Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

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Politicians are strange creatures, says politician Omar Ahmad. And the best way to engage them on your pet issue is a monthly handwritten letter. Ahmad shows why old-fashioned correspondence is more effective than email, phone or even writing a check — and shares the four simple steps to writing a letter that works.


After years of volunteering for grassroots political groups, I have used my experience to teach and help people write letters to politicians over the years, but even I learned something from this video (I was not aware that one should send the original letter to one office and the copy of the letter to the other office — I’ll let you watch the video to discover where each should be sent).

I am curious as to why he chose that one letter to carry with him? What does it say? Or maybe his mother wrote it?

TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world’s leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes. Featured speakers have included Al Gore on climate change, Philippe Starck on design, Jill Bolte Taylor on observing her own stroke, Nicholas Negroponte on One Laptop per Child, Jane Goodall on chimpanzees, Bill Gates on malaria and mosquitoes, Pattie Maes on the “Sixth Sense” wearable tech, and “Lost” producer JJ Abrams on the allure of mystery. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design, and TEDTalks cover these topics as well as science, business, development and the arts.