TED2009 just finished, so new TED videos will slowly trickle out over the course of the next year. So of course you're wondering which videos are the best, right? Right!
We'll start with Siftables, which are like toy blocks that can actually talk to one another. There are demos of basic math programs, interactive storytelling, and music-making. Interesting way to re-conceptualize data - being able to hold it in your hands (as opposed to viewing and editing on a screen) really changes how we think and interact with everything.
Woody Norris discusses his new device and it's real-world applications. His device does for sound what lasers have done for light, and the result is a "speaker" that can be pinpointed without emitting extraneous sound. You really have to see it (and hear the audience reaction) to believe it.
Tied with the video above for my personal favorite of this batch, Barry Schuler gives us a tutorial on genomics. If we can map and understand the entire genetic sequence of pinot-noir, we've already won the battle, right? Imagine if, instead of taking a mass-produced drug, what if each drug was tailor-made, on the spot, for your own exact personal genome? Amazing stuff.
Last but not least, we've got Bill Gross talking about his innovations in the solar energy field, and Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat Pray Love, on how we view "creative genius". Both are quite interesting.
Also, if you like basketball at all (and even if you don't), you HAVE TO read the NY Times Magazine article on Shane Battier. I'm only about halfway through it, but it delves into some interesting "moneyball" analysis for basketball.