How This Teacher Made Education Go Viral with TED-Ed Director Logan Smalley

The innovative founding director of TED-Ed, Logan Smalley, shares his inspiring journey in fostering global curiosity and education through creative storytelling. As a visionary in the field of educational content, Smalley has been instrumental in transforming the landscape of learning, emphasizing the role of curiosity as a driving force in educational advancement.

In this episode of Culture Leaders Podcast, Logan Smalley discusses the genesis and evolution of TED-Ed, a platform that has redefined the boundaries of learning and engagement. He delves into the significance of storytelling as a powerful educational tool, capable of transcending traditional learning methods and connecting people across various cultures and backgrounds.

Join us as Logan Smalley takes us through his path from being a special education teacher to leading TED-Ed, highlighting his innovative approaches to education, the contagious nature of curiosity, and the impact of his work in shaping a more informed and curious world.

Notable quotes

“My purpose is probably to be a champion of curiosity.” – Logan Smalley

“Curiosity is contagious. To be around curious people makes you more curious.” – Logan Smalley

“I’ve been a special education high school teacher… it’s all about… how you take content or information or knowledge and help get it into diverse groups of people’s minds.” – Logan Smalley

“I think of it as the same as the TED audience, which is, you know, roughly college and above, but also younger.” – On TED-Ed’s target audience

Useful links

Reach Logan at:

TED-Ed YouTube Channel – http://youtube.com/teded


Call Me Ishmael – https://www.callmeishmael.com/

Darius Goes West – http://dariusgoeswest.org

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Dr. Jessica Kriegel: I’m ready if you’re ready.

Logan Smalley: Yeah, I’m all good.

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: Yay!

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: Logan, thank you for joining us. I can’t wait to hear because you have so much going on. What is your why?

Logan Smalley: Oh, thanks so much for having me. It’s an interesting question. I’ve been thinking a lot about it. And I think why my purpose is probably to be a champion of curiosity. And the way I think about that is, I kind of think of curiosity less as a inborn trait, although sure it is that, and more of something you can cultivate and tap into.

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: Hmm

Logan Smalley: And I think it’s helpful to frame it against what it is not or what it is the opposite of. So things like apathy, stagnation, you know, purposelessness. And when you think about, you know, when you’re curious or what part of you curiosity occupies, it’s really the same space as those things. So if you are curious, if you are in the act of curiosity, you are motivated, you are growing.

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: Yeah.

Logan Smalley: You are in pursuit of something and you can’t be those other things. You can’t be both those things at once. And so, I just think with my job and my work and even my personal habits, I’m always trying to cultivate curiosity and trying to create things that provoke it and spread it. And it gives me a great sense of purpose.

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: So what are you personally most curious about right now?

Logan Smalley: Well, the thing I love about curiosity is that answer would change every day. But I mean, I can give you an example this morning. Cause part of curiosity, right? Is like pursuing not because you have so much purpose. It’s the pursuit itself is the purpose, not the thing you’re trying to pursue. At least, you know, give or take, um, nothing long with nothing wrong with a little structure either, but, um, this morning I went down a really long rabbit hole on the, um, psyche.

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: Right.

Logan Smalley: Mission, which is a NASA mission going to a asteroid in the Kuiper belt named Psyche. And there’s a number after it. I think it’s Psyche 16. And it’s the only accessible example of like a canceled planet. So like a planet like Earth or like one of the other planets was forming. And then something happened and I’m still curious and trying to figure it out. And basically it only formed the core. And so by going there, we can learn about the Earth’s core, which we cannot learn about on Earth because we can’t even come close to reaching the Earth’s core. So that’s just like an example, but I find that one to be, you know, I probably will devote several more hours over the course of some days to like, you know, really dig in into that one because I just think it’s really neat.

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: Hmm

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: Yeah, and you have a daughter, right? Oh, it’s a son?

Logan Smalley: I have a son. I have almost one and a half year old son. Yeah. Augie Smalley. Yeah.

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: Okay, and so you with your son, you cultivate curiosity and have actually worked on projects with him, right?

Logan Smalley: Yeah, I mean, gosh, like the childlike wonder part of curiosity, it’s never in sharper focus than with a toddler, right? I think it’s we can all feel that kind of escaping us as we get old and jaded and, you know, cynical and all that stuff. And so, yeah, one of the most beautiful things about having our first child is, you know, well, you know, I can actually you don’t have to like.

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: Hahaha.

Logan Smalley: Curiosity is contagious. This is scientifically validated. To be around curious people makes you more curious. And all the upside things of curiosity tend to transfer across people. So being around toddlers or being around curious adults, like grown up toddlers like us, like you, you strike me as a curious person, is great. And I think especially as far as culture at a workplace or anywhere else.

I think like you can, it’s almost intuitive if you imagine 100 employees or 50 employees or 5,000 employees on a journey pursuing something that they’re curious together, it’s instantly feels like a much more fun and great place to work where you have that in common with each other versus the opposite of that, which are some of those things we said earlier, which are stagnation and purposelessness and burnout, right? Like those things happen in the absence of engaged curiosity.

And yeah, sure, more toddlers. That’s right.

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: More curious toddlers, because what becomes possible when the children of this generation are curious and then where are they going to take us, right? And I mean, I’ve got to imagine that as some of what motivated Ted Ed, and can you tell us the story of how that became? I mean, the very, the seed that was planted in the beginning that turned into what is Ted Ed today?

Logan Smalley: Yeah, absolutely. Thanks for asking about that. Yeah. So I’m the founding director of Ted Ed, the way that Ted Ed came about. Oh, I should say at the top, Ted is very famous for Ted talks. Ted talks are an iconic talk format. I don’t work on the Ted talks, uh, give or take. I, you know, I do, I am involved in those work streams. Ted Ed, which I think many people will have seen, um, are the animated videos that Ted makes and that my team makes. So we work with the same, you know, set of awesome educators, they might have given a TED talk, they might not have. Uh, and then we, uh, we basically, you know, refine, uh, their expertise into an angle that’s, you know, worth making a five minute video around. We write a script, we lock that script, and then we take that script and have a professional voice actor record it and a professional animator, uh, vivify it. And the explanatory power and the narrative power of being able to write it and animate it and add.

