Monthly Archives: October 2012

Lucy McRae: How can technology transform the human body?

Lucy McRae: How can technology transform the human body?

EdTalksTed is under reconstruction.  Simpler, clearer, and possibly more rant filled.  Let’s begin!


Date Filmed: April 2012

Length: 3 minutes, 59 seconds

Total Views so far: 585,968

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Transforming the Human Body

1. Human sourced Perfume is already here.

It isn’t always the sweetest but the human body is a stink machine that is firing off on all cylinders every time we hit the stairs, become stressed or venture to eat a pound of the super hot black mamba wings. 

But it’s exactly one person’s stench that becomes another person’s pheromone of seduction.  For whatever reason, perspiration, aka the production of fluids secreted by the sweat glands, has already been known to be a traditional trigger of attraction.  Finding the correct level for the particular nose is one of the greater quandaries.  We all love the smell of bubblegum, but working at the candy factory where you need to wear surgical masks or die from ‘popcorn lung’ is something entirely different.

More about Popcorn lung disease:

Its not that an overdose of human sweat is going to kill you, but when surrounded on a bus on a sweltering hot day, the will to live drops dramatically.

2) The nose knows.. . 

Some people smell nice when they spray three squirts of perfume on their skin.  That same person might also be causing elderly people to choke and gasp in absolute terror from the artificial stench.

For many reasons, humans have various degrees of sensitivity in their noses and this changes with age, certain habits such as smoking and even possible mental disorders. 

Blind people do not necessarily have a keener sense of smell, nor do those trained in quality control or safety inspection necessary have a better ‘sniffer’.  If anything they might have a more trained nose and have a better idea of identification and nasal ‘direction sense’.

If sniffing perfume is something you’d like to do as a job, there’s instructions on how to make use of your nose as a skillset on Ehow.

There is a great article about our ability smell things that can be found here:

3.  McRae has a website dedicated to swallowable perfume  located at

Although the product isn’t yet on the market there is a downloadable press release pdf on the website available that covers the general ideas behind Swallowable Parfum.

Looking at products that are in abundance in the world today already, we know that eating certain type of curry will come out in our sweat.  Likewise, it’s already known that a high protein, low carbohydrate diet leads to sweat stinking like ammonia.

If McRae is finding a proper blend of various food techniques to adjust our levels of smellitude, then that would be something fantastically clever.

If you’re just looking to find a way to lower your stink meter, there is an article on Yahoo might help.

4. Technology transforming the Human body is exceptionally fashionable

The art and costumes McRae shows are provocative to the eye, there’s something incredibly eye catching about the images that went across the screen during her Talk. 

And although most of those art pieces might be a little too extreme to wear to the office on Monday, technology has already made it’s way onto the human body. 

Glasses, eye contacts and watches are typical pieces of technology that are on our body for very much most of the day.  Clothing itself, is a constantly changing technology that we take for granted.  It is the fact that we take all these items as everyday devices that we forget the beauty behind their design and sophistication.

Currently there is a trend to include even more powerful tools onto our body that we can use for work or play.  These devices not only might transform the human body but might very well transform society as we know it.

For instance, the step into science fiction world with Google’s Glass Explorer.  When we can pull data on virtually anything we see, the world not only becomes more interesting but possibly more informed.

For more on Google Glass Explorer, check out their presentation at Google I/O in San Francisco.

And although Google’s device is designed to be useful, sometimes the human cyborg hybrid isn’t useful at all.

NeuroWear “Necomimi”, the mind controlled Cat Ears:

And who hasn’t wished they had cat ears?

This device isn’t just some hypothetical or future piece of technology, it’s on sale right now.

That site is in Japanese so it might be difficult to navigate.  The same cat ears are easily found on Ebay too.  (Retails for about $200 dollars)

5. Augmenting the body vs Au Naturale might create a new class of society

As technologies continue to develop over time, there is a very real possibility that there might create a divide in society.

It is occurring already, an urban segregation where half the population is armed with smartphones and have a 24 connection to the internet while the other half lives in dismal ignorance without ever knowing what a Nyan cat is.

(I’m just kidding of course, everyone knows who Nyan Cat is.  I’m not even going to bother listing a link)

The real question is whether this divide will be based off of entertainment value, amount of extra disposable income or actual needs of the individual involved.  The guy with robot eyes gets a free internet connection but is it worth poking your own eyes out for?

