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Entries in TED (3)

Tuesday
Feb192013

Model Says She Won ‘Genetic Lottery’

Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Victoria’s Secret model Cameron Russell has a message: Society overvalues looks and should pay more attention to serious issues.

The stunning 25-year-old delivered a frank talk in October that was posted online last month in which she talks about how modeling “isn’t a career path.” Since then, the video has racked up more than 1.3 million hits — four times the number of viewers who clicked on a talk by Colin Powell.

“Saying that you want to be a model when you grow up is akin to saying that you want to win the Powerball when you grow up,” she said in remarks at a TED conference, an annual event that showcases thought-provoking speakers.

The model, who studied economics and political science at Columbia University, isn’t surprised at the attention her talk has generated given society’s obsession with “tall, slender figures, and femininity and white skin,” she wrote in a piece Monday for CNN. She notes that only an estimated four percent of models are non-white.

“The talk itself is nothing groundbreaking. It’s a couple of stories and observations about working as a model for the last decade,” she said of her TED speech. “Even if I did give a good talk, is what I have to say more important and interesting than what Colin Powell said?"

“I won a genetic lottery,” she added.

Russell, who has modeled for Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein, said she joined the TED conference hoping to bring attention to the stories of people who represent more pressing matters than good looks.

“I hoped telling a simple story — where my only qualification was life experience (not a degree, award, successful business or book) — could encourage those of us who make media to elevate other personal narratives: the stories of someone like Trayvon Martin, the undocumented worker, the candidate without money for press,” she wrote.

 

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jul062012

Lou Gehrig's Disease: Seth MacFarlane Responds to 'Ted' Backlash

Jason Merritt/Getty Images)(NEW YORK) -- Ted writer Seth MacFarlane is defending a punch line that sparked outrage among people with Lou Gehrig's disease and their supporters.

"ALS is a horrific tragedy for those who suffer from it, and by no means do I or anyone associated with this film have anything but compassion for the individuals afflicted," MacFarlane said in a statement. "However, the joke in the film is made at the expense of our villain, Rex, and not at the expense of those suffering from the disease."

The joke, "From one man to another, I hope you get Lou Gehrig's disease," shocked movie-going patients and advocates, who say it crossed a line.

"I didn't expect to go to a movie and sit with an audience laughing at the expense of people with ALS," said Randy Pipkin, who was diagnosed in 2005. "I think the message this film sends out is a huge slap in the face to people dying from this horrific disease."

Lou Gehrig's disease, also known as ALS, progressively robs people of their ability to move, speak, eat and breathe. There is currently no cure.

The punch line prompted an online petition urging MacFarlane to apologize and donate $200,000 of the movie's proceedings to ALS research.

"The thing that Mr. MacFarlane and others fail to realize is that ALS sufferers are some of the kindest, compassionate, thoughtful, and loving individuals one will ever meet," Bridget Reeves Jeter, whose mother has ALS, wrote in the petition posted at change.org. "Wishing ALS on another individual is really nothing but a foundationless insult, rather than an edgy, humorous scatological quip, as was intended."

But MacFarlane, 38, who is famous for his boundary-pushing humor, argues the "mere mention of any disease should not be cause for ire."

"I lost my mother to cancer, yet there is a joke in the film which contains the word cancer," he said. "I urge analysis of context, lest the 'outrage industry' get the better of us."

Ted scored $54 million at the box office last weekend, and the offensive punch line has been making the rounds on Twitter ever since.

"We just want to stop this alarming trend before it becomes too widespread," Traci Bisson of the ALS Therapy Alliance, a Boston-based advocacy group, said in a statement. "We want to make it clear that ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease, is not a laughing matter for people and families suffering from this life-threatening illness."

Jeff Lester, a self-professed MacFarlane fan with ALS, says the joke went too far.

"This line from Ted is something that never should have been said much less survived the editing process for a major movie release especially as a punch line for a comedy," Lester wrote in an open letter to MacFarlane and actor Mark Wahlberg, who delivers the line, posted on Facebook. "From one man to another, I hope you or anyone you know or love NEVER GETS Lou Gehrig's disease."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jan192012

Miracle Food: Can World Hunger Be Solved By Tricking Taste Buds?

JEFF HAYNES/AFP/Getty Images(CHICAGO) -- Homaro Cantu's world is part kitchen, part laboratory. The Chicago chef is more mad scientist than traditional culinary artist, and he's attempting to not just create delicious meals, but to challenge the very definition of food as he toys with its flavors.

"Our goal is to expand our dictionary of what food is," Cantu told ABC News.

Cantu is ringmaster at one of the Windy City's most sought-after restaurants, Moto, a place where even the menu is edible. Take a bite, after you order, and the edible paper on a cracker tastes like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

"People pay a premium for Moto Restaurant because it's food that they're never going to see anywhere else," said Cantu.

Watch Homaro Cantu's TED Talk.

In Cantu's kitchen nothing is at it seems. What appear to be nachos -- chips, sour cream and ground beef -- will surprise even the most discerning of foodies.

"We basically just take the chocolate and put it in a blender and it turns into ground beef," Cantu explained. "The chips are made from corn chips, the cheese is made from Mexican sweet potatoes, and the green chile salsa is actually Mexican kiwi with some strawberry and some Mexican flan."

Last March, on the TED stage, Cantu wowed the audience by literally turning lemons into lemonade with a little pill made from a wild berry grown in West Africa. It's nicknamed the miracle berry and has a mysterious protein that temporarily inhibits the taste of sour and bitter things.

After taking the pill, members of the audience were able to bite directly into a lemon and have it taste exactly like lemonade.

Cantu believes the world can be changed through the science of taste. One of his dishes uses ingredients that are readily available for free.

"We basically take some grass and fry it. And bam, you've got yourself a dish that could actually be procured from your backyard depending on where you live," he said. "Agriculture as we know it could really be changed just by tricking our tongues."

The hope is that one day the science of taste could give starving nations something good to eat or make junk food healthy.

"So it starts...at this trendy establishment and those trends hopefully tickle down into a bigger audience," Cantu told ABC News. "We can rework it a little to make it like our junk food....If it looks good and makes you hungry, why not?"

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







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