[poof poof] What does magic sound like? That’s only one of a million questions that those who brought the world of Harry Potter to film had to answer. I don’t envy them. When you bring a beloved story to life you’re, in a sense, collapsing the millions of movies that already exist in the imaginations of readers into one. It may not be your intention to create a definitive version but if you do your job right, that’s what’s gonna happen for a lot of people. So every little technical question matters. Like this one. (Ex-pelliarmus!) Though there are some precursors in literature, before Harry Potter, film had never really seen such a formalization of magic, such a variety of possible spells cast with specific gestures and feelings. And if the filmmakers didn’t quite know what all that should sound like, they at least knew what they didn’t want it to sound like. [electronic blaster sounds] In preparation for the first film, director Chris Columbus told supervising sound editor Eddie Joseph that he didn’t want anything modern, futuristic, or electronic; the Star Wars blaster and lightsaber being, I think, key points of reference. And though the sound profile of magic spells changed throughout the series that was a mantra that subsequent filmmakers and sound designers for the most part held to. For example, here’s the very first wand magic in the series. [poof poof] Umbrella magic, I guess. The filmmakers use a technique here that they return to again and again. When the magic being created has a specific sound already associated with it, they use that. (Periculum!) [fireworks] [crackling] [papers rustling] [fwip] [fire sounds] (Petrificus totalus) [crackle] [whistle] [water rushing] In a lot of these cases the spell doesn’t really need a sound of its own. If the thing it’s impacting is immediate enough, that’ll do the job. And there are others like levitation that work just fine silently. But Harry Potter has plenty of spells that do need sound effects; ones that don’t have any obvious connection to sounds in the real world. It’s in these cases that the filmmakers and sound designers get to be creative. [howling sound] In the first two films you can tell that there was a fair amount of experimentation going on. Here are all the sounds from Sorcerer’s Stone back to back. [poof poof] [pwoof] [woosh] [woosh] [squeak] [fwip] [boom] [boom] [crackle] Now, what did you hear in there? I heard some whooshes, some explosives, some firecrackers, some electricity and even a couple animal noises. Now take a listen to Chamber of Secrets. (Immobulus!) [fwooosh] [humming] [woosh-boom-woosh] [woosh] [fire crackling] [more wooshing] [just a lot of explosions and wooshing] What’s interesting here is that the team on the second movie appears to be consolidating the styles from the first movie into one; what you could call the explosive-whoosh sound effect. It sounds like a combination of rocket boosters, explosives and air jets. And it’s not unreasonable to assume that this style may have dominated the series going forward if not for a radical change in the Prisoner of Azkaban. [humming] [soft woosh] [high pitched noise] (Riddiculus!) [chorus of soft, high pitched hums] (Expelliarmus!) [high pitched flute] (Expelliarmus!) [high pitched flute] [crash] (Expecto patronum!) [angelic chorus] [hum] Alfonso Cuaron and his team completely redesigned the sound of magic for the third movie. Gone are the explosive whooshes replaced with soft flute-y sounds for just about every spell. It makes the magic feel less aggressive and more mysterious, like it’s just a wisp of wind on the air. That serves as a good foundation from which the movie builds its central spell, the Patronus charm. The Patronus is a projection of your happiness; a positive force built from your fondest memories that repels Dementors which feed on despair. In Azkaban, the Patronus is built out of voices; a chorus of angels that fits with that heavenly projection of your soul without fear. I think the Prisoner of Azkaban freed up the rest of the filmmakers in the series to find the unique sound of magic that fit their movie. And as spell casting became more and more prominent in the second half of the series, directors and sound designers had to find unique sound profiles not just for different spells but also for different people and different key events. One of the things that David Yates, director of the final four movies was really great at was combining the incantations with the spell sounds to create the sense that the magic was leaping from people’s bodies just as they said the words. My favorite spell moment from the whole series is at the beginning of Order of the Phoenix when Harry and Dudley are run down by the Dementors. Listen to the sound design here to when the Patronus initiates Expecto Patro-[woosh]-num! [angelic chorus] For me it’s sound that makes that moment so powerful; the sound of Daniel Radcliffe’s voice mixed with the flamethrower sound of the spell coming in on the ‘o’ in Patronum then giving way to that familiar heavenly chorus. There’s an urgency to this kind of spell casting and a personal quality like the spell is equivalent to the voice. This has brought home most of all in the various examples of the Death Curse cast in the final films. (Avada Ke-[crack]-davra) (Avada Ke- [fwip]-avra!) No, Cedric! (Avada Kedavra!) [crackling explosion] (Avada Kedavra) [crackling fwip] (Avada Kedavra!) [crackling fwip] (AVADA KEDAVRA!) [crackle] I feel like I say this all the time but sound design is a deeply consequential part of movie-making. People understand what they see but they feel what they hear. By creating a diverse palette of sounds whether it’s explosive whooshes, wisps of wind or crackling lightning mixed with voice, these filmmakers and sound designers brought Harry Potter to life. Now, that’s what I call- magic. Okay, that was a corny line. I can’t end on that. Let’s do Voldemort instead. (Ahhh!) [whoosh] [explosion] Hey everybody, thank you so much for watching. One of the questions that you guys ask me all the time is what software I use to make these videos. I use Final Cut Pro 10 to edit the Nerdwriter and there was actually a little bit of an uproar when 10 came out because Apple completely redesigned the program from the previous version. An editing tool that I’d become an expert on for over 10 years was just gone. Eventually I learned how to use Final Cut Pro 10 by watching a bunch of YouTube videos but what I really wish I had was something like today’s sponsor: Skillshare. Skillshare is an online learning community for creators with more than 18,000 classes in graphic design, animation, video game design and Final Cut Pro 10. All the classes are professional and understandable and follow a clear learning curve. A Premium Membership begins around ten dollars a month for unlimited access to all the courses but the first 500 people to sign up using the link in the description get their first two months for free. And those two months you can easily learn the skills you need to start a new hobby or business. Definitely check it out. Thanks guys. I’ll see you next time.
The wheels on the bus go round and round Round and round, round and round The wheels on the bus go round and round All through the town The bus is traveling to the airport To the airport, to the airport The bus is traveling to the airport All through the town The people climb up on to the bus To the bus, to the bus The people climb up on to the bus All through the town So many suitcases on the bus On the bus, on the bus So many suitcases on the bus All through the town The people on the bus are so happy So happy, so happy The people on the bus are so happy All through the town The bus soon arrives at the airport At the airport, at the airport The bus soon arrives at the airport All off the bus! The bus driver says “Have a great time” “Have a great time”. “Have a great time” The bus driver says “Have a great time” Enjoy your flight! Let sing it again! The wheels on the bus go round and round Round and round, round and round The wheels on the bus go round and round All through the town The bus is traveling to the airport To the airport, to the airport The bus is traveling to the airport All through the town The people climb up on to the bus To the bus, to the bus The people climb up on to the bus All through the town So many suitcases on the bus On the bus, on the bus So many suitcases on the bus All through the town The people on the bus are so happy So happy, so happy The people on the bus are so happy All through the town The bus soon arrives at the airport At the airport, at the airport The bus soon arrives at the airport All off the bus! The bus driver says “Have a great time” “Have a great time”. “Have a great time” The bus driver says “Have a great time” Enjoy your flight!
