Many Americans, it seems, have a hard time talking about death. Even doctors struggle to deal with the mortality of patients who they know aren’t going to make it.
When the annual Technology, Entertainment, Design (TED) conference began in 1984, the Los Angeles Times called it "an obscure gathering of engineers, theorists and artists." But in the nearly three decades since then, TED has morphed into a series of mind-expanding showcases staged in several countries that attract scores of celebrity visionaries, ranging from physicist Steven Hawking and neurologist Oliver Sacks to former President Bill Clinton and rock stars Bono and Peter Gabriel. Better yet, the nonprofit Sapling Foundation, which stages the conferences, now makes hundreds of TED talks available on its website. (If you're not sure which ones to pick, you can even listen to playlists of TED talks selected by luminaries in various fields.)
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