I’m extremely jealous at anyone who got to attend the TED conference in California this week. TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) is a conference started in the 1980s that brings some heavy-hitting thinkers into the same building and lets them chat. Think the Nobel prize with fewer Swedes (not that there’s anything wrong with Swedes).
This year’s speakers include human rights expert Samantha Power, mycologist Paul Stamets (cooler than it sounds!), and undersea explorer Robert Ballard.
Boing Boing has been liveblogging the event but videos and podcasts are available.
J.K. Rowling has said that she feels exploited by an author’s efforts to create an unofficial encyclopedia based on the Harry Potter universe. We agree with Nathan Whitlock on the Quillblog, and we’re pretty sure that unofficial primers and encyclopaedias existed well before Harry Potter. There’s a whole cottage industry of Star Trek inspired books for example. Also, it’s odd to see a billionaire claim that she’s being exploited.
Dengue Fever, an LA-based band, is rediscovering Cambodian oldies. From NPR:
During the Vietnam War, American and British pop music was broadcast in Vietnam on the U.S. Armed Forces Radio Network. Those broadcasts reached neighboring Cambodia, as well. And there, the sounds of Western radio inspired a hybrid of American pop and traditional Cambodian styles.
Sadly, the Khmer Rouge banned most Cambodian rock during its brutal regime. But Dengue Fever is trying to bring this music back to life.
Finally, for all of those who had a hard time with gendered nouns in French – pretty much anyone who studied French – native French speakers have problems with them too.
Weekend Links will be on vacation, see you in two weeks.