Ant colonies are like high security bank vaults. To get in, you need the right access codes. Usually, those come in the form of chemical
cues, which let the resident ants know you belong. But one parasitic beetle has cracked a secret
cipher to gain entry to the nest. It’s learned how to speak the ants’ language. And that language sounds a little something
like this. I’m Anna Rothschild, and this is Gross Science. As you might remember from movies like Ant
Man, ants usually communicate using chemical signals, like pheromones. But while that’s a powerful way to convey
important information, it’s not the only way ants talk. Many ants chirp to each other by rubbing two
hard parts of their abdomens together. Different species can use these scraping sounds
for things like getting organized, communicating with mates, and calling for help. In fact, the Mediterranean ant species Pheidole
pallidula has three kinds of calls: workers, soldiers, and queens each make their own distinct
sound. Now, Pheidole pallidula has a nemesis named
Paussus favieri. It’s a beetle that can only live inside
the ant’s nests. To get inside, the beetles use chemicals on
the outsides of their bodies to blend in with the ants. But, for an all-access pass to the entire
nest, scientists think they also mimic the ants’ sounds. The beetles also scrape their abdomens to
make chirps that match the calls of ant workers, soldiers, or queens. Here’s an example. Now, that call might sound pretty different
to us than the ant calls do… but it’s close enough to fool the ants. And that works out really well for the beetles. You see, ants normally attack any intruder
in their nest. But, these beetles have almost free range,
even interacting with the queen herself. And the ants don’t just ignore the beetles—they’ll
actually lick them in a way that resembles their own grooming behavior. Tragically, the ants still don’t object
when the beetles start eating them. Sometimes the beetles prey on adult ants,
but they especially like younger ones. A beetle uses its straw-like jaws to pierce
the abdomen of an ant larva, and then carries the larva around like a slurpee, drinking
its blood and soft tissues. This “beetle in ants clothing” is just
one example of what’s called “aggressive mimicry” in nature—where a predator or
parasite resembles a more harmless organism to avoid detection from prey. It’s actually a pretty ingenious solution. Ant slurpee, anyone? Ew.
Six little ducks that I once knew Fat ones, skinny ones, fair ones too But the one little duck With the feather on his back He led the others with a quack, quack, quack Quack, quack, quack He led the others with a quack, quack, quack Down to the river they would go Wibble-wobble, wibble-wobble to and fro But the one little duck With the feather on his back He led the others with a quack, quack, quack Quack, quack, quack He led the others with a quack, quack, quack Back from the river they would come Wibble-wobble, wibble-wobble ho hum hum But the one little duck With the feather on his back He led the others with a quack, quack, quack Quack, quack, quack He led the others with a quack, quack, quack
Let’s drive in the car Let’s buckle our seat belts and vroom off Let’s drive in the car We can go any place that’s close or far So many things to see Won’t you come with me! Let’s drive in the car Let’s buckle our seat belts and vroom off Let’s drive in the car We can go any place that’s close or far So many things to see Won’t you come with me! Let’s drive in the car Let’s buckle our seat belts and vroom off Let’s drive in the car We can go any place that’s close or far So many things to see Won’t you come with me!
Moore: Well good afternoon everybody and thank you for coming. I’m here to introduce Lauren Singer. She is a graduate of NYU. She comes to us from the East Coast. And she was an environmental studies major in college and a lot of her experience has helped her inform sort of where she is today, living a zero waste lifestyle. So I will let her tell you all about that. Please welcome Lauren Singer. Singer: Can everyone see, hear, if I stand here? Cool. So I always like to start out by just gauging who I’m talking to and I’m wondering who here hasn’t heard of living zero waste or who was like dragged here by a friend. So everyone, see, ha, cool. So who has heard of zero waste? You’ve heard of it. Who here thinks zero waste is possible? Who here thinks its impossible? Cool. So, again, my name is Lauren Singer, and I’m here because I live a zero waste lifestyle and I have for the past three plus years now. And so, what zero waste means is actually different to all kinds of people. I was talking with my friend Colin and another women at a panel the other day and to some people, living zero waste is a structural thing, to some people it’s a political thing, and to me, living zero waste is a personal thing. And to me, living zero waste means I don’t create any trash, or any landfill trash. So I don’t send anything to landfill. And again, I have been for more than three years now. But I do recycle, but very minimally. Because I don’t really buy anything that needs to be recycled anymore. And I do compost, which was one of my biggest forms of trash before I started doing that. So all of this kind of started when I was in college. Are you all guys undergrad? Anyone? Ok, cool. So I started everything out, I was an environmental studies major but I didn’t really do anything environmentally until I was about a junior in college, when I saw a documentary called Gasland, which was about the effects of hydrofracking on the environment. And I was obsessed with the antifracking movement. And I started protesting, and lobbying and doing all of these things to raise awareness about fracking and I actually, if you look at this picture you can maybe spot me out in the middle doing some fist stuff. So, that was my junior year. It was all dedicated towards anti fracking. My senior year of college was the last year that we had to kind of wrap up all of our environmental studies because, as you mentioned I was an environmental studies major, and one of the classes I was in, the environmental studies capstone course, was the culminating course that you have to take in order to graduate and you know, inform people about sustainability. But there was a girl in this class that I had watched every single day for the entire semester. And she would bring this big, big, plastic bag full of plastic clamshell full of food, and a plastic fork and knife and a plastic water bottle, and a plastic bag of chips and she would eat everything and she would just throw it in the trash. And I would be like oh my god your the worst person in the world. Right? Because we’re these environmental studies majors and this girl was making so much trash and she was not even seemingly thinking about it. She would just eat, and throw it away. Even though we had a comprehensive recycling program still just making all of this plastic trash and it really annoyed me. And so, one day after class I went home to make dinner and the same way I did every other night, but for some reason something was different and I opened my fridge and I noticed that every single thing I had in there was packaged in plastic. And I don’t know how many of you guys can relate with that? Yeah. And I was really mad at myself. And I was really sad. And I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t noticed that before. Right? Because I was getting so mad at this girl for making so much plastic trash, and it turns out that I was making just as much plastic trash, I wasn’t recycling everything, and I was just as bad and a total hypocrite. And so I felt really awful and I made a decision in that moment to just stop using plastic. I didn’t know how I was going to do it but I was just like done, cant. And especially because I had been protesting the oil and gas industry for so long and I was using one of their biggest byproducts. And so that didn’t align with me. How could I be so vehemently opposed to an industry, but still use one of their biggest by products? There was a misalignment. So I decided to stop using plastic. But, you guys basically all raised your hand, so, if you could imagine, moving away from plastic is a probably difficult, right? So, what I realized when I tried to do this was that it was pretty easy for me to find stuff like food packaged free. I went to natural food stores, co ops, and I was able to buy everything I needed in bulk. But, what I couldn’t find were things in other stores, like pharmacies. I couldn’t find plastic free shampoo, I couldn’t find plastic free toothpaste. So what I realized was I couldn’t just buy my way out of using plastic. I had to learn how to do a bunch of things and making these products myself. And so, when I started doing research for these recipes, because obviously I didn’t know how to make anything myself. I didn’t know how to make toothpaste or deodorant or shampoo or anything. I don’t know many people who do, and if you do your really cool. So when I started doing this research I found this blog called zero waste home, started by a women named Baya Johnson. Who has seen that blog before? Who hasn’t seen that blog before? I like the more hands questions so… So, Baya is awesome. She’s this women who lives in Mill Valley in California. And she has two kids and a husband, and a dog, and the five of them live totally zero waste. And I had never heard of living zero waste before and I thought that for me, going plastic free, yes, I’m awesome I’m doing this thing for the environment. Like, I hate plastic and the oil industry so I’m going to stop using plastic and I’m done. I’m good. But, learning that I had the opportunity to take that one step further and not produce any trash at all, that was so inspiring to me because, again, I studied environmental science and my life long goal is just to have a positive environmental impact on the Earth, and to leave it a better place than it was when I entered it. And to me living zero waste has been the best way to align that sentiment and those values with my day to day life. Otherwise, I was just living in a way that would contribute to the depletion of earths resources and not actually doing anything to help. And so, I decided to follow in Baya’s footsteps and go zero waste. So, again, a lot of you raised your hands thinking that going zero waste is really difficult, and I’m sure you still think that. I haven’t really explained the process yet. But it turned out that going zero waste