There is an amazing student film exactly about this topic, but for the love of Google I can’t find it. 

So here’s Nyan cat instead:

Be generous and share,


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Posted by on October 26, 2012 in Uncategorized




Melissa Marshall: Talk nerdy to me

Curses!  My hope to attend Tedx Toronto have been dashed.

My application to attend this year’s local Tedx event was rejected.  (Not my words I’m afraid, but that’s what comes up when I click the link) 

And I’m not that surprised, I stood on this blog as my primary reason why I wanted to attend.  And this blog is still relatively in its infant stages.  It’s still growing and like any blog, will change over time, which brings in tonight’s topic for EdTalksTed.


Date Filmed: October 2012

Length: 4 minutes, 34 seconds

Total Views so far: 45,100

One Sentence Summary: “KISS, Keep it simple Smarty-pants”

When I first started this blog (about 9 months ago), I had the intention of utilizing this blog as my own mental juggling of what the TED Talks meant to me.  There’s a great deal of complexities that can be communicated during the 5 to 50 minutes and this medium let me formulate what I understood, what I walked away with.  It could well be that other people had the same questions come to mind that I had, or a curiosity that required further investigation and I would do the ground work for it.

Most of all, I’m no expert, and so I consider my responses to be on par with the same level of skepticism that might be more in common with the common populace.

I’ve got a great day job with a great company, a myriad of hobbies and interests, I’ll go juggling in Bellevue Square, perform with a local theater group or just work on a webcomic. 

Note: Ever since I started working on that last piece, I’ve started writing this blog even later in the evening.   It’s the midnight to 4am shift, which is also my primary blame for having spelling / grammatical errors.  (I also raise a glass to the power of disassociation with guilt.)

Note2: is the comic.  It’s about the conversations that come up during times of dead space, while waiting in line or your next download to finish.  It’s like a terrible Frankenstein mash-up of ‘Waiting for Godot’ and ‘Dumb and Dumber’ set in a convention setting.

Nonetheless my commitment to this blog surprisingly, still has chief precedence each week as TED Talks are generally on my mind. 

And this is where THIS Talk, really opened my eyes.  When Marshall goes deep into the tank of re-explaining that traveculae can be better recognized in the structure of the Eiffel Tower, I saw the big mistake that I was making.

I’m pointing this blog at myself.  The crazed non structured jargon that I pass on as natural local vernacular is actually naval gazing nomenclature of the thought process.

 AHEM.  I might think in vague words, but does is a good idea clouded by obscurity relevant to share?

And the answer is a fry pan hitting me in the face.  NO! 

Sharing ideas should be based upon the notion of simplistic articulation. 

FUCK, sharing ideas should be shared in a way that everyone can enjoy it.

Are you a computer programmer?  I’m not, but I do coding at various levels (SQL primarily) to support the business at work.  There’s actually a ‘trap’ that coders can fall into and that’s adding to structure where gutting and re-simplifying would be better.

It is best explained via this Jonathon Coulton video, Code Monkey:

Quick summary, Code must be both functional and elegant.  (PS> Mountain Dew is pretty good too)

The only workplace example I will ever use. (I seriously believe work and blogging don’t mix)

I had to summarize a year’s worth of data in several charts for a VP to utilize.  Historically, I might have left in the process of how the numbers got there.  This would have included formulas, a couple dozen charts of JUST numbers, plenty of math for the user to play with. 

Cause I think math is fun. 

insert Frying Pan.

However, knowing what the end result that was wanted, I sought elegance instead of proof.  (Keeping the backup somewhere else)

As Marshall describes it best, it was seeking simplicity. 

The image of a circle is actually an incredibly complex phenomenon when broken down into base parts.  What is pi?  How many digits of pi should be used for the formula’s values to be sound?  Sometimes you only need 3.14, and sometimes you need a value that will help design the Large Hadron Collider.

What caught me off guard  (Last time I’m using this as a header!)

It’s so short!   It almost feels too short, although that might be because I enjoyed it so much.

(It also supports the idea that keeping the presentation simple for better understanding.)

I love short Ted Talks.  I openly acknowledge that I rewatch them while typing these things.  Do you know what the side effect of watching a 24 minute video five times in a row?  It turns into hyper over analysis of facial expressions, and that this blog has been guilty of way too many times.

