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Let's talk about TED.... - Blather. Rants. Repeat.
A Møøse once bit my sister ...
captainsblog
captainsblog
Let's talk about TED....
TED-X Buffalo, to be precise. My first time in the experience; previous years' audiences were limited and essentially auditioned by email, but this year they just sold cheap seats and I scored two of them weeks ago.



This is the sixth year of TED talks in Buffalo, the second in this amazing now-and-former sacred space once known as Asbury Delaware United Methodist Church- rescued from the wrecking ball by Ani DiFranco, and now the city's premier intimate performance venue.  There's even a bar in the basement; John Wesley's spinning in his grave powers the turbines for the building's electrical service.

That's the first speaker up there, Jim Cielencki. (This is Buffalo, after all.) The talk titles really don't give away much; his was "Discovering I Knew Nothing About My City." There was a hint in the blurb about it being about running, but nothing led to the amazement of what he did over five months: to train for the late-May Buffalo Marathon, Jim set out, GPS tracker aboard, to run down every avenue, street, boulevard, alley, highway and even Skyway within the city limits prior to race day- except for the race course itself. Those 26-ish miles were saved for the end, which he finished in under 5 hours (or about as long as it would take me to run 10).  He showed us awesome pictures from The Roads- of trees and cars and houses of all ilk- and said that nobody, anywhere, hassled him as long as he smiled and said hello and treated them as he'd wanted to be treated.

Next up was a crowdsourcer, Allison Sargraves. She deputized all of us as Citizen Data Scientists, providing numerous websites where we could help researchers- studying everything from Antarctic penguins to the migratory patterns of monarch butterflies to how video gamers can help crack gene sequences for disease cures.

We then got a local geologist, specializing in Arctic glaciers. Jason Briner (what a name for studying sea levels) showed us some scary graphics of how glaciers have been receding, and their former contents filling up sea levels, for the 20 years he's been studying them.  If you live south of Sunrise Highway on Long Island, I hope you can tread water.  But the Paris Agreement offers hope, particularly if we don't have a President who thinks 97 percent of climate scientists are in on a "hoax."

I was most excited about the next one: William Capozzi, speaking about virtual reality and animation.  I even texted Emily a picture of himself.  He was the shortest and slowest of Act One, focusing on how to use VR to animation-capture buildings that are either long-gone (such as the Larkin Building in Buffalo) or threatened (such as a bank building in his downtown home of Olean that I remember from when Bankruptcy Court held forth in that neighborhood). I'd give this one a Concept 10, Looks 3.

And that got us to Jamie.  He's a Digital Arts professor at Canisius, and it was an hour delay on a tarmac out of Buffalo on a winter night that got him talking with another faculty member, which, eventually, led to them combining digital transmission with footwear.  First he demonstrated with a single dancer- how his own steps created the entirety of the music broadcast from his feets.  Then, he brought him back as part of a quartet- five if you count the DJ who was mixing the feeds from all four pairs to create, well, this:




And that was only the half of it.  I'd had a long workday; there were Lloyd's burritos for pickup, but only for those who ordered them over a week ago; and I was alone, since Eleanor was home sick with the same shitty thing I've likely been running for more than a week longer (more about that debacle in another post); I gave away her ticket when I walked in and hopefully it helped someone get in to the soldout hall.  So I bailed at halftime, but all of the Talks should be up on Youtube shortly and I'll link to them when they arrive.
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