Monday, March 31, 2008

henry marsh >> storyville on bbc 2 tv

I had to write a post about the bbc 2 storyville programme on sunday evening. concerning the work of henry marsh (he of the architects glasses) a consultant at st george’s hospital in south london. the neurosurgeon who has spent more than 15 years visiting and working with igor petrovich, also a neurosurgeon in the ukraine.

I found the whole 90 minutes compelling viewing, some parts very difficult to watch, more the conversations with patients than the operations. mr marsh is a very interesting man, to see some-one so driven and immersed in the lives of others working to improve things was very uplifting in our media driven world, that so often is concentrated on finding things to discredit or dislike.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

six fin flex-tail >> it looks crazy >> but it might just work!!

I have just received these pictures from longtime kneeboard surfer, kneeboard design guru, and good friend chris cockett & I had to post about it.

generating speed, keeping a low centre of gravity and being able to change direction quickly make kneeboard surfing (to my mind) a much purer way of surfing. kneeboard surfers are constantly searching for better ways of doing this.
this newly designed board specifically for tight powerful turns hasn't been through full testing but is set to see more action in the next few days.

I wait to hear more from chris as he is still testing the six fin flex-tail kneeboard.

I have mentioned before in this blog as a kneeboard surfer my board of choice is a swallow tailed quad. perhaps the six fin is the future, with many thanks to chris for the photos. chris's web site

Thursday, March 20, 2008

enjoy the easter break

enjoy the easter break if you have one and/or celebrate it. I will be back next week.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

ooh I have got some work to do

I am not sure if I have a different way of looking at things than others but, I have got some planning and stuff to do in the next weeks.

the thing with me is that to start with it all seems so straight forward and my ideas and aims are seemingly so easy to record and explain. its when I start to think a lot, (which I will have to do) and then a lot more that the work begins to get difficult. so I'll be spending along time thinking and planning over my easter holiday I really have got some work to do. its all based around the stuff on the new'ish qca web site.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

seafever movie >> ireland

just had to post this from the film sea fever really uplifting (for me any way) piece of film.

sea fever is ken o’sullivan’s first production and was produced without funding.

Monday, March 17, 2008

bluetooth headsets, what that all about?

I know that they are hardly a new thing and I am a bit surprised to be writing about them. but I had to. yesterday I was out in my nearest city having a look around bit of shopping playing on the mac's in the mac shop (wondering how long a macbook air would last in my house).
when having sat down for a nice coffee I could help noticing the bluetooth headset that one middle aged lady had on, it was the black version of the one above. I tried to get a picture but was too worried that her (much larger than me) friend/coffee partner/husband might get cross. then I started to think and look more. quite a few people had bluetooth headsets on. not the average people you would think of delivery van men/women sales reps, I know that sounds pejorative and I apologise for that but I am sure you know what I mean.
what do these all these people need them for, how important are the calls they might miss? I have my phone with me most of the time but tend to turn it off when I am sitting down for a coffee, in fact its on silent msot of the time. I know in the scheme of things what I am saying is really not that important but I had to say it somewhere.

Friday, March 14, 2008

the ides of march

I am not sure why but around this time of year I seem to get anxious, perhaps it is embedded from being at school as a pupil (rather than a teacher). when we learnt shakespeare's soothsayer's warning to julius caesar, "beware the ides of march". though the expression "ides of march" doesn't really mean a bad time, it simply means "march 15th." I don't really think of march as a bad time just that so much is changing that probably is making me anxious. the days are finally getting noticeably longer and the weather warmer.

with new things happening naturally. it makes me think that I should be doing even more new stuff my self, perhaps that's more likely to be the reason for my un-rest than some roman saying adopted by shakespeare. oh well I had better get on with it then.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

its a long time

strange that time has gone so fast. I am just back from a presentation evening for students, some of who have had me as their tutor for the last 5 years. so much has happened in that time though little has changed really.
the way the presentation evening is held has moved on for the better, though I still had to get up on stage to call names out and shake some hands. the students seem more confident than in the past, which is a good thing.
but the same feeling of achievement and a little sadness (on my part). the world is a changing and evolving place and they are now set to be part of it. hopefully some of the stuff I have passed on to them will be of use.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

pland >> too much to do

I was pleased to receive an email today that wasn't work related. a surfing friend steve sent me this picture (taken today) of a place I love to surf when I get the chance. I seem to have been crumbling under the pressure of so many different tasks. so a picture of what looks like a good solid wave was enough to ease the pressure a little. steve did say that the wind was very strong and the spray was making it difficult to see, when actually in the water.

I almost forgot that today was mr darlings first budget speech I haven't read it yet, only the more comments already published online. evan davis is a person who's views, all be it through the bbc, I tend to agree his thoughts more often than not. but back to the sea. we have had some extreme weather in cornwall in the last few days.

as usual I have been looking at the significant wave height for the end if the week. I was pleased to see a nice paisley shape in the forecast for friday this week. not just a nice shape on the graphic but the waves in that area will be rather large.

graphic courtesy of magic seaweed

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

performance >>

its late I have not long been back from being a very, very small part of a dance (performance evening) at the school where I teach (not where I dance). my 9 year old son was also part of this performance. his school had rehearsed and practiced for it and came up to the big school to be part of a bigger evening.

