Tagged: Ryan Church

Using Zoom

I’m pleased to welcome back guest blogger, RYAN CHURCH. He loves to talk about TECHNOLOGY. As I’ve always found his explanations really helpful, I asked him to explain how to use Zoom. 

Ryan is the Founder and CEO of Biome Renewables, a design and engineering firm based in Toronto that uses biomimicry to create world-leading clean technology.

Here’s RYAN

The need for social distancing, more correctly termed physical distancing, has affected different sectors of our society in different ways.

I am a millennial; 30 years old, the CEO of my own clean energy technology startup. Much of what I do is online, and has been online since long before any of this COVID19 pandemic swept into our lives. Normally, I worked from home a few days a week and only went into the office for meetings when necessary, or to do collaborative tasks that benefit from all being in the same room. You might have thought that I believed in “social distancing” before it was cool. In reality, it is just the most efficient way to work. I’m not alone in this belief. Many of my generation work in this way. We make our living in a virtual world.

Others in our society didn’t work this way. The boomer generation, for example, typically “went to work” every day. Now in their retirement years, they normally interact with friends in person whenever they can. They get together. Now that physical distancing is being strictly enforced, the boomer generation faces a real threat of social isolation unless they find alternative means to get together virtually. Hence, the need to learn about Zoom.

In my day-to-day work week, I use Zoom conferencing a lot. It allows me to connect with team members without having to travel. I can host a video call, or join one in progress. And it’s free for forty minutes. If a meeting is prolonged, you can always start a new one. Businesses who normally use Zoom for longer periods pay a fee.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Access the Zoom webpage: https://zoom.us/
  2. Click on the button “Sign Up, It’s Free” in the top menu.

  3. Choose how you’d like to sign up. You can use your personal email, or if you have a Google account, you can click on that. I wouldn’t sign in with Facebook.

  4. Now go to the email you used to sign up. Zoom will send you a confirmation email. Click on the blue “Sign Up” button within that email. Then create your password.

  5. Once signed in, you can schedule a meeting, join a meeting, or host a meeting. Zoom will launch an application on your computer which you then must download. Downloading will allow you to access these features.

  6. If you want to host a meeting, you invite people by clicking on this button and following the links.

  7. If you want to join a meeting that someone else initiated, you will have been sent an email with a code. Click “Join a Meeting” and put in your code. You will be talking with your friends on video in no time. [If you have problems with the sound, check the sound inputs and outputs on your computer or mobile device.]

With these simple steps, social isolation can be transformed into global connection, putting you in touch with friends everywhere. Other platforms like Skype do much the same thing, but Zoom allows you to schedule meetings in ways that Skype just does not.

For those concerned about “Zoom-bombers” inappropriately invading your meeting, it is important to know that this occurs only when meetings are Open Invitations, advertised publicly, online, and not limited to designated individuals. It is also something that has not occurred with paid accounts. So, if security is of concern to you, paying for Zoom is the best option. This also eliminates the length limit of your calls.

There are other good options that will allow you to connect with those who matter to you, such as WhatsApp, FaceTime and Google Hangouts. But these have limitations. WhatsApp and FaceTime don’t allow you to schedule a call and are primarily designed for your phone. Google Hangouts can lag. 

So, download Zoom on your computer or smart phone, set up and join those Zoom meetings. Using Zoom, you may find that our world is more connected than ever.


***** If you have any comments or suggestions based on your use of Zoom, please share them with all our readers by adding a COMMENT below this post. Thank you. 

Inside the Jewel Box: A Visit to the Aga Khan Museum

I am delighted to introduce my second Guest Blogger, RYAN CHURCH.

Ryan just graduated, with a Masters of Design in Strategic Foresight and Innovation, from OCADU. He is the founder and CEO of BiomeDesign Inc., and hails from British Columbia. His website is www.biome-design.com.

Here’s Ryan…

Driving the Don Valley Parkway to the Aga Khan Museum does little to prepare you for what lies ahead. The complex includes the Ismaili Centre, a vast garden, and the sparkling white jewel box of the Museum. The jewels within the museum are just that, one-of-a-kind masterpieces that speak to the cultural richness of the Muslim world. The founder of the Aga Khan Museum wanted the museum to be a place where the Muslim world could be understood; its cultural riches, its crafts, arts, textiles, and knowledge made evident to the wider world.

As a designer, the first thing I noticed was the attention to detail. Every floor tile, every bathroom mirror, bejewelled seat cushion, window covering, and mural carries the same theme. No expense has been spared. Throughout, 99 variations on the word Allah and the theme of infinity done in a myriad of variations. All give a sense of unity and peace to the entire building. The geometrical and mathematical significance of these designs is not lost on those with elementary geometry – the square of odd numbers radiates and shimmers as light plays with shadow, day with night.

Entering the permanent collection, I was struck by the projections cast on the wall – the projectors themselves facing vertically and reflecting their images off mirrors; little slits in the wall, arranged just-so. Around the corner, treasures from the ancient world echo ancient and revered knowledge. A personal favourite is the famous Qanun, the Canon of Medicine of Ibn Sina from the mid 11th century. Within this velum volume is the medical knowledge of ancient Greece, that of Galen and Dioscorides, passed along the Silk Road as far as Iran where the Golden Age of Islam was flourishing. Beside it is a volume of Mansur’s Anatomy, the Tashrih-e Mansuri, complete with an illustrated full-colour image of our understanding of the human body at the time. We remember that much of ‘western’ medicine and knowledge was known in the near east for millennia before the Renaissance re-birth in the west.

Going further is yet another masterpiece, Ferdowsi’s epic poem, the Shahnameh, or ‘Book of Kings.’ Written at the beginning of the 11th century, this national epic of Iran spans some 60,000 verses. It tells both mythological and historical tales of the Persian Empire back to the beginning of time (570 AD, the birth of the Prophet Muhammad). The Museum has 11 folios of the most richly decorated of the manuscript, that of the reign of Shah Tahmasp (1524-1576). The rest, some 800 in total, are scattered around the world. These folios glitter with vibrant colour, ink and gold, and speak to the cultural richness of this museum. Among the 11 on site is the frontispiece of the Shah Tahmasp Shahnameh, known as the “Mona Lisa of Iran.” It is currently in storage for preservation but will be on display in the future – what a treat that will be! In the meantime, visitors can view photos of this folio on iPads located near the others.

The museum itself is not large but, unlike most museums, it compels you to observe and rest at each image and artifact, and to contemplate its significance for the birth of the modern world – and not just the Islamic world. That, perhaps, is the point: why the Aga Khan chose Toronto as the home for such an important cultural collection. Canada is seen, at least by some, as a model country where cultures and races from all backgrounds mix, and carry on with what it means to be human. The Aga Khan Museum is an outward manifestation of that, and we are all the richer for having it here in Toronto.

Parking costs $10 for the day, but you get a voucher equal to the parking fee if you visit the gift shop or have lunch in the restaurant, which you will want to do. A visit to the Museum, and the gardens, is more than an all-day affair.

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