About Paul

Languages

English, French

My TED story

Spoke at TEDxConcordia in Montreal Quebec, 2011.
Organizing TEDxOakville 2012.
Inspired by countless talks.

Comments & conversations

147153
Paul Gillett
Posted over 1 year ago
ShaoLan: Learn to read Chinese ... with ease!
Anyone can learn Chinese. There are literally millions of Chinese that speak English, and it is not easier for the to learn English. And with the rise of China now is a great time to learn Chinese. I think an often overlooked economic advantage of the country is that many Chinese can speak English with ease; whereas very few westerners are able to conduct business in China in Chinese, giving the Chinese English speakers access to wider markets. If you are serious about learning Chinese an amazing open access resource is MIT's Learning Chinese: A Foundation Course in Mandarin. It is a free course form one of the world's leading universities. From the course homepage: This subject is the first semester of two that form an introduction to modern standard Chinese, commonly called Mandarin. Though not everyone taking this course will be an absolute beginner, the course presupposes no prior background in the language. The purpose of this course is to develop: Basic conversational abilities (pronunciation, fundamental grammatical patterns, common vocabulary, and standard usage) Basic reading and writing skills (in both the traditional character set and the simplified) An understanding of the language learning process so that you are able to continue studying effectively on your own. Textbook http://ocw.mit.edu/resources/res-21f-003-learning-chinese-a-foundation-course-in-mandarin-spring-2011/online-textbook/ I've been using OCW Chinese to study Chinese for just over a year and I can read about 1000+ Characters. 好好学习,天天向上!
147153
Paul Gillett
Posted about 2 years ago
Does Technology destroy our relationship with Nature?
Technology is a product of the human animal. So in a sense, technology is natural. However, humans are driving many species to extinction. We do this by the destruction of habitat on land via deforestation and in the oceans by dynamting and scraping habitat off the floors of the ocean when trawling. In fresh water humans destroy habitat by draining rivers and lakes to drink and use in the production of goods and agriculture. We are over explinting naturally produced crops, killing too many natural animals and fish, killing bushmeat, overharvesting the oceans. People moving from one place to another could introduce dangerous species into new habitats that could completely destroy the ecosystem. They bring these dangerous species in the hauls of boats, or even the soil of their shoes. Even worse, humans have created tens of thousands of new chemicals that pollute the earth. Phearmecuticals, plastic products, pestecides, herbecides. These chemicals can last decades before being broken down. There is also acid deposition that is a result of massive amounts of CO2 being released into the atmosphere, which is created when CO2 mixes with water making carbonic adid. We also displace naturally occuring metals through mining, which is devistating to numerous species. Lead, arsenic, mercury, cadmium, and so on. We mine these to use in industry, and moving them around leads to contaminations. There is also ultraviolet radiation caused by holes in the ozone layer, which we caused by these chemicals. This radiation kills species and messes them up. War threatens nature. Displaced peoples due to conflict are oft forced to live off the land. landmines kill animals, so do bombs. Climate change causes habitat range change, introducing species to areas with no predators, killin more species. Warm oceans cause coral reefs to lose their algae and die. But even worse, phystoplankton can't live, and they are the bottom of the ocean's food chain, so all species will die. Melting sea i
147153
Paul Gillett
Posted about 2 years ago
Jane Poynter: Life in Biosphere 2
Sorry for the late reply. I just saw this. Here are some things you can do: This is from chapter 10 of the book 'Sustaining Life' 1. Take public transportation whenever possible, bike, walk, carpool. If you must drive alone, drive the most energy effecient car you can afford. 2. Buy local, preferably organic, food from a farmers market whenever possible. 3. Eat sustainably harvested herbivorous fish and seafood: catfish, talapia, shellfish. Avoid carnaverous farmed fish like salmon and shrimp. 4. Install flurocent bulbs. Today. 5. Turn off lights in empty rooms. 6. Lower your thermostat a few degress. 7. Stop using herbicides and pesticides on your lawn. 8. Learn the environmental positions of those in your government, learn their platforms, and vote for those with the best track record of keeping their word. 9. Tell others what you are doing, and that they can do it too. Ask them to join in. 10. Above all, buy only what you need. Never waste. 11. Reduce, reuse, recycle. I highly suggest you read the book. There is an entire chapter of stuff you can do!