style files

Posted: November 10, 2010 in more articles

#106338 – Spaghetti al Melone Recipe from Giuliano Hazan

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Spaghetti al Melone {Giuliano Hazan’s Recipe from his Wonderful Book, Thirty Minute Pasta} An unexpected but Delicious Cantaloupe Sauce which will keep your guests guessing!

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9:43 AM (26 minutes ago)

#106337 – Chicken Tortilla Soup

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My Chicken Tortilla Soup with squash, potatoes, and creamy avocado can cure any cold!

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9:43 AM (26 minutes ago)

#106336 – Carbonnade Belgian Stew with Beer Braised Beef

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Carbonnade–classic Belgian stew with beer-braised beef, mustard and sweet onions

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9:43 AM (26 minutes ago)

#106335 – Steak Salad in Lettuce Leaf

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Recipe for Steak Salad in a Lettuce Leaf with Fresh Herbs inspired by a still life painting

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9:43 AM (26 minutes ago)

#106334 – Butternut Apple Soup

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Make the most of fall’s bounty with this butternut squash and apple soup

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9:12 AM (58 minutes ago)

#106333 – Celery Root Potato Apple Mash

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Celery Root, Potato & Apple Mash–a perfect partner for autumn entrees!

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9:12 AM (58 minutes ago)

#106332 – Taco Soup

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Taco Soup – a family favorite that’s perfect for chilly nights.

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9:12 AM (58 minutes ago)

#106331 – Pasta Bolognese

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Which Pro-golfer feeds this awesome pasta bolognese recipe to her family?

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9:12 AM (58 minutes ago)

#106330 – Herb Crusted Pork Roast

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Herb Crusted Pork Roast: Minimal effort with maximum flavor, perfect for company!

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9:12 AM (58 minutes ago)

#106329 – Hasselback Potatoes in Garlic Butter

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Hasselback Potatoes in Garlic Butter.

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9:01 AM (1 hour ago)

Graham Hill and Brooke Betts Farrell get rid of stuff

from PopTech Blog by 53

At the PopTech conference, we had the opportunity to hear from two thoughtful speakers on their evolving relationship to stuff and the projects they’re working on to reduce the consumption of more stuff. Have a look at their PopTech talks to learn more about what they’re up to.

 

Treehugger founder Graham Hill announced a new project, Life Edited, a crowd-sourced challenge in which he’s seeking help designing his new pint-sized, 420 square foot, ultra-low-impact apartment in NYC. With $70,000 in prizes, Life Edited is trying to show that it’s possible “to save money, radically reduce environmental impact, and have a freer, less complicated life” by living in a smaller space.

Ideas can be submitted for the apartment’s very specific design requirementsthrough January 10. Voting and feedback, which are an integral part of this process, will be accepted through January 17. Winners will be announced shortly thereafter.

 

From living space to office space, Brook Betts Farrell wants us to rethink the value of garbage produced by corporations that’s not getting recycled. WithRecycleMatch, the eBay of waste, she’s working to match companies that are tossing tons of trash with companies that’ll buy those materials and put them to good use. RecycleMatch repurposes previously landfill-destined goods (glass windows into counter tops, food waste into energy) and creates a more efficient eco-system, all while helping companies find new ways to generate income.

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8:51 AM (1 hour ago)

#106328 – Steak au Poivre with Red Wine Sauce

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Peppercorns on the vine used to make the Steak au Poivre with Red Wine Sauce recipe from Seared to Perfection.

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8:51 AM (1 hour ago)

#106327 – Roasted Potato Beech Mushroom Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

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Roasted potato and beech mushroom salad with a lemon vinaigrette

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8:51 AM (1 hour ago)

#106326 – Spicy Sweet Potato Soup

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Spicy Sweet Potato Soup. Dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes!

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8:51 AM (1 hour ago)

#106324 – Roasted Poblano and Chorizo Black Beans in Jars

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Roasted Poblano and Chorizo Black Beans

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8:51 AM (1 hour ago)

#106323 – Pumpkin Beef Chili

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Pumpkin Beef Chili

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8:51 AM (1 hour ago)

#106322 – Sambar Lentil Vegetable Stew

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Sambar a lentil and vegetable stew

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8:51 AM (1 hour ago)

#106321 – Honey Saffron Rice

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Honey Saffron Rice is the saffron colored sweet recipe with nutritious honey in it.

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7:42 AM (2 hours ago)

America’s native prisoners of war: Aaron Huey on TED.com

from TED Blog by Matthew Trost

Aaron Huey’s effort to photograph poverty in America led him to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, where the struggle of the native Lakota people compelled him to refocus. Five years of work later, his haunting photos intertwine with a shocking history lesson in this bold, courageous talk from TEDxDU. (Recorded at TEDxDU, September 2010 in Denver, CO. Duration: 16:00)

 

Watch Aaron Huey’s talk on TED.com where you can download it, rate it, comment on it and find other talks and performances from our archive of 800+ TEDTalks.

