Community Sustainability 

ideaCity 2010: Day 2


See daily recap here: Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3

50 Presenters, 3 Legendary Parties, a Ton of Inspiration. Ideas Change The World. @ideacitynews

We are still amazed at how real and down to earth all the presenters here are. Having a smaller sized event in a comfortable venue allows for intimate interaction and deep conversations among presenters and attendees. The Royal Conservatory of Music Koemer Hall is a fabulous venue with high ceilings and full-sized glass windows. Moses couldn’t have picked a better spot to hold this year’s ideaCity 2010. What suprised us most is the amount of face time (not the Apple coined term) we got with all the notable presenters.

The noon sessions ended with a few songs and a short inspiritational speech from Neshema Carlebach. Her smooth melodies and gentle, yet strong spirit shine through her soft-spoken presentation and her uplifting performance. She spoke extensively of her father, the late Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach (“Singing Rabbi”), and how he had a profound impact on her life. It was a story about one of her father’s shows at a prison where an inmate with 7 life sentences was in attendance.


Lotus Leaves: Self-Cleaning Technologies


You may have heard that a lot of the technologies we see today are inspired by nature, especially in the nanotechnology space, and the lotus leaf is no exception. If you stare at water droplets enough (like I do everyday as a hobby), you will notice that they “wet” different surfaces, differently. In other words, each droplet maintains a specific shape and contact area with the surface, depending on the delicate balance of forces at the interfaces.

Back to Basics 

Up There

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If you live in the city, I am sure you have seen people hanging midway along the exterior walls of skyscrapers, and you wonder what they are doing up there. Are they cleaning the windows, doing some maintenance work, or just watching people down below who have no idea they are being observed…?

Augmented Reality Nanotechnology 

See-through Circuits


Some of you may have seen our earlier post on the future iPad Looking Glass envisioned by Mac Funamizu. It features a see-through display capable of overlaying digitally-rendered pixels on top of the real objects seen through the transparent glass display. While that gadget may be further down the line, this transparent laptop that Samsung showed off at CES is definitely a big step forward.

The Great Outdoors 

Paradise on Earth


From Paradise Falls to Pandora’s floating “Hallelujah Mountains” (introduced to us through the movies UP and Avatar), there is no doubt that the out-of-the-world imagery shown in these movies appeal to the masses. Whether it is the will to reconnect with nature or the desire for a change of scenery, I am completely sold on these paradise concepts! So I decided to share with you a few out-of-the-world experiences, which as magical as they seem, are just one plane ticket away.


Real Good Blu Dot at Urban Mode

Urban Mode

Last month, Vidafine had the honour of being invited to the Blu Dot showroom opening by Urban Mode owner, Myrlene. The Toronto furniture boutique has added a permanent show floor connected to its existing store space, housing the Minneapolis-based Blu Dot line of products.

After amusing ourselves with the new goodies populating the garage-turned-store-space, we gathered around for an informal speech by Blu Dot CEO, John Christakos. After a few years in Management Consulting, John left his high-paying job to start Blu Dot with two college friends who shared a passion for design and architecture. With an aim to build affordable, but good furniture, Blu Dot was born in 1997. Since then, the three have not only created useful and affordable furniture, but also built the Blu Dot brand through fun ideas and smart marketing campaigns. Some of these include the Good Design is Good Gallery, featuring the simple things in life that are simply good; and the Blu Dot Desktop Clock, which displays on your desktop a different image for each minute that passes by.

The Great Outdoors 

Sounds of Desert Wind


“To design a structure that is sculpted by the shamal, perforated by the sun and that sings the song of the wind.”—Adel Zakout

These are the goals that Adel set out when he was asked to design a structure to be located in Doha, Qatar. Located in the Persian Gulf, with summer temperatures averaging over 40 degrees Celsius and almost no precipitation, this capital city is a true desert in need of a distinctive piece of architecture. The project evolved into the Desert Organ, with its contours blending in with the curvatures of the desert landscape, as if it was carved out by the shamal, or desert wind. Adel also had the walls perforated as if the harsh rays from the burning sun have struck through the big white shell, casting shadows onto the underlying sand. More interestingly, with the many pipes created by these perforations, the entire structure acts as an organ to the shamal, creating an audible tone that brings the structure to life in the middle of desert land.

Duracell Bunnies. And lots of them…


Duracell? Isn’t the pink bunny the Energizer mascot?

After some Wiki-research, it turns out that the Energizer Bunny (the one that plays the drums in sunglasses) is only commonly found in North America. The Duracell Bunnies actually came out first in 1973 and dominate the European and Australian regions. So depending on where you live, you may be familiar with either the Energizer Bunny or the Duracell Bunny! Amazing huh?

Our North American friends must have seen the Energizer Bunny playing the bass drum at some point in their lives. The Duracell Bunnies are often caught doing something other than playing the drums, such as organizing themselves into gangs and engaging in activities like such