Emily McManus

Editor, TED.com, TED


This conversation is closed.

Can I help you find a TEDTalk you remember watching?

Did you ever watch a TEDTalk and then forget which one it was? I can help! I just love helping people find lost TEDTalks from the sketchiest of clues.

Tell me any details you can remember. "There was a lady with a brain ..." "The guy drew a bull's-eye ..." "Silver shoes ..." and we'll puzzle it out together.

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    May 9 2012: Love how you are turning knowing into a scavenger hunt. How could this be turned into a part of a game to help students play find the TED talk?
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    May 18 2012: Emily, the list is growing... I got so many links, I am listening to them one at a time before I post it on the conversation I started on TED.

    The great thing is once I have a talk, I also find the conversations that might add to what I am researching. Here is a link to my conversation on


    This is what it is about:

    Our greatest gift is our capacity to have insights, epiphanies and aha moments!

    What is an epiphany?

    Please share your thoughts on epiphany, insight, aha moments, synchronicity, serendipity.

    Where do they come from?

    ps. I shared your trick with others there. Many thanks!
  • Jun 11 2012: I was looking for a video that was an animated video. The guy was drawing as he was talking and it was about intrinsic extrinsic motivation. I would greatly appreciate it if you could find the video. I want to make one similar but need to show people what I'm talking about. Thank You!
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    Jun 4 2012: I LOVE this offer of assistance! I don't have a request at this time, but an a bit relieved to learn that I am not alone in having a devilish time finding a TED Talk that I can only vaguely remember. I think it would be great if this feature could live on past its natural life in "conversations".

    In general, it is frustrating not to have a way to communicate with TED. For instance, I am trying to "flip" some lessons in TED Ed, but the instructions (such as they are) are not helpful and I am stuck. For instance, when creating questions, how do I insert the multiple choice answers and how can I track students' responses?. Perhaps the intent is for users to figure this stuff out for ourselves. I have a computer genius friend who's response to my admittedly basic questions is usually some variation of, "If you really wanted to know how to do this, you'd know by now".
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      Jun 5 2012: Thank you for your kind words! I'll ask if we can keep this open longer ...

      Sorry about that frustrating experience with TED-Ed -- I know they are going at 1000 miles an hour right now, but let's get you some assistance.
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    Jun 3 2012: I think this Ted's task from you it's a very useful, helpful and nice. You really help people, I congratulate you sincerely. Everybody ought to do the same as frequently as they could. Thanks.
  • May 31 2012: Mary you are fab... thank you for finding the clip!!!! Dave
  • May 26 2012: Thanks Emily--You are right! was it much of a leap?
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      Jun 3 2012: Not much of a leap ;) I loved this talk, and Eli makes a powerful point. For me, I appreciate the functions of personalized search -- for example, while searching for talks for this thread, Google learned that I usually don't click on search results about Ted Nugent, Ted Knight, Ted Baxter ... But now I know that it's happening, and that it can be turned on and off.
  • May 17 2012: Yes, this link you sent is the one that I was looking for, thankyou!
  • May 17 2012: The TED video I am looking for had a male speaker who discussed the Left-Right paradigm and how to have compassion for the other side. He spoke of the reasons why certain people may be more conservative and others more progressive and how that is structurally necessary in society, and therefore we should approach the other side with respect.
    • May 17 2012: That's Jonathan Haidt's first TED talk. It's awesome, and worth listening to multiple times. He also has a new talk up, to go with his new book, which I assume is awesome too, but I haven't had a chance to listen yet. If you're interested in more, I can let you know about a couple of websites that are trying to Haidt's ideas (and other related ones about political decision-making) and put them into practical form for use by campaigns in 2012.

  • May 15 2012: I watched a video about a fetus developing and captured in 3D imagery, by a brilliant man who had helped develop the technology (I think) to capture the pictures. He gave the presentation. Can you help me find it? It was under a TED Conversation. Thank you!
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    May 12 2012: Dear Emily

    One of the talks I am looking for is the talk that says there are studies/research showing that lack of options causes depression.

    the other is one on choice... that not choosing is a choice

    finally, I started a conversation on our greatest gift is our capacity to have insights.... This is a tall order... but I noticed that many Ted talks are based on insights, epiphanies and aha moments. How do I get a collection of at least 10 of these that refer directly to these words...

    ps. I found the one you also quoted as a related talk - The Jill Bolte Taylor's stroke of insight!