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Nov 9, 2010 (15 hours ago)

#106320 – Frankies Spuntino Cookbook Giveaway

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** EASIEST GIVEAWAY EVER ** Frankies Spuntino Cookbook up for grabs from the TasteSpotting Cookbookshelf… just come and tell us your favorite Italian American dish!

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Nov 9, 2010 (15 hours ago)

#106319 – Pan Roasted Dry Aged Ribeye Steak

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Momofuku’s Pan-Roasted Dry-Aged Rib Eye – simple magical

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Nov 9, 2010 (15 hours ago)

#106318 – Pumpkin Apple Streusel Muffins

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Pumpkin-Apple Streusel Muffins. A fluffy, moist pumpkin muffin with a crunchy streusel topping. Soooo good!

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Nov 9, 2010 (15 hours ago)

#106317 – Pepitas for Chocolate Loaf with Salted Pepitas Recipe

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Celebrate fall with a Chocolate Loaf topped with Salted Pepitas. Delicious!

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Nov 9, 2010 (15 hours ago)

#106316 – Lemon Bundt Cake with Lemon Syrup and Glaze

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Lemon Bundt with lemon syrup and glaze for I Like Big Bundts

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Nov 9, 2010 (15 hours ago)

#106315 – Rotisserie Chicken Chili

from TasteSpotting

1 person liked this
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Rotisserie Chicken Chili has a deep, smoky flavor.

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Nov 9, 2010 (15 hours ago)

#106314 – Chicken and Broccoli with Bechamel Sauce

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Creamy and warming chicken and broccoli with bechamel sauce

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Nov 9, 2010 (15 hours ago)

#106313 – Malabar Chicken Curry

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Malabar Chicken Curry or Varutharacha Chicken Curry – A popular Authentic Kerala recipe prepared by adding roasted coconut with spices. This tastes great with Naan, Chapati or Roti

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Nov 9, 2010 (15 hours ago)

#106312 – Spicy Skillet Toasted Pepitas

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Spicy skillet-tossed pepitas make a perfect bar snack.

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Nov 9, 2010 (15 hours ago)

#106311 – Paella Valenciana

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Paella valenciana. An easy, no-seafood version of the Spanish classic. The perfect one-dish dinner for a chilly weeknight.

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Nov 9, 2010 (22 hours ago)

The Family Issue

Katherine Heigl, Usher, Jenna Jameson and more are photographed for the Family Issue.
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Nov 9, 2010 (23 hours ago)

Must Like Hikes

from The latest from Wmagazine.com by Dana Dickey
For Dana Dickey, a week at fitness boot camp the Ranch at Live Oak Malibu is an uphill battle.
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Nov 9, 2010 (yesterday)

another country

from the style files by danielle

3 people liked this

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Another Country makes contemporary craft furniture. Their designs are archetypal, calling on the familiar and unpretentious forms of British Country kitchen style, Shaker, traditional Scandinavian and Japanese woodwork.

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All their beautiful pieces are made from solid wood and produced by hand in a small workshop in Dorset, England. One of my favorite pieces is this day bedmade from solid European oak.

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Another Country has taken familiar forms of craft furniture and pared them back to their most basic elements and made them using the most efficient workshop techniques and the best quality wood.

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Each furniture piece is made in a way that limits wasted material and time , that is easy to transport (flat-pack for large pieces) and versatile (meaning your furniture gets more than one job done). And the good news is: they ship world wide! Visit their website for more information.

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Nov 9, 2010 (yesterday)

Family Values

from The latest from Wmagazine.com by Lynn Hirschberg
Today there are as many meanings of the word “family” as there are families. Welcome to the new normal.
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Nov 9, 2010 (yesterday)

Art, Drugs, And Rock N Roll

from The latest from Wmagazine.com by Diane Solway
Max Palevsky’s art collection hits Christies.
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Nov 9, 2010 (yesterday)

Simon de Pury’s Top 5

from The latest from Wmagazine.com by Karin Nelson
His top five dance floor tracks.
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Nov 9, 2010 (yesterday)

The path to ending ethnic conflicts: Stefan Wolff on TED.com

from TED Blog by Shanna Carpenter

1 person liked this

Civil wars and ethnic conflicts have brought the world incredible suffering, but Stefan Wolff’s figures show that, in the last 20 years, their number has steadily decreased. He extracts critical lessons from Northern Ireland, Liberia, Timor and more to show that leadership, diplomacy and institutional design are our three most effective weapons in waging peace. (Recorded at TEDGlobal 2010, July 2010 in Oxford, UK. Duration: 17:36)

 

Watch Stefan Wolff’s talk on TED.com where you can download it, rate it, comment on it and find other talks and performances from our archive of 800+ TEDTalks.

