Christian Long

Your Own Writing: Most Successful + Least Successful

If your grade depended upon a person ONLY reading your best blog entries — writing style, details, analysis, language, editing, depth — which TWO weekly blog entries would you pick?

  1. Name of speaker, Name of Talk, Link to your blog entry, 2+ sentence why it is a successful piece of writing by you
  2. Name of speaker, Name of Talk, Link to your blog entry, 2+ sentence why it is a successful piece of writing by you

Likewise, if you could delete ONE of your weekly blog entries for any reason — writing style, details, analysis, language, editing, depth — which would it be?

  1. Name of speaker, Name of Talk, Link to your blog entry, 2+ sentence why it was NOT a successful piece of writing by you

Leave your response in a comment and hit ‘publish’.

  1. Most Successful:

    Susan Blackmore on Memes and Temes

    I loved this video and I think it shows through in my analysis. I didn’t do an in-depth analysis of the video, instead I talked about the theory she gave, and tried to expand on the idea. Over all I liked my analysis and Susan’s speech. So if I were to recommend one of my videos over the rest, it would probably be this one.

    Chris Anderson

    This was another really great one. I think that Chris did a great job with his speech, he assured people that Ted wasn’t going to change, he threw in enough jokes to keep people interested, and he also made a point about happiness. I loved this video, and as with Susan Blackmore’s video I think that shone through. I talked somewhat about the video itself, but I decided to talk mainly about the Tedx Project, and what we were trying to do with it. The idea being that because Chris was talking about what Ted is, It might be interesting if one of us, talked about what our class’ Tedx analysis was.

    Least Successful:

    Paul Rothemund

    (the link isn’t up yet )

    I really just had no idea what this video was suppose to be about. I wasn’t sure if he was saying “look how cool this is”, or “I have this technology for sale”, or even “We’re making new life forms”. I didn’t understand what Paul was saying, or what his point was, or anythign really. I was truly confused. So I took my best stab, and said that assumed that it was his technology, and that he was selling it. looking back I’m still unsure what the videos point was, but I think my analysis was completely off as well…

  2. Most Successful:

    Adora Svitak: What Adults Can Learn From Kids

    I believe my reflection on Adora Svitak’s talk was one of my most successful pieces of writing because it was the first reflection I did. This allowed me to freely write what I gained from the talk and what others should gain as well. None of my fellow classmates had posted one of their reflections, so I could develop my own unique voice in this reflection. As more and more reflection were posted and read it is very easy to fall into the methodical style of reflecting a talk. Also this talk went hand in hand with another talk I was going to reflect; Sir Ken Robinson’s Schools kill Creativity. This allowed me to related two different talks together as one.

    Taylor Mali: What Teachers Make

    I believe my reflection on Taylor Mali’s talk was another one of my most successful reflections. I was able to relate the talk to events and feelings in my life that pertained to the heart of the talk. I also respected the message Taylor was conveying which allowed me to smoothly reflect what I thought about the subject and talk easier than a talk that I did not care about or was not emotionally attached to. When I reread my reflection, there was little to edit which is usually not the case for me. I usually rewrite a paragraph I feel does not express what I am trying to write, although this was not the case in this reflection.

    Least Successful:

    Elizabeth Gilbert: Nurturing Creativity

    As I reread all of my TED reflections my reflection on Elizabeth Gilbert’s talk I believe is my least successful piece of writing. One reason I believe it was not one of my strongest writings is that the talk did not impact me as much as many of the other talks I reflected on. The talk also further explained how Elizabeth, a successful writer, nurtured creativity spiritually as well as gave examples of how creativity has a spiritual form. I do not believe in this theory yet I still respected their belief. The lack of attachment to the talk led me to be less passionate in writing this reflection making it one of my least successful talks.

  3. The TED talks I liked the most were the ones that had personality to them. If the speaker didn’t have good stage presence, I would lose focus in the video and start doing something else.

    Most Successful:

    Amory Lovins on winning the oil endgame

    I watched a TED talked called “winning the oil endgame”, even though I liked the topic and found what he was taking about really interesting, it was so boring that I couldn’t even finish the video! he didn’t really sound interested in what he was talking about. I think the problem was that there was too much information in his presentation. Also If he talked like he was more enthusiastic in his presentation, I think it would have been for me more enjoyable to watch.

    Randy Pausch: Really achieving your childhood dreams

    I loved this video! it was really touching and it made me feel like I could do anything I set my mind to. I would defiantly tell my friends and family to watch this video if they had time. Even though it is a really long video, I think it is worth it because Randy’s story is a great one and it makes you want to go accomplish your childhood dreams. What made this a good video to watch is it had a lot of stories and you could tell that he was having fun with his talk.

    Least Successful:

    Amory Lovins on winning the oil endgame

    If I could delete one of my TED talked blogs it would probably be the one about “winning the oil endgame”. It was also my least favorite talk. I think if I would have liked it better, I would have spent more time and effort on it and would have pulled out more good points about the talk other that what I didn’t like about it.

  4. Most Successful:

    Frans Lanting: Lyrical Nature Photos

    I watched this talk multiple times, and for a week thought of what it meant to me before actually writing my reflection. The writing, although broken apart by more spaces, flows nicely. There is also a good balance of long to short sentences. Some lines are cleverly written, and the reflection ends abruptly while still allowing the reader to question what they themselves think

    Paul Bennett: Design Is in the Details

    Being generally interested in design and architecture myself, I enjoyed this talk, therefore allowing me to connect with it’s topics. Beginning with some personal ideas, and questioning the importance of the video with “so what?” led me to expand my talk from the details to the big picture. It was odd, beginning with the small aspects, and then broadening my scope, but I think it payed off and made a unique / interesting reflection.

    Least Successful:

    Stephen Petranek: Counts Down to Armageddon

    I rushed myself when writing this reflection. My stupidity forced me to hurry and turn this blog in very close to the deadline, resulting in less than optimal writing. I tried to be “cute” by spelling out Armageddon with my paragraphs, but it did not really add any content to my lifeless writing. Although as the weeks went by, I found it easier and easier to disagree with the speakers I was reflecting on. I didn’t wish to challenge Mr. Petranek’s Talk, I simply did not have any thoughts to support his statements. Disagreeing and arguing is much simpler than supporting.

  5. Most Successful:

    Pilobolus: symbiosis

    Pilobolus’ performance really takes your mind out of its structured thought process. I think the strength of my entry comes from the description of their dance. It allows the reader to get a vision of what Pilobolus does. Like their performance, my entry provides room for different creative views of the same thing.

    Robert Full: Animal Movement

    This blog entry is very informative. Full gave a lot of information about how the study of animal movement can be used to make advancements in technology. My comment establishes a spark of inspiration to investigate biological entities for the goal of transforming that knowledge into technological advances.

    Least Successful:

    Randy Psauch: Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams

    If I could delete one of my own writings this would be the one. As inspiring as his story was my blog fell short of inspiring others to want to watch his video and change their lives. The ideas I was trying to convey were disjointed. I shout have put more time and effort into this blog seeing how it was my favorite TED talk.

  6. Most Successful:

    Jane Poynter: Life in Biosphere 2

    This TED talk was easy to write about because it was one big story talking about a life experience. When writing my blog over this video, I never had to stop and think about what I was going to write about because there was so many things to write about. Also what helped me on writing the blog was how well organized the video was. Jane was entertaining to watch because you could tell she had a good personality. I think this was one of my better blog entries because I think I summarized the video pretty well. Also i spent a lot of time reviewing the video to make my writing stronger.

    Randy Pausch: Really achieving your childhood dreams

    I loved this video! it was really touching and it made me feel like I could do anything I set my mind to. I would defiantly tell my friends and family to watch this video if they had time. Even though it is a really long video, I think it is worth it because Randy’s story is a great one and it makes you want to go accomplish your childhood dreams. What made this a good video to watch is it had a lot of stories and you could tell that he was having fun with his talk. There were a lot of things to write about after watching the video. What made it easy to write about this video was the fact that it was a life story and not just facts about something. I think was one of my stronger blogs because I spent a lot of time on putting the blog together.

    Least Successful:

    Amory Lovins: winning the oil endgame

    If I could delete one of my TED talked blogs it would probably be the one about “winning the oil endgame”. It was also my least favorite talk. I think if I would have liked it better, I would have spent more time and effort on it and would have pulled out more good points about the talk other that what I didn’t like about it. It was hard writing about this vidoe becuase there was tones of facts and little personality through out the TED talk.

