TED

Dollar Street

This is an incredible TED Talk on how families live in different parts of the world at various socio-economic levels. A brilliant study.

What does it look like when someone in Sweden brushes their teeth or when someone in Rwanda makes their bed? Anna Rosling Rönnlund wants all of us to find out, so she sent photographers to 264 homes in 50 countries (and counting!) to document the stoves, bed, toilets, toys and more in households from every income bracket around the world. See how families live in Latvia or Burkina Faso or Peru as Rosling Rönnlund explains the power of data visualization to help us better understand the world.

Here’s the actual site for you to mess around with: Dollar Street.

[via Kottke.org]

Inside Out

French photographer JR who I posted about in 2008 with his Women are Heroes Project has since received a TED Prize and gone on to a new project called “Inside Out” which the video above documents.

I’m curious about the printing process: it’s very fast, low resolution monochrome, and on thin paper. It would be fun to have a printer like that to make wrapping paper.

[via Uncrate]

The Atlas Robot

This video has been making the rounds. If you missed it, it’s a mind blow.

Boston Dynamics has been releasing amazing videos of their various robots doing more and more things. This particular demo is the most amazing yet. Watch the arms when the robot jump-turns, they look so human-like it’s a bit scary.

Here’s the Boston Dynamics TED talk with a different robot, also impressive:

How playing an instrument benefits your brain

When you listen to music, multiple areas of your brain become engaged and active. But when you actually play an instrument, that activity becomes more like a full-body brain workout. What’s going on? Anita Collins explains the fireworks that go off in musicians’ brains when they play, and examines some of the long-term positive effects of this mental workout.

Lesson by Anita Collins, animation by Sharon Colman Graham, narration by Addison Anderson, music by Peter Gosling.

[via wimp.com]

Inspiring Creativity

Inspiring Creativity – A Liberatum film presented by illy from Liberatum on Vimeo.

Inspiring Creativity is a short film created by Liberatum, directed by Pablo Ganguli and Tomas Auksas, and presented by illy, featuring 21 artists and cultural figures from art, fashion, film, design, technology and music. The film is an insider’s perspective on inspiration from the minds of leading creative personalities including:

Diana Picasso, Academy Award winner Hans Zimmer, Inez van Lamsweerde, Vinoodh Matadin, Academy Award nominee James Franco, Joan Smalls, Johan Lindeberg, Jonas Mekas, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Nico Muhly, Karen Elson, Karim Rashid, Klaus Biesenbach, Academy Award nominee Lee Daniels, Lola Montes Schnabel, Marilyn Minter, Mark Romanek, Tracey Emin, Moby, Paul Schrader, and TED founder Richard Saul Wurman.

Through the authentic interpretation and responses from these individuals, the overall project communicates what inspires creative thinking and behaviors for nurturing inspiration, while provoking thoughts on how culture, society, and technology continue to affect creativity.

I like this. Not overdone, interesting choice of people, some wisdom to be gleaned.

[via Devour]

The cult of TED

The cult of TED

Excellent BBC News magazine piece on the TED Conference.

Many people think TED is an elitist organization: it’s expensive to attend, one must apply, not just pay, no questions during lectures, and all the lectures are available online for free which means attending isn’t necessarily about the lectures.

Maybe attending is as much about networking with the kinds of folks who are admitted to TED conferences as it is about hearing the lectures live.

It may be that TED is elitist but sometimes it takes making an event like this exclusive to filter out the chaff. The question is, does filtering amplify and support only one prevailing viewpoint, making the conference an exercise in intellectual eugenics. There may be strands of this in Chris Anderson’s script for deciding which ideas are worth spreading and which are not, but so far, as a fan of TED I have to say that almost every time I watch a TED talk I’m stimulated and inspired.

[via Jon Moss]