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Archive for March, 2005

Estelle in the 6 Music hub

posted by Duncan at 1:30 pm on March 22nd, 2005

I caught Estelle playing a few tracks in the 6 Music hub today.

Estelle in the 6 Music hub

She played 3 tracks one of which was an old Bob Marley tune. She was really good, and seemed such a nice person. I always think of the UK underground artists as hard arsed people who will bite your head of if you meet them. She couldn’t of been further from that.

What is happening to BBC news

posted by Duncan at 10:15 pm on March 21st, 2005

I was watching BBC news earlier tonight and on two occasions I could have sworn I was watching The Day Today. One was accompanying a story on government policy. The other was showing a montage of pictures during another piece. They were all the wrong perspective and looked like they had been stuck on the screen. I half expected the graphics to zoom in then out and then morph into the shape of a horse, that then trots off the screen. Surely there are more that enough skilled people whom can come up with something a little more polished.

Yahoo buys Flickr

posted by Duncan at 10:05 am on March 21st, 2005

Well it was only a matter of time I guess. It seems that Yahoo has bought flickr and Ludicorp. I initally though ‘oh dear’, but I guess this could be a good thing. After all Yahoo has lots of cash. Just as long as the concept remains the same.

My biggest concern though, are we going to start to see adverts and the whole yahooness take over the flickr site. I really hope not.

Mr Coates wins again

posted by Duncan at 5:17 pm on March 18th, 2005

Well done Tom on another bloggie, or should that be bloggi as he won two. Best British or Irish Weblog and Lifetime Achievement. Bravo.

Feed me better campaign

posted by Duncan at 4:11 pm on March 18th, 2005

I normally avoid any campaigns like the plague, but this problem really addressing.

Jamie’s School Dinners is all about making radical change to the school meals system and challenging the junk food culture by showing schools can serve fresh nutritious meals that kids enjoy eating. Below are some brief stats:

Kids are getting fatter. 15% of all kids under 11 are now obese. Fatter children are more likely to stay obese into adulthood, leading to serious health problems. Scientists believe this may be the first generation to die before their parents due to ill health.

More and more of children’s daily food intake is snack rather than meal based. Inevitably, this means a diet biased towards unhealthy foods. And many young kids don’t know how to lay a table or use a knife and fork.

Teachers report that bad behaviour peaks around lunchtime, after kids have just eaten processed food high in sugar, salt, fat and a cocktail of other additives. Growing scientific evidence suggests that a junk food diet has a negative effect on behaviour.

So now get on and sign the petition, then pass it on and tell everyone you know.

Digital Futures 2005

posted by Duncan at 3:15 pm on March 18th, 2005

Digital Futures 2005I managed to get to go to this event at short notice yesterday. I was initially interested because they had Neville Brody speaking, but as a result he was not as interesting as expected and some of the other speakers were much better. It was basically an event that had a selection of inspirational speakers in to talk about a broad range of subjects. Heres a quick rundown:

Brian Collins
Brian came across as very passionate, and also told a great story about branding and pirates.

Neville Brody
Neville seemed not that interested about being there from the start. His presentation was based on one he had done 2 years previous so I was unsure of the relevance. He did make some interesting points I thought though on city cloning and how everything is becoming a copy.

Lisa Strausfeld
Lisa comes from a information architecture viewpoint and although seemed completely dis-associated from what she was saying, showed some great visualisation work they had been doing.

Paul Mijksenaar
Paul was without a dowt my favourite. Paul’s company do wayfinding. He is responsible for the signage at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam and various other airports around the world. He was very easy to listen to and what he said made a lot of sense to me who although has studied design is not a designer.

Marco Susani
Marco currently works for Motorola as the Director of advanced concepts. He had just flown in and had loads of information to tell us. It’s just a shame that he did not have enough time to tell it all.

Bill Drummond
What can I say. He was as abstract as I would have expected. The former money burner and KLF guru talked about some the 25 or so projects he is currently working on. He also handed out daffodils at the end and I was one of the lucky recipients.

Here are all the photos I took on the day.

