TED 2011 Ads Worth Spreading, Part 2 of 3

This is part 2 of 3 posts showing all the ads TED deemed worth spreading. (Part 1)

The TED (Technology Entertainment and Design) community just released its 2011 Ads Worth Spreading contest winners, and the ads are better than the ones I have seen for the Super Bowl in any year! But what did you expect from a brilliant group who’s moniker is “Ideas Worth Spreading”?

Now these ads aren’t like ones in the Super Bowl lasting 30-60 seconds. These ads are much longer, often being the full version of the shortened ads for TV time slots. However, with ads like these, I could watch commercials in place of TV shows because I don’t notice how long or short they are. I’m actually a little sad once it’s over, alongside whatever mood the commercials left me in.

I have posted a bunch of the ads here because I have found higher quality versions of the ads than the ones available on the TED website. Otherwise, I’d have just posted links to them all on TED’s site.

The link for Part 3 is at the end of the post.

Enjoy and be prepared to be wowwed!!!

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The IF Facebook Note

facebook notes for thinkersCopy the text between the dotted line as your note in Facebook, MySpace or other places. Put each of your answer on the line just below each emotion.

To make this an English as a Second / Foreign Language exercise, assign the note with some degree of explanation for each answer, whether a sentence, short paragraph or presentation.

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You can get to know a lot about someone not just what is true of them, but what might be true of them if certain things were possible. If nothing else, it’s a good conversation starter or changer.

So put your CAPS LOCKS key ON to accentuate your answers and let’s get going!

 
1. If you could have stopped aging at any point in life till now, how old would you want to be forever?

 
2. If you could possess an extraordinary talent in one of the arts, what would it be?

 
3. If you could be fluent in another language you currently do not read or speak, which would it be?

 
4. If you could be forever recognized for one thing, what would you like to be known for?

 
5. If you could break one athletic record, which record would it be?

 
6. If you could only save one thing from your place in event of a disaster, what would it be?

 
7. If you could “uninvent” one thing from the world so it no longer existed, what would it be?

 
8. If you could have one personality trait from someone, what from whom would you choose?

 
9. If you could commit one crime without being caught, what crime would you commit?

 
10. If you could ensure your children had one experience you had, what would that be?

 
11. If you could start a new charity, who or what would it help?

 
12. If you could have lived the life of a fictional character, who would it be?

 
13. If you could resolve any dispute in the world right now, which one would you resolve?

 
14. If you could give out an annual award, what would it be for and who would win it first?

 
15. If you could get rid of one fear you have, which fear would it be?

 

 
If you didn’t know the person who gave the answers you did, what would you think of him/her?

 

 
Please tag some friends to encourage them to try this note as well, and please include me because I would like to know what you would do if some of these things could happen to you.

For more introspective Facebook notes like this, please see https://digitalcitizen.ca/facebook-notes/

 
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1. If you could have stopped aging at any point in life till now, how old would you want to be forever?
RIGHT NOW, BUT I’M NOT DISCLOSING WHAT THAT IS ON A PUBLIC BLOG.

2. If you could possess an extraordinary talent in one of the arts, what would it be?
PLAYING THE PIANO, DEFINITELY!

3. If you could be fluent in another language you currently do not read or speak, which would it be?
I FIND CHINESE VERY INTERESTING.

4. If you could be forever recognized for one thing, what would you like to be known for?
BEING A RENAISSANCE MAN WHO WAS GREATER THAN THE SUM OF HIS PARTS.

5. If you could break one athletic record, which record would it be?
WORLD MARATHON RECORD, FOR SURE!

6. If you could only save one thing from your place in event of a disaster, what would it be?
MY CHILDHOOD PHOTOS FROM VIET NAM (IN ONE BOX).

7. If you could “uninvent” one thing from the world so it no longer existed, what would it be?
SMOKING. THAT COUNTS AS A THING LUMPING IN CIGARETTES, CIGARS, WEED, POT, ETC.

8. If you could have one personality trait from someone, what from whom would you choose?
MICHAEL JORDAN’S DESIRE TO COMPETE IN LIFE.

9. If you could commit one crime without being caught, what crime would you commit?
I’D ASSASSINATE SOMEONE WHO DOES THE WORLD A LOT OF HARM, LIKE MAHMOUD AHMAJINEDAD IN IRAN. You know, sometimes I wish the “crazy” people of the world who kill others would go for a little redemption and kill somebody worth killing. There are plenty of those around. I guess that would make them sane, though. Anyway, you shouldn’t rant in your note! 🙂

10. If you could ensure your children had one experience you had, what would that be?
MY ESCAPE FROM VIET NAM. I LEARNED TO APPRECIATE SO MUCH AT SUCH A YOUNG AGE.

