Trip summary

This has been a busy week, so busy in fact that I didn’t even have time to post on Thursday. Due to the fact that my access to a PC has been limited I haven’t posted to the Runner’s World Loop in two days. Being a media person I certainly respect the need to publish so I’ll summarize the last couple of days.

I’m up at the MIT Media Lab for the spring meetings for the CE 2.0 Working Group (creating best practices for consumer electronics usability and connectivity) and the Digital Life Consortium which focuses on media, technology and society. My role as liason to MIT is one of my favorite parts of my job. My wife and kids came by the Media Lab on Wednesday and interacted with some very cool stuff including singing robots and WII enabled guitars.

The theme of yesterday’s meeting was Smart Sustainable Cities and there was much discussion about innovative directions on energy, housing and healthcare. Hugh Herr, who directs the Biomechatronics group at the Media Lab, spoke about advances in prothesis designs that can help amputees regain their ability to walk to the degree that their gait and balance are indistinguishable from a non-disabled person’s. Hugh also showed a running shoe that he and his team designed that gave a measurable advantage to the runner. The shoe had a carbon fiber spring that efficiently stored and released energy to the degree that a marathon runner could gain 8 minutes over the length of his or her run. Hugh also showed some exoskeletal designs that would help an able bodied runner gain 30% efficiency in his or her running. I would love that for Sunday’s race.

My colleage Adventure Girl is very focused on environmental science and sustainability and she also came up to Cambridge for yesterday’s session. We met at the fitness center of the hotel where I completed my last workout before my race on Sunday. AG ran on the treadmill while I worked the elliptical. It was a fairly low impact session for me but she ran almost 4 miles while we talked. This morning I’m at a different hotel and my first thought was to go down to the fitness center and run. I then remembered that I’m resting.

Being from Boston I always try to catch up with people when I travel there. Last night my wife, kids and I visited some very good friends and this morning we’re seeing my brother and his family. Tomorrow I will rest and stretch and as for Sunday, well you know about that.

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