Music and sound effects is, you know, to stay on topic, like the absolute assault on trying to provoke curiosity in someone, you write, you get to write the first 20 seconds and make sure that, you know, one or more profound questions bloom in the viewer’s brain after pressing play on the thing. And then if that works, then you’re keeping them for the remaining five minutes and they’re actually leaving the video.

More curious and wanting to learn more if the video did what it was designed to do. That’s not to say that the video doesn’t transfer some amount of knowledge and help you learn something and grow from where you were when you started the video, but we often say our most successful videos are the ones that by the end make you want to close your computer screen or turn off your phone and actually read an entire book about the topic, right? Because you can only do so much in five minutes. To how TedEd started, I was actually a Ted Fellow before I worked at Ted.

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: Mmm.

Logan Smalley: I got that honor for being a documentarian, nonprofit documentary that I made and that had some success. And I was recognized for that work and invited to come to the TED conference, to give a talk about the documentary. And then also when you’re a TED fellow, you’re invited to pitch a project in hopes of becoming a TED senior fellow. And so having been a documentarian and having been an educator, I had been a special education high school teacher at that point.

I sort of pitched a project based on my love of those two things, you know, teaching and filmmaking. And I called it Ted Ed. And they said, great idea, bad timing. And then we were kind of in a discussion pattern for a year or so. And then they said, great idea, great timing and asked me to come and start Ted Ed. And here we are a decade later, we’ve made about, I think 2,400 of those animated shorts that you may or may not have seen, your viewers. And they’ve been viewed over by learners over 5 billion times. So really, really successful content format. And I can say that without sounding too braggy, even though I am very proud of my team and all the amazing artists and people we work with, but it really is a platform of incredible experts in their fields, getting paired with incredible artists, you know, animators.

And like I said, music, musicians, sound effects, artists, and then distributing it mostly on YouTube, Ted.com, social media, et cetera, used in the classroom, but also used outside of the classroom.

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: So the audience is different than the typical TED Talks that people know about, right?

Logan Smalley: Yeah, I think it’s what the way that I think about it is, is actually that we spend a lot of effort trying to make the content evergreen and accessible the same way like Shrek’s audience is kids, but we all enjoy Shrek when we see it with our kids. So we spend a lot of time making sure there’s layers to where any age group can access. So I think of it as the same as the Ted audience, which is, you know, roughly college and above, but also younger. So I think probably 13 to 35 would be where the

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: I’m going to go.

Logan Smalley: Vast majority of this five billion views happened. And it’s global too, by the way. Yeah.

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: So.

So what is your favorite Ted Ed video in the history of Ted Ed?

Logan Smalley: Oh gosh, that’s so hard for me to answer because I’ve literally been in.

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: It’s like having to pick your favorite child. I mean, you only have one, so that’s an easy question right now, but. Ha ha ha.

Logan Smalley: Haha

There is one popping into my brain. I will say I reserved the right to change this on any given day. And my favorite thing about TedEd is that each one is the collaboration of so many different people. So it’s hard for me to disaggregate the final video from the amazing personalities that touch it. I have been in every script meeting. I’ve been, you know, reviewed every short film, but so have…you know, 10 other people and each one has a different cast of experts and animators and no one person could say this is my Ted ed video. And so it’s just really like my favorite thing about Ted ed, which is part of your question is just seeing this global collaboration at scale over and over, you know, a hundred, 150 times a year, reaching millions of, uh, you know, nearly a billion people a year. Um, but okay, to answer your question, one of my favorites, uh, is this incredible, uh,

I like it because it just the way that it collides two worlds. It’s, I think it’s called the math of starry night. So the Vincent van Gogh painting, um, and there’s a, uh, an analysis that can be done on the turbulence in this, you know, famous iconic spirals all above the painted town. That’s, um, just incredibly like surprising over delivery of like, wow, I thought that was going to be, you know, maybe

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: Yeah.

Logan Smalley: A basic answer or just more adoration of a famous painting, but it just goes deeper and deeper and deeper and you’re suddenly spiraling into what you thought was an art video, but is a math video, or what you thought was a math video, but is an art video, and you just get to experience that thing that you’ve seen since you were old enough to appreciate art in a totally new way.

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: So it’s interesting because you strike me as a creative person. I mean, your hobbies are all super creative music. But do you have that math side of you? Are you also the project manager logic person, or do you surround yourself with people who can do that?

Logan Smalley: I think probably at the core, my governing principles are just entrepreneurship or intrapreneurship, whichever one is applicable, which is a commitment to figuring it out, whatever it is. So if I was on vacation, it would be all creativity. I would be reading and letting my mind wander and doing…

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: Yeah.

Logan Smalley: Experimental writing and thinking about stories and then vacation would end and instantly the sort of entrepreneur monster in me would take back over and be like, how do you turn these into programs and products and how do they scale and how do they, you know, whatever. And so the analytical side, I guess that you’re tuning into sort of blooms in that space of like how do you, I’m unsatisfied just doing it only for the sake of doing it. I’m satisfied while I’m doing the sake of doing it, but then I need it to…reach people I needed to oxygenate I needed to bloom and you know, one way or the other, I figured out mostly through failure how to do that. And so those skills sort of, you know, get reluctantly summoned when I’m like, Oh, God, this project must be made. How do I do it? You know, and then I start losing sleep. Yeah, you know, you start losing sleep. Yeah.

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: Reluctantly summoned. I love that. So okay, how different is Ted Ed now? I mean, a decade, more than a decade later from the pitch. Yeah.

Logan Smalley: From what I pitched. It’s so funny you asked that because I just had cause to look up the video that I pitched. It’s this embarrassing video that’s just like me doing, you know, motion graphics in a PowerPoint being like, here’s what did you beat, here’s what did you do. It’s funny, you know, the core of it stayed. I think the biggest part that would be different from what I pitched to what it is now is I hadn’t, I was not I was in the filmmaking space and I certainly appreciate visual storytelling and visual language But I was knew almost nothing about animation other than just you know watching You know Disney and Pixar movies the same as everyone else in the mainstream But I was really lucky to be surrounded by talented people at TED who had refined opinions about the power of visual storytelling and then to make a couple of you know, he hires of some amazing teammates who had robust networks and to get some mentorship from people who are in the animation space and the animation workflow and pipeline. And I know I think it’s worth saying when people hear animation, something weird happens and they tend to go immediately to the kids table or Saturday morning cartoons, which is not to

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: Mmm.

