Kell's Wonderful Life: The Importance of Coffee

Written by Kyle Evans. Posted in Podcasts

Each and every morning, millions of people chemically augment their frail meat bodies with a black brew. But the importance of coffee extends beyond keeping people upright for the day, as the history of coffee is rich and aromatic, spanning a multitude of countries and religions.


Download the podcast

Stay tuned for a new episode each week by subscribing to the podcast feed on iTunes or via the RSS Feed.

More Canned Geek: Twitter | Facebook | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

A fearless adventure in knowing what to do

Written by Kyle Evans. Posted in Features

When the Valve employee handbook was leaked back in 2012, I was struck by just how bold the ideas were. Sure there's the boss-less workplace structure, but what was truly compelling was the philosophies behind the book.

''This handbook is about the choices you’re going to be making and how to think about them. Mainly, it’s about how not to freak out now that you’re here.''

Strip away words like "financial return" and "game development" and it suddenly sounded as though Valve are giving you advice on life in general. Makes sense for a company that espouses a healthy life/work balance.

"Screwing up is a great way to find out that your assumptions were wrong or that your model of the world was a little bit off. As long as you update your model and move forward with a better picture, you’re doing it right. Look for ways to test your beliefs. Never be afraid to run an experiment or to collect more data."


But my favourite quote is the one just inside the front cover:

"A fearless adventure
in knowing what to do
when no one’s there
telling you what to do"


Now just imagine that being read aloud by Morgan Freeman. Feels nice doesn't it?

Ok, just one more:

"WHAT ABOUT ALL THE THINGS THAT I'M NOT GETTING DONE?
It’s natural in this kind of environment to constantly feel like you’re failing because for every one task you decide to work on, there will be dozens that aren’t getting your attention. Trust us, this is normal. Nobody expects you to devote time to every opportunity that comes your way. Instead, we want you to learn how to choose the most important work to do."


Article photo by Isado. Used under a Creative Commons license.

Kell's Wonderful Life: Exoskeletal

Written by Kyle Evans. Posted in Podcasts

''In 1890  Nicholas Yagn, a Russian inventor, received a patent for an assisted device to aid a user walking and running using pneumatically powered gas bags.'' As Dr. Kell explains, the history of human augmentation via exoskeleton stretches further back than you might think - and the future of exoskeletons is tantalisingly close.


Download the podcast

Stay tuned for a new episode each week by subscribing to the podcast feed on iTunes or via the RSS Feed.

More Canned Geek: Twitter | Facebook | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Article photo by bluemoose. Used under a Creative Commons license.

Kell's Wonderful Life: Whirlygigs

Written by Kyle Evans. Posted in Podcasts

''Telling the pilot I was a helicopter engineer, I challenged him to make the helicopter do something I wouldn't think was possible.'' This show comes from a time when Dr. Kell was working in the USA and he had the opportunity to see military helicopters at MIT in Boston, New York and was introduced to some of the biggest, baddest whirlygigs that the United State of America has to offer.


Download the podcast

Stay tuned for a new episode each week by subscribing to the podcast feed on iTunes or via the RSS Feed.

More Canned Geek: Twitter | Facebook | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Article photo by Clubber Lang. Used under a Creative Commons license.

Breath in, breathe out and Expand

Written by Kyle Evans. Posted in Features

Expand was one of the six games featured at PAX Australia as part of the indie showcase and it's easy to see why. It has a clean, appealing graphic design, serene music and it's a fresh twist on the simple platformer. Not to mention it's home grown in Adelaide by developer Chris Johnson and composer/collaborator Chris Larkin. The controls are simple: you just gently push the thumbstick and navigate an expanding, changing concentric maze.

So it's essentially a platform game where you're shifting from spot to spot, dodging moving hazards and ducking through closing doors while trying to find the exit point. But in abstracting out the platform jumping genre, the experience feels new. Pushing further into the unexplored blackness reveals new surprises, with the walls pulsing out, sucking in or spiraling out of existence. Expand generally does a good job of mixing things up as you go from exploring, to running away to being pushed along. At one point the music synced up with the pulsing movements of the map and the game suddenly took on the feel of a rhythm game. At other times your focus narrows on the shifting shapes to the point of it feeling hypnotic.

Kell's Wonderful Life: Legal Technicalities

Written by Kyle Evans. Posted in Podcasts

Anyone who has tried to fill out the ballot papers below the line knows that legal and political systems can be complicated. Dr. Kell attempts to explain some of the peculiar legislative curiosities in the United States, Australia. "In order for a product to be labelled a pickle, it must be able to bounce."


Download the podcast

Stay tuned for a new episode each week by subscribing to the podcast feed on iTunes or via the RSS Feed.

More Canned Geek: Twitter | Facebook | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Article photo by Vikas Namblar. Used under a Creative Commons license.