Browsing articles tagged with " Canada"

Microsoft Canada Excellence Centre (MCEC)–Great Stuff

Jun 28, 2016   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Blog, Careers, Data, DLBlog, Fun  //  No Comments

I love getting to see new technologies changing the world.  The opening of the new Vancouver Microsoft Canada Excellence Centre included prominent Microsoft and Canadian leaders, including our Geek Prime Minister.  Take a few minutes to see how all my favourite buzzwords come together:

Microsoft + my Canadian BF + Jobs + Deep Learning + AI + Machine Learning + Investing + Accessibility + YVR + SEA + Innovation + Prime Minister "knows how to code already" + Geek + Big news for Canada

This sort of “making a difference” is why I keep getting out of bed in the morning.

My Chat with Chris Hadfield. Yeah, It Was That Kinda Friday.

Jun 14, 2013   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Awesome, Blog, Fun, Space  //  3 Comments



This is Chris Hadfield calling from Houston…

Music to my ears.  How appropriate, eh?  Today I was honoured to be able to chat with Commander Chris Hadfield. It was brief, but I can’t tell you how wonderful it was to talk to him again.  It was a personal call, so I didn’t record it.  Some of the highlights:

  • He remembered where we had met once – at a Canadian Science Writers event in Toronto. I think he remembered because of @venusbarbie.  Yes, that sort of stuff gets you remembered.   I told him I actually met him first at Nolan’s Pub in Cocoa Beach the night of the STS-134 Endeavour scrub — a surreal informal event with about 40 astronauts, NASA, ESA and other space organization staff.  Plus a few star-struck spacetweeps.
  • We talked about the maple cookies that I nominated to go to the space station.  I sometimes bring these to events because they are so dang good and do a good job of representing Canadian sweets. And they smell wonderful.
  • We talked about the amazing job he and the Canadian Space Agency did in promoting space exploration, STEM, and working hard to meet one’s goals.  And #Chris2D. I really miss my travelling companion.   I admire the wonderful people at the CSA and all they did to make these exciting thing happen.  I can’t wait to see what they do next.
  • We chatted a bit about his accomplishments before, during and after his mission.
  • We talked about his future plans for where he will be living and projects he will be doing.  I’m sure he’ll be tweeting about those soon.

So why did I get the call?  Officially, because I won a contest for nominating Canadian food to go to the International Space Station.  Since he asked “You’re Datachick, right"?”, I’m hoping my prolific tweeting and sharing managed to help him in his work on space and STEM outreach.  I can dream, too, right?

You’re Datachick, right?

It was a great honour that Chris would take time out of his busy schedule to personally call the winners of this contest.  I am happy that I got a chance to tell him how much I valued his work and the out come of his efforts going forward.  That’s one of the things I think is wonderful about all the astronauts, but especially @cmdr_Hadfield. During his mission it always felt that he put a lot of effort into ensuring that people understood why we have the Station, why space is so important, and why regular people like you and me should be paying attention.  I think he managed to get a lot of attention for STEM, space and space agencies, don’t you?

Thanks, Chris.  For all you did and all you are going to do in the future.  I can’t wait to see what you’ll be doing next.

Even though Chris is back on Earth and moving back to Canada, you can still follow the astronauts on the ISS, including my good friend (okay, I met him a couple of times) Luca Parmitato (@astro_luca).  Luca was Chris’s mission backup.  Luca is currently sharing photos and doing interviews from the ISS.  You should go follow him for more space goodness.


Maple Cream Cookies in Space

Maple Cream Cookies I nominated - Chris's photo from the ISS


Music Monday Video


Travelling with Chris2D

Datachick and Chris2D. Photo by Josh Fennessy

Canada’s Smartest and Greenest IT Awards – 17 Nov – Toronto

Nov 14, 2011   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Blog, Speaking  //  No Comments


I had the honour of judging the Canada’s Smarted and Canada’s Greenest IT awards along with James Alexander, CEO of the Quest for Canada’s Smartest IT (@JamesFAlexander)  and Shirley Blayney, General Business Solutions Manager at IBM.  There were some fabulous nominations. I was happy to see how Canadian organizations are providing advanced business solutions while taking care of the planet.

What are the awards?

The Quest for Canada’s Smartest IT is a competition that recognizes Canadian companies using technology to help their business, the environment and their communities. 2011 marks the second year of our wildly successful competition.

There are three categories of awards which you are eligible to apply for:

  1. Smartest IT rewards companies using IT in innovative ways to help their business and/or their community.
  2. Greenest IT recognizes companies using technology to help the environment, enhance sustainability, or demonstrate social responsibility.
  3. Wow Story is a wild card award that honours the best “story” that we hear over the course of the nominations process. We encourage you to tell us your story today – what is business-as-usual to you, to your peers may well be an eye-opening way of using IT.

Watch video

The awards ceremony will be held Thursday, 17 November in Toronto.  I will be presenting the Canada’s Smartest IT Award.

You can register now and participate in celebrating Smart IT/Green IT at no charge.  There is a door charge if you can’t register in advance.

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