Science guys come to campus

Josh Cochran (left) and Dan Riskin ham it up at Centennial College's East York campus. (Observer photo by Josh Genereux)Lucas Cochran (left) and Dan Riskin (Josh Genereux photo)

It was a wild and wacky morning at Centennial College’s East York campus on April 17 as two of the hosts of the Discovery Channel’s “Daily Planet” program sat with journalism students to share their coolest experiences on the job.

Show hosts Lucas Cochran and Dan Riskin spent their guest lecture sharing stories about everything from how they both got their starts on Daily Planet to Riskin’s most interesting experiences and Cochran’s love for all things Star Wars.

“Nobody can look at that scene of the hologram of (Princess) Leia bending down in front of R2 and not say, ‘I want that,’” Cochran said.

Cochran also spoke about how he believes Toronto is on the rise in terms of technological advancement. He said that Toronto is becoming a hotbed for all things techy.

“For sheer numbers, the amount of things happening in Toronto, there are a lot of cool things happening in our own backyard,” Cochran said. “Things I didn’t even know about.”

As for the craziest experience he has ever had on the show, Cochran said the time he spent with basketball star Shaquille O’Neal ranks up there.

Dan Riskin, the host of an environmental segment on Daily Planet, also shared his most zany moments working on Daily Planet, including his time riding in the back of an “autonomous car” on Germany’s high-speed highway.

“Riding in the back of the car on the autobahn, driven by a computer, was the scariest thing for me,” Riskin said.

Also, Riskin shared his tips on how to perform in front of the camera. His main tip was to convey emotion to your audience. To Riskin this is vital to being a successful host.

“Whatever emotions you’re feeling you have to just bring to the surfaces as quickly as possible. If I’m not showing that I’m having a crazy time, or that something is fun, it won’t show. Your audience won’t feel connected,” Riskin said.

From a self-driving car to a technology boom in the city of Toronto to Cochran’s tattoo-riddled arms, this presentation was one that students said they won’t forget anytime soon.