  7. Most Successful:

    Carmen Agra Deedy
    Spins Stories

    My favorite talk that I watched and wrote about was this one, it really caught my attention because Carmen was very outgoing and funny. One of my strongest blogs is this one because I really knew what was going on and she inspired me to tell stories. Listening to the stories she told were so funny and not just something telling me what to do or how to do something, which helped me write more about the video.

    Least Successful:

    Stewart Brand
    Squatter Cities

    This was my least successful video because I had no idea what was going on. The video was boring and not really something I was interested in. I just wrote key points about this because I didn’t have much of an opinion on this one.

  8. Most Successful:

    Wade Davis: Endangered Cultures

    This was my most successful piece of writing because the talk left me inspired and motivated to write something that would do justice to such a phenomenal presentation. Culture is something I care deeply about and was thus an easier topic for me to write about, and have fun writing. When you are filled with emotion it’s hard not to write your best. The topic really left me in a position where I couldn’t write something short and sweet, but rather something long and meaningful to me.

    Elaine Morgan: We Evolved from Aquatic Apes

    This was a quirky talk that I could easily relate to. Being able to relate my life and my beliefs with this talk made it a joy to write about. It was an interesting eye-opening topic, there was no way I couldn’t write well for it. I used a slightly different style than most of my other blog entries for it because I was able to tie so much of the talk to my own beliefs.

    Least Successful:

    David Macaulay: All Roads Lead to Rome Antics

    To me this felt like my worst piece of writing for the blog entries because I had so much trouble writing it. It was an interesting talk, and I know the story had a lot of meaning to Macaulay, but it was almost awkward to write about. I couldn’t find a way to write it without using too many facts from his talk. I felt like I was just writing a script. All in all I just wasn’t satisfied with it, it’s not a piece two years from now that I could even recognize as my own.

  9. Most successful:

    Alexis Ohanian: How to make a splash in social media

    When writing this blog I was able to make a personal connection to my own habits on social networking sites and in doing so I was able to better explain my point of view. Out of all the blogs I’ve written during this project, this one is the only one where I made myself the example.

    Julia Sweeney: letting go of God

    I think this was one of my best blogs because as soon as I listened to this talk, I knew what I was going to write about and I didn’t hesitate. It was easy for me to just write what I thought because I was able to really connect with what Sweeney was saying.

    Least successful:

    Janine Benyus: Nature designs

    I think this blog was one of my least successful ones becomes when it came time to write it, I really didn’t want to. But I had already watched a pretty lengthy talk so I decided to just throw some ideas together without really thinking about what I was writing.

  10. Most successful:

    Nora York sings “What I Want”

    Although this video was only Nora singing, the lyrics to her song inspired me. In my writing I took what she sang and expanded on her idea. I talked about how many people in society think that they have it bad until they actually put themselves in someone else’s position that has it even worse. The reason that I think this piece is one of my most successful writings is because I was passionate about what I wrote. When you are passionate about something it is much easier to share your ideas and your writing seems to flow.

    Derek Sivers talk on “Weird or just Different”

    Sivers’ talk really intrigued me. I loved it because it was pretty short but at the same time, it got his point across. I believe I write better when someone presents an idea and I can just write off of that idea and maybe even propose a new idea. I am not the best writer, but I believe my grammar and structure of this piece of writing was much better than normal.

    Least Successful:

    Dan Pink’s talk on Surprising Science of Motivation

    This was my least successful piece of writing. I think it did not turn out as good as it could have been because I was not inspired by the talk itself. When the person giving the talk inspires me, I find it much easier to write and analyze the talk. I also think by sentences were choppy and my paragraphs did not flow. If Dan left me more inspired I believe my writing would have been much better.

  11. Two Best TED Talk Responses

    Steve Truglia, A Leap from the Edge of Space,
    I really liked my response to this talk because of the descriptiveness of it. I felt that telling a story was the best way to approach this response and i think that the second person-ness of it all made it a lot cooler and more fun to read.

    James Burchfield, Plays invisible turntables,
    At the time I wrote this, I was really open to the ideas that the TED videos had in store for me, because this was my first one. I felt that I took the simple video of the guy beat boxing and made it into something a little more.

    Worst Response

    Emily Levine, Theory of Everything,
    On this one I was kind of in a hurry and I felt that I could have analyzed the video a whole lot better. I was just kind of lazy with it all. The video actually had some good stuff, and truthfully it was kind of hard to understand, but if I wasn’t rushing myself I could’ve looked at it more times and figured out exactly what idea was being portrayed.

  12. I feel that my two best ted talks were my reflections on Anupam Mishra’s the ancient ingenuity of water harvesting and Erin McKean’s redefining the dictionary. Partly I feel that it was because both of these topics were interesting to me personally that my reflections on them were the most engaging.

    I feel that in Mishra’s I provide a clear summary of the video with my own voice interwoven throughout. It’s clear and doesn’t popcorn from one topic to another as some of my other reflections are apt to. The post worked out as I intended communicating my interest in the use of ancient structures over new technologies.

    As for McKean’s, her talk truly touched me. I love words. If there were no thesauruses I might die. I think you can see that in my post. Her’s was one of the few talk’s I’ve seen that peaked my interest enough to do further research, and that definitely shows. It comes off witty and easy to read, rather than dry, rote summarizing.

    I think my least successful post was John Gerzema on the post consumer crisis

    I feel that part of the problem was that while this speaker is very compelling, I simply don’t understand enough about the economy to clearly explain to others my reactions to this talk. I think the post comes off stilted and under explained. If I took a second try at this talk I think instead of attempting to explain or summarize the talk I would take one of the points I understood and do a bit more research on it. I feel that a post on something I truly understood would be a more successful piece than this which tends toward scatter brained.

  13. Most Successful:

    Sxip Shirey: At the Breathing Place

    Not only did I absolutely love this video- to the point that I actually did research outside of my entry, but I feel like my response is actually worth reading. I’m probably biased, but I believe that it summarizes what music is about. I think that it’s my strongest response not only because it’s the video I took the most interest in, but because it was passionate, and I found a way to connect people to it- even if they’re not music snobs like me.

    James Geary: Metaphorically Speaking

    Despite the fact that this video had nothing to do with music, and neither did my response, I felt very connected to it as a writer. I feel like this is one of my best responses because it shows that I am capable of writing something powerful without mentioning music, and still be passionate about it. I do believe that my other responses were strong, but a lot of them all came down to me arguing music for one reason or another. This response shows that I can deliver a powerful response without it being about music whatsoever.

    Least Successful:

    Keith Bellows: On the camel’s hump

    When reading the response, it’s obvious that I completely lacked interest in the video. I was very blunt about the fact that I didn’t see the point in it, but that’s not why I see it as my “least successful” response. I feel as if I could have done more with it if I hadn’t been afraid of being overly critical. It’s a lot mess mature than the rest of my responses, and all I feel that I did with it was comment on how boring it was, in a cowardly way. I think that this was a very weak response in comparison to what I could have done if I wasn’t afraid of being “too harsh.”

  14. Most Successful:

    Gary Vaynerchuk: Do what you love (no excuses!)

    I’ll can tell you now, that by watching Gary’s speech you can ACTUALLY feel some of his energy flowing through you! No, I’m just kidding about that, but in reality his speech was very moving and it touched a little home to me. My dad has said to me, in the past and even sometimes to this day, that I should find a hobby or just anything that I passionately love and make a profit from it. That way I could never “work” a day in my life. So as far as my response, I think this was more meaningful and that was reflected in my writing.

    Kevin Bales: How to combat modern slavery

    Kevin Bales had an impact on me because I didn’t know the depth of slavery these days. I didn’t even know that slaves could be bought for as little as $5 in some parts of the world. I think my writing was powerful enough to show others how slavery is still a problem today in our world, and how we need to act on it now

    Least successful:

    Sean Carroll on the arrow of time (Part 1 & 2)

    I’ve sat through lectures before where I’ve nodded off before, and this is what I found again just from watching these 2-part videos. The sad thing is I didn’t even complete watching either of them in their fullness. I just didn’t feel any passion or moving spirit to write them both, because I don’t like watching professors giving college lectures. I find them absolutely boring to me, it seem like the keep dragging on, seeming that they will never finish. Which was like those two videos. Both of them we 25+ minute lectures over the arrow of time. And after awhile, one can only stayed tuned for so long before spacing off through your imagination, and I think my writings were reflected through these given reasons.

