Watching TED Talks is a popular pastime at CN&CO. We visit regularly to clear our heads, have a laugh or get inspired. TED Talks open our minds, spark new ways of thinking and can lead to some very interesting conversations. Each week we pick a favourite and publish it on a Tuesday, because we like how “TED Talk Tuesday” sounds. It’s also a way that the CN&CO team play their part on spreading ideas and helping to make the world a better place. This week’s talk is posted by Penny. Here’s why she chose it:

(Hello, it’s Carel here! Before you read Penny’s blog, check out – all of Penny’s blogs! And if, like me, you enjoy them and find value – please let Penny know as she argues with me saying nobody wants to read her blogs as she is “old”. With analytics showing thousands have in fact read these blogs, I know she’s wrong, but it won’t hurt if you let her know …..! Enjoy Penny’s TED talk Tuesday!)

I have chosen ‘The unheard story of David & Goliath’ by Malcolm Gladwell as my TED talk Tuesday since I found it fascinating and learnt a lot.

The talk looks at the the well-known, interesting story of David, a young shepherd armed only with a sling, who beats Goliath, the mighty warrior, with gleaming armour and a sword. Rather than accepting “fate” a the answer, Gladwell looks at possible medical and practical reasons.

Often giants suffer from acromegaly – which is a tumor that affects the brain – causing double vision or extreme near-sightedness. This is why Goliath was led down to fight David. He obviously could not see well enough to judge that David did not intend to have one-on-one combat with him – which was Goliath’s only strength.

Gladwell also explains the hardness of the diamond stones in the area, as well as the accuracy and speed of a slinger. David knew he could hit Goliath between the eyes and cause death.

The tallest person on record was 8′ 11″ and was still growing at the age of 24 when he died, also suffered from acromegaly. It is thought that Abraham Lincoln might have also suffered from this illness. My main takeout here is that one should never judge a book by its (tall!) cover. In my life I have often seen that looks and the external does not translate to what has real meaning. Enjoy the talk – I am sure you’ll enjoy it as much as me and be reminded to give all people the benefit of the doubt.