TEDcember Day 08 – jaw-dropping poetry

I can honestly say that I was astonished by this. A continual, unrelenting, stream of rhythm and rhyme for over two minutes which weaves in and out of a fantasy scenario of mockingbirds as recording devices while making references to a slew of TED talks from the same conference. Of all the talks I have …

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TEDcember Day 07 – 3 things I learned while my plane crashed

Definitely back to the kind of talk which TED is famous for: Ric Elias: 3 things I learned while my plane crashed. Ric gives a razor-sharp view of his near-death experience, and the things he took from it. They are the same kinds of things that often occur to people facing their end, but it …

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TEDCember Day 06 – Ze Frank’s nerdcore comedy

This was a bit of a surprise. Among all the worthy talks I didn’t realise that there are also comedy routines, songs and other stuff in the TED archive. I found Ze Frank’s stand-up routine pretty funny, although not really as “nerdcore” as it could be be – there is typically more nerd comedy in …

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TEDcember Day 05 – The neurons that shaped civilization

I’ll admit I am doing a bit of catching up here, having missed a day or two, but I’ll be back on track soon. For day five I chose VS Ramachandran: The neurons that shaped civilization. This talk introduces the idea of “mirror neurons”, elements of the brain which trigger when observing other people’s behaviour, …

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TEDcember Day 04 – Adam Grosser and his sustainable fridge

Today’s talk was another short one, this one about 3.5 minutes. The idea was interesting – a relatively low cost cooling unit that “charges” itself in a cooking fire, then can be used to keep a big drum container cool for 24 hours. Pitched at storing vaccines away from power, and also preventing food decay …

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TEDecember Day 03 – Building the musical muscle

Another pretty much random choice of a talk to watch, this one Charles Limb: Building the musical muscle) surprised me because it was not what I expected. From the title I expected something a bit more about the psychology of music or the brain’s perception of music, but what I got was a fairly detailed …

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TEDcember DAY 02 – Dance vs. powerpoint, a modest proposal

So, pretty much at random I chose another TED talk video to watch. This time it was John Bohannon: Dance vs. powerpoint, a modest proposal. I found the talk interesting, thought-provoking, and decidedly tongue-in-cheek (the reference to Swift in the title gives that away). Although the apparent premise (use dancers instead of powerpoint) has many …

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TEDcember Day 01 – Try something new for 30 days

One my video site I have just completed Vlomo. Vlomo is one of the many “every day in November” challenges, along with NaNoWriMo, NabloPoMo, Movember and so on. The end of November can be a bit of a let-down, though. One way or another the challenge is over. While discussing this with a colleague recently, …

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ql.io – a SQL-style way of mashing-up web APIs

The guys at ebay have released ql.io, which seems to be a way of using SQL-like queries to fetch and join data (typically in the form of JSON, it seems) from multiple web APIs to generate quick “mashups”. See ql.io. I can’t help thinking that there are a lot of hidden issues around API compatibility …

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