Please Help Support Camp Oochigeas

Thus far, 2010 has been a year of self-awareness for me. First, I kicked-off the year by deciding to track my workouts, number of books read, hours of sleep and how I’m feeling each day. So far it’s been a very rewarding and enlightening experience (let me know if you want a copy of my Google Doc I’m using to track everything). However, as Q1 is wrapping-up, I have already seen my workout pacing decrease as my day-to-day responsibilities increase. I didn’t like this one bit. To re-prioritize exercise within my lifestyle, I have committed to running a 10km race in 41 days. I have neither ran 10k nor raced in any event previously. Wish me luck.

Sporting Life 10k For Kids with Cancer
The Sporting Life 10k is scheduled for May 2, 2010 and is supporting Camp Oochigeas, a camp for children with cancer. With no government funding, Camp Oochigeas relies on the generosity of volunteers, donors, community participants and the Hospital for Sick Children to provide year-round programs for children affected by childhood cancer at their campsite in Muskoka and at no cost to their families. I am personally raising at least $250 (update: at least $500) for this charity — please support me in my fundraising efforts.

Gearing-up: Nike + iPod
To get in-gear for the 10k, I joined (my profile page) and consulted their “coach”. Unfortunately, Nikeplus only offers a 12-week program — not 42 days (as at yesterday) — so I figure I’ll follow the first 5.5 weeks of the program to get in-shape for the big run. Yesterday, I was assigned my first run from coach — I had to run 4.82km! Talk about being thrown into the deep-end. So, I ventured to the University of Toronto gym to run the indoor track with my Nike + iPod sensor and iPhone to track my progress.

Although I had to walk for a few periods of time, here are my net results for run #1:

  • Distance: 4.82km
  • Duration: 30:42
  • Pace: 6’22” /km
  • Fastest Kilometer: 5’42”
  • Calories Burned: 371

If you join Nikeplus, add me as a friend (username: jsookman).

More Details on the 10k Race
It is Canada’s easiest and one of the fastest downhill 10k’s (a good starter, I think…), and it runs right down the middle of Canada’s most famous street—Yonge Street! The start line is four blocks south of Sporting Life (at Yonge & Roselawn). From there, the course heads south on Yonge Street all the way to Richmond Street. It then turns west on Richmond, south on Peter/Blue Jays Way past Gretzky’s to Front St. The course then goes west along Front, south on Bathurst, west on Fort York Blvd. to finish! See the map below.

Course Map/Overview

Once again, please consider contributing to Camp Oochigeas. It is performing miracles for these children.

Update: Disqus Replaces IntenseDebate for Comments

Apologies to all my readers for being unable to post comments over the last couple weeks. I tried to get the IntenseDebate system online (customer service was helpful and easily reached via Twitter/email); however, although it seemed that comments were being accepted by the commenting system, they were mysterious vanishing into the Internet abyss.

I made the switch to Disqus and I couldn’t be happier. Not only does it have a much easier integration process, but it also has a richer set of tools and options for commenting, sharing/social and UI/UX elements.

Once again, if you had tried to post a comment in the past (but were unable to do so), please take this opportunity. You can now easily sign-in through Facebook Connect, Twitter, OpenID, Yahoo!, Disqus or as a Guest.

Leaving Comments Just Got Easier!

For as long as I have had this blog online, one of my strongest concerns was the friction (caused by WordPress and anti-spam tools) preventing my readers from easily leaving comments on my blog.

Now, thanks to an excellent plug-in called IntenseDebate, anybody can now leave comments by signing in through Facebook, Twitter, OpenID, WordPress or IntenseDebate. The plug-in also has some great sidebar tools that dynamically generate a list of the most popular blog posts (ranked by number of comments received) and recent comments received.

If there had been a comment that you wanted to make in response to a previous article, but were turned off by the process involved, I now invite you to participate in those discussions.

To my readers: Thank you all for subscribing and I’m looking forward to the additional conversations that result from these changes. Have a great weekend!

CN Tower Update

I would like to thank those of you who sponsored me for the CN Tower climb. I managed to climb the 1,776 steps (144 flights) in 17 minutes and 24 seconds. Then they proceeded to tell me (as the lactic acid burned through my legs) that I had to climb another 10 service flights to get to the glass floor-level! Needless to say I was not impressed…

Dave Howlett Live!

Last night I had the chance to see Dave Howlett give one of his famous “Knocking Down Silos” talks; it was a networking event not to miss. He has a way of working the crowd by telling story after story to keep people’s keen attention! Oh, and he keeps his crowd on their toes by bringing them into his talk when they are least expecting it…

Dave said that if we should only remember one phrase, that it should be “Watch your weekend challenges” to symbolize 3 ways to begin a meaningful conversation with another. I could easily post what its supposed to mean, but I would rather instill mystery and send you off to find out for yourself. So, check out his website at and take one of his seminars – it’s a worthwhile experience! It’s the morning after, and I have already received one email from someone looking to follow up on a chat we had last night. It’s all about people.

Off to California!

It’s about time! Everyday I’m reading about the next big thing coming out of California, all the VC money in California, all the great networks in California, and the wakeboarding … well I’M COMING, TODAY!

I’m flying into San Francisco, where I will be attending the Web 2.0 Expo @ Moscone West on Sunday, and possibly some of Monday if I can’t resist going back. I mean seriously, take a look at this schedule; it looks sick, right? If you are going to be in the Bay Area and want to check out the Expo part only, you can get in for free by using the discount code “webex07wbr” which gives you $100 off the $100 expo pass price! If you’re going to be around the expo, fire an email to jsookman [(at)] and we can grab a coffee.

I’ll be flying south to Orange County, yes “The O.C.”, to go to the World Innovation Forum which I spoke about at length in my post trying to recruit others! In any case, hopefully I’ll learn a thing or two … if you’re interested but can’t make it, I’ll give you a summary when I get back to T.O.

Special Note: If you are reading this, and you (1) live in San Francisco, (2) own a wakeboard boat and wakeboard, and (3) are free on Saturday morning (April 14th) — fire me an email at the address above, because I can’t wait to get back on the water!!

Climbing the CN Tower

Global Warming, also called climate change is the single biggest environmental threat facing our world today! In order to help World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Canada fight global warming, I’ve decided to climb the 1,776 steps of the CN Tower. While I will do the climbing, I need you to help me raise needed funds. Remember, for every pledge of $20 or more you will get a tax receipt.

Its ME vs. CN Tower! Place your bets on the winner …

To sponsor me, please go to:

Just In: Sub-Zero Beer and Ice hotter than boiling water?!

Looking for a new venture to finance? Here are a few business ideas based on cutting-edge physics. Talk to Daniel Dolan who has turned water to ice in nanoseconds, but having a temperature hotter than the boiling point of water! Alternatively, he also says that water in a glass could be cooled below freezing and remain as water in a supercooled state – now that could be a refreshing beer!

Here’s an interesting point that the article mentions:

In the Z experiment, the volume of water shrank abruptly and discontinuously, consistent with the formation of almost every known form of ice except the ordinary kind, which expands. (One might wonder why this ice shrank instead of expanding, given the common experience of frozen water expanding to wreck garden hoses left out over winter. The answer is that only “ordinary” ice expands when water freezes. There are at least 11 other known forms of ice occurring at a variety of temperatures and pressures.) “This work,” says Dolan, “is a basic science study that helps us understand materials at extreme conditions.” [right … basic science.]

Read the full article originally adapted from a news release issued by DOE/Sandia National Laboratories.

Who knew? 11 forms of water ice. Cool. You learn something everyday… to learn more about WATER, one of Earth’s precious resources, check out this book called Water, by Marq de Villiers .

Refrigerator Will Toss You Can of Beer

“When John Cornwell graduated from Duke University last year, he landed a job as software engineer in Atlanta but soon found himself longing for his college lifestyle. So the engineering graduate built himself a reminder of life on campus: a refrigerator that can toss a can of beer to his couch with the click of a remote control.” See the rest of the article at

It’s no wonder this kid built one of these — it’s about time there was a beer launching fridge! Every University student should get one upon graduation. Hey John Cornwell, go negotiate that with the beer companies and every major US University and you should be able to retire young …