Coffee plays an important role in the lives of many TEDActivators, whether it keeps you awake for the TED sessions, kickstarts your brainstorms or helps you meet new friends while waiting in line. We found this awesome graphic and thought of all of you who are hard at work churning out mind-boggling ideas, breaking out of boxes and silos and saving the world.
The Boston Marathon race clock read 4:09 when the bombs went off. On Monday, April 15, three people were killed and over 100 were injured from the explosions on Boylston Street, near the marathon’s finish line. We wanted to take a moment to reflect on this tragedy and send our most heartfelt thoughts to all who were affected.
TEDActivator Aaron Tang witnessed the event from his office window and was able to capture the first explosion in photographs. As he posted the images on Flickr on Tuesday, he wrote, “This is sad day for such a great event. I was amazed how fast the medics and nearby citizens took action to run into the smoke, rip off their shirts to help the wounded.” His photos can be found on his Flickr page and as a gallery on CNN. [Warning: photos are graphic]
What he witnessed:
In times of unspeakable violence, it is human nature to feel the need to reach out and lend a hand, like those individuals Aaron witnessed. Strangers helping strangers. Communities aiding communities. And this is core to the TEDActive spirit. Comedian Patton Oswalt’s poignant Facebook reaction to the bombings truly resonated with us:
But the vast majority stands against that darkness and, like white blood cells attacking a virus, they dilute and weaken and eventually wash away the evil doers and, more importantly, the damage they wreak. This is beyond religion or creed or nation. We would not be here if humanity were inherently evil. We’d have eaten ourselves alive long ago.
So, TEDActivators, here’s to standing against the darkness. Here’s to diluting the evil that exists in our world. Here are five actions we can take in the aftermath:
1. Donate to The One Fund Boston.
“At moments like this, we are one state, one city, and one people,” said Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick. He and Boston Mayor Tom Menino announced The One Fund Boston to raise money to help the families affected by the bombings. John Hancock Financial Services, the lead sponsor of the Boston Marathon, has already made a $1 million donation.
2. Remember: We are all human.
Documentary filmmaker Beth Murphy — a former Boston marathon runner now living in Kabul, Afghanistan — and Kabul citizens took these photos:
3. Give blood.
The American Red Cross is taking blood donations for the future. Although there is currently enough blood on the shelves to meet patient needs, there’s always a need for more. Having blood ready to use on the shelves helps to save lives when another tragedy happens.
4. Don’t donate money … to a fake charity.
Dozens of fake websites and charities were created moments after the bombing. A fake Twitter handle @_BostonMarathon was recently taken down. They tweeted: “For every retweet we will donate $1.00 for the #BostonMarathon victims #PrayforBoston.” Do your research before you donate. Reputable organizations like The Salvation Army and The American Red Cross are accepting donations.
And above all …
5. Keep running.
Michael Wardian, a Boston Marathon runner told the Washington Post, “Running is something that for me has been life-altering. It’s something that allows me to clear my head — a safe place for me to go. And somebody tried to rob that. I don’t want that to be possible. I don’t want them to have that type of power over me.”
TEDActivators are always doing cool things — whether it’s starting a new business, collaborating with artists, realizing wild and crazy dreams or even jumping off a building for fun. We spotted brave TEDActivator Doug Abrams and TED2012 speaker Lior Zoref ”sky-jumping” at the Stratosphere Tower in Las Vegas. The experience, called Sky Jump, holds the Guinness World Record for the highest commercial decelerator descent which is like a giant bungee jump without the bungee. You’re instead connected to a high speed “descender” machine that slows you down as you approach the ground. We love what Doug says about true friends right before he jumps: “You can’t drink alone and you can’t die alone.” We second that, Doug!
Here’s Lior’s Sky Jump:
Over the years, we’ve had many talented musical superstars join our TEDActive family. We’ve compiled our favorite music videos by TEDActivators to feed your aural fixation and get you back in the TEDActive spirit — move, shake and do! Don’t have time to watch the videos? We have an audio only playlist at the bottom of this blog post.
Lucky Dragons “Givers”
St. Vincent jammed at TED2011. See her also make an appearance (further down) in ”Wonder,” a crowd-sourced music project from TEDActive 2011.
LA-based Las Cafeteras played on the final evening at La Quinta, Palm Springs at TEDActive 2012. “La Bamba Rebelde” will get you dancing, just like attendees were:
Sara Watkins played the fiddle and sang in Taco Pants, the TEDActive 2010 band made up of Jill Sobule, John Doe, Stuart Johnson, and Dave Way. Sara’s lovely original song “Take Up Your Spade”:
Wendy Melvoin, of Wendy & Lisa (and former bandmate of Prince), performed at the Desert Party at TEDActive 2011.
In four days at TEDActive 2010, the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus, Jill Sobule, John Doe, Sara Watkins, Stuart Johnson, Don Was, Dave Way and Krish Sharma collaborated to create this music video. Data artist Aaron Koblin directed the video, using drawings made by attendees on ideas about what the world needs now.
An audio playlist for your ears only:
Need more to listen to?
For TEDActive 2010, 2011 and 2012, Dublab DJs frosty and Turquoise Wisdom created “Entry Mixes,” sonic explorations of the TED conference themes. Attendees could get their heads in the right state of mind. Check out these playlists:
TEDActive 2010 Entry Mix: “Timeless Gems Worth Spreading”
TEDActive 2011 Entry Mix: “Rediscovery of Wonder”
TEDActive 2012 Entry Mix: “Full Spectrum”
Head over to the TEDx blog for stories and photos of the TEDx Workshop at TEDActive this week. The workshop brought together a global community of TEDx organizers for a day of presentations, celebration and mind melding, demonstrating the power and possibility of community-based sharing, learning, and activism.
Artist Kiel Johnson, who led the amazing workshop “Everyone’s An Architect” last year at TEDActive, was featured today on both the Huffington Post and Sinbadesign for his intricate cardboard city creations which TEDActive attendees help build in Palm Springs last spring.
Since then, Kiel’s been involved in a couple of TEDx events around the world including TEDxAlAin in Abu Dhabi. He will be speaking again on September 1st at TEDxEQChCh in Christchurch, New Zealand.
While you’re at it, check out this amazing time-lapse video of the cardboard cities rising, shot by Theo Jemison at TEDActive 2012 below: