Monday, August 1, 2011


Summer QS, Cyborg Camp, Urban Shrines

Three awesome things to blog about, they have been collecting in my browser!

First, a follow up from the Downtown Planting Followup: we have discovered who built the 'Guerrilla Shanty'! It's actually an 'urban shrine'. Felix Kalmenson makes Urban shrines: Statements in the cast-off and derelict, and the one at Spadina and D'Arcy is #1 in a series of 4 he is building this summer around Toronto. Pictured to the left is #2, which is here in Kensington Market, I saw it yesterday as part of the Pedestrian Sunday street fair. You can read more at (there is an awesome shot of the one on Spadina & D'Arcy all light up at night with candles!). See also my flickr set: Trash Art.

We had the 5th Toronto Quantified Self last week, I again hosted it at I presented my QS Conference talk on sensors, Alan talk about his Again At Home project, and gave a demo of his home automation/tracking software, which was awesome. A girl whose name I can't remember (and who doesn't seem to have RSVPed?) presented her air pollution sensing device, which was a hacked version of a smoke alarm (very clever!). It's portable and she said that she's tested the air at home, at work, and on her commute, and that she looks at the data nearly every day. It sounded really rad, and she said that she'd post up her data on the internet at some point. One thing that really impressed me is that she said she can see the effect of rush hour traffic in her data - two spikes each day! We also had a wide ranging discussion after each of the presentations, that was totally the best part of the night, I was very impressed with the quality of the discussion! See also Sacha Chua's sketch notes from the evening.

Finally, I've launched CyborgCamp Toronto! It's been a long time in planning, and I couldn't have gotten this far with the help of my friends (since I have no idea what I am doing!), but I think it's going to be an awesome blast! 100+ people will converge to talk about cyborgs and augmentation for a Saturday. It'll be mostly unconference, so the attendees will be stepping forward to lead their own sessions, which always makes for a diverse set of crazy topics, just the kind of thing I love! Tickets are $20 and include lunch, so it's practically free :-)

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