Friday 26 February 2010

Ontario's Olympic Tower of Mind Power

cntower night.jpg

Attendees of the Vancouver Olympics can manipulate the lighting on Toronto's CN Tower using their mind.

In 2007, the tallest freestanding structure in the Western hemisphere was outfitted with an computer-controlled LED illumination system capable of producing 16.7 million colors.  Each LED fixture can be individually programmed, allowing for an endless variety of visual effects.

At the Ontario Pavilion in Vancouver, participants can control the tower%u2019s lighting by means of electrodes monitoring their brainwaves.

"The lighting is controlled by two types of brain wave. Alpha waves - achieved by relaxation - bring the lights on the CN Tower closer to the observation deck, and beta waves - achieved by concentration - cause the lights to spread out and flicker so they appear to be spinning quickly around the tower."


Image courtesy of La Tour CN.


If you can't be the world's largest freestanding structure, you can still be the world's largest Jedi Mind-trick Toy. Thanks to Olympic Fever, Torontonians can now wonder, "What were those West Coasties thinking?" and then just look up at the tower to find out!

Tuesday 2 February 2010

Paying Zero in Hard Cash

According to Anand, the idea was first conceived by an Indian physics professor at the University of Maryland, who, in his travels around India, realized how widespread bribery was and wanted to do something about it. He came up with the idea of printing zero-denomination notes and handing them out to officials whenever he was asked for kickbacks as a way to show his resistance. Anand took this idea further: to print them en masse, widely publicize them, and give them out to the Indian people. He thought these notes would be a way to get people to show their disapproval of public service delivery dependent on bribes. The notes did just that. The first batch of 25,000 notes were met with such demand that 5th Pillar has ended up distributing one million zero-rupee notes to date since it began this initiative. Along the way, the organization has collected many stories from people using them to successfully resist engaging in bribery.

Photo Credit: 5th Pillar

Monday 1 February 2010

Wordle This

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