07 October 2015

Pen Type-B ~ CW&T Kickin' Heirloom Scribester!

The delightful and talented tag-team of CW&T (plus baby P) are now Kickstarting their Pen Type-B, an heirloon-grade artifact manufactured in Vermont, USA by a multi-generation family-run machine shop. Clever-lovely...

27 September 2015

HUMAN ~ Yann Arthus-Bertrand's Epic Docu...

Check out epic HUMAN docu by Yann Arthus-Bertrand... And further volumes, for now... Project genesis...

19 September 2015

Teaching Teachers ~ PEN Hands-On in Ghana!

Our MIT alumna Dr Heather Beem and team ran a big handful of workshops this past Summer 2015 for over 300 science teachers in Ghana, introducing them to the Practical Education Network (PEN) method of providing inexpensive, DIY physical experimental examples of the concepts taught in the standard core primary and secondary school curriculum!

03 September 2015

Sci Fab ~ Science Fiction-Inspired Prototyping!

Together with MIT Media Lab colleagues Dan (NovySan) Novy and Joe Paradiso, I'm helping run the next incarnation of the SF-inspired prototyping class Sci Fab this Fall 2015 every Tuesday night 7-9p! We want people to build functional prototypes provoked or inspired by classic and modern science fiction texts and films! Just like Verne inspired Sikorsky's choppers, Wells inspired Goddard's rockets, and Star Trek inspired smartphones and tricorders, we want to see what's next!
This isn't a class for "just listening" since we require regular readings and/or viewings, active discussion, in-class design and other exploratory exercises, two iterations of project prototypes during the first and second month, and a final project. Plus, we don't teach you "how to" build anything -- students should have at least basic experience with fab techniques and/or code ability. Anyone taking How To Make (Almost) Anything and other skillbuilding fabrication, electronics, coding, and similar classes should consider taking Sci Fab concurrently since we help you hone in on the most interesting and compelling things to prototype!

Future Commerce ~ Rebooting Money & Markets!

Together with Brian Forde from MIT’s new Digital Currency Initiative (DCI) and Media Lab colleagues Alex (Sandy) Pentland and David Shrier, we explore new financial innovations via our Future Commerce offering this Fall 2015 every Tuesday afternoon 1-2:30p starting September 15th. Participants learn how to build new businesses and translate ideas to impact, in collaboration with experienced fintech executives, entrepreneurs and thought leaders.
Students will explore emerging technologies that will disrupt existing marketplaces and financial services by spending a semester building new business models, products or technical concepts, resulting in a substantial deliverable at the end of the term.

Understanding MIT ~ Crafting Our Creative Place!

My DUSP Campus Planning colleague Bob Simha and I are hosting our Understanding MIT seminar this Fall 2015 every Tuesday afternoon 4-6pm starting September 15th to survey research universities and how they work, with the Institute as our live-case study. Each week, we invite a different senior academic, administrative, or trustee leader of MIT (and at least one rep from our host-city Cambridge) to share with us what they do to help the Institute stay vital in the short, medium, and long term -- and ask what we can do to be pro-active in improving MIT as well.
This is part of my larger action-research agenda on understanding creative places and innovation ecosystems and is sister-class to our our Creative Places seminar and design workshop on Model Cities, both offered in the upcoming Spring 2016.

Revolutionary Ventures ~ Bold Transformations!

My MIT Media Lab colleagues Ed Boyden, Joe Jacobson, Adam Marblestone, Desiree Dudley and I are co-hosting an upgraded and basically new incarnation of our Neurotech Ventures class -- now called Revolutionary Ventures -- this Fall 2015 at the Media Lab starting Thursday afternoon September 10th from 2-4pm.
While we emphasize a variety of emerging technology domains including neurotechnology, imaging, cryotechnology, gerontechnology, and bio-and-nano fabrication, this course is all about envisioning, planning, and building ventures -- anything ranging from entrepreneurial startups and intrapreneurial product-lines or business units to new research centers or universities, even the creation of new disciplines and entire industries!

Development Ventures ~ Exponential Prosperity!