  15. Most Successful:

    Lewis Pugh – Swimming the North Pole

    I felt that I did pretty well in writing this blog entry. For some reason, ideas seemed to just flow out of my head while I was writing it. I honestly don’t know why. I just feel like I was able to connect with the TED talk and the writing, I feel, was able to show this connection to Pugh’s extensive training to swim the North Pole.

    Jesse Schell – When Games Invade Real Life

    Like how I felt while writing the entry on Lewis Pugh: Swimming the North Pole, I felt that I was really able to connect to the talk. That really made the writing part come easy and I didn’t feel like I was “forced” to find a way to grind out 15+ sentences.

    Least Successful:

    Aimee Mullins – 12 Pairs of Legs

    Just as my two “best” pieces felt like my best two as a result of my ideas flowing easily from my head to the computer screen, this entry was my worst for the clear lacking of that cohesiveness from brain to document. I spent a good three hours (with distractions) working on this piece and I still have no idea where I was going. It felt like every sentence I wrote was forced from my head to the document and nothing came easy as it did in my two “best” entries.

  16. Most Successful:

    Martin Luther King Jr., I Have a Dream

    Although many people including me have heard this speech many times, it was one of my favorite videos to write about, because it inspires me to never give up. I believe that this is one of my more successful writings, because I have always been fascinated by U.S. history. I think because of my interest and love of history I spent more time writing and analyzing it, than many of the other videos.

    Robert Ballard, Exploring the Oceans

    I think that this is another one of my more successful writings, not because I loved the video, but because there were many things to talk about. Due to all the information that Robert Ballard gave in his talk, I believe that I was able to write a lot and go into detail about it.

    Least Successful:

    Samantha Powers, A Complicated Hero

    I believe that this is my least successful writing, because I don’t feel like I had as much time to do it as I did with the others. Also I think because it was the last one that I had to do, I was just rushing to get it done, instead of taking more time on it. Although I don’t believe it is one of my most successful writings, I did enjoy the video and it truly inspired me.

  17. Most Successful:

    Jamie Heywood: Big Idea My Brother Inspired
    I think the reason I could write so well in this blog was because I was really interested in the topic. This was also the first talk I wrote over so I was newly open with ideas and ready to explore the ideas that Heywood gave. Heywood was able to explain all the details very clearly about his idea which aloud me to follow easily as well.

    Billy Graham: Technology and Faith

    Although Billy Graham’s talk was very long and he talked at a very slow boring pace, once again the subject grabbed my attention. I am really into technology and most definitely faith so I could write a lot on this subject. It was hard to follow, but once I had a grasp on the topic I think my writing began to flow very smoothly.

    Least Successful:

    Shekhar Kapur: We Are the Stories We Tell Ourselves

    This was the last topic I wrote a blog over, which I did very quickly. The subject was hard to grasp and I’m still not quite sure I know what Kapur was talking about during his talk. The video didn’t interest me which made it hard for me to follow the story he was giving. I thought the talk had very good ideas, but didn’t allow me to execute the blog I they I wanted too.

  18. Most Successful:

    Tom Honey: God and the Tsunami

    I believe this piece is one of my more successful entries, because my writing seems to connect back to one bigger topic in a more interwoven way. Also, the topic religion itself I found easier to form opinions on which probably made my writing more appeaking as well.

    Willard Wigan: Hold Your Breath for Micro-Sculpture

    I believe this piece was also a more successful entry due to the fact that the topic was just so interesting, and my writing naturally evolved and unraveled in a smoother way. Plus, from an artistic point of view, I could easily comment on what Wigan was creating. My writing overall came together more easily.

    Least Successful:

    Douglas Adams: Parrots, the Universe, and Everything

    I believe this piece was one of my least successful pieces due to the fact that there wasn’t a really strong central theme. I felt I jumped around quite a bit, and the speaker was just so interesting, that whatever I had to add to it kind of seemed less appealing. Even though I loved the talk, I felt that Adams was just too good in his talk and I had a hard time finding more to add to it.

  19. Most successful:

    Benjamin Zander on music an passion

    I thought this was my most well written blog not just because it was a long blog, but because it was a subject that I was able to divulge in. I could write about something that I had always questioned, something that always bothered me. Why is classical music dying? Besides focusing on just this I elaborated more into other related topics about music.

    Eric Topol on the wireless future of medicine
    Even though this was my ‘least’ inspiring talk I felt I wrote very well for this blog. My opinion differed from the speaker and my opinion was backed by one of the comments on the video. So I blogged about that comments and about where I stood on the subject.

    Least successful:

    Ken Kamler on the miracle on Everest

    I don’t think that this post is horrible, but just that most of the talk were pictures of someone’s brain, which I found to be very hard to describe. The subject was nice, but just hard to write and describe.

  20. Most successful:

    Lauder, Gary: New Traffic Sign: Take Turns

    I believe that in my review of Gary Lauder’s I expressed my greatest work. It may not have had the best grammar or most sophisticated words, but I got my point across very well. I even got a response form Lauder, so because of that I believe that ‘seconds’ my efficiency of my post. I do think that the best posts are the ones that explain the topic the best, and not always the posts that are articulated in the best manner.

    Mayne, Thom: Architecture as Connection

    In my post about Mayne’s topic, in my opinion, I reflected my worst work. His topic was quite confusing and I could not always follow what he was talking about. For this reason it was hard to write about the topic, and I ended up confusing myself as well. The entire talk was just a ‘roundabout’ style of talk, and Mayne even said that he could start his talk at anyone of his main points. His talk was pretty uninteresting as well, but the topic he talked about, if I understood it correctly, would have been move interesting if the topic was presented in a ‘dumbed’ down way. His talk was hard to follow, and therefore it was hard to follow and write about. For this reason, I do not think that my work was strong.

    Least successful:

    Diller, Liz: Plays w/ Architecture

    If I had to redo a talk, I would redo this talk by Liz Diller. This was one of my first talks, and therefore I think that I could improve it a little more, if not a lot. The video was quite interesting, but I do not believe that I did it enough justice. I do not think that my post about this video is bad, but it does not reflect my best work. If I was redo it, I would try to focus more on the effects that are created by the different architecture and use more examples.

  21. Most successful:

    Robert Full, Learning from a gecko’s tail.

    I think that this is one of my most successful pieces of writing mainly because I was very interested in the subject. Considering that I have always had this weird obsession with animals, I was very passionate about leaning from animals and the techniques they use.

    J.J. Abrams, Mystery Box
    I also felt like this was one of my most successful posts because I was intrigued by the topic and Abrams himself. I felt that my ability to compare ideas, such as the availability of technology to anyone now days with invention of the printing press, to make my writing much stronger. I also felt like I could write strongly when talking about how he followed his passion.

    Least successful:

    Romulus Whitaker, The real danger lurking in the water

    I know that my writing was not nearly as strong in this post as it was in others. I rushed this post and didn’t give it the proper time and dedication that would be required for a more successful piece of writing. I, wish I had had more time to write this post and could have talked more about the ideas discussed by Romulus.

  22. Most successful:

    Wallace, Benjamin: Price of Happiness

    This analysis truly epitomized my writing because of how I was able to combine Mr. Wallace’s rather specific and concrete ideas to the overall idea of happiness. Because of the length of the analysis, I was also able to wander on a couple tangents which allowed my argument to further and expand.

    Kenichi Ebina: Magic Moves

    Because I could connect to Mr. Ebina’s situation as a self-taught dancer, I feel as though my analysis of his performance has a more personal touch to it which, of course, allows for the audience to connect with it easier. Truly however, the reason that I believe this analysis was my most successful is because I was struck by the magic of his dancing and so I wished to convey as powerfully and as concretely as possible.

    Least successful:

    Dyson, George Project Orion

    When something doesn’t interest us or seems to have a monotony about it we often overlook or disregard it. Similarily, even though the talk itself was remarkable, I was not interested in Project Orion and so I feel as though my analysis was somewhat forced and fluffed. Also, this was my sixteenth blog post and so I was a little weary.

  23. I have already mentioned that my first eight TED choices were not necessarily my best options since I was a bit hasty in picking them. I do feel that I made better selections with my extra credit reflections and therefore had more success in my writing.

    Most successful writings:

    Shukla Bose: Teaching One Child at a Time

    Ms. Bose’s subject was what drew me to this
    video. I felt that I was able to really connect with her message even though she was not a very dynamic speaker. What she had to say more than made up for that lack of spark. She made the viewer picture what the children faced everyday and how her organization was giving them hope. It was very easy to become wrapped up in her message and I felt that I was able to convey her vision in my writing.