was actually a lot easier than I thought it would be. One of the biggest things I did, and something that already started to do when I was going plastic free, was shop package free. So, I learned how to buy all of my fruit and vegetables at the farmers market. And you guys live in Washington, you have one of the most amazing places to get food from. I’m super jealous. You can harvest mushrooms in your back yard, that’s really cool, I can’t do that in Brooklyn. And so, I also learned how to do things like shop at the co op and natural food store and bring my own bags to fill up with things like grains and I stopped buying new clothing. So everything that I wear and everything that I own is second hand. I don’t purchase any new clothing anymore because there’s enough clothing already in the waste stream so I feel the need to use what’s already out there and adequately dispose of it like doing things like textile recycling or mending things that are just a little bit ripped or a little bit broken instead of throwing them away. I learned how to do things like make my own products. So I finally learned how to make the toothpaste, and make the deodorant, and the shampoo. And by doing those little things over time it turns out that I was able to reduce all of the trash that I was producing. And who still thinks this is hard? So, when you hear zero waste it seems really daunting and impossible because it’s a big umbrella term. It’s like hearing the word climate change. No one really understands what that means because it’s a huge term and it’s not broken down for us. But when you actually look at living zero waste, and you bring it down into it’s pieces, its actually a lot of little one time or baby changes that have a long term positive impact. And when I started doing this I did it for myself, and not for anyone else. I did it because I wanted to live within my aligned values. But I’m lazy, like super lazy. And I wouldn’t have continued doing this if it was hard or impossible or frustrating or if it just like doesn’t match with my personality. And so I realized that actually living this lifestyle improved my life and that’s why I continue doing it. So the first benefit of living this lifestyle is that I actually save a lot of money. Just talking about second hand clothing, I save so much money by doing just that. I mean even that change alone has saved me I’m sure thousands of dollars over that past three years. If you think of something as simple as a pair of jeans, you can go to a department store and buy a pair of jeans for like $200, which to me is like sickening and horrible and I hate that and shouldn’t be the case. Or, I could go to Goodwill and get a totally good pair of jeans for a dollar, $5, $10. So even with that, that was one of the first ways I saved money, I also saved money by learning how to plan ahead. So before I started living this lifestyle, I was in college, and I didn’t really plan. Because as college students were kind of like always just doing the next thing, and just scratching to get all these things done and that’s it. But when I actually slowed down and I started thinking about the things I was purchasing, especially when it came to food, because you know when I was in college I would go into my fridge and realize, oh my god, it’s two in the morning and I have nothing. So I’d have to go to the corner store and buy crap packaged in plastic and eat ice cream for dinner because that was the only option I had. And so when I slowed down and started living zero waste, which also meant living package free, I learned how to make a shopping list, and with a shopping list you go in with a plan. And so I wasn’t just impulse buying when I went into a store. I was looking at cookies and being like hey you cookies, your coming home with me. It wasn’t like that at all. It was almost like, I want salads for dinner every night, and I’m doing this this week. And so, just by making those purchasing decisions, I was able to save money because I wasn’t spending money on things that I didn’t need. I also saved a lot of money by making my own products. So toothpaste, for instance, I think is a really good example because if you want to use natural toothpaste, a thing of toms, I think is like $7. Can anyone confirm that? $7, 6 or 7 dollars. Yeah, for me to make my own toothpaste its about 20 to 30 cents for the same amount of product and there’s no packaging, there’s no shipping involved in bringing a product to a store, so I don’t have to walk to a store, so again it’s perfect for lazy me. So I have all the ingredients I need to make these things in my house. So, something like that saves me a ton of money. The second thing is I eat better. So again I mentioned going to the store and going in with a plan, and because of that I wasn’t making, or I’m not making impulse decisions. So I can’t buy processed, packaged junk anymore because I choose to shop package free. And lucky for me and my body, that stuff doesn’t come package free really. And if I do want to eat something that’s sweet, I’ll either make it myself or I’ll go to a place like a bakery that’s not using preservatives or synthetic ingredients, or, believe it or not, some foods actually have petrochemicals in them. So, nothing artificial. So that’s resulted in me feeling and being a lot healthier. So things like my weight have stabilized, I don’t feel heavy and bloated after eating anymore, which is something that used to happen all the time when I was just eating impulsively all the time and I was eating sugary things. So eating a lot better, saving a lot of money, those things have resulted in me just feeling a lot better. By feeling better I have become so much happier and I have become liberated in a sense for the first time I really am living the things that I want to see in the world. I’m not just talking about sustainability, I’m not just saying climate change is the worst, screw big business. I’m making changes everyday in my life that effect, you know, reversing the decisions that big businesses have made. I’m saying no to plastics because I don’t like what the oil and gas industry has done to the environment. I’m saying no to different kinds of packaged and processed foods because I don’t like what those things do to the environment. So I’m making decisions for the first time that not only impact my life buy also align with my values. So, I’m sure you guys are still like this is crap. This is hard, I’m not doing this, but, if any of you are like maybe, kinda, perhaps, I could do it. I have steps, steps that I took and that worked. So the first one that I like to suggest is actually looking at your trash. Because how can we reduce the trash that we are producing if we don’t even know what we’re throwing away? Right? So for me when I did this exercise, and again, I was in college, living in New York City, and my three main sources of trash were organic food waste. So food scraps, I’m sure you guys can maybe relate to that. And so to eliminate that I learned how to compost. And just by learning to compost, I removed about this much trash from my life each week. Because that’s about how much compost I throw away every single week, or compost each week. The second thing that I saw that I had was product packaging. So to remove that problem from my trash I learned how to make my own products. And then the third thing was food packaging. And so to eliminate that, I learned how to shop package free. Just by making three changes, because I identified three sources of trash, I eliminated basically 90% of my garbage. Just three things, three simple things. The second thing that I like to suggest is picking at the low hanging fruit. So these are the little one time, simple changes that you can make in your everyday life that will have a large scale and long term positive impact. So these are the really easy ones, the ones that are drilled into our head from childhood. Things like using a re-usable bag over using a paper or plastic bag. Using a stainless steel water bottle instead of using plastic water bottles. Bringing your own stainless steel straw or saying no to straws all together instead of using plastic straws, which are, side note, my least favorite thing in the entire world. Doing things like bringing your own re-usable napkin to use as a bag if you want to buy something on the go. You can use it as a tissue, you can use it as, I don’t know, anything, you can use it as toilet paper I guess if you wanted to but that would be kind of gross. But you could. So, little one time things. Large scale impact. The third thing that I like to suggest is the actual DIY. So, what I talked about, making your own products. I started out by making toothpaste. That was the first thing that I made. And I realized that just by making one product with three ingredients, my toothpaste is baking soda, cocoa nut oil and essential oils, that I could essentially save money and have really clean feeling teeth, I’ve brushed with baking soda for years now, went to the dentist like two weeks ago and he was like whoa your teeth are so clean. And I was like, thanks, baking soda. And so it totally works. And that kind of got me on the road of making all of my own products. So now I have a four item beauty routine that I do every day. It’s just toothpaste, deodorant, body and face lotion and, what’s the other one? Soap. Yeah, for everything. And that’s it. And I make everything myself. So just by doing those three things, I was able to totally able to eliminate all the trash that I make. And when I started doing this, again, I was in college and I wanted to study environmental studies and then go into politics and make legislation to change the world. Right? That’s how I thought I could have the best impact on the planet. I wanted to go change laws, stop subsidies, do all of these big things. But at the same time, I still had my blog. Trash is for Tossers, which is just how I talk about all the things I do in my day to day life. And, when I graduated I had a politics job. So I was actually taking the steps to do things in politics that I wanted to do. I was a sustainability manager at the New York City department of environmental protection which is the New York agency that regulates all of New York’s drinking water and waste water. And, it was a good job. I would be totally happy with it if something didn’t happen, I realized that I was getting a ton of emails from people about all sorts of different things. But one that really came frequently was like, hey I