TORONTO Posts

"'Quantified Self' is ... tracking all kinds of data about your daily routines, habits, movements..."

Rami Alhamad, CEO and co-founder of PUSH, explains the "quantify self" movement in relation to the revolution of wearable technology to show how individuals are revolutionising how they track their daily habits. In "Quantifying Self" from PKN Toronto Vol. 27, Rami discusses the challenges of privacy and accuracy, and exposes the healthcare system as antiquated and in need of improvement. 

 

30,000 Foot View of Biology

Jarring thought: "We are as gods, and we may as well get good at it." -Stewart Brand

Britt Way, a radio documentary producer in Toronto, uses her background in biology, evolution, genetics and radio skills to talk about the development of biology today, especially concerning deextinction. As many of us know, we are headed towards a Sixth Extinction and our need to "play God" is more pressing then ever. In "30,000 foot View of Biology" from PKN Toronto Vol. 27, she shows solutions to right the wrongs that we have created in several interesting and unconventional ways. 

This week's "City Focus" is for Toronto -- its PechaKucha Night Vol. 29 is on April 1, with an appropriate theme encouraging us to "Stay Foolish." Visit the official event page for more details, as well as the full list of presenters and event poster.

Ever feel like you're a kid in a grown-up's body?

Christina Hug, founder of The Makers Nation, was taken by surprise when children showed up at her "Battle Bot Royale" -- an event she put together for adults to build robots that would brawl to destruction. Since this expereince, she has taken on a new mission: to encourage adults to play more. And in "The Importance of Play" from PKN Toronto Vol. 28, she expounds upon her perspective that work and play can and do complement each other.

 

Close your eyes, take in some air, exhale slowly. 

Marco Petkovski, Measurement Lead at Teehan+Lax, explains how inner peace and acceptance of circumstance can help us work more effectively. In "Breathe" from PKN Toronto Vol. 27, he goes further into the influence of stress on creative thinking and the contagiousness of calmness, and shares the secret of how we can be more creative and produce the best work of our lives.

All we need to do is breathe. 

Your heart rate is elevated, breathing pattern is abnormal. Sensors built into your clothing detect your anxiety and dispatch a calming agent.  

Ashley Lewis, a tech educator in Toronto, talks of her passion of tech-craft hybrids. In "Smarty Pants" from PKN Toronto Vol. 27, she is inspired by current interactive clothing and future consumer products from conductive ink and thread to makeup and sportswear that will have you thinking about fashion in a completely different way. 

Space. The final frontier. For zero-gravity ping-pong-ball parties. 

Maryam Nabavi, an Innovation Strategist at Idea Couture, talks about her strategy for the future of commerical space (i.e. Virgin Galactic) as a service industry. If you ever thought about living in space, then small bathrooms, carbon-dehydrated food, and uncomfortable sleeping arrangements are probably not what you had in mind.

However, in "Space Tourism: Hospitality or Adventure Industry?" from PKN Toronto Vol. 27, we learn that Nabavi redesigned the experience to have humans at the center of the problem so that it can be an enjoyable and memorable experience for anyone no matter their financial or physical situation. 

The latest PechaKucha Night in Toronto (Vol. 28) included the following very interesting project, as organizer Vivien Leung tells us:

[Here's a] time-lapse of the drawing robot at our PK last Tuesday night. It took Patrick Dinnen, the creative technologist, almost a month to build and code this special installation especially for our event. 

Watch the full video below. Also of note is that the Becki Chan featured in the video -- who was presenting at a PKN event for the very first time -- was previously part of the PKN Vancouver team.

Do your virtual interactions weigh down on you? 

Viviana De Loera challenges architects, builders, and designers to compare the virtual “templates” designed by for-profit companies like Google and Facebook to the frenzied condo living, boxed dwellings, and office spaces we exist in every day. In "Virtual vs. Habitable Space" from PKN Toronto Vol. 26, Viviana asks, "What are we teaching the 'template generation' in both their virtual and habitable spaces?"

Are you aware, that in a single day (today) we take in 5x the amount of information we did (25 years ago) in 5 days? That's right, in the same amount of time, we take in 5 times the amount of information we did 25 years ago. 

Bob Hambly examines (at PKN Toronto Vol. 26) the topic of observation – how we've become visually complacent, how we are manipulated to see certain things, how important it is to have good observational skills, and how we can go about improving them. This is something we can all get better at. In "The Power of Observation", you'll see that the better we get at observing, the better we will get at generating creative ideas. Don't be a lazy observer, see (don't look -- see) things now!

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