Search This Blog


Sunday, April 15, 2012

"Fire:" painting session 6, TEDMED Day 3

The speeches were scheduled to begin promptly at 8:45 in the morning but then the Kennedy Center caught on fire.


I guess we are a passionate bunch. The firetrucks descended upon the building as the attendees streamed outside to wait where they were told to wait.  Many delegates told me afterwards that it was very frustrating, as they were not even allowed to walk over to the social hub tent. I smiled a half smile and said perhaps the experience was designed to better remind folks how patients feel.

So this painting began with flames and I called it "Fire."


At about 9:15 am the day began with singer, songwriter Jonathan Mann singing a song about the 51 Great Challenges.  It was super cool and I began paint musical notes in the flames.

Next Frances Arnold, PhD professor of Chemical Engineering, Bioengineering and Biochemistry, California Institute of Technology, spoke about evolution of biological molecules and making molecules have sex.  The speech wandered back and forth from the technical to the humorous.  So within the fire a sinuous mother Eve was born. 

Next the amazing Jonathan Eisen bounded across the stage.  I had the pleasure of his acquaintance two days before.  We were both fans of the Giant Microbe toy company and the artist Michele Banks or @Artologica on twitter. He began to speak about microbes all over our body and said that they should be viewed as another vital organ. So upon our Mother Nature microbes began to sprout and blossom. There are 51 microbes for the 51 Great Challenges.  He then told us about the restorative power of poo tea so the figure now holds a cup of this substance within her hand.

photo courtesy of TEDMED 

E.O. Wilson, Honorary Curator in Entomology and University Research Professor Emeritus, Harvard University gave us a heartfelt speech based on his writing  "Letter to A Young Scientist."  The part I took to heart was his reminding us that many of us may be bad at math, but that is no reason to give up on science.  As an adult who was awarded best science student in 6th grade but left science behind due to fear of the higher math’s, this comment touched me deeply.  So I tattooed a lovely equation on the leg of our mother nature.  E.O. Wilson received to standing ovations during his speech.

Fire painting

Next Andrew Read, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics, Penn State University took to the stage.  He broached some very controversial topics as he asked us if in our pursuit of attacking viruses and bacteria were we not waging war against Mother Nature herself. Then he pointed out in this type of battle evolution usually wins. I began to paint series of the letter A and a series of bees flying up the painting. We should not shun the controversial scientist as they give warning, we should not turn our heads away as the bees are dying.

Fire Painting 

PHILIPS was given this painting as a thank you for their help and dedication to TEDMED.

1 comment: