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Brandon Sweet and Pamela Smyth host this weekly podcast from the University of Waterloo including campus news, events, and a feature interview on a subject of interest to the University community. Intro music: Nightstop – Harrison Ford: https://youtu.be/Iij7U6eE5lo License: Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 http://bit.ly/RFP_CClicense Outro music: Eastridge Turnstile by The Loyalist | https://soundcloud.com/the_loyalist_official Music promoted by https://www.free-stock-music.com Creative Comm ...
 
A podcast for the bold and curious to help you navigate our world's accelerating weirdness — about science and the philosophy of it, prehistory and post-humanity and deep time, non-human agency and non-duality, science fiction and the stories we regard as real, complex systems and sustainability (or lack thereof), psychedelics as a form of training for a weirding present and proliferating futures, art and creativity as service and as inquiry. Join paleontologist-futurist Michael Garfield eve ...
 
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show series
 
The changing advice and rules during the pandemic have been confusing for many, and wrong or misleading information on social media can further contribute to our uncertainty. Shana MacDonald is a professor of communication arts and talks about effective communication in a crisis. Region of Waterloo Public Health says the outbreak in the residence b…
 
Professor Kelly Grindrod, from the School of Pharmacy, is pitching in at the vaccination clinic at the Health Sciences Campus. She clears up some misperceptions about the COVID-19 vaccine and the vaccination process. Region of Waterloo Public Health recommends that everyone who lives or works in our residences gets tested for COVID-19. The Equity O…
 
This week we talk to artist, musician, and community organizer Violet Luxton, who works and lives at the intersection of Indigenous wisdom traditions and Indigenous rights movements, #LandBack and #BlackLivesMatter, afro-futurism, yoga, and visionary biotechnological speculation. In a conversation far shorter than the subject matter deserves, we ex…
 
When the pandemic first hit, our colleagues at Co-operative and Experiential Education sprang into action to support co-op students in new and inventive ways, and as Associate Provost Norah McRae tells us, they’re still innovating. There is a plan to deliver more in-person learning, work, and research on campus in the fall. We tell you the winners …
 
Professor Andy Houston and student May Nemat Allah, both from the Theatre and Performance program, discuss their challenges and learning opportunities in staging a new theatre production during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Health Sciences Campus in Kitchener opens its COVID-19 vaccination clinic. Two alumni and founders of Caivan Communities donate $…
 
This week we’re joined by evolutionary biologist Toby Kiers and Bitcoin entrepreneur Brandon Quittem for an interdisciplinary trialogue on the analogy between digital currencies and the so-called Wood Wide Web. Toby studies fungal economies in the lab, and her research challenges the commonly-held assumption that mycorrhizal networks are socialist …
 
Every day during the pandemic, we receive sad statistics about the number of people sick with COVID-19 or who died, as well as details about the effect on the economy and our daily lives. We can feel grief when someone we love dies, or at other times of loss. Professor Susan Cadell, from the School of Social Work, tells us ways to recognize feeling…
 
Professor Blair Feltmate, from the Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation, shares his proven methods for getting research before policy-makers, creating partnerships with industry, and informing the public through the media. Waterloo mourns a much-respected professor emeritus from Optometry and an accomplished PhD student from Engineering. The Univers…
 
This week, I embark on a new experiment and respond to three "advice column" questions from the Future Fossils listening audience: • How do I know if aliens would like my music? • How do I talk to my five-year-old about death? • How do I be creative without training or experience? This was a lot of fun and I'll definitely do this again. Enjoy, and …
 
Professor John Hirdes from the Faculty of Health led a study that checked in with Canadians several times during the early months of the pandemic, and it yielded some surprising results about our mental health—and whose is hardest hit. As the Region of Waterloo returns to the red zone, we provide updates on campus activity. The Global Impact Report…
 
Anna Murynka, a master’s student from psychology and the winner of the GRADflix 2021 Showcase, discusses her winning short film, her thesis, and her goal of increasing mental health services. The president announces an update on the resumption of in-person classes that were suspended due to the stay-at-home order. St. Paul’s University College's ne…
 
This week I talk play, innovation, noise, disruption, cryptocurrency, and trickster creativity with Michael Phillip, host of sister podcast Third Eye Drops, which I’m on A LOT – episodes 102, 88, 58, 44 with Doug Rushkoff, 38 with Niles Heckman, 28 with Bruce Damer, 21 with Erik Davis, 9 with Shane Mauss, 4 with Erik Davis, and this special mashup …
 
Roderick Slavcev, a professor in Waterloo’s School of Pharmacy who is cross-appointed to chemical engineering, discusses his team’s development of a nasal-spray vaccine for COVID-19, and tells us why this is a revolutionary time for science. As Bell Let’s Talk Day combats stigma around mental illness, we tell you about a student and an alumnus who …
 
Tiz Mekonnen, the director of a Waterloo-led project to increase the number of Black and Indigenous engineering and technology professionals, tells us why it is necessary and seeing such interest from other universities. Pharmacy debunks myths about the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. T4 and T4A tax forms will soon be ready. And hundreds atte…
 
With the help of Mary Wells, dean of Engineering, and Jay Shah, a successful alumnus of Waterloo Engineering, we remember Pearl Sullivan, dean emeritus, and reflect on the major contributions she made and her dedication to students. Spring term will start later than planned. Homewood Health shares tips on fighting post-holiday depression. And there…
 
It’s time for humankind to grow up — but it might also be more important than ever that we reconnect with our inner children and play like our lives depend on it (because they do). And so, given the in-progress BBC/HBO adaptation of Philip Pullman’s masterful fantasy trilogy His Dark Materials, it feels like a great time to talk about this coming-o…
 
Natasha Rozario, a third-year student of computer science, found a way to cut wait times once hospitals can resume elective surgeries. The results appear in the Canadian Journal of Surgery in her first-ever paper. In light of the stay-at-home order from the Government of Ontario, only work that cannot be done from home should take place on campus. …
 
The Faculty of Applied Health Sciences officially became the Faculty of Health on January 1 and Lili Liu, its dean, tells us about the name change, ideas for the Faculty's future, the effect the pandemic has had on research activity, and more. Two alumni, a professor emeritus, and Waterloo's next president are named to the Order of Canada. There ar…
 
2021 comes in hot with Michael Dowd, ecumenical Christian preacher turned climate grief advocate, whose Post Doom Conversations are a well of wisdom for anyone prepared to stop fighting the inevitable* and start celebrating what actually can be done in these weird, scary, precious years to come. We discuss his time as an evolutionary biology evange…
 
To help us cope with the isolation of a pandemic, especially in the winter, some experts say we need a winter strategy to encourage us to get outside. Troy Glover, chair of the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies, tells us what a winter strategy might look like. Waterloo announces plans for two memorials for Pearl Sullivan. There are two o…
 
This week I’m delighted to bring The Teafaerie (ep. 100) and Ramin Nazer (ep. 120) back to Future Fossils Podcast! These are two of the funniest, weirdest amateur futurists I know, and I hope you agree this discussion was worth the wait while I spent hours making it sound like we didn’t just talk over each other like overexcited dorks for two-plus-…
 
Waterloo’s 12th dean of mathematics tells us about the solutions math is seeking for the world right now, entrepreneurship in the Faculty, and what excites him about its future. Most academic and student-service buildings are now locked until January 10. A committee to review the University’s pregnancy and parental leave policy seeks feedback. And …
 
Sam Dugan, a student in Waterloo Engineering, emerged from CBC’s Dragons’ Den with a deal for Smart Patrol and tells us how he did it. We mourn the passing of Pearl Sullivan, dean emeritus, and Igor Ivkovic, a popular instructor. We surpass a milestone for Giving Tuesday. And Waterloo announces it will transform a 90,000-square-foot warehouse into …
 
Heather MacDougall, a professor of history, tells about the outbreak of the Spanish Flu in 1918, and how it compares to our current situation as we fight the spread of COVID-19. Waterloo region is now in the red zone of the Province of Ontario’s COVID-19 response framework, and the University has made changes accordingly. For Giving Tuesday, the Of…
 
