This fall I had the opportunity to give a TED talk at TEDxCharlotteville. It was an exciting and humbling experience to get up in front of a thousand or so people and talk about my research trip to Africa for my book Skeletons on the Zahara. As fate would have it, my research trip to Morocco and across the Sahara was scheduled for less than a month after 9-11. As an American, it was a difficult time to be traveling in so remote a place, through Arab lands, with Arab guides. But it was one ripe for learning a lot of lessons and lessons that connected me closer to the shipwrecked subjects I was writing about from two centuries before. Click below to hear my 12-minute talk.