Logan Smalley: keynote and trying to tell you the math of Vincent van Gogh’s painting as part of my keynote, my face and eyes and hands and bad hairdo would not benefit the explanation at all. I could maybe use a lot more words and get there eventually if I’m really skillful with my words. But animation, I can do the fewest amount of words possible and leverage this basically infinite possibility in the.

You know, colorful, manipulatable, moving space to add the way I think of it is one minute of explanatory animation is worth more minutes of, you know, verbal, um, which is not to say the verbal stuff isn’t important. Like if I was giving a different kind of talk where you needed to know who I was, or you needed to make an assessment of whether I’m an honest person or, you know, or if it was an op-ed where I’m representing my opinion rather than the mathematical, you know, axioms of art versus math in that painting or something like that, then maybe you actually do. So it’s just a really interesting format thing. We’re drifting quite far from the question that you asked, but yeah. But yeah. Okay.

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: We’re going where the river takes us. I mean, so I’m thinking about my doctoral dissertation was on the learning styles of different generations. I thought millennials are totally different from baby boomers and everyone has got their style. So let’s figure out what that style is. Cause at the time I was in learning and development in corporate America. And I thought if we can cater the learning methodologies in corporate training to the generation, then we’ll get at.

Logan Smalley: Mmm.

Logan Smalley: Mm-hmm.

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: A more effective learning style. And it turns out there’s absolutely no difference in the distribution of learning preferences when you look at it by generation. So there’s equal amount of millennials that prefer to learn visually, as there are baby boomers, and so on and so forth. And interesting, actually, the learning tools that were used that we presented the participants in this study with all these different options of tools. Preferences were the same exact tools across the board per generation too. I mean, equally.

People equally love simulation learning and equally dislike Twitter-verse-like short snippets of data no matter what generation they were in. So that blew my mind about the way different generations learn. But I wanna get, the reason I’m talking about all of that is it makes me think of where you started, which was in special education, special education, right? What called you to that? I mean, where did that come from?

Logan Smalley: Yeah.

Logan Smalley: Mm-hmm.

Logan Smalley: Yeah, I think I can actually connect those things pretty meaningfully. So, you know, a lot of people, there’s not a ton of special education teachers. I think probably everyone knows one, but most people are not one. And so one thing that people don’t really consider about special education is the spectrum of which it falls across, right? So it could be high need resource rooms, inclusive rooms. It could be gifted as part of special education.

Um, uh, and what, what it’s all about is actually how you take, um, content or information or knowledge and help, you know, what strategy you use to get, to get it into diverse groups of people’s mind, right? Um, whereas if you’re just for the sake of contrast, right? Some of this terminology is a little dated, but a regular education, like if you’re a history teacher.

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: Right.

Logan Smalley: You spend a lot of your time learning to be a history teacher by learning history, which is a wonderful thing. You know, like, I wish I could spend time learning more history. A special education teacher might teach history, but they would have not spent much time learning history. They would have spent a lot of time learning the tactics of teaching to help get, you know, whatever the learning objective is, uh, to help make it more accessible to a diverse group of students.

And I say that so generally very much on purpose because we’re all diverse groups of learners, right? Like it’s kind of silly to get too deep into labels, at least in the scope of what I’m talking about now. And I think that has really helped with TED Ed because we have a global audience, we have a really unique format and…

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: Right.

Logan Smalley: When we’re publishing, it actually forces us to think really careful about evergreenness. So like, how do we make a video that’s not going to date itself tomorrow or even in 10 years if we can. And it also forces us to think about narrative, right? Like narrative is a universal. So like that would be a teaching tactic that you would you would spend a whole unit learning as a special as a developing special educator. You would say, OK, I’ve got a group of students, maybe direct instruction.

Is failing because of X, Y, or Z. Instead, what you need to do is use the power of narrative, which pretty much everyone can appreciate to present the knowledge in a different way. And the point is not that narrative’s right versus direct instruction’s right. It’s actually about multiple means of presenting it, such that it meets the learner where they’re at. And also not compromising at the cost of the learner. You brought up you know, people’s preferences. And I think I love that you called it preferences because preferences and capabilities are not the same thing. Just because you don’t prefer something doesn’t mean you’re not capable of something. There’s a lot of like hullabaloo around learning styles and some people will use it, you know, really wrongly and sort of take it way beyond what the science actually says in that space. And the point is, what’s the learning objective and how do you create a…

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: Mm-hmm.

Logan Smalley: Multiple means of accessing it, multiple means of expressing that you did access it, right? Like here I am showing you proof that I learned it and whether I’m doing that through something written or something spoken or some, or a piece of art, right? Like just understanding what you’re trying to accomplish, giving different paths to it, giving different paths to show that you did it is really kind of what…special education focuses on. And it’s just the sort of core knowledge that has served really well when you think about publishing to, you know, we basically get 2 million views a day on TedEd. And so anything that can happen will happen at that scale. And so having the, you know, anticipatory power and also the impulse to focus on universals, like what are the things that are gonna actually activate

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: Hmm. Yeah.

Logan Smalley: The majority of people and provided that you have that, what are the other things that you’re adding in to activate on the margins? And if you can get both, you know, you got a hit video that’s gonna provoke curiosity and learning at scale for decades, right?

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: So we hinted at the beginning that you’re the master of multiple movements from special ed to Ted ed. We’ve not even talked yet about your documentary, Darius Goes West, but can we talk about Call Me Ishmael for a minute, because I think it ties to the power of narrative and what you were just talking about, what is Call Me Ishmael?

Logan Smalley: Yeah, thanks. So Call Me Ishmael is a side project that became, it’s a kind of side passion project that became something way bigger than we ever anticipated. I say we, it’s actually run by my wife and I, Stephanie Kent. And basically, she’s the biggest reader I know. And I also love reading. So part of our relationship has always been around in a mutual appreciation of books and beer.

We both love beer. And so we were sitting at a bar in New York City where we met and we were kind of just like talking about first sentences and books and how much we love them. And I think it’s actually worth to linger there for a second. Like, you know, you are a writer, you talk to lots of writers. The first sentence, if you think about it as a matter of physics is what the majority of people see. Right? Like you can’t read a book harder, you know? Like you can only abandon a book.

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: Right.

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: Yeah.

