TED Talks and Cleaning

I have watched well over ten hours of TED Talks today, and by watched, I mostly mean listened to. I was doing the laundry, ironing a huge number of shirts, and doing lots and lots of cleaning this afternoon and when left entirely on my own for hours on end in the laundry room or kitchen, I usually end up going stir-crazy or singing made-up songs very loudly and very, very badly.

So instead I just played TED Talk after TED Talk, learning about motivation and productivity, how our brains operate, creativity, data analysis, the direction of the tech industry, etc. It was fascinating, and the work seemed to slide by much more quickly. Initially, I had tried putting on a movie, that early 90s Jane Austen movie, Emma, with Gwenyth Paltrow, but like most movies based on Austen novels, you actually needed to look at the screen to figure out what was going on, and when dealing with very hot irons, it’s not exactly advisable to look away from your hands for more than a second.

Cleaning turned out to be a very nice way to spend a large portion of my day, and I topped it all off with watching the first section of Ken Burns’ documentary on the Civil War. (I don’t know if you’ve noticed before but the “Ken Burns Effect” seen in iMovie and iPhoto on Macs, is named after the technique he used for showing pictures in this documentary.)

But since I talked about very hot irons and the possibility of burns, I thought that I would tell you about my predilection for accidently dumping very hot liquids into my lap or onto my torso. It involves me wearing the advent wreath on my head and a spectacular fall on the stairs, ruining a section of the carpet and badly hurting the skin on my stomach. I’ll post it tomorrow.

For the month, you can find me updating my word count on NaNoWriMo here. (I need to do it more regularly so that it doesn’t become flat for a few days, only to receive an enormous spike, indicating that I somehow magically wrote about twelve thousand words in one day.)

And as always, you can also find me on tumblr at http://emleng93.tumblr.com/, if, you know, you’re into that kind of thing.

8 thoughts on “TED Talks and Cleaning

    • It works great for Ken Burns’ documentaries, but for your average home movie, not so much. I’ve been put in charge of making 45-minute long documentary slideshows for church, essentially hundreds of photographs and video clips with a voiceover, and had to edit it out or fix it for every single shot. I certainly share your pain. It is not fun.

      Yes, I have! It’s one of my favorites. I must admit, though, I find myself watching Elizabeth Gilbert’s one on creativity and the concept of a muse over and over and over again. It’s just beautiful.

  1. Very glad you found a helpful strategy for getting through the cleaning with less stress. It’s always excellent to accomplish 2 objectives simultaneously. Gives you a “I am the queen of efficiency” kind of feeling.


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