Tuesday, February 11, 2020

A date with TED

by AB Plum aka Barbara Plum


Between the ages of 4 and 6, I spent every Saturday night with either my grandmother or my cousins. I loved stayovers at both places because reading the Sunday newspapers occupied us from seven to bedtime at nine on Saturday!

First, though, we went "uptown" to the local drugstores and bought 3 different sets of big-city newspapers--depending on whether it was cousins or grandmother.

Times change.

A lifelong newspaper reader, I find myself turning more and more to other sources for news or ideas to satisfy my "fix". In addition to news magazines, books, NPR, and PBS, I read select articles and op-ed pieces online.


Come every Sunday, though, I open my weekly TED app and settle back.

The tactile experience of reading a newspaper and inhaling the smell of ink and paper is offset by the great graphics nearly every outstanding speaker brings to her seven to twenty-minute talk. The visuals bring back happy memories of lying on my stomach as a four-five-six-year-old on Saturday evenings and devouring the comics. There were enough "funnies" to carry over to Sunday after church.

Almost all of those classic strips have disappeared. Dr. Morgan still runs in my local paper, but Mary Worth got axed some years ago.


And what happened to Brenda Starr, model for millions of young girls on the cusp of grasping the idea women could have careers? Brenda and Little Orphan Annie ended in 2011—Annie despite the phenomenal Broadway hit.

My current favorite comic, Red and Rover, may appeal because it feels like the strips I recall from my childhood. Red runs daily in some newspapers, but since it appears only on Sundays for me, it is not addictive.

TED, for me, is addictive, but I limit my dates to 1 hour weekly. Otherwise, I could spend a full day—as I did long ago every Sunday reading my newspaper—listening to TED talks on every topic imaginable and many subjects beyond my imagination.

Hard science, social science, art, history, interpersonal relations, math, brain research, business, education, economics, technology, creativity insights delivered by often humorous but always informed speakers open up a world rarely explored by newspapers.

The only drawback with TED is I don't get the day's headlines. And probably not yesterday's current events either. So, I'm not ready to cancel my newspaper subscription. 

Yet.
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When AB Plum and her alter-ego, Barbara, aren't writing about murder, mayhem, and romance, they live, work, and read in Silicon Valley--just off the fast lane. AB's latest mystery novel, Through Rose-Colored Glasses, appears on March 6 but is now available for preorder at a discounted price.

Through Rose-Colored Glasses: A Ryn Davis Mystery (Ryn Davis Mystery Series Book 2)


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