really like your lifestyle but I’m a really busy person. I’m a student, I’m a mother, I’m a friend, I’m busy. I just don’t have time. I want these products but I don’t want to make them myself. What do I do? Do you have any suggestions of products that I can buy that align with my living zero waste or that is pure as the ones that you can make yourself? And so, I went out on this mission. I love research. And so, I went to all these different stores and looking for beauty products and cleaning products that were as minimalistic and as clean as the ones that I was making every day. And I found some beauty products that align with that. I found beauty products that just had simple things like cocoa nut oil and Shea butter and baking soda. But the same was not true for cleaning products. I found out some pretty insane things about cleaning products. One of which is that, there are over 85 thousand industrial chemicals used and most of them, actually a majority of them, aren’t tested for safety before being released out into the market for use. And how they are tested is when someone gets sick from them. And then a bunch of people get sick from them. Then they finally get looked at, and or, probably not, taken off of the market. That to me was really really scary. And the second thing, like the cherry on top of it, was that cleaning product manufacturers aren’t even legally required to tell you what they put inside of the products on the product packaging. And so we can go to the store and buy you know, X, Y, and Z cleaning product brand and look at the ingredients and be totally happy with them but then go home and use it and not even know what we’re putting in our homes because it’s not legally required to be completely transparent about it. And so when I learned that I was like that’s not ok at all, for any reason. Because I believe that we as consumers have a right to know what we’re buying, what we’re putting in our homes and having, having the right to have products that are safe for our homes and our bodies and the environment. And so I took that moment to kind of assess my life and what I was doing and I realized that I had been making these cleaning products for years and they were super effective and really inexpensive. And I realized that I had an opportunity to actually start a company to make products for people that don’t feel that they have time to make them themselves but that are as safe as one that they could make themselves, hopefully inspiring them to stop buying my products and start making them themselves. So I launched a company called the Simply Co. which I started on a kickstarter. And my first product that I had was a laundry detergent that’s three ingredients, baking soda, washing soda and organic vegan soap. And through that I hope to grow and expand the business to show that you don’t need toxic chemicals to clean, you don’t have to accept the way things are in society. So like one of the biggest things I did was ask, you know, like why are there so man toxic chemicals in everything and when did this start becoming ok? When did people decide that it was ok to poison people? When did businesses get the green light to start doing that? And so through this company I hope to educate people on making more informed choices and hopefully be the bridge between buying products to making them yourself, because it’s a lot cheaper than buying them. So through this whole thing I realized something. When I was an environmental studies major, and actually, is anyone here an environmental studies major? Cool. So for me, when I started out, I was learning all of these things and was inundated with information. And I go really afraid. And I was telling people, like my mom for instance, like, mom you can not drink conventional milk, your boobs are going to fall off, there’s like puss in it, all this bad stuff is going to happen. Like don’t do it. And she was like your crazy, don’t talk to me and she totally blocked me out even though I was saying something, sorry I get a little graphic, just a little nice visual to leave with. And I was telling all these people these things that were totally valid, you know, these scary things that were going on but by telling them how to live, no one wanted to listen to me. But when I stopped trying to tell people how to live, and I actually looked at myself and stopped trying to yell at people for what they were doing, I started living zero waste and living my own values, I realized that the people around me started to change. My mom started drinking organic milk. My dad started recycling more. My friends started shopping at the farmers market. Not because I ever told them too, but because they saw how I was living and they aligned with it, and no one wants to do bad for the environment. Right? No one really, I mean, I’m sure there are a few people but no one really wants to make a ton of trash. Make a huge environmental negative impact. And so just by living the way I lived and putting it out there for people to see, I realized I was able to show people how to live in a way that was sustainable and actually achieve my goal of a positive environmental impact without ever having to tell someone how to do something. And so I felt that the best way to ever achieve my goals was to just live my values. So for any of you that are looking, or are upset with things that are going on in the world, instead of trying to fight them or challenge them I would suggest, for me it worked to just look at my self and ask how can I live my day to day life in a way that aligns with the world that I want to see. Thank you. And I’ll take questions. Right? Cool. And I love weird questions, and awkward questions. They make me feel comfortable and at home. And I don’t live here so I totally want to feel at home. Uh, back. Yeah you. Totally. Yeah. Do I buy second hand underwear? Actually I have bought second hand underwear before from a store in Brooklyn that has like really beautiful expensive second hand underwear and it didn’t gross me out all because I wear like second hand everything. And I have second hand bathing suite that’s really awesome but for my regular, like day to day underwear, sorry for anyone that doesn’t want to know about my underwear, I buy 100% organic underwear from an online shop that ships in only cardboard. So it’s totally plastic free and totally recyclable and compostable. And it’s 100% cotton so I can just compost it when I’m done with it. Moore: And I don’t mean to commandeer the mic here but their recording this so if people just raise their hands, they actually need to get you on the mic to record you. Singer: Don’t be afraid. Anyone on this side? Hello Lauren. So I was looking at your blog and one of the couple of things that I saw was that you advocated returning your plastic goods back into the Goodwill. Singer: I’m sorry? Returning your plastic goods back into the Goodwill. You know, taking those items.. Singer: Oh donating things. Yeah. And so I couldn’t help but think, doesn’t that then just give that problem to somebody else. Singer: That’s a good question. For me, one of the biggest reasons I stopped using plastic, besides you know not aligning with fossil fuel industry, is that plastic harbors toxins, and for a totally health reason is one of the things that I, you know, deemed why I needed to get rid of things. For most of my plastic products that were rigid plastics that could be recycled, I actually recycled them. Things like cutting boards. New York City actually has really great recycling program so I just recycled those. But for things like spatulas that technically couldn’t be recycled easy, actually now I could figure out how to recycle them properly, but at the time I couldn’t, and there were people that would use them so I donated them. And also there are a lot of food kitchens that would be happy to use things like that. But I recomend just reusing something as opposed to recycling it just because it reduces the amount of energy expended to form it into something new, but yes, technically it is giving it to someone else but, if someone needs it, yeah. I don’t know how to choose the hands. So I just wanted to know, on your plane ride here, you know how they give out peanuts and stuff like that. And you carry a mason jar and did you take that on the plane? Or did you like break it off? Singer: I always say no to like any of the handouts, like not even, like one for the packaging, obviously. But two, because it’s junk food and I just don’t eat processed, syntheticy food. But, I always come prepared so I bring my own plane snacks that I buy package free, like dried fruit and nuts, and a sandwich or something like that. And I always have my mason jar and people are always really down to fill up water in it and I’ve like made flight attendant friends because of it. So. Moore: And we now have these microphones up here, so if you want to ask her a question, just go ahead and go up and talk into the microphone, but while and before any body gets up here I’m going to ask you a question, Laura. What was the most difficult thing for you? The most difficult that maybe took a while to change or was a challenge? Singer: That’s one that I get often and really like, I mentioned this while I was talking, I did this for myself and no one else. And when you do things because you want to improve your life, if something is challenging, it isn’t really a bad challenge or a problem So it was never anything’s that made me feel like I want to quite, I want to give up. I was like, darn, this lotion wasn’t as good as it could be. I want to try again. And I think that positive attitude is what helped me actually achieve as much as I did with this lifestyle and now it’s just become a habit and so I don’t even realize that I live it any more because it just is what I do. It’s like any habit, it becomes a habit. I think there are things that are difficult to find. So like certain recipes that were good were hard to find at first. Like finding a deodorant recipe was like climbing Everest. It was like impossible. But once I found one it was amazing and awesome. And yeah, that was probably the hardest, deodorant. Sure, that’s a good question. My boyfriend has a son and so I’ve gotten through a lot of this. There are tons of really awesome websites that offer things for children that are totally package free and plastic free. So life without plastic is one of my favorite resources and they have things like kids bowls and kids cups and they’re like wooden toys for