11. If you could start a new charity, who or what would it help?
IT WOULD BE A CHARITY TO FUND SCHOOLS THAT HAVE AN EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE CURRICULUM, HELPING CHILDREN AND YOUTHS WHO ARE CHALLENGED BY THEIR LACK OF EMOTIONAL CONTROL AND/OR DEVELOPMENT. OTHER KIDS WHO WANT TO ENROLL COULD ALSO ATTEND BECAUSE IT IS GOOD FOR EVERYONE. HOWEVER, IF IT WEREN’T FUNDED BY THE PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM, THEN THOSE IN NEED WOULD BENEFIT FROM THE CHARITY AND THE REST WOULD HAVE TO PAY. CAN’T AFFORD TO ENROLL EVERYBODY IN IT!

12. If you could have lived the life of a fictional character, who would it be?
LT. COMMANDER DATA ON STAR TREK, THE NEXT GENERATION.

13. If you could resolve any dispute in the world right now, which one would you resolve?
THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN DISPUTE IS A GOOD ONE.

14. If you could give out an annual award, what would it be for and who would win it first?
THE GIV’ER AWARD, FOR BEST EFFORT TO GET THE MOST OUT OF LIFE WHILE BENEFITING OTHERS. MY FRIEND DENISE R. WOULD GET IT FOR BEING A SINGLE MOTHER OF THREE ADOLESCENT GIRLS, WORKING A FULL-TIME JOB AND HOLDING THE CANADIAN MASTERS WOMEN MARATHON RECORD.

15. If you could get rid of one fear you have, which fear would it be?
I SOMETIMES HAVE A LITTLE FEAR I FORGOT TO SET THE RADIO ALARM FOR WORK IN THE MORNING SINCE I TURN IT OFF FROM TIME TO TIME ON THE WEEKENDS.

 

 
If you didn’t know the person who gave the answers you did, what would you think of him/her?
SOMEONE WHO CARES AND IS INTERESTED IN A LOT ABOUT THE WORLD.

The Happiest Colleague Award

Happy WorkerNo, I didn’t win this award.

But I created it, won an award for suggesting it and will see it used in the Nova Scotia provincial public service! If it gets adopted widely enough, we’re going to be the happiest public service on the planet! 🙂

And better yet, you can try it at your workplace, too!

Everybody antes up a little something to give seasonally to a colleague they deem as having been happiest around them in the past 3 months.

I chose seasonally as the presentation period to celebrate the changing of the seasons that gets little more than a passing notice these days. Also, 3 months is a fair period so as not to do this too often and diminish the value of the award, and not too long between periods to have a general memory of someone’s “recent” behaviour.

For an award, I recommend something that can be attributed to happiness, like a smilie magnet, pin, stress ball, etc. that someone can display if you wish to have it on show. This might get old after a year and they start piling up, though, so if you do this, return the award after a month or two to reuse. A little candy or some happy food would work just as well, or a drink for a toast if you do it as a company event.

The “happy” criteria is about which colleague is generally the happiest when you interact with them.

Knowing this award is constantly at stake will help keep happiness on many people’s minds more often. It won’t always work, of course, and there won’t be times appropriate for it, like if someone is in bereavement. That wouldn’t be right to remind them of this for the sake of it when empathy needs to be shown. However, having a constant reminder to be happy should help people generally feel better and behave better.

Each person gets to give an award because it’s personal to that person. It also makes sure everyone gets a chance to experience the same happiness because everyone has the same award to give. As well, it keeps popular people or people who interact with lots of others from winning as a result of group vote. Those people have to earn it with everyone for each award like everyone else. In fact, it can be argued that they might not win many awards because they might not be around anyone enough to show that much happiness as one other person each colleague might interact with. It’s kind of like having lots of casual friends without any best friends so if best friend awards were given, the “popular” ones might not get one.

I know this idea might be a bit too happy and fluffy for some people, but if you think it might work at your workplace, please give it a try! Whether or not you do, though, here are some other resources for “happiness” that may be of interest to you.

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 9.4

I Need 2 Go 2 NY CT 2 C Avenue Q

avenueq1I owe this post to my friend Holly Bartlett, who told me about the 2003 Tony Award Musical of the Year called Avenue Q. The musical’s content that is talked about here, though, has serious potentially offensive content so this is your one and only warning. If you don’t have an edgy sense of humour, please don’t read on. There are plenty of other good things to read about on this blog.

