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...


Nikki Magennis said...

Ooh, I love TED! There was a brilliant talk about the brain somewhere - a brain scientist who had a stroke.

Am off to listen to the moral code one now, thanks!

Heaven: About ten minutes ago - me and my cat, in the sunshine, on the back step.

Craig Sorensen said...

Damn! That was awesome!

She's too cool.

Love the "Pig Stimulation!"

Thanks for posting this. I'll have to check out more of this stuff.

neve black said...

Hi Janine!
Thanks for posting this. Good *Heavens*, how do we get invited to this delectable conference? It sounds positively amazing!

I'm writing this prior to listening. I'm headed there now.

p.s. you should see how my story board is shaping up. ;-)

Janine Ashbless said...

I'm going to try for one TED talk a day from now on.

Aw, Nikki - your heaven is so sweet!

Janine Ashbless said...

Show us your story board Neve!

jothemama said...

I think my heaven is a giant bed. With a cereal cupboard and bookshelf. And lovely people. Sleep and sex and cereal on tap.

Janine Ashbless said...

Sounds cosy!

Honestly, who could imagine heaven without sex? How would that be heaven?