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Nov 9, 2010 (yesterday)

diy: christmas ornaments

from the style files by danielle

5 people liked this

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I can’t believe that it is the time of year already but the countdown to Christmas has begun. In the coming weeks I will be doing some Christmas related posts. Starting today with some ornaments that you can make yourself. Belinda from The Happy Home Blog created a paper snowflake forKidspot.

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You can find full instructions here. Happy crafting!

(images by Belinda Graham for Kidspot/The Happy Home)

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Nov 9, 2010 (yesterday)

A second opinion on learning disorders: Aditi Shankardass on TED.com

from TED Blog by Shanna Carpenter

4 people liked this

Developmental disorders in children are typically diagnosed by observing behavior, but Aditi Shankardass knew that we should be looking directly at their brains. She explains how a remarkable EEG device has revealed mistaken diagnoses and transformed children’s lives. (Recorded at TEDIndia, November 2009 in Mysore, India. Duration: 7:17)

 

 

Watch Aditi Shankardass’ talk on TED.com, where you can download it, rate it, comment on it and find other talks and performances from our archive of 700+ TEDTalks.

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Nov 9, 2010 (yesterday)

Radical women, embracing tradition: Kavita Ramdas on TED.com

from TED Blog by Shanna Carpenter

2 people liked this

What does an empowered woman look like? Can she wear a burqa, a hijab, a sari? Kavita Ramdas talks about three remarkable women who celebrate their cultural heritage — while working to reform its oppressive traditions. (Recorded at TEDIndia, November 2009 in Mysore, India. Duration: 6:08)

 

 

 

Watch Kavita Ramdas’ talk on TED.com, where you can download this TEDTalk, rate it, comment on it and find other talks and performances from our archive of 600+ TEDTalks.

 

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Nov 9, 2010 (yesterday)

India’s hidden hotbeds of invention: Anil Gupta on TED.com

from TED Blog by Emily McManus

2 people liked this

Anil Gupta is on the hunt for the developing world’s unsung inventors — indigenous entrepreneurs whose ingenuity, hidden by poverty, could change many people’s lives. He shows how the Honey Bee Network helps them build the connections they need — and gain the recognition they deserve. (Recorded at TEDIndia, November 2009 in Mysore, India. Duration: 6:08)

 

 

 

Watch Anil Gupta’s talk on TED.com, where you can download this TEDTalk, rate it, comment on it and find other talks and performances from our archive of 600+ TEDTalks.

 

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Nov 8, 2010 (2 days ago)

Teaching design for change: Emily Pilloton on TED.com

from TED Blog by Emily McManus

2 people liked this

Designer Emily Pilloton moved to rural Bertie County, in North Carolina, to engage in a bold experiment of design-led community transformation. She’s teaching a design-build class called Studio H that engages high schoolers’ minds and bodies while bringing smart design and new opportunities to the poorest county in the state. (Recorded at TEDGlobal 2010, July 2010 in Oxford, UK. Duration: 16:44)

 

Watch Emily Pilloton’s talk on TED.com where you can download it, rate it, comment on it and find other talks and performances from our archive of 800+ TEDTalks.

And read Emily’s story of the first months of teaching — in the newest issue ofDesign Mind.

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Nov 8, 2010 (2 days ago)

love bag

from the style files by danielle

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This bag from Etsy shop The Bucktoothed Bunny will make a great (Christmas) gift. It not only carries your groceries but it also teach you the word LOVE in many world languages.

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Nov 7, 2010 (3 days ago)

Re-Framing: The TEDSalon in London

from TED Blog by tedstaff

What does it take to make an everyday object — say, a toaster — from scratch? And does anyone know how to make it, all the way from mining for iron ore to plugging it into the electric grid?

Those are the questions designer Thomas Thwaites sought to answer when he engaged in the Toaster Project. Last Tuesday, November 2, he shared his hilarious and insightful story with about 250 TEDsters who attended the third TED Salon, at the Unicorn Theatre in London.

Organized with the support of frog design — which is also a key TEDGlobalpartner — and hosted by TED’s European director Bruno Giussani, the Salon featured twelve speakers.

Introducing Thwaites, Giussani reminded the audience of Matt Ridley‘s talk at TEDGlobal in July. Ridley showed photos of a stone ax and a computer mouse, and explained a key cultural difference between the two objects: one person knew how to make the stone ax, but there is no one who knows how to make a mouse from scratch: mining for the wide variety of raw materials, designing it, engineering it, etc. “To make a complex modern object, we need the unprecedented implicit collaboration of hundreds, or thousands of people,” said Giussani.

Thwaites’ toaster adventure offers an interesting illustration of Ridley’s point. He bought a cheap toaster, tore it apart and discovered that it was made of over 100 components and dozens of materials. He focused on four: iron, copper, mica and plastics. And went looking for them, hauling home a suitcase of iron ore, bottles of water from a copper mine, pieces of mica from a Scottish hill, and raw scraps of plastics (having been denied a visit to an oil platform where he could have gathered crude oil, the base of all plastics) which he melted in his backyard before gobbing the batch onto a wooden mold to make the exterior toaster housing. Thwaites did come up with a finished product(image below) — but when he plugged it in, it lasted for only five seconds.

