Business up front, science out back

This blog post was co-authored by Mike Brichta, MSU WRAC Professional Writing. He has been interning with T&T since June 2015.

There is an emerging sector that combines healthcare with technology, attempting to assist in lifestyle choices to improve the management of chronic conditions like diabetes or habits like smoking. Human beings hate to change established behaviour. Even when our health is at risk we refuse to change our ways because we think we know better than what the evidence suggests. Many of us struggle to change our behaviour or simply do not attempt to at all.

Despite the illogical nature of this, it seems to be universal and very hard to crack. In addition to the difficulties we have in changing habits, we are often also bad at receiving criticism and often lack the necessary self-discipline to live a healthier lifestyle. Any of these issues (which can sometimes occur in combination) makes changing a person’s behaviour a very difficult task.

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Superchickens: falling back in love with TED talks

I have recently re-discovered TED talks on my commute to work and I would like to share the latest one I have watched.

Why it’s time to forget the pecking order at work

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Geeking out: how to get to Pluto

We got very excited by all the news about Pluto but felt that nine-and-a-half years is just too long to get there! We want to see a probe landing there sooner than that! So Alastair helped us to understand acceleration, energy, time and space and calculated that it would take 51 days to get to Pluto (in a straight line) with 1 meter/second acceleration (this is a tenth of the acceleration on Earth, due to gravity). Of course accelerating only for half the distance so our little spaceship wouldn’t crash into Pluto.

alastair calculates

Oh, and we probably need to come up with a new type of energy source to be able to do that.

Today we celebrate maths and physics! Thank you Alastair!

What will Apple Pay mean for banks?

As Apple Pay launches in the UK, there’s a surprising array of things you can buy. Apps that are taking payment via the technology include Just Eat (takeaway food) and Waitrose, plus any retailer (and they’re usually small and agile) that uses the iZettle transaction system.

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Designing a problem, so you can design a solution

Wearables are huge – everyone is talking about how to make the plethora of increasingly commercially-viable technologies into successful products for the mass market. Crowdfunding site already carry a broad array of products, from futuristic to unfathomable. Here’s a range of examples:

Guess which one(s) might be a joke.

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Inter-Agency Football Tournament: showcasing Talent

It was about 30º in London on Friday. As most people who’ve visited our great city in a heatwave will know, London is utterly unprepared to cope with summer. Irrespective of the sanity of it all, we headed to an inter-agency charity football tournament in Shoreditch.

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Design is the skill at the heart of innovation and development.

Designers are everywhere. They not only designed the interface on your phone, but the alignment of the buttons and holes, and the chips that make it run. Designers hold job titles like “Systems Support Manager”, “Full Stack Developer” as well as “Visual Designer” or “User Interface Engineer”. Designers use words, bricks and drills as well as sketch pads and Photoshop.

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MSU interns INSURED for a great summer: BANK on it!

Ok, puns over, I promise.

Last week, three students from Michigan State University joined the T&T team for the summer. Mike Brichta, Sarah Lipworth and Erin VanSloten will be here until late July.

For the second time, students picked from the Writing, Rhetoric & American Cultures department by Professor Jeff Grabill have joined us to learn how the skills they are building at college relate to the real world, specifically in a design consultancy. Michael and Sarah are majoring in Professional Writing, whilst Erin double majors in Experience Architecture and Graphic Design.

We’ll be sharing some of their (really great) work with you here, and you may well see them out and about with us.

Good results, but could tri harder

Competing in sporting events is more than just taking part – it’s about finding out how you did: in comparison to others, to your own record, or against professional standards. Now that everyone has at least a smartphone in their pocket (whether it’s for music or to monitor your heart rate) it’s possible to use technology to tell the amateur competitor a huge range of information about their performance.

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