A good talking to

Have you encountered TED? Not a diminutive of the late Senator Kennedy, or an ursine toy with a need to shout (though watch out for the film with Mark Wahlberg), but the organisation behind TED talks. None the wiser?  Let me explain.

TED (conference)
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Curated by publisher Chris Anderson, TED is an abbreviation for  Technology Education Design, the three topics that initially united the speakers when the first conference took place in 1984. Now however, the brief seems somewhat broader and boasts the tagline “Ideas worth spreading”.  I learnt about TED through the musician Thomas DolbyThomas Dolby

who is TED’s musical director, as well as the man behind much of the ringtone technology of mobile phones.

On the website are videos of dozens of speakers; business leaders, academics, celebrities and more, all with an idea or a story to share, and a brief to do so within 18 minutes or less so as not to stretch the human attention span to breaking point. (Unlike that last sentence!)

There are numerous topics to choose from, ranging from an examination of introversion to a demonstration of the best way to use a paper towel, from Jamie Oliver promoting nutrition for kids to Al Gore saving the planet. Very much something for everyone.

It was TED that inspired an earlier blog about Rick Guidotti, and there is a lot on the site about or inspired by photography; check out Erik Johansson’s clever Photoshop wizardry here for example.  Looking at some of the more recent talks this morning, it prompted me to think about memory as a topic for today, however that idea was soon forgotten when later in Darlington’s South Park I met this gentleman. His name of course is Edward so I knew immediately what I should write about today.


I didn’t have 18 minutes to spare for a talk, but I’m glad he was prepared to be photographed, as were some of the denizens of the park.

Didn’t spot Cartman or Kenny though!

South Park title image with the four main char...