nerd power


As a joke, Xander set out an outfit that matched Hans for his first day of junior high. Rather than scoffing at Xander, Hans embraced the idea and suggested that they also coordinate their shoes.


“Everyone,” Hans reported after school, “thought we were awesome.”

I’m telling you– nerds rule.


No way would Stefan wear his Harvard tee on the first day of school, but he wore it yesterday and I thought he looked cute.

Our new school year goals:

1. eat five fruits and vegetable every day (this is especially hard for Gabe who regards most fruits as poison).

2. write to Ben every week (he’s promised chocolate to the best letter writer).


3. no screens except on weekends. The grand exceptions to this goal are school work, Khan Academy and TED talks– our favorite nerd hobbies.

Have you heard of It’s pretty much the coolest site ever.

Watch. Practice.

Learn almost anything for free.

With a library of over 2,400 videos covering everything from arithmetic to physics, finance, and history and 125 practice exercises, we’re on a mission to help you learn whatever you want, whenever you want, at your own pace.


Hans is obsessed with it. He’s studied, economics, history, finance, geometry etc. If your child is struggling in any subject (or just enjoys learning random facts); you can find a tutoring video on Khan Academy. AP Physics at our high school has a very low pass rate, but Stefan is going to rely on Khan Academy to learn the subject. Trust me, you’ll love it.


TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader.

The annual TED conferences, in Long Beach/Palm Springs and Edinburgh, bring together the world’s most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes or less).

Interestingly, both Khan and TED receive funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. I like those people; I really do.


I asked the boys to make a list of their ten favorite TED talks and they acted like someone had asked me to choose my favorite child. “But they are all so good!” “Our favorites change all the time.”

Reluctantly they offered this list, in no particular order, of really good talks. Finding your favorite is up to you.


Theo Jansen creates new creatures (you can see one of his kinetic creatures on the screen; the boys recommend Googling Theo for better videos)

Benjamin Zander on music and passion (we all love this one)

Cameron Herold: Let’s raise kids to be entrepreneurs

Hans Rosling shows the best stats you’ve ever seen

Pattie Maes and Pranav Mistry demo SixthSense

Marco Tempest: The magic of truth and lies (and iPods)

Lennart Green does close-up card magic

Tim Harford: Trial, error and the God complex

Malcolm Gladwell on spaghetti sauce

Paul Bloom: The origins of pleasure
(um, not what you think; we were nervous to watch it until we read the description.

Best of all, Salman Khan on TED– Salman Khan: Let’s use video to reinvent education

Happy school year! May all your nerd hobbies flourish!


August 21, 2011
September 2, 2011



  1. Annie

    August 23, 2011

    Oh, just catching up on your last few posts! I really love these glimpses into your life and the way you create your family life so mindfully and true to (what I imagine is) your vision. xo
    p.s. We love TED and Khan but I’m looking into seeing your faves. xo

  2. cristie

    August 23, 2011

    thank you for sharing this amazing resource! xox

    love the photos of your dear ones.

  3. Cath

    August 23, 2011

    Such awesome resources. Wow.

  4. Selwyn

    August 23, 2011

    TEDxSydney happened this year, and was fantastic!

    Nerds totally rule. Love you.

  5. J.J.

    August 23, 2011

    I saw Ben Zander at a conference a few years ago. Take that talk and make it over an hour. That was by far the most fun I’ve had listening to a speaker/participating at a conference. Inspiring!

    Thanks for the Khan Academy info, I can’t wait to use it and show it to my kids!

  6. Today's Gift

    August 23, 2011

    I love TED talks! I’ve seen a few of the ones you mentioned, but will have to watch the rest.

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