This is getting almost surreal. Yesterday at TED I got to shake hands with Will Smith, sit next to a paleooncologist — she studies cancer in mummies — watch a cake being 3D-printed with sugar “ink,” listen to Jimmy Wales describe his project to put Wikipedia within reach of 500 million Third-World children (Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia tells us, founded Wikipedia) . . . listen to NSA Deputy Director Rick Ledgett respond to Edward Snowden’s remarks from Tuesday . . . hear Ray Kurzweil (himself!) predict that within 20 years we’ll access the Cloud via nanobots in our brains (at which point “know-it-alls” actually will) . . . and Mellody Hobson‘s story of arriving early with then-Senate-candidate Harold Ford, Jr., for an editorial board lunch and being asked where their uniforms were (being black, it was assumed they were the cater-waiters, not the candidate and chair of the Board of Trustees of the Ariel Funds) . . . learn what would happen if a ball were pitched at 90% of the speed of light (it involved a mushroom cloud) . . . hear from a convicted murderer whose 19-year incarceration included 7 in solitary confinement but whose home base is now the MIT Media Lab . . . and from a man who four weeks earlier had completed a 105-day 1,795-mile round-trip walk from the edge of Antarctica to the South Pole . . . and lots more. (For example, I now know way more than I did about parasites, fireflies, and black holes.)
But yesterday’s highlight for me was going up to this troubadour — a musician so cool you might think we’d both just vanish when we shook hands, as matter met antimatter (look at him! now look at me! I went to Harvard Business School! he used to fake his death every Halloween!) — and my saying, “Hey, you were great!” and his saying, “Andrew Tobias’ Managing Your Money!”
Apparently, he had had it on his Apple ii when he was 12.
I just had to tell you.
Daniel: “My kids and I enjoyed the French towel dancers you linked us to; and I loved 2Cellos so much that I went out and bought both of their albums. So, now it’s my turn to contribute to the exchange. Herewith, I give you a TED talk that has truly been life changing for me. Well, okay, not changed in a big way but changed nonetheless.”