children and bento box, stainless steel to go containers and there’s re-usable diapers and organic cotton bibs and there’s, depending on the age of the child, but theirs also second hand clothing stores for children. There’s eBay, where you can buy tons of things second hand. So there are a lot of really awesome resources, it’s just knowing where to look. Audience Member: And you said the website was life without plastic? Singer: Yes. And they’re really, it’s like, beware, it’s dangerous. Audience Member: So one question that I’m sure a couple of us have because we’re in environmental science class, but we’re kinda curious on how big of a carbon foot print you leave on the Earth, if you’ve ever done… Singer: How big of a carbon footprint do I leave? I mean from a waste perspective, I’ve prevented thousands of pounds of trash from going to landfill if I were to live like a typical American or if I lived like I did before I started going zero waste. But I’ve never actually calculated how much carbon dioxide I’m expending on a daily basis. But, from a trash perspective, which is where I focus, obviously I haven’t sent anything to landfill so zero impact trash wise. I’m gonna take turns.. Audience Member: Well I’m just going to comment, I was going to get a lamp shade and went to the store and I found one for $44, I thought wait, that’s too much. And so I went to Goodwill and I got one for $14. Lamp, light, and everything and it’s gorgeous. So that’s a good plan. What are you going to do with the stuff you can’t get rid off? I mean, I see myself just always running into things where you just can’t get rid of stuff. And the second thing is, do you run into Colin Beaven? Singer: Actually, yeah he’s a good friend of mine, love him. If anyone doesn’t know him he has a documentary called No Impact Man that’s really great and he’s a super nice person and he’s coming out with a new book so I’m going to plug that for him. You should check it out, he’s really cool. Audience Member: Yeah its a great movie, quite funny and informative too. And he lives on the ninth floor so he walked up and down, but, so, the stuff that you can’t get rid off, what can you plan to do with that? I mean. I look at every body here and I look at myself thinking, ok I could try this and only go so far, buy I don’t know how far I could go. I mean I… Singer: Yeah. I think for me, any action to reduce your impact is a positive thing. So while you might not want to go zero waste, there are things, like we could all carry re usable bags instead of plastic bags. There’s absolutely no reason that anyone here, couldn’t, to my knowledge. We could all use reusable water bottles. There are places that you could get them out for free. Places like Goodwill. But I found that for basically everything there’s a place that I could bring it like, what, teracycle will even take cigarette butts and dirty diapers for recycling and so really there’s an option for everything. I try to buy or do buy 100% natural clothing, so all of that can be composted, but for all of the things that are synthetic there’s always textiling, and then the only things that I haven’t been able to, I guess I didn’t even say this, all of the trash that I have produced, so I haven’t sent anything to landfill but there has been trash that I have produced that was unavoidable, inside of, wait for it, that jar. So that’s all the trash from the past three years. And everything inside of that is plastic. Things like plastic straws I was given at bars, even though I asked for no straw. Produce stickers on produce before I realized that it was an option for me to shop at a farmers market. And it’s not that the stuff isn’t recyclable, it is, there’s just no current facility that will recycle this kind of plastic because there’s no value for the second hand product. So for anything that I do have a problem with recycling or you know re using, I put inside of that jar. And hold on to it hoping that one day I’ll be smarter and be able to find something to do with it. Audience Member: Hello Lauren. You said live your values. My question is this. I’m married, And I’m working full time, and I’m a full time student and I mean, I’m at home to come home to my homework, sleep and repeat. So my question is how would I help my spouse make that decision in our house and kind of implement the change. Singer: Again, I would never tell someone how to live. I would just try to embody those kind of values and see maybe if your spouse is inspired by any of them. So you know, maybe do things together, like hey can we go shopping together at the farmers market. Like that would be super fun and cool. Or let’s go second hand shopping together. I feel like with my friends that’s worked very well just being able to show them options that they didn’t know were there. They began implementing a lot of the things that I did on their own. Not because I told them to but because they were cool and it made sense to them. So if it’s something that you maybe turned into like a relationship building exercise then that could be like a really great way. Audience Member: So you were talking about buying like cocoanut oil and oils and stuff like that. This is kind of a hybrid question. And I also saw your picture of buying things in bulk in like a mason jar. Where as like when I try and buy stuff in bulk at Winco, they weigh it so it’s going to be like 87 times more expensive if you weigh the mason jar. So, number one, How do you find package free oil, cocoanut oil, whatever? Second, how do you manage buying things in bulk if you if you have such a heavy container? Singer: Well to answer your second question first. I actually have an article up on my blog about how to shop package free. It’s like three down form the top one now, maybe down four. And what happens is, like say I bring this jar to a store. I first weigh the jar, which is called taking the tear, or the pre weight. And then I’ll fill it up and write the sku or the item number of what I’m putting inside and then once I get to the register I tell them the weight of this jar and then subtract it from the total weight and so I’m only paying for what’s inside. Audience Member: And so I shop at places like Winco, but your talking about, so they, I don’t know if they would take that on faith. So, your talking about like farmers markets right? Singer: So they probably, no, like any grocery store has the capacity to do that. And if they don’t for some reason, you could switch to organic cotton bags which are really light weight and they won’t add a ton of weight to what your buying or even if you don’t want to buy something new you could use like a pillow case or sew up a t-shirt or something like that. And then, first question, things like oils in bulk. There are stores that are awesome and have bulk oils, like one of the places I go to has like bulk olive oil and soy sauce and honey and maple syrup and all these crazy things and if you don’t have that you could buy larger. So if you needed to buy coconut oil you could buy like a ten gallon thing of cocoanut oil and have it for a really long time and usually when you buy up in size it all comes in more rigid plastic or a rigid material or you can buy in glass that’s totally recyclable. Audience Member: So I was curious that…you clearly go to bars at like, when you go to a restaurant. Singer: But like I don’t drink that much. Audience Member: Well I guess that was another question. What do you look for when your purchasing liquor? Like what do you avoid? Like where do you buy whole sale liquor? That’s one thing. And also when your in a restaurant, what do you look for to make sure that their using sustainable practices? Singer: Really good questions. If you go to places like Wine stores, like for instance, in Brooklyn there like wine shops that make their own wine and you can go in and refill bottles. The same with a lot of places that sell beer. They sell growlers and so you can refill them. Luckily most alcohol comes in glass so they are totally recyclable but if I go to a bar I’ll aim towards buying things that are on tap or on draft so like beer that doesn’t come in a bottle and stuff like that for instance. But yeah most alcohol comes in glass or aluminum so it’s not really hard to recycle. Audience Member: But for food stuff are you ever just like… Singer: For what? Audience Member: but like food wise, at a restaurant, if your ordering something. Singer: So I don’t eat out that often, but when I do I only go to restaurants that are in alignment with what I care about. So I wouldn’t go to like McDonalds for instance. I choose restaurants that have a strong sustainable ethos that have local food that support farmers and usually what happens when you go to places like that is that they will compost and they’ll have higher sustainability practices. But there are places that have like paper napkins or straws, so just be really insistent for asking for my drinks without straw when I order them, and if their is a paper napkin I’ll ask if they have a re usable napkin or I’ll take the paper napkin home with me and compost it. Audience Member: Cool. Thank you. Audience Member: Do you pay attention to all your petroleum usage? So when you go to the farmers market do you purchase your goods, do you make sure that it’s organic grown, no pesticides, stuff like that? Singer: Totally. I’m Audience Member: When you travel, will you make sure, I mean do you plan your trips and stuff like that, obviously you had to fly from the east coast to west coast so. Singer: So living in New York, luckily I can walk everywhere. It seems like you guys can walk everywhere too, which is pretty cool. Oh no? Lying. But in New York I walk every where so I really don’t use like, I hardly use fossil fuels and especially in my own house, I basically eat raw, just because cooking, I just prefer salad’s and stuff. I’m getting fresh vegetables from the farmers market and I do eat all organic from the farmers market. But things like flying, there are offsets that I have mixed views on offsetting but unfortunately I can’t control the airline industry, and so there are steps that are being taken. Like there are planes running off of partial bio fuels which I just saw which is pretty awesome. But for right now like the only option is to offset. Audience Member: Well last year I started composting and I have a roommate who has been composting along side with me after I encouraged her. What I would like to continue this good trend and reduce all my waste as well but