Friday, November 17, 2017

TED Talk #10: What Adults Can Learn From Kids

When was the last time someone said you were childish?

Where you doing something silly?  Something fun?  Something imaginative?

Is it always a bad thing to be like a child? Think about it, what are some things that kids can actually teach adults?  To take risks, to bounce back, to be creative, get excited, to ask questions, to leap, to let it go.

Our Ted Talk speaker today is our youngest speaker yet.  Adora Svitak gave this talk when she was only 12-years-old.  Once you see it, I think you will all agree that we can learn a lot from children.

Image result for Adora Svitak: What adults can learn from kids

Child prodigy Adora Svitak says the world needs "childish" thinking: bold ideas, wild creativity and especially optimism. Kids' big dreams deserve high expectations, she says, starting with grownups' willingness to learn from children as much as to teach.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

TED Talk #9: "To This Day" ... for the bullied and beautiful

Today's TED talk comes from an amazing spoken word poet named Shane Koyczan.  His talk is a powerful poem about bullying and feeling different.  His words have affected so many and caused his talk to go viral.  Since we've been addressing the issue of bullying in English class, I felt that this poem deserved a spotlight.  Enjoy his performance, complete with backstory, animation, and even violin accompaniment.  I hope that we walk away today thinking about what we can do to make a difference and ensure that everyone feels important, beautiful, and an integral part of the 8 White Family.

Here is the link to check out his talk.  

Image result for "To This Day" ... for the bullied and beautiful | Shane Koyczan

Thursday, October 26, 2017

TED Talk #8: The secrets of nature's grossest creatures, channeled into robots

There has been a lot of talk of engineering on 8 White lately.  Recruitment of architects, builders, designers.  When scientists, engineers, and designers are looking for inspiration, where do they look? Sometimes inspiration is right in front of you.
So tiny.
So common.
It may go unnoticed.

Inspiration can be found in nature.
As simple as
the cockroach.

I know what you're thinking. Gross.  Just looking at that picture makes me shiver.  But cockroaches are one of the longest living creatures ever.  There must be a reason for their success. 

Maybe that success can be attributed to design.

Biologist Robert Full explains in his interesting (and slightly yucky) TED talk about the aspects of a cockroach's body that helps them adapt to their environment, stay safe, and live a long life grossing us out.  Robotic engineers have been studying the cockroach to see what they can learn and then use in their designs. 

How can robots learn to stabilize on rough terrain, walk upside down, do gymnastic maneuvers in air and run into walls without harming themselves? Robert Full takes a look at the incredible body of the cockroach to show what it can teach robotics engineers.

Check out his talk here.  

So, the next time you're building a structure, designing a game, or creating at all, look to nature and you may see inspiration crawling across the floor. Try not to squish it. 

Thursday, October 19, 2017

TED Talk #7: What does it take to master something?

Everyone wants the easy route.
The quickest way to get somewhere.  Why waste time?

They enter an address into the GPS just to find a way to get to a destination a little bit quicker.
No, don't go this way.  Go that way!  It will shave 3.457 minutes off your driving time.  3.457 minutes.... Phew, that was a close one.  What a waste it could have been. That's time you can never get back.

We are always rushing.
Fastest is better.

Well, that may work when we are driving around town, but that's not how it is in the real world.

Usually, when someone focuses on the fastest way, they ignore the best way. How many times have you sped through a project, just to get it done?  Sure, it's a little messy.  The details are not quite developed.  Some parts may be missing.  You may have finished quickly, but show no spirit of excellence.

This is a problem.

If we truly want to be excellent at something, we need time: time to create, time to think, time to practice, time to bounce ideas around, time to play, time to explore, time to master.

Image result for albert einstein quotes mastery

You want to be a master.... a master of something :)  I challenge you to find your passion, like our TED talk speaker today, whatever it may be.  Find that passion and then throw yourself into it.  Don't just take the easy way out.  Don't just throw things together and call it finished.  Take the time.  Use the energy.  Dive deep.  Have a spirit of excellence.  After, weeks, months, years, decades... you may be able to call yourself a master one day.

It took a long time for our speaker today to find his passion.  He failed at so many other things.  He was told he was dumb.  Told he wouldn't amount to anything.  Told he was a disappointment. Then, one day,  he found it.  What he was most passionate about: the yo-yo!

Today, check out  Japanese yo-yo world champion BLACK as he tells his inspiring story of finding his life's passion, and gives an awesome performance that will make you want to pull your yo-yo out of the closet.

Let his talk inspire you to find or jump into your own dreams!

You deserve a chance to be excellent.

You owe it to yourself to become a master.

Friday, October 13, 2017

TED Talk #6: The Art of Misdirection


We hear those words a lot. In terms of classes, lectures, activities, and goals.  Where we focus our attention is often where we will go.  As a dancer spins in a turn, he or she focuses on a stationary spot on the wall in front.  If they focus on their feet instead, they fall.  Likewise, our focus or concentration can also predict out paths in life.  If we think we are going to fail, we do.  If we think we are going to succeed and work hard to do so, we often do.

But what happens when something distracts us and that focus strays?  When our attention wavers to rest on something more interesting at the moment? When our eyes catch something shiny, something funny, something cooler?  When the prize set before us gets kind of fuzzy and loses the attraction? When we are distracted by something more glittery, pleasant, appealing?

Just like the dancer whose eyes fall to her feet, we fall.

Focus helps us stay on the right path to achieving our goal.

When we lose that focus or attention on our goals, misdirection comes and steals our wallets and watches.

Wait, what?

Today's TED Talk is all about the Art of Misdirection and a great illustration of what can happen when our focus is manipulated.  Don't let something flashy or shiny come and steal your dreams.  Don't let time pass without you realizing it.  Pay attention.  Stay focused.

Check out Appolo Robbins's TED Talk here.

   Hailed as the greatest pickpocket in the world, Apollo Robbins studies the quirks of human behavior as he steals your watch. In a hilarious demonstration, Robbins samples the buffet of the TEDGlobal 2013 audience, showing how the flaws in our perception make it possible to swipe a wallet and leave it on its owner’s shoulder while they remain clueless.