Friday, August 12, 2011

Around the Word

The best of TED: We love that TEDTalks have brought high-quality public speaking and thought leadership to anyone with an Internet connection. There have been some great speeches to come out of TED, but with so many talks available online, it can be hard to choose which ones to watch. Fortunately, our friend David Murray at Vital Speeches of the Day pointed us to a list of the top twenty most-viewed TEDTalks. TED tracked the over 500 million views for TEDTalks and to see which are the most popular. At the top is Sir Ken Robinson's speech on how schools kill creativity. But, as Murray pointed out, a speech about what you don't know about orgasms was surprisingly only seventeenth.

Keep your bookmarks handy: Who says that the Internet and books have to be mortal enemies? Over at Flavorpill, they see tech-loving bibliophiles reading and Internet-ing in perfect harmony, so they've put together a list of the best new websites for bookworms. From aggregators that search the web for the best journalism and creative nonfiction (, to sites that highlight indie publishers and lesser-known authors (Very Short List, Full Stop), these websites are guaranteed to fill up your reading list. And when you don't have your nose in a book, you can always check out the slightly wacky Better Book Titles, which gives famous works more descriptive names.

Tweet Club: For more literary Internet goodness, the Huffington Post has provided a list of famous authors who are on Twitter. Though you might never have expected to follow Chuck Palahniuk's 140-character thoughts when you first picked up Fight Club, he and his fellow writing Twilebrities -- like Judy Blume, Kevin Smokler and Augusten Burroughs -- offer witty commentary, thoughts on life and tips and inspiration for fellow writers. Which of your favorite authors would you like to see on Twitter?

The biblio Tower of Babel: Finding your house or apartment overcrowded with books is enough to drive anyone to buy an e-reader, but a visual artist in Buenos Aires has taken towering stacks and book-hoarding to a new level. Marta Minujin built a seven-story sculpture out of books, reaching over 80 feet high. The sculpture was built to celebrate Buenos Aires's status as the 2011 book capital of the world, and when it was dismantled some of the books were given away to visitors. Check out a photo of the towering book tower at the Utne Reader.

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