My MIT colleague Alex (Sandy) Pentland and I are offering our Development Ventures action lab class this Fall 2015 at the Media Lab starting Thursday September 10th from 10a-12noon, with special focus on frugal, DIY, and ultraffordable technologies as well as exponential innovations including mobiles, big data, and analytics. This will be our 15th year!
Every year, we look forward to the latest new venture concepts our students propose -- in domains ranging from Health & Wellness, Energy & Sustainability, Education & Creativity, Commerce & Financial Services, Civic Engagement and beyond -- and we try to help the most motivated teams and promising ideas actually start and thrive! Alumcos since 2001 include FirstMileSolutions/United Villages, blueEnergy, WAY Systems, Dimagi, Howtoons, CellBazaar, Global Cycle Solutions/GCS, Assured Labor/EmpleoListo, ClickDiagnostics/mPower/ClickMedix, Dinube, Sanergy, WoundPump/WiiCare, ESSMART, Wecyclers, Ghonsla, Logistimo, Apportunidades, CrowdSOS/WiseSystems, MoringaConnect, TrueAfrica, MDaaS, MAX, and more. What will blossom this year?

30 August 2015

R.I.P. Oliver Sacks ~ Neurologist, Inspiration...

Sad to hear that cancer has taken Dr Oliver Sacks at age 82. Like so many others, I was inspired by his curiosity and engagement with patients -- and his capacity to tell their stories and the story of the human condition.  What came as a later surprise was his willingness to discuss his own demons, including a severe shyness, face blindness, and "staggering bouts of pharmacological experimentation" in his youth.

25 August 2015

Hybrid Airships ~ Lockheed's Latest Lift Vehicle...

The Telegraph's Alan Tovey writes of renewed interest old idea...
"US defence group Lockheed Martin has developed a “hybrid” airship which does not need mooring towers or runways, enabling companies to operate more easily in remote areas. [...] The hybrids are “heavier than air” machines, meaning the helium they carry is not enough to lift the craft’s entire weight when loaded. The gas provides 80pc of the lift required, with the remainder being generated as the airship -- which is shaped like an aerofoil -- is driven forward by its propellers. The engines rotate so their thrust can be directed to give extra lift, meaning the hybrid airship can also take off vertically when not fully loaded."
This is fantastic for both the reasons Lockheed spells out in their video -- i.e. military, mining, construction, etc -- but also as an alternative form of ferry for crossing rivers, bays, and lakes, plus can provide new ways of moving people in cities! Here's how "hybrid" fits in... http://www.hybridhe.com/hybrid-airship-lift/

23 August 2015

Timelapse Shipbuild ~ Mitsubishi Fabs AIDAprima

Check out this timelapse shipbuild video by Max Moos from MK Timelapse GmbH of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries assembling the AIDAprima cruise liner!

09 August 2015

A Doctor's Sword ~ Amazing WWII Experience...

I'm looking forward to seeing the full documentary A Doctor's Sword telling Dr Aidan MacCarthy's WWII saga from Dunkirk to Nagasaki, a story full of disaster, compassion, resilience, and amazing luck. Here's the trailer...

01 August 2015

LEGO Brickumentary ~ Sharing a True Toy Story!

A LEGO Brickumentary coming soon; trailer here!

The Counted ~ Total Victims of Police Force...

The Guardian shares interactive database -- The Counted -- of everyone killed by police in the US in 2015 (and counting). I've personally witnessed grotesque police brutality and -- like the rest of the 'Net -- have seen the seemingly endless number of videos of bullies with badges brutalizing citizenry.  And we're not talking about gangsters or terrorists, but everyday people. Here we can see the ridiculous scale of the wanton moral (and legal) corruption and inhumanity run amok. Who protects us from our so-called protectors? http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/ng-interactive/2015/jun/01/the-counted-police-killings-us-database#

Unicorn Hunters ~ Investors in Ventureland...

In her Bloomberg piece Goldman in Ventureland, Katrina Brooker writes of newly emergent players in later stage financings in so-called unicorns and more...
"Wall Street used to wait for startups to go public before investing in them. These days, however, entrepreneurs don’t need the public markets like they used to; private capital is plentiful. Uber has raised some $6 billion in equity and debt, and it hasn’t announced any plans to go public. “By the time you IPO as a company with a $60 billion market cap, you are really in the stratosphere,” [...] “The opportunity to invest has passed; the explosive growth is often behind them.” This market moves fast: When Airbnb raised money in April 2014, the company was valued at $10 billion; a year later, that valuation had more than doubled to $25 billion, when it raised another $1.5 billion. Included in the latest round were East Coast investors, most of whom would never have invested at such an early stage in the last tech boom..."