“S” is for Stroke of Insight

“One morning, a blood vessel in Jill Bolte Taylor’s brain exploded. As a brain scientist, she realized she had a ringside seat to her own stroke. She watched as her brain functions shut down one by one: motion, speech, memory, self-awareness  . . . ”

One of the best TEDTalks EVER!  VIVID, moving.

Brain researcher Jill Bolte Taylor studied her own stroke as it happened.

“How many brain scientists have been able to study the brain from the inside out? I’ve gotten as much out of this experience of losing my left mind as I have in my entire academic career.” — Jill Bolte Taylor

“Amazed to find herself alive, Taylor spent eight years recovering her ability to think, walk and talk. She has become a spokesperson for stroke recovery and for the possibility of coming back from brain injury stronger than before. In her case, although the stroke damaged the left side of her brain, her recovery unleashed a torrent of creative energy from her right. From her home base in Indiana, she now travels the country on behalf of the Harvard Brain Bank as the “Singin’ Scientist.”


Making the Invisible Visible


 “Mysteries of the Unseen World, is aNational Geographic 3D Imax that journeys into invisible worlds that are too slow, too fast, too small and too vast for the human eye to see.”

“We live in a world of unseeable beauty, so subtle and delicate that it is imperceptible to the human eye. To bring this invisible world to light, filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg bends the boundaries of time and space with high-speed cameras, time lapses and microscopes. At TED2014, he shares highlights from his latest project, a 3D film titled “Mysteries of the Unseen World,” which slows down, speeds up, and magnifies the astonishing wonders of nature.”

“When you realize how perfect everything is you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky” 



“Inspiration Porn”

You gotta take a few minutes to listen to this thought-provoking look at how we objectify people with disability.

Stella Young is a comedian and journalist who happens to go about her day in a wheelchair — a fact that doesn’t, she’d like to make clear, automatically turn her into a noble inspiration to all humanity. In this funny talk, Young breaks down society’s habit of turning disabled people into “inspiration porn.”’

Being Alone Together. Has Technology Created This for You?

“As we expect more from technology, do we expect less from each other? Sherry Turkle studies how our devices and online personas are redefining human connection and communication — and asks us to think deeply about the new kinds of connection we want to have.

Sherry Turkle studies how technology is shaping our modern relationships: with others, with ourselves, with it”

“Turkle argues that the social media we encounter on a daily basis are confronting us with a moment of temptation. She maintains that drawn by the illusion of companionship without the demands of intimacy, we confuse postings and online sharing with authentic communication. We are drawn to sacrifice conversation for mere connection.

After listening to Sherry Turkle’s Ted Talk I find myself much less concerned about technology than she is.

I’m not sure that anything is really different now with text messaging, internet, robots . ..

The sense of being alone and looking for SAFE connection has been around since I’ve walked this planet. I’ve talked to pets, stuffed animals.  How is that different from talking to a robot?

I’ve spent many an evening of “togetherness” with friends sitting  in a dark movie theatre or in a noisy restaurant,  places where intimate conversation was impossible. How is that different from “finding  the illusion of companionship without the intimacy” through technology?

Again, I disagree with Turkle when she describes how we “clean up” our images, thoughts and feelings through technology.  I think that not much has changed with our fear of intimacy. Technology just makes it faster, more expensive and convenient  to avoid it.
Turkle is a professor in the Program in Science, Technology and Society at MIT and the founder and director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self.”