Thursday, November 13, 2014

TED Talks homework, from Mike Lohre

Here is a link to the TED presentation we watched in class:

Here is a link to the list of TED talks so you can find one that you are interested in to watch/read this weekend.

Here's the prompt from your assignmetns for Monday:

Watch and actively listen to a Ted Talk presentation of your choice.  See links above.  In the Comments section, write a response:
First, summarize the main ideas and purpose in this talk so we know what it was about. 
Then analyze: how does the speaker use PowerPoint or other media?  What does this speaker do well to convince you?  What might have been better?


  1. I watched the Ted Talk by Fabien Cousteau, What I Learned From Spending 31 Days Underwater. It starts out by him telling us about him as a child. How he would rather be outside, exploring and doing other things then sitting in class looking at a black board. His teachers thought that there was something wrong with him, but nothing was. He was just full of curiosity. His ultimate dream is to explore the oceans of Mars, but that's obviously not possible right now. He ended up spending his time underwater in the only underwater research place left, nine miles off shore, and sixty five feet down in the Red Sea, called Aquarius. He wanted to wonder, explore, and figure more out about this oceanic frontier. He was doing this for the human-ocean connection. Fabien and the others he was with did over three years of science in thirty one days. Some things that he studied were things like climate change and how it will affect us, predator prey and their behavior, and what animals do when we cannot see or when we are not watching. He believes that nothing is impossible, and we need to dream to create and be adventurous.

    The speaker used media such as videos to help people understand what he was doing. For example, when he was talking about the devices and technology that he used, he showed videos of the technology and them actually using it underwater. What I found that was really awesome was how he showed us the little camera that they used to slow down motions of what they were recording. The speaker actually showed us the camera and then showed us things that they found underwater, like a fish throwing up sand. It really helps you engage in what he experienced. The speaker did really well in convincing me that all things are possible. He spent all this time underwater in the only underwater research place in the ocean, and brought back all this information and cool things back to show and tell people. He made it seem so easy and cool. Though, he could have done a little better in telling us more about Aquarius, and what they went there specifically for. It would help the audience understand even more.

  2. Link:

    David Chalmers is a philosopher at the Australian National University and New York University. He works in philosophy of mind and in related areas of philosophy and cognitive science. While he's especially known for his theories on consciousness, he's also interested (and has extensively published) in all sorts of other issues in the foundations of cognitive science, the philosophy of language, metaphysics and epistemology. David Chalmers explains in his presentation how we have not yet objectively concluded what consciousness is. He stresses how creating crazy ideas to study consciousness is the first step to figuring it out. He gives us two ideas he has thought of, 1 being consciousness is fundamental and 2 consciousness is universal. This presentation defines consciousness and how we can correlate it with behavioral actions. Chalmers inspires us to take deeper thoughts into consciousness and how we can look at it objectively rather than subjectively.

    David didn't use any power points or pictures. He was shown on the big projectors for the audience to witness since it was a big auditorium. I believe this was the best route to take. His subject is a very complex one and I believe if he used any other visual forms it would have become distracting from the topic itself.
    He speaks very well, he stood in place with steady movement. I think that when you know your subject well then it becomes clear for an audience to understand and that's what he did to convey his message; knowing his facts. I think since he didn't move around much it allowed people to really focus on what he was saying rather than what he was doing. I believe Chalmer did a wonderful job, I wish his presentation was longer because I was fascinated with the topic but with that aside it was exceptional.

  3. Link:

    I listened to the TED talks by Suzanne Talhoulc. What I learned from her is that language is gift that should not be squandered and brushed off to the side as if it never existed. As that truly marks the end of a society when the language is no longer been spoken or taught. This is the problem that is particularly being faced with the Arabic language. Nowadays people in the U.S cringe when they hear someone speaking Arabic as the very sound of it resonates along the same manner of speak that is associated with the terrorists who attacked the Twin Towers.

    Suzanne did not use a power point outside of the big projector screen that stood silently only showing the TED talks logo behind her. I found it interesting that she spoke to the audience not only in fluent Arabic but also used hand gestures that to me brought more emphasis on her level of passion as well as the points that she was making as if she was speaking directly to her best friend rather than a room full of strangers. During the presentation she was trying to make the point that the Arabic language may not be the one of oldest languages out there but there is a level of basic common factors that can be reached if someone was willing to take the time to find out. Like the number system that is used across the world were a 2 is a 2 regardless of how it is spoken or written.

