Friday, 22 May 2009
TED: 10 Things You Didn't Know About Orgasm
Goddamn Eloise Pasteur. She sent me a weblink to heaven. Well, one part of heaven as it would look to me*: the part that doesn't look like a Scottish island with no one else on it, or the Greek bit in Fantasia with the gods and fauns and stuff only with everyone going at it like rabbits.
This bit of heaven is called TED, which stands for "Technology:Entertainment:Design", but don't let the horrible title put you off. Every year they hold conferences to which really rich and influential people go (so that's not me!) and listen to short (18 min max) talks by clever, innovative and visionary people about their specialist subjects, but made accessible to non-specialists. Then they put all the talks up online for free so everyone can enjoy them. They want people to think about our complex world in new and clearer ways. Okay, so you could call it intellectual masturbation for liberals, but I'm strongly in favour of intellect, liberalism and masturbation.
I lose a lot of valuable writing time to TED. Thanks Eloise!
It's not at all stuffy, by the way. The talk above by Mary Roach** is a quick run-down of amusing and startling things revealed in orgasm research. She's written a book called Bonk: the curious coupling of sex and science that covers the ground in more detail. If you want to spread your net wider than sex, there's everything from SETI to dog-training. Try the demonstration of mind-boggling anti-gravity sculpture, or this awesome talk on the counter-intuitive truths about morality, and there's even music - although I warn you that Black Men Ski will be stuck in your head for days.
All the available TED talks here.
And out of interest - What would your heaven look like?
* If there is a heaven, I have very little chance indeed of getting in. Slightly less than, say, Chairman Mao.
** A glance at my bookshelf shows that I already have a Mary Roach book: Stiff, which is about the human corpse. A woman after my own weird heart, clearly...