Category Archives: General

This week a new exhibition about the Soviet space program opened at the Science Museum. Offering a different perspective of the well worn space race. Like most modern museum exhibitions, it’s costly weighing in at an astronomical £14. I understand the need for museums to make money. But £14 for one exhibition is a touch expensive in my opinion. Especially when you also can’t take any photos while in the exhibiton with a large shop selling you the photos you could have taken for free (and some pretty great Soviet posters!) The exhibition tells the story of the Soviet space programme up to the fall of the Soviet Union. It starts in an interesting way with science fiction inspired Soviet art and literature. The pieces demonstrate the sociopolitical drive behind the space programme and the national pride it subsequently would generate with a vision of a chance to create the ideal communist…

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Amazing video of all the Apollo Lunar landings played simultaneously on one screen.

I’m a heavy consumer of RSS feeds. I still find them the best way to organise and consume news. Twitter’s great for many things. But I find I miss too much. RSS acts like a net. It catches all the news that’s I’ve missed during the day. Like many Mac users, I’m a big fan of Reeder. I have it on all my devices. Unfortunately, it’s not yet compatible with alternatives to Google Reeder. So I’m left without a desktop app for my RSS consumption. Feedly’s posted a interesting workaround – create an app from their webpage. http://blog.feedly.com/2013/07/01/create-your-own-feedly-mac-app/

For March, I’ve funded ‘This Stool Rocks‘. I think in a decade’s time, it may be possible to buy many of the simple plastic products we use now, (products without electronics in them that don’t need fantastic finishes) as 3D artefacts that are printed at home on 3D printers. The technology is really starting to advance and I think by the end of the decade they will start to reach consumer prices. This will need companies to think of new business models as their simple manufacturing requirements can be met by home users, or at the very least local ‘printing’ companies. So I was struck with this project’s concept of sending the design of the model to a manufacturing company, local to the consumer. Who would then cut out the stool’s pieces. I’m not particularly taken by the stool, but I’m interested to see if they can make a success…

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At University I studied Industrial Design. I loved developing solutions to physical problems. In our final year, we all had to develop a big final year project. Unlike many Industrial Design courses, we produced working prototypes, not just pretty renderings and a mockup. Some of the products developed on our course had the potential to be turned into commercial products (not mine by the way). But for a newly graduated student to exploit their design. To take the step to turn the product into commercial reality, it’s difficult to find the necessary funds. Even taking out patents cost money. So I think that’s why I’m drawn to crowd funding websites such as Kickstarter. It could provide the next generation of young designers with the opportunity to turn some of these ideas in reality. Last year, I funded a number of bands who were trying to get their albums made. I…

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For the last two months I’ve been staring each day at beautiful pictures of our planet. They are published to Twitter from the International Space Station. Current ISS commander Chris Hadfield has been awing his followers with regular photos of the planet as the ISS passes overhead. You can follow him on Twitter

Jessops, the UK national camera chain closed it’s doors for the final time on Friday night. It’s a sad passing. 1500 people had a job at the beginning of the week and by the end of the week, they were all unemployed. Awful news to receive at the beginning of the New Year. Hopefully, the staff will quickly find new jobs. I was in the New Oxford Street store last week. The staff were clearly unaware of the problems of the main company. Opposite Jessops is another closed shop, Jacob’s. Another ill-fated camera chain that collapsed in October. Before Christmas, Comet, the national electronics chain also collapsed. HMV, the high street music store, has a month-long sale on in an attempt to raise some much needed cash. If it doesn’t raise enough money, it looks like it will also collapse and when it does there will be no high street…

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Most of us fail to make any indelible mark on history. A small selection become a footnote in a history book. A very very small number become a historical nexus, the beginning of a new phase of human history. Neil Armstrong is one of these individuals. Neil’s name will be known to the end of human history as the first person to step on another world. In millennium to come, there will be children who know his name who have never seen Earth. I truly believe that this will happen. I have to, because this is what drove men like Neil Armstrong to tie themselves into a bomb and fling themselves out into the icy night sky. Like many, the Moon landings happened before I was born. It’s almost ‘futuristic’ for me to think of landing on the Moon, but it’s already happened. The thought of men bouncing around on…

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For the last few week signs have been appearing all round campus that include a ‘no photography’ symbol. In the modern connected world, with the ability to instantly grab and share photographs with all your friends, I think the instant reaction from most of us was ‘is this realistic?’. But I think this opens an interesting debate about the future of our right to privacy when just stepping out in public has the potential to undermined an individual’s privacy. As you would expect, almost all our students have camera phones. The youngest generation of our students, those who came straight from college, spend an inordinate amount of time on Facebook sharing photos of their life at Uni. To them, the idea of banning photography on campus is ridiculous. At the moment, most of our students are away for the summer, so few are aware of the new rules and it…

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I usually don’t have much call for business cards. Internally they’re not much use, and I don’t get to many conferences. But it’s always a bit uncomfortable at business conferences when you don’t have cards. So at the last minute I decided to get some for Lotusphere. But rather than having the hassle of sorting cards out through work I decided I this was the excuse I needed to play with Moo.com, a service that allows you to create personal business cards through their website.     I have to say I’ve been impressed by their service.   I started by making standard business cards. As they’re work related I decided to use photos I took around the Uni last summer. Moo makes the job incredibly simple. You can either upload photos or pull them in from a number of external services, including Flickr. So 10 minutes later I had…

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