My notes from @TEDxHouston (June 2010)

I attended TEDxHouston last weekend and really enjoyed myself. I took a bunch of notes during some of the talks, so in reverse chronological order (last talk of the conference to the first talk of the conference), here they are: (and if you’re interested, here’s more information on each of the speakers from the TEDxHouston website)

David eagleman

Neuroscientist at Baylor College of Medicine
Rice undergrad

There are 10,000 galaxies
Each with 100,000,000,000 stars
—> Enormity of mysteries that surround us.

Beyond the end of the pier – vastness of our ignorance.

We are products of our culture, religious stories of one generation become fictional entertainment for next generation.

There are the religious fanatics and then there are the neo-atheists, not a whole lot in between.

Possibilian – tools of science and rule out certain parts of possibility space.

Mat Johnson
Novelist
University of Houston

Uncle (grandfather?) who ran to Chicago because of a fight he had with white person

I’m an African American of mixed descent
Black boy who looked white.

Incognegro – a graphic novel
Lynching – murder by mob violence
2400 black men, women, and children were killed from 1880-1930.

Dominic Walsh

Choreogrpaher / Dancer

Let the audience in on our creative process
Encourage audience to have creative confidence

Gracie Cavanar

Recipes for success

Childhood obesity
Change the way children eat.

Obesity is a stealth killer
1980 to 2006 — obesity rates doubled

Seed to plate nutrition education system. Weave garden lessons through all of the curriculum. Chefs are the heart of it.

Chefs in Schools.

60 of houston’s finest chefs in Houston.

Teach children the essence of how to cook. Teach over 3,000 children a month.

White House – helping us take our program coast to coast.

Message is powerful. Kids are trying vegetables.

Hope farms. 100 acres urban agricultural garden. Schools need to serve better lunches and mandate PE.

Fresh food access in all neighbordhoods.

Monica Pope

Monica Pope
Chef

Inspiring
20 years restaurant

Houseguest — inspiring
Most of my cooking career hasn’t been about cooking.

Grew up in sw Houston — stay out of my parents hair. City grandkids. Went to work with grandmother.

New campfire.

Mark Johnson, Hometta

Reboot value system for housing

Problems
– not built to last
– oversized
– stylistically wrong

Exterior decorative shutters — even of you could close them, they wouldn’t cover the window.

Stone but only on 25% of the house

People should be more involved in design.

People who build homes should be more concerned with impressing their children than their friends.

Houses should be designed so you can grow into them — when you get hold — master bedroom in ground floor.

The Slow Movement. Have a lot of success in getting people to think about what they consume, what them farm. — apply to housing.

McDonalds in Rome – largest – 450 seats. Slow food movement came from this.

Slow home movement — two guys in Canada. Veeeeery small.

Stephen Klineberg

Stephen Klineberg
Rice University

Oil boom — 80s
City world famous for fewest controls

Oil boom collapsed
100k jobs lost by end of 1983

Identical questions for nearly 30 years

Every business needs to figure out how to capitalize on Houston’s burgeoning diversity. Falling whites, largely Latino and black.

Chinese – wei chi – mix of “danger” and “opporunity” (word for crisis)

Dr. Rebecca Richards-Kortum & Dr. Maria Odom

Rice University

Real world engineering design challenges

Every year 9M children under age of 5 die. !!!!!!!!!

We’ve forgotten these children.

Haitian saying “you do not learn to swim in the library, you learn to swimmer in the river”

Backpack
Salad spinner – blood centerfuge

Incubator for newborns
Plywood and lightbulbs and simple electronics — field repair
Photo therapy system — $2k – 6k / unit

Cary Wolfe

Post humanism

Two sides to story
– humans transcending biology – frankenstein, kurzweil (transhumansim)

Problems of transhumanism
Extremists become more dnagerous

Familiar and old desire – transecend biology

Contracdiction –
1. Separates us from traditional human body functions
2. Guided by very human values

Biographical beings – other creatures on the planet

Animal rights

Equal rights for animals?

Dan Phillips

The phoenix connection

Sustainable home builders
70-80% recycled materials

Repetition creates patterns – desire for patterns are what keep us wasting stuff. Kinda subvert the dominant paradigm.

Appolonian mindset creates tremendous waste (vs dionsyien)

Jean Paul Sartre – the divided self, behave differnetly in private vs around others.

Same group think affects building standards. Self perpetuating.

Change housing from a commodity to something that bubbles up from inside.

Brene brown

/ feelings that are most unomfortable to us are the most important
Lean into the discomfort — what they say in social work.
Shame = fear of disconnection
Vulnerability
People who felt love and belonging and people didn’t. One diff: former felt worthy of love and belonging.
“wholehearted”
Embraced vulnerability — willingness to say I love you first.
Breakdown aka spiritual awakening (ha!)
We numb vulnerablity (obesity, drugs, medicated)
We make the uncertain, certain
We perfect — try to perfect our children