Category Archives: TED

You know when you discover something you thought you knew, but didn’t realise you didn’t actually know?


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Sarah Jones

All you need to know before you start watching this is that Sarah Jones has been called a “master of her genre”. You’ll understand after this:

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Rick Smolan tells the story of a girl

Rick Smolan is one of the world’s most famous photographers and has worked with TIME, Life and Nation Geographic magazines as well as creating the best-selling One Day In The Life photography series.

In the following TED talk, Rick tells the story of a young girl he met on assignment in South Korea when he was twenty-eight and how the profound effect the two had on each other. It’s an interesting glimpse at a forgotten generation – the illegitimate children fathered by American soldiers in the proxy wars of the late 20th century.

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“They said ‘Why are you wearing that snake pin?’ I said ‘because Saddam Hussein compared me to an unparralleled serpent’. And then I thought ‘Well this is fun!'”

Madeleine Albright was the first ever female Secretary of State and is a former American Ambassador to the United Nations.

This semester, I’m reading a course called ‘Gender, Sex and Death’ which focuses heavily on the changing role of women, the opinions that quite literally every person in the world has on the subject and how that’s affecting us. The following interview is, therefore, absolutely fascinating to me. Albright discusses the way in which her gender has affected her career as one of the world’s most high-profile diplomats.

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Jamie Oliver gets angry with America

My mother is a great cook. Her mother was a dietician and my father’s mother was a doctor. Good food and good health have always been essential ingredients in our family life and in what we were taught as children. Fast food was not allowed. I don’t think I ever really questioned my parents’ stance on this, or if I did, the answer was pretty simple: ‘it’s bad for you’. Naturally, this contradiction was puzzling – how could something so delicious be so bad? If it was that bad for us, why were they allowed to sell it?

Recently, I watched Supersize Me, and to say it has changed the way I look at fast food is a gross understatement. I was horrified. What took me by surprise the most was not that the food was so bad for one’s health – I knew that already, but more that there was even a market for such a size as ‘super-size’. Did people not know that there was simply no way that amount of food in one meal could ever be safe? What kind of culture could justify promoting this sort of gluttonous behaviour?

Jamie Oliver is one of my mother’s heroes. I understand it completely – everything she’s ever said about pre-packaged or fast food, every rant she’s ever had about the dangers, the chemicals, the cholesterol levels – all of it was being repeated by this relatively well-known, but by no means famous, chef from Essex. When Jamie’s School Dinners first aired, I was thirteen. Since then, Oliver has crusaded relentlessly on both sides of the Atlantic for greater funding in education about food.

He spoke last year at a TED Conference – it’s 20 minutes long but it’s pretty harrowing. His passion for the issue is inspirational.

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TED Prize-winner “JR”

JR is the name of an as-yet unidentified French street artist who was recently awarded the coveted TED Prize, having started out in the banlieues of Paris. His work has appeared all over the world in the form of large black and white photographic images fly-posted in surprising public locations much in the same way as graffiti art appropriates built environments. JR’s work “often challenges widely held preconceptions and the reductive images propagated by advertising and the media.”

“The TED Prize is awarded annually to an exceptional individual who receives $100,000 and, much more important, ‘One Wish to Change the World.’ Designed to leverage the TED community’s exceptional array of talent and resources, the Prize leads to collaborative initiatives with far-reaching impact”.

Here’s a five-minute introduction to the man behind the art, as presented by TED:

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