February 11, 2003

Shopping is a primal activity. We shop to nourish our bodies, to satisfy our wants, to celebrate, to belong to groups, to define ourselves as individuals and more. Todd is joined by author, Thomas Hine, who has written about the human impulse to shop and buy, and how these fundamental desires play out in today's malls, boutiques, superstores and Web- sites. Hine's book is called "I Want That! How We All Became Shoppers".

Installing water fountains in hot, arid countries may seem like a waste of precious resource. Yet adding a simple chemical to the water can turn the fountain into an efficient water purifier. Todd talks with Gianluca Li Puma, a Researcher at the University of Nottingham, who has built a prototype water-cleaning system that injects the chemical into a fountain.

New studies have shown that many people who have beenblind since birth are able to create realistic drawings of everyday objects such as a coke bottle, an arm chair and a toothbrush. But how can visual art be constructed by individuals without vision? Todd is joined by John M. Kennedy; a Professor at the University of Toronto; who describes how his research shows that blind people perceive shapes and can draw 3-D objects.

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