further by adding something else in the mix, a rubik's cube, which fitted nicely into the theme of his poetry - time. http://youtu.be/sc7iROGlK4Y Time is the universal currency   We lead this clockwork existence of exchanging time every single day.   We waste time.  We are frivolous with our time.  We are generous with our time; perhaps too generous. We are greedy with our time; maybe too greedy?  People ask to borrow our time, but we don't always have time to spare. We take people's time. For better or worse, time is this universal currency that we are all born with. Use your time … [Read more...]

Day 48: What do teachers make? A post inspired by ted speaker Taylor Mali

When setting out to do my Amazing Human series I didn’t set out to feature teachers.  It’s not that I was intentionally staying clear of teachers, it’s just that they weren’t front of mind when I was thinking about who to include in my Amazing Human series, but after listening to Rita Pierson talk earlier this week I have a new found appreciation for teachers and what they do.  I am ashamed to say this, but I never gave teachers proper credit before. Sure on some level I knew that teachers are important at educating new generations, but I never really stopped to think about what difference they could really make, not only on an academic level but also on character building. On Day 42 I published a post by Tedx speaker Barbara Corcoran. Barbara candidly spoke about the emotional scars that her primary school teacher had left on her self-esteem. That reminded me of the damage that teachers could do.  Perhaps this why, on some … [Read more...]

Day 37: Why failure and success are kind of the same.

Do you have a fear of failure? How about a fear of success? Ted talk  "Success, failure and the drive to keep creating" is all about the parallels between being wildly successful and a struggling artist. Elizabeth Gilbert of being a writer post Eat,Pray,Love This is not Elizabeth's first Ted talk.   On day 25  I wrote a blog post about  Elizabeth's first Ted talk.  In this Ted talk Elizabeth was on the tail-end of the huge promotional blitz  surrounding the Hollywood movie that was based on her popular novel Eat, Pray, Love. In that talk Elizabeth candidly shared her fears and realisations that everyone was expecting all her future work to fail. She knew that she probably would never replicate the success of Eat,Pray, Love, and that put her in a very vulnerable position - should she even continue writing. Elizabeth found a way to make peace with her situation and it mainly had to do with how she defines creativity as not being a … [Read more...]

Day 34: Need inspiration? Take time off

It’s 365 Days of Ted productivity week and my last few talks have been about working less! Yesterday I wrote about how we can find that work-life balance and for day 34 I am blogging about taking time off from regular working duties. Ted talk “The power of time off” is Stefan Sagmeister story about why every seven years he takes a one-year long sabbatical. He shares why he thinks that time off is invaluable to becoming more innovative. How Stefan Sagmeister’s sabbaticals work Stefan runs a design studio in New York. Over time Stefan started to get bored with the projects as it all begun to blend into one and look the same. He was no longer challenged or inspired so he closed shop for a year to experiment on projects that he lacked the time to accomplish during a typical work year.  Stefan says that our lives are typically divided into time periods. The first 25 years of our lives are spent learning, the next 40 years is spent working … [Read more...]

Day 27: Where do good ideas come from? What I learnt from watching Steven Johnson’s Ted talk.

where do ideas come from

Do you have a lot of good ideas? Not just good or average but great? If not, perhaps your environment is at fault.   On day 25 I wrote about a Ted talk by Elizabeth Gilbert from  Eat, Pray. Love fame who liked to think that creativity and ideas came from external beings and was not an internal process as such. On day 26 I published a post by  Ken Robison who passionately believed that we are all born bursting with creativity and it is educated out of us. Today on day 27 I look at creativity and ideas being something that develop and truly flourish in the company of others.   What happens when we have an idea? We all have them, ideas that is. Some are better than others. Some ideas are questionable . Some are strokes of genius that we look at in awe, but what exactly happens when we have an idea?  Johnson says  "An idea -- a new idea -- is a new network of neurons firing in sync with each other inside your brain. It's a … [Read more...]