    Steve Jobs: How to live before you die
    This talk was probably my most favorite. It was short but at the same time very enjoyable and engaging. I was fascinated by Mr. Job’s story of how our choices can fashion our lives. He used simple and direct language to outline his topic. It made it very easy to follow and get into the spirit of the message he wanted us to learn. I think that is why my writing took a more personal tone and made this writing better. By putting myself in his shoes, so to speak, I think it made me telling his story in a more compelling manner.

    Least successful writing

    Miru Kim: Underground Art

    This was one of my first TED talk to analyze and I was just finding my method of writing. I feel that I just gave a synopsis of the story without really connecting with the speaker. I could not get into Ms. Kim’s presentation and my writing came across, in my opinion, somewhat disjointed.

  24. Most Successful Writing:

    Joachim de Posada says, “Don’t eat the marshmallow yet”’t-eat-the-marshmallow-yet/

    I believe that this blog post was effective because I managed to give a brief summary about what Posada did and then relate it to challenges that we all face everyday. As I wrote this post, the words seemed to just flow naturally from my mind to the paper, which made my post easy to understand and easily relatable. In addition, this is one of my few posts where I agree with the speaker but also offer additional things to consider, which I think shows that I thought about this talk possibly more than some others and that I focused less on saying concretely why I agree or disagree, and more on my detailed personal opinions and reflections as the talk progressed.

    Ray Kurzweil: How Technology Will Transform Us

    Although this was my least favorite video to watch, I believe that since I focused on the last part of the video that was more interesting to me, I was able to communicate effectively in my reflection. When I wrote this post, I honestly just wrote my thoughts on paper as I thought them, and it seems to have worked. I think this helped make the post effective because I posed important questions that Kurzweil failed to address and that other people may not have thought about as they watched the video. While my post was biased to my personal opinion, I think I contested Kurzweil’s ideas in a respectful way, and I would love nothing more than to have him comment on my post and answer my questions to calm my fears.

    Least Successful Writing:

    VS Ramachandran: On Your Mind

    While I found this talk very fascinating, it was incredibly hard to write about. In my reflection, I really just wrote about the various experiments and discoveries that Dr. Ramachandran discussed in his talk without expanding on his ideas, because I could honestly find no way to expand upon them. His talk was very scientific, focusing on the brain and how it works, and, lacking information and experience in the subject, it was difficult to put my own input into the reflection, and the talk didn’t leave much to give an opinion about. I think my post would have been more successful if I could have found a way to relate what he said to ordinary people or form my own opinions, but I found no way to do so.

  25. Most successful:

    Jonathon Haidt-The moral roots of liberals and conservatives

    I felt this was one of my best pieces of writing all year because I was able to articulate all my ideas and how they relate to each other. But the strength of the piece wasn’t the structure it was the pure well thought out ideas and arguments.

    Larry Brilliant-wants to stop pandemics

    What I like about this piece the most was I built off Larry’s ideas that he had for stopping pandemics. When I first started to watch this video I wasn’t really expecting that I was going to find it interesting. This piece shows that I can take material that I may not find the most interesting out of all my blogs and put something unique and well thought out on paper.

    Least successful:

    Anand Agarawala-demos BumpTop Desktop

    I chose this one because it was a short video which made it difficult for me to come up with anything interesting to contribute to his new concept for computers. I basically just summarized what he talked about.

  26. Most Successful:

    Shukla Bose Teaching One Child At a Time

    I think this blog entry was successful because it was the most inspiring video for me. This topic was really interesting to see and listen to. I think because this video was inspiring to me that my thougts came out easy enough to write down. I didn’t have to force out words either.

    Sunitha Krisnan Fights Sex Slavery

    Most people don’t want to hear about sex slavery even though it is all around us. I just hate what people do to children so my words just came out. During the blog post when I reread it, it seems like I get very angry at this subject. That makes passion which makes a good post, at least that’s what I think.

    Least Successful:

    Nellie McKay Sings “The Dog Song”

    This was my least inspiring video and it seemed like I just had to push through it. I thought I would like it because it was a song, but there was nothing to say about it. I feel like I just put random words on the page to make it sound good, which I don’t really like.

  27. Most Successful

    Making Sound Visible Through Cymaics-Evan Grant

    I thought this blog was one of my better ones because I took more time on it to understand the video and to write the blog. Along with having an interesting topic, It was fun to write, even though I have to admit that I misspelled some things the first time.

    Robots Will Invade Our Lives-Rodney Brooks

    I liked this blog as well because, well, who wouldn’t love the idea of robots taking over our lives, or at least the assurance that it will probably never get to the point it is in the Terminator series? I could have taken more time to make it bette, but I like this blog because it was one of the more thought out ones that I wrote.

    Least successful

    Call To Reinvent Liberal Arts Education-Liz CLoeman

    This was one of my least favorite talks mainly because of the topic and because I was rather rushed in trying to complete it. I also know that I am hopeless in politics, which this video has some, though it is not the main point of the talk.

  28. Most Successful:

    Ann Coopeer talks School Lunches

    This entry was, by far, my best one. I completely understood what she was talking about, and I really got into the subject too. Her passion also increased my passion.

    John Walker Re-creates Great Performances

    This talk was so successful for me because I love everything about music and new innovations of music. When I watched this video, the music nerd in me definitely came out big.

    Least Successful:

    Michael Moschen Juggles Rhythm and Motion

    My main problem with this talk was that I just didn’t get the subject. This talk just was not very interesting, so my lack of interest in the subject showed in my analysis.

  29. Most successful:

    Bill Gates: Mosquitos, malaria and education

    This was one of my best blogs. The video talk was fascinating and pertinent. I had recently read a book by Michael Crichton that discussed the problem of malaria and what a bad disease it still is. It was something that we can have an immediate impact on.

    The second talk that turned out well on my blog was given by Tom Wujek on the demo of a 13th century astrolabe.

    Once again I think the interesting topic aided my blog writing. Anytime I am excited about a subject my writing will be better. The video demonstration was fun to watch. It helped me imagine what it would have been like in the 13th century.

    Least successful:

    The talk that I did the worst job on was the talk by Thomas and Garniez Dobly called “Plays La Vie En Rose”

    I was not very interested in the subject matter and it led to a mediocre blog. I was not inspired or very entertained by it. It showed me that for me to write well, I need to be excited about the subject matter. If I encounter something that I don’t care about, I may need to find a way to make it interesting to myself so I can write about it in a better way.

  30. Most successful

    Race and Politics: Nate Silver

    I feel like this blog was my strongest entry. I did not like the video at all. I found it to be a bit insulting and lacking information and facts. While I disagree with every Nate said, I was easily able to write this blog. I was really proud of my writing in this post. Because of this video I learned that you can still write well even if it is about things you may not agree with.

    Draws a New Map for Peace: Thomas Barnett

    I have to admit, I had to watch this video several times to understand exactly what Mr Barnett was talking about. I think I did well on this blog for not knowing everything about the topic. Once I understood what Barnett was saying, I became very interested.

    Least Successful

    Tells a Story of Mixed Emoticons: Rives

    I really liked this video and I thought Rives did a great at presenting and performing. This was a weak post for me because I struggled to find something to write about other than that it was funny. The blog looks very weak and lacking in content. I wish I would have been able to expand more thoughts into the blog.

  31. Most successful: Tulley, Gever 5 dangerous things for kids
    I think this was one of my best blogs because it was something I actually cared about. That was one of my favorite videos.

    Least successful: Lauder, Gene New traffic sign: take turns
    This one of my least successful pieces of writing during this project. It was difficult to write because of how boring it was, and how little I care about the topic.

  32. Most successful:

    Dan Aierly, Are we in control of our decisions?

    I feel like this was my best piece of writing because I found a deep interest in the topic he was discussing. Also I found his examples very interesting. His examples allowed me to stop and thing about what he said in my point of view which was very neat because having that kind of connection with your audience is very important. While it was one of my longer videos I did not feel bored or uninterested when I watched it because it kept me thinking constantly about what he was saying.

    David Kelly, Human centered design

    I found this TED talk very interesting which really helped me write my piece on this talk. Due to the fact that I am very interested in how people are manipulated by our surroundings I was very intrigued by human centered designs that are made exactly for the purpose to revolve are humans. The technological advancements also sharply caught my attention. I think because I was so into the video I was able to produce one of my best writings over it.

    Least successful:

    St. John, Richard, Success is a continuous journey

    I found this Video very hard to write about because I had no idea about who the speaker was without doing some research which made me feel a separation between me and him . I also found the content of the video very obvious which made me lose attention toward the presentation. It was also very short so I had a hard time putting pieces together for my written piece.