    Thank you in anticipation
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    May 12 2012: Thank you, I have reposted these to the hackathon group working on tools for TEDx Organizers.
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    May 12 2012: there was a girl with an artificial leg, she talked about how she had to cut off her legs but was running all over again with the help of prosthetic legs, she talked about how she could use shoes of any size and stuff...can u send me the link for that please...i want to watch it again...that was one of the most inspirational videos i've ever watched, and not only on ted...
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        May 13 2012: thank you for the response, but it is not the video that i am looking for, at some point in that video she jokes about how she could use shoes of any size, and how she doesn't need to worry about breaking her legs when ice skating and stuff...i checked other related videos as well but can't find that particular one...but again, thank you very much for your response, if u happen to find it, please do reply...cheers...
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        May 15 2012: thank u so much, so so much...i mean it...
        • May 18 2012: I viewed the video on both girls and found both to be inspirational and motivating! I have been disabled since Dec 2011, short story is my FMLA ran out on 3/09/12, and the State of Florida terminated me and I am fortunately on State Disability Income and can be until Dec 2012. Yep, that is a Blessing! However, I worked for the State in the same job for 22 years in Nov. 2012, and I am 60 years old! Sent me into a conundrum! I am trying to move on, but a struggle and a mountain to climb, Aimee and Amy both give me inspiration, it is like, " what kind of obstacles do I have to go through?? Financial! Then I am over my moutain!
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        May 15 2012: yeah, of course, that's the one. I did also see that, but in my memory Amy and Aimee had merged into one person. :) Thanks Mary.
  • May 10 2012: Once I saw a TED talk, by a lady that had worked for one of the major news corporations in the US, about how media in the US, are bias to focusing on celebrities in the US, rather than major newsworthy events all around the world, which seriously narrows the recipients angle on the world. There was a very interesting statistic, using a world map, showing this effect in the week right after Anna Nicole Smiths death. I have tried finding this without any luck. Can you please help?
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    May 9 2012: If I asked you to find talks on gaming, how would you go about it? What would be your complete list for gaming and play?
  • Jun 23 2012: I am looking for a talk by a woman who had special needs siblings and she called herself and similar children, 'mirror children', I believe.
  • Jun 23 2012: I am looking for a talk by a woman who had special needs siblings and she called herself and similar children, 'mirror children', I believe.
  • Jun 23 2012: Hi Emily,

    I'm really hoping you can help me. I'm 90% sure this was a TEDTalk I watched (my apologies if it isn't). I'm not sure if it was the topic of the video, but at some part the speaker (a man) discussed genetic/evolutionary algorithms, where algorithms (starting with random instructions) are selected for and reproduce following evolutionary principals to solve a particular problem.

    The video included several diagrams, including one that was black and white and showed how the "activity" (I can't remember what it was exactly) varied with the rate of mutation. When the rate of mutation was too low or too high it would flatline, and when it was at a suitable rate the graph had lots of fluctuations.

    There was also another diagram I remember that showed the population as a blob of color. When a significantly new "species" evolved that solved the problem more efficiently, a wash of new color would replace the original population, and eventually the process would repeat again.

    I've been trying to track down this video for ages to share it with a friend. Any help would be awesome! Thanks!
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    Jun 21 2012: Exactly what I was looking for, thank you!
  • Jun 19 2012: Hi Emily,
    There was a fashion photgrapher that focused on Albinos, helping them come out of their shell. Haven't been able to relocate it.
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    Jun 18 2012: Hi Emily-Thanks for doing this. Okay HELP! Here's what I remember about the video I can't find:

    She was a science prodigy, had at the age of 14 approached Princeton University to see if they needed any help. I think she was 19 when she did the TEDtalk. Anyway, her main topic was that she was researching different approaches to finding a cure for cancer and her theory was based on a question she asked herself which was: What if a cancerous tumor actually started out as cells that were sent out to heal a damaged area of the body and somewhere along the line it's DNA changed and mutated into a cancerous cell and multiplied. She also mentioned that her research showed that we never find cancers in skeletal muscle tissue. So her premise was what if we helped these cells finish their original purpose and instead of going to war with them and trying to kill them with chemo, what if we were able to reverse their DNA back to what it originally was and help them do their healing?

    I think she started out talking about her grandmother who was Hungarian??? (not sure about that) who was her inspiration for going into this line of research. thank you!

