Monday, October 24, 2011

The Spider Effect

Do you believe that trivial events can sometimes have far reaching consequences? If so, you may subscribe to the butterfly effect. While this could occur on a global scale, it probably happens many times in our own lives.

This hit home for me recently while having a bath. It would have been a non-event, but I stupidly chose to use my smart phone while bathing. This created the necessary conditions for a bad outcome, but it required a catalyst. The culprit in this case was a tiny spider hanging from a tiny thread directly over the tub. I waved it away a few times, but then it suddenly appeared inches from my face. In mock panic I swung at it with my left hand that held the phone. On the follow through, the phone got submerged. My mind blanked for a second before it hit me. I yanked the phone out of the water, but the damage was done. I did everything you're not supposed to do when trying to save a phone from water damage. You should keep it turned off and buried in rice for a day to try and dry it out, but really the damage is done (here's some advice for resuscitating a water damaged phone). If you're fortunate enough to get it working again, internal corrosion will likely take its toll in a few months and the phone will be toast anyway. My phone miraculously recovered for a short window of time that allowed me to backup its data, but soon thereafter it went dark.

So, where's the Butterfly (Spider) effect in all of this? Well, who would expect a harmless, tiny spider floating on a thread above a bath tub to wreak so much havoc in one's life? This episode has convinced me to get Psychiatric counselling for cell phone addiction.  The panic I experienced shows that my life has sunk to an unnatural dependence on having a smart phone.
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Monday, June 27, 2011

Clothing For a Digital World

There's a quiet revolution happening in the world of Clothing Technology, and when these innovations become mainstream there'll be another cultural shift that's again rooted in digital invention. This in conjunction with new fabrics and manufacturing techniques will allow for highly personalized and functional clothing for various occupations, sports, and other day to day activities.

Fabrics are being developed that are more indestructible, impenetrable, temperature, uv, and radiation resistant, and digital capable. Smart Shirts have already been created that can monitor body temperate, heart and repiratory rates, or immediately identify the location of a bullet wound - soldiers, patients, and athletes would be the obvious beneficiaries of such technology. Invisibility or cloaking suits have already been invented with varying degrees of success as illustrated by the work of Berkeley Scientists.

A shirt with embedded voice activation, GPS, mapping and communications technologies could provide wearers with queried or directed information about their environment similar to present day smart phone apps.

Fashion ideas will likely reflect this digital shift in clothing function, and perhaps many of us will one day wear a Tron Legacy type outfit that reflects function and fashion, and looks good on a light cycle...


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Tuscan Villa

Image: Heather Keenan

Good people, good wine, and good food. Beautiful language and landscapes. Why haven't I gone to Tuscany yet? Sometimes we sacrifice our dreams in the name of being pragmatic.