'World-Shaping Minds' Convene in Long Beach for Annual TED Conference

Invading the Long Beach Convention Center (and our Twitter streams) today is the Technology, Entertainment and Design (TED) Conference, the invite-only gathering of "world-shaping minds," a.k.a. Woodstock for nerds.

Astronaut Catherine "Cady" Coleman will launch the weeklong event over a live video streaming from her current home in space.

According to Wired, other speakers include:

  • Film critic Roger Ebert discussing the health problems that cost him his physical voice but gained him a new and compelling literary voice;
  • Wadah Khanfar, director general of the Al Jazeera Network, who will discuss the revolutionary upheavals that have toppled long-standing governments in the Middle East;

  • Director Julie Taymor will discuss the steps and missteps behind the new $65 million Spider-Man musical;

  • Four-star General Stanley McChrystal, who lost his command after making impolitic remarks about the U.S. leadership to a Rolling Stone reporter, will discuss what makes a good leader;

  • Dr. Anthony Atala, professor of surgical sciences and one of the pioneers of organ regeneration, will demonstrate a 3D printer that produces live-cell organs.

  • As respite from the often rich and heady presentations of TED speakers, an array of musicians and artists--including Jason Mraz and Bobby McFerrin--will entertain the audience.

The best part of the conference, of course, is that we regular minds can later watch the inspirational "TED Talks" at


, all while sitting at home in our pajamas, debating whether to get up and make a sandwich.


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