The theme of the TEDSalon was “Re-Framing,” and looking at things differently and doing them differently (or attempting to, like Thwaites) was the common thread.

Opening speaker Camila Batmanghelidjh, the founder of Kids Company and an outspoken champion of disadvantaged kids, spoke poignantly and convincingly about the failure of Britain’s welfare system (1.4 million kids abused each year, and 1.1 million living with drug-using parents, but only 38,000 children placed on the child protection register). She pointed at recent neuroscience and other research indicating that sustained child abuse and neglect have devastating impacts on a child’s brain, “often creating a lifetime of vulnerability.” Kids who live through regular traumatic events such as abuse, she said, “need a re-parenting opportunity” and the ability to re-experience love. With her organization, she’s developing a model for daylong street-level “sustained and loving care.” “Love always surprises the disturbed child,” she added.

Jon Kolko, a principal designer at frog, talked about the role of personality in creativity. He believes that people and products (even software) can have personality, individuality, and character — and that’s what makes them interesting and useful to us, what makes them “special.” Where does the personality in a product come from? From the capacity of the designers to be playful and take risks: “Does your organization let employees ask ridiculous questions and give them the runway to pursue answers?” he asked.

Exploration Architecture‘s Michael Pawlyn doesn’t shy away from risk. He thinks big — among theinitiatives he’s worked on, the Eden and the Saharaprojects — and looks at natural systems for inspiration in solving problems. He discussed “three big transformations” that need to happen, he contended, in order for architecture to achieve long-term sustainability: a radical increase in resource efficiency; a move from linear approaches to close loops; and a shift towards a solar economy. “A world of beauty and efficiency awaits us if we use nature as a design tool,” he said.

Or it could be that the winning personality of an object comes from what isn’t there, “because often what isn’t there trumps what is,” said Matthew May, author of In Pursuit of Elegance. With brilliance and wit, he introduced the audience to the Japanese design concept of shibumi — which is the ability to achieve the maximum effect with the minimum of means.

JP Rangaswami, the chief scientist at Salesforce (until recently he held the same position at BT), then discussed his ideas on how companies ought to “design for the loss of control.” For 100 years “we sought to establish an illusion of control,” he told the audience. “Now, we have to start designing for community action and collaborative enterprise.” One way to do this, said Rangaswami, is to design for extremes and not just narrow ranges. Businesses also have to learn that failure is an integral part of success. (In fact, he said that “If one is designing for loss of control, there is no such thing as failure. There is only future profiling.”)

Opening the second session, economist Noreena Hertz addressed the influence of “experts” — like herself — and how we should view them with skepticism. “In an age of extreme complexity, we believe experts are more able to come to conclusions than we are,” she said. “I believe this is a big problem with potentially dangerous consequences for society, and for us as individuals.” She urged the crowd to rebel against this dynamic, by “being ready and willing to take on” the experts, by “embracing the notion that progress comes about not only in the creation of ideas but also in their destruction” (what she called “managed dissent”), and by “democratizing expertise,” which is “not only the domain of surgeons and CEOs, but also of shop staff.”

Hertz was followed by Martin Jacques, the author of When China Rules the World, a dense book on its way to becoming a global bestseller. By 2020, China will surpass the US to have the largest economy in the world: “Never before has a developing country had the world’s largest economy,” and never has a non-western country had that distinction. In other words, we have to understand China better, and according to Jacques we have to stop trying to view it through a westernized frame. “It’s a western illusion that when countries modernize, they westernize,” he said. “China is not like the west, and it will not become like the west.” He then offered three elements that can help to better understand China. First, China is a “civilization state,” not a nation state, which is what every country in the western world is. Second, Chinese have a much different conception of race than most other countries: Over 90 percent of Chinese think they belong to the same race (Han), “and while that helps in keeping the country together, it also promotes a lack of tolerance and cultural diversity.” Finally, the perception of the state is different. In the west, the state is constantly being challenged, but in China the state is “seen as the patriarch of the family, and is therefore embedded in society in a much different way”. Jacques closed his talk by pointing out that “The arrival of countries like China and India represents the most important single act of democratization in the last 200 years — the majority will be ruled by the majority. As humanists we must surely welcome this transformation.”

Michelle Gallen, a social media and technology expert from Ireland, recounted her story of having encephalitis and turning to technology to make up for her deficits. After many years of having to deal with insufficient tools, she embraced Web 2.0 (and now runs websites) but is frustrated by the way in which people “fritter away” the technology we do have, such as location-based applications wasted to “promote cafés and bars for crappy discounts and digital points” (Foursquare anyone?).

