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5/25/2008

ted talks & miscellany

In addition to cups of tea (and espresso), good books, Etsy finds, aromatherapy, a variety of music, great films, all things "artsy", etc., I also love brain-food. I have no idea what my IQ is - it's probably pretty low - but I crave the intellectual. I like to find ideas that are over my head and mull 'em over. Eventually, my brain grows a little. I learn and understand some of those concepts. They inspire creativity in many areas of my life. That's why I'm passionate about things like my husband's brain (including his silly side), Arts & Letters Daily, Mars Hill Audio, certain podcasts, Books & Culture, IMAGE, and now, TED Talks.

I was first introduced to TED by one of the design blogs I read, but I'm sorry to say I can't remember which one (it might've been hoping for happy accidents). The first TED Talk I watched was the lovely author & illustrator, Maira Kalman. She was funny and very inspiring. That's why I flipped out when I found her book, The Principles of Uncertainty, on sale for $3.98 (a hardback, even).



Then, Kate posted this TED Talk about fractals on her blog. I could not have been more surprised to be fascinated by something so mathematical. Well, it turns out my brother and I have TED Talks in common, too. Who knew, since we used to fight over the invisible line between his spot and mine in the backseat of the car?

My little bro recently sent me a link to "Carolyn Porco: fly me to the moons of Saturn" which reveals gorgeous photographs of Saturn and two of its moons. If that video doesn't cause you develop a healthy reverence for God's handiwork, I don't know what will.

So now, I'm rather addicted to TED Talks. Yesterday, I watched one of my favorite authors, Dave Eggers (you must read A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius):



I don't want to start a controversial debate here, but the Simmons are not big fans of the public school system. However, I was very inspired, listening to Dave Eggers describe 826 Valencia - an organization he founded - that works w/public schools in San Francisco, tutoring kids one-on-one in a friendly, creative, zany environment (you'll see what I mean if you watch that video). As a child of two teachers, I know how valuable one-on-one interaction with students really is. Plus, my Mom goes about her life completely outside-the-box - I think she will appreciate Dave Eggers very much. And by the way, I really, really, really want to subscribe to McSweeney's Quarterly Concern.

As for miscellany:

-Rooibos almond tea is outstanding.
-Yes, we love our cats and they are purty (but two is our limit):

[Harley]

[Milo]

-The other night, after Greek food with my brother, Johnny and I spied Jenni's Noodle House. I'm always proud to see my name spelled correctly. Even at the nearby Jenni's Banquet Hall which does not look that impressive nor upstanding.
-This one is depressing; I mentioned it on books for calvin, too - my beloved Bookstop might be torn down by dumb Barnes & Noble. I love walking around their big box stores as much as you do, but why in God's name can't they see the benefit of a bookstore housed in a beautiful, historical, art deco movie theater (built in the 1930's)?? If you care at all, please click here to see what you can do to help. Please oh, please.
-Of course I love this functional piece of art (via design*sponge):

[photo courtesy of design glut]

-I was pretty happy with the Grey's Anatomy season finale. Were you? They have such good writers. The conclusions were mostly positive and hopeful vs. ER's typical morbid injury or fatality of some character you've grown to know and love.

That's about it. The rest of this Sabbath is devoted to more rooibos tea, reading, a nap, a few more TED Talks, and Battlestar Galactica, as far as I'm concerned.

2 comments:

kate o. said...

i hadn't looked into any more of the TED talks, so thanks!

i enjoyed the grey's anatomy season finale, too. i agree, great writers. i'm not sure if there is another show right now that has so many diverse characters that are, on the whole, written so well. i was really enjoying the writing on "pushing daisies" but the show seems to have disappeared...hopefully not forever!

jenni said...

Welcome to my TED addiction, Kate. I'd wondered if Pushing Daisies was any good.... Sometimes the best shows disappear too quickly.