  33. Most successful:

    Nick Veasey: Exposing the Invisible. I really enjoyed this topic, it was something new and different to write about. I thought that what I was saying about beauty and how Veasey exposes it was understandable and easy to relate to.

    Michael Sandel: What’s the Right Thing to Do? I enjoyed exploring the possibilities of certain situations that tempt our morality. Although my blog got a little fuzzy at times, I feel like it seemed that I understood the concept.

    Least successful:

    George Dyson: The Birth of the Computer.
    This was really difficult to write about due to that fact that I know just about nothing of computers. I was a little bored and even more confused.

  34. Most successful:

    Bill Davenhall: Your Health Depends on Where You Live

    This one was my first post, and was my favorite talk of all 8 that I had. This one was something that peaked my interest, and therefore I did some other reading on it on the web, just so I could fully understand what Davenhall was talking about. Due to my further knowledge of the subject, I felt as if my writing was more accurate and informative.

    Jonathan Zittrain: The Web as a Random Act of Kindness

    This was a video that completely surprised me. I never thought that my writing would be affected by my sudden change of opinion on the subject matter. I think that my sudden realization positively affected my writing on the subject and how I truly realized about kindness in general.

    Least Successful:

    Norman Foster’s Green Agenda
    My writing on this talk was very poor compared to my overall body of work, I think. I found myself being bored and uninterested watching the video, and I think that it showed in my writing. I was not interested in the subject whatsoever, and it was just another talk about something that I have heard for much of this year. I also feel that I was in such a hurry to finish this last post, that it poorly affected my writing.

  35. In order to have a successful response to a TED video, I believe we, as students, needed to have two things. We needed to have a good speaker who interested us but we also needed to have a strong opinion, whether it be in agreement with the speaker or disagreement with the talk.

    Most successful:

    Jacqueline Novogratz was my great speaker and because of her talk, I believe this was one of my most successful writings.

    When I first saw this talk my very first thought was, “Patient capitalism, are you serious?”. Oh, but get ready for my second thought, “20 minutes!?”. Yet, I seemed to judge too quickly. Jacqueline Novogratz was a tremendous speaker and the way she presented her topic made me honestly interested in everything she was saying and I couldn’t wait to write a response. I believe my response can give people a positive introductory look on Ms. Povogratz’s talk and will encourage them to listen to it. I had a passion to represent Ms. Povogratz’s well because I felt like she deserved it because of her wonderful and interesting talk. Make sure to check her video and my response out!

    My second most successful writing would have to be His Journey On Design by John Maeda.

    John Maeda is so different from the other TED speakers I listened to. He had a fun and outgoing personality that could be seen through his speaking. Although to many, he wasn’t a favoured speaker. If you go to his talk on the TED website, there are many people that dislike John Maeda as a person and as a speaker. So, I believe the response to his video is one of my best writings because I feel that I am opening the minds of people who seem to have judged him too quickly. I have a desire to have people change those negative opinions about him because he really is an entertaining speaker and he has so much to tell. I believe I presented a great arguement for this looking down upon him. Hopefully one of those people that disliked his talk will stumble upon my response and change their minds about him or see the talk in a new light, maybe even leave a comment regarding their thoughts to my response.

    Least Successful:

    Now to the bad stuff, my worst writing. This would have to go to the response for Can Design Save The Newspapers? by Jacek Utko.

    Honestly, this was not my most successful piece of writing because it was the very last entry in this assignment. I just wanted to get the assignment finished so I could start on those dreaded finals reviews. Therefore, I feel I didn’t present his video as well as I could. He was a great speaker and it was interesting because I had never thought about how changing something as simple as the design of a newspaper could change its popularity. I feel that my response is a little rushed as well since I was trying to finish within and hour of the deadline. Well, you can’t say I wasn’t honest. So yes, I believe this writing could definitely be improved and was the worst of my responses.

  36. I feel that my two most successful blogs were Elizabeth Pisani’s -Sex, Drugs, and HIV–let’s get rational and Karen Armstrongs TED prize wish-charter for compassion.

    I feel my Sex, Drugs, and HIV blog…lets-get-rational/ was successful because it displayed my capability of being able to take a topic that I have absolultly nothing in common with and appearing as if I was an expert. I also enjoyed the process of writing this blog because it was challenging yet fulfilling in the end.

    Ms. Karen Armstrongs charter for compassion video was one that has the capability of making a large impact on any viewer regardless of religion. During the process of writing this blog, I felt the pressure to own up to the exceptionally high criterion that Ms. Armstrong set for any who tried to touch the topic. Although I was no where close to her standards, I still feel that some of my best writing went into this blog.

    My least successful blog was on the Lose your ego find your compassion video: Even though this video is very closely related to Ms.Armstrongs topic, I still found it very difficult to write about. I’m not sure if it was how the information was given, but I just could not ‘get’ this video. Thus making my blog about it very unattractive.

  37. Most successful:

    Zach Kaplan and Keith Schacht on Demo Toys from the Future

    This was the third video that I did, it was when I kind of figured out how to write it. I thought it was a pretty good summary of the video. I tried to summaries instead of analyze like the other two that didn’t turn out all that great.

    Shai Agassi on Electric Cars

    I tried to just summarize instead of analyze. I think it turned out pretty well. I really got into this video and I think it showed.

    Least successful:

    Lalitesh Katragadda on Making Maps to Fight Disasters, Build Economies

    I didn’t really know how to write about this video. He didn’t go all that deep into it, he just kind of skimmed the problem and and got right to the solution. I think it really reflected on my writing because it was the shortest one i wrote and it there wasn’t that much to it.

  38. Most Successful!

    Emmanuel Jal- Music of a war child.
    I believe this to have been my most successful piece of writing. If someone were to read any one of mine I would hope they would see my writing and be truly inspired to watch the video. The video itself was so amazing that I felt a bit of pressure to portray its image well. It was a video I was truly passionate about and seriously wanted other people to watch and be inspired by as well. It is easy to write about something that inspires you, it is the non-inspirational things that are found to be challenging to express.

    Martin Seligman: The State of Psychology
    I found this to be another successful piece of writing I did. I found this video as well to be very inspiring and somewhat memorable. It was not a video I watched and just forgot about, I try to actually put the advice and tips from the video into action through my life. It is a video on being happy, everyone likes to be happy. It was very easy to write about happy things because it puts you in a positive mindset. Positivity causes success in my opinion.

    Least Successful

    Sirena Huang: Dazzles on Violin
    This was by far some of my worst writing. I was not inspired by the video, although it is a charming young girl. I fought my way through to finish the video a couple times and was not inspired or eager to write on it. Many may find the video to be impressive and inspiring,but I did not. I did what I believe to be the best writing I could possible do on this video, which was not very spectacular.

  39. Most successful-

    David Perry on Video Games.

    I think this was a really strong blog entry of mine because I found the video inside the video, of the students life and how he got very addicted to games , very interesting. I had so many ideas that my mind was going crazy!

    Stefan Sagmeister shares happy design.

    I found that I did really well on this one because happiness is something I find very intriguing. It seems so simple but in actuality it’s very complicated and without it we are nothing.

    Least Successful-

    Fields Wicker Miuring- Learning from leaderships missing manual.

    I think this was my worst one because her point was so obvious. Help mankind. I think TED could have picked a better speaker than Fields. I respect her point but it was very bland and boring.

  40. Most successful

    1. Evgeny Morozov; How the net aids dictatorships

    I really enjoyed was was very interested in the topic of this talk. I foud it amazing that an issue this big could stay as hidden as it has so, I did some research and I think that really helped my writing.

    2 Sirkumar Rao; plug into your hardwired happiness

    I was very inspired by this talk, it was very moving. I may not have written much about it but I believe what I wrote surved a purpose and was successful

    Least successful

    Caroline Lavelle; Caroline Lavelle casts a spell on cello

    Even though I thoroughly enjoyed this video I had very little to say about it, even with research. I wish there was a way I could have gotten to know her and find out more about her as a person, I think that would have mad the writing much stronger.

  41. Most successful:

    Paul Romer: Charter Cities
    I feel like this was my best writing because I really spent alot of time and effort on this one and I really was able to understand and give examples of what Paul Romer was talking about. This was definately my best writing.

    Stephen Pinker: Chalks it up to a blank slate
    This was probably the most interesting TED talk that I watched. The more that I am interested in something the better I write about it because I can relate and understand. So I feel like this is also one of my best blog entry.