    I think without the sub titles on the presentation. while I may have been completely lost as to what she was saying I believe that I would have been able to hear the unbridled amount of strength and emotion coming from her voice that she was trying convey about her point that not matter who you are, where you live, and what you speak that everyone can reach a common understanding of one another and become unified in what we already know and grow from what we learn from each other.

    However, there would have been a few things to make the presentation better for me. One is that I wish it was longer in length. Two, she should have included a small introduction of who she was for those who had never heard of her. Three, at some point in the presentation she brought up the fact that Arabic was considered the "mother language." I would have liked more details on the who,what,when,why and where. I will stop there, but overall I enjoyed her presentation, I found it a delight to watch..


    I did my active reading and research on a Mr. Mark Abrahams. This is a man who thinks outside of the box. A little while back he decided to give out a prize known as the Ig Noble Prize. This prize is based on one thing and one thing only, something that makes people laugh but right after they are finished laughing, think. Mark wanted ideas that after people heard about them, would then go on throughout the next week and tell their friends because it was so crazy. He first gets in touch with the person quietly and sees then if they would like to accept this award or decline it. Luckily most people accept. They then receive little to no compensation for this award and then pay their own way to Harvard University where the ceremony is held. The cool thing is that actual Noble Prize winners hand them the award. Overall this clip was interesting and i enjoyed learning about the ideas that people have.

    This speaker uses some sort of PowerPoint when presenting. He occasionally looks at it to head into his next topic of discussion. Mark uses impressive vocabulary and since he created this prize, he knows first hand almost all about it. Only thing that could have possibly mad it better is using more examples of prize winners. Other than that it was fascinating to see what some people have stored in their brains idea wise.

  5. I watched the video about an ultra low cost college degree by Shai Reshef. Shai talks about a new way that people can get a higher education. Many people chase and dream about being able to get a higher education. These people want it but there are several obstacles stopping them. The top three obstacles stopping people from receiving a higher education is the financial aspect of a higher education, culture and not enough seats or space for them. College or any form of higher education is very costly, and sometimes the cost discourages people from achieving their goal for education. In may areas, it is frowned upon that woman receive any form of higher education even though they want it. Also, some people that can go and get a higher education, the college does not have another seats. The space is full and they are turned away. Shai and others have came up with a way that people are able to receive education. It is an online program call UofPeople. The program is affordable to the people. Tutition is free and they just have the students pay 100 for each exam. Also the learning is peer to peer learning. The students work with each other and also grade each others work so that they can grow and learn. The only thing needed to attend this program is a high school diploma, speak english an shave access to the internet.

    Shai gives his presentation very well in my opinion. He starts out and talks about 3 students and their situation. He shows only pictures on his screen. He relates the pictures to the topic he is talking about. I thought the Sahi was very organized in his presentation and it was easy to follow. He engaged in his audience rather than just reading word for word on something. Overall, i thought the presentation was very interesting.

  6. I watched the TedTalk video by Jeff lliff. This video was focused on a new reason to get a good night sleep. People need sleep more than we had thought, as it is the gateway to a clearer mind. We have heard this before, sleeping clears our minds, but it does more than we had originally thought. The way our body works is that CSF clears around the veins in our minds which is actually clearing away waste that could potentially harm our brains and bodies. So receiving sleep is actually more important than anyone had thought. The way our bodies work is that while the rest of the body is sleeping and is still, our brains are still working, which is why they are getting "cleaned" and cleared. It is very healthy to be sleeping a good amount of hours.

    I thought the speaker did a very good job with their presenting, although they did not use any PowerPoint or media. Jeff really was just speaking very clearly and was referring to an example of a man named Galen. The way he presented himself on stage had me believing I could trust his information and how he presents his facts. I did find this presentation very interesting, he could have used a type of media though.

  7. I watched the Ted Talk of Why thinking your ugly is bad for you by Meaghan Ramsey. The main purpose in this talk was how women, especially teenage girls look at themselves today because of how society perceives of what a girl should look like. Not only is it seen in women, but men too with what a perfect body should look like. This has caused many teenagers to not do certain things because of how they are ashamed of how they look. Many people suffer from eating disorders because “Thigh gaps are cool.” People are also making videos of themselves on the internet, which i guess is a very popular thing to do asking viewers if they are “ugly or not.” People leave harsh comments on some causing the teenager to be more in pain after reaching out in hope of compliments. Self image is a big thing in todays society.

