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Wednesday, 30 August 2006

OTA : Wordless Wednesday

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Edinburgh Streets

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Monday, 28 August 2006

Back to England (reality?)

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Away from the general crazy delights of the Fringe, I was travelling south today, having an overnight stop yesterday to pickup a mirror. We have plenty of video footage from Warhol and will attempt to make a DVD of the performance, along with some outtakes and maybe a highly condensed promo version of around 10 minutes!

I've collected some of the other media together: not counting the sound effects, there's 23 pieces of music included. Time to wind up Final Cut Pro, with a large disk drive!

There's some stills from the performance across on Christina Nott's site and I'll add a couple of short videos here when I get some time to do some editing.

This afternoon I have been re-arranging furniture (don't ask).

Saturday, 26 August 2006

4 stars - The Scotsman

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publicity in John Lewis shop window
Stop the press. A different post from that which I'd started for Saturday. The Scotsman has given our Bubbleandsqueek production 4 stars!!!!.

Yes Warhol at the Fringe has four stars!

We will be out to the copy shop in the next few minutes to make some more promo posters!

Yippee!!

Wednesday, 23 August 2006

rest awhile

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I suppose I should mention the hotel in Edinburgh - we arrived to be greeted with champagne on ice and some rather interesting chocolate mousse type things in little glass goblets.


door.jpgIts one of those hotels with peacocks strutting around the grounds, where you sit down on sofas to check in and the rooms are full of cushions and heavy drapes with large tassels. Knock on the door to take a look around. I can justify this as proper vacation time for a few days, so I shall just enjoy it all.

Tuesday, 22 August 2006

bongo time

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First a technical rehearsal and then a preview evening for the Warhol staging at the Fringe. Edinburgh is a mad place at this time with countless plays, comedies, standup, music and other entertainment from all over the city. So gaining mindshare from a single production takes a lot of work and planning. Posters, leaflets, assaults on Princes Street, The Royal Mile, tableaux, interviews, hopefully press reviews (and hopefully good ones). The above frame is from today's filming of the cast preparations; a few standing outside after the technical rehearsal.

Tomorrow is the first 'Standing in John Lewis (department store)' event too. So a lot to do to get that vital audience.

First night, and a reasonable gathering - although this was still preview night. The show is launched!

Monday, 21 August 2006

fringe events

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In Edinburgh from today, where the Fringe is in full swing. A little mad right now so difficult to post. This is from a borrowed Mac, plugged into a nearby Swisscom wifi hotspot. When I get stable connections, I'll post more!

Saturday, 19 August 2006

door sense

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A weird co-incidence today as I saw two different people walk into plate glass doors.

The first person stopped just as they got to the door, which was at a well-known sport store. No harm done.

The second one was a store that I was inside and just leaving, when I saw someone ahead of me walk into the door and bounce backwards in slow motion, hitting the floor. I helped him up and he was quite dazed initially, and had dropped money and his wallet. Several other people came over to check as well (though no-one from the shop) and once he was composed he assured everyone he was all right. I reported the incident to an assistant named Aaron in the store and he promised he would tell the manager.

So co-incidence, I suppose - but I was cautious myself after that for the next couple of shops and even noticed one door sliding back quite slowly. I will get over this obsession.

Thursday, 17 August 2006

3 stars

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The work finished today, but we needed a final session which meant I couldn't take a flight tonight and instead have to go back on Friday morning. As luck would have it, that means a small group of us, variously flying to Washington, Boston, Stockholm, Cleveland and Brussels decided to meet for dinner in the hotel.

Lets just say it was excellent.

Wednesday, 16 August 2006

Carmen

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Wednesday was a somewhat intense day for me with work related matters, but we had a hard cut-off in the evening in order to take a visit to a nearby town. I say nearby, but it was actually around an hour and a half away. Verona - which is a very old town and has a spectacular collusseum in the centre. We'd managed to get some tickets to visit this special place and to see the opera Carmen, performed in the open, in the collusseum.

On the way, I'd briefly read a few notes about the cast, and it sounded as if there were about five or six main players in the opera. Not so, on the stage in Verona, I estimate there were 130 people on stage for some parts, plus a 40 piece orchestra. The Italians know how to throw an opera.

The main show started at around 21:00 and at midnight we were on Act Three. Then there was another 20 minute interval, during which I briefly left the collusseum to get some lemon sorbet. Then back for the final act.

A well staged and well performed show; we walked back to our transport at around one thirty in the morning, happy - if sleepy, before our long drive back to the hotel.

Tuesday, 15 August 2006

Bella Italia

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The flight to Milan was only delayed within acceptable norms and the transit to the waiting car was pretty fast, considering that I'd had checked baggage. I've not really got any idea where I travelled to except it was along an Autostrada and then through some twisty lanes to a rather spectacular spa hotel.

The main business was due to start the next day and as I checked in I received a discreet invitation for aperitifs on the balcony bar at 20:00. Oops, it was already 20:05, so I realised I'd better get moving. I seem to find that when I'm away like this there is never really any time.

