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!