I’ve liked Broadway and musicals for a long time now, but I was and still am quite “old skool” at it, loving the Rodgers & Hammerstein stuff. I have heard of, and love, some more modern stuff like Chicago, Wicked and Jekyll & Hyde. However, I need to pay closer attention to what Broadway is putting out each year if they’ve got stuff which doesn’t get a lot of attention as some of their other shows, but still is great, like Avenue Q.

Avenue Q is a modern Sesame Street parody of similar characters trying to find a purpose in life when things aren’t going so well in adulthood after college. I can’t write a better plot summary than Wikipedia so I won’t try, but I like the description by one of its actors of “Sesame Street done South Park“. The show features a neat visual of real characters and puppets with their masters visible, something I’d like to try and learn one day for fun, and some seriously edgy humour and content.

Below is a medley of some songs in it, played for the Queen of England at the Royal Variety Performance, no less! That’s the one contestants on Britain’s Got Talent were vying to be a part of. So despite Avenue Q‘s potentially offensive content, the Royals proved they could handle it. Good on them!


The actual full musical has swearing in it, all kinds of soft and hard innuendos, even nude puppet sex! Other than songs like It Sucks to Be Me [lyrics] shown as part of a medley above, you also have songs (links are to lyrics) like

With a list of songs with titles like that, and others, better lyrics and even better music, who could resist seeing a show like this?

Ah, but it gets better with the Web and user-generated content. The Sesame Street parody has generated a whole bunch of parody Sesame Street videos of this musical, like the one below which I found just hilarious! The music is the actual music from the musical. Someone just adapted video for it from Sesame Street clips.


There are also versions with everything from Sponge Bob to The Mutant Teenage Ninja Turtles to Disney cartoons! A whole night’s worth of humour from clicking on video responses to each of these videos!

And then there’s If You Were Gay with Bert and Ernie, my favourite characters on Sesame Street who were parodied to be gay in 1997. Avenue Q ran with this to put it into its story with its equivalent characters to Ernie and Bert. So someone then had to have made the parody video with the original music and Sesame Street video clips of Bert and Ernie.


Other songs have parody videos, too!

But in all fairness to Avenue Q, it addresses many tough issues of today like homosexuality, pornography and racism.


If you can’t stomach edgy humour and content, then this show would not be for you. You would not be normal in this, though, because this show is the 21st longest running show in Broadway history at the time of this writing (Jun 11 2009).

As for me, I have never visited New York City, but this might be enough impetus to get me there for a visit and viewing! Before I go, though, I’ve saved the best number, in my humble opinion, for last. Mix Tape isn’t outrageous or anything, aside from a few words, but it is funny. The best part of it is how well it was sung on the recording, shown in the “video” below. There’s actually no “video”, just an image, so read on and listen for all the little things mentioned to listen for.

Julie Atherton, played Kate Monster and sang Mix Tape. She also plays a very different character of Lucy the Slut in the same show (see London performance 2nd from top). But for Mix Tape, Julie had my emotions like a yo-yo on a string with all the nuances she puts into singing the lyrics that also goes up and down emotionally like a roller coaster. Julie acts the song through her singing, basically. All the little gasps, squeaks, sighs, inflections and such not written into the score, and especially how giddily she said he likes me! at the end. Credits to the songwriter/s as well for such a great tune, but I’ve heard so many bad renditions on YouTube, and in singing songs otherwise, that the performer gets huge kudos here. It might possibly the best example of how to perform a song I have ever heard! I mean that for all those nuances, not some booming grand voice sort of best sung description, but that’s the tougher accolades to be getting, in my books. If you were to ask me how I liked that recording, I’d say I love it! pretty much the way Julie squeaks he likes me! at the end of the song! 🙂

Post-scriptum:

It is almost a year later from when I first posted this, now May 31 2010, and how things have changed. Sadly, it’s not been for the good, but I want to make mention as a dedication. I did just get to see Avenue Q a week ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. However, I watched it in memory of my friend Holly who had since passed away. I will always remember her for introducing me to this play, among many other reasons. Then, just a few days ago, Gary Coleman died on May 28. The show just wouldn’t be the same knowing he isn’t in the real world any more. I wonder how they’re handling the situation, but I’m glad I got to see Avenue Q without this circumstance surrounding it as it wouldn’t have felt the same for me.

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 8.3

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