    The speaker used the power point, along with other media such as youtube clips. The youtube clip helps viewers actually see the realness into the problem about how girls are out there thriving for compliments to feel better about themselves. The powerpoint is not only informational, but relatable. She speaks from personal experiences which makes the talk more interesting. The speaker convinces you this is a serious problem from pulling up over 20 different images of what someone is “suppose to look like to be pretty.” You not only see these on the powerpoint, but in a daily life I know I see them on my twitter feed. This speaker did a very good job about talking and relating with how this is a serious problem in todays society with teenagers.

  8. For this assignment, I decided to watch the TED talks given by Dutch pianist Daria van den Bercken. In her speech, she focused heavily on the role that music can play for human beings like us within our lives. To start off the presentation, she delightfully gives some background information about how she came to love playing music. She tells of a time when she was laying on her couch with the flu, for example. She explains that while browsing the internet on the couch she found sheet music for the piano for a song composed by pianist George Frideric Handel. She says that what she felt, after playing his song, was pure bliss. She says, "It was in that moment that I came to fall in love with music, and I wanted to share my love for it with as many people as possible." She then plays for the audience a tune that presents equal parts in which the music is very melancholy, and parts in which the music is uplifting and excitingly energetic. She explains that melancholy, and excitement are both vital human expressions. This is a very significant point made in her speech. All in all, she believes that we as humans can still be captivated by music and the wonder that is given off by it. She tells her audience that this reason alone is why she plays in so many concert halls, on the streets, online, and up in the air for all to see. Daria emphasizes her want for others to feel the state of wonder that music wraps around her herself. This talk is revolved around her hopes that we as people will start to truly listen to the music, and to listen without prejudice.

    This speech, in my mind, was flawless because not only did Daria use media to back up her thesis, but she also demonstrated with perfection her piano playing abilities and talents. She shared by example how music can have two contrasting elements within the same tune. She uses this as a way to reflect on the fact that humans and music are, on the whole, quite similar emotionally. She also uses media--in the form of a video-- to entice her audience while viewing her travels, and what reactions she has gotten as a result of her "on-the-go concerts" if you will. She did a very exceptional job at convincing me of her case when she chose to speak to the audience about her musical experiment when playing for 7 & 11 year-old children. She said that the 7 year old kids were very ecstatic to hear her play, and they were not hesitant at all to listen. She then spoke of the 11 year old kids. She says that when compared to the other group of kids, these kids were very lax about her playing, and they acted as if they didn't feel any fascination or love for the music at all (this was great evidence to support her claim). I wouldn't have changed anything about the way she drove her speech, or how she went about constructing it!

  9. Why Thinking Your Ugly is Bad for You by Meaghan Ramsey

    This Ted presentation was directed mainly to the young parents of today. This presentation served to educate them on how the teenagers of today are allowing their inner-critic's to hold them back from being their true identity because of their looks. This video mentions that we live in an image obsessed culture and social media is a big factor that contributes to these harsh inner-critics. These teens use these size zero models and fitness pages as ways to compare themselves to the so-thought ideal image. This presentation exposes three key factors in parenting our upcoming children to be the best versions of themselves without letting the way that they think they look hold them back: 1. Educate for body confidence through discussions. 2. Be better role models- judge people on what they do not what they look like. 3. Work together. Overall this presentation covers the importance of loving ourselves and not allowing our inner-critics to stop us from showing others our true identities.

    This speaker does not use a powerpoint, instead she used a few images in places that went along with what she was talking about at that specific time. This speaker does a good job with creating emotion through the way she speaks with so much passion throughout the presentation. The only thing that might have made it better is if she moved around a little more rather than standing in the same exact spot the whole time. Moving around I think makes a presentation seem more personal and easier on the eye, keeping an audience more alive.

  10. I watched the Ted Talk by Jeff Illiff. The Ted Talk (also called Ted Med) gave insight into sleep, and described why it is important. It first starts off by him giving a quote from a medical researcher from over 2,000 years ago that stated that while we're asleep our brains moisten and refresh themselves, and he goes further into detail to explain that this is true. Iliff states that sleep is a design solution to some of the brains basic needs, he tells us that our cerebral spinal fluid helps cleans the waste in the brain while we are resting, asleep, or when we aren't doing strenuous activities. He said that this process only happens during sleep, and the CSF rushes through the brain. They've discovered that when the brain is awake it puts off removing waste, and when it's asleep it shifts into a cleaning mode. Illiff shows us how waste accumulates throughout the day, and how the waste that is in our brain is called amyloid-beta. Amyloid-beta is what builds up and needs to be cleared from the brain. The studies showed that if brain doesn't clear amyloid-beta it can develop diseases like Alzheimer's. He said that sleep is important as it refreshes and clears the mind, and that the brain never sleeps. It's always cleaning and maintaining itself. Illiff presentation was really interesting and he is a very intelligent person and was fun to watch.