Short Ted Talks on the other hand, they are so easy to reminisce about.  Heck, I can spend the entire night talking about other things (see above) and the user still keeps the original video context in mind.


Did Einstein really say “make everything as simple as possible, but no simpler.”?  Is there a way to confirm this?  Couldn’t he have said Occam’s Razor?

Holy shit there’s an entire website dedicated to investigating quotes, and this one is on it.

(Hey, they also mentioned Occam’s razor)  Although Einstein is singularly attributed to the quote, there’s no proof. 

Marshall’s bio, as listed on the TED site (no point listing the link), reveals that she specializes in teaching speaking skills to engineering students.  This is an interesting dilemma, although the idea of teaching communication skills to explain complex to simple structures is great for presenting globally, I wonder if it is lost due to the insular nature of engineering. 

Meh, it’s a lot better than not teaching them.

So what to do?  (Last time I’m using this header too)

For one, I need to minimize or sideline the 1,000 word EdTalkTed entries.  Only the speed readers and most ardent personality types actually reach this sentence. 

For two, I think Marshall is really cute. 

For three, here’s to simplicity and the future!


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Posted by on October 12, 2012 in Uncategorized




Debate: Does the world need nuclear energy?

Earlier this week started the presidential debates in America, and if you ask me, this stuff makes fantastic television.

What could be more interesting than watching two people compete for the most powerful (or even possibly, most famous) position in the world?

In case you missed it, you can find it here on Youtube:

So I checked TED to see what we had in debate technology.  Did we have master debaters or were all these talks solo entertainment?

Behold!  TED had a debate on it, about nuclear power.


Date Filmed: June 2010

 Length: 23 minutes

Total Views so far:520, 438

One Sentence Summary: “A debate on whether we need nuclear energy or can we use something else?”

This is the first debate on TED, and from what I can tell, it is the last.  Why is this?  Is it because it’s incredibly boring?

Y’know what?  YES, it is incredibly boring.  At least in comparison to the warm hearted stories, the enlightening of new technologies and all that stuff TED that just makes you go “wooooahhhh”.

On the other hand, this is only completely true if you ignore one factor, that you hate debates.

There’s some other interesting aspects that this TED talk covers, it actually takes a quick poll of the audience beforehand.  This is the first time I’ve seen a polling of the audience like that, and it would be an interesting experiment if they this kind of polling was taken before every TED talk to see how much the audience knew of the subject manner. 

Brand begins with a rather good start that includes both humor and solid presentation. 

Jacobson then swings back and begins a solid attack of what nuclear energy provides versus alternative solutions and he demystifies some of the ‘setbacks’ that are commonly associated with renewable wind/solar energy.

Much like presidential debates, where there is a tipping point where the bouncing back and forth between sides and a slight loss of focus, it quickly becomes fuddled on who was talking about what.

This happened to me the moment it went to the audience, and even though it’s clearly identified if they were for or against, some of their responses just don’t seem to be directly in line.

On the other hand, why is there so many people who are so into nuclear power at a TED Talk?  The people who spoke up, not only were thoroughly educated on the subject but they were a step away from getting out of their seats and joining the people on stage.

I think there were plants in the audience!  And not the green type of plants either!

In a manner that is not surprising however, was a slight shift in votes at the end where it was a 65/35 in favor of needing nuclear energy.

Although it was a small shift, it shows that debate actually makes an impact on it’s viewers. 

Brand definitely seemed more comfortable presenting than Jacobson but it could be that Jacobson isn’t the kind of guy that makes jokes in debates.

Today, I wonder if the argument against nuclear energy would include the tsunami disaster in March 2011.  Likewise, every year people appear to become more disassociated with environmental activism so would appealing to that factor be less impacting?

Today more than ever, the need for energy is more recognized than how it’s attained.  Both presidential candidates argued for more energy earlier this week, and when there’s an identified need, the answer of ‘all of the above’ makes sense.

I hope TED talks include more debates in the future but the side effect of debate is to marginalize opposing views, and that isn’t what the TED Talks is about. 

The first and foremost concept of TED is to share ideas, to put knowledge into the hands of those who are willing to share it. 


-Updated every Friday

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Posted by on October 5, 2012 in Uncategorized