Have you met TED?

Bonnie Johnson's PostTED is a favourite of mine and is a huge source of inspiration to me regularly.  In case you have not yet met TED, let me introduce you:

TED is owned by The Sapling Foundation, a private nonprofit foundation.

The goal of the foundation is to foster the spread of great ideas.  It aims to provide a platform for the world’s smartest thinkers, greatest visionaries and most-inspiring teachers, so that millions of people can gain a better understanding of the biggest issues faced by the world, and a desire to help create a better future.  Core to this goal is a belief that there is no greater force for changing the world than a powerful idea. Consider:

  • An idea can be created out of nothing except an inspired imagination.
  • An idea weighs nothing.
  • It can be transferred across the world at the speed of light for virtually zero cost.
  • And yet an idea, when received by a prepared mind, can have extraordinary impact.
  • It can reshape that mind’s view of the world.
  • It can dramatically alter the behavior of the mind’s owner.
  • It can cause the mind to pass on the idea to others.

Al GoreJane GoodallBrian Greene

From left: Al Gore at TED2006; Jane Goodall at TED2003; Brian Greene at TED2005

TED is devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading.  It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds:  Technology, Entertainment, Design.  Since then its scope has become ever broader.  Along with the annual TED Conference in Long Beach, California, and the TEDGlobal conference in Oxford UK, TED includes the award-winning TEDTalks video site, the Open Translation Program, the new TEDx community program, this year’s TEDIndia Conference and the annual TED Prize.

I’ve never physically been to a conference but I go to TED.com often and I’m always inspired by what I find there.  On TED.com, they make the best talks and performances from TED and partners available to the world, for free. More than 450 TEDTalks are now available, with more added each week.  All of the talks feature closed captions in English, and many feature subtitles in various languages.  These videos are released under a Creative Commons license, so they can be freely shared and reposted.

TED mission: Spreading ideas. (Quoted directly from their website)

We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world.  So we’re building here a clearinghouse that offers free knowledge and inspiration from the world’s most inspired thinkers, and also a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other.  This site, launched April 2007, is an ever-evolving work in progress, and you’re an important part of it. Have an idea? We want to hear from you.

This would be where I insert a TEDTalks video but there are just so many too choose from that I couldn’t decide on only one.  So here is the link to the sites most favourite talks:  http://www.ted.com/talks/list

Here is a small list of just a few talks that I have enjoyed:

Chimamanda Adichie: The danger of a single story

Jill Bolte Taylor’s stroke of insight

Elizabeth Gilbert on nurturing creativity

William Kamkwamba: How I harnessed the wind

Eve Ensler: happiness in body and soul

Mary Roach: 10 things you didn’t know about orgasm

The talks are all usually around 18 minutes long each so before you start to explore them you may want to get comfortable; it’s easy to get watching these videos and forget everything else.

Bonnie

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I Gotta Feeling!

Bonnie Johnson's PostThis song by the Black Eyed Peas has been a big hit this past summer.  It’s special to me too because Tracy and I heard it for the first time during her stay with me here in Vernon in July.  The two of us would “seat dance” to it if we heard it on the radio while we were driving somewhere.  This would always embarrass her son but her daughter joined in enthusiastically.  Ahhh…passing along our goofy moves to the innocent while distressing an eleven year old boy was too much fun!

I have had the song stuck in my head all summer and that’s not a bad thing.  It feels like a great mantra really.

“I gotta feeling… that today’s going to be a good day,… that today’s going to be a good good day… Woo Hoo.”

What a great thing to sing to yourself!  It’s impossible to not want to move along to the music.  It’s too full of fun and freedom.  I was excited when I found this video of the Black Eyed Peas performing a special live version of I Gotta Feeling for Oprah while a flash mob of synchronized dancers groove on Michigan Avenue downtown Chicago, IL USA. The performance was at Oprah’s 24th Season Kickoff Party on September 8, 2009.

I’m sure that if everyone sang this song to themselves at the beginning of everyday (and perhaps a few times during) they could only have a good day.  Give it a try.  Sing the words and make it your new mantra.  And if anyone is interested in learning how to dance like the crowd in the clip, follow this link for a lesson.

http://www.oprah.com/article/oprahshow/20090908-tows-flash-mob-dance-how-to

This ones for you Trayc! Mazal tov!

Bonnie

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Be Something You Love And Understand

Bonnie Johnson's PostAbout four years ago I heard the song “Simple Man” by Shinedown and it really spoke to me.  I know that Lynard Skynard was first to do this song but I really liked the way that Shinedown sang it…and with so much soul.  I love the words and I told my son, James, who was a teenager at the time that I wanted him to listen carefully to the lyrics because those words were exactly what I wished for him.  It really is quite simple.  Be something you love and understand.  The rest will fall into place then.

Fast forward three years, James is home from school visiting and playing his guitar.  He has been practicing a special song that he wants me to hear.  I almost cried when he started singing “Simple Man” with as much soul as Shinedown.  Now, another year later he is home for a short visit again (he leaves for Tampa tomorrow : (  …after only one week…sigh) and just finished playing his repertoire of old and new favourites.  He finished his session with the one he knows means a great deal to me…Simple Man.  I wanted to share it with you but he refused to let me video him so I’ll have to sneak the camera on him another day I can only offer you this “simple” video of Shinedown singing with the words scrolling.  I think it’s fitting.  I have also added a picture of James playing just a few days ago.  If you squint your eyes you may be able to imagine him performing it.  Enjoy!

james guitar

Bonnie

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Dreams really do come true

Bonnie's PostI don’t remember how old I was the first time I heard the song “Over the rainbow” but  I was very young, maybe 4 or or 5 years old.   Like most people I heard it for the first time when I watched The Wizard of Oz.  According to Wikipedia it was written for the movie.  The music was written by Harold Arlen and lyrics by E.Y. Harburg and sung by Judy Garland.  I was instantly moved by the music and even more by the words.  Still to this day when I hear it sung I can get teary.  It moves me that much.   I recently came across the video below of Jason Castro on American Idol and I have been watching it over and over and over.  Why does this get to me so much I wonder.

I think it is my soul trying to remind me, once again, that dreams really do come true.  Troubles really can melt like lemon drops…and dreams that you dare to…why oh why can’t I?  You can! my higher self whispers to me during this song.  Dream big because dreams really do come true.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I do and while it plays listen for your soul whispering to you too.
Bonnie

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