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Best of Ted Talks II

I have spent another week watching Ted speakers, artists and musicians and once again, here I have to present to you the best of the Ted Talks which I have found.  Hope you enjoy.

5. Ahn Trio: A modern take on piano, violin, cello

The three Ahn sisters (cellist Maria, pianist Lucia, violinist Angella) breathe new life into the piano trio with their passionate musicmaking. At TEDWomen, they start with the bright and poppy “Skylife,” by David Balakrishnan, then play a gorgeous, slinky version of “Oblivion,” by Astor Piazzolla.

4. Jason Fried: Why work doesn’t happen at work

Jason Fried has a radical theory of working: that the office isn’t a good place to do it. At TEDxMidwest, he lays out the main problems (call them the M&Ms) and offers three suggestions to make work work.

3. Renny Gleeson on antisocial phone tricks

In this funny (and actually poignant) 3-minute talk, social strategist Renny Gleeson breaks down our always-on social world — where the experience we’re having right now is less interesting than what we’ll tweet about it later.

2. Jacqueline Novogratz: Inspiring a life of immersion

We each want to live a life of purpose, but where to start? In this luminous, wide-ranging talk, Jacqueline Novogratz introduces us to people she’s met in her work in “patient capital” — people who have immersed themselves in a cause, a community, a passion for justice. These human stories carry powerful moments of inspiration.

1. Jamie Oliver’s TED Prize wish: Teach every child about food

Sharing powerful stories from his anti-obesity project in Huntington, W. Va., TED Prize winner Jamie Oliver makes the case for an all-out assault on our ignorance of food.

If you liked this post and want to see others like it, read: The Best of Ted Talks I, and Ted Talks: Musicians

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The Legalization of Marijuana in WA – HB (House Bill) 1550

S.C. Barrus, S. Cody Barrus, Away and AwayThe Seattle Times, on Friday Feb 18th, called for the legalization of marijuana in response to bill 1550 which is currently being considered by the House of Representatives in Olympia.  This law would legalize pot and allow it to be sold in liquor shops for those over the age of 21.  For the whole article, go here.

Why do I agree with them?  There are many, many reasons I believe we should all support this law, from how offenders are stigmatized their entire lives by being labeled as a felon, often getting jail time when at worst they are the victims of addiction and should be treated as such by being sent to 12 step meetings rather than years in jail with violent offenders, to where the money made from illegal marijuana sales goes (cartels) rather than where it should go (the government).

The costs associated with keeping marijuana illegal are astronomical, and we are not exactly rolling in the dough right now.  In fact, revenues collected by the state through taxation and legalization is estimated to be around $300 million dollars every year.  That is $300 million for schools (which are getting larger classes, which are considering cutting senior year, which is increasing tuition by 25% a year), for law enforcement (which may be cut by a third), for fire fighters (which may be cut by a quarter), for rehabilitation (which is severally lacking).

Pot is readily available to all teens right now at school.  Do you know what isn’t?  Alcohol.  Ask any teenager what is harder to come by, pot or beer, and I garuin-darn-tee you the answer is Alcohol.  Pot, as well as other illegal drugs as well, including cocaine, and pills like adderall and oxyconton are very easy to come by for the discerning teen.  “Students from several high schools who talked to The Desert Sun agree that illicit drugs are readily available at school,” said The Desert Sun in a news article.  Now, how many teenage alcohol dealers do you know?  There is a reason for that.

Says Narcotics Detective Russ Jones who I interviewed over at my drug rehabilitation site AllTreatment, “My major concern is that drugs, including alcohol and tobacco, are dangerous. Too dangerous to leave in the hands of the drug cartels. We learned our lessons with alcohol prohibition, when violence, corruption, and use of adulterated booze spiked. Today, drugs are controlled by street gangs who decide what to sell, when to sell, where to sell, and to whom. In any major city today a 12 year old can go down the street and buy an illegal drug. He has a much more difficult time trying to buy alcohol or tobacco.”  You can read the entire interview here.

