I went along to Russell Davies’ Interesting 2008 on Saturday. Up there with Social Innovation Camp as one of the best events I’ve been to this year. So many things I could mention but this was definitely one highlight:
Long Now London Meetup
I’ve been hanging out with Scott and the gang at Meetup a bit recently and remembering what a fantastic tool it is for getting people together. So I’ve set up a Long Now London Meetup group to try and get people interested in long-term thinking and the work of the Long Now Foundation together. Do come along for a drink and a chat if you can.
Evening Standard Headline Boards
Cory has a post on BoingBoing about the completely absurd headline boards that go up around London each evening to try and make you buy the papers — especially the terrible Evening Standard. Check out his Flickr set here.
I always see them as I head to the tube from our office in Bethnal Green. The one that made me laugh out loud last year was this one. It was a nervous laugh, you understand.
World Press Photo 07
I popped along to see the winning entries of World Press Photo 07 yesterday in London’s Royal Festival Hall. In a world where I feel surrounded by grainy long lens shots of celebs getting in and out of cars, it reminds you of the power of real news photography. Some of the images in the exhibition completely blew my mind. Well worth a visit if you’re in town.
Mojo Mickybo — go and see it!
My friend Lilli is producing the play Mojo Mickybo by Owen McCafferty which is about to open in the West End. It’s on at the Trafalgar Studio between 27 June — 21 July and you can book tickets here. If you quote “Strawberry Vale offer” you can get tickets for Â£15 for the shows before July 6th. I heartily recommend going along — it’s a wonderful show. I saw it when it was on at the Arcola theatre a couple of months ago.
And even theatre-land has clocked the power of YouTube — here’s the trailer.
The Moon Walkers
So on Wednesday I got a forwarded text message from a friend with instructions to meet at Victoria and get a particular train into Kent that evening. “We’re going on a Moon Walk” was the only clue about what I was letting myself in for.
It’s such a great idea — every full moon, somebody works out the logistics and invites friends to bring friends. You head up to an hour out of London into the countryside, walk to a pub, have dinner and then do the walk by moonlight back round to the station to get the last train back into town.
Walking at night is such a different sensation to walking during the day and the moonlit views over the hills were incredible. Navigating at night is also (obviously) quite a challenge… but we only got a bit lost near the end and still made it to the train.
I suppose the only worry I have is that maybe it’s a sign of how overworked we all are that the only time we get to go walking is at night!
Pick Me Up rides again
After a short hibernation, the wonderful Pick Me Up (http://www.putmedown.com/) is up and running again.
These have to be two of the best urban views in the world…
Just back from a trip to New York and then straight into the Atlas of Ideas launch conference. The second photo was taken in a 70mph wind as we tried to walk from the IET to Waterloo station.
Open House Weekend
It’s Open House London this weekend and BedZED is part of the show. Must tidy up the garden before then and remember not to wander round in my underpants.
Only in London
Now I’m not normally one to name drop (ok, I am), but I went to watch a movie with John Prescott last night. I certainly didn’t mean to, but while I was waiting outside the cinema for my friend Charlie to arrive, a dark green Jaguar pulled up, and a big guy wearing an earpiece jumped out to open the back door for his passenger. After a quick double-take I realised the guy getting out was the deputy prime minister.
At first I thought he must be going somewhere else, but no, he strode into the foyer, bought himself a ticket (and two for his bodyguards) and went downstairs. At this stage I didn’t know which film he was going to see but then I walked past him in the queue for snacks and he was on his mobile phone telling someone that ‘I’m going to see a film about Enron’. Which was funny because that was the film I was going to see, and sure enough, a few minutes after I took my seat, in walked John and sat a few seats along from me on the same row. His bodyguards installed themselves in the row behind.
Enron: the smartest guys in the room, by the way, is excellent. One of the best documentaries I’ve ever seen. Ok, I am slightly obsessed by studies of organisational culture but as a story of how a bunch of guys became the seventh biggest company in the US in the space of 15 years it’s brilliant. They did it by essentially puffing up their own worth and intelligence and pulling the wool over the eyes of regulators, investors and in some cases their own staff, although you never quite know how much the place was really run by the groupthink of the traders.
The best thing about the movie is the depth it goes into over the character studies of the main players — Jeffrey Skilling and the mysterious Lou Pai, CEO of Enron Energy Services, stick in my mind.
I couldn’t help wondering what John was making of it all — or whether he had met any of these people. After all he’s been in Government since 1997 (four years before Enron collapsed) and it’s not unheard of for him to meet up with American businessmen.
I think it was about half way through the film that I realised Tony Blair was now on holiday and that the guy sitting a few seats to my right with a bucket of popcorn on his lap was running the country.
I’m still not sure what I think about that.