New Thing #250: PechaKucha

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PechaKucha started in Tokyo in the early 2000s as a way for some British architects to get a bunch of creative thinkers together in one room. And then give their presenters exactly 20 slides to talk to for exactly 20 seconds each.

The result is a frenetic evening of people giving their all to show you just how passionate they are about a single topic. Any topic.

I watched people speak about transhumanisn, gorilla gardening and social currency vs. profit among a host of design and artistic endeavors.

The crowd may have been mostly made up of the usual design crowd but the discourse was changed up. The pretentiousness that sometimes follows such a crowd melted away into something bigger.

There’s something infectious about listening to someone who truly loves a topic and wants to share that with you. That’s what PechaKucha meant to me.

The best testament I can make toward the exercise is that I walked away wanting to get up there and present something myself next time.

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New Thing #96: Konami Pre-E3 Press Conference

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I heard about the Konami Pre-E3 Press Conference a while ago on the Bombcast over at GiantBomb.com and knew I wanted to go immediately. Not because I’m a huge Konami fan (just watch my video on what I thought of Metal Gear Solid 4) but because they’re supposed to be famous for their unintentional hilarity. 

This did not disappoint on that level. What is it about Japanese culture that humour just doesn’t translate at all to Western audiences?

It also didn’t disappoint on the food or drink level either. It turned out to be full on open bar and even had some well put together nibblies to munch on. And here I was thinking it was open to the public.

Thankfully my friend Tom got us in using his “press” credentials or else I would have been turned away at the door. 

As for the announcements themselves? Meh. Other than the flaming Contra “C” logo at the end I can’t see myself excited for much coming out of Konami this year.

New Thing #91: Wings and Wheels Heritage Festival

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I seem to recall going to a remote control airplane show with my folks when I was a kid but I think the closest I came to an airshow was watching the planes go overhead at the CNE one year.

The Wings and Wheels Heritage Festival isn’t so much about what’s happening up in the sky, as it is about getting up close and personal with some vintage aircraft.

Two things struck me most today:

1. Fighter jets are f’n huge
2. Heritage plane volunteers are 90% grizzled old men

I did have my heart set on being able to sit in the cockpit of a Snowbird though, and at the last minute they decided they weren’t letting people in it. However, seeing a fighter jet do a hairpin turn in the sky right about my car made up for it.

New Thing #70: Maker Faire

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Maker Faire is dubbed as the world’s largest do-it-yourself festival. I’d call it more like The One of Kind Show for nerds. This weekend, there was a Mini-Maker Faire held at the Brickworks.

There were home-made 3D printers, video games, robots, jewelry, artwork, clothing, computers, telescopes and more. For god’s sake, they had a “Learn How To Solder” station set up for the kids!

Audrey went ballistic when she saw the robot in the video spring into action. She sprinted a good hundred yards yelling excitedly “ROBOT! ROBOT! ROBOT!” while I chased after her. Any other situation I would have been annoyed instead of proud.

I just wish I could have gotten there sooner when there was a little more going on, but one thing’s certain, I’m going back next year for sure!

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