Literary critic Sarah Churchwell has been researching a book about 1922 and the cultural environment that produced Scott Fitzgerald’s Great Gatsby — and brought up amazing similarities between that season and modern-day celebrity culture. She made a convincing case for rejecting the idea that celebrity gossip is a measure of decline of society, “as if once upon a time humans were wonderfully high-minded and never told stories about each other.” In reality, she said, “Gossip is a measure of our interest in other people and therefore a measure of our humanity.”

Internet theorist Theresa Senft extended the theme into the idea of “famous for 15 people,”  the notion that we are in a culture of micro-celebrity in which everyone is known to many more people than they might think — and that this dynamic has serious and far-reaching implications.

Mike Dickson, author of a recent book on generosity as a guiding principle called Please Take One, extolled the virtues of living a more generous life. Suggestion: next time you’re in line at Starbucks, offer a cup of coffee to the stranger behind you.

No TED event is complete without a live performance. The Salon attendees could listen to the amazing voice of Norwegian singer Kate Havnevik (photo above, during her performance) – also known for having composed some of the soundtrack of the TV show “Grey’s Anatomy” — and watch a preview excerpt of the film “Love the Earth” by musician Imogen Heap and eco-entrepreneurThomas Ermacora. The filmmakers crowdsourced images of nature through Youtube and Vimeo, and edited them into a remarkable piece of collective art. Heap composed the score, which premiered on November 5th at the Royal Albert Hall with a live orchestra. The Salon was also the occasion for frog’s director of content strategy Sam Martin to debut the special TEDGlobal edition of design mind magazine, which covers last July’s conference in Oxford and extends, with many original contribution, its theme, “And Now the Good News”.

(Photos by Robert Leslie)

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Nov 5, 2010 (5 days ago)

Watch the premiere of Imogen Heap’s Love The Earth today

from PopTech Blog by 53

1 person liked this


Grammy-award songwriter and recent PopTech presenter Imogen Heap was struck by the exquisite nature of, well, nature. So much so that she started a film project with social entrepreneur Thomas Ermacora entitled Love The Earthto engender that same sense of excitement from all of us who may take the sun, snow, and sand for granted. Meshing crowd-sourced images of nature with sound produced by Heap, Love The Earth is a platform to experience nature in a refreshingly unexpected way.

First previewed on the PopTech stage a few weeks ago, the Love The Earth montage of user-submitted footage will be accompanied by a performance from Heap and a full orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall today, November 5th, in London from 7-11 pm GMT.

Catch a free HD webcast of the event live at http://www.resounde.com.

(Photos: Kris Krüg)

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Nov 5, 2010 (5 days ago)

A one-man orchestra of the imagination: Andrew Bird on TED.com

from TED Blog by Shanna Carpenter

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Musical innovator Andrew Bird winds together his trademark violin technique with xylophone, vocals and sophisticated electronic looping. Add in his uncanny ability to whistle anything, and he becomes a riveting one-man orchestra(Recorded at TED2010, February 2010 in Long Beach, California. Duration: 19:20)

 

Watch Andrew Bird’s performance on TED.com where you can download it, rate it, comment on it and find other talks and performances from our archive of 800+ TEDTalks.

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Nov 5, 2010 (5 days ago)

more bathroom inspiration

from the style files by danielle

13 people liked this

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More bathroom inspiration! Grey is a beautiful color to use in bathrooms, especially combined with accessories in different blue and grey tones like in the photo above.

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It is not very practical but I love the wooden floor in the bathroom in the top right image.

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(images from the portfolio of stylist Lotta Agaton)

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Nov 5, 2010 (5 days ago)

Fellows Friday with Awab Alvi

from TED Blog by Alana Herro

1 person liked this
For years, orthodontist Awab Alvi has been an outspoken political activist via his blog, Teeth Maestro. With the onset of disastrous flooding in his native Pakistan this July, Awab traveled to the front lines, delivering food and supplies to flood victims. Though the after effects of the floods have caused personal family tragedy, Awab’s fierce love for and faith in his country make him optimistic about the future.

Give us an update on your Pakistan flood relief efforts.

The group of off-roading enthusiasts with whom I was working, Offroad Pakistan, used our 4×4 vehicle experience to go deep into the regions of Sindh, to provide flood relief to the affected people. Since the start of the flooding disaster, we have done about ten flood relief expeditions — embarking on one almost every week since August — taking food and various flood relief items to people in need.

Our flood relief food hampers were proportioned to help sustain a family of five for about a week. In our effort we also have handed them essential clothes and toiletry items, since most had no possessions — their possessions all washed away in the floods.

Dr. Awab Alvi organizing the offloading of medical relief at a remote location in Sindh (Photo: Taimur Mirza)

I’m proud to note that our team has been able to raise a good amount of money. Online we raised about $30,000, while offline with friends and colleagues we were able to muster another $130,000 for our efforts. We have a little cash remaining on-hand, and are expecting to use it for a few more medical camps and food expeditions within the coming weeks.

Now that the floods have receded, what are the country’s major issues?

