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Giles Crouch

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Cassette Player
Nostalgia

The Technologies We Loved & Why

How nostalgia for old technology forms our social bonds Remember those evenings when you sat by your boom box, fingers ready to leap into action to press the play/record buttons on the tape deck as soon as the song started? You just had to get that latest hit song recorded! You’d hope with bated breath that the DJ wouldn’t talk into the start of the song. And hit stop before the ads came on. Perhaps you took a computer science course in junior high, and you learned Logos and made a ping pong game? You knew just what to do when the cassette tape got stuck in the player, either jammed up from a rewind or from just playing that tape over and over. Ah, those orange-coloured foam headphone covers. Our parents telling us to be careful walking into traffic. Today we have hundreds of millions of songs of all

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Mind

Why Does Technology Seem so Overwhelming?

Robots taking over manufacturing jobs. Autonomous cars and delivery trucks. Drones in warfare but also delivering aid in disasters. Webcams on our porches. Surveillance capitalism and our privacy. Disinformation on social media, doxing and trolls. Cryptocurrencies, scams and hackers. Constant notifications. Augmented and virtual reality. Genetic engineering. Nanotechnologies clearing clogs in our arteries. Brain computer interfaces. And so much more. We are feeling overwhelmed with all the technology come at us today. Yes, we are overwhelmed. You’re not alone. But why do we feel so overwhelmed? How did we get to this point and what can we do as technology inevitably embeds itself deeper into our lives? There are, I think, two primary reasons we feel so overwhelmed. The first has to do with our ability as a species, to adapt. The second has to do with technology itself, specifically digital technologies and their exponential advancement. Our Ability to Adapt

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Longevity

The good things social media is giving the world

As a digital anthropologist, I’ve spent a lot of time in online communities, studying social media as well as netnographic research and humans using technology in the real world. I’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly over the past decade. While much may seem bad, I’ve seen a fair bit of good and I’m starting to see some broader positive societal trends coming out of social media. Let’s take a look. Animals: From cats being mean to silly and cute dogs and wildlife caught in the act, we can see a shift across many countries and cultures in how we see animals. From pets to wildlife. Although there isn’t any hard scientific evidence yet, anecdotally, we can suggest that humans, who are also animals, are perhaps evolving more meaningful relationships with our fellow animals ad we learn about them and how we can interact. The good that may

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Healthy Recipes

Orange spiced hot chocolate

Who doesn’t like a steaming mug of hot chocolate on a cold day? Zest it up with some orange! Try this spiced-up twist on an old school classic. With a great blend of aromatic spices, dark chocolate and a slight nuance of orange, this winter favourite no longer need be a guilty pleasure. Share with family, friends or carollers at your door; either way, it’s a “no guilt” way to get your chocolate fix. INGREDIENTS 4 SERVINGS | PREPARATION 15 MINS PLUS OVERNIGHT » 1L 1% or soy milk » 7 oz dark chocolate — chopped up » 1½ tsp coco powder » zest of 1 orange » 3 cardamom pods » ½ cinnamon stick » 2 cloves » ½ Thai red chili » pinch of kosher salt PREPARATION Place chocolate and milk in a medium sauce pot and whisk over medium heat until chocolate has completely melted. Toast cardamom

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Longevity

Mr Speaker! Behind the scenes with the Speaker of the House

It’s not that you haven’t heard of the Speaker of the House. It’s just that you don’t know much about that role in government. Most speakers like to keep it that way. They are happy to stay out of the limelight. For many Canadians, the only time we see the Speaker is on news clips or, if you’re a political news junkie, on C-Span when the House is in session. The Hon. Geoff Regan has served 24 years as a Member of Parliament, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and four years as Speaker of the House in the first Trudeau government. I wanted to take Canadians behind the scenes of the Speaker of the House to understand the history and importance of the role. While we’re talking, Geoff has CNN on mute and I am streaming Jeff Bezos launch into space. Geoff served as Speaker from December of 2015 to

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Longevity

Rules for a new age of technology

Technology has always been a double-edged sword. Without regulation, the promise of information technology may be overwhelmed by its inevitable dark side. In early, 2018, Ibrahim Diallo, went to his office in Los Angeles. His access card denied him entry, so a guard let him in. But his access to his email and computer had also been turned off. A short time later he was given notice that he was fired. The company’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) system had terminated his contract. It took the company three weeks to figure out what happened. It started with a human error. His former supervisor had not updated his contract in the system. The AI simply followed the rules, coldly and inhumanly. Joan, who just turned 82, lives independently in her active living condo on the outskirts of Toronto. She’s healthy but can be prone to dizziness and risks falling. One day, she falls.

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Longevity

How robots will help the elderly

Yes, the robots are coming. But they may be a little friendlier and more helpful than we thought.  Across the world, our populations are ageing, except in Africa and India and while most of Asia has a younger population, Japan and China like North America are facing a rapidly ageing population and not enough young folks coming up to meet the care needs of the ageing, let alone many other jobs in these countries.  Perhaps no other country is advanced on this front with robots than Japan. There’s Pepper the little robot and Paro, a furry seal. Pepper is designed to be a companion to the elderly who live alone. Aside from being able to carry on some fairly decent conversations, it can also remind them when to take medications and when they haven’t eaten in a while. If set periods of time pass with no engagement with Pepper, the

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Longevity

Tips for Protecting Your Digital Privacy

Every day it seems, we hear about yet another tech company suffering a data breach and the stress of an identity theft kicks in to our brains. As we increasingly spend more time online from our smartphones and tablets to laptops and TV set top boxes for streaming, it means more apps and services tracking us. Protecting your digital privacy and online data has become more important. So we’ve put together some steps you can take to protect your data and your privacy. Facebook The big blue elephant in the room. Facebook had over 500 Million perspn records stolen recently and perhaps typically annoying of Facebook, they’re not even going to tell you if it was your data that was stolen. When it comes to tracking personal data, packaging it up and selling it to anyone who wants it, Facebook is the worst. So what can you do? For starters,

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Healthy Recipes

Peppy Springtime Risotto

Spring Risotto Recipe Risotto is a labour of love. It requires time, patience and attention, but will reward you tenfold. It is so versatile. The method given here up until the rice is cooked “al dente” will always be the same and can be done hours or even a day or two in advance. From that point on I invite you to play! Try a Meyer lemon and fennel frond risotto, or in the fall roasted squash and pumpkin seed. Maybe you like Parmesan cheese more than cheddar. It’s all up to you. INGREDIENTS » 500 g Arborio risotto rice » 2 L chicken or vegetable stock » 500 ml white wine » 2 Tbsp olive oil » 2 cloves of garlic » 2 medium shallots » 1/2 bunch local asparagus, cut into rounds » 8 shrimp, chopped and tails removed » 150 g sharp or smoked cheddar, grated »

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