The Televisionist, March 18 


I like people who do stuff. While that might seem like a helluva broad statement, what I'm talking about are the folks who do one thing and do it amazingly well — from writers to astronomers to guys who make handmade knives. There's something lovely about the human urge to create and understand, and when you get right down to where the shoe leather meets the sidewalk, it is what makes us human to begin with. And while most of us can't do the math to start thinking toward building a working time machine, or study chimpanzee behavior in Africa, or dive to the lowest depths of the ocean in a tiny submarine, there's a place where you can do the next best thing: listen to people who do.

Founded in 1985, the TED Conference was originally centered on bringing in the brightest speakers in technology, entertainment and design for a four-day love fest of brainpower. These days, the annual conference in Long Beach (and a companion conference in Oxford, UK) brings in next-level speakers in all disciplines, with subjects ranging from groundbreaking to the sublime.

Participants are given 18 minutes to speak on any subject they want, and they have more than 500 of those chats archived at the TED website. In addition to the talks by glitterati like Robert Ballard, Al Gore, Jeff Bezos, J.K. Rowling, Jane Goodall and J.J. Abrams, be sure to take a little time to browse the other, lesser-known speakers — many of whom are scientists, educators and researchers working in obscure-but-fascinating fields like deep ocean marine life, movie-prop making, cosmology, and what comes next on the Internet. My personal favorites so far: Adam Savage, of the TV show “Mythbusters,” talking about his obsessive-compulsive quest to create the ultimate replica of the Maltese Falcon, and slaughterhouse designer Temple Grandin talking about how her autistic brain lets her see the world as animals do.



Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by David Koon

Most Shared

Latest in The Televisionist

  • Netflix pix: revenge!

    Is there anything more satisfying than watching a character take a just and righteous revenge on someone who has smugly screwed them over at some time in the past? Not in this writer's book. I love the cinema of revenge, and Netflix Instant happens to have a crop of Revengers that includes some of the best ever made.
    • May 30, 2013
  • Netflix pix: 'Kumare'

    With Easter just passed, I've been thinking a lot about faith — why we need it, what purpose it serves, and just how devout many of the people who claim to be religious really are. It's a question for the ages, and will probably be debated until the sun goes supernova or language finally devolves into a series of squeaks and grunts, whichever comes first.
    • Mar 28, 2013
  • Netflix Pix

    Hidden gems from Netflix Instant.
    • Dec 19, 2012
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge opens veterinary clinic

Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge opens veterinary clinic

Eureka Springs non-profit will provide on-site veterinary care to its more than 60 exotic and native large animals.

Event Calendar

« »


2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31  

Most Viewed

  • Good Weather

    Lakewood pop-up gallery makes a home for art in limbo.
  • Lessons learned

    Picture Bret Bielema pole-vaulting for a minute. Then, once the laughter subsides, hear me out with this absurd analogy.
  • White Water hosts a big Mississippi Blues Show

    Also, Red Octopus at the Public Theater, Alcee Chriss III at First Presbyterian Church, Harvestfest in Hillcrest, the Arkansas Times Hog Roast, Wildflower Revue at South on Main and Made By Few in Bentonville.
  • Ken Bonfield comes to The Joint

    Also, Guts Club plays Vino's.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Lessons learned

    • I think you meant to write, 'Consider for a minute Bret Bielema pole vaulting.' As…

    • on October 20, 2016
  • Re: Good Weather

    • Great article, true words!! Good Weather is an amazing place.

    • on October 20, 2016

© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation