Interview52:

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A group distraction, presented by nige.


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The first instalment of Interview52 is now complete! It started on Friday 18th July 2008 and finished on 13th September 2009. A little later than expected, but we got there.


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52 mobloggers from around the world...

Some familiar, some not...

Each will publish a unique self-portrait, accompanied by a short interview.


Candid portrait meets candid interview.


The Rules

Every Friday the next interviewee in line will publish a new portrait and interview, consisting of their answers to the ten questions they have been given.

After they have published, the interviewee will then become the interviewer. They will be responsible for finding the next participant, as well as compiling the questions that this next person in line will answer. Interviewers can change as many or as few questions as they like, but they should change at least one before passing them on to the next lucky punter.

Thats it! Simple. More detailed instructions will be given to each interviewee as and when they are approached, so fear not.


The interviewees so far

shitake

spongevid

Salome

FilbertFox

Essitam

harimanjaro

parabolichobo

Viv

Jig along

Caine

factotum

Laszlo Q. V. St-J. Xalieri

arkangel

JokerXL

CHESO

taniwha

PrincessJun

billion

itchymoblog

Jane Doe

kyoob

MaggieD

Spiderbaby / Freakdog

TiliaAmericana

Dhamaka

XelenarendezvousX

George w/Blue Eyes

Rachel

Sprocket

Tori

silar31

Mandy

Puddlepuff

Judo-Jule

OJ

beth

Alfie

Rich

Joe

Steve

Uber-Spy

swamprose

RareAquaticBadger

Euphro

bfish

mara

AmericanFriend

CRAFT

Strange Little Girl

Spike

Toddy

Damage

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Love in a cold climate

(viewed 2753 times)
1. Where are you and why?

I’m in East Anglia in the UK because I got my first job after college here eighteen years ago – I only came for five years, but one thing led to another. It’s been touch and go at times, job wise, but so far I’m still here and in the same organisation. I’m originally from Ireland and grew up and went to college there.

2. How did you find moblog? What made you become a moblogger?

I found it through a BBC News article on the new craze of moblogging in 2005. This was the very first moblog post I saw, Lyzardly having just returned from an epic drive from New York to Iowa and back to see the original scroll of Jack Kerouac’s “On The Road”, although I didn’t know that at the time. I was very nervous as I made my first moblog post. I expected somebody to challenge me or to tell me to go away, but to my surprise my very dull test picture of a rock was met with a lovely welcome from Joe. I actually waited about two weeks before posting again, to even more encouragement, and I’ve never looked back. It was the feedback and the wonderful sense of community that made me become a moblogger, although I probably didn’t realise I was one straight away. Moblogger is now one of the ways I define myself to others, along with scientist/geologist and photographer, so it is a pretty fundamental part of my life.

3. You have spent a lot of time in Antarctica. What is the best part of these trips for you, what do you miss when you’re there and what advice would you give to someone travelling out there?

The best part of the trips is the opportunity to photograph such a beautiful place. It’s very difficult to take a bad picture. Having spanned the film to digital era in my visits there I would say that digital is wonderful in the snow. I miss my family when I’m there, and ice cream. To anyone going there I would say, invest in the best camera you can afford and lots of memory cards, you won’t regret a penny of it.

4. Do you think moblog has changed since you started blogging, and do you have any favourite memories/moments?

The essence of Moblog has remained the same – the wonderful community spirit – so I am amazed that the number of users of the site has not grown more. I remember asking site owner mat early on what he would do if Moblog took off, like other blogging and sharing sites were at the time and I fully expected it to. It’s definitely bigger now but it has not lost that village feel, compared to the metropolis of Flickr, for example.

Favourite memories/moments are way too many to list them all. The punning posts, led by Helen, Steve and others have made me roar with laughter. I love Maggie’s posts and wonderful drawings. Other memories are, fighting the catblogging ban, which happened quite early on, was great fun, and being a part of We’re Not Afraid, which was my first experience of the power of Moblog. Meeting people in real life has been a wonderful and unexpected pleasure and I think that there is no other way that I would or could have met so many like-minded people or made such good friends. Sharing people’s joys and sadnesses is another special aspect of the site, and I feel humbled in the light of what some people face in their lives with good humour and good grace. I feel very privileged to be a moderator, not that my intervention is often needed. Life has become a lot busier since I joined Moblog, and I don’t get to comment on other people’s posts as much as I would like.

5. You’re probably one of the only mobloggers who have actually experienced a desert island disc-style scenario (albeit your desert island is made out of a huge chunk of ice). If you could only choose a couple of CDs, movies and books, which would you go for?

That’s quite a hard one, but I will give it a go. For music, I would bring Abbey Road, particularly for the B side (in old vinyl terms), Neon Bible by The Arcade Fire, and, finally, Jordan: The Comeback by Prefab Sprout. In terms of films, all a bit mainstream but ones I’ve watched many times, I would take The Fifth Element, Groundhog Day and The Matrix. When it comes to books, my first choice would be A Fire Upon the Deep, by Vernor Vinge, my copy of which is very well thumbed, then Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon, and finally Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison.

6. You are one of the many food-bloggers out there on moblog. What would be your best three signature dishes?

Colcannon (an Irish traditional dish involving mashed potato, curly kale, bacon and red onion, often salted with a few wrapped coins for luck), homemade pumpkin pie, and chicken fajitas.

7. What have been your best moments/memories in the last month, year and decade?

Goodness, where to start. In the last month, finding independent confirmation that a scientific idea that a friend and I have been developing is probably right and tells us something new about the deep internal composition of the Earth. In the last year, which has been quite a bad one, really, taking part in Shoot London and keeping my job. Over the past decade, getting married to the most wonderful person, who is also my best friend and soulmate, and, I kid you not, finding Moblog, which changed my life in a different way but also for the better.

8. If you had to make a time capsule that would remain sealed for 200 years, what items would you fill it with?

Wow, that’s an interesting one. I think that I would include a lot of ephemera, something that features from time to time in my Moblog. So much everyday stuff never gets preserved. The future discoverer would be bemused to find a random collection of packaging, train and bus tickets, photographs of street scenes, house interiors both tidy and untidy, fridge and cupboard contents, etc.

9. Do you have any vices/guilty pleasures?

Ice cream is probably the main one. I can’t seem to make people understand that it is one of the staple foods.

10. How did you get into photography? How has your style changed/evolved?

I’ve always had a love of capturing an image. If I didn’t have a camera I would draw. I got my first camera when I was about ten, completely randomly, from an uncle who was visiting us in our new house at the time. It was plastic and used 120 roll-film and I think that I convinced my mother to buy and let me shoot two rolls of black-and-white film before I lost the lens (which was one of my early heartbreaks). Still, there are some of the only pictures of one of my sisters as a baby and some fascinating shots of my mother’s home city without traffic or traffic lights, as a result.

My next camera, a Praktika manual SLR was a graduation present from my mother in 1985. I bought myself a Halina disc camera at the same time and, ever since, I’ve always carried an SLR and a compact with me, now joined by a camphone, of course. If you ask anyone who knows me, they will tell you that I am an obsessive photographer. I plagued all of my friends all through college, and was the scourge of parties – although the pictures were generally appreciated later on. The rate at which I take pictures has steadily gone up over the years, particularly fuelled by digital and the arrival of children, but even in the days of film, I took over 12,000 shots in 16 years before switching to digital. Nowadays I take that many in about four months.

Stylistically, I feel I still have an awful lot to learn. I’m just about technically competent with a camera but finding out more all the time. I love that thrill you feel when you get a good shot – it’s quite visceral and totally addictive. It has fuelled a lot of investment in second-hand equipment over the past year and a half. I do think much more about composition than I ever did, but it is still not instinctive for me. I’ve learned a huge amount in this regard from Moblog and I’m very grateful to everyone who shares their pictures here. I’ve even tried to express this in a post which still holds true after four years. I’d like to finish by saying again thank you, thank you all for making Moblog such a wonderful and supportive place in which to explore the delights of capturing the world in an image.

Posted by Euphro

17th Jul 2009, 07:25   | tags:,,comments (16)

Easily read...

(viewed 2241 times)
1. where are you and why?

For the last 5 years I have been living in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Why I'm here is a little more convoluted. After I finished my PhD in Leicester, I decided I had to get as far away from Leicester as humanly possible. I also discovered that science as a career involves long working hours and lots of stress for not very much money, but does have the one advantage of making working abroad relatively easy. I'd originally applied to a few positions in Montreal (because I love that city), and was offered a small amount of cash towards my travel expenses. I tried to offset my travel costs by lining up some extra, "filler" interviews, and that was how I ended up applying to quite a well respected scientist in Vancouver. I figured I could get a greyhound from Montreal. Then I looked at a map. It turns out Canada is slightly bigger than England. Anyway, I liked Vancouver, the fact the research was more focused (on blood disorders, cancer diagnoses and treatments), and the swanky new lab that had just been built, so I opted for here.


2. how did you come to be a moblogger?

I am one of the many mobloggers that was sired by Crickson. We've been friends since we were 5, and grew up in the same town just outside of London. In 2004 I had just bought my first cameraphone (my trusty Nokia 7610) which was also my first ever digital camera, and I had also just moved out here to Vancouver. Moblogging appealed to the laziness in me; my friends and family back home could see what I was up to without me having to write millions of emails or to keep a written blog up to date. I could also entice people to come visit me by trying to capture the beauty of the city (as it turns out, not that difficult when you're surrounded by mountains and the Pacific ocean). I've won a cameraphone and a trip back to England courtesy of moblog, so obviously I'm a big fan!

3. how did photography come to be important?

I'm not really sure. I was always fascinated by cameras, and joined a (admittedly quite crap) photography club at my school when I was 12. We used to shoot b&w; film and develop/expose our own prints. I shot with my Granddad's old Olympus Trip. I've always liked taking photos on holiday, but owning a cameraphone really opened up the possibilities of taking "life pictures"; i.e. random crap I wouldn't normally bother wasting film over. It was my cameraphone that motivated me to get a point-and-shoot (Panasonic Lumix LX2), and it was that camera that motivated me into getting back into SLRs last year (Canon Rebel XSi/450D). Moblog also had a massive role; I never really shared my pictures until then, and I am constantly learning/adapting styles and concepts that I've seen posted here.

4. books, music, film favourites?

For books Wild Swans (Jung Chang) springs to mind, as does The Golden Spruce (John Vaillant). Then I was a big fan of His Dark Materials (Philip Pullman), and anything by Stephen Donaldson (The Gap series was awesome). Obviously The Life of Pi, and the Harry Potter books are in there too.

Music is tricky; I have quite an eclectic taste. I would say the most listened to albums over the past few years have been Never Never Land/War Stories (UNKLE), Colour the Small One (Sia), OK Computer/The Bends (Radiohead) and The Fragile/With Teeth (Nine Inch Nails).

I'm a massive film fan, and again have quite an eclectic taste here. I loved Amores Perros, Rashomon, Yojimbo, Schindler's List, Fight Club, The Usual Suspects, Shawshank Redemption, Old Boy, Memento, City of God, Akira, Pi, Three Colours Trilogy, Pan's Labyrinth, Devil's Backbone, Casablanca, Nausicaa, Chunking Express, Before Sunset/Sunrise etc.

5. anything you want to say about blogging, twittering, the moblog, our life and times?

I've never really blogged, and have always been amazed at how much people can write about themselves every day. If I were to keep a blog I think it would be unbelievably boring. Twittering is another thing I don't really get, although in the face of the recent media blackout in Iran, I now at least think that it has value as a communications medium. As for moblog, it has changed a lot in the ~5 years since I joined. More social notworking sites have sprung up, so we all have more choice in how we procrastinate. I've been so busy recently that while I still find time to post, I don't comment on other's photos nearly as much as I'd like to. I'm sad about this, and have every intention of making more time to look at some of the cool shots being taken. In terms of our life and times (with respect to photography) I think the game has changed with the advent of affordable DSLRs, as it has meant that rather having to know what you're doing and spending hours adjusting settings to get the "perfect shot", it's now just as easy to fire off hundreds of photos and find a few fantastic images. The craft no longer seems to be how the photo is taken (the technical), more what the photo is of (the artistic). With this in mind, it's the originality of many of the posts on moblog I'm drawn to, and still amazed by.

6. favourite moblog moments, posts.

Well, I've always liked the sense of community in moblog, but I guess that's more general that a particular moment. I'm quite a technical person, and so also appreciate clever photos, the how-the-hell-did-you-do-that photos, and the little things that most people don't notice (like the smiley faced background blur in the self portrait above!). I loved all the jumpy photos a while back, the old Spike post in which everyone revealed how they chose their usernames, and even the lively 9/11 truth debates on Critical G's moblog. Despite not knowing him well, I also closely followed Alex Saville's moblog, and as someone who spends all day working on haematological disorders and malignancies, it was a shock to put a human face on the masses of anonymous blood samples that enter our lab. It's sobering to realise that every data point on a survival curve (a standard graph for measuring the effectiveness of treatments) represents the premature loss of life and the pain of family members, especially given that most of these graphs have 10,000+ data points.

7. what do you miss about home? what do you like about Vancouver?

The biggest thing I miss about home is my friends and family. And Jaffa cakes. And the thing I like most about Vancouver is my friends. I can pretty much live anywhere so long as I've got good friends about. I do miss the UK pub culture, but that's offset by the much friendlier, less vomit-ridden streets out here. In terms of the city, I haven't been anywhere that beats Vancouver yet; there's about a week in the Spring where you can spend the morning up on the mountains snowboarding, then the afternoon laying out on the beach. There's nowhere else quite like it. Whenever I get frustrated at work or depressed, a simple bus trip takes me to the foot of a mountain, and a hike (summer) or snowboard (winter) session always cheers me up. Or I can walk to the beach in 15 minutes from my front door. It's also nice to have water pressure (my shower will literally knock me over when turned up to full blast!); it sounds stupid but every time I go back to the UK and get lightly dribbled on in the shower I start missing Canada! It's also nice to never be more than 5 minutes away from an empty park or beach walk. This is also one of the biggest problems though; the city is sparsely populated (by UK standards) and I miss the chaos, the culture and the vibrancy of London.

8. what's been the most fun in the last few months? or generally?

New York in May was great. The start of the year was unbelievably shitty for me, and despite the trip being for work (and having to give two scary lectures), I still had lots of time to catch up with friends I hadn't seen in years. That's always good. It felt like I'd closed the chapter on the first half of the year, and could start rebuilding. By the time I got back to Vancouver I started dating again, felt more positive in general and was being less distant with friends.

9. embarrassing moments?

The last embarrassing moment I had was in Rhode Island with Crickson and Spiderbaby. We were supposed to go to one of their friends houses for a wine and cheese evening, but they weren't entirely sure of the address. When we got to the street we heard loud music and laughter coming from a house, so merrily walked around back and wandered into the living room only to find that we'd gatecrashed a different party. That in itself wasn't great, but this party consisted of ~20 girls passing around dildos. We had somehow gatecrashed a sex toy party! Me and Crickson were both embarrassed, while the occupants were disappointed (relieved?) that we weren't strippers. We didn't stay long enough to find out whether "the butterfly" was really as incredible as they said it was.

10. what is your guilty pleasure?

I have become addicted to Japanese cream puffs, sold in a chain called Beard Papa's. One of these stores opened in the food court where we normally have lunch and I'm now starting to gain additional chins. I've also become a craigslist junkie recently, and have been buying camera lenses that I really shouldn't be blowing money on. And despite not coming onto moblog as much as I used to, I am still addicted, and my general obsessiveness has meant that I have spent several months going back and tagging and geotagging almost all of my posts (the first 140 pages at least).

Posted by RareAquaticBadger

10th Jul 2009, 22:32   comments (16)

Just me

(viewed 2152 times)
1. Where are you currently and why?

I am sitting at my laptop, it is early morning. Toronto, Canada. I sit
looking out at the street, through my front garden which is a wild leafy
place. It is cool out which is good because we are into our second week of a
garbage strike and if it's hot, it is getting really disgusting outside. I
am going to leave town, and the garbage and go kayaking for a while. I just
bought a Pelican case to store my camera. Now if I just don't tip while
using it...

2. Tell us your moblog story, how did it all begin for you, and do you have
any favourite posts?

I was looking for more news about the bombings in the London subway and I
stumbled on moblog. I lurked. When Alfie posted 'No Fear', I was enchanted.


I will never forget Alex Saville. Today it looks like we're going to have
another blog baby. We seem to be having lots of babies. And they're all good
looking and way too smart.

I have some favourite moments: alfie's no fear, the jump months, steve and
helen's trip to India, Xalieri's honeymoon in Hawaii, late night Mandy
conversations, JXL bouncing off the side of his truck, being bfish's friend,
rooting for various people to stay sane while doing exams, enjoying their
victories, SLG's oneaday, actually all the oneadays, Seaneboy patrolling the
driving-while-blogging, and the pixie dance, OJ's fabulous black and white
dress, Hildegard's Oscar, Spiderbaby and Crickson's eternal festivals in
Minnesota, almost anything Nige does, Liltiger's hardware store, Caine's
Almont, Mat's Lemmy, those Taniwha kids, the completely original
construction projects at the Rich/Mat estate, learning curious UK culture
like mushypeas and Jaffacakes, Viv's bathroom view, Minushaben's and
Maggie's political solidarity, Paintist's postcards and inspiration....and
many more.

3.How did you get into taking photographs?

Someone gave me a camera when I was a kid. I have a basement full of my
photographs. Once I talked myself into a job as a newspaper photographer
even though I didn't know how to develop film. I learned to develop film on
the phone with a friend, in the dark, eventually loosing the spring of the
roll and making a terrible mess of it. Eventually I got it. I like being in
situations where I am in over my head. Speaking of which, I have been going
to school, Ryerson University, for photography and I guess I am going back
this fall. I got into a Magnum workshop in May with Mark Power, of Brighton,
and it was probably the best thing I did in a while. It was brutal, the
daily critiques from other photographers and Mark were painful but
necessary.

4. What are you currently reading?

I read everything. I like a good junky book as much as something that I
think about for a long time. Last three books were 'Last Watch" by Sergei
Lukyanenko, 'Ring' by Koji Suzuki, and 'The View from Castle Rock' by Alice
Munro. I love science fiction, and non-fiction books about plants, and there
is a library on my corner where I spend a lot of time looking at expensive
art books and graphic novels. I loved "A Fine Balance" by Rohinton Mistry,
"Cat's Eye" by Atwood, and kid's books with Oscar. Current favourites are
'Scaredy Squirrel' and 'Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus'

5. What makes you happy?

my bike, having a lot of people in the house, fires, chaos, being outside,
honesty, tall men, avacados, cheese, good bread, food in general, taking
photos, making things, growing things, music, movies, animation, really big
rocks, my kayak, dogs, most people, the circus, public art, puzzles, trying
to figure out things, old clothes, big snowstorms with the fat big flakes,
my family and friends.

Last year I raised Russo, a puppy for Guide Dogs Canada. I am proud to
report that she has turned out to be a star in training and they really like
her. I can't do another puppy right now because I want to travel, so I am
keeping Guide Dog puppies when they need a place to stay. So far Garnet has
been here and at the end of the month, the truly adorable Frizzle will be
staying.

For those of you who followed Russo's buddies, Nikkita and Pel--both just
graduated, and are now working as vision companions to young university
students.

6.What's your strongest childhood memory?

I don't know. Montreal where I grew up, the ocean, my parents, nothing
important. I had a great childhood, a really interesting adolescence and
early adulthood. I did it all. no regrets. great memories.

7. What is the last thing that made you laugh?

my friend Laurie is always late. she arrived late and the annoyed chair of
the meeting said 'Why don't you get a watch?' Laurie replied: 'Then I'd just
know how late I am."

8. What are the 3 most valuable lessons you have you learned in life so
far?

I don't seem to have learned much over the years. I admire qualities I don'
t have--black curly hair, patience, listening, being tall, mysterious. I am
pretty much WYSIWYG.

9. Your house in on fire - what's the first thing you grab?

My house on fire? I have such a great old house here. Full of memories and
stupid little things we all like. If it went up in flames, there is nothing
and everything to save, so I'd grab any animal I had and run for it. Of
course, being old, this house is a continual money pit and ongoing repair
project, so I'd not have to deal with that anymore. Does anyone know a good
electrician?

10. So it's Desert Island Discs time and we're now choosing that one record
that remains after the hypothetical storm. What is that one record?

This is not a fair question. Too hard. It would not just be music, but film,
art, all kinds of good things. turtles. dogs. people. is there enough surf
for a board? I'd like to learn.

Posted by swamprose

3rd Jul 2009, 23:12   comments (22)

Tick tock...

(viewed 2063 times)
1. Where are you currently and why? Where would you rather be on an ideal
day in an ideal world?

I'm in Zurich, Switzerland. I came here to visit my best friend on holiday,
fell in love with the city, and made it my mission to one day call this
place by home. That was nearly 3 years ago. It's 6.40am, and I have just
gotten home from working in a bar. It's light outside already and due to my
bad time keeping combined with technical difficulties, this is very late (even though I started writing it last Sunday). Shit! On an ideal day in an ideal world, I would be awake because me & my very large & shiny camera with it's large & shiny zoom lens would have to catch a flight to somewhere exotic I've never been before to take pictures I'm going to get paid for. OR I'd be awake because I'd spent all night dancing. Still awake because of work...not so much fun.

2. Tell us your Moblog story, how did it all begin for you, what purpose does Moblog have for you?

It started when I moved from Cape Town to England in 2005. I knew Alfie and he got me on to it. It started as a way to document my new life, and as a space to put old photographs so I'd look at them more often. It became an amazing source of delight & entertainment as I got to know the Moblog community - so many warm, open, insanely funny, creative, intelligent, & wonderfully inspiring people from around the world, the friends I made through Moblog were my saving grace that year in the English countryside..don't know what I would have done without you :)

3. What was your childhood obsession? What happened to it?

I remember being given a book on dolphins when I was about 12, and watching The Big blue, and wanting to be a marine biologist or a diver, I spent a lot of time seeing how many laps I could do in our pool while holding my breath. That was replaced by an obsession with Vogue magazine when I was about 13, I plastered every inch of my bedroom (including the ceiling) with it's pages. What happened? I was a fashion stylist for a few years, loads of frivolous fun. Now I live by a lake, not the sea..but it's enough, I need to
live by an expanse of water, it makes me calmer!

4. Name three things you would change in your life that would make you
happier?

a) I would find a way to cure cancer, in the form of an aspirin, with no
side effects whatsoever, while simultaneously giving the NHS a gigantic kick up their asses for giving my Mum the most shocking post operative care ever. Pure negligence. Disgusting.

b) I would be more self-disciplined - especially when it comes to doing the
things I know are good for me, more regularly.

c) I would talk less and act more.


5. How did you get into taking photographs?

I think it came from my dad, he was always snapping pictures, I think that's
what started my love for documenting life. Coupled with my first boyfriend
being a photography student when I was 17, we loved going on road trips in
South Africa, taking pictures together. Being a stylist gave me another
perspective, creating pictures, I started paying more attention to the
light, how different lighting can make the same face change so much.

6. What are you currently reading?

I have become terrible at starting books & not finishing them! I've just
started reading 'A New Earth' by Eckhart Tolle.

7. What's your motto? Your tagline? Your favourite saying?

Hmmm..'With our thoughts, we make our world'. 'Music is love in search of a
word'. What about my favourite punctuation mark? I use the ellipsis a
lot..too much...hmmm....

8. How would you spend a perfect Sunday?

Lazy morning in bed reading English newspapers (a luxury for me in
Switzerland), followed by breakfast at the Tearoom (great Moroccan
restaurant & lounge here that makes everything you could possible want for
breakfast, till 4pm), followed by a nap, followed by bike riding down to the
lake to have an early evening braai with friends in the setting summer sun.
Generally, lots of napping & food. & friends. Happiness.

9. So it's Desert Island Discs time and we're now choosing that one record
that remains after the hypothetical storm. What is that one record?

Coldplay - Parachutes. It doesn't matter how many times I've listened to it, it still moves me. So beautiful, so emotional. I can remember the first time
I heard it, who I was with, where I was - it's like having a musical
photograph. I've listened to it so many times in the last 9 years, and I
love the way I keep creating new memories to it.

10. Of all the places you have travelled or lived, is there one particular place that feels most significant?

The suburbs of Bergvliet in Cape Town. I grew up there with an amazing group
of girlfriends I'm still close to. Those times are such a big part of me, we were such a close-knit group, growing up together in such a beautiful part of the world. I'm so lucky to have had that experience.

Posted by Uber Spy

27th Jun 2009, 05:55   comments (12)

Wet and wonky nose

(viewed 3150 times)
1. Where are you currently and why? Where would you rather be on an
ideal day in an ideal world?

I am in Macau/Macao in China overseeing the theatrical lighting
install for a brand new Dragone water show. I've been here for six
months and unexpectedly there is nowhere else that I would rather be.
It seems strange to write that and I certainly didn't expect to feel
this way about Macau. When I took the job I thought that I would just
be putting up with the place to make some money, but it has grown on
me and I love it.

2. Tell us your moblog story, how did it all begin for you, what
purpose does Moblog have for you?

I had a camera phone and a rapidly filling memory card, Moblog seemed
like the perfect way to do something with the images. What I didn't
expect Moblog to do was teach me how to take picture and give me the
opportunity to meet some of the loveliest people in the world. Moblog
helped me at a low point in my life and I will always be grateful for
the new sense of purpose and belonging it gave me. Since life has
become more hectic I have posted much less frequently, but I have
every intention of continuing. I guess I would liken Moblogs purpose
to "If a tree falls over in a forest and no one is their does it make
a noise?". If I take pictures that nobody sees is there any point?

3. What was your childhood obsession? What happened to it?

Anything Sci-fi, but more specifically:

Dr Who, what happened to it? They made the episodes slicker and
lighter, but shorter and less creepy.
Transformers, what happened to it? They turned it into a shit movie
franchise... I thought the cartoon movie was much better.
Super heroes, what happened to them? They became main stream and
respectable! I used to have to hang my head in shame whilst talking to
other geeks in dark corners, now every Tom, Dick, and Harry is
chatting about last nights episode of Heroes.

4. Name three things you would change in your life that would make you
happier?

1. I would completely get rid of my paunch, I'm half way there at the
moment and hope to have most of it gone by the wedding in November.

2. Laura and I would have a kid, we are working on this after
November... but we are still practising.

3. I would bring down Macau's humidity level.

5. How did you get into taking photographs?

I was on my first theatre tour and was spending a lot of time in new
places without my friends, having a camera gave me an excuse to wander
around a town on my own and not feel lonely or bored.

