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Food for Thought - TED

Food for Thought

TED

By Felix Dodds

I was sitting in Borders  book shop, or rather Border books shop coffee bar waiting for the Radio team to arrive. I was using the time to think about what this column and what would be my favourite green film.  I am not a great documentary watcher.  I am not sure if living and reading about the problems we are facing has turned me against watching a documentary. If I watch tv or films I guess I do prefer fiction.Or that was true until a couple of years ago when I discovered TED.  If you haven’t logged on to the TED web site (see www.TED.org) then do so after you have finished reading the latest issue of Outreach Issues. TED was born in 1984 out of the observation by Richard Saul Wurman of a powerful convergence between Technology, Entertainment and Design It started out as a small conference in California and has growth to a global community, many million strong, focused on exchanging and spreading ideas. 

The conference is where people meet to discuss topics as varied as: Sarah Jones as a one-woman global village, re-wiring the brain, to smash fear, learn anything. The annual conference now brings together the world's most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes). Some of the most interesting people talk about what they are doing everyone from Al Gore to. Bill Gates to, Frank Gehry,  Jane Goodall,  Al Gore,  Billy Graham,  Peter Gabriel,  Quincy Jones,  Bono and Hans Rosling.

I think everyone has their favourite mine include Al Gore talking about how the world media found out that he was now opening a restaurant with Tipper and they were serving .... or were they? Or  probably my all time favourite Hans Rosli doign amazing things with statistics.  Hans is a Norwegian development expert who explains development in a way that shows how far we have come in the last 100 years and what the challenges could be in the next 50 years. If you want to understand development then this is a must.

Most recently I have enjoyed David Gallo’s ‘Underwater astonishments’ where he shows jaw-dropping footage of amazing sea creatures, including a colour-shifting cuttlefish, a perfectly camouflaged octopus, and a Times Square's worth of neon light displays from fish who live in the blackest depths of the ocean. As he points out we have only explored something like 5% of the oceans and even so found the largest mountain on the planet and some of the richest biodiversity. Oh i forgot I was going to discuss my favourite green movie-- i guess if I had to choose the one I’ve watched over and over it would be the Pelican Brief. This is based on a wonderful Graham Grisham novel. Two Supreme Court judges killed for the sake of a pelican breading ground or oil. Possibly a reflection on the challenges we are and will increasingly face as the demands for decreasing recourses challenge. But what would your favourite green movie be?  
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