Skip to content Posts

The Marshmallow Challenge

Marshmallow stuck on to some spaghetti
Marshmallow Challenge from TEDxCanberra 2013 strategy day

Today was our annual TEDxCanberra 2013 strategy day, where we got to meet the team (all highly motivated volunteers from diverse backgrounds), understand the vision for the year and get to know each other better. One of the exercises that we did was the Marshmallow Challenge.

We were split into groups of about 5 people per group. Each group was given 20 spaghetti, some string, some sticky tape, scissors and one marshmallow. The goal? To build the tallest free standing structure that can support the support the marshmallow  in 18 minutes.

World IA Day and tools

9 February 2013 was World IA Day – a global event in 15 cities where folks got together to discuss various aspects of “information architecture” (IA). I attended the Canberra event, run by one of my best friends, Donna Spencer. It was a lovely intimate group, covering interesting topics such as a great presentation about project management and IA personas (The Professor, The Tool, The Dummy Spit, The Baby and The Professional), testing your IAs and more.

One of my favourite sections was covering the various tools that we all used. Here’s my raw notes from the ‘tools discussion’ so I can remember to come back and explore some of them.

2012 reflections

Time for my annual ‘reflections’ post where I take a moment to review how 2012 has been…in pictures of course :)


Did a number of presentations this year, including UX Australia 2012 (I did two presentations, which I had lost my voice!), OZeWAI 2012 (accessibility conference) and a number of other interesting events. Work was busy busy busy, particularly around accessibility stuff in 2012.

Events and other social things

3D printed model of Yoda
Various 3D printed models, including one of Yoda's head

In January, we drove down to Melbourne for the first of its kind in Australia – the Mini Make Faire Melbourne. Hubby ran a MHVboard workshop, I learned to solder and I also discovered how awesome the Makedo system is (for kids of all ages!).

Singapore Botanic Gardens

After a leisurely start exploring the local hawker centre near the apartments we were staying, we decided to spend our first full day in Singapore visiting the famous Singapore Botanic Gardens. The Botanic Gardens is a massive 74 hectare garden full of beautiful flowers and colours. Unknowingly, we picked the same day that Prince William and Princess Kate were visiting the gardens, but we didn’t spot them or their entourage (it’s a huge garden).

There are many gorgeous areas within the Botanic Gardens, including a large lake called Swan Lake, Ginger Garden, National Orchid Garden (there’s a small $5/person fee for this area), Evolution Garden and more. We also spotted lots of great sculptures.

Here’s a brief photographic journey of our day wandering around the gardens.

Main gate at the Singapore Botanic Gardens
Alastair taking a photo at the main gate at the Singapore Botanic Gardens with our new Lytro (that broke during the trip *sigh*)