Category Archives: Technology & Innovation

For all my techie friends — in the Einstein Alley groups, NJEN, the Keller Center, and the E-Quad — event notices, items from U.S. 1 Newspaper and the NYT

September 15: arts and tech

On September 15 Princeton University invites everyone to a Nassau Street Sampler at the Princeton University Art Museum, free. See, taste, hear music.

Also on September 15 Tiger Labs hosts Mung Chiang at a $10 (cheap) networking and “fireside chat” session. It’s 6:30 pm to about 9.


Pokemon? Yes!

Find ‘Electabuzz’ at the corner of Nassau & Vandeventer!

It all started with a video from the United Methodist Church alerting me to the possibility that my faith community, Princeton United Methodist Church (PUMC), might be a Poke’stop in the new Poke’mon game.

What is this new mobile phone game? I quote my granddaughter in an article she wrote this summer: … gamers young and old have been glued to their phones, perpetually catching all of the Pokémon from the original game released in 1996. In this version, the user must download the application, developed by Nintendo in collaboration with Niantic, on their mobile device, and an augmented reality begins.

Sure enough, PUMC is a Poke’stop where gamers fuel up on the Poke’ balls used to trap characters. Two other Poke’stops are nearby. So, egged on by millennials — staffers and church members — we set up a lemonade and cookie stand in front of the church and

2016 august pokemon table
Lemonade and Poke’mon Balls at Princeton United Methodist Church

spread “lure” a virtual enticement that attracts Poke’mon characters and, therefore, Poke’mon players. The combo of the lemonade and the “lure” attracted at least 100 people in one hour. — some for the game, some for the refreshments, many just curious to see our beautiful stained glass windows or even just recharge their phones.

Now I am hooked on the game. Part of its appeal is, frankly, to combat ageism prejudice. “YOU, playing THAT!” is what I often hear. The game is invaluable as a conversation topic with grandchildren. But mostly it’s fun to acquire cute animal characters. On that first Sunday morning, my first catch was Electabuzz, and  my current count is 26 characters. Does anyone know where I can find a Wigglytuff?





Startups in the Nation’s Service

demo day

A quick way to cure a hangover, a new medical imaging technique, an innovation in American Sign Language, a hackathon tool kit, a robot sous chef, and a fashion discovery engine  — some of the best and brightest Princeton undergraduates are launching exciting startups. List here.

They’ve been working all summer in the Keller Lab, and their Demo Day in Princeton is Tuesday, August 9, 2:30 p.m. at the Friend Center. You need to register!

I can’t attend. If anyone who reads this can go, and wants to write it up for this blog, I’d welcome that. If you don’t have my email, put in the comments that you’d be willing to be a guest blogger.



Join the Maker Movement

Today is Maker’s Day in Trenton. A couple of weeks ago my daughter hosted Maker’s Day at Health and Human Services in Washington. “Innovation is a force for good” and “Creative thinking is a muscle we must exercise” are some of my favorite quotes.

The future of our society may be in creating change at scale across government and industry.

In Trenton, the future starts at Roebline Wire Works, noon to four.

Try, make, solve — #inventhealth

invent health
#bornjustright: making her own prosthesis with Project Unicorn

Making your own prosthetic hand? Sounds impossible, but kids are doing it with 3-D printers. I read about this on the program at the Maker Fair this week in DC, sponsored by the MedS

invent health srf
Susannah Fox, CTO of HHS, at the Maker Faire 6/23/16 

tar Institute for Innovation and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, part of the National Week of Making.

Click here for a Storify account of Invent Health examples. Take a look at the program  Where does YOUR idea, your company fit in?

This exciting opportunities reminded me of the 3-D printer manufacture, John Springrose,  who spoke at a Princeton Chamber breakfast last year

“Prototype your imagination,” Springrose challenged. “If you think about it, you can do it.”


Transforming mental health: Janssen’s Kramer

Craig Kramer works for healthcare firm Janssen, but he and his wife had their own personal health challenge: Their daughter suffered from an eating disorder. Kramer speaks at the Princeton Regional Chamber luncheon on Thursday, June 2, 11:30 a.m. at the Forrestal Marriott. His topic: The business case for transforming mental health.

David K. Lewis (1941-2001)

David K. Lewis Photo by @Hugh Mellor 

Congratulations, Steffi Lewis! Just out — the announcement about your donating David’s papers to Princeton University Library. The photo was taken in Cambridge, the year that he died, when he received an honorary D. Litt. degree from the University of Cambridge.

“He is widely regarded as one of the most important analytic philosophers of the twentieth century. He made significant contributions to philosophy of mind, philosophical logic, philosophy of language, philosophy of science, philosophy of mathematics, epistemology, and metaphysics. His impact and influence was due not merely to the doctrines he defended, but also to the way he framed the philosophical debates in which he engaged. Lewis’s work continues to be widely discussed and remains a central part of contemporary philosophy.”


At minute 4: end-of-life decisions

Barile at hospitalWHYY’s Newsworks Tonight aired a segment tonight (April 14, 2016) that featured Dr. David Barile’s NJ Goals of Care,.the nonprofit that aims to match patient goals with available therapies by using the NJ POLST (Practitioner Orders for Life Sustaining Treatments) form. Health reporter Elana Gordon also interviewed me re how a caregiver deals with end-of-life decisions. Ten years ago, without good medical guidance, I made end-of-life decisions for a loved one that still keep me awake at night. Two years ago, as a caregiver for a relative in Princeton, I had the benefit of an excellent palliative consult and the POLST process, and I could be completely comfortable with the decisions.

I’m not used to being on the “other end” of an interview, but Gordon expertly elicited an appropriate soundbite.  elana gordon

Here is the podcast link where Barile’s segment is minutes 4 to 6. And here is my first-person story “Evangelist for Palliative Care: Listen First, Then Prescribe,” based on my caregiving experience in 2014,  for U.S. 1 Newspaper.

This Saturday, April 16, is National Healthcare Decisions Day. Much is made of the need for Advanced Directives, and the Princeton Senior Resource  Center offers some excellent tools for making those decisions. But we make Advanced Directives decisions years away from when we are actually sick. If the patient can’t make the decisions, then the Advanced Directives offer useful guidelines.

In contrast, the POLST form deals with particulars — the patient’s current symptoms, current goals, up to date prognosis and available treatments. It offers a framework for extended discussion with a medical professional who can clearly lay out the alternatives.

Please try to take a look at the video series on NJ Goals of Care. Here’s hoping you won’t need them soon. But for later — you will know how to help a loved one get access to good information and make thoughtful decisions, decisions that bring the blessing of peace of mind.


The Female of the Species is more deadly…

….than the male.

A Princeton University researcher captured, on video, a Panamanian bird rolling another mother bird’s egg out of the communal nest. As the saying goes, “It’s not enough to succeed, to be truly ‘happy,’ your friends have to fail.”