The need for power has driven me from my comfy couch perch to the bloggers's table here in Palm Springs, so I'm surrounded by my blogging counterparts. Some of the other TEDsters capturing event:
Wonder is not precisely knowing and not precisely knowing not - Emily Dickinson
Architecture is not based on steel and concrete, but on wonder. It's a story of the struggle against improbabilities - the pyramids, etc - we all know what they are.
It is optimism vs. pessimism. You have to believe in the future. (Remember that we don't have time for pessimism anymore, according to Yann Arthus-Berthand.)
What I love about TED speakers is the passion they bring for the thing they do, whatever that thing is. Libeskind is talking about architecture in ways others might talk about religion. He deeply believes in what he does, in the beauty and wonder of this form of expression. That's the thread that brings passionate people together - we can all find reverence in the thing that brings us fulfillment. We can all feel exhaltation in the ability to express or create or produce energy in the world through whatever medium has meaning or power for us.
Building 1 house - 1 billion BTUs
(created EcoRock green drywall)
ElectricalFault Circuit Interruptor
10-cent transmitter in a plug and a cheap receiver in the outlet that detects when too much power is drawn and shuts down the flow - could save lives and money because 83% of electrical fires happen below the safety threshold of circuits, meaning the circuits never trip because there seems to be no threat.
How would you run a whole country without oil?
For him it comes down to cars - can you create an electric car that is just as good or even better than a gas-powered car. It has to be more convenient and more affordable - that's the only way to break the social contract we have with current cars.
His idea - separate car and battery ownership. The "batteries not included" model. This creates a 2-component network - you create a network of batteries/power and then you buy the car, but subscribe to a number of miles. Then people swap batteries - you drive into something that looks like a car wash, swap them out and then go.
An add to the contract - if you stop more than 50 times per year to swap batteries, you get a refund because that's beyond their threshold of convenience - that's fewer times you'd stop at a gas station. The battery isn't the equivalent of the gasoline, it's the equivalent of the crude oil. Current electric cars ask you to pay for the whole "well" - this model is pay for that well as you go.
eMile - the new commodity - in 2010 he estimates it at 8 cents per mile (that's cheaper than gas in the US, far cheaper than gas in Europe). But the model improves - 4 cents in 2015, 2 cents in 2020 as battery cycles improve.
Israel said if you can find a manufacturer who will mass produce your car, we will give you a market (HA). Renault stepped up.
By 2015 we'll have another quarter billion cars - that is a 25% rise in oil demand, equivalent to the entire US oil use today.
Eventually cars will resemble the cell phone model - buying the minutes subsidizes the equipment.
In the UK, there was a debate about slavery, which amounted to 25% of the GDP. Many said its abolition would destry the conomy. Many said it should be done slowly. But in the end, morality won out and slavery was abolished and the Industrial Revolution begin within a year.
When I read the description of her talk, I thought to myself, "I remember meeting someone doing the same sort of thing at TED@Aspen last year." Guess what? It's the same thing because she's the same person.
She is talking about trepanation, then early public surgeries in the era before anesthesia. Trepanation arose in multiple areas. Once anesthesia was "invented" surgeries could be done without rush and pain during surgery, but patients died at alarming rates due to infection because - hello - no one thought it was important to wash their hands before surgery.
We get to write the script of the next revolution in surgery. Mohr is discussing technologies such as injecting markers that allow tumors to be seen, blood vessel connections to be detected, all without the radiation that has been traditionally required.
Her vision is not to spare people the epiphany of facing their mortality when receiving a life-threatening diagnosis. Instead, she says, "What I want instead is for you to be whole, intact and functional enough to go out and save the world after you've decided that's what you want to do."
New tool, "Marrow Minder" that allows bone marrow harvest without multiple entry points. They find they get 10x the stem cell activity in the marrow mined with this technique than with standard techniques. Makes the process less painful and invasive - can be done outpatient. Can lead to people being more willing to donate their marrow.
Well, I'd tell you what that means, but the slides have too many words for me to read and type in the time they're being shown. And I know what you are thinking, "Just Google it." Good idea. Try it and see what happens. Closest I got was a 2002 article on bioinspiration. Tim Berners-Lee, we really do need linked data now!
The application of it is that he and his colleagues have created synthetic adhesive that mimics gecko toes both in the way they are sticky as well as the way the toes quickly curl back to release the adhesive. When they build a gecko-like robot, they found the toes worked, but the robot fell off the wall if it didn't have a tail. What difference did the tail make in this case? Tails in this case are active, functioning as a fifth leg to provide stability, even allowing a gecko to right itself if it falls while upside down. It even allows it to glide, yawing left and right and even flapping like a dolphi to swim through the air. What does this mean for the evolution of flight - could it have evolved from falling from trees and controlling glide? In the lab, they found that geckos could glide and control their "fall" to land on a target.
Net-net - his lab wouldn't have made these discoveries if the engineers building the robot hadn't begun questionning the tail and its utility.
WOW. If you ever have a chance to see her one-woman show, DO IT. She captures cultural elements of expression in a very real way.