Science!


Date Night
Braaaaains Edition
Brain: The Inside Story (Ontario Science Centre)

By Seán O'Sullivan - December 1st, 2014

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My wife loves brains. It’s a strange affectation. Mention a brain in casual conversation with her and she’s likely to blurt out that she once held a human brain (referencing her glory days in grad school where she got to prod at cadavers). As soon as I saw the invite for the preview of the new Brain exhibit running at the Ontario Science Centre from now until March 29, 2015, I knew my fate was sealed for that night.

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Cool Tech
InteraXon
Muse Headband and Calm App

By Jorge Figueiredo - May 2nd, 2014

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Without a doubt, almost everyone I talk to these days complains about being busy – myself included. Between work, children, dwelling upkeep, extra-curricular activities (like volunteer work), and social schedules, it’s no wonder that people rely on their calendars and scheduling apps to make sense of time. You, the reader, can probably sympathize, as you are probably busy, too1; and, like many, probably have trouble trying to calm your mind (which can make sleep a challenging prospect) . InteraXon, a Toronto-based company, has an interesting solution to help train your mind to settle (and have a little fun, too), hopefully giving you a way to cut through the noise of a busy state of mine and aid you in focusing and relaxing your brain. It’s an application called Calm, and it works in tandem with their brain-sensing headband called Muse (which was an Indiegogo success). Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to visit InteraXon, and take Muse and Calm for a spin.

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Contest
Sultans of Science
The Ontario Science Centre

By Jorge Figueiredo - March 13th, 2014

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Photo credit: Ontario Science Centre/JJ Thompson

Many important scientific discoveries were made during the Golden Age of Islamic Science. You can explore some of these for yourself if you head on over to the Ontario Science Centre and check out the enhanced Sultans of Science: 1000 Years of Knowledge Rediscovered exhibition. In fact, Toronto Thumbs would love to help you check it out by sending you and up to four other people to the Science Centre to check it out (plus a few other goodies)! The Sultans of Science is only around until the beginning of June, so if you’re looking for a great way to spend the day, be sure to enter this contest!

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Interviews
Zach Nelson (Ford Motor Company)
When Worlds Collide

By Jorge Figueiredo - September 28th, 2013

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Driving games have been getting better over the years, incorporating more and more from the real world into the videogame to deliver as immersive an experience as possible. But what if the equation was reversed? What if you could bring videogame technology into the car for practical use?

Zach Nelson, rookie Ford Motor Company engineer, has created a shift knob that vibrates, indicating when the drivers should switch gears. On its own, this is a really cool concept; the fact that he installed it in Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 (manual transmission) using a motor from an Xbox 360 controller is off the freakin’ hook.

We were lucky enough to be able to have Zach answer a few questions about this interesting new direction.

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Ormed and Dangerous
The Virtusphere

By Cody Orme - September 17th, 2013

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A few months ago, I posed a bit about the Virtusphere – but I didn’t actually get to try it out. Toronto Thumbs’ freelancer extraordinaire, Cody Orme, took it upon himself to check it out and sent in this write-up. Awesome work, Cody!

Back when I was in high school, I used to watch a lot of Attack of the Show, hosted by G4TV legend, Kevin Pereira. It has long since been cancelled; but one moment that really stood out in my mind was a segment featuring the latest in virtual reality (or VR) gaming with the Virtusphere. Essentially, it is a hollow meshed metal sphere, 10 feet in diameter, decked out with sensors and a VR headset. The device was created by Virtusphere Inc., a company based in Redmond, Washington.

Ever since I saw that episode, I have wanted to try it out. Unfortunately, it always felt like was just a pipe dream, considering it was (and still is) an expensive piece of equipment. However, that all changed when I took my long, overdue trip to the Ontario Science Centre to check out the Game On: 2.0 exhibit.

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Science!
Game On 2.0
Thumbs Goes to the Ontario Science Centre

By Jorge Figueiredo - April 2nd, 2013

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We let people know a few weeks ago that the Ontario Science Centre was holding an exhibition celebrating the history of videogames. Dubbed Game On 2.0, the display (which runs until September 2, 2013) features over 150 playable videogames from the 60’s all the way up to recent titles. Given the fact that Wreck-It Ralph was recently released (which also features videogames from days past), Smallest Thumb and I thought it would be worth a look-see. So, thanks to the nice people at the Ontario Science Centre, we made a Sunday out of it and headed over to Don Mills and Eglinton (on the East side of town) to enjoy an electronic history lesson.

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March Break Ideas
Game On 2.0
Ontario Science Centre

By Jorge Figueiredo - March 11th, 2013

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If you have a hankering for Science, there is no better place to go than the Ontario Science Centre. Located at Eglinton Ave E and Don Mills Rd in Toronto, the Science Centre is a fantastic place full of things to learn. If you have children, the joy of discovery is two-fold, as you get to experience things for yourself and through your kids. What is even more awesome about the Science Centre this year is the inclusion of the Game On 2.0 exhibit.

Basically, this exhibition is the world’s largest celebration of videogames – and it features a ton of awesome displays about game design, development, and production. Basically, you’re stepping into more than 60 years of videogame entertainment history – and it’s pretty much all interactive. Chances are you will find some bit of nostalgia here that will make you weep golden tears of joy – so what are you waiting for? Get ye to this link and go check it out!

Toronto Thumbs will be doing a full report as soon as we sort out our mad scheduling nightmare! Stay tuned!