February 22, 2011
Anat Baniel on Flexibility + Vitality
Anat Baniel is known for the ANAT BANIEL METHOD, which is a system that helps people of all ages overcome pain and limitation and achieve lifetime fitness and vitality. Her method combines and integrates physical, mental, emotional and spiritual, using the remarkable capacity of the human brain to form new connections and patterns and reach levels of performance never achieved before.
Derived from the groundbreaking method developed by Dr. Feldenkrais, the ABM is based on cutting-edge scientific theory and on the understanding of how our brain learns and transforms our body, our mind and our spirit.
She shared a few stories with us how she has used this method to help dancers and others over the years overcome pain and help people move their bodies effortlessly.
A few of the core essentials include moving with intention and variation and having flexible goals.
Muscles are built to contract and decontract and often, the brain is sending a signal to contract at the wrong time. She said to the TEDxBerkeley crowd last weekend, "we have to change the pattern of movement, move with intention, then go slow, reduce force, and finally pull a bit back from the goal. We can use them daily to transform the way our muscles react and move 'for us.'
Anat asked the entire group of nearly 1,400 people to get up, stretch and then reach our toes with a slight bend of knees. She asked us to do it again after rounding our back and stretching while leaning up against our chairs, and then do it again. The result? A much more fluid and smooth experience, without tightness and without pain. You can visit her site for more information on her methodology and workshops.
December 18, 2010
Artisan Nature Uses 33 Essential Oils In Their JuiceI had a wonderful discovery at LeWeb this year, which was the unique opportunity to chat with someone about one of my passions outside technology: holistic health and vitality.
The Artisan Nature founder (I called him the Juice Man) talked to me about his freshly squeezed juices, which was on offer to bloggers in the media/blogger lounge throughout the conference.
Since he still has family in Madagascar, he is able to tap into the vast number of pure essential oils and flower water from his home country as well as from Europe and other parts of the world. In his juice, he uses 33 essential oils, 20 of them coming from Madagascar specifically and they include oils like sage, tea, mint, lavender and others. Have a listen.
November 08, 2010
Meet the 2010 PopTech Fellows
November 8, 2010 in America The Free, Europe, New England, On Africa, On Being Green, On China, On East Africa, On Education, On Health, On Innovation, On Science, On South Africa, On Technology, On the Future, On Women, Social Media, United Kingdom, WBTW, Web 2.0 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
October 01, 2010
Noise Kills 200,000 People a Year in Europe: Sound Design is the FutureJulian Treasure has an interesting talk to get to sound health in 8 steps. He says our increasingly noisy world is gnawing away at our mental health -- even costing lives. His 8-step plan includes advice on softening sonic assault (starting with those cheap earbuds) to restore our relationship with sound.
He notes that women listen expansively compared to men and jokes that if men could take one thing away from his talk, it's to listen more expansively and you'll transform your relationship.
Noise is killing 200,000 people a year in Europe. He says that there's a price we pay from music compression; we have to work harder to get the sound and using bad headsets are part of the problem or using them incorrectly. 61% of students have hearing issues related to poor headphones. Quality 'listening' means you don't have to turn the music up so loud.
The last two things I took from his talk and my favorites: Silence is beautiful. He says the Elizabethans described language as Decorated Silence - how great is that? And secondly: Sound Design is the Future. Julian encourages us to design everything around us with sound in mind.
Acumen Fellows Program Applications OpenThe Acumen Fellows Program is now accepting applications for 2011 and 2012.
The Acumen Fellowship is a one year program that immerses Fellows in world-class leadership training, field work with social enterprises on the front lines, and a community of change makers and thought leaders.
For 2011, they received over 550 applications from over 65 different countries for 10 positions. While each Fellow comes from a diverse background and brings a unique skill set to the Fellowship, below are some key indicators of a successful Fellow:
* Proven track record of leadership and management responsibilities
* Experience working in emerging markets
* Unrelenting perseverance, personal integrity, and critical thinking skills
* Strong passion and commitment
* 3-7 years of work experience
* Graduate degree preferred
Below is a synopsis of some of the fellows and what they have done and where.
October 1, 2010 in America The Free, Europe, Israel, On Africa, On Australia, On Being Green, On Education, On Health, On Innovation, On Science, On Technology, On the Future, Science, Videos, WBTW | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
September 07, 2010
Can't Attend? Just Send Your Robot
John Markoff has an interesting article this week on some of the important uses of robots today. He focuses mostly on telepresence robots, which he says will inevitably grow smarter and more agile, not only representing human users, but will augment them.
