Here is a fascinating follow-up to an intriguing short #TED talk in which, as a result of an ingenious process of elimination, the self-portrait of Leonardo da Vinci as a young man was revealed. You can watch the talk here. The speaker was brilliant portrait painter Siegfried Woldhek. Here's the note he sent me this week. (click on 'full-sceen' for best viewing)
The shy boy who barely spoke English when I first met him in Arusha two years ago (and had this impromptu on-stage conversation with him http://bit.ly/9Q3l ) gave an amazing interview on Jon Stewart last night. Everyone at TED salutes him.
You can learn more about William and his astonishing story of building a windmill in his home village in Malawi here. His book is storming the charts at Amazon here http://bit.ly/IDJgf (A special call-out to TED's Tom Rielly @trielly who urged me to bring him to the stage at Arusha and who has since been supporting his education and much more. Also to @emeka_okafor who brought William to Arusha as a TED Fellow.)
I wanted to let you know about a new project of mine that just launched today:
The Sputnik Observatory ( http://sptnk.org )
It's the result of a two-year collaboration with New York-based Sputnik, Inc., an organization that documents contemporary culture through intimate video interviews with hundreds of leading thinkers in the arts, sciences and technology, covering a wide range of topics.
The central premise of the Sputnik project is that everything is connected to everything else, and that topics and ideas that may seem fringe and even heretical to the mainstream world are in fact being investigated by leading thinkers working in fields as diverse as quantum physics, mathematics, neuroscience, biology, economics, architecture, digital art, video games, computer science and music. Sputnik is dedicated to bringing these crucial ideas from the fringes of thought out into the limelight, so that the world can begin to understand them.
Conducted over more than ten years and previously unavailable to the public, the interviews within the site chronicle some of the most provocative human ideas to have emerged in the last few decades. The site itself aims to highlight the interconnections between seemingly disparate thinkers and ideas, using a simple navigational system with no dead ends, where every thought leads to another thought, akin to swimming the stream of consciousness.
There are about 200 videos on the site today, and there will be thousands more added over the coming weeks, months, and years.
Here's the amazing Solar Impulse, unveiled in Zurich today by Bertrand Piccard and his team. It's designed to fly purely from solar power, day AND night, courtesy of a vast surface area of solar cells. TED's European Director Bruno Giussani, who was at the launch, says: "The plane has a 60-meter wingspan covered by solar cells, 4 propellers, a tiny one-pilot cockpit, and a total weight of 1.6 tons. -- that makes it the wingspan of an Airbus A320 and the weight of a car. It is an amazing sight."
He shot this 15-second clip of the unveiling:
Piccard will be sharing his vision for the plane at next month's TED Global. He plans to fly the Solar Impulse around the world in 2012.
1. They each created their twitter accounts on Saturday June 13th.
4. With some very small exceptions, each were posting in ENGLISH.
5. Half of them had the exact same profile photo
6. Each had thousands of followers, with only a few friends. Most of their friends were EACH OTHER.
This is one of the cleverest magazine covers I've seen in a long time. My favorite writer on my favorite social media service served up on my favorite gadget. Striking image and brilliant marketing concept all in one. (Yes, this tweet has already spread across Twitter like wildfire).