that in it's self is nothing unusual schools all over the UK & europe will have the same kind of thing happening through the year. but this one was different I saw the performance from a different view that of a teacher (as usual) and also as a parent (still not unusual) the combination is perhaps the difference. I saw the nerves of all the performers, the upset when some-one got things wrong and the happiness when things went ok. I also experienced the dismissal by some adults/parents of the way that the children 'weren't that good' in contrast to the vast majority who thought it was marvelous.

for the most part I think that parents, adults, and even some teachers had missed the point. for most the children and young adults that took part the future will be very unlikely to be full of acting/dancing /performing in front of a partisan full house. (for the few it might just happen) but there lives will be more than ever modeled by the way they attempt things. being part in what ever way of a collaboration is difficult but the difficulty is more often rewarded by a huge sense of achievement and relief, even when things don't go well.

we are all performers in some way, learning to cope with the pressures and enjoy the experience is difficult. so a dance in front of a hall full of people is surely a way to in crease the confidence of the majority, and has to be worth being part of. me I was just back stage making sure the break dancers didn't get too excited, but I actually enjoyed it. more perhaps because I saw the happiness in my son's face as he along with his fellow class-mates left the stage having pretended to be 'humanoids'.

Monday, March 10, 2008

weekend of rain & stuff, extreme weather >>

bath at the weekend was a good trip even though the weather was a wet, windy and cold it was good to see some quality rugby. have to say that the bath rugby ground has to be one of the best situated grounds in the country. even though the weather was a bit rough being in an area that I regard as so good looking was a bonus.. (& bath won).

today down here in cornwall we are in the mist of some pretty extreme weather, huge waves & very strong winds. the air pressure locally was down to about 950 today (monday). I can't remember it being as low in recent years.

Friday, March 07, 2008

going to be an early start >>

an early start tomorrow, saturday.
I am going to bath with ben (my 9 year old son) & and his rugby club liskeard-looe, to watch bath play newcastle. we are going by coach so a chance for me to enjoy the view (I am usually driving when we go anywhere). I am looking forward to it as I really like bath the city, though I haven't been for a while. I have spend plenty of time there over the years. I like travelling & I like rugby so hopefully it will be a good day.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

its all about glasses >>

I have for a while now needed to wear glasses and I really don't mind I am not someone who has even considered contact lenses. it is probably (apart from being able to see properly) simply pure vanity that makes me like wearing a certain types of glasses. I haven't quite been able to have the courage to get some like davidthedesigner revealed in his post instant architect but still.
I took advantage of an special offer by getting two pairs for the price of one and now I have collected my new glasses I find it difficult to decide which to wear (how sad is that).

so today, it is diesel versus gant I can't decide.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

designer marc newson >>

it could hardly have escaped your attention that for sometime now mark newson has been much praised in the product / design world. I have to say he seems to have a great working life and in most respects I think his work is wonderful.
watching the bbc tv programme imagine last night and again today on bbc iplayer I couldn't help thinking that even the usually carefully worded questions from alan yentob were just a bit lazy, perhaps bowing to 'celebrity' that is success.

I have to say that some of the work marc newson has produced is to me astonisingly, as a person of a smiliar age (well ok 4 years older) I remember the effect that space travel and the space race had on me and my peers while at school. I would draw and create stuff very heavily influenced by the ever increasing technology that was happening around me.
the way that newson seems to work with a driven ideal and a search for the next project is so good. I have often argued that when I left working as a 'textile designer' to work in clothing retail that I was spending more time designing while trying to manage a group of people and selling products created by other people than I did as a little designer on my own.

I think what I am trying to say is that to me designing is about so much more than answering a given problem, it is about almost everything we do. so the fact that newson works accross so many different aspects of the the design world doesn't seem at all strange to me.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

do computers stop creatvity?

I am often involved in conversations with colleagues in education when I find myself as someone who uses, teaches and even spends time (probably too much) using computers of some sort at home as well having to justify the positive aspects of web based media, digital applications and the rest.

however, I am also of the belief that good design or a good idea will be able to stand without much help from mr gates or mr jobs & all. no matter how much software or how cool the pc or imac looks it will not make a bad design better. I have mentioned this before on this blog and I am sure will again. but it seems still that many fellow professionals still think that having the best software and the fastest processor will make students learn more and even make their ideas better.

so much of the work I am involved in is teaching applications and so much of that process seems to teach out the creativity that everyone I believe is born with. don't misunderstand me I am in no way wishing for time to go back or that I am anti-digital applications. just simply that their use should be monitored and encouraged when appropriate. it is all too easy for the software to take over the think and the design process. I think that planning is key the design/creative process is best when the initial thinking is not constrained by what a piece of computer software can do. more that once the thinking and design ideas are established it is time to make use of the machines whatever they maybe.

Monday, March 03, 2008

a rare putt, while in the city computer shopping

the weather was cold but very sunny & bright this past weekend.
tempted in to the city (carol successfully got the new laptop she wanted). we parked up at the hoe, close enough to walk into the shopping areas, but also a nice place to enjoy the size of the sky.
I love sunshine and the light especially when the sun is low in the sky, perhaps too much as my eyes are suffering from being in the sun a bit too much over the years as (well as age).

while we were walking back to the car we noticed I new addition as far as I am aware to the greenness of the hoe a putting green. I am a great golf fan but I like playing at it , (well pitch and putt). so we decided to have a go 18 greens later the sun was going down and the freshly made coffee was calling from the cafe, a really enjoyable time hour or so.