Mindless Web videos featuring cute animals (Gesundheit! already, sneezing panda) are certainly entitled to their fair share of our attention and precious bandwidth. But when we crave something a tad more thought-provoking — an e-piphany, if you will — it’s hugely reassuring to know that Professor Randy Pausch’s last lecture is just a click away. Or that in only 18 minutes you can have your thoughts realigned by the deeply moving TED conference talk given earlier this year by neuroanatomist Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor.
She had a uniquely useful perspective when, one morning in 1996, she awoke to a pounding pain behind her left eye. As reality slowly sank in (“I’m having a stroke!”), the brain doctor struggled to get to a hospital, and her real-time understanding of what was happening swung wildly between informed concern and unexpected euphoria. This lecture, given more than a decade later, after a remarkable recovery, fully delivers on the “you’ll laugh, you’ll cry” come-on — but you’ll also be acutely aware (and profoundly grateful) that you’re doing both.
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