Challenging environmental folklore

In this talk, Leyla challenges our perception of what and what is not environmentally friendly, such as whether to use paper or plastic bags.

She highlights her point by noting that in the UK, at the end of popular TV shows, the National Grid buys nuclear electricity from France because everyone goes to turn on their tea kettle. Furthermore, people always boil more water than they need, to the point that all of the energy used to boil excess water in tea kettles in a single day could provide enough electricity to light every single street light in the whole of the UK for a whole night. That’s a pretty striking stat! Continue reading “Challenging environmental folklore”

Sleep is God: Go worship

Russell Foster is a neuroscientist and he does a lot of research into sleep. His engaging TED talk reiterates a lot of what we’ve probably heard our whole lives: that we aren’t getting enough sleep. But we are now starting to understand some of the science behind it. Russell encourages us to stop the cycle of limited sleep and caffeine stimulation in favour of listening to our bodies and honouring the light/dark cycle that our bodies observe to keep us being the best that we can be. Continue reading “Sleep is God: Go worship”

An inside view of politics in China

In the West, we’ve long been taught that the success of any modern nation is dependent on a deomcratic political system. Eric Li does an excellent job of challenging that perception by offering an insight into the Chinese political arena, a country which has risen far up the ranks to be one of the most prosperous nations on Earth. And all with a one-party system.

The very mention of communism scares the West (mostly America) to death, but any intelligent person can see that he has some good points. After all, in democracies, we go through a cycle of anticipation, excitement at the prospect of change, and ultimately, disappointment. The system is clearly broken, and Eric suggests that democracy may not be the only path forward. Continue reading “An inside view of politics in China”

Christianity, Islam, Judaism, faith, doubt and fanaticism

I happened upon a thought-provoking TED talk this morning, about an agnostic Jewish woman (Lesley Hazleton) who spent several years studying Muhammad and his revelation of the Quran. She discusses how he had doubt about what happened to him that night and it’s doubt that forms up the very fibre of our faith: a point that applies to all of us, regardless of what we believe (or don’t believe).

Despair is self-fulfilling. If we call something impossible, we act in such a way that we make it so.
-Lesley Hazleton

Continue reading “Christianity, Islam, Judaism, faith, doubt and fanaticism”

Ken Robinson discusses the current state of education

In this talk, Ken discusses the current state of education and how the culture of schools is failing the children that attend them, by trying to find common ground across 30 very different minds.

It is always a pleasure to listen to Ken Robinson speak. He’s one of my favourite orators and even though his delivery is very calm and controlled, it always stokes a fire inside of me. In this talk, he discusses the current state of education and how the culture of schools is failing the children that attend them. In particular, the emphasis on standardised testing and “No Child Left Behind” are ironically, leaving millions of children behind.

Insist on changing the current school culture and filling the gaps created by your child’s education: it’s critical to well-rounded children who enjoy learning who go on to be independent thinkers and creators. Continue reading “Ken Robinson discusses the current state of education”

Shaping your workspace and environment for productivity

Jason Fried discusses how the very places that were meant for productivity and work (offices) are in fact very detrimental to our ability to perform.

Jason Fried discusses how the very places that were meant for productivity and work (offices) are in fact very detrimental to our ability to perform. A lot of very good points about how to tweak your workspace (whether you work for a corporation or for yourself) to improve your productivity and ability to work. Continue reading “Shaping your workspace and environment for productivity”

The power of faking your body language

Amy Cuddy discusses how you really can “fake it until you make it”, becoming more extroverted simply by consciously adopting more high-power poses.

Amy Cuddy gives a talk that’s very encouraging to anyone who considers themselves an introvert. Just by adopting high-power poses, you can fake it until you internalise the attributes of the person you desire to be, and there will be a eureka moment, when you realise that you have become more extroverted and aren’t afraid to do things that you once were. Continue reading “The power of faking your body language”

The importance of doing something meaningful

Dan Ariely discusses how the value we perceive in the work we do is critical to our productivity and desire to continue to improve.

Dan Ariely gave an insightful talk into just how much what we do matters. In blind tests, he showed how much better received people’s efforts were when they were valued as opposed to when they were destroyed in front of them. Just goes to show how a little recognition can go an incredibly long way, and similarly how doing something of worth is so important. Continue reading “The importance of doing something meaningful”

When kids grow kale, kids eat kale

Ron Finely delivers his heartfelt passion for growing your own food & transforming communities in the process, by reducing obesity and other preventable diseases.

In a refreshingly raw and inspiring talk, Ron Finley tells use how he is trying to transform South Central (Los Angeles) into an area filled with urban gardens. His talk is filled with comedy, noting that they need to make gardening sexy, suggesting that kids can become “gangsters” who have shovels as their weapon of choice, and that if people want to discuss helping him with his project, they can forget about doing it in cushy chairs: they need to come down to the garden and help plant him some shit! Continue reading “When kids grow kale, kids eat kale”