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[19 Sep 2017 | No Comment | ]
Angela Merkel – A different type of politician.

Having been brought up mainly on a diet of UK politics, with a bit of Cyprus, Malaysia and Germany added to the mix, I have a commonly held opinion of most politicians.
I was lucky enough to have lived overseas three times when I was a child. And although I still travel a lot in my adult life, these days I am firmly rooted in London. I’ve met a handful of politicians in the UK, at various Chambers of Commerce, and on each occasion I have always found time to talk …

headline, people »

[15 Nov 2016 | Comments Off on Barcamp Southampton 2016 | ]
Barcamp Southampton 2016

Around 100 people descended on Central Hall in Southampton on 12 Nov 2016 for another Barcamp Southampton, an unconference for geeks of all types. My day was punctuated by a variety of sessions, and ad hoc dialogue during the breaks, discussing the current state of Tech and where it’s going.
Using skills built around a knowledge of IBM’s Watson, eight year old Faith demonstrated her working example of the Owl Chatbot. With considerable courage and confidence, Faith showed that your first ever barcamp session can be instructive and educational. Chatbots and …

getting things done, headline, people »

[19 Sep 2016 | No Comment | ]
Health and Exercise – The Rewards

I’m the same as you. I go through episodes of healthy eating and exercise, and then I regress and end up taking a couple of steps backwards for every step forward. If we’re not careful, a self reinforcing feedback loop can arise and we all end up back where we started, if not worse off than before!

However, around 10% of people readily have the perseverance to overcome this dilemma.
It is said that “WeightWatchers” (not that I’ve ever been there) thrives by providing repeat services to the 90% of people who …

people »

[14 Feb 2016 | No Comment | ]
Was Darth Vader a 16th Century Samurai General?

Don’t you think there is a remarkable similarity between this Samurai outfit (made of polished black steel) and the outfit worn by Darth Vader?

The five piece Samurai outfit was donated to Sendai City Museum by The House of Date [Dah-teh]. The size and style of the ornate gold crescent fitted to the helmet indicates that it would have been worn by a very senior general indeed.

There is no information on the Sendai City Museum web site to suggest that George Lucas has ever visited their museum, so it’s pure speculation …

featured, people »

[7 Feb 2016 | No Comment | ]
Kate Adie’s 4 Golden Rules For Good Journalism

In early February 2016 I was fortunate enough to meet Kate Adie OBE, a well known BBC journalist.
Addressing a room of about 200 people, Kate gave an excellent account of how she progressed from being a relatively ordinary student, to her role in BBC local radio and then BBC regional television, before securing her mainstream position at BBC News. On moving from BBC local radio in the North East to what she thought was another radio job with BBC West, she was astonished to learn (on day one at BBC …

people »

[20 Apr 2015 | No Comment | ]
Barcamp Bournemouth 7

The Marshmallow Challenge
Here’s a game that I haven’t played for 20 odd years, so I decided to run it as a session at #bcbomo7 on 18 Apr 2015.

Equipped with many packets of Marshmallows and packets of Spaghetti, the teams were challenged to build the tallest possible structure they could. The rules are pretty simple:

Use only your own marshmallows, and spaghetti, and nothing else.
Do not eat the other teams’ marshmallows.
Do not cut holes in the ceiling.
Do not cook the spaghetti.
The structure may not have any external support.

We had about 30 minutes …

featured, people »

[4 Aug 2014 | No Comment | ]
LeedsHack 2014

Quite unexpectedly, I was able to get to LeedsHack again this year having missed it for the last two! I say “unexpectedly”, because it was on 2-3 Aug 2014 which was one of my very rare vacant weekends, being sandwiched between working in Switzerland at the end of July and going on holiday to Portugal in the middle of August! I knew LeedsHack was happening, but I had the feeling that a free weekend at home in London was what I needed when my life involves a bit too much …

people »

[8 Jun 2014 | No Comment | ]
The London Outer Orbital Path Part 5

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West Drayton to Uxbridge (a second attempt to reach Uxbridge)

If you’ve been following the steps in our adventures around the LOOP you will have seen that we were a little despondent after the flood we encountered on the previous leg. That explains why there was a gap of some four months before we ventured out onto the LOOP again.
All in all, our adventures along the London LOOP have not been going as intended. We were, in equal measure, discovering …

people »

[16 Feb 2014 | No Comment | ]
The London Outer Orbital Path Part 4

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Hayes & Harlington to Uxbridge (incomplete)

I have bought some maps. I have the ones I need for the next stage or three of the LOOP. And, hopefully that will mean a more pleasant trek around the next few sections of the LOOP.

Floods hit Britain in Feb 2014. However, Wraysbury is not on the LOOP. Nor is Oxfordshire. Nor had any of the news reports I had heard, either on the radio or in the press, alerted me to fact that I may find …

people »

[2 Feb 2014 | No Comment | ]
The London Outer Orbital Path Part 3

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Hatton Cross to Hayes & Harlington

Perhaps we’re relying on David Sharp’s book too much? Today we went off on our third outing, and it was the third time out of three that the plan didn’t quite go to plan! We couldn’t find the start of the Hatton Cross section, and that was largely due to the fact that we were unable to finish the previous section properly, because the trail through Donkey Wood was blocked.
Anyway, I knew that last time the path should have stopped …