    I watched it on the regular TED site and it was at least 2 years ago. Anyway, hope you find her.
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    Jun 18 2012: Suggest me some most inspiring talks please.
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      Jun 18 2012: Hey Sam,
      Check out the "surprise me" feature on the homepage of TED.com ( you need to scroll done a bit) You can choose talks by category or ranking, for example "inspiring" and you can some suggestions.
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        Jun 18 2012: thanks a lot... i got it...
  • Jun 17 2012: Hi Emily, I am looking for a talk pertaining to who initiates an idea and how it takes others to get the idea rolling. Often it is an individual then a few more and a different group that really gets the idea into action. there is a scene of people at a park, where one is acting out, then a different person takes the same action/idea and gets the attention of others...finally it is a small group that gets the attention of others and the action/idea is accepted/embraced. LA
  • Jun 16 2012: hi there, i did a tedx talk two weeks ago, do you know when it might be posted.
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    Jun 15 2012: There was a middle eastern guy showing examples of him using computers without mouses or touch pads and little colored things he wore on his fingers.
  • Jun 15 2012: I think it may be a few years old now but I'm looking for TED talk in which a man explains that there is a difference between how you feel the sensation of touch when you touch something and when something else touches you.

    He goes on to suggest that the difference exists because the brain predicts the sensation of touch when you deliberately touch something and subtracts the difference between the prediction and the actual sensation.

    He gives an anecdote about how children in the back of a car will get into an escalating hitting war because they perceive the hit they give to be less impactful than one they receive of equal force.

    I think he also gives some suggestions about why the brain makes this subtraction (to find problems with it's prediction model and to learn something about the thing with which you are interacting) but I'm not sure about this part, I may have just imagined this bit...

    I hope that is enough information and I hope someone knows the talk that I am referring to. I doubt I can remember any more details than that.
  • Jun 13 2012: Hi Emily,

    I have been looking for a TEDx talk that i watched some time along about a paradigm change in mathematics. The speaker was talking about a simple but powerful system to do operations (from basic additions and subtractions to more complicated ones) and it was based in a grid of numbers organized in a diamond-like pattern... that's as much as I can remember, I'd be very glad if you could help me find it. Thanks for trying!

  • Jun 10 2012: Yes I watched a ted talk quite awhile back. I found "Beware of the single story" as remembered the talk was a dark complected woman, I thought from Nigeria (which brought me to that talk). But the one I am searching for was a dark woman from outside the US. She spoke excellent english, but talked about how it did no roll easily off of the tonge, as native languagesdo. I remember liking the talk, but I am not even sure of the topic. Sorry I do not have more to go on I have watched so many my brain has many together. Do you have any ideas?
  • Jun 9 2012: Thanks.. This website cannot en
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    Jun 8 2012: There was one talk I saw a few years ago, like to revisit...
    All I remember is that the guy had long hair, and he talked about the latest generation possibly living to 1000 years plus.
  • Jun 6 2012: Hello there!

    Quite some time I watched a TEDtalk about a certain project in America or England. It was about a contest for the most innovative idea. The deal was that certain groups of engineers had to participate together to win this contest. Eventually I think a group with some kind of helicopter network won the competition.
    They created a quadrotor to transport goods in Africa (and eventually the whole world). The goal behind this was to be able to bring good to the less infrastructured towns in the African continent.

    The video is from quite some time ago and my description is only so-so, but I really hope you can help me out! Thanks in advance :)

    I really love that you do this by the way. it's a great initiative! Thank you for doing it and keep it going!!

    Kind regards,

  • Jun 6 2012: Ted video on using simple words
  • Jun 5 2012: Hi

    I'm trying to find a talk about perception again. It's mainly about the delay in processing of information (waiting for all the sensory input to get to "now") and that the brain constantly adjusts itself to compensate the delay. He also went on a tangent about what happens when the compensation doesnt work and how that may explain disorders like schizoprenia.

    Thanks in advance.
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    Jun 3 2012: Thank you :)
  • Jun 3 2012: Thxs!
    There was a TED talk about how to make use apps and connect people to adopt/do jobs in their neighborhood. I think it was a lady who gave theTED talk.
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    Jun 3 2012: There was one speech where he tells that the highest point in teching mathematics in schools should be statistics...!
    Can you give me a link to that
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    Jun 3 2012: Yes please. I think it was a Canadian TED X and the speaker showed a comparison of how cities advertise a new bill for voters. He then compared it to a NIKE ad presented in the same blase manner. I thought it was a riot and have been looking for it again.

    Thanks for your assistance.

