Monday, March 5, 2012

My Weekend

I am back on my feet, over that awful cold I had! And here's what I've been up to over this past gorgeous weekend we just had:

Saturday afternoon: Spent the day with one of my dearest friends Wendy Wang of The Sweet Hurt. She helped me get a library card, and we sat in a park on a hill sipping smoothies and catching up while staring out into the shimmering Pacific. Pretty sweet date, right?


a panoramic view of our park

(I love seeing old couples sitting together like this)

Saturday evening:

I attended the Singularity University Conference. What is Singularity University all about, you ask? I had no idea, until I actually attended the event. This sums it up pretty well:

The purpose of the 2 ½ day event is to educate a select group of leaders on the exponentially growing technologies that are soon going to change our world. Advances in fields such as robotics, AI, computing, synthetic biology, 3D printing, medicine and nanomaterials are allowing small teams to do what was only once possible by governments and large corporations. These exponential technologies will allow us to address many of the grand challenges: Education, Water, Food, Shelter, Health and Security. The next billion dollar businesses will be built at the intersection of these exponential technologies.

There was a panel discussion on how Hollywood and Silicon Valley have affected science and technology in the past, present, and ultimately the future. It was so fascinating! will.i.am was one of the speakers.... and all I can say is, f***ing WOW. I was blown away. He is crazy smart, and so poetic when he speaks. The audience clung on to his every word. He stressed the "marriage of science and art", and how we needed more people to do just that to create new ways of life for us that are better for our earth. But also brought up the scary fact that when his niece grows up in the ghetto and becomes a woman, her iPhone will be smarter than her. We're coming into an age of robotics, which is so amazing and yet frightening at the same time.

And speaking of robotics, the next speaker kidded, "If you can't beat robots, become them!" But what his company (whose name I lamely can't remember) created is no joke at all. Two handicapped people in wheelchairs came on stage. They've lost all mobility in their legs from accidents in their life, and were told they would never walk again. They then strapped themselves into essentially what was a robot. And with walking poles in hand, the robot put them back on their feet again, and moved their legs so that they could walk across the stage! When they stood up, tears welled in all of our eyes. It was truly miraculous to witness the joy in these two peoples' eyes. The fact that they can be back on eye level with other people again, not constrained to a chair any longer!


2 of my other favorites at the show

A car of the future. The Mercedes-Benz Biome. It's materials are actually grown! And the vehicle emits pure oxygen, making it one with its surrounding (a.k.a. Earth). The body of the car was inspired by the cavities and shape of a ram's skull.
You can read more about it Here.

This is an iPad app that is available for free called Fit Freeway Lite.

You place your iPad on the magazine rack of your stationary bike, elliptical machine, or treadmill. The app sees where your head is. Based on how fast you're working out affects the speed of your car. And by leaning/moving your head you can steer. I gave it a whirl at the conference and didn't want to stop! It gives that feeling of running on a hamster wheel in a gym a feeling of purpose. Such a good idea. You can read more about it Here.

Sunday:

Mike & I attended a brunch which I feel deserves it's own post. Plus this one is getting super long as it is! So for now, I'll just share a photo of what we ate! ;)


Mike experimented with this scrumptiously rustic pasta!
OMG

And it all ended with a marathon of watching The Wire.

Follow will.i.am's inspiring blog here.

Today I'll be listening to

while I exercise with my new Fit Freeway app!

love,
p. ahn

6 comments:

  1. Sounds like you had an eventful weekend! Parks are one of my favorite places to go, although I haven't been to one in a while, and that pasta does look mighty delicious. :) It would be neat if car companies could one day make cars that actually benefited the earth rather than harmed it.

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  2. interesting weekend i must say ..

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  3. Beautiful day in the park. Looks like the perfect time for a 'Spider' (soda and ice-cream in 1 cup). Your choice of flavour combination. Though I'm at a loss as to which soda goes with the brown-bread ice-cream you mention in a previous blog :)

    Biome is a wonderful concept!
    A tree harvesting the sun's energy; the Biome's life's blood tapping into and storing that energy… amazing green credentials!

    Just had a skim through that soundtrack over on Amazon - nice mixed bag. Sven Libaek's music and the film's protagonist makes me think of Jacques Cousteau's documentaries. And the Zombies' love song ♥♫:)

    Your meal looks delicious. And eating straight out of the pan must save on washing up. Good tip!

    As for how much you write, the more the better, Priscilla. I love snack sized food for thought. As you see, I've taken liberties and said a lot too. Hope you don't think it's a "… no one can say nothing, which I guess means they'll say something…" kind of occasion.

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  4. Was that conference only in regards to robotics or did they talk about science in a more general sense as well? If the latter, that's totally up my alley of what I'm interested in doing!

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  5. Hi Priscilla!
    I'm glad that you posted about Singularity. I checked out the site and I am maybe even considering applying there in a few years! How did you hear about the conference?

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  6. Hi Camiori!

    A friend had extra tickets to an event here in LA for it. I was blown away at what the human mind can discover and innovate.

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