Anyway, the hotel room was rather good with its own balcony, jaccuzzi and so on and by the time I found the others, they were already tucking into the local Italian equivalent of champagne. No idea what it was called, but it sure tasted good.

The view from our vantage point was right across the valley and to some decent looking hills opposite. Truly spectacular. When I can get the right connector for my phone I'll post a picture or two, but for now, you'll have to make do a snap of part of my room.

iris

screenshot_12.jpgThe security at Heathrow had adjusted to the different circumstances. The Terminal 1 drop off area sported a large marquee across the first two car lanes as a pre-departure holding area. People were being called into the terminal three hours before departure time. I wasn't that early, so I was able to go directly to check-in. I'd already got an e-ticket and done online check-in so I just needed to drop off my bag.

I was then given a see-through bag for my car keys, phone and other electronica before my transit through the security scanners. My queue only had about 20 people ahead of me and didn't take very long. I guess it took me less than twenty minutes to get from the outside of the terminal to be fully checked in and airside. Probably faster than a normal day.

Then over two hours to wait airside. I spotted the desk for 'iris' the biometric passport system. Only one person in the line. So I wandered over and within about ten minutes I'd been scanned so that I can now use the high speed immigration lanes which use iris scanning recognition instead of passport control. Great. Now I have a way to bypass another part of the airport process.

Sunday, 13 August 2006

air lines

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I'm supposed to be flying to Italy on Tuesday for a few days of work. So I've been keeping half an ear to the various reports about London Heathrow's flights. According to Radio 4, around 30% of flights have been cancelled today and about 20 flights cancelled from London Gatwick.

I'm already used to the idea that I'll be taking a very small carry-on bag with just passport and keys and that everything else has to go into the hold (laptop, mobile phone and other electronic paraphernalia). So this time I shall be considering how to travel hyper-light for the visit.

Meanwhile, UK news is spending more time at the weekend explaining the basis of the alleged terrorist plot which was to use binary chemical weapons smuggled in drink containers or similar to disable planes over the Atlantic or US mainland. According to newspapers, a remote detonator could be created using modest technology from, say, a mobile phone, car security key blipper or similar. There seem to be two theories of what such a weapon would comprise: one route says explosive and the other says lethal gas. Spend ten minutes in google and you can form your own opinions.

In the meantime, some television commercials just won't survive this now...



Saturday, 12 August 2006

podcast

singularity1.jpgSomething of an experimental post.

I was over at Nat's and noticed the whizzy way to drop a podcast straight into iTunes, so I thought I'd have a go. Here's the Christina Nott tunes we uploaded to last.fm a few days ago, now thoughtfully provided as a podcast which is 'yours to keep'.

Hopefully just clicking here will quietly beam the whole podcast across into iTunes, where it can be played for general amusement. The file is only 10Mb, but contains about 8 tracks of Christina, pretty much the same set as loaded to last.fm.

we are the web

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I've been casually tracking some of the commentary about internet commercial interest over the last few months. The web is a great social exchange as well as changing a lot of global economics. Case in point today when a small well-travelled bag of T shirts arrived at my home from threadless in Chicago after an online order a few days ago.

screenshot_07.jpgI've mentioned the EFF (Electronic Freedom Foundation) before as a way to consider privacy issues related to the internet and other useful sources are wearetheweb.org as a vector to discussions (as well as to a daft video) and the recent Vint Cerf letter to US congress.

The point is to ensure that now TCP/IP and WWW have become liberating communications vehicles for global reach, that electronic roadblocks and filter lanes are not then imposed by the service providers.

Thursday, 10 August 2006

iBox

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Those mac vc PC commercials seem to be everywhere and nowadays there seem to be whole websites dedicated to collecting the rip-offs.




Wednesday, 9 August 2006

see through

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I finished in Stockholm early enough to catch the last plane back on Wednesday and we zoomed back landing 20 minutes early at about 22:00. The thing was, we parked at a domestic terminal and although we had a jetway to walk off the plane, we were not allowed to use it because we would have missed immigration.

The buses to take us to the International gates took about 15 minutes to arrive and we had to de-plane from the back stairs.
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A few mutters from the passengers, but this was nothing compared with the next day, when just about every flight was cancelled because of the security alert.

I'm not flying again until next week; but it looks as if it will be with no hand luggage except a carry-on see-through bag.

Tuesday, 8 August 2006

Sweden

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A quick trip to Sweden today; and I'm staying in a hotel with a view of a bricked up window. But then I looked up into the sky, and behold, a hot air balloon. Admittedly it says Nokia (Finnish) rather than Ericsson (Swedish) but at least it is showing a Nordic perspective!
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And if you look closely, you can see the people out for an aerial ride!
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Monday, 7 August 2006

hot

macpro.jpgA technical post today. My PC tower has been making a lot of extra noises lately. I use it for some music editing and some video tasks, via some special hardware.

I suspect there is something wrong with the fans which are supposed to keep it cool. As such, it is protesting at the current heat and maybe expecting a new cooling system.

My thoughts are that it doth protest too much.

Now I've seen the new Mac Pro, which has two 64 bit intel Xeon Core 2 processors and 1.33Ghz frontside bus delivering 21Gb/sec and up to 16Gb of memory, then it starts to jeopardise the need to replace the PC with another PC, when a Mac could happily run the remaining PC applications as subtasks.

