I've recently been intrigued by the TED video series and excited that these videos lead me to great resources available in our library. TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to being a platform for "Ideas Worth Spreading". Most of the content is short videos (20 minutes max) of people presenting their fascinating research, ideas, discoveries, music, etc. TED makes all of the talks available for free online. This post highlights some of my recent TED discoveries and links to related library materials.
Christopher McDougall's question Are We Born to Run?
McDougall wondered why modern Western runners seemed to suffer so many running-related injuries. Was that just a feature of running? His question led him to spending time with a tribe in Northern Mexico who are known for their injury-free distance running prowess (50, 100 miles races). McDougall describes how he came to believe that current running shoes are to blame for runners' injuries, advocating barefoot running as the way to solve this problem. Check out McDougal's book Born to Run:a Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen for more info. (find the book at the Blume Library or other libraries via WorldCat)
Jane McGonigal's concept that Gaming Can Make a Better World
McGonigal's talk explores her ideas of how to harness the enthusiasm and devoted interest of gamers to solve real-world issues. Her recent book Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World goes into more depth about her research and the games developed by the R&D organization Institute for the Future. Gamers aren't wasting their time after all! (find the book at the Blume Library or other libraries via WorldCat).
Bill Gates talk How State Budgets Are Breaking US Schools
Gates talks about recent, and low-term, economic threats to the US educational system. Most funding for schools comes from state budgets. He asserts that a large part of the problem is state legislators' unwillingness to make difficult decisions about long-term viability for the educational system, instead playing games with accounting and state budget deficits. Take a look at some articles in Academic Search Complete for other perspectives on US education and state budgets.
Take a look at TED.com and find talks that inspire you. And then, expand on your interest by searching to see what the library has to offer on the subject!