Hot Docs, Smallpox, and Robots

It’s been a busy time here at Together, and we’re so happy with the projects that have been coming our way.

Hot Docs!


You may already know about the effects of sugar on the human body, perhaps from articles or science videos, but you may not know about the efforts of the sugar industry to cover up the research on sugar consumption. Nick and Hector created the animated segments for a terrific new Canadian documentary called Sugar Coated from director Michèle Hozer. Sugar Coated, which screens at this year’s Hot Docs (the Canadian International Documentary Festival), exposes sugar industry tactics and the effects of these tactics on public health.  Sugar Coated premieres April 25th, 2015 at Hart House in Toronto. Other screening times, tickets and passes can be found here. Hope to see you at the theatre!




Yes, this terrifying and once ubiquitous disease was the topic of a recent TED-Ed video from Research Project Manager Julie Garon and Professor Walter A. Orenstein (both at Emory University) about the eradication of disease. Smallpox was a unique virus in that its mode of transmission made it possible for humans to track and contain its spread. Once a vaccine was available, world-wide efforts were able, over many decades, to eradicate it from our lives. It’s a fascinating story and you should check the video out: TED-Ed: How to a Eradicate Disease

If you’re interested in learning more, the History of Vaccines site from the College of Physicians of Philadelphia has a rather comprehensive timeline of smallpox, along with some great interviews about the latter days of the world-wide eradication efforts.



Published today was another TED-Ed video we worked on, which showcased some pretty cool robots who play music…that they come up with themselves. Professor Gil Weinberg and Ph.D. candidate Mason Bretan at Georgia Tech’s Center for Music Technology created a lesson about robot creativity. By applying genetic algorithms, they’ve made it possible for robots to improvise musically with human musicians. But are these robots really being creative? Will they pass the Lovelace test? Watch the video to see what you think: TED-Ed: Can Robots be Creative?

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