    Least successful:

    Kevin Kelly: The next 5,000 days of the web
    Honestly this was my worst writing and I wish that i didnt have to make a blog entry about it. I really couldn’t understand what he was talking about.

  42. Most successful

    JK Rowling- Fringe Benefits of Failure
    I think this piece was my most successful because it was something that fascinated me and I truly took my time in developing ideas and synthesizing the information and my own thoughts. I think the fact that this video inspired me made me want to do a great job in writing about it. I believe that this was my best writing in this project. I was thoughtful and my writing conveyed my true feelings about the talk.

    Al gore- Warns on the Latest Climate Trends
    I believe that this is another of my best writings because of the amount of detail and hard work I put into this one. It was a topic that I am passionate about, which helped me to form my thoughts and convey them smoothly through words. Sometimes I have a hard time articulating my ideas, but I think they came across clearly.

    Least successful

    Kary Mullis- Next-Gen Cure For Killer Infections
    I was not successful in this writing because the video was purely data so I just recited the data back. I provided no analysis and came to no conclusion. The video was intriguing, but I didn’t do it justice.

  43. Most successful:

    David Hanson: robots that show emotion
    I thought my writing about this TED talk was really good, because of the detail. I think I showed a lot of information and improved on my writing.

    Stephan Lawler: Tours Microsoft Virtual Earth thought my writing about this TED talk was good, because of the positive comments. I showed a lot of interest behind the comments I wrote.

    Least successful:

    Nellie McKay sings clonie
    I thought I didn’t do good on this writing, because of my details on the talk. My writing was dull and lackink information.

  44. Most Successful TED Talk:

    Willie Smits: Restores a Rainforest

    This video was my first analysis, and in my opinion, my best. As it was my first one, I strove to make it high quality more so than other blog posts once I had begun to find the project tedious. It is simply amazing how Smits regrew a rainforest, and I was very passionate about this TEDTalk as Smits did not simply find a way to stop pollution, he actually counteracted it and began to regrow nature. I wrote much better on this TEDTalk because I was passionate about it.

    Peter Ward: Earth’s Mass Extinctions

    Initially, I had not wanted to write about this video after watching it the first time. After a few more days and watching it once more, the TEDTalk began to grow on me. I wrote more than I usually do, or at least it feels like that, and I like how the TEDTalk tied mass extinctions to pollution itself. I also liked the posing of the controversial subject of sacrificing a portion of yourself to live, and I still am unsure if I would do it myself.

    Least Successful TED Talk:

    Laurie Garrett: Lessons from the 1918 Flu

    I simply did not like this talk. I first began to attempt it as my first talk, but soon gave up; I couldn’t make it through the video. It ended up being my last TEDTalk, and I drudgingly went through and completed it. I expected it to focus more on the medical aspects of the 1918 flu, but when realized it was more of a pandemic type of a video, I became slightly interested again. I then realized Garrett was addressing bird flu, which I consider personally to be an overreaction, just like I consider swine flu an overreaction. All in all, I simply was not passionate about this TEDTalk, and as a result, I feel that the content and writing of this post are lackluster at best.

  45. Most Successful:

    Keith Barry, Brain Magic
    I believe this was my most successful piece of writing because I feel that it was convincing and included some strong vocabulary. By expressing the video’s quirkyness, I believe this post would successfully persuade someone to watch the video for themselves.

    Hans Rosling, New Insights on Poverty

    I believe Hans speaks about a very important topic that has plagued the world for centuries. Though much of the world is aware of poverty, many do not know that it exists right around the corner.

    Least Successful:

    Al Seckel, Our Brains are Mis-wired
    This was just really not a successful piece of writing for me, I felt like I was trying so desparately to make the video sound decent. The video was my least favorite, and I just felt like I had to get it done.

  46. Most successful:

    How to Expose the Corrupt by Peter Eigen was one of my most successful blog entries.

    It really epitomized the way I think that blog entries should be done. I focused on the topic at hand while still bringing in outside information. I eloquently, yet clearly stated all of the things that I wanted to talk about. I integrated quotes in the blog as well. Overall, it was a very successful piee of writing for me personally, and although the subject matter was complex, I think that I addressed all of the components of the talk in a concise and readable manner.

    Four ways to fix a broken legal system by Philip Howard was another one of my more successful blog entries.

    I combined my personal views with Howard’s and due to the fact that I want to be a lawyer when I get older, it was a perfect topic for me to discuss in a blog entry. I provided the necessary facts and components of the talk and I integrated specific quotes, especially in terms of the four ways to fix a broken legal system. Overall, I was pleased with how the information seemed to flow and the fact that I addressed all of the parts of the talk that I found relevant to my entry.

    Least successful:

    String Theory presented by Brian Green was one of my more least successful blog entries.

    I could not relate to the talk and it took me multiple times of watching the video to realize that I was not supposed to understand string theory that easily. It has too many factors that intertwine within each fact and I could not figure out how they all connected. It seemed to be a virtual reality master talking about the future of virtual reality, not that other dimensions actually exist. Due to the fact that I did not stay within the video and I had to go to other sources to gain some insight into string theory made it one of my least successful entries. Although I found string theory interesting, it did not relate to me and therefore, my writing was somewhat superficial.

  47. Most successful:

    Ethel: Performs “Blue Room”

    This talk was assigned to me, it was not one of my choices. When I first watched this video I was nervous because I did not know how I was going to write a whole blog over it. When I finally wrote it I found it a lot easier than I had imagined and I think I did a good job on writing it.

    Jacqueline Novogratz: Escaping poverty

    To start with, I really enjoyed this talk and found it interesting. I think my writing was very good on this one and you can tell that I enjoyed watching it. Also I think I analyzed it pretty well.

    Least successful:

    Erik Hersman: Reporting crisis via texting

    I feel like this blog was probably my weakest because the video was really complicated and I found myself really confused on what was going on in the video. It was hard to write about what he is saying when I am not really sure what he is talking about.

  48. Most successful:

    Cameron Sinclair: Open Source Architecture

    I felt I did very well when writing this reflection. I think that this is the case because I clearly laid out a few main points and talked about them. I think keeping it simple and easy to follow is the key to a good reflection.

    Tim Berners-Lee: The Year Open Data Went Worldwide

    This was my first reflection, my most inspiring talk, and now some of my best writing, in my opinion. Because I enjoyed this talk so much, I think I felt more of a personal attachment to it. I think that my sentences flowed together very well and that it was ‘pleasing’ to the eye to read.

    Least Successful:

    Jacqueline Novogratz: A third way to think about aid

    I feel like that this was my worst piece or writing. She talked for 17 minutes, and really, I just don’t feel like I did it justice.

  49. Most successful:

    Bertrand Piccard: solar-powered airplane

    I like my writing about this talk because I believe I covered all the main points of the talk. Also it is one of my longest.

    Beau Lotto: optical illusions show how we see

    I like my writing about this talk because It is my longest. Also It has very good information about things not discussed in the talk.

    Least successful:

    Paul MacCready: nature vs. humans

    I don’t like my writing because I really rushed through this one. It was the last one I did and I think it goes everywhere instead of sticking to the point.

  50. Most successful:

    Eric Lewis rocks the jazz world

    This video would be my most successful blog entry. He wasn’t talking like most TED talks he was playing the piano the whole time so within writing I had a different challenge. With that challenge I did very well. I really paid attention to the detail on his face and his body language. I think his passion for music came across in my writing.

    Michelle Obama’s plea for education

    When I wrote this blog entry I was really happy for this video. I was very articulate in this blog post. This video was also inspiring and I was really focused on that in my writing. I think in that I inspired most women who read it to watch the video.

    Least successful:

    Eva Zeisel on the playful search for beauty

    When I saw this video for the first time I really didn’t want to write about it and it took me a while to write about it. My writing was really good because I wasn’t as interesting in the video as my other talks. I must say after writing about the video I realized it wasn’t that bad.

  51. Most successful:

    Einstein the parrot, parrot talks/squaks

    I got really into this talk because it was entertaining. I liked all of the sounds and things the parrot could say. It made me write better about it because I had a lot to say.

    Renny gleeson, antisocial phone tricks

    This talk was funny and truthful. People watch it and laugh, but realize that it is very true. I thought that was a cool twist.

    Least successful:

    Charles elachi, mars rover

    This talk was boring. It did not interest me at all and because of this, my writing was not up to standards.

  52. Most successful:

    If I could pick two of my TED talks to be graded, it would be Mistry Pranav’s This one was my best writing because the TED video was interesting to me. If the topic is inspiring to you than it is easy to write about.

