Keeping Your TEDxPeachtree Light Shining with Gratitude

Keeping Your TEDxPeachtree Light Shining with Gratitude


It has been one month since the Buckhead Theatre was taken over by a group of men and women to hear from a small number of wonderers, innovators and tinkerers. TEDxPeachtree 2014 Illuminate held the minds of its audience captive with new ideas in science, health, community building, and dance. Yes, talking dogs, origami in space, and leaps in cancer research have a way of grabbing your attention, but now what? We’ll have to wait another year until the next TEDxPeachtree. The cold weather is settling in and the early darkness that results from the end daylight savings time has commenced. A bit of illumination would be nice right about now.

If you are need of some light at the end of this blustery tunnel, check out these TED talks. Guaranteed to brighten your spirit, they may even kick off your list of what you are thankful for this upcoming Turkey Day. There is nothing more energizing than the light that comes from within. These talks can help you create some inspiration for your own continued motivation.

Tania Luna’s TED@New York tale of gratitude and finding value in the smallest things remind us that you don’t need a pile of cash to feel like a millionaire. Be illuminated from her unique perspective, her journey from a small town in Russia to a homeless shelter in America. Tania sees the blessings we often overlook.

The truth is that caring, knowing and acting upon what other people think about us can be completely scary. Brené Brown, in her 2010 TEDxHouston talk, speaks on how to turn the concept of shame into the beauty of vulnerability and be grateful for who we really are.

Sometimes we look backward and are grateful for a stroke of luck that has come our way. In his TEDMED 2012 talk, Ed Gavagan shines a light on the moments that test us, when we beat the odds and why we should always “push back against the chaos.”

At TEDGlobal 2013, Benedictine monk Brother David Steindl-Rast teaches us about the root of all happiness – gratitude. In this lesson – take the time to see the wonderful things in your world and be present in the gift your days bring to you – Steindl-Rast gives us the key to true happiness.

What TED or TEDx talks have illuminated your lives in ways you never predicted?


M.PinkeltonPhotoMaria Pinkelton is the Communication Specialist for the Center for Leadership in Disability at Georgia State University. She lives in Decatur with her husband and son, along with a fine collection of books, craft beers and size 11 shoes.

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Illuminating Global Healthcare Solutions: 50 Cent Microscopes to Save Millions of Lives

Illuminating Global Healthcare Solutions: 50 Cent Microscopes to Save Millions of Lives

Accurate and prompt diagnosis of diseases including malaria, giardiasis, African sleeping sickness, and chagas is critical if we are to reduce the millions of deaths per year that these illnesses cause. The most essential piece of equipment to illuminate rapid diagnosis is the microscope.

Two little boys doing biochemistry research at the lab. Isolated

First introduced in 1800, it hasn’t changed much since then, it’s still heavy, awkward, clunky, difficult to transport, expensive, and requires training to use. It’s a piece of equipment that is clearly not well suited to work in developing countries with limited budgets and rough working conditions.

Two of physicist Manu Prakash’s students in his Stanford University research lab took on the challenge. They developed a paper-based foldable microscope that costs just 50 cents. Perhaps even more amazing is that it is infinitely more durable than a traditional microscope. And they took it even further, developing more than one kind to provide access to multiple lens types for a variety of diagnoses. Their engineering ingenuity illuminates lifesaving opportunities for millions of people worldwide, for mere pennies.

They didn’t stop there. The students produced this with no written instructions to circumvent language barriers and instead used simple color coding to illustrate how to put it together. The microscope accepts standard slides just as any other microscope would.

Instead of a box, or crate if several traditional microscopes were being shipped, the read to assemble punch out microscopes can be delivered in an envelope or a mere file folder, and no complex use instructions are necessary. At the time of his TEDtalk, June 2012, they were going to press with thousands for the first time to use in trials around the world, astounding, ingenious, and lifesaving all for a price less than a cup of coffee.

Watch Manu Prakash’s talk below to hear about this life-saving creation.


Melissa Galt_072213_0429



A success strategist, speaker, and author, Melissa Galt inspires, leads, and coaches entrepreneurs into achieving outrageous success and building an awesome life.



Posted in General, TED0 Comments

Turn on the Lights and the Cooties Scatter – Using Light to Cure What Ails Us

TEDxPeachtree 2014 is behind us, but that doesn’t mean we’ve stopped noticing how our world is so beautifully illuminated.

IMG_5055Why do so many people equate sun with fun? Is it because they rhyme or is it because that big yellow ball in the sky actually does affect our happiness and wellness? It just may be a little bit of both. both the process of light therapy and using doses of the sun in varying forms have been used for years to treat such maladies as seasonal affective disorder, eczema, sleep disorders, and neonatal jaundice.

Light therapy, or phototherapy as it is more widely known in the medical community, is administered using lasers, light boxes and direct sunlight and is highly lauded as the remedy for many psychological and skin-related illnesses. Psychological disorders such as depression, bipolar disorder, and postpartum depression have all been found to benefit greatly with the addition of light therapy to patients’ treatment plans. Jaundice, the yellowing of skin and eyes often found in newborn, is caused by the increased amounts of bilirubin in the blood. Through the use of a blue light (the Bili light), that product is broken down and expelled from the infants, returning their skin to its actual color.

These areas of health where light is used as treatment are well researched and proven; what about breaking new ground? This September, Maria Figueiro took to the stage at TEDMED 2014, a celebration of all things innovative in the field of medicine. The Illumination Researcher is studying the way light plays a factor in our alertness, daily performance abilities, and even how it can be used to improve the posture of the elderly. Her piece Lighting the Way: a Key to Independence, provides guidelines to designers on how to create lighting to meet the needs of older adults.

Learn more about the illuminating role that light plays in our world at Figueiro’s Lighting Research Center website. Or you can follow Maria Figueiro on Twitter. Find out more about other talented speakers from TEDMED here.


M.PinkeltonPhotoMaria Pinkelton is the Communication Specialist for the Center for Leadership in Disability at Georgia State University. She lives in Decatur with her husband and son, along with a fine collection of books, craft beers and size 11 shoes.

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