    All the best. Bob.
  • Jun 1 2012: Some weeks ago, a speech on the dangers of using PowerPoint for presentations ...
  • Jun 1 2012: A pretty woman in a red sweater talking about green marketing.
    Can't find it.
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    May 31 2012: Cool! Can you actually help identifying interesting topics that have not yet been dealt with?
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      Jun 1 2012: First: We are posting a talk next week that will make you laugh when you think of this question.

      Can I throw this question back to you and this thread: What topics are YOU looking for and not yet finding?
  • May 30 2012: Hi, The man had not spoken for like 7 years as he attended university and he became an educator and then moved onto a high profile job with the UN or something.. Thank you for any help.
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    May 30 2012: Hi I watched a presentation where a person talks about virtual tour through famous museums (and he actually showed us how to see the paintings available in the museum , something like a virtual tour)..He actually showed it through google ,(if I am not wrong )
  • May 30 2012: There was a fine video. One woman descrided about the Robot. She liked the robot since she had watched the Starwars. In video, there was a robot like a doll and they said 'Cookie monster is very bad.' Could you help me to find?
  • May 30 2012: Thanks a lot. I've been looking for this since ages. Finally found the video :)
  • May 29 2012: I'm sorry this talk hasn't been published by TED. It was by far the most lucid explanation of how an economy works that I have ever heard. It answered many questions and made clear the way we need to move forward. It is perplexing why TED didn't air it.
  • May 27 2012: Hi I'm trying to find the talk by the guy who created speakers that you could only hear if they were pointing at you. He somehow broke up the sound waves and then reconstructed them right inside your ear.
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    May 25 2012: Emily, thank you so much. You remembered more about this than I did (the reports/information WAS the point of the talk). You are amazing!
  • May 25 2012: Hi,
    I'm looking for a short TED Talk by a North American man about search engines deciding your preferences for search results--something like that-- I think there may have been examples from Google + and the speaker said he was liberal in pol inclination, so sometinmes did not recieve writings from a right persuasion---sorry a while ago now details hazy. Thanks for any help you can offer.
  • May 25 2012: Hi Emily. I'm not sure if this is from any of the TED talks, but I'm very keen to find the source and have a feeling I heard it on TED. The talk was giving statistical information on health expenditure to prove a point, saying something along the lines of 80% of total national health expenditure (perhaps within certain boundaries) is being used on plastic surgery and hair loss. I just can't remember where I heard this...!
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    May 24 2012: Hi Emily. Last year I watched a TED video where the speaker demonstrated an idea to improve patient medical reports. The medical report evolution was not the point of the TED talk as I recall, but it was an excellent example of what the speaker was trying to demonstrate. I'd like to show this video to a colleague, but cannot seem to recall which video this demonstration is in. Any help?
  • May 23 2012: Thanks! Universities without walls is close to Barefoot College!
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    May 23 2012: I am looking for a talk that was given about QR codes and a challenge about placing them around cities. Any chance you could help me find it?
  • May 23 2012: The talk was about a man who was highly educated then went to live in a village in India. He got grandmas to spread the word...something about universities without walls
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      May 23 2012: That talk was by Bunker Roy and was entitled "Learning from a barefoot movement."
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    May 22 2012: Hello Emily
    Do you know of a video in which a man leaves a computer in India and the children learn to use it? If you can remember please write back! Thank you for your time!!
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    May 22 2012: Hey , thank you for this. I also request your help.i once watched a talk where in a guy was talkin about how he treated people who lost arm and still felt they haven't. The talk also showed a girl whose hand had been in such a condition that she felt immense pain even when touched. It was like a feather touched felt like stone . Then later in the talk he showed how his method got the girl cured. He was talking something about training the nerves to perform in a particular way.

    Many thanks
  • May 19 2012: Thank you Emily
  • May 19 2012: Could you help me find a talk I heard on our local public radio station, KQED on May 18? A man was talking about taxes, job creation, business tax rates not increasing jobs, etc. I also saw this as a news clip but can't remember what day or what station. He appeared to be in his 30's. thank you!
  • May 19 2012: Excellent, thank you very much for the quick reply!
  • May 19 2012: Hi! So I remember seeing this talk a year back which was about these 2 I people who had to make an advertisement. But the advertisement made was just as predicted by the hosts, the trick. Is that those people weren't told directly anything. They were given clued that they didn't remember seeing. I remember a big polar bear and animals in there . This talk is about psychology. I think a young man hosted it.
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      May 19 2012: I'm pretty sure this is a video by Derren Brown -- it's not on TED, though we are all huge fans of him here!
      • May 20 2012: I looked up Derren Brown because of this post and watched two of his documentaries. They're amazing! Thanks for introducing me to his works!
  • May 19 2012: Hi, I have a snapshot memory of a talk which I saw quite a while ago and which I would quite like to re-watch. However, I only seem to be able to remember some vague details! I was just wondering if you might be able to help? Here are my memories it:

