Wednesday, September 28, 2011

TED

The internet is a vast and endless universe of information and activities. It is a black hole that can suck every last free minute of your day if you allow it. The DNA of the internet is the hyperlink, that highlighted, underlined phrase that takes you to yet another site. Every web page is riddled with these links. They are hard to ignore and so we click and down the into the rats nest we descend, never to emerge again.

There are many ways to be entertained, educated and informed on the internet. Certainly we all know about the most popular information sources such as Wikipedia, travel and navigation planning, banking and finance and, of course, the endless array of entertainment sites including all the social networks like Facebook and blogs like this one.

But the next time you have ten to fifteen minutes to spare, do yourself a favor. Skip posting that "like" or +1 on Aunt Sally's photo of her French poodle's new hair style, hold off on checking your stock portfolio's latest  performance and postpone viewing the next episode of season 3 of Entourage. Iinstead visit  TED.COM.

Of all the hundreds of noteworthy sites I have visited on the internet, none compare with TED. TED is a collection of high quality video presentations delivered by brilliant artists, authors, educators, researchers, scientist and other accomplished professionals on an astounding variety of topics. The talks are brief but always engaging, fascinating and frequently amazing. There is even a category called "jaw dropping."

If you are ever in the mood to fly to Saturn, delve into the mystery of the human brain, listen to a virtuoso or learn about the Ngram viewer, TED is the place to go. Unlike hyperlink syndrome that bounces you from one site to another, TED will keep you riveted to your screen for the entire length of every talk. Moreover, based on your choices, TED will suggest other talks you might want to watch. Be prepared, however, because you may never leave the site.

TED is free and regularly updated with new material . It is very well organized and a great alternative to television, video games and chat rooms. I highly recommend you and your whole family spend some time there.

Let me know what you think of the site and if there were any specific talks you particularly enjoyed.

Captain Joe

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