Saturday, January 23, 2010

Ted Talks and Some Ideas Worth Spreading

I had a very leisurely day and as a consequence, somehow, the day escaped my blogging motivation until late in the day.  Can't say I did much, although some time was spent doing the normal Saturday chores such as cleaning and shopping.  I have my son Eric living with me at the moment and so having someone else around uses time as well ...  chit chat and socializing on a Saturday is a nice change to my usual solitary pursuits.

In addition, I was internet challenged until the afternoon.   My wonderful Bell Entertainment Service, which I blogged about last week, went on the fritz on Wednesday night and I was without both my internet and my TV since then!  The price of being on the bleeding edge of technology, I guess.  When the guy came to fix it today he said that a wire had been dislodged in the telephone service room in our building and he suspected it was as a consequence of some work some other service man had done on Wednesday.

In any event, I ended up browsing the net and in reading some travel blogs I bumped into a recommendation for a TED talk which really appealed to my tug of travel urges I have been having lately.  As a result I spent a few hours watching this one and and a few others I found to view before I decided I should attack my Saturday blog. 

In any case, it is time I talked about Ted Talks again. It has been quite a while since I have gone on about some of the great videos I watch on this very informative web site.  
 TED is a small nonprofit devoted to “Ideas Worth Spreading”. It started out as a conference bringing people together from the worlds of Technology, Entertainment, and Design (thus, the TED). During the annual conference, attendees get to hear riveting talks (18 minutes in length) by more than 50 remarkable people.  The site TED Talks grew out of the idea to give everyone on-demand access to these most inspiring voices.

The TED content has expanded to include talks on business, science, culture, arts, and global issues.

Stefan Sagmeister: Graphic designer - The Power of Time Off

Sagmeister is a notable designer based in NYC who has 3 TED talks under his belt.  His clients include the Rolling Stones and Lou Reed.  He is a genuine maverick whose intimate approach and sincere thoughtfulness elevate his design. According to I.D. Magazine:
"Sagmeister's CD package designs are what poetry is to prose: distilled, intense, cunning, evocative and utterly complete. His intentions have set a new standard."
I have been toying with the idea of an extended travel time sometime in the next number of years.  I am thinking that I could start taking extended "time off" anywhere from 1 to 5 years from now, depending on my mood and the strength of the stock market at the moment I am dreaming of it.   His talk, "The Power of Time Off"  was music to my ears!   Sagmeister has taken several 1 year sabbaticals - he is known for shutting down his shop every seven years for a full year!   His reasoning is that we spend the first 25 years of our lives learning, the next 40 years working, and the final 15 in retirement. He wanted to intersperse some of the retirement years within the working years.  My thinking has been along those lines - keep working longer, but take extended time off over the next ten years, interspersed between work.  I am not sure if I would do a full year, as Sagmeister did, maybe 6 months might be enough for my first go, but it would be a long sabbatical none the less.

So his talk was extremely interesting to me.  If you dream of taking extended periods of time off and want some good justification you should listen to his talk!

The value of of time off is to rejuvenate and refresh, in his case, his creative outlook which is essential to his career. After his first sabbatical, he found that:

* His interest in his work was rejuvinated,
* Over the long term the sabattical paid for itself since his "recharge" allowed him to produce superior work and charge a higher fee when he returned to work,
* And everything his shop designed in the seven years following the first sabbatical was originated in that year.

Anthony Atala:

Growing new organs:

The second TED talk grabbed me because it relates to something I am doing right now (but no, I am not growing new organs LOL) .  I am interested in organ regeneration because I am (as you might recall), writing a futuristic novel and am steeling myself to start my 2nd draft in the very near future.  Growing new organs is something that plays a role in my novel.

Anthony Atala's state-of-the-art lab grows human organs -- from muscles to blood vessels to bladders, and more. At TEDMED, he shows footage of his bio-engineers working with some of its sci-fi gizmos, including an oven-like bioreactor, which "exercises new muscle" and a machine that "prints" human tissue.   The picture on the top right is an ear which was bioengineered for transplant. 

So I was thrilled to hear about the specific techniques being used to grow organs for transplant and that they are doing this today.  Most of the things being talked about are  just in the lab at this point, however he did make a point of saying that they do have some engineered organ transplants which have been in use for over 10 years.  So it won't be long - in my lifetime for sure - before we will be able to re-grow some types of damaged organs - which fits into my novel's timelines just right.  You might be surprised how far along this science is.  Watch his video and start thinking about the implications.  It is quite extraordinary!

If you missed my blogs on the other TED Talks I have particularly enjoyed go here to read them.

1 comment:

  1. I like Sagmeister's thoughts on how to spend our lives. I enjoyed watching the video.


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