TEDActive on the road: Edinburgh, Scotland

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Our awesome hosts Kelly Stoetzel and Rives were in Edinburgh, Scotland last week for TEDGlobal 2013 and they brought the TEDActive spirit with them. On Thursday night, they hosted a new, experimental late-night event with a talk-show twist called “Inside the Active Studio” where they invited standout speakers and performers to come on the stage for encore acts and intimate interviews. In true TEDActive tradition, there was lots of comedy, cocktails and, of course, beanbags.

The event came together quickly and seamlessly during the week. “It was a bit of a free-for-all. We pulled people after they killed it on the [TEDGlobal] stage and asked them to get involved over the last few days. They were all pretty game to do it,” said Kelly.

Here are the top six highlights of “Inside the Active Studio”:

1.  When in Scotland … you should have a Scottish accent contest. Who won the Active Studio one? It was Hetain Patel, who performed a brilliant art piece, earlier that week on the TEDGlobal stage, in which he challenged our notions of identity and language.

2. Uri Alon, who gave a TEDGlobal talk about scientific research and improv, came on stage with his red guitar and sang songs about working on Sundays at the lab and about a letter from a scientific journal rejecting his paper.

3. Mid-event, audience and speakers enthusiastically sang parts of “Man in the Mirror” and “Build me up, Buttercup.”

4. Russell Foster, neuroscientist and sleep expert, said a nap is only useful as long as it’s not longer than 20 minutes. If you go over that amount, you’ll go into deep sleep and the recovery from that will counteract all of the benefits.

5. In Carin Bondar‘s TEDGlobal 2013 talk, she spoke about the paper nautilus, a creature with a hectocotylus — a detachable penis that swims over to the female and attaches itself to her nether regions, providing sperm. A question on the minds of many in the audience: Does it come back? Her answer was no. “But, it does grow back!” she remarked optimistically.

6. We learned that Lissie – the singer who shook up the TEDGlobal stage and came back to rock out at Active Studio — whips out “Fancy” by Bobbie Gentry when it’s her turn at the karaoke machine.

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