The NGOs, United Nations, and Pakistan’s army have done a spectacular job. Unfortunately, their impact is like a drop in the ocean, since the government is not stepping up to help the flood victims in any serious way. Rehabilitating the 5 million people needs a far more serious commitment by the Government of Pakistan then what we have so far.

For example, the government recently handed out rehabilitation aid in the form of $1,000 debit cards. These poor illiterate people have never used a debit card, let alone operated an ATM machine to make a withdrawal. The problems were made worse, since there were no businesses in the vicinity that offered commodities on a credit card transaction.  This issue let loose a huge chain of corruption across the board. The money was siphoned off  by hoodwinkers who were taking bribes for issuing the debit cards. Another set of bribes were taken to help these illiterate people to obtain the PIN code, and then finally also for assisting them in operating the ATM. Reports have it that at each step of the way, people were coerced into paying these considerable “assistance fees.”

Rather than helping the poor at this time of suffering, the government functionaries have made it their business to mint money from this misery. They are stealing and selling relief coming into their areas, and hoarding large sums of financial aid coming into the region from various donor agencies. Quite simply, the government has not done its part in this massive crisis. These people were really poor to begin with, and sadly they’re even poorer now. I’m sad to say it, but we may have let our people down.

Ever since our flood relief efforts in Pakistan, there has been a general fear of some disease epidemic. There were reports of some incidents of cholera and malaria, but all seemingly were localized and controlled. Little did I know that a waterborne disease would take the life of my father-in-law. He contracted a rare form of meningitis from an amoeba called Naeglaria Fowleri, also known as the “brain-eating amoeba,”  found in contaminated water. The disease kills with 100% morbidity rate, within a period of 48-72 hours from its onset. It quite possibly made its way into our household water streams after the disease and decay following the floods. At the age of 54, his death sent shockwaves through the family. Casual reports suggest that there has been a rise of this amoeba in the last few months, but no effort has been made to document and report these cases in the public domain. For now my first priority is to raise awareness, to help prevent others from contracting this disease. I plan to dig deeper to discover if there is a definite rise of such cases. If so, I will try and help stop this in its tracks.

You are known for your politically-charged blog, Teeth Maestro. What are you blogging about these days?

I’m usually a very aggressive political commentator, highlighting issues from corruption to various human rights issues in Pakistan. But truly, with so many issues, there is only so much one can do at any given time.  Since the start of the floods I have been totally preoccupied in the relief effort, and have leveraged my blog to highlight the problems on both a local and a global platform.

More recently, since the death of my Father-in-Law due to this rare form of meningitis, I am pushing for public awareness of the disease in Pakistan, helping everyone in adopting simple measures to help prevent others from contracting the disease.  I fear that we might have an increase in the incidence after the floods since it may have crept into our household water streams. I hope that with this awareness drive, no one else will be exposed to this lethal disease.  I’m sure in due course, over the following few months, my hibernation from political blogging will end. After all, the optimist within me wants to change Pakistan for the better.

You’ve said 2005 was a milestone year for your blogging.

Yes, I have always been tech geek, and have been blogging for some time. But it was in 2005, when the government of Pakistan put a ban on Blogspot, that I channeled my casual hobbyist blogging into a more consolidated voice, using this platform to state my opinion on issues that are close to me.  Standing up against the Blogspot ban was the turning point in my blogging career, to become an activist for freedom of expression.  I have with time slowly morphed into a civil society activist, taking on issues of corruption, human rights, and naturally a very deep, passionate involvement in various political problems that have besieged our country.

Has your outspoken blogging put you in danger?

Considering the violent nature of politics in Pakistan, I’ve never received any direct personal threats for having raised my voice on various sensitive issues. But I know for a fact that I am being extensively monitored across the board, which I believe is totally expected. I remain thankful to God that nothing has happened as yet. I continue to have good support from my family, though they worry about me sticking my neck out on so many fronts. But they are very supportive in every aspect since they know it’s a good cause.

Has the TED experience aided or influenced you in your efforts?

TED was a life-changing experience for me. In the past, Pakistan’s chronic social and political problems had left me overshadowed with a feeling pessimism. Meeting so many optimistic innovators and creators at TED totally changed me. I became a true optimist, filled with the belief that even one person can make a difference, provided you believe in yourself and your cause with a passion.

Dr. Awab Alvi speaking at TEDxKarachi.

I believe it is with the same energy that I, along with our friends from Offroad Pakistan, bring that sense of optimism into our flood relief efforts. This handful of off-roaders collected over $160,000, led ten-odd relief missions deep into uncharted territories of Sindh, and distributed aid to more than 75,000 people. We are also proud to have set up and revamped a dilapidated pediatric ward in Shikarpur, surely impacting the lives of future generations in times to come.

It is with the same vigor and energy that I believe that it is possible to change Pakistan for the better. No longer shall we be held hostage to terrorism and corruption, but with a vibrant and conscious civil society, we can create tidal waves to foster change.

You are a blogger and activist because you want to give back to Pakistan. What inspired you to become an orthodontist?