He gives a few examples of how robotics are advancing, including healthcare and in the workplace. Neurologist Dr. Shatzel was able to treat a patient a couple hundred miles away, using a computer monitor, a keyboard and a joystick that control his assistant on the scene — a robot on wheels.
Mike Beltzner uses the Texai telepresence robot from Willow Garage to attend meetings at Mozilla in Mountain View, except that he is over 2,000 miles away in Toronto. The robot was surrounded by more than 100 young software engineers, each sitting with a wirelessly connected laptop. Markoff also covers the elderly and aging market.
Vgo’s robots are being used in this area today -- execs envision their robots being used by family members to pay visits and offer help to elderly parents, allowing them to remain independent longer. Willow Garage's PR2 robot is also being used for the elderly and Georgia Tech has been making some progress. They're also working on a number of capabilities for people who have physical disabilities. More on their latest here.
August 16, 2010
Singularity Summit Promises to Stimulate Your BrainThe Singularity Summit, held in San Francisco this past weekend, is not new to me since I helped market the very first one, which was held at Stanford in 2006. The goal of the first Summit was to further the understanding and discussion about the Singularity concept and the future of human technological progress.
The idea over time is to improve people’s thinking about the future and increasing public awareness of radical technologies under development today and of the transformative implications of such technologies understood as part of a larger process.
It was founded as a venue for leading thinkers to explore the subject, whether that be as a scientist, enthusiast, or skeptic.
Speaking of skeptics, the last talk of the event was by James Randi, who some think of as a magician, but he is also known as a debunker.
I first learned of Randi's work at TED where he spoke several years ago. The title defunker equates to his strong and very vocal skepticism, which he writes and speaks about extensively. Fascinating as ever, Randi has the ability to draw you into his logic even if you don't necessarily agree with him.
Gregory Stock is a renown biophysicist who I had the pleasure of meeting at PopTech in Maine more than five years ago. What I love about Stock is his ability to move from academic, physicist and author to entrepreneur and philosopher all within a one hour window. He also has a very engaging curiosity about random things outside his world when you talk to him one-on-one that most experts lack. He wrote the book Redesigning Humans, which is considered a transhumanist classic, now eight years ago.
You can't have a Singularity Conference without a bunch of Artificial Intelligence (AI) geeks running around, which at this event, included Eliezer Yudkowsky (also a profilic writer about human rationality), Ben Goertzel, who is Chief Scientist of AI firm Novamente and Ray Kurzweil, who joined us remotely via video and as always, delivered a rivoting and mind-expanding talk.
My favorite line all day was a Kurzweil one: "My feelings about the brain, the mind and AI - If it quacks like a duck, it is a duck. If it seems conscious it is conscious" -- meaning a conscious being.
Below Ben Goertzel on the Singularity Summit Stage
Psychologists Irene Pepperberg and John Tooby (considered a pioneer of evolutionary psychology) also brought their perspective to the table as did neurobiologists Terrence Sejnowski, Brian Litt, Dennis Bray and Demis Hassabis, who is a research fellow at the Gatsby Computational Neuroscience Unit at the University College of London.
"Futurists like to predict how genetic engineering and computational implants will allow humans to become a super-species, but few examine the application of similar technologies to nonhumans," says Pepperberg.
David Hanson, who I first met at TED more than six years ago, is a well known roboticist. When I first met him, he was working at Disney Imagineering and while you may not think of a roboticist as an artist, this one is. Formerly a sculptor, he has merged his artistic way of looking at the world with his left brain ability to design and develop a robot with human-like expressive capabilities. He holds a patent on Frubber, a novel material that imitates the look and feel of human skin. I had an opportunity to touch it while I was talking to their very human robot named Zeno. (a video of my experience coming later this month).
Below David Hanson and his very human-like robot Zeno, who has a sexy British accent and has accepted a date with me as soon as he is given 'legs' - I told David I'd fly to Dallas for the occasion.
Also on the agenda was Anita Goel, who works at the intersection of physics, nanotechnology and medicine, Lance Becker, a Professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and Venezuelan born Jose Luis Cordeiro who is the Director of the Venezuela node of the Millenium Project. Jose, who I met at the cocktail party the night before the event, has been working in Asia. Prior to that however, he lived in Ecuador for a year around the time the currency changed over to the dollar.
Engaging and witty on stage, Steve Mann doesn't look like your ordinary professor. A pioneer in the study and practice of virtual reality, he has been dubbed the world's first cyborg. He even published a book with its name in the title: Cyborg: Digital Destiny and Human Possibility in the Age of the Wearable Computer. Together with collaborator Ryan Janzen, a Canadian researcher, scientist and composer, they demoed the very powerful and mesmorizing Hydraulophone, a tonal acoustic musical instrument played by direct physical contact with water where sound is generated or affected hydraulically.