Logan Smalley: So like how much time and what note you strike with that is the ultimate impression. The only thing people see more of is the cover of the book, right? And so just the famous first sentences throughout literature, there’s some really, really amazing ones. And of course, one of the most famous is Call Me Ishmael, which is the first sentence of Moby Dick. So we were kind of like trading our favorite first lines and looking them up. And then we made a joke when Call Me Ishmael came up and we said, hey, what if…what if we gave Ishmael a phone number? What if it was kind of like, call me, comma Ishmael. And we kind of like finished our Guinness and then we were like, oh, that’s actually an amazing idea. And we took a napkin, wrote down, you know, a napkin plan of how we would launch this. And within 48 hours, we had given Ishmael a real phone number, a real answering machine. And we had invited, you know, a circle of our like 20 most trusted

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: Yeah

Logan Smalley: Artistic creative literary friends to leave him a message about a book they love as it related to a story they lived. We had no idea if the stories shared were going to be compelling or worth listening to and then all of a sudden, you know, the little answering machine said you have 20 messages and we pressed play and we laughed, we cried, we wanted to read more books. I mean the stories were just so touching and heartfelt and it was both.

That people shared it. It was also something about the old tech of a answering machine and a phone and the cadence of somebody’s phone over the voice. And they’re anonymous by the way. We knew who they were, but they didn’t use their name. So no one knows who they were. And we took those, we figured out a way to share the most compelling ones online, baked the phone number into those shares and it kind of went viral. Big credit to John Green, author of Fault in our Stars and many other books and also vlog brother YouTube channel. He shared one and all of a sudden, you know, once he shared it thousands and thousands of people started calling and leaving messages about books they love. So yeah, so it’s such a special project like on Sunday.

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: It’s so beautiful. I mean, it’s such you love to hear that kind of story where a couple who just nerding out on their favorite first liners of books, you know, suddenly creates a movement out of nowhere from pure passion.

Logan Smalley: Yeah.

Logan Smalley: Yeah, it is. I like to call it actually won an honor. Again, I hope this doesn’t sound like bragging, but it’s probably my favorite honor. It won an honoree for weirdest project webby. So like a webby for years. And I’m like, yes, that is us. It is so weird. On Sunday, we check in and doing machine full of messages from strangers, then we use a typewriter to transcribe them. Then we shared them on YouTube. And it inspires other people to join the movement and read books. It’s like what, but it really works.

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: That’s us. Yeah.

Logan Smalley: We published a book, we have these phone installations that are in bookstores, libraries, coffee shops, literary venues throughout the world. It’s just, it keeps blooming and it’s such a joy. And yeah, thanks for asking about it.

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: Okay, so what is your favorite book and what is the first line of that book?

Logan Smalley: Oh, gosh, I don’t know if I can answer both simultaneously. Like, I don’t know if I know the first line of my favorite book, which makes me makes me feel silly. But I’m going to find out now. I’d say like. Yeah, it’s like it’s also not quite like favorite book. It’s like what book really impacted you. So I think I’ll take that if you don’t mind. Like I was in high school.

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: Thanks for watching!

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: We’ll Google it.

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: Mmm. Yeah.

Logan Smalley: Feeling the similar, you know, the familiar feelings of just like, uh, screw the man, you know, like I wanted to rebel. I wanted to do all this stuff. And that’s when I read, um, one flow over the cuckoo’s nest by Ken Kesey and write this RP McMurphy character and just like his, his rebelliousness and, um, you know, basically he’s a, he’s a monkey wrench in the machine that is the institution of nurse ratchet. And you know, one of the best villains of all time.

So that one just like really put me on a path of just like questioning authority in a healthy way, not taking dogma as a given, and instead like kind of trying to create things against it that advance things and stuff like that. So that would, I would answer that book probably had, one of the bigger impacts of books. And by the way, most people’s stories come from books they read in their youth, which is not to say stop reading, but right, like in terms of.

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: Mm.

Logan Smalley: Books that really transform you and change you. It’s a lot of times when you’re in your formative years that happens, right? The book you read in college makes you feel less lonely if you’re feeling lonely or the book that you first read with your parents with your fingers and you remember becoming a reader that’s like becomes part of your identity. How about that?

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: Well, so I looked it up. The first line of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is fabulous. It is, they’re out there. It’s perfect.

Logan Smalley: Nice.

Logan Smalley: Oh my gosh, exactly. Now you see, like I’m addicted. So I do have, one of the reasons I can’t remember is like I actually have a compulsion. When I’m in a bookstore, I pick up the books and read the first sentence. It’s the, that was kind of what we were talking about in that bar in New York City. It’s like, I have to. That’s a great first sentence. I’m so glad you looked it up.

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: Yeah, totally. That’s a great first sentence. Yeah, so my daughter’s first grade teacher said in the orientation, you know, when the parents come 6 p.m. and they sit down in the seat that your child sits in and the teacher’s telling you what they’re gonna do that year, she said, the best thing that you could do is to start reading the newspaper on an actual newspaper because so many children today don’t see their parents reading. I read on Kindles and I read on my phone.

Logan Smalley: Yeah, you’re so right.

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: And when kids see you on their phone, they don’t know if you’re reading a book or if you’re looking at Instagram, right? And so the physical demonstration of what it is to read will spark an interest in reading. And she said, I guarantee you, if you start reading the newspaper on paper, your kids are gonna wanna read more at the end of the year than if you don’t. Isn’t that fascinating? Yeah.

Logan Smalley: I’ve never thought about that is so profound because really the implications of that are so new, right? 2008 is when we all started doing this. And so, no one’s even that old since then. So yeah, I’m gonna order the physical newspaper tomorrow.

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: Right.


Dr. Jessica Kriegel: Order the physical newspaper, because I had one of the most gut wrenching moments in my life a couple of days ago. Because I read on, I have Kindle reader on my phone. I read the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal. I feel very smart reading those things. And yet I’m really looking at my phone, right? So my daughter, the other day, she’s always trying to delay going to sleep like every good six-year-old does. And we get out of the bath and she said, she’s got this little tree house inside her room. She goes, mom, can I, and her Barbie dream house is up there. She goes, can I go?

Logan Smalley: Yeah.

Logan Smalley: Mm-hmm.

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: Up to my tree house to play with my Barbie Dream House. Can I go up to the tree house to play with my Barbie Dream House before bed? And will you come with me and you can bring your phone if you want? I was like, ugh, ugh. I’m the worst mother in the world. It’s so hard. And I said, of course you can. And I’m not gonna bring my phone. I’m gonna come up there and play Barbie Dream House with you. And ugh, just the reminder, you know?