This week I’m honored to speak with musicologist Phil Ford, co-host of Weird Studies, on a voyage that takes us from elevator muzak to aquarian cults to Disneyland to the future of magical warfare. We discuss what it means to be (or want to be) “primitives of an unknown culture,” the staging of nature, what happens when your aesthetic commitments b…
 
An event like a pandemic that drastically changes our activity can affect the way we view indoor and outdoor spaces. Colin Ellard, a professor of psychology, studies the ways built and unbuilt environments affect our emotions, our movements, and even our physiology. Vivek Goel will be the University’s next president, taking office in July. There ar…
 
The important work of the President’s Anti-Racism Taskforce to address racism on campus is underway. Charmaine Dean leads engagement and action for the task force, and in the interview tells us what’s been accomplished so far, plus what comes next. COVID-19 testing at the Testing Assessment Centre at Health Services is now open to family members of…
 
Mental health professionals sometimes prescribe mindfulness for stress management. And for some companies, it’s big business. Jeff Wilson, a professor at Renison University College and a member of the Religious Studies department in the Waterloo Faculty of Arts, discusses the changing face of mindfulness as well as its benefits. Waterloo holds a se…
 
“There’s a Mormon Tabernacle Choir inside of everyone. It’s just better to include and embrace all these facets of identity.” I’m not going to waste your time trying to explain Stuart Davis. He’s been a guiding star for me and presumably many other irrepressibly nondisciplinary artists for over a decade, one of the founding figures of my adult psyc…
 
The Faculty of Arts celebrates its 60th anniversary and Sheila Ager, its dean, reflects on its beginnings and the importance of the arts in society. More than 2,600 people earned degrees at fall convocation. Mansour Esnaashary Esfahani and Mari Foroutan, who were killed in the Ukrainian International Airlines crash, received PhD degrees posthumousl…
 
This week I chat with film-maker Michael Morgenstern about his latest transmedia project, I Dared My Best Friend To Ruin My Life, which takes young adults down a mind-bending and immersive narrative vortex about weaponized synthetic media to teach vital 21st Century literacies and the society-threatening implications of #deepfakes. While I’ve been …
 
Waterloo Ready, a pre-orientation introduced for Fall Term, gave upper-year students a chance to mentor incoming students. Miila Tuju, from the Faculty of Environment, was one of the mentors and shares her experience. Senate approves the implementation of a new survey to replace the existing course evaluations. The Sustainability Office has organiz…
 
The Committee to Organize UWaterloo is behind a campaign to unionize some graduate students and sessional instructors, and PhD student Sara Marsh and Professor Jeff Casello, from Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs, share their perspectives. There is a new protocol for tracking cases of COVID-19 on campus. A public lecture examines the potent…
 
This week I chat with artist Stephanie Lepp, producer of Infinite Lunchbox, the Reckonings podcast, and — most excitingly, for me — Deep Reckonings, a stunning new project exploring the “pro-social” uses of AI-generated “deepfakes” and other synthetic media for education, therapy, and other beneficial outcomes. While I’ve been speculating on the om…
 
As the world of cybersecurity grows ever more complex, the University of Waterloo is taking steps to stay two steps ahead of would-be phishers and hackers. Director of Information Security Services Jason Testart joins us to talk about the University’s 2-factor authentication initiative. The University has opened a COVID-19 testing and assessment ce…
 
This week we bring together Burning Man’s resident philosopher Caveat Magister (the author of The Scene That Became Cities, from Penguin Random House) together with anarchist community organizer Naomi Most of Noisebridge and Playa trickster historian Mitch Mignano for a conversation about the festival’s uneasy but remarkable transition into virtual…
 
Returning to school can be stressful anyway, but the pandemic probably means there is a lot more anxiety for parents and their kids. Dillon Browne, a clinical psychologist in the Faculty of Arts, has some coping advice that can help adults and children. A coronavirus testing centre for employees and students will open October 1. Waterloo joins the …
 