    The type of media that he used was videos that he kept showing to let people see how the process of brain cleaning was conducted. These videos showed blood vessels and how the CSF would rush through and clean the brain while we were sleeping. and the difference between sleep vs awake brain. He also had pictures of the brain in the background for people to look at and see the different areas that he was talking about. It was really interesting to see how the brain works.

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  12. I watched the Ted Talk by Jorge Soto. The Talk was about early detection of cancer. Jorge started the talk by telling us about his aunt who had been playing tennis for 30 years, and after 6 months of a contentious pain, the doctors were finally able to detect that she had lung cancer. Jorge and a team of other microbiologists, and technicians have created a device which looks at small molecules in the blood. Jorge gives examples of how RNA and microRNA work together in deciding which cancer will be present. His machine takes pictures of the microRNA and shows them in real time. This machine would be cheaper, easier and more accessible. In the Talk, Jorge says " We have 21st medication and treatment, but only 20th century detection". Since now two cancers are the same, Jorge believes that this machine would be able to detect the cancer virus in the blood. So far the machine is only able to detect pancreas, lung, breast and hepatic cancers. In the future the machine would be able to detect all kinds of cancers, and it would be cheaper so everyone can get screened.

    There were a few slides from PowerPoint that were used in Jorge's presentation. The PowerPoint were used only to demonstrate how the microRNA worked. It was used more to help the audience understand what the purpose of the machine was. He also used a few pictures of his aunt. It helped captivate the audience because it showed that he is not in this business for the money, but rather the well being of his aunt.

  13. I watched "What Your Doctor Won't Disclose" by Leana Wen. Leana Wen is a physician who decided to take a different stance when it came to the way she wanted to practice medicine. She had a strong belief that there is a strong disconnection between "what the doctors do, and what the patient needs". She also believed that a lot of doctors are not open with their patients in disclosing information that is in relation to patient health. Being a doctor is about helping people, in order to help people the doctor must first be open and honest to truly benefit the patient and not themselves. The purpose of this was to caution patients and inform them in what kind of questions they should be asking their doctor to receive a proper diagnosis and reassure themselves that they have the right doctor. The other purpose was to encourage physicians to do the right thing, the truly be a selfless doctor who is all about the patient, because that is what the point of being a doctor is.

    Leana used power points and quotations as her sources of evidence. She provided many useful comments from doctors and patients to further her beliefs about doctor patient relationships. She made sure that she used her powerpoint effectively and then elaborating on her evidence. The thing she could have done better was to maybe include a little more evidence as to why some doctors do not support this way of practicing medicine.

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  15. I watched the video lean Wen she was talking about her childhood. she used have asthma. her doctor was nice doctor. her parent moved in America. they were migrate from china. they did not know the language and her parents were doing unskilled jobs. she said," one day my mom came home and she was complaining, her body. she said my mom never complain any kind sickness." the doctor told her mom she has cancer disease all her body. she said since that day i decided to became doctor. she studied medicine school to help people. she said becoming doctor you have to be honest and tell the patient the true.

    Leana used power point to use some evident doctors use. she took the important story. but most of her power point were talking and explaining her past. she did very good in her public power point.

  16. I watched the video about Fabien Cousteau and how spent 31 days under the sea, breaking his grandfathers world record of 30 days. Cousteau lived for 31 days aboard the Aquarius, an underwater research laboratory nine miles off the coast of Florida. During his talk, he discussed what he researched, what he found, and the technology he used, as well as his dreams of the future. Cousteau stood on stage and presented pictures to audience of different types of fish and the methods they used to study the underwater habitats.
    The presentation was well done as Fabien talked the entire time. Power point wasn't used, but screens were displayed behind him showing the images from his adventure. This helped the audience understand what he was talking about. The way he spoke, as described by a viewer, was charming and was anything but boring.
    Although he probably had a limited amount of time to speak, I wish he could have gone more in depth with his adventure, seeing that it was at 10 minute presentation covering a 31 day time period.


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