I’m not sure how to encourage my roommate to be supportive of me in my endeavors and maybe somehow encourage her to also do a lot of less waste as I am so how could I possibly build a good relationship so we can encourage each other to do zero waste? Singer: I think it goes back to where are you spouse person? Yeah, to the question that you asked. Just like involving each other in those things. So my ex-boyfriend we were together when I first started doing all of this and he was really into some things and I was really into other things. So he was really into making products so we started making products together. And had a lot of fun doing that and that kind of inspired us to try other things. And you know, for instance, if you and your roommate wanted to hang out, maybe, I don’t know how old you are, like drink beer and make your own products, it’s just a fun like friendship building exercise. And I think if you do things and your like yeah I totally got a discount on my coffee because I’m using reusable coffee cups, that’s like inspiring enough. Just by you living that way she might be inspired if she already does things like compost. Audience Member: Alright so I’m assuming since you eat so clean and look so clean you probably don’t get sick very often. But when the time ever comes that you need to take a medication or something like that how, like how do you view the use of medication and all that? Singer: So I really, I, that’s true, when I started eating better I just didn’t get sick and if I did get sick it would be like one day or two days which was just like amazing because I used to get sick all the time when I wasn’t living this lifestyle. And it’s probably like a lifestyle and stress and just food thing, but whatever it is I feel a lot better now. But with medications, if I do have like a stomach ache or a headache I try any natural method I can. There’s a book called healing with whole foods. Has anyone heard of that book? It’s an amazing book and it has like every possible ailment and has natural methods to heal it. So I’ll try that natural first. If there’s something that really demands that you need medicine, obviously your health is important and you should do what you have to do but you can recycle things like tubes from the pharmacy or bring them back. I got poison ivy a couple of years ago and I’m like really really really allergic to it. So I tried natural methods to heal it and it didn’t work and I was like exploding like with poison ivy and I like wanted to die and it was horrible. And I had to get steroids and it came in a metal tube so luckily I could recycle it. But it was just one of those instances where I had to make a choice and I did. Audience Member: So just curious, I’m gonna give you the naughty question. What do you do with your birth control? Singer: I do not take birth control, even before living this, I stopped, I wasn’t into like, like taking pills or regulating. My friends started doing this thing where she takes her body temperature. She bought this thermometer, it was like $300 and it tells you when your fertile and just based on your temperature. If it changes by like .1 degree it can tell you whether or not you can have intercourse. Sorry people. And so obviously I always recommend like people using protection if they are going to sleep with someone. Getting an unwanted STD or having an unwanted pregnancy obviously isn’t sustainable. Never go that reaction before. But, I think everyone’s different and I always say protect yourself first, but do what works for you in your relationship. Yeah. Audience Member: I’ve been trying to bring this thing up. Ah, whatever. I’m working at a locally own bar and restaurant and I’ve constant contact with the owners and they are really great people but one of the things I’ve noticed constantly is we have a whole lot of unnecessary waste. And I constantly try to talk to them about alternative measures to take, but from a company stand point, what are some things that maybe you know about that I could recommend to them to alter the way that they, in terms of cleaning products or just packaging, whatever? Singer: Totally. You guys can compost here right? So like a big on is obviously having compostable take away containers. My boyfriend is a cook and so he actually tries to do just that, make restaurants more sustainable and restaurants are inherently unsustainable and produce a lot of trash but there are like little things that can happen. So doing things like using re usable napkins obviously, and not having straws, doing things like having compostable take out containers. Not having plastic, or having alternatives to plastic wrap, so not using like deli containers and using steel containers. Like little changes that are more expensive but in the long run they are cheaper. Audience Member: So clearly your a vegan right? Signer: I’m not a vegan. Audience Member: Do you eat meat? Singer: Sometimes. Audience Member: You do. Ok so, here’s a really good question for you. So when you go to a store to buy meat, how about do you package that up without the waste? Singer: Totally. So I don’t buy meat at stores, if I do it’s from someone who I know killed it. But in a store you can buy meat from like a deli counter the same way you would like bringing your own container. You can bring your own container and say can you just take the pre weight and put the meat in. You can do the same with cheese or fish. And then they’ll take the weight of the container, you put it in the weigh and they just charge you for what’s inside. You can also if they say no to that for some reason you can either try a person that works there. Because some people are different about doing things like that. Or you can just have them wrap it in paper and then compost it. Audience Member: Awesome thank you. Audience Member: Hi. Thanks for answering all of these questions. Singer: Yeah of course. Audience Member: I want to ask about backlash. I’m mean the question in a million ways, the simplest one is I have some students who are trying to do simple things like using re usable bags and they’re getting essentially micro aggressed by the people that are checking them out. So I think it might be helpful for some of them to hear your journey of developing a backbone because you know in a sense your in a minority. And it seems if your an environmentally minded person and your expressing it through your life choices we get kind of beaten down a little bit. So I’m just curious how, what your journey has been like. Singer: I think number one, your totally right. The way that I live is totally minority way and the way that I do things is really strange to people because they’ve never seen it done or it’s new or it’s alien and sometimes I get looks from people and I’m just like this is amazing. This is so cool because when someone gives me a look when I’m doing something that they’ve never seen before if it means that I’m showing them something that they’ve never seen before so in a way I’m educating them. And I will sometimes say like hey can you put this in my re-usable cup because I don’t like to use disposable and make a ton of landfill trash. And it’s just like a tiny little blurb but it helps to kind of get an internal dialogue going that will explain why I’m doing the things that I’m doing and it’s really like a way to educate people. And that happens a lot at coffee shops. People will be like whoa I’ve never seen anyone use a mason jar before. And they’ll be like that’s so cool it makes so much sense. I’m going to start doing that. Or I’ll get like a discount on my coffee and it just kind of like, I’m not trying to prove anything to any one and if that’s the place that your coming from living a lower impact lifestyle. Someone criticizing you shouldn’t matter because your doing it for yourself. Audience Member: Hi Laura. From your PBT I have seen that you have been several time to Whole Food market which is one of my favorite market to buy some grocery. But for a college student, it seems like a little bit too expensive and do you have any recommendation for this? Singer: For produce, sometimes it can be less expensive but farmers markets if find, it also depends on what your buying and the most expensive food is food that’s wasted and doesn’t get eaten and so for me like I found that once I started really planning, I was spending a lot less on groceries because I didn’t need as much as I thought I did. But really farmers markets I find are a lot less expensive then going to a chain grocery store. Audience member: That’s cool and I’m starting environmental sciences and I did a little bit research about whole market, sorry about that, I don’t want to say something biased but I have seen a lot of market. They are saying like organic, but they are same product for higher price and it just seems ridiculous to me. Singer: So, that’s exactly, things like that is exactly why I don’t really shop at large chain stores often. You know, sometimes if your traveling it’s like the only option that you have. But, I shop, I really believe in community and knowing the people that you buy from like from the food to where I’m buying the ingredients from like, especially for my business. And when I shop at the farmers market, I know the farmers that are growing my food and how they are doing it and so I know that the thing, price that they are charging is justified because it’s organic and they’re driving all the way from upstate New York to bring it. So I just feel like buying it directly from the person that grows your food is the best option. Audience Member: Thank you so much. Audience Member: Hello, given the public nature of your project, you have to respond to objections I’m sure on a pretty regular basis. Are there any objections that you run across consistently that you have trouble responding to? Singer: Kind of. I think I get asked if I’m vegan a lot. That’s always one that, actually I don’t get asked if I’m vegan a lot, I get told that I need to be vegan and that’s insanely frustrating to me. I would never tell anyone what to do or how to live. And trying to push an ideal on me will never work. I think just by living a lifestyle and just sharing with someone why you do what you do, but not telling someone why they should do something is the most effective way to do it. For me, like I have my own reasons for choosing to eat the way that I do that are very based in science and research so for me just being told to do something is really the hardest for me because I’m