6. What are you currently reading?

I'm ashamed to say nothing. I just don't have the time or the energy
after reading and responding to emails all day. I do however listen to
"The Friday night comedy podcast", "The Mark Kermode movie review",
and the "BBC news" on my journey to work.

7. What's your motto? Your tagline? Your favorite saying?

"I don't eat anything with a Mum or a face"

8. You're a vegetarian, what's the most impressive dish you like to
cook?

It's always changing but my favourite meal at the moment is a
selection of Chinese style dishes. Aubergine in spicy garlic sauce,
Fried Gluten with carrot in Hosin sauce, Bok Choy fried in garlic with
a splash of soy sauce, Long pumpkin and mushrooms in oyster sauce,
these are then served with a flat bread.

9. So it's Desert Island Discs time and we're now choosing that one
record that remains after the hypothetical storm. What is that one
record?

I had a Ray Mears audio survival guide written on my list for a while
and then I decided that Jeff Wayne's War of the world would be better
company. But listening to "2 Many Dj's mix session 2" on the way to
work this morning convinced me that I would need to dance if I was
stranded on an island. I'm not sure if it is available as a disc, but
you can probably find it on your file sharing site of choice.

10. Of all the places you have traveled or lived, is there one
particular place that feels most significant?

That would be Vancouver Island because it is where Laura agreed to
marry me.

Posted by Steve

19th Jun 2009, 06:00   comments (32)

Dada-blogs

(viewed 2131 times)
1. Where are you currently and why? Where would you rather be on an ideal day in an ideal world?
Currently in my office in Louth in Lincolnshire, I'm here because [short answer: It's where I work, I am a freelance web developer] [Long answer: We moved to rural Lincolnshire from Leeds so that my daughter could attend my Mum's Nursery/School which is about 15 miles away from here and is one of, if not the best Montessori education establishment in the country, I may be biased, but OfSTED agree.]
I'd rather be, in a quiet, dimly lit bar with a good Mojito and the company of friends.

2. Tell us your moblog story, how did it all begin for you, what purpose does Moblog have for you?
I found moblog (via google) when it was just a wee youngster and initially I saw it as a place to dump the pictures I took with my new cameraphone. It didn't take long for me to realise though, that the people here were of a very special ilk and it is those people and their humour/intelligence/photography skillz that have kept me coming back. It's a little more difficult to follow what everyone is doing here nowadays, the site moves a lot faster now than it did then, but it is no less fun or addictive than it was in 2004. Moblog has given me so much, from support, to prais, to proper, life long friendships with people I respect and love deeply...that and an EPIC 30th birthday party :)

3. What was your childhood obsession? What happened to it?
For as long as I can remember I have wanted to be a racing driver. My Dad was a petrol head of the highest order, and my Mum also has a passion for fast and beautiful cars, I have enduring memories of being about 5 or 6 and going for long and extremely fast drives on the winding country roads of Lincolnshire with my Dad in his Alfasud. "This is a proper driver's car" he used to say. My car purchases were no doubt informed by these experiences, the cars I've owned reads like a boy racers dream from a Renault 5 GT Turbo, to my current Subaru Impreza, I've always bought "driver's cars". I used to kart a lot, and soon realised that I had nowhere near enough talent to drive professionally, but I still have a fantasy of driving in the Gumball or something similar one day.

4. Name three things you would change in your life that would make you happier?
1)I'd move all the Leeds crew to Louth (I miss you all so much)
2)I'd get fit (I hate exercise)
3)Profit.

5. You know your food, noshninjas etc. What's your favourite meal? Or what was your most awesomest eating experience evar?
Hmmm thats a tough question. I think my fave dish to cook is lasagne. I can easily take 8 hours over it.

As for eating experience, my absolute fave restaurant in the whole universe is The Star at Harem. If you're ever in North Yorkshire and feel like eating some of the best food england has to offer, check it out. My younger brother and his fiancée are having their wedding reception there this summer...I can't wait.

6. Drums or bass?
I've played drums but never bass, therefore I must select the former, though surely one is not the same without the other?

7. What's your motto? Your tagline? Your favorite saying?
Gosh there are so many, I love quotations, and have a special love for Oscar Wilde's outbursts of unadulterated genius.
"We're all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars" is a particular favourite. Though I think for my motto I have to look to the great Keith Moon with "Sleep is for wankers."

8. Any favourite words of wisdom or life lessons to impart? The sort of thing that Leila can expect to hear when dad's laying heavy knowledge down on her eager mind? Not those sort of life lessons you filthy hound, this is a family interview.
It's funny, I always thought I'd have come up with a list of these by the time I became a dad, but I haven't.
I hope that Leila is a little less like I was as a child, and more like her mum was.
As a former skateboarder "look after your knees, you'll miss those when they're gone" springs to mind.

Or although I'll no doubt live to regret saying it, "question everything."

Oh and "don't eat yellow snow."

9. So it's Desert Island Discs time and we're now choosing that one record that remains after the hypothetical storm. What is that one record?
You are evil, this is so impossibly difficult to answer...I'd probably give a different response on any given day, right now I'd say The K&D; sessions by Kruder and Dorfmeister. It's one of the few albums I own that I've never really gotten bored with at any point. Failing that it would be Every Last Time by Gameface.

10. Of all the places you have traveled or lived, is there one particular place that feels most significant?
Leeds. I love Leeds, it is by some considerable margin, the best city on earth, and anyone who disagrees is either from Manchester or wrong. I miss it. Lincolnshire will always be home for me though, coming back was like putting on old shoes, I know all the shortcuts and backroads...and we make the best sausages in the world here.

