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Incredible moments from Amanda Palmer’s #NinjaVan featuring Neil Gaiman, Imogen Heap, Col. Chris Hadfield, and more

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Due to technical difficulties, Jason Webley sang "Letter to John Shriner" acoustically. 

NFL player turned author Chris Kluwe was interviewed by Gaiman about his TED talk on how augmented reality can foster empathy. “Augmented reality can show you how it literally feels to walk in someone else’s shoes. Imagine if a bully can be taught how his actions hurt others by making him feel what his victims are feeling,” said an impassioned Kluwe to a cheering audience.

Palmer joined Gaiman and Kluwe on stage with Del Harvey who leads Twitter’s Trust and Safety Department. Harvey’s quick wit and dry humour was a perfect match to Palmer’s comedic flair for banter. “I basically handle things like security, death, war… I keep things lighthearted. Party topics, guys,” said Harvey, whose department deals with potential threats to users including spam. When Palmer asked, “Well, who likes spam?” Harvey quipped, “Hawaiians. Hawaiians like spam.”

Half way through the evening, Imogen Heap entranced the audience with Hide and Seek. For her second song, she invited the audience to become a choir of 1,200 backup singers in an a cappella performance of Just For Now. It started off uncertain but, remarkably, the ragtag bunch managed to sing beautifully in tune.

 Palmer returned with her ukulele and serenaded the crowd with Map of Tasmania.  After the first chorus, it was clear that most of the audience missed the punch line of the song, which prompted Palmer to pause and explain what she was referencing to. Laughter unspooled from the rafters.

 Folk musician Geoff Berner and Sam Parton of Be Good Tanyas performed Iron Grey, a love song from the point of view of a terrorist. In his second song, Berner honoured Robert Dziekanski in a highly political song criticizing police brutality and abuse of power.

More TED speakers followed including a special performance from TED Fellows, poet Sarah Kay, and Amy Cuddy who encouraged the audience to practice power stances.

Michael Cummings of BIL invited the audience to register. 

#NinjaVan raised a total of $9,627.88 for the Vancouver Food Bank. Palmer is expected to attend and speak at BIL, a participatory-driven unconference happening at FiveSixty (560 Seymour Street) from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm on Saturday, March 22nd and Sunday, March 23rd. For more details on the event, register HERE and for more information on speakers and how you can participate, visit

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