    Dan Gilbert’s mistaken expectations. This was one of my best talks because of the information he provided. The examples he had were easy to relate to and made it easy to connect.

    Least successful:

    Likewise my worst talk was Leakey Louisey’s Digs for Humanity. This was hard to analyze because it didnt appeale to me. The whole thing was about trying to find fossils in Africa. To me that is just not interesting so it was just really hard to write about.

  53. Most successful:

    My first best talk would have to be:

    Clifford Stoll on Everything

    I thoroughly enjoyed writing this blog, which is why I would like to say it is my best piece of writing, as I put more passion and ability into what I enjoy writing, rather than what I deplore. Also, Mr. Stoll provides a lot to write about, and I never had to really think about what to say next, and writers block was non existent.

    Another one I highly enjoyed writing was:

    Eric Lewis plays Chaos and Harmony

    This was the first blog I wrote, and I did not quite know what the expectations were of me, so I gave it my all with absolutely no distractions or anything of that sense. I was able to fully concentrate on what to write, and I did an outline on what to write in order to make my blog have a better flow to it, although after a while, the content just became natural and I broke away from the rigidity of an outline.

    Least successful:

    The blog I absolutely deplored writing was:

    Ray Anderson on the business logic of sustainability

    I found this talk to be much too statistical in its nature and in all honesty, it did not appeal to me as an individual. I highly respect what Ray Anderson is doing, but the topic of pollution and business logic to me at this point seems a little bit over cliched. Also, whilst writing this blog, I felt that I was at a loss of things to say due to an overall lack of understanding of business and economics.

    I highly enjoyed writing the majority of my blogs, and while I enjoyed some more than others, all of them provided a learning experience all the same.

  54. Most successful:

    I think my two best pieces of writing were the ones on Anthony Atala’s Talk on growing organs


    and Michael Shermer’s Talk on strange beliefs.


    Atala’s was my favorite Talk to write about. I was in the middle of reading a science fiction book, and was inspired to conceptualize the idea of “designer” organs.
    Shermer had a great sense of humor on the stage, and I got inspired by that. When he makes cracks about the things people believe, it’s hard not to laugh along, and I think I emulated that a bit in my Talk.

    Least successful:

    Sadly, my favorite Talk was also my least well-written one. John Francis’s Talk on walking the Earth


    was amazingly inspiring, and yet, since it was my last Talk, I rushed through it to finish. The original plan was to do it last because I would understand how to write about it better, but that fell by the wayside.

  55. Most Successful:

    Gustavo Dudamel: Leads El Sistema’s Top Youth Orchestra

    Out of all my reflection, this one was the best. I did more than just explain the obvious by repeating what they said or telling the audience what he did. This video showed an orchestra from Venezuela play a couple of pieces amounting to over 20 minutes of footage. That was all. I had to look beyond the apparent. I discussed feelings, emotions, and passion, all of which could be felt within these pieces of music. If there was one reflection that stood out from the others, this would be it.

    Sendhil Mullainathan: Solving Social Problems with a Nudge

    This was an interesting talk which allowed me to go beyond his talk into general psychology. It is probably the most concise piece out of all my reflections other than the one above. Although there are small parts here and there that could use some improvement, overall I thought this was one of my stronger entries.

    Least Successful:

    Loretta Napoleoni: The Intricate Economics of Terrorism

    Unfortunately, this talk did not give me much to work with. It was boring and uninteresting, which consequently led to a boring reflection and a poor piece of writing. There are no coherent thoughts, which are accented perfectly with poor transitions. If there was one post I would like no one to read, this would be it.

  56. Most successful:

    Larry Burns: Reinventing the Car

    I believe that this was an effective piece of writing because while it is mostly an informative piece of writing, I was able to give a solid reaction to it. While many of the things that Mr. Burns described in his talk were supposed to come to fruition in the year 2010, which I am pretty sure we are currently in, I did not let my annoyance of the fact that I don’t have a hydrogen fuel cell car or that my house isn’t powered by my car get to me.

    Al Gore: Averting a Climate Crisis

    I believe this was one of my best talks because while my political leanings may change my opinion on what Mr. Gore said, I got most most of that out in my introduction and did not let this change anything. This resulted in me being able to give my honest opinion over the subject of a climate crisis. Although, I this may be due to the speaker himself, letting them influence how I see something which I dont believe is good, I really think that through Mr. Gore’s talk, I was able to open my eyes to “green” projects and a green lifestyle to save the planet.

    Least successful:

    Ben Dunlap: Talks about a Passionate Life

    The reason I feel like this reaction was my worst was because as my first entry I treated it as if something that I was forced to get out of the way instead of something that I was trying to give an honest opinion about. As it was from our “Chase The Rabbit” blog, I figured that I would be able to simply take my comment from there and turn it into a blog post. I invested little time in this entry and I feel that it could be much better.

  57. Most Successful:

    Bill Gates: Innovating to Zero

    I believe this is my best TEDtalk because I want to be an engineer when I grow up. I am also passionate about alternative energy sources and I personally liked how Bill pointed out the pros and cons for all of them, rather than saying his was the best.

    Least Successful:

    David Griffin: How photography connects us

    I believe this is my least successful TEDtalk because I’m not really passionate about photography. Also, a lot of this talk was just David Griffin explaining what was going in in pictures.

    The one I want deleted:

    David Griffin: How photography connects us

    Like I said before, I was not truly passionate about this one. Because of this, my writing shows no personality whatsoever and it’s flat.

    • pt 2:

      Most Successful:

      Philip Rosedale: Second Life

      I also liked this one because I’m always on the computer and I have played Second Life before. I know first hand that the world is changing socially and one of the changes is to virtual worlds. I also liked this talk because I know Philip Rosedale is really passionate about what he does.

  58. Most successful:

    Roy Gould and Curtis Wong: Preview the WorldWide Telescope
    I felt like this was a success because I spent more time watching and analyzing the video, and formulating my ideas and reflections. I found the idea of the talk to be very relative to our world and helpful to developing it. Finally it seemed to be a bit more opinionated or my own personal ideas rather than just a general response.

    Franco Sacchi Tours Nigeria’s booming Nollywood.
    Again I felt this a was success in my writing because of the surplus of time I spent watching the video and developing my ideas. Also this video was inspiring in that it gave some insight to the African culture and how much it differs from ours in America.

    Least successful:

    Nick Sears Demos The Orb
    I felt this was my least successful piece of writing because of how I didn’t know exactly what to talk about. The video was kind of boring and uninformative of what it was talking about. I spent less time formulating my ideas and response to this video as well.

  59. Even though I can’t recall a time when I possessed what is referred to as self-confidence (much less an ego), I’d surmise that my writing for the TEDx Project was quite successful on the whole. By attempting to focus less on summarizing the content of the videos (really, if a twenty minute presentation is too much for a reader to stomach, the dense forest that is my writing would have them leaping out the nearest window anyway) and more on analyzing/responding to the speaker’s ideas and proposals, I achieved undeniably interesting results. Some were good…some were less so, but all were notable in some fashion or another.

    Since I’ve never been the biggest proponent of masochism, I’ll first acknowledge the one I think worked the best: my first write-up where I analyzed a TED Talk by the atheistic biologist Richard Dawkins. It wasn’t the quality of the writing that made this one the “most successful”; for better or for worse, I think that remained largely consistent throughout the project. Rather, I’d say the writing clicked because I flat-out disagreed with the talk’s core thesis of militant atheism, which lead to a level of intrigue and friction not found in write-ups of the sycophantic variety. Further, the context made things even more interesting: as both an atheist and someone with immense respect for Richard as a scientist, there was a level of disappointment and disillusion in my writing, and I think it worked in the piece’s favor considerably.

    Now that my back has been sufficiently patted, it’s time to delve into the worst of the bunch; though my answer might be a bit of a cop-out, as I don’t think the reason this submission wasn’t successful was entirely my fault. I’m referring to my write-up on a little video called “The Jill and Julia Show”, where a singer and social critic performed a charming duet poking fun at (for the time) topical issues. There was nothing particularly wrong with the video…save for the fact that I was forced to analyze what ultimately amounted to a piece of fluff designed to give the TED attendees a sigh of relief. As a result, I spent less time analyzing the video and more energy defending it against the boiling cauldron that is an internet comment section, where people were crying for it to be removed from the website. There just wasn’t much to talk about, and by God did it show in my writing.

    That being said, I don’t think that any of my write-ups were categorically “bad.” I think the project was certainly successful overall, and I wouldn’t mind engaging in something similar in the future.

