Over the course of a rather long bout of YouTube video surfing, I stumbled upon a content gem. It was a lecture by statistician Hans Rosling discrediting several myths and misconceptions about global development using a cutting edge graphic presentation tool. While I have seen such viral hits as, “Sitting on the Toilet” and “Charlie Bit Me,” few videos have left as profound an impression on me as this Swedish guy’s presentation.
Normally, I would have absorbed the ephemeral joy of a good YouTube video and just moved on, storing what I just witnessed in some closet of my subconscious. However, I noticed in the subscribe column the heading TED and a link to another website. What I had just discovered was the Technology Entertainment and Design conference, an annual meeting where completely brilliant and/or notable people come together to make presentations to each other about their incredible research and ideas.
The TED website presented me with dozens of videos. Topics included, “Ken Robinson says schools kill creativity,” “Malcom Gladwell on Spaghetti Sauce,” “Richard Dawkins on Militant Atheism,” and “Theo Jansen Creates New Creatures.” Do any of those subjects sound interesting to you? I watched 4 or 5 of these 10-20 min presentations on my first visit to the site; it was as if you could sit in on the best college lectures ever, for free!
Just in case you want to learn a few things over the holiday…