Saturday, 15 December 2007

Catch up Post

I haven't written anything in over 10 days so I decided to organise a quick sum up of interesting things happened or that I've seen over that time, in no particular order:

1. My best friend James in China created a new social network for all electro lovers on Ning called Electro Freaks. Here's what he has to say about it:
Hi everyone,

I'm giving a test on creating a social network!

Electrofreaks is a open network for all the lovers
of the best in electro minimal sounds & visuals.
I think it could be a cool idea for us to share new stuff,
meet new people & more on...

If you're interested in this new experience,
you're more than welcome to join me :]


Click here to join:
I'm just listening to some of the tracks on it right now and he uploaded some cool stuff, check it out!

2. I went to the Tate Modern this week and saw the giant crack on the floor over the whole length of the Turbine Hall - the real name for it being Shibboleth (which sounds much better) created by Columbian artist Doris Salcedo. It's definitely impressive and I liked it, though I must admit that without the explanation of the intention behind the art piece I wouldn't have understood it. I think it's really powerful, worth having a look at walking the length of the Hall, pondering Salcedo's message and intention.
In breaking open the floor of the museum, Salcedo is exposing a fracture in modernity itself. Her work encourages us to confront uncomfortable truths about our history and about ourselves with absolute candidness, and without self-deception.
(From the Tate Modern's website).

3. New televisual experiences! (sad but true) I checked out new TV shows that came out recently in the US and discovered Chuck. It's really funny, good action scenes and doesn't take itself seriously, all in all a good surprise. I also started watching Dexter, deeply disturbing but looks like a really good show, I'll keep watching.
Otherwise new seasons for Prison Break and Heroes, I've only watched Prison Break so far (keeping Heroes for Christmas). I really love the show, how they manage to keep the characters in serously deep sh** and keep the tension alive and kicking from one episode to the other is awesome.

4. I saw the latest Burger King advertising campaign, really interesting but once again a reminder that the relationship between the American people and their fastfood is slightly frightening. You can view the video from the official Whopper Freakout website, or directly below:

5. Greenpeace has launched a new online campaign I really liked called Clash of the Consoles. The site informs us through the voices of 3 iconic characters from the 3 major console manufacturers (Microsoft's Master Chief, Nintendo's Mario, and Sony's Kratos) of the damages caused by games consoles on the environment and compares each company's efforts (or lack thereof) on toxic use, toxic policies, recycling, and energy use.

6. One of my favourite authors, Terry Pratchett, has announced this week that he has been diagnosed with a rare form of early onset Alzheimer's. Here is the open letter he wrote on Paul Kidby's Discworld News:


I would have liked to keep this one quiet for a little while, but because of upcoming conventions and of course the need to keep my publishers informed, it seems to me unfair to withhold the news. I have been diagnosed with a very rare form of early
onset Alzheimer's, which lay behind this year's phantom "stroke".

We are taking it fairly philosophically down here and possibly with a mild optimism. For now work is continuing on the completion of Nation and the basic notes are already being laid down for Unseen Academicals. All other things being equal, I
expect to meet most current and, as far as possible, future commitments but will discuss things with the various organisers. Frankly, I would prefer it if people kept things cheerful, because I think there's time for at least a few more books yet :o)

Terry Pratchett

PS I would just like to draw attention to everyone reading the above that this should be interpreted as 'I am not dead'. I will, of course, be dead at some future point, as will everybody else. For me, this maybe further off than you think - it's too soon to tell. I know it's a very human thing to say "Is there anything I can do", but in this case I would only entertain offers from very high-end experts in brain chemistry.
7. Of course, quite some time has been dedicated to my job search, I had some really good interviews and I should hopefully have some more detailed news to give about this next week.

Tuesday, 4 December 2007


I went to see the Weapons of Mass Communication exhibition at the Imperial War Museum last Friday. It was a bit curious, firstly I hadn't been to the IWM before and arriving there in the dark under the rain was quite surprising. I'm not a big war fan, and walking into this great hall full of rockets, cannons, and war aircrafts seemed a bit surreal to me.

I liked the exhibition a lot and thought it was really interesting, it gives a really good sense of the different design and communication strategies used by different countries. It's also fascinating to notice that the World Wars last century generalised outdoor advertising in a way nothing else could have (well, I guess we'll never know but it certainly seems that way). Some of them were beautiful for their design, and a lot were just chilling, given the intended idea in a lot of cases was to make the viwer feel guily or obligated to participate in the war effort (by signing up or giving money). It makes you seriously think about what it must be like to live in a country at war (actually the whole museum does), I was looking at the posters about the Spanish Civil War and thinking about my grandfather who lived through it. Incidentally, the CNT Poster was one of my favourite ones, it's visible on the microsite here.

The funniest and pretty scary mention for me was in the section of product advertising: a French poster advertising a chocolate drink powder depicting a tiger at the witness stand of a tribunal with Petain's head and holding the chocolate box high in his paw... Really weird...