“I know now that the rules of reality change by zip code.” In a conversation recorded nearly a year ago on September 27, 2019 (and now hilariously strange in light of months of pandemic quarantine), I speak with the ultra-talented, delightful, immediately relatable and immensely likable Colin Frangicetto — guitarist for the excellent band Circa Sur…
 
While September is about starting a new academic year, some at Waterloo are already working on next year. Scott O’Neill tells us the ways student recruitment is changing with the times. UW Food Services offers delivery and pickup. UWaterloo becomes one of the first 5G smart campuses in Canada. And watch out for phishing scams.Links in this episode:…
 
For episode 151 we welcome Jon Marro, one of the purest creative souls I’ve ever had the luck to encounter. Jon hit me up a couple months ago to participate in a documentary film he’s producing, interviewing artists about their creative visions, and our first conversation for his interview series was so solid and heartfelt I had to swap interviewer…
 
Mary Wells, Waterloo Engineering’s new dean, tells us about hopes for the Faculty and engineering in Canada. Some University operations are gearing up. A new system requires us to check in when we visit any campus building. And Waterloo takes part in the #TakeThatStep mental health campaign.Links in this episode: What’s Open: https://uwaterloo.ca/d…
 
The Waterloo Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing (CEMC) is helping parents and teachers keep their students learning during the pandemic, and views of CEMC courseware just surged past 10 million. Ian VanderBurgh, director of CEMC, is the interview guest. Check out the Welcome Back Waterloo guide and safety video. The Presidential Nomi…
 
Student Ridhi Patel invented an online game called Quarantrivia to fight misinformation about COVID-19. The president announced a series of actions to address systemic racism. Students get a break on a number of fees. And University employees get two extra days off this year.Links in this episode:Anti-racism: https://uwaterloo.ca/strategic-plan/#co…
 
For Episode 150 we welcome back Sean Esbjörn-Hargens, one of the most formidable and daring intellects I know, and the author of a new paper integrating over 650 books on UFOs and the paranormal, from over 150 disciplines, to trace the outline of a unifying meta-theory of the weird. In this episode, we discuss how Sean reconciles ten different hypo…
 
Brian Dixon, a Waterloo immunologist and biology professor, recently answered the call to pivot his research focus from the fish we eat to the fight against COVID-19. The work could help in the development of a vaccine. Members of senior administration gather feedback on the University’s anti-racism activities. There are a number of opportunities t…
 
“A revolution without dancing is not a revolution worth having. If there won't be dancing at the revolution, I'm not coming.” – Emma Goldman Strap in for what might be the best Future Fossils episode yet: a four-way with guests Tada Hozumi and Dare Sohei of the Ritual as Justice School and guest co-host Naomi Most, in which we discuss how trauma ma…
 
With the pandemic temporarily shuttering the Gustav Bakos Observatory on campus, Victor Arora is back to tell us about upcoming astronomical events and ways you can navigate the night sky from home. Face coverings are required for common areas of all University buildings, including labs, classrooms, and washrooms. A recent court decision on copyrig…
 
Will Percival, of Waterloo’s Department of Physics and Astronomy, shares details of a project he helped lead that resulted in the largest 3D map of the universe and tells us what’s next. Face coverings will soon be mandatory for all employees, students, visitors and contractors in common-use areas of University buildings. The first-ever virtual Wat…
 
This week we sit for a soulful chat with speaker, writer, and organizational development expert Sahana Chattopadhyay of Mumbai to discuss her essays “The Power of Communities in Uncertain Times” (Part 1, Part 2) and “Befriending Uncertainty in a Post-COVID World.” Follow Sahana on Twitter & LinkedIn. If you believe in the value of this show and wan…
 
The pandemic has reduced our energy consumption, and Juan Moreno-Cruz, a professor in the School of Environment, Enterprise and Development, tells us what it means for the planet. More researchers to return to campus in Phase 2 of the research restart plan. Eight Waterloo students win prestigious Vanier scholarships. And your desk phone’s days may …
 
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