I am still wading through an accumulation of TED Talks. By the way, excellent use for an iPad. And much better use of my time than watching “Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives” (well, a little better, anyway). I subscribe in iTunes.

After watching a doctor friend emerge from a rural medical center in India who had just lost a mother and new-born baby because the mother had anemia, Myshkin Ingawale decided to invent a way to conduct a blood test that did not require drawing blood. This needed to be something that a nurse/practitioner with minimal training could do in very rural and poor areas. As he says, “So, I built one. It didn’t work. After 32, we got it right.” Perhaps this could inspire my audience of engineers to think about things where you can build something small and inexpensive that will change the world.

I realize that many of my readers are involved in the petroleum business, but we in the U.S. know the political ramifications of sending so much money to the Middle East where some gets siphoned off to groups who are actively fighting us. In another TED Talk, T. Boone Pickens discusses how natural gas is a good way to reduce US dependence on foreign oil. TED founder Chris Anderson then engages Pickens on alternative energy and the money he lost on wind energy.

Many of us have watched the death throes of the music industry with mixed emotions. As they sue their customers and back bills in Congress such as the SOPA one recently, many of us see how the industry is changing and artists are now gaining access to fans without losing so much money to the industry. Rob Reid, in The $8 Billion iPod, discusses “Copyright Math” in an amusing tour of logic.

I played around with a bunch of technology stuff when I was a kid, but I’m in awe of this one–Taylor Wilson, a 17 year old nuclear physicist, built a nuclear fusion reactor.

A special bonus–poetry. Billy Collins, former US Poet Laureate, discuses a project of animating several of his poems in “Everyday Moments, Caught in Time”. Humorous and thoughtful.

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