I did it! On Wednesday night, I gave my #TEDx talk, “The Power of the Personal Story,” as part of Amsterdam University College’s official #TEDxAUCollege event. 😊 I was quite nervous, but I’m grateful to have been given the chance to participate and to share my journey with everyone who attended.
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This incredible opportunity would not have been possible without the tireless efforts of Ben Nolan, Yana Ahlden, and their entire team of people who have worked for months putting together this exceptional TEDx event. I also want to give a huge thanks to Casa400 for providing wonderful accommodations and to U.S. Consulate General of Amsterdam, Mr. Randy Berry, for sponsoring my travel to Holland. Side note: Secretary of State John Kerry recently named Mr. Berry the “first special envoy for human rights of LGBT persons.” President Obama said there couldn’t be a better man to take on this historic role. I agree!
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All of the talks from the evening should be available online within the next 5-7 weeks. I will post the links once they are uploaded! (at Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

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For the past couple weeks I’ve been feeling super unmotivated and uninspired. However, after going to this wonderful TEDx event hosted at my school I feel so motivated and inspired to do things that I love. 

What inspires you? Please let me know! 

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Scorpion venom is helping doctors make tumors glow. How? With something called Tumor Paint, a drug created from the venom of the Israeli deathstalker scorpion. (Just ignore that scary name, this stuff can be a lifesaver.) 

At TEDxSeattle, Dr. Jim Olson explains how he and his team at Seattle Children’s Hospital developed the altered scorpion venom. It acts as a “targeting agent,” says Olson, going after cancer cells like the venom targets the brain of its prey. Once attached to these cells, the drug uses fluorescent molecules to “paint” the tumor’s cells and give surgeons a glowing map of where to operate (as seen in the second picture above).

This paint is about 100,000 times more sensitive than the MRI scans often used to map out tumors, says Olson, and has great potential for helping surgeons remove an entire tumor during just one surgery.

Learn more about how it works »

(Scorpion photo: Matt Reinbold)

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"Our society is homophobic, it is infused with homophobia, it is dripping with homophobia."

Panti Bliss delivers a follow-up speech at a local TEDx event to her viral video addressing homophobia today, talking about “all the little things” gay people have to put up with on a daily basis.

In the speech from September last year Panti discusses the little things that make us human that lgbt people cannot enjoy without first considering the possible consequences of these actions:

"Everyday I am jealous of straight people because that tiny intimate expression of affection has never once been mine…I am jealous of that because gay people do not get to hold hands in public without first considering the risk…We look around to see where are we, who’s around, what kind of place is it…are there bunches of lads outside a pub? … I’m 45 years old and I have never once casually, comfortably, carelessly held hands with a partner in public… I’m 45 and I’m fed up of putting up so I’m not anymore."

Panti also covers what homophobia really means, being treated differently or less than straight people and how gay people are reduced to nothing but sex acts by homophobia.

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George Takei’s TEDx Talk on patriotism and internment is a must-see

For most people, George Takei is most closely associated with Mr. Sulu from the famous Star Trek series. But the 77-year-old actor has worn many hats since then, especially as an outpoken advocate for the LGBT community and as a human rights activist. In an inspiring and emotional TED Talk he gave last month in Kyoto, Japan, Takei poignantly used his personal story to explain his own complicated, powerful definition of patriotism.

Read more | Follow micdotcom 

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A TEDx talk on Filipino Martial Arts/ Kali/ Arnis/ Escrima by my teacher. 

(There is a demo by us at the end.)

One of these photos is of bone, the other is of cement foam. Which one is which? Yeah, we’re not that sure either.

And that’s the point, says bone researcher David Pastorino, who — at TEDxBarcelona — shared how he and a team of researchers have come up with a crazy new way to regenerate bone with a material quite similar to the foam of a cappuccino.

How? Well, doctors inject a foam cement made from calcium phosphate into the body after a big break and the foam mimics bone scaffolding so well that it tricks bone cells (osteoclasts and osteoblasts) into “eating” the material and replacing it with real bone. Magic? No, science!

Learn more here» 

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Viet Vu’s TEDx Talk, “Bi the Way, We Exist,” on Bisexuality, Coming Out, and Equaldex

Viet Vu, Equaldex moderator and Economics major at University of British Columbia, delivered a TEDx Talk speaking about the complexities of coming out as bisexual, LGBTQ+ rights, and his involvement with Equaldex.

Before becoming a moderator on Equaldex, Viet was a top contributor to the site, even before it was launched to the public.

"In this TEDx talk, Viet speaks about the complexities of coming out as bisexual and the positive and negative reactions that he received from his family and friends. While focusing on a group that is rarely talked about in LGBTQ+ rights, Viet explains how anyone can have a tangible impact on someone’s life by choosing to care.

Viet is a fourth-year Economics student at the Vancouver School of Economics. He’s also a researcher at Equaldex, a database that maps the status of LGBTQ+ rights worldwide.”

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The history of Somalia in paintings | Aden Farah Affei | TEDxMogadishu

One of the best TEDx videos I’ve seen

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I may have accomplished one of my biggest life goals yesterday, which was to give a TEDx talk.

While I still have so much stories to share about this unforgettable opportunity, you can first access the video from yesterday’s livestream at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JP6MH5iDaCg#t=34 :)

Thank you to syoti Gian (giannicdao) and the rest of the TEDxUPM team for inviting me to be a speaker (so proud of you guys for pulling off such a successful event!), to my mentor Bianca Gonzalez, and to my manager/achi/friend Tricie who helped me weave such beautiful words (especially my creative manifesto) into an 18-minute talk. 

It’s definitely one crazy experience I’ll never forget. Here’s to ideas worth spreading and encouraging everyone to move forward and act towards finding their passion. <3

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SCIENCE NEWS! There’s life way, way below Antarctica — chilling out in a subglacial lake. Just a few weeks ago, a team of scientists confirmed that half a mile beneath the Antarctic ice sheet, a bunch of tiny, single-celled organisms are alive and well… in a lake boasting sub-zero temperatures and no access to sunlight. 

The discovery is groundbreaking, leading some to wonder if there might also be life on a similar place — Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons. 

John Priscu is one of the lead scientists behind the study. In a talk at TEDxBozeman, he explains what it’s like to be a scientist drilling though thousands of feet of ice while living in a tent in Antarctica. 

Watch the whole talk here»

Photos courtesy of NASA

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How can tiny houses offer the ultimate freedom to our generation? Amy Henion at TEDxNortheasternU

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Third grader makes a compelling case for video games in schools

Do you remember being bored in class and zoning out when you were a kid? What if someone, at that moment, had thrown a video game controller into your hands?

Cordell Steiner’s third grade teacher decided that Cordell could start playing educational video games at school. In a TEDx talk delivered at the University of St. Thomas, Cordell talks about his experience, and enthusiastically advocates education through failure. Because when the shame factor is removed, classroom failure can be just as instructive as classroom success.

[Read more]