very conscious about all the decisions that I make. But yeah anyone telling me how to live is always super frustrating because I would never tell someone how to live. Audience Member: So you just kind of disarm them with the attitude of… Audience Member: So I have a question. As a teacher I sit in my classroom and I try to teach environmental studies to students and then I go to faculty office to pick up my mail and then I find all of the trash that could actually be recycled in the trash can in the faculty offices. And then I go to faculty functions or school functions and it’s all disposable things and stuff along those lines. So how do you, you must have given talks at lots of places like this or being at NYU, how did you, without telling people what to do, how do you get the message that, hey, here’s a different option for you? Singer: I think just by talking about it. It’s really easy with the girl that used to piss me off in college about bringing trash, you know, I shamely, have never, or did never approach her about what she was doing or talk about that problem. I just took it upon myself to change the way that I lived. But I think that sitting down with your peers and having a conversation and being like hey we’re throwing out a lot of stuff, just like is anyone feel that maybe we can be recycling a bit more? Or like try to approach it from a really positive place or say like lets have a challenge. Maybe we can recycle more than have trash and weigh it every week or whatever. Try to make it into a positive thing. But they’re all habits. Some people don’t have a habit of recycling or having a conscious about what they’re throwing away and just like creating a dialogue around that and helping people to change their habits, if they want to. Audience Member: HI, thanks for coming and talking with us. I just on a personal note, it’s been a lot of fun after learning about your lifestyle to take a mason jar to the store and buy things in bulk, which you can do at the Tacoma Food Co-op, for the women who asked. You can get your olive oil there and your soy sauce, so we do have a resource. But my question is that you mentioned that you wanted to go into politics or do something with legislature because you want to make an impact there. But here you have a blog, and your giving talks, and your also living your zero waste lifestyle. So do you feel that, and I don’t know if this is the right question, do you feel that one makes a bigger impact than the other or are they different? Do they compliment each other in some way? Singer: Yeah, I think that like any space trying to make a positive impact is positive. For me and what my strengths are, I didn’t think being in politics and being in an office all day was the right place for me. I was also inspired by a professor of mine that I had at NYU. His name is Jeffery Honder and he started a company called seventh generation. Does anyone know that company? And he left that company and started a new company called sustain that make sustainable condoms. And he informed us about the bag practices of the rubber industry, obviously rubber makes latex, which makes condoms, and he said that he wanted to invest in fair trade rubber and help to grow that industry and just by starting a new company he was going to inspire other people to change the whole face of an industry. And that was amazing to me and that was kind of one of the motivating factors that made me feel that business was the right place for me. That by creating a product, you didn’t have to do something bad, you could actually do a lot of good on a large scale platform and so I think it’s all about doing what’s or finding your strength and running with it. Moore: Hey Lauren. It looks like I’m going to be the last question before we end tonight. But so my question is, so you live your zero waste lifestyle fro yourself with the mason jar as proof of that. But do you ever really think, I pose the question to you that you pose to us, which is, is it truly possible with all the infrastructure that we have to truly live a zero waste lifestyle and I guess I ask this because I’m wondering if the whole notion of zero waste is kind of illusory given are structures in society. Somewhere up steam when we go out to eat or even the olive oil or the coconut oil that comes to the store has to come from some kind of packaging. How do you feel about that? Singer: It’s a really good question. For me like I explained before, I focus on just individual trash impact so my personal trash output, which I think and has been possible to have at zero, but there’s a lot of change that has to happen in business and in all different kinds of industry that has to happen to be truly you know waste free. And I think its just, its so multi faceting. I mean you have to have the adequate facilities to recycle things and industrial composting or even small scale composting and then you have to ask the question should there even be these large businesses making all this trash and a big thing that I focus on is big businesses aren’t even held responsible for the trash or the products that they’re creating so they can make anything and put it on to the market and not have to pay for recycling infrastructure and that burden falls on the tax payers and on governments which is why taxes are so high and why we’re always complaining but we’re buying these products form companies that don’t have any responsibility so like they wipe their hands clean. Again, another huge problem, but I mean, there was a time when people weren’t really creating trash and things were made from natural materials and so if there weren’t synthetics, technically everything could be composted and returned back into the Earth. So it is possible, it’s just we have to revert back to a lifestyle where synthetic products weren’t the norm. Moore: A great, actually I have just one more quick question. And I’m, why do you, can you give us the elevator speech of why you hate plastic so much? Singer: Oh my god, I mean, do you have time. So, the biggest reasons that I don’t like plastic are one, obviously it takes forever to biodegrade and I have a friend who’s a scientist that actually helps to make plastic and he says that even if it’s a bio plastic it’ll never truly bio degrade. And so that’s one thing. Also, plastic attracts toxins. So when it gets into the ocean, which inevitably happens to most plastic does, it can be up to a million more times more toxic than the water around it. And what happens with plastic is because of the acidity of the ocean, in some breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces and then fish and marine life mistake that for food and the toxins in that plastic does something called bio accumulates which means the amount of toxins in a species that’s eating it increases as you move up the food chain. And so the fish that are getting to us are totally contaminated with toxins that they’ve received in their bodies because of toxins that we’ve improperly disposed of or irresponsibly disposed of. So just for it’s pure impact on nature, that’s one of the reasons, but like, getting into the whole extraction process, you know like the extraction of fossil fuels for plastic is totally environmentally detrimental and uses a ton of fuel to make fuel. A ton of water, even things like hydrofracking to make gas, I mean, tons of toxic chemicals, millions of gallons of water and sand has tainted water, drinking water for people. It has absolutely ruined lives. Has even in some cases been said to start or bring earthquakes in certain areas so the oil and gas industry, besides even the plastic product, is just a totally unsustainable industry, so that’s the short of it. Moore: Sounds like your kind of on the fence. No I’m just kidding. Can we give her a round of applause and thank her. Singer: Thank you. And I can totally stand here if anyone, if anyone else has questions I can stand. Yeah.
Oh, Mr sun, sun, Mister Golden sun Please shine down on me Oh, Mr sun, sun, Mister Golden sun Hiding behind a tree Little children are asking you Please come out so we can play with you Oh Mr sun, sun, Mister Golden sun Please shine down on me Oh, Mr sun, sun, Mister Golden sun Please shine down on me Oh, Mr sun, sun, Mister Golden sun Hiding behind a tree Little children are asking you Please come out so we can play with you Oh Mr sun, sun, Mister Golden sun Please shine down on me Please shine down on me
I became an inventor by accident. I was out of the air force in 1956. No, no, that’s not true: I went in in 1956, came out in 1959, was working at the University of Washington, and I came up with an idea, from reading a magazine article, for a new kind of a phonograph tone arm. Now, that was before cassette tapes, C.D.s, DVDs — any of the cool stuff we’ve got now. And it was an arm that, instead of hinging and pivoting as it went across the record, went straight: a radial, linear tracking tone arm. And it was the hardest invention I ever made, but it got me started, and I got really lucky after that. And without giving you too much of a tirade, I want to talk to you about an invention I brought with me today: my 44th invention. No, that’s not true either. Golly, I’m just totally losing it. My 44th patent; about the 15th invention. I call this hypersonic sound. I’m going to play it for you in a couple minutes, but I want to make an analogy before I do to this. I usually show this hypersonic sound and people will say, That’s really cool, but what’s it good for? And I say, What is the light bulb good for? Sound, light: I’m going to draw the analogy. When Edison invented the light bulb, pretty much looked like this. Hasn’t changed that much. Light came out of it in every direction. Before the light bulb was invented, people had figured out how to put a reflector behind it, focus it a little bit; put lenses in front of it, focus it a little bit better. Ultimately we figured out how to make things like lasers that were totally focused. Now, think about where the world would be today if we had the light bulb, but you couldn’t focus light; if when you turned one on it just went wherever it wanted to. That’s the way loudspeakers pretty much are. You turn on the loudspeaker, and after almost 80 years of having those gadgets, the sound just kind of goes where it wants. Even when you’re standing in front of a megaphone, it’s pretty much every direction. A little bit of differential, but not much. If the light bulb was the way the speaker is, and you couldn’t focus or sharpen