Logan Smalley: Oh.

Logan Smalley: Yeah, it’s…

Logan Smalley: So hard.

Logan Smalley: Yeah. Well, at least you still got the invite, right? You know?

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: That’s true, I did still get the invite. I mean, followed by two minutes later, my daughter will just shout out at me, I hate you mom for random stuff. I won’t let her have candy first thing upon awakening. Well, I hate you mom. I said, okay, I love you too, honey. Being a mom is so hard. Okay, can I tell you my favorite book?

Logan Smalley: Ha ha.

Logan Smalley: I hate you, Mom, as Cody. Yeah, I was actually going to ask you, which book would you call Ishmael?

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: I heard you start to ask and then I talked over you. So I brought it back for you. So, and I’m gonna read the first two lines of my favorite book, because it was really the second line that got me. So my favorite book is Jonathan Safran Forrest’s Everything is Illuminated. Have you read that one?

Logan Smalley: Fair.

Logan Smalley: Mm, I have not, but we have a great Ishmael call about it, but go ahead.

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: Okay, well, oh, oh no, his third book is Here I Am. Anyway, everything is illuminated, brilliant novel, and the first two lines are, my legal name is Alexander Perchoff, but all of my many friends dubbed me Alex because that is a more flaccid to utter version of my legal name. I love it, flaccid to utter.

Logan Smalley: I’m out.

Logan Smalley: Yeah, what a great adjective. But so Jonathan Safranford, think about how much time he put into that book. I mean, that book’s probably this thick, right? If memory serves. And it’s amazing and all the gift is obviously in all the pages. But like so many people picked that, like he was hunched over like this for a year making that for two years, for three years, maybe for a decade, right? I don’t know.

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: Yeah.

Logan Smalley: And then so many people just see that first line. And so thank goodness it’s a good one or the first two lines, which is totally acceptable. And yeah, I just find it the gravity of the first line to be so important and compelling. And yeah, I don’t know. I’m glad.

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: Yeah.

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: Well, my second favorite book is also Jonathan Safran’s four. My third favorite book, it’s interesting. One time I was at an airplane airport and I saw he’s got a new novel and it was called Eating Animals. And I thought, oh great, another Jonathan Safran four novel. And I pick it up and I read it and it’s not a novel. It’s all about the ethics of eating animals. And I got tricked into reading this book somehow and then I became a vegetarian for four years because of the book. I mean.

Logan Smalley: Thank you.

Logan Smalley: At that persuasion. Yeah, books are powerful. Hey, you should call Ishmael about that one. We don’t have that’s like a really unique spin of what a book, you know, how you encounter and then the impact it had on your life. I would, you know, I’ll be looking for that anonymous call one of these Sundays. Your favorite author. Have you ever read his, I believe it’s his brother’s book about the memory palace. Moonwalking with Einstein.

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: The power of storytelling. Yeah.

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: Yeah.

Dr. Jessica Kriegel:Yeah, OK, I will. I may.

Dr. Jessica Kriegel:No!


Logan Smalley: Since we’re going, I highly recommend that one. It’s a nonfiction. I hope I’m not wrong. Someone will fact check me, but I believe it’s his brother and he’s a journalist. And he did, I think it was for the New Yorker, he was doing a story on memory contests. And so he did the story, published it, and one year later, he won the national championship for memory contest.

Dr. Jessica Kriegel:Mm-hmm.

Logan Smalley: Which if you think about that, it just shows you that memory is like learnable. And so it’s this tour of all the memorable things. And the story, I’ve never told this story in any sort of public format. He gave, I read the book and then he came and gave a Ted talk several years later, or in and around the time that the book came out. But I had, the point is I had already read the book. And so I couldn’t wait, right? I’m like, I know this guy, he’s gonna give this amazing talk about memory palaces. One of the strategies of a memory palace is thinking about something you’re familiar with. So like your house.

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: Yeah.

Logan Smalley: Or your walk to the walk you take every morning, or maybe you’re even your own body, and you take the thing you’re trying to remember and assign it to the thing. So maybe if I wanted to never forget someone’s name, I would associate it with my finger, and then someone else’s hobby, I’d associate with this. So I kid you not, he’s giving a TED Talk about how amazing his memory is, right? He’s a national champion memory. And in the middle of the talk, he goes blank.

And I don’t know if this made it to the final edit. I kind of want to go watch it, but in the room, he goes blank. And then he goes, and I’m like, the memory guy brought up notes? But I then saw the other camera angle. He didn’t bring up notes. He had memorized the invisible language on his hand because he’s a memory champion. And so he was able to refine the spot with invisible language that he had ascribed in memory to his palm.

That’s so crazy. So crazy.

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: That’s amazing. Holy moly. The most memorable keynote I’ve ever seen. I want to talk about your keynotes too, because I know that you are a keynoter, was a memory guy and we were at a, it was a holiday party and there were 300 people in the audience. It was the CFA society of Sacramento having their, you know, it’s a bunch of accountants in a room having their holiday party. This person comes in and he’s just networking, you know, the first hour where you’re having a drink and chatting with people. And he came over to our little group.

Logan Smalley: Mm-hmm.

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: And he said, hi, how are you? I’m like, hi, I’m Jessica, blah, blah. He keeps going. Then he gets up on stage and he says, my memory is whatever, and I’m gonna prove it to you right now. And he goes around the room and names every person of the 300 audience members. By heart just goes Jonathan, Jessica, Susie, Mark, Andrew, naming everyone and he nailed it. I was, blew my mind. How do you do that? And he memorized the names while people were milling around, right? He didn’t…

Logan Smalley: Oh my god.

Logan Smalley: Yeah.

Logan Smalley: It’s incredible.

Logan Smalley: Yeah.

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: Associate them with the place that they were sitting. I don’t know. I just will never forget that. It blew my mind.

Logan Smalley: Unbelievable. Anyone who finds that anecdote interesting, which I do, should definitely read this book because it’s learnable. I think probably some people are better at it than others, but the fact that you can go from journalist about it to champion in one year, I don’t know. I don’t know if I have some of the ways that you have to learn it or exactly how I don’t want to spend my time, but it’s amazing.

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: Okay, so let’s go all about all the way back to Darius goes west because we haven’t hit upon that yet. And the story is so heartwarming. How did tell us about that documentary? Why did you make a documentary? How did it come about?

