On this day, and every day, use your brain for good…not tomfoolery

Philip and I have been enjoying watching a series of T.E.D. Talks on Netflix.

For those of you who don’t know about T.E.D., click here. You’ll learn all about the initiative to bring the latest innovations of Technology, Education, and Design (hence, T.E.D.) into public awareness and discourse.

Before you get the wrong idea, this is NOT Philip and me AND this is NOT the Ted to which I am referring!

Before you get the wrong idea, this is NOT Philip and me AND this is NOT the Ted to which I am referring!

This nonprofit group invites the greatest minds from around the world together for two conferences a year. They video the talks, then share them with us. I’m not smart enough to know how it all works. If I were, maybe I would be invited to one of these TED conferences.

If this sounds too erudite or stuffy, it’s not. Most of these talks are fascinating and even funny. And they only last about 20 minutes each, so the real science geeks don’t have a chance to flood my brain cells with too much technical information. Just enough to get and keep me thinking.

Netflix, in their infinite goodness, has compiled a series of these talks thematically. We’re in the middle of watching the one called “Head Games.” These TED presenters explain elements within the complex world of behavior, from psychological disorders to self-awareness and the everyday smile.

Why am I posting this on Mother’s Day? Am I playing a “Head Game” with you? No! I don’t roll that way and you know it!

This is the only Head Game I play. I call it "talking to myself so no one else can hear what I'm saying so they don't think I'm crazy." I'm not sure it works.

This is the only Head Game I play. I call it “talking to myself so no one else can hear what I’m saying so they don’t think I’m crazy.” I’m not sure it’s working. I hear myself, but people look at me like I’m twitbag, which I think is the name of the devise on my head.

We watched a talk about our brains’ propensity to seek out patterns in experience and make assumptions based on those experiences, and often those assumptions are incorrect. Basically he explaining why people believe weird things. Things like urban legends or why buying your mother/grandmother/wife something and treating her special one day a year is good enough to make her feel special the rest of the 364 days. Outlandish! (Michael Shermer, the scientist doing the talk, didn’t use this example, I am).

So I’m telling you about this because:

1. I care about keeping you informed.

2. I care about keeping you entertained.

3. He played a hilarious video at the end of his presentation to illustrate the suggestability of the human brain.

4. I have a compelling need to share this video with you because laughter is one of the best gifts you can give anyone on any day.

If you don’t have Netflix (these talks are instant streamed, so you don’t need to buy the upgrade for DVDs), the TED web site has tons of videos and audios of their talks. You can search by topic. It really is a wonderful resource if you are the curious type.

Now here is the video. Warning: do not drink or eat anything while watching this.


Hope you enjoyed this!

And to all of you who are mothers and have mothers,

Happy Mother’s Day!

~ by Lorna's Voice on May 12, 2013.

19 Responses to “On this day, and every day, use your brain for good…not tomfoolery”

  1. Was this this comment you thought vanished? Well, it didn’t! 🙂

  2. Okay, thanks! Will do. And I’ve had long comments vanish on me, too. Very aggravating!

  3. I saw “Happy” and it was great–thanks!

  4. Always happy to bring laughter to your world! 🙂

  5. Once a professor, always a professor! 🙂

  6. Firstly I’m thrilled that the TED you are talking about is not that film. I saw it on a recommendation and hated almost every frame. The TED you refer to sounds fascinating. I love the information and new insights you are feeding us with these days Lorna. Isn’t it wonderful to benefit from another’s reflections via Blogging as I do yours. Keep it coming

  7. Thanks for the laugh. 🙂

  8. I just finished seeing tis a few days ago on Netflix. It seems to be something people are trying to understand. Good review and glad you posted the video.
    If you want to see another good one on Netflix – “Happy” is real good. It’s about being happy. DUH …. I guess you had figured that one out. LOLOL

  9. My long comment disappeared. :0( Loved the video. Check out a series from The Teaching Company on The Brain and the Spiritual Mind–presented by a neurologist/researcher. Ties in with the info you gave on HSP, too. Fascinating stuff.

  10. That video was so fun. Yuk. Thanks for the info on the TED talks. I just finished a series from The Teaching Company on the Brain and the Spiritual Mind. You may enjoy. Presented by a neurologist/research scientist. It ties in a lot with the info you presented on

  11. Loved this! Love TED. Have you seen Jill Bolte Taylor’s talk? So many I could ask the same of. Another thing we could sit and talk about for hours. No surprise. 🙂

  12. Such a great resource. I’m so glad I discovered these!

  13. Yeah, me too–and I’ve watched it several times! 🙂 Happy Mother’s Day, Diana! 🙂

  14. Thanks for sharing! I laughed so hard I cried.

  15. I love TED talks, and listen to a public radio show called the TED radio hour, where they go a bit more in depth with those who gave talks.

  16. Wasn’t that a hoot? These TED talks were an amazing find. 🙂

  17. Oh yes! These apes were enjoying the experience! 😉

  18. This shows that the basic emotions transend across species. Did you see the lip action?

  19. I noticed that one gal really went apesh-t

Silence can be just what the doctor ordered. You know I'm a doctor, right?

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