Posted by Joe

30th May 2009, 00:04   comments (13)

In which Rich is dull

(viewed 1914 times)
1. Where are you currently and why? Where would you rather be on an ideal day in an ideal world?
Currently sitting in my prisoneresque ball chair in the corner of the living room. The view from my window is entirely filled with lush green springtime foliage with a sprinkling of blossom and bluebells. It was raining when I started this but it's got sunny again suddenly so the next sentence will probably be written some time after this one. Yeah, started raining again. Lovely while it lasted though, the old steam engine that sometimes drives past drove past, with it's customary tail of angry motorists behind it. Where would I rather be? I don't know. It's more about who you are and what you're doing that where you are. Although if we're talking ideal world then I'd be living in a big dome on Mars, like we were supposed to bloody have by now, with a sassy robot companion and telepathic girlfriend. I would probably settle for a jetpack, though.

2. Tell us your moblog story, how did it all begin for you, what purpose does Moblog have for you?
Funny story: My housemate built a website, and it turned into quite a big deal. From day one Moblog's been this crazy device that I saw being built in my living room which then brought images and interesting people from around the world and pumped them directly onto my monitor. 5 years and running and I'm still being surprised at what people do with it and use it for, the least being all the lovingly tailored spam I delete.

3. What was your childhood obsession? What happened to it?
Doctor Who. RTD's currently aiming it squarely at the lowest common denominator but it's a tough old beast so I remain hopeful that it can be dumbed up again.
Thing is, I became a fan of the show from the books. Back in the long long ago, before videos and DVDs and other such delights, they produced quickie novelisations of the stories that were a vital part of any fan collection. Now, as a kid I mostly didn't have a TV so I had never seen the show on TV. And because the writers seldom included details like how when characters shout loudly the scenery sways or how lasers look like unconvincing electronic effects I was under the impression that most Doctor Who was a lot better than it actually is. During the early 90s they started releasing more stories on video and they were also stripmined on UK Gold, which became a crash course on the limitations of TV production from the 60s to the 80s. Really, it's a wonder I still like it.

4. Name three things you would change in your life that would make you happier?
jet pack
time machine
sassy robot

5. You strike me as a reader, who is your favourite non fiction author and why?
Not necessarily non-fiction but Robert Anton Wilson was an author I read in that magical teenage time when things can really get into your mindspace and twist them in new directions, so I'd have to say pretty much anything by him.

6. What random piece of information or trivia fact do you use often to impress people?
Whatever random piece of information seems most appropriate at the time. Or whatever I've just read. Man, this is like being asked to tell a joke. My mind empties of all thought. Er. Biscuits are nice.

7. What's your motto? Your tagline? Your favorite saying?
I don't know. Now, am I saying that I don't know what my motto/tagline/saying is or that i don't know is my motto/tagline/saying? Makes you think, eh? Mmm? Isn't it?

8. I know you have a deft turn of phrase, would you or are you considering writing a novel/journalism/short stories?
I've got several files on this computer somewhere which contain quick ideas, sudden genius thoughts or turns of phrase that strike me. I should probably try and get better at expressing whatever it is that inspired me to save them because it's mostly just full of random stuff like "14 hats in Donald Rumsfeld??" that time has rendered completely meaningless. I don't think I've got anything particularly interesting to add to the world's surplus of words at the moment, so no.

9. What is your favourite TV show of all time? Please recap in your own words your favourite episode
See q3. I'm not really one for this kind of mojo-listmaking impulse. My CDs have never been organised, my DVDs all a-higgle and a-piggle and the state I keep my comics in has provoked anger and astonishment in propar collectorz. Also, there are over 150 stories which I've seen, heard or read all of at least twice (depending on whether the Beeb destroyed them), and there are literally only a handful of them that are truly bad. Most are fairly shonky, but occasionally manage to transcend the limitations of their production. Even at it's best you're never more than 3 seconds away from some unconvincing scenery/dialogue/acting/props/costumes/special effects/sound/music/trees/lighting/camerawork, picking out one episode out of several decades of cutting edge done on a shoestring is difficult. That said, the one with the statues was very good wasn't it?


10. Of all the places you have traveled or lived, is there one particular place that feels most significant?
Norwich.

Posted by Rich

23rd May 2009, 18:40   comments (10)

Alfored

(viewed 2572 times)
1. Where are you currently and why? Where would you rather be on an ideal day in an ideal world?

>>Currently I'm sitting at my desk writing a presentation for a conference I'm at in Manchester next week. It's sunny outside. It's Sunday. Gah. Right now I'd like to be on a beach in Durban, South Africa. It's 27 degrees Celsius and there's a 5 foot swell achingly close to utter perfection breaking in 6 set waves just off the new pier, and I'm paddling in to the last, most perfect wave in the set.
>>
>> 2. Tell us your moblog story, how did it all begin for you, what purpose does Moblog have for you?
It's a bit random and sort of funny actually. I had been using Textamerica (which you may remember, it went under last year) for a year or so, moblogging away. I'd had a real interest in mobile technology for a long time, my first start-up being a site for video media for Palm devices. So anyway I was using Textamerica and then one day, for *no discernible reason whatsoever*, they deleted my account.

There was so much stuff there that I couldn't believe I'd lost. For example I'd recorded the pin hole surgery I had on my knee after a skateboarding accident - utterly unique bits of my life. I was so furious. Really, just utterly furious. I got it into my head to create a competing service, a better service, a service that would never behave that way to one of it's members.