Sylvia Longmire, an expert on the Mexican drug cartels, a former Air Force officer and Special Agent, a former Senior Border Security Officer and Analyst for the State of California, whom I also inteviewed (here) said, “Right now, Mexican drug trafficking organizations, or DTOs, are the number one source for illegal drugs consumed by Americans. Because illegal drugs command such high prices on the black market, manufacturing and distributing these drugs to American consumers is a highly profitable business.”

Want more reasons?  Ask me, seriously, ask me.  Comment in the comment section on this site, and I will openly and honestly tell you my views on drugs.

But first, ask yourself, what is best for the American People?  Money flowing by the wheelbarrow fulls to cartels or to our own government?  What is better for the American People, years in jail for possession charges and the forever stigma of ‘felon’, or rehab centers to direct the addicted and suffering to?  The fact is, Alcohol prohibition did not work, it simply spread crime.  The fact is, Marijuana prohibition, in fact drug prohibition in general, does not work, it only spreads crime.  The fact is, there are people you talk to every single day who use drugs and go about their lives just fine, and the fact is there are those who need help but fear arrest, stigma, and other repercussions.  When a system is broken, you srive to fix it, to help people who need it and to not punish those whom do not deserve it.

This is why I agree with the Seattle Times, this is why I support the legalization of Marijuana.

Farewell from S.C.B.

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The Best of Ted Talks

S.C. Barrus, S. Cody Barrus, Away and AwaySo here are a few of the best Ted Talks from recent memory.  If you haven’t seen Ted Talks before, make sure you check out their site because it is the best site on the internet (if you disagree, show me one better).  It is essentially videos of experts in their fields talking about what is important to them, be it culture, oceanography, education, music, arts, etc.  So, here it is, my personal top five Ted Talks (which I have seen, and not yet covered):

5. Nigel Marsh: How to Make Work-Life Balance Work

Work-life balance, says Nigel Marsh, is too important to be left in the hands of your employer. At TEDxSydney, Marsh lays out an ideal day balanced between family time, personal time and productivity — and offers some stirring encouragement to make it happen.

4. Amber Case: We Are All Cyborgs Now

Technology is evolving us, says Amber Case, as we become a screen-staring, button-clicking new version of homo sapiens. We now rely on “external brains” (cell phones and computers) to communicate, remember, even live out secondary lives. But will these machines ultimately connect or conquer us? Case offers surprising insight into our cyborg selves.

3. Martin Jacques: Understanding the Rise of China

Speaking at a TED Salon in London, economist Martin Jacques asks: How do we in the West make sense of China and its phenomenal rise? The author of “When China Rules the World,” he examines why the West often puzzles over the growing power of the Chinese economy, and offers three building blocks for understanding what China is and will become.

2. Dan Barber: How I Fell in Love With a Fish

Chef Dan Barber squares off with a dilemma facing many chefs today: how to keep fish on the menu. With impeccable research and deadpan humor, he chronicles his pursuit of a sustainable fish he could love, and the foodie’s honeymoon he’s enjoyed since discovering an outrageously delicious fish raised using a revolutionary farming method in Spain.

1. Sylvia Earle’s TED Prize Wish to Protect Our Oceans

Legendary ocean researcher Sylvia Earle shares astonishing images of the ocean — and shocking stats about its rapid decline — as she makes her TED Prize wish: that we will join her in protecting the vital blue heart of the planet.

Farewell from S.C.B.

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A Quote by Stephen Colbert

“Don’t be afraid to be a fool. Remember, you cannot be both young and wise. Young people who pretend to be wise to the ways of the world are mostly just cynics. Cynicism masquerades as wisdom, but it is the farthest thing from it. Because cynics don’t learn anything. Because cynicism is a self-imposed blindness, a rejection of the world because we are afraid it will hurt us or disappoint us. Cynics always say no. But saying yes begins things. Saying yes is how things grow. Saying yes leads to knowledge. “Yes” is for young people. So for as long as you have the strength to, say yes.”

Stephen Colbert, via Dave

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