Logan Smalley: Yeah, thanks for asking about that too. I mean, one thing I’ll say at the risk of promotion is I actually put it online for free recently. So anyone who’s interested by what I’m about to say can watch it, it’s on YouTube, it’s called Darius Goes West. But basically, I grew up in Athens, Georgia, and Darius, who I’ll tell you about in a second, had an older brother named Mario. Mario was my peer, he was in my grade.

We hung out together at school. We lived in neighboring neighborhoods, saw each other all the time, and we were friends. And then Mario was born, Mario had muscular dystrophy, which is a degenerative disease that you’re born with. And you’re born with full ability to walk, and then you slowly lose the use of all your muscles as you get older. So when I knew Mario, when I was in second grade, he could walk. By the time we were in middle school, actually, towards the end of elementary school, he had transitioned to a wheelchair. And by the time we were in high school, the final muscles to go are your lungs, your heart, et cetera, and complications from that. So it is a 100% fatal disease. I lost my friend Mario my junior year, and he was a really amazing person. And over the years we have become extra close by virtue of him.

Attending a camp for kids with disabilities called Project Reach that I also worked at, you know, as a high school, as a high schooler. And so we spent, you know, every summer together that I worked at that. He was in my group. We had been friends our whole lives. So it was like he was almost like he was basically a counselor as well. And his little brother Darius was also born with Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

His little brother Darius also went to the camp. He was in the younger groups. And so Mario, before he passed away, knew that I knew Darius and sort of just asked and knew what Darius was going to go through, right? Cause he’s older. And he sort of just asked me before he passed away to keep an eye out for him, to, you know, be a big brother figure to him. And it was, it was, it sounds so profound when I explain it, but it was actually just two friends, like staring reality in the face and him just saying, hey,

Logan Smalley: To stay in my brother’s life. And I loved Darius, everyone loved Darius. And so I was very happy to honor that request. It started as going to basketball games together or movies or continuing to hang out. And then as Darius got older and older, we became more on the same level and it was just friends. And one time I was at his house on the weekend and we were watching

Okay, I had always wanted Darius had never left Athens, Georgia before like wheelchair accessible travel is not easy. I didn’t know in a wheelchair accessible vehicle. Darius is a very large person. I like to describe him as like a mashup between Santa Claus and notorious big that gives you a sense of Shape, but also his personality like he is jovial

He is super smart with words, super talented, magnetic. Everyone wants to be around him, myself included. So anyways, I had this seed planted that I really wanted to take Darius on a trip sometime, camping or whatever it was gonna be. And we were sitting around watching TV and it was when that MTV show, Pimp My Ride was a hit show. Remember that show? And I jokingly said to him like, hey, Darius,

Dr. Jessica Kriegel:  Totally.

Logan Smalley: We should get your wheelchair customized on Pimp My Ride. And we were like, yeah, that’d be awesome, huh? And we’re like talking about what it should be. And then in the credits, it’s like the credits are rolling and that little fast voice said, in order to get your wheelchair customized on, or sorry, in order to get your car customized on Pimp My Ride, you must live in the greater Los Angeles area, right? It’s like the fine print. And it was like this light bulb went off and we were like, oh my gosh, we’re gonna drive to Los Angeles and try and get your wheelchair customized on Pimp My Ride. And…we started saying what that could mean and how it could work and who would need to come. And we added on the more noble goals admittedly of raising awareness for Duchenne muscular dystrophy and also testing wheelchair accessibility across the country. The year that we traveled was the, I believe the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. So there was a big…Uh, you know, celebration and evaluation of the impact of that and incredible law that says, you know, places need to be accessible to all whenever and however possible. Um, and so we took a cross-country trip. Uh, I won’t give away any spoilers about what happens, but of course, it’s very not about the goal of trying to get his, uh, although that is the hook of trying to get his and more about the incredible sense of discovery. And Darius is absolutely hilarious. We had no filmmaking experience. We did, we raised all the money for the film through piggy banks, put in local bars and restaurants, and we also pre-sold movie credits. So we actually did a Kickstarter campaign before, like Kickstarter style campaign before there was a Kickstarter. And

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: Before Kickstarter existed. Yeah.

Logan Smalley: Variety magazine said we had the longest credit roll in documentary history. We were just selling credits for 10 bucks. People were putting funny names in there. It’s a very funny credit roll if you sit through it. Oh, what I was trying to say is we had no filmmaking experience, but that didn’t matter. Cell phone cameras weren’t out at the time, but if they were, we could have shot this movie on a cell phone camera and it would have worked. And that’s…

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: Yeah.

Logan Smalley: A testament to Darius’ character. I can’t over emphasize how incredible a person he was and how he brought out the best in everyone around him, myself included. And so, you know, he’s just one of those people that you wanna go to the ends of the earth for and you’re gonna stay up late to make sure the way you’re representing him in a film is true to his incredible character. And so we did that and we, it was, you know, to California and back, through the South and then back through the North.

Um, it was three weeks. It was hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of hours of footage. We self edited it. And then we started applying to film festivals. And the first one we got into was the first one we applied to is the Santa Barbara, uh, international film festival. We, uh, it was big news in our small town that had happened. Like these out of nowhere, you know, people who are raising money in restaurants are suddenly like going to California to be on the red carpet.

And ABC’s Nightline caught wind of that, came to the airport where we were flying, because in a kind of poetic way, Darius Goes West was his first trip to California, and then to see it for the first time, he’s flying for the first time to California. Nightline records us at the Delta Hub in Atlanta, and starts making this piece, and they say, and Delta says, we’ll fly you to any film festival you get into. And we’re like,

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: Mmm.

Logan Smalley: You fools. So we started applying to every film festival possible, which is a good thing we did because it’s really small windows, but we ended up winning the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, the Audience Choice Award there, which is a big one and a good first one to win. And then we ended up winning, I think 28 more film festivals. We were screened at Tribeca, like Nightline Piece came out.

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: Oh

Logan Smalley: It was really popular. We ended up being on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, and so on and so forth. And it was just this amazing thing. And in meeting so many people through all those festivals that we flew to for free, thanks Delta, we ended up seeding a movement. So, right, the film festival circuit ends, we’re like, how do we publish this? We didn’t get like a deal with a distributor or anything. We had a couple of like really

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: Ha ha ha!