I went to a forum I used a lot at the time and started chatting with friends about the idea, and asking people if anyone had been working on a mail parser for mobile blogging or would like to work with me on creating a mobile blogging site. That's when Mat and I got together and MoblogUK was born.

Moblog has been such an enormous part of my life since that beginning. It's been the child that you sacrifice everything for - in my case that sacrifice was living at the breadline for a long time and well, not sleeping an awful lot. But Moblog has given me so much more in return. It's been the proving ground for many of the ideas that I've had and have wanted to explore. It's taught me so much about community and people.

>> 3. What are your favourite moblog memories? from both your own and other blogs.

Wow. Bronxelf and Eversion, Dhamaka, Joe, and everyone coming down to the We're Not Afraid exhibition launch night was just amazing, as was working with so many mobloggers on actually running that site. Travelling up to a Moblog party at Geodyne's house in Oxford and getting us all thoroughly lost in the car. For me it's not particular posts that stand out (although there are plenty of those), it's the people and the things we've done together that are my fondest memories of Moblog.
>>
>> 4. Name three things you would change in your life that would make you happier?
A return to a high level of fitness (Im lazy)
Be able to take a year off and go surfing around the world.
Have greater financial stability (im working on this one).
>>
>> 5. Where do you see moblog in another 5 years time and what do you consider has contributed to moblog's success?
>>
gosh. this is just.. unanswerable... :) i really dont know.


>> 6. Are there any causes or principles you would be prepared to fight for? What form would your protest take?

When you say 'fight' what do you mean, like, fisticuffs? If you mean 'put all my energy into' I'd have to say that right now, no 'cause' really. That might sound cavalier or selfish, but let me explain. There's so much
wrong with the world right? There are *so many* things to care about, to take action on, to get involved in, that it's overload. And not only that, but in the vast majority of the cases when it comes to 'causes', addressing them doesn't address the root of the problem. I don't actively support major charities; they are so often basically *broken* bureaucratic entities that are no longer effective. For me, the *only* causes to get involved in would be addressing the root issues around global poverty and illiteracy.

But I'm an Optimist (capital O). I'm an optimist in the idea that our technologies will take us past the barriers our meat heritage imposes on our behaviour. Moore's law says that since the invention of the integrated circuit in 1958, the number of transistors that can be placed inexpensively on an integrated circuit has increased exponentially, doubling approximately every two years. So this law (very much a constant for the last 40+ years) means that by 2020 we should be able to buy the most powerful computer today for about £5. What does that *mean* for transforming the world?

Individuals are becoming super empowered through technology - a danger as much as there is potential for positive transformational shift in cultures and societies. It's an Asymmetric power model - so terrible things can happen, but it's the bargain we make because of the positive transformational potential. Just imagine, say, being able to create an antiviral HIV cocktail with inexpensive consumer available tools- imagine being able to just download an instruction set, feed it into a machine along with base compounds and in 5 hours have a years supply of the drugs. These transformational technologies along with education will lift the poor of the world to a place where they can feed themselves, heal themselves, and make sure the water that they drink is clean. Education is the greatest force for peace imaginable, and that's what Moore's law means for the future of our species. Mobile phones in the developing world are the first pervasive vector for educating the world, so I'm intensely interested in and actively keep abreast of projects and trends in this area.

So what am I saying to answer your question? A lot of the work that I've been doing lately (Britglyph, FindMe) has been exploring what I call Hypercontext - a property of the Semantic web. This idea that *everything* is or will eventually be connected, an internet not only of ideas but of places and things, and people. From this work I can see myself taking what I've learned and trying to apply that to problems of education through technology in the developing world. The reason for this long winded explanation is that there isn't a cause or principle I can honestly say I'd fight for - I think charities are mostly broken. What I *will* do is keep learning and keep applying what I've learned to making the world a more interesting place, and hopefully one day what I've learned can be put to true and effective use in helping the poor of the world gain access to the knowledge that will lift them out of poverty.

>>
>> 7. What's your motto? Your tagline? Your favorite saying?
Hmmmn. I don't really have one, but if I did, when asked where I work I often say "At the department for really moving things along" - a line from a Michael Marshall Smith book, 'Only Forward' (an author who I thoroughly recommend btw).
>>
>> 8. What question were you hoping to be asked? And what would your answer be?
Q "Where shall I send the cheque?"
A "As usual, wire it to my Cayman islands account".

>>
>> 9. What movie have you most often recommended to others and why, or what's your favorite movie?
Hmmn. Tough one. I mean, how do you answer it? A different 'top' movie should be recommended based on the context; I wont recommend Happiness to the soft of heart, nor Angel Heart to a Catholic Nun. Hmmn. There is one movie which stands out as one I recommend most often though. It's called Primer and deals with the ramifications and timeline of two friends who unexpectedly invent time travel. It's incredibly inventive and thought provoking, and requires at *least* 5 viewings to start to grok what's going on.
>>
>> 10. Of all the places you have traveled or lived, is there one particular place that feels most significant?
For me it will always be Durban, in South Africa, where I lived for some of my pre-teen and most of my teenage life. It's where all my strongest memories of growing up are, couched in soft and hot year-long-summers. It's a city of depressing extremes, and I lived both in Apartheid and watched it come down, and all the intense shifts that that revolution brought about. It's a city (in a country) where it's hard to be optimistic about the future, but it's just so beautiful and extreme, and the people are amazing.

Posted by Alfie

16th May 2009, 10:55   | tags:,comments (19)