    Link to Most:

    Link to Least:

  60. Most successful:

    Doris Kearns Goodwin: Learning from Past Presidents
    This is probably, by far, my best TED talk analysis. This is because it was also my favorite, most-inspiring talk. I wanted to share the inspiration, joy, and lessons I got out of this talk with others, and consequently spent much more of my time on this talk trying to get it as close to perfect as I could. I did about four or five different drafts, and I believe that the effort I put into this talk is reflected in the quality of my writing.

    Steven Johnson: The Web as a City

    I really like the style of writing for this analysis of Steven Johnson’s talk. I also believe that it has just the right mix of analysis and details from the talk. I used the information and examples from his talk to come to a conclusion that also answered a question that I have wondered about for many years.

    Least Successful:

    Edward Burtynsky: Manufactured Landscapes
    I struggled with writing an analysis of this talk. I wasn’t sure how to approach writing it, and frankly, I just wasn’t interested in the topic or speaker. I ended up writing a summary with a little bit of analysis and information from his bio page. It didn’t show my writing style as well as my other pieces.

  61. Most successful:

    Rick Warren: Living a Life of Purpose

    I felt that this was not the best writing I have ever done. Nowhere near. However, I thought that this was a modest showing of emotion in the work. Also, it presented decent effort. This topic was difficult to summarize without giving away the entire video, but it certainly is a video worth watching.

    Jeff Han: Demos his Breakthrough Touchscreen

    My writing on this video was extensive and outside the boxes of the project requirements. Jeff Han talked for less than eight minutes, and I wrote much more than necessary to cover this. More importantly, I threw in questions and ideas of own on the matter that can contribute to the reader, so that as they view the short talk, they can enjoy it while contemplating larger questions and applications of the technology presented.

    Least successful:

    Sasa Vucinic: Invests in Free Press

    This writing was horrible. This video was horrible. I barely did more than summarize what he said, and that in and of itself was difficult to do. My fault laid in lack of content, lack of original ideas and general poor writing.

  62. 1) Two most successful

    Eve Ensler, Happiness in body and soul

    I believe that my blog on vaginas was the one that I wrote the best. It was one of those videos that I watched many times to fully understand what it was about. I thought it had a really compelling story in it.

    Johnathon Harris, Web’s secret stories

    I also believe that this blog is one of my best. I took the time to look at it thoroughly and write the best about it.

    Least successful

    Bono, TED prize speech

    On this blog I didn’t really put much effort in to researching or taking the time to write a good blog.

  63. My three favorites:

    Mae Jemison on teaching the arts and sciences together:

    I liked this video because it was easy to follow, and easy to get into. This was my second analysis that I did, and I had a lot to say about the topic. I love both the arts and the sciences, and I wish they were both taught together. It’s a really cool concept that I hope is brought into the classroom soon. I thought my writing in this one was far better than most of my other analyses.

    Jill Tarter’s Call to join the SETI search:

    Although the majority of this analysis is just summarizing what she talked about, it was the longest and most in-depth paper I wrote for this. It actually took me three days in class to finally finish it. I thought her subject was interesting, and she did a good job of keeping the audience wondering about the possibility of other life forms “out there”. I liked this paper because I thought that having worked on this one for three days, it deserved to be brought up again. If you read my analysis of her talk, then go watch her video, I guarantee that you will think that you have already seen it somewhere.

    Henry Markram builds a brain in a supercomputer:

    Although this might be the most critical piece of writing that has ever come from my fingers, I believe that this was one of my strongest analyses. It’s very opinionated of me, but I really thought that he didn’t make any sense at all. If his talk would have been less stupid sounding, this may well have been my most inspiring as well… but it’s not.

    My least favorite:

    George Whitesides: A lab the size of a postage stamp:

    As I said in my least inspiring section, I did not like this video one bit. My writing on this one is probably the shortest and least in-depth one I wrote because frankly, I didn’t care for the subject or his style. Game over for me.

  64. Most successful:

    From my perspective, Patricia Burchat: Leads a Search for Dark Energy was one of my better blogs.

    I believe this because simply her talk was very fascinating for me. Although the content was not new to me, her articulation and examples were foreign and very entertaining. I believe I wrote about it well because I have an unprecedented, inexplicable guilty pleasure for astrophysics, and her talk made a lot of sense to me. Also, I believe my recreation of her charts were very user-friendly, if you will. My personal scientific vernacular was polished, and I believe my voice as a writer sang well because I was simply very entertained and enlightened with this TED talk as a whole.

    Pawan Sinha: How Brains Learn to See, was another well written and researched blog of mine.

    This was another fascinating subject to me. Pawan Sinha is a hero in my opinion. He inspired me to apply my knowledge and skills to help benefit other people, and his talk really touched me. This had great impact on my writing. I did a lot of research and drafting to craft this particular blog post, which helped me appear more intelligent in my writing voice.

    Least successful:

    My worst piece of writing was on Steven Pinker: Language and Thought.

    This piece of writing may not only be my personal worst, but collectively the worst blog published on our website. The reasons for this, however, are a total enigma I quite frankly can’t be bothered to get into. I gave this TED talk my fullest attention, but I could not for the life of me understand what Pinker was on about. To this very moment, the content of Pinker’s talk escapes me; I am unable to remember what I talked about in my analysis and what he talked about. I remember I began writing it, then left it unfinished for a number of days, then at the last moment whipped up a conclusion paragraph that probably had to relevance to the view from which I analyzed this talk. I didn’t bother reading what I had already written about before writing my concluding paragraph. I could have hired a rhinoceros to write this piece for me and it might have turned out better.
    Furthermore, because this talk was so dull and so boring to me, I could not bring myself to go back and revise this piece. Honestly I would have rather sat through 7 hours of a Mr. Long in class essay than have to craft another analysis of Steven Pinker’s talk about language. So the enigma is foiled.

  65. Most Successful:

    John Wooden: True Success

    I believe the reason that this is more successful is that it had a lot of inspiring content that one could really go on and on about. True success is not always the act of winning at something, and this I think a lot of people can relate to. I was able to easily talk about the subject.

    Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi: Flow

    This was yet another talk that I could relate to. I do believe I have experienced this “flow” that he speaks of. It is a moment of total, passionate focus doing what you love doing. I easily talked about this subject, and Csik presented a lot of interesting points.

    Not So Successful:

    John Lloyd: Inventories the Invisible

    I did like this talk, I really did… however, for the most part it was facts and “did you know?” type points. There was not much that I could expand upon there. Again, I must say that it was very intriguing.

  66. Most successful:

    Barry Schwartz- Loss of Wisdom

    I was proud of this piece of writing for many different reasons. It was one of my later pieces so it is a bit more sophisticated. I was very concise with the points of his talk that I analyzed. My developing vocabulary was also progressively stronger than it had been in my previous blogs. I also felt it had a more natural flow to it which helped it it read easier.

    David Pogue- Simplicity Sells

    Despite the fact this was my least favorite TED talk, I felt like it was one of my better writing examples. Just like I said before, it was the last blog I analyzed (for a grade) so I had a better idea of how to construct my writing. It was a clear cut piece that didn’t just bash the speaker. It was respectful, while still voicing my own thoughts and opinions about the talk in a mature tone.

    Least successful:

    Dennis Hong- My seven species of robots

    I feel like this was my weakest writing. It was hard for me to talk about robots so my vocabulary was somewhat awkward. I tried to make it cohesive, but it ended up sounding choppy. My ideas were good but they did not flow into each other well. I think if I worked on my transitions a bit more i could have made a more smooth piece of writing.

  67. Most successful:

    Daniel Goleman’s Compassion video was a successful piece of writing to me because I understood the video. The things he was saying in the video was clear and I had experienced some of things he was saying that was dealing with compassion. It was easy to write about and I had wrote it over the weekend instead of waiting the day of.

    Paul Stamet’s 6 Ways Mushrooms Can Save the World was interesting to me. I liked how he talked about how to grow crops using natural resources. I agreed with it highly because I prefer crops grown with natural resources.

    Least successful:

    Emily Oster’s Flips Our Thinking of AIDS video in Africa is something that I don’t want graded. I felt like I had threw it all together. Plus, I was confused by the information and terms.


  68. Most successful:

    Raul Mindon

    It was successful because it inspired me. This caused me to go deeper to understand his point.

    How I fell in love with a fish by Dan Barber.

    It was successful because I could relate to it. I fell in love with hunting in a similar way he did with this fish and farm.

    Least successful:

    The beautiful math about coral.

    I was my least successful because I could not relate to the video. I was not sure what she was talking about and I was not interested.

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