NeoIdeasSure, there are ideas on every page of NeoNeighbourhood, not just this one. But these are currently our favourite quick hits - the things that made us laugh, puzzle or hit "Tell a Friend". They're too good not to share ...
TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. It is an annual conference in the US which brings together 50 or so of the most interesting people in any field related to those areas and challenges them to "give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes)". And they do. Previous speakers have included Isabelle Allende, Jeff Bezos, Frank Gehry and Bill Clinton. The TED.com website has these fascinating talks available for free download and (if you register) comment. Click here to go to the site.
REINVENTING AN ICON
Everyone knows what an umbrella looks - just ask a pre-schooler to draw one, and you'll get the classic, iconic, inverted "u" design. Except someone forgot to tell Alan Kaufman, inventor of the "Nubrella". A bit like a personal space-capsule for the head and shoulders, it looks, well, weird. It can be used hands-free, it's impervious to wind and it folds down to a small arc complete with shoulder strap. Even if you're not interested in the object, its radical nature is thought-provoking. Click here to see more.
In April, while the London Book Fair, guests at the cool new Andaz hotel in London has been offered the complimentary services of a "reader-in-residence". In the mornings, Times journalist Damian Barr provides reading suggestions to guests who want them. He can also be booked to read aloud at a private literary lunch or dinner, or even in guest rooms (though probably not during baths). Click here to see more.
SLOW AND IN DEPTH
Slow TV is the name the people behind The Monthly have given to their free, online forum for smart conversation-panel discussions, public speeches and studio interviews with a wide range of contributors. Available programs include David Malouf and J.M. Coetzee at the Adelaide Writers' Festival, Juliana Engberg and Jill Singer on the possibilities for the Arts under the new Labor government and David Marr and others on the media. To see more click here.
YOUR OWN PERSONAL DRIVE-IN
New York exhibition co-ordinators Ben and Hall Smyth have created a performance-space in a tiny storefront on the Lower East Side which they've fitted out with a vintage Ford Falcon convertible. Twice a night, seven days a week, it's hired out by groups of up to six people who sit in the car and watch a DVD projected onto a big screen. The price includes popcorn. It's as close as you can get in cheek-by-jowl Manhattan to an old-fashioned drive-in movie experience. (The current venue will close soon, but another will open up, so the service continues.) To see more, click here.