Shawnee Mission West's online student newspaper

Shawnee Mission West's online student newspaper

Shawnee Mission West's online student newspaper

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photo by Malcom Luna

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Spend Winter Break Watching TED


School is out! That’s a good thing! The start of winter break usually means more hours of sleep, extended hours on the couch and the freedom to do almost whatever I would like.

But rather than plopping myself down with a bag of Swedish Fish and laying in a vegetative state all day, I realized that it’s not exactly impossible to keep my brain slightly working and extremely interested in something.

That something: TED.

“What is TED?” asks curious reader. Well, TED is an organization devoted to spreading ideas. This is done through insanely cool conferences where super smart people get together and have amazing idea-sharing sessions.

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What’s interesting about these conferences is that they’re available to the public (for free!) on the wonderful world of the Internet. Across the globe, any interested somebody can get on and watch videos on topics from technology to philosophy and beyond.

I’ve compiled a little list of my own for your viewing pleasure. Here are some videos that stuck out to me, and if you don’t want to spend your couple of weeks this winter with Angry Birds and collective gallons of hot cocoa, I invite you to watch them, stimulate your own brain and enjoy.

1. Erin McKean redefines the dictionary

McKean talks about why the dictionary is due for change.

2. Ken Robinson says schools kill creativity

Robinson makes a case for nurturing creativity in school.

3. Jane Chen: A warm embrace that saves lives

Chen discusses the access to incubators for infants and how many countries are still without this valuable and needed product.

4. Dan Gilbert asks, Why are we happy?

Gilbert talks about happiness and how we come about it.

5. Alisa Miller shares the news about the news

How Americans see the world may be portrayed poorly by the media, Miller suggests.

All of these videos and the tons of others on kind of take my attention away for an hour (in a good way.) They challenge some interesting arguments and have me feeling wonder-stricken. Not to mention, they pull me away from the temptation of the laziness that winter break brings.

Photo: Flickr – Joshua Wanyama

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Spend Winter Break Watching TED