Logan Smalley: Week offers that we were like, no, we’re not gonna do that. So we decided to self-distribute and the way that we self-distributed was driving to all the people’s houses that we met in their year at film festivals and they hosted screenings for us. So our model was, if you host it, we will come. And we continued driving. We traveled 300,000 miles by road, screenings at schools, screenings at theaters, screenings, you know, like really, really…elevated spaces and also screenings in parking lots. So like we’re there. If you host it, we will come. And by the end of it, we had raised over two and a half million dollars for DMD research. And we were a nonprofit the whole time. The money was used for a couple of different things, but one of the things, a majority of it was used for was to provide seed funding for a study that was in the early phases for Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Fast forward, we’re still doing screenings, we’re still traveling. That study matures into human clinical trials. Two weeks before Darius’ 27th birthday, or sorry, on his birthday, his 27th birthday, we got the news and I was able to call him and say, that money that you donated to that study, that study, sorry, I get emotional when I say this part. That study became the first FDA approved.

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: More.

Logan Smalley: Treatment of DMD in history. And then two weeks later, he passed away. So what a journey. It obviously makes me very sad. I miss my friend, but the amount of life packed into those 27 years is insane and the amount of impact he had. And just to map it back to so many things, the incredible…culture defining and culture changing power of capturing something on video. And yeah, we can call it a film, you know, we weren’t filmmakers. So I’m always like, I just pointed a camera at my friend, but then suddenly millions of people understood someone who was born with dystrophy, someone who had accessibility challenges around the country. People wanted to install ramps on their house so he could come over, you know? Yeah. So anyways, I’ll regroup myself, but uh,

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: Hmm.

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: Hmm

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: No, I’m regrouping too. I was getting goosebumps before you even got to the punchline because what comes across in talking to you is your immense humility. I don’t know if those two words are allowed to go together but you’re such a humble person. All of the things that you’ve done, these movements you’ve created, they were just, you had an idea, you were like, let’s try this without the end goal in mind, right? I mean,

Logan Smalley: Well, yeah.

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: You didn’t plan on Call Me Ishmael becoming what it has become. You didn’t plan on Ted Ed becoming as big as it did. You didn’t plan on Darius Goes West becoming the sensation and the game-changing impact that it had. You’re just a guy with an idea and the humility to see if you could try and pull it off. I mean, that’s the thread. I was wondering in preparing for today, I’m like, what is the thread, you know, of all these incredible movements that you’ve created? And…

Logan Smalley: Well, thank you. You’re making the question.

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: And mastered, what do you think the threat is?

Logan Smalley: Um, well, thank you for the compliments for making me blush. I was trying to regroup. Um, I feel like

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: Hahaha

Logan Smalley: I mean, storytelling certainly is a through line, a narrative between it, but it’s something about, so just reflecting on one thing that you said there is like, it sounds like I spend tons of time working on stuff and that’s totally true once something finds its momentum and find it, it’s more like, I think I’m trying to say something that would be valuable for anyone who’s listening or anyone who’s hovering over a project and thinking about doing it. And.

I find it really helpful to be really honest with yourself as a creative person about whether a project feels imminent. Does that make sense? So it’s like, I have like a million ideas and the ones that I wouldn’t waste anyone’s time with just don’t feel imminent. That doesn’t mean they won’t. Like I’m constantly tweaking them and whatever. But like when we were sitting in that room watching Pimp My Ride and we said, we should get your wheelchair customized and Pimp My Ride.

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: Mm-hmm.

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: Hmm

Logan Smalley: It immediately felt imminent. It was like, this has to be done. We are, and then it merged with that other one, which is we have to go on a road trip, right? You’re living with a fatal disease. It is a rite of passions for you to leave the state borders and see this great, you know, wide country that we all live in. And those two things collided. And then it just so happened that the digital revolution at the time, so that was 2005, it was the summer of 2005, we shot it. That’s when like, me and a bunch of other amateurs were learning iMovie, right? The iMacs were shipping and iMovie was suddenly free and it was there and I was making bad, you know, school videos for my projects and I was like, wow, this is kind of fun. If those things aren’t aligned, it’s not a movie. You know what I mean? We probably still would have tried to do it, but, um, there’s these incredible like watershed moments where things become accessible. And then I guess to your

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: Yeah.

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: Yeah.

Logan Smalley: Point that call me ish mill felt imminent because it was so crisp and simple. Right? Like what if ish mill did have a phone number? What would, yeah, what would people call? What would you, and like, right? Like it’s really not that hard to acquire a phone number and set up an answering machine and then if it blooms, you know, here we are still talking about it, if it hadn’t a bloomed, you know, it would have been fine. And then with Ted ed, it was like so obvious and imminent that Ted had.

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: Call me. Oh. Ha ha.

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: Yeah.

Logan Smalley: More application in the classroom. Like TED Talks were popular in school and education use cases, but they weren’t at all optimized for it. Like if you’re a high school teacher, a TED Talk is 18 minutes at this time that I’m pitching TED Ed. And my period that I teach is 45 minutes. I can’t show an 18 minute video every day, right? That’s like not teaching. And so optimizing the format of how do we make this incredible TED Network.

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: Right.

Logan Smalley: So the imminent thing is important. And then I think maybe one other valuable thing is like the difference between telling a story and creating a platform where stories can be told. I think both are really important. I’m not actually saying one’s better than the other, but I think that was a real evolution in my career. Like I captured Darius story because I was his friend. I was there, we were holding the camera. It is what it is. But then we learned so much in that process.

In the other projects, it’s more about, it’s less about trying to craft a, you know, specific and capture a specific narrative and more about cultivating a space where diverse and important narratives can happen. So whether that’s someone, you know, like you calling in about a book or someone like who’s listening to this calling in about a book or someone pitching a Ted Ed animation, right? That I don’t know if I said that earlier, but Ted Ed is, uh, like, what do you call it? Open submission based.

So all the ideas for TED animation, the majority of the ideas for TED animations are inbound. It’s a teacher saying, I could really use a video that did this. I have the expertise or an expert saying, no one understands this when I talk about it. What if we visualized it?

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: Mm-hmm. So my favorite question, and I think you might have a pretty interesting answer to this question, is in the interviews that you’ve done, in the conversations that you’ve had talking about any of these projects, what is one question you don’t get asked that you wish more people would ask you?

