Out of Their Minds
with Richard Syrett

Episode 10 - What Makes Them Tick?

There's an old saying...even the mightiest oak starts out as a nut... And when it comes to revolutionary change and paradigm busting ideas and inventions, the people behind them start out as nuts.  At least that's how they are perceived, fairly or unfairly.  They are often ignored, ridiculed, and ostersized ...at least initially.  Some of them, like the brilliant yet eccentric Nikola Tesla do rise above the naysayers to enjoy their moment in the sun.  Others like Copernicus were burned at the stake only to be vindicated hundreds of years later...small consolation. The vast majority are destined to become curiosities that initially draw a cult following on YouTube, and then are soon forgotten, their contraptions lay rusting in basements and barns. Are they tragic figures or heroes?  Their methods may be suspect but do their ideas have merit?  Are they out of their minds or merely technological prophets ignored in their own land?  This week on Out of Their Minds, we crawl inside the minds of those rare, enigmatic individuals who attempt to follow in the footsteps of Tesla and try to figure out what makes them tick?

Download Flash Player to view this content.

Episode 9 - Steve Mann (Gold Medal Edition)

What happens when you cross a human cyborg and a sea creature?  Why Steve Mann of coarse.  Join host Richard Syrett as we examine one of Canada's most prolific and unique inventors.  We visit his lab, talk to his friends and hear some music that comes from a brand new class of water based instruments.


Steve Mann.jpg 



Download Flash Player to view this content.

Episode 8 - Alternative Energy

This program is an homage to people who noodle outside the crate, dive outside the pool, rush in, headlong through the out door.  It's about really clever people who invent, create, conceive. Some are on the inside and wear proper lab coats, work at universities, deliver power point presentations, receive grants, court venture capitalists and publish in peer reviewed journals. Others are on the fringe and toil in dank basements, and tool sheds, wear rumpled oil stained t-shirts, scrawl on the backs of envelopes, salvage at the wrecking yard and get spied on by their neighbours. 

In this episode host Richard Syrett visits 3 different people with wildly different ideas on how to fix the energy crisis.

1) Roger Gordon has his ammonia-making machine, which he proposes is the cheapest and most effective way for us rid ourselves of carbon based fuel dependency. (he is the back yard tinkerer)



2) Ted Sargeant runs a lab at U of T. He is creating a more efficient "spray on solar" solution that if proven effective will allow us to rid ourselves of carbon based fuel dependency by covering the roads and hiways in America. (he is the scientist)

Ted Sargent Describes His Team's Tandem Solar Cell Breakthrough

3) Tom Rand is the resident clean tech advisor at MaRS discovery district in Toronto. He has North America 's "Greenest" hostel. His life's work is pushing the needle on carbon and he presents some very practical ways we can make changes now to wean ourselves of carbon AT A PROFIT! (he's the investor / banker)

Download Flash Player to view this content.

Episode 7 - Echolocation and Thought Controlled Computing

In this episode host Richard Syrett goes completely batty with echo-locater Daniel Kish. Blind since the age of 13 months Daniel has taught himself and countless others how to "echo-locate" using flash sonar techniques similar to bats and dolphins. He is a champion of self-directed discovery for blind children and a critic of those who don't "see" him as an equal.

We will also meet Ariel Garten. She is a Canadian artist, scientist, intellectual and the CEO of IntraXon, a tech company working in the field of thought-controlled computing. You may remember during the 2010 winter olympics in Vancouver people were controlling lights on the parliament building and CN Tower using their minds. Yep that was Ariels invention.

Echo-location Wikipedia

World Access for the Blind

Ariel Garten's WikiPedia Page

 A Video of IntraXon


Download Flash Player to view this content.

Episode 6 - The Hutchison Effect x Sustainable Health Enterprises

In this episode we meet John Hutchison. He is the Canadian inventor who's best known for the inexplicable and extraordinary phenomenon associated with his inventions jointly known as "The Hutchinson Effect"

These include

- levitation of heavy objects.

