TED, David, and what Neil’s library looks like

I’m interested in stuff. I can’t always tell you exactly which stuff I’m going to be interested in at any one time, but that’s good, because stuff is endlessly fascinating and if you limit yourself to a particular brand of stuff, you’re going to miss out on all the other stuf that’s out there waiting for you.

So over the last few days I’ve been spending a bit too much time listening to talks from the TED conference. TED (for Technology, Entertainment and Design) is an annual gathering bringing together a range of speakers from across a variety of disciplines (famous names have included Gordon Brown, Al Gore and Bill Clinton) to deliver a series of talks averaging 15-20 minutes each. This means a huge amount of ground and topics can be covered, and if you’re not really bothered about hearing Richard Dawkins talk about religion, then Stephen Fry will be along in a minute. Best of all, over 500 talks are freely posted online, which means I’ve been listening to an awful lot of, well, stuff.

So, if you’ve ever wondered why crack dealers live with their moms, what an international mash-up of Stand By Me would sound like, how Adam from Mythbusters made a replica of the Maltese Falcon, where to go if you need to grow food in the event of the apocalypse or what discovering DNA is like, you could do worse than checking out the TED archive. Fellow geeks can expect a lot of their time to disappear.

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A poll of British school children has found that their dream celebrity headteacher would be David Tennant. I heartily endorse this idea. Sure, science lessons would be slightly shonky, there’d be way too much running in the corridors and the head of geography would turn out to be an alien cyborg, but your school days would be gloriously bonkers. Like Doctor Who, coincidentally.

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[jealous]Neil Gaiman has better bookshelves than me[/jealous]


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