    -The talk was conducted by an older gentleman - maybe in the range of 50 - 70.
    -He was a university professor of some sort (philosophy possibly) - I think in America.
    -The example I remember him using (which may have very little to do with the talk), consists of him saying that he sets less work for his students then he did say 20 years ago. This is not because kids have got less intelligent, but because they have other worries and other concerns. Before people would grow up, go to university to get a degree, get a girlfriend/ boyfriend, get married and settle down. Where as people nowadays are living in a much more interconnected world and are learning far more life skills, rather than just purely academic skills, from their university experience.
  • May 18 2012: Emily, Food for thought.......
    It looks like this forum has a place and need? Why is it ending, is it a pilot? And it will come back later? It seems to open the door, and give insight to those of us to see what might be worth watching by the comments others put trying to locate a video? Not because we are lazy, because seeing others questions helps the scanner check out the best of the best. People like a quick Q&A forum to get answers quick! The format is wonderful! See if you can keep it going! Instead of one person checking the site have several that do it and rotate it like you would a Help Center? Then it doesn't require a full time employee to do the job, just a little time investment from each person to check and provide the answers! Do you or anyone agree?
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      May 18 2012: Totally! This conversation is part of our exploration of search -- we're exploring all the different ways people remember a talk they once saw. What sticks: Is it a word or two, something they remember about the stage, even things like the age of the speaker and whether it was a man or a woman?
      And I'd love to hear how your thoughts run, the next time you try to remember a talk: what comes to mind first? what are the clues that lead you to the answer (or enough of an answer that you can hit up Google)? Does searching for one talk lead you to another you also like?
      And I have to say: the most rewarding part of this conversation has been seeing community members answer each other's questions. Amazing.
      So I'll keep this conversation open forever if it's helpful -- let me talk to the moderators!
  • May 18 2012: Why can't I find the "Talk on Income Inequality by Nick Hanauer" on Ted.com?
    It is on YouTube and is fascinating.

    I have always thought that the Rich as Job Creators was bunk.
    This is so common sense that it i appalling that it is not on ted.com.

    What else have you been censoring?
  • May 18 2012: Please link me to the TED talk by Nick Hanauer, venture capitalist. It was good common sense and I want to disseminate it as widely as possible.
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      May 18 2012: You've fallen for a PR stunt, with respect, but if you'd like to watch the talk and judge for yourself, it's on Chris Anderson's blog: tedchris.posterous.com.
  • May 17 2012: Regardless of religious beliefs, the video is awesome! The creation development process is simply amazing!
  • May 11 2012: I'm looking for How to teach a second language!
    Anybody can help me... With whatever
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    May 9 2012: I'd like to find the talk given by a woman about a third place. How people need a first place (I think it was home), a second place (can't remember what this was) and a third place (I think this was some kind of community thing).
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      May 12 2012: This is a cool talk: Ellen Dunham-Jones on retrofitting suburbia:
      Her idea is, home is the first place, work/school is the second, and the third place is where people come together to build community and have a public life ... whether it's a public square or the mall food court.
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        May 12 2012: Thank you kindly! This is the one. I do believe a public square, preferably around a fountain with muscians playing makes for a happier community.
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        May 16 2012: Ooops . . . just began watching this and remembered it. This is not the one. She was a younger woman. I believe she addressed it more from a psychological p.o.v. rather than suburban places. I'm replying here just in case you may be able to come up with the talk, but if not, that's O.K. I appreciate you time!
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    May 9 2012: Yes please! it's been ages I tried to watch again a poetess who was talking about how volatile ideas were whenever they came. she describes one time she was outside without anything to pin an idea that was coming and she ran into her house otherwise she was sure it would've been lost forever. unfortunately I don't remember her physical appearance...I know it's vague...sorry!
    • May 9 2012: Sorry, I remove the last reply because I was wrong.

      I don't remember the name, but I think it was from a popular writer who had written a best-seller and realised that her later books would probably be less good. Sorry don't remember her name.
    • May 9 2012: This one I think:

      The situation you describe is in minute 10.
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        May 10 2012: that's the one! you can't imagine how grateful I am. I wasn't able to find it as it wasn't the poetess herself making the speech, but this wonderful imagery just stuck in my mind since then.
        thank you, thank you, grazie!