Below Toronto-based Steve Mann is engaging, interactive and wows the audience with his examples of virtual reality and demo of the Hydraulophone on stage.
Other impressive talks from other disciplines included Shane Legg, who won the 2008 Canadian Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence Research Prize, Ellen Heber-Katz whose research focuses on molecular biology and genetics of healing, and Ramez Naam, who is the author of More Than Human: Embracing the Promise of Biological Enhancement.
Since I'm a right brain, I must admit that my favorite part of the day was playing the Hydraulophone, which I'm doing below with Ryan Janzen's guidance and interacting with Hanson's robot, the very endearing Zeno.
August 16, 2010 in America The Free, Conference Highlights, Europe, Events, On Education, On Health, On Innovation, On People & Life, On Robotics, On Science, On Technology, On the Future | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
August 11, 2010
Medical Trends: Tech Advancements is Making Everything SmallerEverything is getting smaller from assisted living contact lenses to ensure you don't take the wrong medication when you get older to nanobots performing a number of medical functions.
Basic nanomachines are already in use today with nanobots being the next generation of nanomachines. Nanobots will be able to autonomously move through our system and perform micro-surgery as they go. As we 'go smaller,' nanobots will not only work inside of us, but they'll perform miracles on the lab side as well.
Engineers have been able to shrink a laboratory onto a chip as well as well as turn a cell phone into a microscope. We'll also be able to use nanobots to augment our blood supply and our immune system, as well as clean out our arteries.
Other developments I learned in a lecture by Stanford's Daniel Kraft who was addressing Singularity University students at NASA's Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, were around regenerative medicine, stem cell research and bone marrow transplants.
In treating cancer, there are many more targeted treatments happening, such as more specific, and less invasive diagnostics. They're doing research with animals, where dogs can detect through 'smell' whether someone is 'diseased' or not. They're currently working on nano-based noses that can very reliably predict who has disease and who doesn't. In the future, a breathalizer test may be enough to detect whether someone has cancer or not.....and a dog's nose might be your screen.
Stem Cells allow you to do a number of important things, including re-grow skin and build new limbs. Merely turning on the right genes in the right order allows for the possibility of re-creating a new limb if you have lost one.
In order to be a stem cell, the cell has to be able to self renew as well as give rise to mature, specialized cells. As for stem cell sources, you can harvest stem cells through bone marrow as well as through your blood and other places.
"Stem cells seem to know where to go and what to do when put in the right environment," says Daniel. He gives us examples of regrowth and re-creation using stem cells, including the possibility of rebuilding a new bladder using your own cells on a scaffold. There are so many patients who die every year waiting for an organ. Imagine being able to re-create organs so the tragedy of lack of organs or the inability to recreate them is a thing of the past?
June 11, 2010
Gideon Diagnoses Infectious Diseases & MoreI learned a bit about Gideon's product at this year's Israel Conference. Gideon is an easy to use online application, updated weekly, that helps you diagnose infectious diseases and stay up to date on the latest trends in epidemiology, treatment and microbiology. More in the video below.
June 03, 2010
Solar Technology Panelists Strut their Stuff: Get Out The SunSolar panelists talk about the industry and where they fit in. We learn that 17% of SCE's portfolio is now renewable, solar makes up 6% of their portofilio, which will grow substantially over the next few years. Geo-thermal is 57%; Wind is 26%; Biomass is 7% and Small Hydro is 4%. They would like to double their renewable portfolio.
Co-founder of HelioFocus Dr. Ori Zik has raised $20 million of venture money so far. They focus on boosting conventional power plants with solar steam (as long as the technology is located less than one mile from the power plant). Zik sees tremendous opportunities in Asia and has recently signed a deal with the Chinese. What makes them unique? Zik says: 2 kinds of DNA. The new CEO is 35 years old, so we blend youth with experience and we don't take No for an answer."
Capstone's CEO Darren Jamieson gives an overview of the Company, which manufactures micro-turbines. It was founded about 20 years ago with the concept of making a hybrid vehicle, but has always been ahead of its time. As such, they moved to the stationary power business and has grown 20% year over year, despite the difficulties in the economy.
Because there is only one moving part, it's a great application for moving solar dishes. The technology can run on multiple fuel types. Even though the manufacturing is done in California, their largest market is Europe. They currently get 30% + efficiency for heating and/or cooling buildings, which is less than a five year payback for their customers. Now Capstone is moving into new areas such as the Marine Market and the solar concentration market.