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Your summer reading list: Rashida Jones, Elizabeth Gilbert, Bill and Melinda Gates and many more share their book recommendations

Originally posted on TED Blog:

Books - vector illustration

Summer: the season for cracking open a good book under the shade of a tree. Below, we’ve compiled about 70 stellar book recommendations from members of the TED community. Warning: not all of these books can be classified as beach reads. And we think that is a good thing.

books-Elizabeth-GilbertPicks from Elizabeth Gilbert, author 

The Principles of Uncertainty by Maira Kalman. “The only book I have ever bought by the crate-load. I give copies of this sumptuous masterpiece to everyone I care about. I could try to describe it further, but … it would be more efficient if you just read it yourself. (Watch Maira Kalman’s TED Talk, “The illustrated woman.”)

Age of Wonder: The Romantic Generation and the Discovery of the Beauty and Terror in Science by Richard Holmes. “I just finished writing a novel about
18th- and 19th-century scientific exploration, and this engaging book was a…

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Inside the animator’s studio: Creating universes and (literally) shattering the Earth

Originally posted on TED Blog:

If you haven’t seen the TED-Ed Lesson “A rare, spectacular total eclipse of the sun,” you should really check it out. Not only will you learn a good deal about the science behind these extraordinary events, you’ll also get to soak in some beautiful and detailed artistry from animator Bevan Lynch. We caught up with Lynch for a quick, behind-the-scenes look at what it was like to create an entire universe from scratch, with a few Earth-shattering pitfalls along the way.

How do you come up with the ideas for your animations?

Pre-production for me is often the most fun and also the most challenging part of the animation process. There are so many fun choices to make, but knowing which are the right ones can be tough.

Visual ideas come to me in many different ways. Sometimes I’ll read a script and know exactly how I want to…

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Three lessons for designing for the whole world: Margaret Gould Stewart at TED2014



Originally posted on TED Blog:

Margaret Gould Stewart. Photo: James Duncan Davidson
Margaret Gould Stewart. Photo: James Duncan Davidson

“What do you think of when I say the word design?” Margaret Gould Stewart, director of product design at Facebook, is here to talk about the kind of design that you normally don’t think about — the design of digital systems that are used by billions of people each day.

As examples, Steward reminds the audience that Google handles 1 billion searches per day. People upload to YouTube more in a single day than all of the US television networks broadcast in the last 5 years combined. Facebook transmits the photos, messages and stories of over 1.23 billion people, or about 1/6 of humanity.

“What’s really hard at designing at scale,” she says, “is that it requires a bizarre combination of two things, audacity and humility.” Audacity to believe that what you’re doing is important, and humility because it’s not about the designer’s portfolio…

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The joy of having a clean cupboard is unparalleled. I have always struggled to have a neat and tidy cupboard where stacks of well folded clothes are kept in color coordinated arrangement. Instead, very often mine would look like as if a hurricane had hit the space! The moment I would open the doors, they would fall on me like ripe fruits from a tree!
When it would be time for me to keep my clothes ready for the day, I would never find anything remotely attractive. This would put me in an irritable and uncomfortable state of mind.Thinking of all the gorgeous clothes shopped from various stores, tried, tested, paraded in the show room made me even more frustrated. Once they got into the famed storage space, I would not lay my eyes on them till I cleared the cupboard.

So today was one such day. I actually cleaned up, arranged the tops, dresses, scarves, bags, Jeans, belts all in their respective places. Pretty kicked with life at least for a month or till the next tornado hits the clothes!


songs for mom


A story to keep forever

Originally posted on -- ✄ - ✄ - the smallest forest - ✄ - ✄ --:

In the months before her death, my mother gave us kids the task of tracking down a long list of her favorite songs…songs that reminded her, I suppose, of special times and people in her life.

These are some of the songs she asked me to get…my brothers have other lists. Sa Ugoy Ng Duyan (In the rocking of the cradle) by Lucio San Pedro/Levy Celerio, is the one, she said, that would remind her of me…a lullaby she sang to me, and that I sang back to her when I was a older. The music was played at my parents’ house yesterday, where friends gathered to hold a party around my mother’s urn. One of my friends shared this about her visit to the house:

“16 years hence, i once again find myself up in the quiet, wooded villages of Antipolo , amongst the company of old friends from…

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