- fusion of dissimilar materials such as metal and wood, while lacking any displacement.

- anomalous heating of metals without burning adjacent material.

- spontaneous fracturing of metals.

- changes in the crystalline structure and physical properties of metals.

- disappearance of metal samples.

We also meet Elizabeth Sharpf the founder of SHE (Sustainable Health Enterprises) She is a Harvard Business School graduate, who instead of heading to Wall Street founded her company in hopes of solving a problem. That problem was an unspoken reality for many women in impoverished countries. Women couldn't afrord sanitary pads. The answer? - Banana Leaves. 

Links and Video

John Hutchison's Website



Sustainable Health Enterprises


Download Flash Player to view this content.

Episode 5 - Thane Heins

Thane Heins, college dropout, former chef at the Canadian Museum of Civilization, basement tinkerer has invented what he describes as a new kind of generator.  He's named it The Perepiteia which in Greek theatre means an action that has the opposite effect of what its doer intended.  The generator appears to defy the Law of Conservation of Energy, which would mean it is, in effect, wait for it....a perpetual motion machine.  Thane is convinced that if his genrator was adapted to work inside an electrical vehicle it could recharge the vehicle battery while the car was in motion.  His goal is to end foreign wars over oil.  In other words, put an end to Road Side Fill Ups and Road Side Bombings...


Download Flash Player to view this content.

Episode 4 - Mushrooms for the Dying

In this episode we meet UCLA professor Charles S. Grob who leads the pack in studying the benefits of using psychedelic drugs like magic mushrooms or MDMA to help terminally ill cancer patients who feel anxious about dying. He hopes to prove that getting high is a legitimate medical response.
And, Inventor Donald Scruggs believes he's found a way to make burial easier and more efficient - the screw-in coffin.
Download Flash Player to view this content.

Episode 3 - Time Travel

The idea of going back in time and rewriting history makes great fodder for comic books and movies.  We've all seen Back to the Future and maybe we even tried to build a flux capacitor out of the old blender in our basement.  But what if someone actually found a way to go back?  What would the machine look like?  How would it work?

In this program we meet Dr. Ronald Mallet, a respected physicist and professor who's  spent a lifetime working to build a time machine.  We'll learn about his reasons for wanting to go back, and the limitations of his controversial theories.

Listen to this episode:

Download Flash Player to view this content.

Episode 2 - They've lost their senses

Kuchenbecker / Russo

The largest organ on the human body is the skin.  And yet, for some reason, our sense of touch is often overlooked.  In this episode we meet two forward-thinking inventors, who are working to make better use of the sensory receptors in our skin 

Dr. Katherine Kuchenbecker works in the emerging field of haptic technology.  She's developed computers that let people "feel" the pictures being displayed on a monitor.  In addition to being used for surgical training, we'll hear how this technology could drastically improve gaming, and online shopping. 

Our second guest is Dr. Frank Russo.  Along with his team at Ryerson University's SMART LAB, Frank developed the Emoti-chair - a piece of furniture that creates new ways for deaf people to experience music.

Listen to this episode:

Download Flash Player to view this content.


Katherine Kuchenbecker's Lab 

Frank Russo's SMART Lab



Episode 1 - The Mighty Troy Hurtubise

What do LED lights, mice, GOD, firepaste, cancer, blast blankets and grizzly bears have in common?

Absolutely nothing... Unless you're visiting Troy Hurtubise's laboratory.

In this inaugural episode of "Out of Their Minds," host and series creator Richard Syrett talks with Canadian inventor Troy Hurtubise, better known as "Grizzly Man." We'll hear about Troy's latest invention The GOD Light, and we'll get the opinions of his supporters and detractors.

Listen to this episode:
Download Flash Player to view this content.


Troy Hurtubise Wikipedia Entry 


Esprit De Corps

 Video (Warning: Course language):