Ted Talks: Jill Bolte Taylor’s stroke of insight

I have no idea who recommended this video on their blog this morning but thank you for doing so. Years ago neuroscientist Jill Bolte Taylor had a massive stroke and experienced her brain shutting down. Usually when I think of strokes, I think of all the people I know who didn’t recover fully from one. It took Taylor eight years to fully recover and it’s a pretty inspiring story about how we see ourselves and where we fit in this vast universe.

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Jill Bolte Taylor’s stroke of insight, posted with vodpod

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The Big Think: Chuck Close, inspiration and obstacles

I found this video in my email box earlier today and I thought to share this with you. I love Chuck Close’s artwork and watching this video makes me feel a little better about the crazy hectic life I’m living right now.

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Big Think: Isabel Allende and The Dying Art of Letter Writing

Yesterday I mailed off a letter to my younger brother. Even though he lives in the same state and we could talk to each other every day on the phone, we still exchange letters. Sometimes we write to each other as often as every day and other times, we might ink out a letter a few times a month. In our letters we talk about our lives, family, literature and our thoughts on what’s going on in the world. I look forward to his letters and I know he looks forward to mine, especially since they’re usually four pages long or more. It made me think about writer Isabel Allende’s interview with the Big Think and what she thinks is the dying art of letter writing.

When you write someone a letter, there is so much to think about: what kind of paper to use, pen or pencil, what kind of stamp, and of course what to say. I’m a stationary kind of girl – the fancier the better. So I wanted to know your thoughts. Do you still write letters? Email is easier but there’s nothing like receiving a handwritten (or typed) letter in the mail addressed to you.

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Big Think: Yann Martel and Reading

Yesterday while I was online (really procrastinating), I browse through one of my newest favorite websites, Big Think. Big Think is an online forum that features videos by experts in different disciplines who are asked a question and discuss it. I’ve watched a few of the site’s videos and I’m finding them pretty interesting.

One of the many books I’m currently reading right now is Yann Martel’s Life of Pi. Many of you stated in the previous post of your love/hate (or just hate/hate) relationship with the book. I’m a few chapters in and so far, I’m really enjoying it.

Martel is also the person behind the site What is Stephen Harper Reading. For the past few years, Martel has sent Canadian prime minister, Stephen Harper, a book every two weeks that Martel feels Harper should read. On his website readers can find out what books Martel has sent so far and also read the book’s accompanying letter. The author has sent books like Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye to Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are.

You’re probably wondering why I’m telling you about the Big Think and Yann Martel. Martel is one of the experts on Big Think. I’m featuring a video about what Martel has to say about sending Harper books and receiving a handwritten letter from our president. He also talks about why reading is so important in helping people step out of their comfort zones and know what it feels like to be someone from a totally different background.

My questions for you: Do you agree with Martel on leaders being readers? What was the last book you read that surprised you and took you out of your comfort zone?

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