I am a dentist, my father is a dentist, my grandfather was a dentist, and my great-grandfather was a dentist. Four generation of dentists was like royal dental blood that runs in the family. I must admit that the only thing I saw while growing up was dentistry. Education through the years, one decision at a time, led me smack into the field of dentistry. Even to today, I don’t regret it for a moment. A day-time job as an orthodontist, and by night masquerading as a digital activist.

I enjoy sharing my professional passion with my students. In our set up, we have four in-house post-graduate orthodontic residents who get hands-on training at our hospital every day. They learn from both my father and me. They learn important aspects of orthodontics during a four-year internship, culminating in a comprehensive exam to become certified to treat people on their own. During the months of flooding, my students’ training and quite a number of my own patients may have suffered from my long periods of absence. But practically everyone has been supportive and understanding. Many have in turn actually pitched in to help us collect items for flood relief missions.

After you completed your own dental studies in the US, you turned down several job offers there. You call yourself a proud member of the “reverse brain drain movement.” Why did you make the decision to move back to Pakistan?

There are two aspects to that. One is that my father already had a dental hospital set up in Pakistan, which was undoubtedly an easy step: I felt I needed to take over the reins of his clinic and his dental hospital.

Secondly, I felt the need to return to Pakistan to serve the people of my country, as they too should be entitled to top-notch medical care. If everyone greedily flocks to the land of opportunity in the US, then it will be the people of Pakistan who will suffer. I’m very proud of being part of the reverse brain drain coming back to Pakistan.

Another compelling argument for me in moving back home is that you are a first-class citizen in Pakistan, as compared to a second-class citizen in the U.S. You will always be an immigrant in the U.S. — you will never be a citizen by birth.

Your love of Pakistan runs deep, and the country’s natural beauty is one reason you enjoy off-roading so much. Do you bring your family with you on these trips?

Pakistan is a beautiful place, unfortunately with the present security situation it has totally disappeared from the tourism landscape. So if foreigners can’t enjoy this, the least we can do is thoroughly enjoy its beauty ourselves.

OffroadPakistan’s Expedition to Hingol National Park.

Off-roading is an adventure sport combined with some real hard-core camping.  We go mostly in the winters to enjoy a few days off.  I generally go alone with friends from the Offroad Pakistan club, though at times have extended an invitation to my wife, Sadiqa. But Sadiqa has a few demands which she wants met, before she would take the off-roading plunge me. She wants a proper bed, prefers a neat and clean lavatory facility, and also does not want any small, crawling bugs around her! I have squarely told her that I cannot meet any three of the requirements in the wilderness. So she is comfortable staying at home, and I get my two or three days of fun time alone. And she is totally jealous of that fact. [Laughs].

She thinks I’m a little cuckoo in the head because of this thing I love to do. The flood relief has recently consumed my time, but I’m sure in due course that will wind down, and we will slowly resume our relaxed fun off-roading trips again, exploring Pakistan itself.

Off-roading gives us an excuse to go into unexplored, uncharted areas of Pakistan. We’ll be traveling along some amazing terrain, and at each turn one is awed by the beauty that this country holds. I wish the security situation would get better, and then it would be a delight to show off this small country of ours to the hordes of adventure tourists that jet-set around the world.  For us, you don’t need to travel to Europe and America to enjoy beauty: we truly have it all right in our backyard.

There are many aspiring social entrepreneurs out there who are trying to take their passion and ideas to the next level. What is one piece of advice you would give to them based on your own experiences and successes?Learn more about how to become a great social entrepreneur from all of the TED Fellows on the Case Foundation blog.

Social entrepreneurs need to understand one thing alone: work for a cause that is close to your heart. When you do it with passion, you can sustain the energy for a longer period of time, and mere stumbling blocks thrown at you don’t deter you from the ultimate goal.

My own heartfelt passion is to bring about a positive change in Pakistan. I want us to move away from the hopelessness found at the hands of our inherently corrupt rulers, to a more positive and progressive Pakistan. Once we realize what we can do, I believe nothing will stop us from touching the stars.

**** NEW Interactive Fellows Friday Feature! ****

Join the conversation by answering Fellows’ weekly questions via Facebook.

This week, Awab asks:

“Why do you think there’s a lack of media coverage about what’s going on in Pakistan, and how do you think we should change it?”

Click here to respond!

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Nov 5, 2010 (5 days ago)

bathroom inspiration

from the style files by danielle

5 people liked this

bathtub.jpg

Today I’m loving … this gorgeous bathroom.

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Nov 4, 2010 (6 days ago)

Eat Drink Design

from Design.nl articles

1 person liked this
eat_drink_designA disused cinema complex was the setting for the fifth edition of Eat Drink Design, where food-related work by the likes of Joost van Bleijswijk, Grondvormen and Klaas Kuiken was on show.

