Debates and Discussions

Twenty-Two Mind-Bending Quotes, Facts and Songs From TEDxMileHigh

Arielle Hein speaks on the second day of TEDxMileHigh: Point of Departure.
Arielle Hein speaks on the second day of TEDxMileHigh: Point of Departure. CinemaRaven
Roughly 2,400 attentive faces took in eighteen-minute or shorter lectures and performances – as well as an adorable video of dogs shaking off water in slow motion — at TEDxMileHight: Point of Departure, at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House.

If you didn't want to dole out money for a ticket, missed the live stream or are impatient to get your injection of inspiration, Westword compiled quotes, statistics, and takeaways from each speaker or performer.

Consider this your highly abridged Point of Departure SparkNotes:

Phil Fernbach, cognitive scientist and author of The Knowledge Illusion: "The sense of understanding is contagious...and when contagious understanding is paired with individual ignorance, it's toxic."

Chip Colwell, senior curator of anthropology at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science: "How could scientists spend their entire lives studying dead [American] Indians but seem to care so little about living ones?"

Brittni Darras, English teacher at Rampart High who hand-wrote letters to each of her students following the attempted suicide of one of their classmates: In America, someone dies by suicide every twelve minutes. Darras believes one way teachers can support their students' mental health is by offering affirmation and appreciation, not focus on academic criticism.

Peter Kino Aquino, spoken-word and movement artist, while krumping (a visceral form of hip-hop dance): "The only time I'm ever able to shoulder the history or my family is when I'm light on my feet."

click to enlarge Peter Kino Aquino performs a poetry/movement piece about krump. - COURTESY TEDXMILEHIGH
Peter Kino Aquino performs a poetry/movement piece about krump.
Courtesy TEDxMileHigh
Phil Mitchell, medical director of DispatchHealth: Thirty-seven percent of ER visits are potentially unnecessary, and in Colorado, the average ER-plus-ambulance cost is $3,200.

Madison A. Krall, body acceptance activist: "Fat is the last accepted prejudice."

Meta Sarmiento, performance poet from Guam: "Smallness is a state of mind that breeds feelings of weakness and inadequacy."

Arielle Hein, creative technologist and developer of the Daylight Clock extension for Google Chrome: "As much as I've been conditioned to see time as a linear thing, the experience of time isn't linear at all."

Blake Scholl, founder and CEO of Boom Supersonic, which will begin test flights for its first, commercially-intended supersonic aircraft out of Denver in 2018: "What if the bigger, the more audacious, the more inspiring the mission, the larger the chance of success?"

Jeremy Duhon, TEDx founder and MC: "Actually, we want you to get ideas; that's the point."

Alejandro Jimenez, slam poet, in the poem "For Brown Boys": "Let us commit the most rebellious act of them all. Let us love ourselves."

Alexander McCoy, former Marine and military activist: Women in the Marines are two times more likely than women in the Army and three times more likely than women in the Air Force to be sexually assaulted. McCoy believes this may be due to the branch's sex-segregated training process.

Rob Drabkin, singer-songwriter, accompanied by the dancing of Amanda Copple and Luke Kamppila: showed how exquisitely dance and live music can be married in his song "Someday."

Brandon W. Mathews, researcher with the Alliance for Criminal Justice Innovation: The United States has a recidivism (returning to jail after being released) rate of 67 percent within three years; in comparison, Norway's is a mere 20 percent.

Lauran Arledge and Caitlin Quattromani, bipartisan friends: "We were all taught to not talk about politics because it's not polite. But we need to talk about it."

click to enlarge The hip-hop group Flobots perform an interactive musical piece. - COURTESY TEDXMILEHIGH'S TWITTER ACCOUNT
The hip-hop group Flobots perform an interactive musical piece.
Courtesy TEDxMileHigh's Twitter account
Flobots, musicians and activists: used rap, a viola and audience participation to share politically engaged songs with the audience as part of the act's most recent project, NOENEMIES.

Esther Sullivan, sociologist: "Zoning [mobile home] communities into invisibility creates housing instability, and more than that, it creates social vulnerability."

Cassie de Pecol, Guinness World Record-holder for the fastest woman to travel solo to all 196 countries: While it's exceedingly difficult to get proof that you have been to North Korea, you can send a propaganda postcard of a fist punching the Pentagon, which was how de Pecol documented her trip.

Woody Roseland, humorist: "Why are balloons so expensive? Inflation."

Theo E.J. Wilson, activist and executive director of Shop Talk Live, which encourages community dialogue:
"[The liberal left seems to tell conservatives,] 'If you're a pale-skinned penis-haver, you're in league with Satan!'"

click to enlarge Austin Eubanks speaks about opioid addiction and treatment. - CINEMARAVEN
Austin Eubanks speaks about opioid addiction and treatment.
Austin Eubanks, Columbine survivor and addiction treatment expert: "I believe that emotional pain is what drives the opioid epidemic."

David Baron, umbraphile and former NPR science reporter: "For the first time in my life, I just felt viscerally connected to the universe in all of its immensity."

If these quotes pique your appetite for more TEDxMileHigh wisdom, tickets for the group's November 11 event, Wonder, are on pre-sale online now.
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Lila Thulin recently graduated from Stanford University, where she earned a Human Biology degree with a minor in Creative Writing (she also learned to bike no-handed). She’s an aficionado of libraries, bagels and art in all forms; she covers the latter as a Westword intern.
Contact: Lila Thulin