May 30

Bbq at the river

Today has been a mixed day. This morning we ran a series of races for the beginner scullers. They seemed to be happy, even the guy who managed to fall in three times. This afternoon i was building a den in the woods with mike’s kids (mike runs the army rowing course i’m hanging around). Now we’re sitting on the hard in front of the boat house watching the food on the bbq cook whilst mike does a spot of arc welding (in shorts. He says it’s the best way to get a tan!).

Wonder what tomorrow will bring

May 13

Growing my vegetables

Here’s my veggies on April 13

Garden Plants

And here they are on May 13.

The Garden in May

They’ve all survived, although I needed to put slug killer down, and are growing well. I’ve had a lot of rocket and lettuce todate, the rest I need to wait for.

I feel really proud of my little veggies 😉

May 09

The Future of Newspapers

Kevin Anderson was speaking on a panel the other day about The Future of Newspapers. Regardless of what else is happening in the industry, if they keep doing things like this, I’m not sure they deserve a future.

NML had a conversation with a Daily Mail reporter, which turned into an article about how she, and many other women, are turning to ‘e-venge’ to get their own back on men. From her perspective, that is not what she was interviewed about, furthermore, they proceeded to make a lot of mistakes in what they did write.

But Natalie does have her own blog and in this case, can correct the 26 inaccuracies she sees in the article. Zoe also wrote about the Daily Mail in a Guardian piece and their attitude to content on the web:

“We generally take the view that blogs published on the internet have already been placed in the public domain by their authors and, in case of amateur writers, most people are happy to have their work recognised and displayed to a wider audience.”

Jounalists need to understand copyright, when they can use stuff and how they can use it. They also need to realise that people can challenge what they are doing using the same tools they are misquoting.

May 06

Classic Books I’ve not read

Maryam has a list of books from Library Thing – the list of the most unread books on people’s shelves. It’s actually a dynamic list based on tags, so the current list is not necessarily what she has recorded – but here’s my take on the current list.

Bold are the ones I’ve read, italics the ones I’ve started. Asterisks are ones I really liked.

# The ultimate hitchhiker’s guide by Douglas Adams*
# Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrellby Susanna Clarke
# The kite runner by Khaled Hosseini*
# Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
# The illearth war by Stephen R. Donaldson
# Life of Pi : a novel by Yann Martel*
# Don Quixote by Miguel De Cervantes Saavedra
# Crime and punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
# One hundred years of solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
# Vanity fair by William Makepeace Thackeray
# The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien
# Ulysses by James Joyce
# War and peace by Leo Tolstoy
# Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
# Elantris by Brandon Sanderson
# The brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
# Catch-22 a novel by Joseph Heller
# Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
# The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
# Quicksilver (The Baroque Cycle I) by Neal Stephenson
# A tale of two cities by Charles Dickens
# The satanic verses by Salman Rushdie
# Middlemarch by George Eliot
# Reading Lolita in Tehran : a memoir in books by Azar Nafisi
# The name of the rose by Umberto Eco
# The Kor’an by Anonymous
# Moby Dick by Herman Melville
# The Odyssey by Homer
# The Canterbury tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
# Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
# The hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo
# The historian : a novel by Elizabeth Kostova
# Foucault’s pendulum by Umberto Eco
# Atlas shrugged by Ayn Rand
# The history of Tom Jones, a foundling by Henry Fielding
# The three musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
# The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
# The Iliad by Homer
# The sound and the fury by William Faulkner
# Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
# Emma by Jane Austen
# Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
# Sons and lovers by D.H. Lawrence
# Gulliver’s travels by Jonathan Swift
# The house of the seven gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne
# Guns, Germs, and Steel: the fates of human societies by Jared Diamond*
# Dracula by Bram Stoker
# Lady Chatterley’s lover by D.H. Lawrence
# A heartbreaking work of staggering genius by Dave Eggers
# Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
# The once and future king by T. H. White*
# Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
# To the lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
# Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
# Oryx and Crake : a novel by Margaret Atwood
# Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
# Labyrinth by Kate Mosse*
# Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
# Collapse : how societies choose to fail or succeed by Jared Diamond*
# The corrections by Jonathan Franzen
# Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe
# Underworld by Don DeLillo
# Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott
# The grapes of wrath by John Steinbeck
# Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
# Count Brass by Michael Moorcock
# The Gormenghast trilogy by Mervyn Peake
# The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells
# Jude the obscure by Thomas Hardy
# The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin
# Tender is the night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
# A portrait of the artist as a young man by James Joyce
# A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain
# The divine comedy by Dante Alighieri
# The inferno by Dante Alighieri
# Gravity’s rainbow by Thomas Pynchon
# The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
# Swann’s way by Marcel Proust
# The poisonwood Bible : a novel by Barbara Kingsolver
# The amazing adventures of Kavalier and Clay : a novel by Michael Chabon
# The portrait of a lady by Henry James
# Sense and sensibility by Jane Austen
# Silas Marner by George Eliot
# The picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
# The man in the iron mask by Alexandre Dumas
# The god of small things by Arundhati Roy
# The confusion by Neal Stephenson
# One flew over the cuckoo’s nest by Ken Kesey
# The book thief by Markus Zusak
# Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
# The system of the world by Neal Stephenson
# Bleak House by Charles Dickens
# The elegant universe : superstrings, hidden dimensions, and… by Brian Greene
# Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson
# The known world by Edward P. Jones
# The time traveler’s wife by Audrey Niffenegger
# The mill on the Floss by George Eliot
# The English patient by Michael Ondaatje
# Mason & Dixon by Thomas Pynchon
# Dubliners by James Joyce
# The bonesetter’s daughter by Amy Tan
# Les misérables by Victor Hugo
# Infinite jest : a novel by David Foster Wallace
# Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad
# Beloved : a novel by Toni Morrison
# Persuasion by Jane Austen

Looks like I have some reading to do. What about you?

May 04

Game Camp London

GameCamp London 2008

Yesterday, the Guardian ran a GameCamp in London, helped a lot by Sony who provided the venue at their 3Rooms building in Shoreditch. By shear co-incidence, there was a Gamecamp in Toronto on the same day, the difference being that the London one was based on the BarCamp premise of a self organising day for sessions whereas the Toronto one was a more traditional planned conference. I helped organise this, insofar I input a lot of advice on running BarCamps and not so much the running around finding venues and sponsors which was all down to Bobbie Johnson.

After a few false starts, we ended up at the Sony 3Rooms as a venue. This is not an ideal place, being open plan so sessions could overpower each other, but even so, it provided a perfect backdrop to the day. Decorated with all sorts of stuff and full of Sony products, they provided the venue, the wifi and the food, often the most difficult things to organise for an event like this, so many thanks to them. We also got some consoles from Nintendo (I saw lots of bowling taking place) and Microsoft but the most popular by far was Rock Band, provided by fellow organisers Dan and Adrian from Six to Start, which kept people playing all day. I even had my first go on the drums.

GameCamp London 2008

About 100 people turned up and after a brief introduction the grid was opened and the sessions started to fill up. Even though many people had not been to a barcamp type event before, the format was embraced. Sessions ranged from how to kill someone (really) to religion in games. As with all such events, the sessions were of mixed quality and attendance but what made the day for many was just the chance to connect and interact in an informal environment. I never made any sessions on the morning, running around checking all was fine, but went to a few in the afternoon, such as ones on future of ARGS, hacking hardware, designing a game based on Jane Austen novels. Interestingly I never got my laptop out, but did take photos.

GameCamp London 2008

The feedback in the pub later seemed to indicate that the day was well enjoyed – now we need to arrange another one!