Over the past week, we’ve noticed a lot of fascinating TED-related news items. Here, some highlights.
Jeff Bezos, the co-founder of Amazon (watch his TED Talk), made waves on Monday when it was announced that he will buy The Washington Post for $250 million. “The paper’s duty will remain to its readers and not to the private interests of its owners. We will continue to follow the truth wherever it leads,” he writes to the staff of the paper in an open letter. “Journalism plays a critical role in a free society, and The Washington Post — as the hometown paper of the capital city of the United States — is especially important.”
Yves Rossy, aka “The Jetman” (watch his talk), made his first flight in the US last week, zooming through the skies alongside a B-17 bomber during the Experimental Aircraft Association’s AirVenture show in Wisconsin. Good Morning America aired a clip of the daredevil in action.
Steven Johnson (watch one of his three talks) is making a new television show. How We Got to Now with Steven Johnson will air on PBS in fall 2014. As he writes, “Each hour-long episode takes one facet of modern life that we mostly take for granted — artificial cold, clean drinking water, the lenses in your spectacles — and tells the 500-year story of how that innovation came into being.”
A TED Talk published last week showed how the high tech of Formula 1 race cars is being used to save babies. Today, in The Guardian, read how the technology that helped find Osama bin Laden is now being used to prolong the shelf life of cakes.
TED Fellow Alex Odundo has started an Indiegogo campaign to create a makerspace in Kisumu, Kenya. He tells the TED Blog, “The makerspace [will] help innovators, engineers and designers who have good ideas to walk in and be offered the tools to do their work … and to test and produce products.”
Mathematician Steven Strogatz (watch his talk) is the Very Important Puzzler in the newest “Ask Me Another” radio quiz show on NPR — which also features our contributing editor, Ben Lillie, in his role as curator of the Story Collider.
During the 2009 G20 summit protests in London, a man named Ian Tomlinson was killed by the Metropolitan police. His death was at first claimed to be by natural causes — until The Guardian sourced and published amateur footage with evidence to the contrary. After a four-year battle led by his family, the police have finally acknowledged for the first time that an officer unlawfully killed Tomlinson. This is, once again, thanks to the work of citizen journalism advocate Paul Lewis. (Watch his talk—he specifically mentions this case.)
On PBS.org, Larry Kotlikoff gives an interesting analysis of “generational accounting” — the various ways that local governments in the US cook their books to hide the cost of future liabilities, like pensions. Bill Gates called out the problem in this TED Talk, which focused on how state governments pay their retirees and short their schools.
Here’s what happens when Sir Ken Robinson (watch his most recent TED Talk) and Disney/ABC Television Group President Anne Sweeney get together for a porch-side conversation about education, imagination and Obi-Wan Kenobi. Read this double interview via Fast Company.
Caitria and Morgan O’Neill, who together created the natural disaster management system Recovers.org (watch their talk), were honored as one of seven Champions of Change at the White House. Read about it on their blog.
Damon Lindelof, the writer of Lost and Prometheus (browse his playlist of five favorite TED Talks), speaks to Vulture.com about the race for bigger and better destruction moments in summer blockbuster movies. Is it a good thing?
While the US’ Discovery Channel was criticized for its Megalodon special earlier this week — a piece of speculative fiction marketed as fact — there is some accurate shark information on offer during Shark Week. TED speaker Greg Stone (watch his talk), who’s been called the Indiana Jones of the Ocean, will appear twice on August 8, once at 10pm Eastern, on “Alien Sharks of the Deep,” and then at 11pm EST, on “Shark After Dark.”