Illuminating Conversations at Talk Is Free Theatre

Loved chatting about everything from quantum physics to Chopin at the Mady Centre for the Illuminating Conversations series! Still can’t believe it was sold-out three months in advance (I can hardly believe people would pay to have me rant at them for an hour and a half…)! Thanks so much to Beth Foster and Lin Wilson for inviting me as their guest speaker.

Illuminating Conversations

400 PPM Documentary Released!

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It is with an unimaginable degree of excitement that I am announcing the release of my documentary on climate change, “400 PPM! After years of researching, filming, writing, fundraising, and editing, it is finally done. I never imagined that what started as a small project for me would end up receiving the support of people like author and activist Margaret Atwood, former astronaut Col. Chris Hadfield, anthropologist and famed explorer Dr. Wade Davis, and Nobel laureate environmentalist Dr. Brad Bass, and I am so incredibly grateful to my friends, family, and community for all of the incredible support they have given me throughout this journey. 

Almost two and a half years ago, I traveled to the Canadian and Greenlandic Arctic and witnessed climate change firsthand. In the days leading up to the expedition, I was very excited. I couldn’t wait to see polar bears, I wanted to cruise next to majestic icebergs, and I really hoped I would spot a puffin or two.

I wasn’t expecting to learn that the icebergs I was seeing could be some of the last, I wasn’t expecting to meet Inuit people whose livelihoods and lives have been taken away by climate change, and I certainly wasn’t expecting to learn that it was hardly their fault – it was ours. I realized then that those icebergs were our modern day dinosaurs and that we, as a society, were the metaphorical asteroid ushering their demise. 

The stories I was told of the devastating effects of climate change on the people who live in the Arctic while I was on my expedition struck a note inside me that the statistics I learned about at school never could. I wanted to do something, but when I got home, it seemed that others had become tone-deaf to the issue I cared so much about. So, I decided to share the stories of the Inuit people I met in an attempt to show others what I had witnessed during my expedition. 400 PPM tells those stories. 

The documentary is available to view at www.mayab.ca/400PPM. I hope you enjoy it!

Canada’s Smartest Person Recap…In Social Media!

Tonight’s Season Premiere of Canada’s Smartest Person was amazing to watch (at a family friend’s house of course; I don’t have tv)! They sure did cram that 18-hour day of filming into an action-packed half an hour show! Didn’t get a chance to watch it? It’s on the CBC website at http://www.cbc.ca/smartestperson/ or on Youtube at https://youtu.be/9gjKsjDmaRg

Here were some of the highlights, as captured by Twitter:

 

Canada’s Smartest Person?

I’m going to be on the CBC again, this time to find out whether I’m Canada’s Smartest Person​! (Of course, such shows are clearly highly reliable methods of determining things of this nature :) )

Tune in on Oct 4 at 8PM if you’d like to watch me participating in a variety of interesting challenges.

http://www.cbc.ca/smartestperson/participants

Catch me on Canada's Smartest Person on Oct. 4 at 8PM on the CBC

Catch me on Canada’s Smartest Person on Oct. 4 at 8PM on the CBC

An Hour With Chris Hadfield

***DOCUMENTARY UPDATE***

I had the incredible honour of interviewing Col. Chris Hadfield for my documentary on climate change in the Arctic and its impact on the Inuit. My favourite quote from the interview:

“It is always far easier to believe something than it is to understand.  You can believe something in a second, and then you don’t have to do any more effort. You don’t have to think. You don’t have to do the research. You don’t have to work. You can just believe something. But if you build the premises of your life on uninformed belief, then you’re going to make terrible decisions. Ignorance is blissful but ignorance is a terrible way to go through life.

The real key [to solving climate change] is education and awareness and understanding. What is it that is changing? Why do 97% of scientists in the world say it is changing?

As a young Canadian you have the job of learning.”

The documentary, 400PPM will be released in the beginning of November at http://www.mayab.ca/400ppm

An Interview with Col. Hadfield

An Interview with Col. Hadfield

Back to School!

It’s that time of year again…time to welcome new Vikings to Barrie North Collegiate! The Link Crew Leaders are ready!

Link Crew Leaders

Link Crew Leaders

A Rainstorm With Margaret Atwood

***DOCUMENTARY UPDATE***

I had a delightful chat, partly in the pouring rain, with the brilliant Margaret Atwood about climate change for 400PPM.

“No, it’s not too late. We’re realizing the danger, but we’re a bit behind. It would have been better to have done it in 1972, but I think the time for climate change deniers is over… It’s up to smart people like you to figure out what’s happening with our tax dollars … We’re going to have to become very inventive in the next few decades. We’re going to need smart people thinking outside the box.”

The documentary, 400PPM will be released in the beginning of November at http://www.mayab.ca/400ppm

A Conversation with Margaret Atwood

A Conversation with Margaret Atwood

A Meeting with Minsky

I made a quick 23.5 hour stop in Boston on the way home from tracking near-Earth asteroids at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Met Marvin Minsky (!!!) at his home in Boston and had a most insightful chat on topics ranging from Deep Learning to quantum computing. Also visited MIT media lab. What a day.

A Meeting with Marvin Minsky

A Meeting with Marvin Minsky

A Summer of Asteroid-Tracking

As my 40-day summer adventure tracking near-Earth asteroids at the University of Colorado at Boulder draws to a close, I find myself experiencing an overwhelming feeling of sadness. Sure, it has been, by far, the most intellectually and physically challenging experience I have ever had in my life. Between countless hours of graduate-level mathematics, physics, and astronomy lectures; struggling through a constant onslaught of problem sets; writing every line of code in image analysis programs to least squares plate reduction programs; getting telescope time at 2 in the morning; sleeping for an average of 4 hours a day for a month and a half; writing thousands of lines of code to do the orbit determination for a near-Earth asteroid; and penning and entire research paper on my findings in just 18 hours, my time in Colorado was grueling.

But…I also experienced guest lectures from Nobel Laureates, I encrypted messages on an original Enigma machine, I was fully immersed in the natural beauty of Boulder, and I spent 40 days with the most bright and inspiring group of young people from all around the world in my life.

Needless to say, my summer in Colorado has been the best one yet.

When I get a chance, I’ll upload my paper and orbit determination code on GitHub. For now, here were some of the highlights: