Thursday, 8 January 2015

Minimalism, Love Letters and Bananas

Today I bring to you some more TED & TEDx talks. I watched all five of these in one sitting, and some of them were mind-blowingly awesome.

Enjoy them!

A rich life with less stuff | The Minimalists | TEDxWhitefish
This talk, by minimalists Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, was, as you may have guessed, about minimalism. During the talk, Ryan explained how he came to find minimalism and the improvement it made in his life.
An entertaining talk with a good introduction to what minimalism is (and isn't). I found this talk via their blog,, along with a whole heap of articles which confirmed for me that I could never be a minimalist, but reminded me I need to clear out some stuff! 

Beardyman: The polyphonic me
Fascinating talk from Beardyman, a musical inventor. He demonstrates not only his extraordinary talent in imitating sounds and instruments, but also the machine he created that allows him to loop, layer, mix and manipulate sounds made solely using his voice to create some amazing performances. Some of it is pretty trippy but nonetheless awesome.

Kate Stone: DJ decks made of...paper
'How on earth can you make DJ decks with paper?' I hear you ask. I thought the same! But physicist Kate Stone has figured it out--and plenty more besides. In this video she talks of her journey in manipulating paper and technology into usable applications. Through use of electromagnetic inks she has created interactive paper products that include musical posters, a newspaper that can play audio, and of course, a DJ deck...all made of paper.
Really impressive talk; I would love to see what comes of this technology in the future.

Hannah Brencher: Love letters to strangers
A short talk (just under 5 minutes) in which Hannah Brencher talks of the way her mother used to write her letters and that, when dealing with depression, Hannah wrote love letters for strangers to find, which eventually turned into a global initiative.
Inspiring video that proves it's possible to make something positive out of a negative, even when you're feeling at your very worst. Three cheers for Hannah!

Jay Silver: Hack a banana, make a keyboard!
Alright, so this is the talk that I've been telling everyone about. Inventor Jay Silver demonstrates how ordinary objects can be 'hacked' in order to give them a new application--within the video you'll see pizza slices used as a slide show controller, ketchup used to make music, and water running from a tap as a theramin! Oh, not to mention the banana keyboard. Jay does most of this with the MaKey MaKey, a little electronic kit that can be used to give a new functionality to pretty much anything you can think of. This is seriously awesome and I want to play with a MaKey MaKey too.

As mentioned in previous TED talk posts, all this watching of inspiring and informative videos is towards a goal from The List:
062. Watch 100 TED/TEDx talks
This post brings me up to 15--still got some way to go!

1 comment:

  1. Wow, those are really interesting talks! The music/sound-related technology ones were especially amazing because they're so simple, but clearly took a lot of science to develop :D There's so many fascinating projects, ideas, and people in the world aren't there?