the edges or define it, we wouldn’t have that, or movies in general, or computers, or T.V. sets, or C.D.s, or DVDs — and just go down the list of what the importance is of being able to focus light. Now, after almost 80 years of having sound, I thought it was about time that we figure out a way to put sound where you want to. I have a couple of units. That guy there was made for a demo I did yesterday early in the day for a big car maker in Detroit who wants to put them in a car — small version, over your head — so that you can actually get binaural sound in a car. What if I could aim sound the way I aim light? I got this waterfall I recorded in my back yard. Now, you’re not going to hear a thing unless it hits you. Maybe if I hit the side wall it will bounce around the room. (Applause) The sound is being made right next to your ears. Is that cool? (Applause) Because I have some limited time, I’ll cut it off for a second, and tell you about how it works and what it’s good for. Course, like light, it’s great to be able to put sound to highlight a clothing rack, or the cornflakes, or the toothpaste, or a talking plaque in a movie theater lobby. Sony’s got an idea — Sony’s our biggest customers right now. They tried this back in the ’60s and were too smart, and so they gave up. But they want to use it — seriously. There’s a mix an inventor has to have. You have to be kind of smart, and though I did not graduate from college doesn’t mean I’m stupid, because you cannot be stupid and do very much in the world today. Too many other smart people out there. So. I just happened to get my education in a little different way. I’m not at all against education. I think it’s wonderful; I think sometimes people, when they get educated, lose it: they get so smart they’re unwilling to look at things that they know better than. And we’re living in a great time right now, because almost everything’s being explored anew. I have this little slogan that I use a lot, which is: virtually nothing — and I mean this honestly — has been invented yet. We’re just starting. We’re just starting to really discover the laws of nature and science and physics. And this is, I hope, a little piece of it. Sony’s got this vision back — to get myself on track — that when you stand in the checkout line in the supermarket, you’re going to watch a new T.V. channel. They know that when you watch T.V. at home, because there are so many choices you can change channels, miss their commercials. A hundred and fifty-one million people every day stand in the line at the supermarket. Now, they’ve tried this a couple years ago and it failed, because the checker gets tired of hearing the same message every 20 minutes, and reaches out, turns off the sound. And, you know, if the sound isn’t there, the sale typically isn’t made. For instance, like, when you’re on an airplane, they show the movie, you get to watch it for free; when you want to hear the sound, you pay. And so ABC and Sony have devised this new thing where when you step in the line in the supermarket — initially it’ll be Safeways. It is Safeways; they’re trying this in three parts of the country right now — you’ll be watching TV. And hopefully they’ll be sensitive that they don’t want to offend you with just one more outlet. But what’s great about it, from the tests that have been done, is, if you don’t want to hear it, you take about one step to the side and you don’t hear it. So, we create silence as much as we create sound. ATMs that talk to you; nobody else hears it. Sit in bed, two in the morning, watch TV; your spouse, or someone, is next to you, asleep; doesn’t hear it, doesn’t wake up. We’re also working on noise canceling things like snoring, noise from automobiles. I have been really lucky with this technology: all of a sudden as it is ready, the world is ready to accept it. They have literally beat a path to our door. We’ve been selling it since about last September, October, and it’s been immensely gratifying. If you’re interested in what it costs — I’m not selling them today — but this unit, with the electronics and everything, if you buy one, is around a thousand bucks. We expect by this time next year, it’ll be hundreds, a few hundred bucks, to buy it. It’s not any more pricey than regular electronics. Now, when I played it for you, you didn’t hear the thunderous bass. This unit that I played goes from about 200 hertz to above the range of hearing. It’s actually emitting ultrasound — low-level ultrasound — that’s about 100,000 vibrations per second. And the sound that you’re hearing, unlike a regular speaker on which all the sound is made on the face, is made out in front of it, in the air. The air is not linear, as we’ve always been taught. You turn up the volume just a little bit — I’m talking about a little over 80 decibels — and all of a sudden the air begins to corrupt signals you propagate. Here’s why: the speed of sound is not a constant. It’s fairly slow. It changes with temperature and with barometric pressure. Now, imagine, if you will, without getting too technical, I’m making a little sine wave here in the air. Well, if I turn up the amplitude too much, I’m having an effect on the pressure, which means during the making of that sine wave, the speed at which it is propagating is shifting. All of audio as we know it is an attempt to be more and more perfectly linear. Linearity means higher quality sound. Hypersonic sound is exactly the opposite: it’s 100 percent based on non-linearity. An effect happens in the air, it’s a corrupting effect of the sound — the ultrasound in this case — that’s emitted, but it’s so predictable that you can produce very precise audio out of that effect. Now, the question is, where’s the sound made? Instead of being made on the face of the cone, it’s made at literally billions of little independent points along this narrow column in the air, and so when I aim it towards you, what you hear is made right next to your ears. I said we can shorten the column, we can spread it out to cover the couch. I can put it so that one ear hears one speaker, the other ear hears the other. That’s true binaural sound. When you listen to stereo on your home system, your both ears hear both speakers. Turn on the left speaker sometime and notice you’re hearing it also in your right ear. So, the stage is more restricted — the sound stage that’s supposed to spread out in front of you. Because the sound is made in the air along this column, it does not follow the inverse square law, which says it drops off about two thirds every time you double the distance: 6dB every time you go from one meter, for instance, to two meters. That means you go to a rock concert or a symphony, and the guy in the front row gets the same level as the guy in the back row, now, all of a sudden. Isn’t that terrific? So, we’ve been, as I say, very successful, very lucky, in having companies catch the vision of this, from cars — car makers who want to put a stereo system in the front for the kids, and a separate system in the back — oh, no, the kids aren’t driving today. (Laughter) I was seeing if you were listening. Actually, I haven’t had breakfast yet. A stereo system in the front for mom and dad, and maybe there’s a little DVD player in the back for the kids, and the parents don’t want to be bothered with that, or their rap music or whatever. So, again, this idea of being able to put sound anywhere you want to is really starting to catch on. It also works for transmitting and communicating data. It also works five times better underwater. We’ve got the military — have just deployed some of these into Iraq, where you can put fake troop movements quarter of a mile away on a hillside. (Laughter) Or you can whisper in the ear of a supposed terrorist some Biblical verse. (Laughter) I’m serious. And they have these infrared devices that can look at their countenance, and see a fraction of a degree Kelvin in temperature shift from 100 yards away when they play this thing. And so, another way of hopefully determining who’s friendly and who isn’t. We make a version with this which puts out 155 decibels. Pain is 120. So it allows you to go nearly a mile away and communicate with people, and there can be a public beach just off to the side, and they don’t even know it’s turned on. We sell those to the military presently for about 70,000 dollars, and they’re buying them as fast as we can make them. We put it on a turret with a camera, so that when they shoot at you, you’re over there, and it’s there. I have a bunch of other inventions. I invented a plasma antenna, to shift gears. Looked up at the ceiling of my office one day — I was working on a ground-penetrating radar project — and my physicist CEO came in and said, “We have a real problem. We’re using very short wavelengths. We’ve got a problem with the antenna ringing. When you run very short wavelengths, like a tuning fork the antenna resonates, and there’s more energy coming out of the antenna than there is the backscatter from the ground that we’re trying to analyze, taking too much processing.” I says, “Why don’t we make an antenna that only exists when you want it? Turn it on; turn it off. That’s a fluorescent tube refined.” I just sold that for a million and a half dollars, cash. I took it back to the Pentagon after it got declassified, when the patent issued, and told the people back there about it, and they laughed, and then I took them back a demo and they bought. (Laughter) Any of you ever wore a Jabber headphone — the little cell headphones? That’s my invention. I sold that for seven million dollars. Big mistake: it just sold for 80 million dollars two years ago. I actually drew that up on a little crummy Mac computer in my attic at my house, and one of the many designs which they have now is still the same design I drew way back when. So, I’ve been really lucky as an inventor. I’m the happiest guy you’re ever going to meet. And my dad died before he realized anybody in the family would maybe, hopefully, make something out of themselves. You’ve been a great audience. I know I’ve jumped all over the place. I usually figure out what my talk is when I get up in front of a group. Let me give you, in the last minute, one more quick demo of this guy, for those of you that haven’t heard it. Can never tell if it’s on. If you haven’t heard it, raise your hand. Getting it over there? Get the cameraman. Yeah, there you go. I’ve got a Coke can opening that’s right in your head; that’s really cool. Thank you once again. Appreciate it very much.