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Nov 4, 2010 (6 days ago)

Fashion and The Hague

fashion_and_the_hagueFor the second year running, The Hague hosts the Dutch Fashion Awards, setting the event around eleven days of fashion-themed projects and exhibitions around the city.

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Nov 4, 2010 (6 days ago)

Highlights at the Klokgebouw

from Design.nl articles

1 person liked this
highlights_at_the_klokgebouwYoung designers from Ontwerpduo to jewellery designer Kirsten Spuijbroek and the Arnhemse Meisjes showed their latest work at the Klokgebouw in Eindhoven during Dutch Design Week.

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Nov 4, 2010 (6 days ago)

Atelierdorp

atelierdorpAn unconventional and occasional collective of designers united only by their belief in what they do. Aterlierdorp opened their new doors to the public for a group exhibition during Dutch Design Week.

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Nov 4, 2010 (6 days ago)

Fashion and The Hague

fashion_and_the_hagueFor the second year running, The Hague hosts the Dutch Fashion Awards, setting the event around eleven days of fashion-themed projects and exhibitions around the city.

Add starLikeShareShare with noteEmailKeep unreadSend toEdit tags:

Nov 4, 2010 (6 days ago)

Atelierdorp

atelierdorpAn unconventional and occasional collective of designers united only by their belief in what they do. Aterlierdorp opened their new doors to the public for a group exhibition during Dutch Design Week.

Add starLikeShareShare with noteEmailKeep unreadSend toEdit tags:

Nov 4, 2010 (6 days ago)

Eat Drink Design

eat_drink_designA disused cinema complex was the setting for the fifth edition of Eat Drink Design, where food-related work by the likes of Joost van Bleijswijk, Grondvormen and Klaas Kuiken was on show.

Add starLikeShareShare with noteEmailKeep unreadSend toEdit tags:

Nov 4, 2010 (6 days ago)

Highlights at the Klokgebouw

highlights_at_the_klokgebouwYoung designers from Ontwerpduo to jewellery designer Kirsten Spuijbroek and the Arnhemse Meisjes showed their latest work at the Klokgebouw in Eindhoven during Dutch Design Week.

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Nov 4, 2010 (6 days ago)

Gale McCullough shares quite a whale of a tale

from PopTech Blog by 19

1 person liked this

 

“There’s Don Quixote, there’s Fissure, there’s Spoon, Equis and Abraxis,”Gale McCullough ticks off, turning her head towards the ocean as though she might catch a glimpse of one of the whales she’s been tracking pass by. It’s a brisk day and we’re interviewing her on the deck of the Waterfront Restaurant in Camden, Maine.

“My mind is out there just about half the time and it’s following these individuals, sometimes with great sadness and worry. So my involvement with the ocean is very personal, because it’s with them.” McCullough’s concerns about their welfare range from oil spills to noise to pollution and plastic. “I mean what’s not to worry about. And knowing individual animals makes this all mean a whole lot more.”

McCullough, a former nursery school teacher and old-fashioned naturalist, recently discovered a whale that had journeyed an unprecedented 6,000 miles from Brazil to Madagascar. The technology she used? Flickr. Through the photo sharing website where people post their “I-went-on-a-whale-watch-trip” photos, she found matching photos of the whales.

“I think scientists are going to have to make room for devoted people,” she said regarding the increasingly important role of citizen scientists. “If we can do that, ordinary people will know more about the scientific process and how carefully you have to look, but also there are so many eyes that will be out there that aren’t there now.”

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Nov 4, 2010 (6 days ago)

PopTech Social Innovation and Science and Public Leadership Fellows videos are now available for your viewing pleasure

from PopTech Blog by 53

PopTech’s Social Innovation and Science and Public Leadership Fellowsconvened at our annual conference just a couple of weeks ago to share their projects with fellow Fellows, gather insight from experts in their field, and present their work to the PopTech community. We’re excited today to release presentations from all the 2010 Fellows who spoke at PopTech.


Watch our 2010 Social Innovation Fellows talks


Watch our 2010 Science and Public Leadership Fellows talks

 

If you’re not familiar with these programs, here’s a quick overview:

The Social Innovation Fellows represent the next generation of world-changing leaders. Each year, PopTech selects about 15 high potential change agents from around the world who are working on highly disruptive innovations in areas like healthcare, energy, development, climate, education, and civic engagement. Fellows work at both for-profit and not-for-profit organizations that are well-positioned for sustainable growth. The program provides Fellows with tools, guidance and access to a network from which they can build collaborations, scale their projects and expand impact.

The Science and Public Leadership Fellows program is building a corps of visible and trusted scientific leaders who encourage science as a way of thinking and engage with the public about issues of critical importance. Fellows are early- and mid-career scientists with an interest in public leadership but limited formal training who are working in areas of critical importance to the nation and the planet, such as energy, food, water, public health, climate change, conservation ecology, green chemistry, computing, education, oceans, and national security.

Keep an eye on these Fellows as they’re up to some incredible stuff.

 

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