profess that the sooner a person is exposed to nature, the more profound the effect. A speaker who believes in early engagement with the natural world gave a talk at Sault College last Thursday about the importance of children interacting with the outdoors. Claire Warden advocates “using the outside to teach within.” However the world often uses what is within to teach what is outside. Computer games simulate nature. Technology is the interpreter.

It’s true that technology has enhanced and improved our lives in many ways. And folks have created adaptations that are amazing. A recent innovation comes from a team of eager University of Toronto architects. They have come up with a design for an interactive blanket. The green taffeta material has a swirling pattern of flowers and stems that are really a network of sensors. A computer that has a wireless connection to the blanket reads any movement or temperature changes and displays them as 3-D model on a monitor. The electric blanket also could record body temperature and adjust heat accordingly. Or the blanket could have added sensors to monitor humidity and heart rate. Comforters now have a new meaning.

So what are we to do with the need for nature while we are immersed in this Wi-Fi world? How do we balance the two? The words to Cockburn’s song, Pacing the Cage, aren’t much help. He says “Sunset is an angel weeping, Holding out a bloody sword, No matter how I squint, I cannot make out what it’s pointing toward.”

One of the best things to do is to give yourself a break and do the most natural thing in the world—take a deep breath. That’ll calm your nerves any day.