Logan Smalley: I feel like the best way I can answer that is framing it against a question that I do get asked a lot. So this makes it, but like I, especially because I work in education and have an influential project in education. And I think lots of other people get asked this question, get asked, you know, who is your favorite teacher and why, right? Like that’s just like a common annual teacher appreciation question.

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: Mm.

Logan Smalley: I have my answer, Ms. Chapman, fifth grade. She lit my imagination. She read The Hobbit to our class, changed my life. Now I’m a nerd. Thanks, Ms. Chapman. And you have your answer to that. And everyone else has their answer. And so to me, to answer your question, what question do I not get asked, is why that matters, and how profound it is that we all have an answer to that question. And so I guess what I’m trying to say is like,

We think about the world with all these luminaries and these, and this is especially true at TED, right? We literally have a stage that puts these people on the stage and they’re amazing, right? I’m so impressed by the people I get to talk to every day when I’m making a TED animation or supporting a TED talk or whatever. They’re our heroes, right? Like, none of them get to where they are without someone in their past.

Believing in them more deeply than other people. And so, to me, the soul of that, who is your favorite teacher question, it sounds like so cliche, right? Just like, who’s your favorite teacher? Well, the fact that you can answer it is so profound. And so teachers are underappreciated, underpaid. I’m not trying to turn this into a political thing. I’m saying if we can just really pull the curtain back and think about how critical it was that all of us

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: Jessica Kriegel: Hmm

Logan Smalley: Especially those who had really tough childhoods, tough backgrounds, traumatic backgrounds, et cetera, had one person that cared for their mentorship, that believed in them, that said, you know what, you can do better. There’s so many different versions of it. And usually that’s someone’s favorite teacher. And so just really appreciating that question and the scope of it in terms of width, right? And the fact that we can do it and then translating that into, I think the world would be better if we, and more hopeful, if we appreciated that fact. And I think the fact where we fall short of appreciating it is actually a big source of a lot of the problems in the.

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: Hmm, that’s so beautiful. Shout out to Luis Rodriguez, my PE teacher at PS87. Yeah. He just hung out with us. He was…

Logan Smalley: Yeah, that’s right. What was the question about Luis?

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: Interpersonally connecting with us and really seeing us for who we were, hanging out on his couch in his office and playing games with him in PE in a way that I think the academic teachers didn’t have as much freedom and liberty to do because they had an agenda. They had certain tests we needed to take. At PE, we were just having fun. And so to be seen by someone was pretty remarkable at that time, you know? Beautiful. And what was special about Ms. Chapman?

Logan Smalley: Yeah.

Logan Smalley: Yeah.

Yeah. Well.

Logan Smalley: Oh, like I said, she was, it was fifth grade, right? Which is, you know, everyone can relate to fifth grade. Just incredibly devoted to all of our imaginations. I mean, she had like this weird desk and she did weird things at Halloween and around the holidays and she read us weird books and like never let that be the end she would provoke us to be imaginative and creative based on.

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: Mm.

Logan Smalley: What we were doing and what we learned and to come up with our own stories and our own narratives. And I could just trade so much of my appreciation of art and creativity and stuff back to her. And yeah, at the core of it is relationships to your point. And I actually think it’s important to contrast that with what we do at TedEd. Having been a teacher and running TedEd, I can tell you there’s a Venn diagram, but like teaching is not, TedEd is…

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: Mm.

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: Yeah.

Logan Smalley: Educative, but it is not the same as teaching is six cents. It’s a relationship It’s in person Ted Ed tries to be a tool to create more space for Great teachers to you know have great conversations and great relationships and you know engage people and provoke curiosity, but yeah

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: Well, Logan, this has been just an absolute joy. Thank you so much for chatting with us. I’m so glad that we got to dig into all of the projects that you’re working on. I can’t wait to see what comes next.

Logan Smalley: Yeah, thank you so much for having me. And I think we have some books to read, right? Like lots of book writing. Yeah. Yeah, that’s right. That’s right. Thank you so much.

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: I sure do, yeah, and I gotta call Ishmael. Thank you.

Yay, we did it. Oh, that was so great. You’re so wonderful, Logan. I just so appreciate you. I mean, so Paul introduced us somehow. I mean, he just talked about you with singing your praises and what a wonderful moment because that was, you’re like one of my favorite interviews we’ve done so far and we’ve done a lot. Yeah.

Logan Smalley: Yay!

Logan Smalley: Oh, thanks.

Logan Smalley: Oh, thank you. Thank you. Well, I know once you start editing and publishing it, whatever I can do to help share it, and all this stuff, you can be really direct. I’m happy to share it. Yeah, I guess you had told me before, but I kind of forgot you’re sort of capturing several episodes and then looking to like a launch schedule in the future.

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: We are gonna, yeah, Noah can come online and help talk about it. So we’re gonna launch mid January. I think you’re gonna be in the first batch. If not the first, the second batch, which happens like a week later. Noah, I don’t know if Luke updated you about the launch plan that I was like, why is Noah not on this call? Anyway, that’s an aside. So January it’ll launch and they’re gonna send you clips of some highlights and all sorts of stuff. So you will definitely be given. Noah, did you have something to add?

Logan Smalley: Cool.

Logan Smalley: Cool. Well, congrats. Are you feeling good about all the other episodes? I don’t know. I don’t really know what it takes to make a podcast. You know, my wife.

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: Yeah, dude. Oh, I don’t either, Noah does all of it. It’s so interesting, like the range and the tone and the learnings, what I didn’t realize is I’m just learning so much. Like the thing that I took away from.

Logan Smalley: Okay.

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: This, you inspired me, because I have an idea to make a documentary, and you said, when it feels imminent, and I’m like, yeah, it totally feels imminent. I gotta just go, you know? So it’s inspiring, and it just must be told. My dad went on a 12-year trip around the world on a motorcycle with a sidecar, and he died.

Logan Smalley: Yeah, must be told.

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: Six years ago and I have all the footage from the trip. And I’ve not been able to kind of touch that for a while because it’s been too hard, but suddenly it just feels like I gotta tell my dad’s story, you know? So I’m gonna do it.

Logan Smalley: Wow.

Logan Smalley: Yeah.

Logan Smalley: Yeah. Wow. Yeah, that sounds awesome. Yeah, do it. Cool. Well, thank you.

Dr. Jessica Kriegel: Yeah.


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