CeBIT 2005

posted by Duncan at 2:53 pm on March 14th, 2005

Samsung go DVB crazyFirst day at CeBIT today. After the traumatic journey from Braunschweig where the train was as full as a tube train in the rush hour, I finally changed trains and got to Hannover Messel Station where CeBIT was taking place. First thing that struck me, it’s massive. 27 Halls. I only really had to check out a few of them though as finance and business etc are stuff I have no interest in.

I just looked at phones really on the first day. There were many. I had been asked to look at DVB technologies, and a few manufactureres were showing this in use. Sumsung for example had loads of DVB-H phones working.

Second day I checked out mp3 players, of which there were hundreds, and other electronic gadgets really. There was actually more bits that make bits rather than consumer goods on show so it all got a bit dull after a while. I have a link below to all the photos I took. I will add more descriptions to these over time. All in all it was an interesting trip if not a bit tiring and maybe a bit too business and marketing specific for me who just wanted to play with cool things.

I’ve uploaded all my photos of the event on flickr for everyone to see.

A strange start to a work trip

posted by Duncan at 2:33 pm on March 13th, 2005

What luck, the BBC have let me go to CeBIT this year. I didn’t really know much about it before I got the opportunity; I knew it was a massive event with the worlds tech people showing their wears. I will tell you all how it was over the next couple of days. I’ll take plenty of photos too, and post them on flickr.

The main thing I wasn’t aware of was the fact it took place in Hannover, Germany. This was significant to me as I lived in Germany as a child with a father in the military. I was actually born in Rinteln, just outside Hannover. The main significance though, was that my father is buried just outside Hannover in place called ‘Harrenberg’. I have never seen his grave as he died 27th March 1978, when I was only 8 years old and deemed (rightly so) to young.

So as you can imagine an opportunity on a plate for me that I couldn’t turn down. I’ve thought on many occasions of visiting his grave but have either bottled out or just thought “one day” and let it slip from my mind. I’m surprisingly nervous about the whole thing; I didn’t think I would be as this all happened nearly 27 years ago and don’t really feel any acute emotion about the whole thing when it happens to crop up in conversation. Like I said I was very young and therefore wasn’t really sure what was going on at that time, and as time went on it has just been one of those things that happened. I guess the other reason for unrest is that I’m here on my own which means I have nothing else to distract my mind (apart from my trusty laptop and a couple of books).

[thoughts after the visit] The taxi journey there did it’s best to distract me from my thoughts. It was pouring with rain and the guy was touching 110mph, yes that’s MPH. He must have been used to driving at that speed too as he was smoking a fag with one hand on the steering wheel at the time. After a journey of about 10mins and a few detours we finally found the cemetery.

I searched the cemetery using the map and information my mother had given me. I couldn’t find the grave and after a while was beginning to get restless. I rang my mother whom told me where it was from where she remembers. Within 5 mins I’d found it. The map I had did not have the section I needed to find on it. I was feeling fine up until that point, but as soon as I saw the headstone with all our names on there, it was like a wall hit me. I don’t remember a time when I have ever felt like that. After about 5 mins I had composed myself and took some photos and told him that I thought he be proud of me and headed back to the taxi. I called my mum to let her know that I had found it ok, at least that’s what I was suppose to say, that wave hit me again .. blimey.

I went out that evening for a meal to relax, well I say a meal. The Chinese restaurant I went to could not speak any English so after must discussion I ended up with a giant spring roll *nice*. Onward to the rest of my visit.

Michal Levy

posted by Duncan at 10:47 pm on March 10th, 2005

My friend Gideon has this great link on his site of an amazing flash animation by Michal Levy. It reminds me of an old pink panther film for some reason. With a soundtrack of John Coltrane, it really is an amazing piece of work.

A Taggerz heads up

posted by Duncan at 7:29 pm on March 10th, 2005

This is a little heads up for a great new 6 part animation 1xtra are starting on Monday March 21st. The show is called ‘Taggerz‘, and is the first ever interactive animated drama based on the lives of a crew of graffiti artists.

The story touches on topics like pregnancy, drugs, death, graffiti and music and features cameo appearances (in animation form) by Rodney P & Skitz, Alan Yentob (BBC Director of Drama) and Dizzee Rascal.

The soundtrack to the series, ‘Taggerz Theme’ has been produced by Skitz and features MC D. There’s also music from Panjabi Hit Squad, Terror Danjah, Breakage and Jo Buddah.

You can get more information and watch the trailer here.

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