TED: Learn Something This Christmas

Want to take your mind off college for the holidays? I don’t blame you.

Here’s my suggestion to do just that. Sit back and listen to some fascinating lectures from some of the most intriguing people on the planet.

You can find countless lectures by visiting the website of TED, a nonprofit which originally got its name by bringing together people from technology, entertainment and design, but its universe of topics has long since been expanded. TED, which promotes “Ideas Worth Spreading,” has attracted such speakers as Bono, Bill Clinton, Richard Branson, Richard Dawkins, Michael Pollan and countless others  in such fields as religion, architecture, science, politics, engineering and literature.

Don’t have time to fidget through a long talk? TED limits all speakers to presentations that can’t last more than 18 minutes. Even better, TED breaks up your choices into convenient categories such as the following:

  • Rated jaw-dropping
  • Persuasive
  • Courageous
  • Fascinating
  • Inspiring
  • Beautiful
  • Funny
  • Informative

TED offers talks related to:

  • Technology
  • Entertainment
  • Design
  • Business
  • Science
  • Global issues

I just listened to a lecture featuring Malcom Gladwell, a New Yorker writer and prolific author of bestsellers, including Blink and Outliers, who spoke about spaghetti sauce. Fascinating. Really.

Here are two TED talks that I’m going to watch after I finish this post:

Steve Jobs: How To Live Before You Die

Sir Ken Robinson: Bring On The Learning Revolution

I’d suggest that you find something you’d like to listen to as well.  Put on your listening cap and learn something during this holiday season.

Lynn O’Shaughnessy is the author of The College Solution and she also writes college blogs for CBSMoneyWatch and US News & World Report.

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  1. Hey Lynn,
    I have been watching clips here for quite some time. These are some of the most interesting, astute and educated minds in the free world. The myriad of topics is mind boggling! It is websites like this that tempted to eliminate cable TV altogether! And the name TED.com is kinda cool.
    Pleasanton, CA