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More TED Moments

Posted by: Tedconfjune

Last week, we posted an entry called Sharing TED Moments, recollecting the most magical Monterey moments. The post drew some great anecdotes from TEDsters, including:

  • Diego Rodriguez: Having lunch with Burt Rutan. Seeing the look of surprise on his face when I told him that he was one of my inspirations when I was a teenager, one of the big reasons I studied mechanical engineering.
  • Bruno Giussani: Arriving at the Monterey theatre for the session on “Sex and War” and finding a marquee announcing: “Now showing Vertigo; next: The Terminator
  • Ben Saunders: Sirena Huang’s quiet moment of thought after Chris’ request for an encore had me on the edge of my seat, Majora Carter’s heartfelt passion put a lump in my throat, Rives’ final performance gave me goosebumps, and I was on the verge of giving a solo simulcast standing ovation to Sir Ken Robinson.
  • David Hornik: Despite years as a lawyer and VC, I’m still a musician at heart … And the music at TED this year did not disappoint … I particularly enjoyed the collaboration between Ethel and Jill Sobule (the patrol saint of musical storytelling) and only wish there had been more. [David: You'll be happy to know Ethel and Jill are now planning a more formal collaboration. Watch this space ...]

TED Curator Chris Anderson jumped in, adding a long list of his personal TED Moments, including: “The electrifying Rick Warren/Dan Dennett match up … Thomas Dolby’s astounding rendition of “his song” … Bursting into tears 15 seconds into Sirena’s first piece … Seeing three standing ovations for our TED Prize winners.”

And elsewhere on the web, Christopher Herot posted this classic:

At the Friday night party at the Monterey Aquarium I found myself sitting in front of a tank of giant fish discussing string theory with Meg Ryan, Brian Greene and Thomas Stat. As we got into the origin of the universe and whether there was a larger purpose to existence (…) not one but two people brought up what the Dalai Lama had told them about the topic in personal conversations they had had …

Any more TED moments to share?

Comments (2)

  • June Cohen commented on Mar 8 2006

    Tom: That was an amazing moment. I hope you don’t mind if I quote you to yourself, but I want to point to something you wrote on your blog:

    Many of us come to TED to see the big name speakers and get wowed by someone we’d never heard of before. That happened to me again this year when Amy Smith spoke. … I was taken back by wonderful presentation: her unassuming demeanor and passionate description of her research was a truly winning combination.”

    What you said is exactly true: People come to conferences for the big names, but it’s often the unfamiliar names that steal the show. The Amy Smiths, the Majora Carters, the Hans Roslings. So gratifying for us behind the scenes to see them delight …

    (Of course, the big names were pretty darn delightful too … But that’s a different story)

    Wil: Totally hilarious. But you left out so many other details, which you shared on your blog! You held back, but I won’t. Here’s a longer post from Wil on Einstein, including wonderful little descriptions, like:

    Einstein has two modes, which are ‘hungry” and “bitey,” and she’d just been fed. They ran through a bunch of her queue words, but she wouldn’t peep. It turns out that this isn’t a parrot who responds for the fun of it; if you want a performance, you better have seeds, and she better be hungry. Otherwise, no talky.

    The QuickTime of Einstein dancing is also pretty great.

  • William Shipley commented on Mar 8 2006

    Einstein stayed briefly in my hotel room on saturday, after her handlers had checked out of their hotel early. I spent a bunch of time talking to her about dogs, cats, working out, and how handsome I was.

    Whenever there’s a knock on the door Einstein says, “Who’s there?” and if you wander into the next room she’ll holler “Birdy birdy birdy?”