In the short term, I'll buy some new PC fans for about £12, but medium term, I shall start playing with the autoconfigurator across on apple.com.

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Sunday, 6 August 2006

deer bike

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As I was out cycling again in the afternoon, I thought it would be amusing to publish another bicycle picture, this time with fat tyres, as used when I was bumping about through the woodland along by the New Forest Ponies and a few more red deer.

OK, here's a picture of one of the deer, complete with mini antlers...
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ride

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An early start today, out in the nearby lanes on my bicycle with the thin tyres, before most people are up and about.

The main accompaniment today has been startled birds, rabbits and a few red deer. Another hour and the local world will be awake and most of the wildlife by the sides of the lanes will be back in hiding.

I estimate I covered about 15 miles this morning, which is enough to see some quite varied countryside and still to be back for the rest of the day by about 07:30.

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Saturday, 5 August 2006

montaditos

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Back in England, I'd only been home for around 30 minutes when the doorbell rang with a visitor. Not even time to swap clothes from travel.


tasca2.jpgBy this evening I was more or less de-jet lagged and was out for friendly sangria and tapas at nearby La Tasca. Bring on the patatas bravas and the brocheta di pollo!

Next week, Sweden, but not until Tuesday.

Friday, 4 August 2006

childrens' shoes

shoes.jpgSaturday, in London, there will be a protest about the current war in the Middle East by leaving childrens' shoes outside Tony Blair's place. I note that Blair is staying around instead of vacationing in order to be involved in ceasefire negotiations.

This war started asymmetrically, after the capture of two soldiers leading to a breathtakingly fast and disproportionate response. The underlying long term pressures on the small nation of Israel surrounded by Arab states become part of a rationale for escalated actions of the Israeli warplanes.

I don’t want to take sides; I have visited (and worked in) both areas and have friends in both areas. This makes it all seem close. But I do want to comment that we now seem to have relatively indiscriminate missiling and bombing of civilian populations in both territories.

The rest of the world is aghast but only responding quite slowly whilst the attrition clicks onward; Rice has made visits and the Bush machine is making “Hezbollah equals Iran” type noises in the background.

I am concerned that we are actually watching the ‘Iran proxy’ war as a precursor to a switch to another conflict. If America’s Defense Intelligence Agency really have an Office of Special Plans and a covert “lets do Iran/Syria” blueprint, then this is the sequencing for when it would be played as part of a long term regime change in Iran and a border defence for Israel.

It’s a reasonable assumption that information has leaked between the various players in each of the main countries involved. The Middle East works a lot on connections and the trade of information would probably be fair game. It’s also a reasonable bet that dissident support is receiving offshore funding in some of the targeted territories.
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And for Iran, lets look. Condoleeza is on recent record saying "We may face no greater challenge from a single country than from Iran.”

Bush's ambassador to the United Nations is saying the U.N. “must be made aware that if it (Iran) continues down the path of international isolation, there will be tangible and painful consequences." Both pre conflict type statements.

So Blair’s vacation change could be significant; stop it; delay it or let the next escalated war play occur. We will know soon enough.

Thursday, 3 August 2006

massive release of beautiful energy

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Beyond the obvious shopping streets of 5th Avenue and the sights of Empire State and Liberty Island, there's so much to see and do in New York. An example is wandering around the galleries of SoHo and East Village and I thought it would be fun to create a simple example here.

I've picked the small Deitch gallery in Grand Street because it shows up well on the internet and has some good audio visual experience about it. It also changes its entire look with each show as the pictures of the gallery shopfront above illustrate.

So go Manhatten metro and take a few minutes for a wander through the shimmering archives or join a visit to an opening at the gallery, captured here on video.

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Wednesday, 2 August 2006

evening at paradise

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This evening we headed out to the Sound and stopped at Stamford Landings in a small restaurant called Paradise. We were from Boston, Cleveland, Washington, Philadelphia and me from London and we spent a pleasant evening swapping stories and enjoying the unusually hot weather.

things to do and people to see

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Of course, my main reason for being in New York is work related and the whole place is still a great backdrop to whatever I'm doing and the scale, whilst vast, is somehow still manageable.

I suppose I've been here enough times to know my way around and have a good mental picture of how things link and the different styles and looks in different areas. Like London there are some great anchor points around the place too, and it is quite good fun to have a few 'regular' places to visit, as well as plenty of new ones!

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empire state

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I know its a cliche to say "I love New York", but I do. Its got a London buzz about it and every few metres there is something interesting to look at or experience. Here's a street scene I passed where a guy was selling castings of famous scenes of construction workers building the Empire State. Lewis Hine took the original iconic pictures and what better than to render them into 3D and then add them to the top of a pickup truck?

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Tuesday, 1 August 2006

bronx is up and the battery's down

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View from hotel room, which is closer to Battery than Bronx. The picture shows both outside and inside in the same shot; I've captured some room light reflection, so the picture has an inside outside sort of quality.

Like me after about 10 hours of travelling.

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