Skyberries and Voidmelons or Voidberries and Skymelons


NaNoWriMo 2014

I have written many novels (that no-one will ever get to read, sorry) in Novembers past for NaNoWriMo, and this year I am wondering again whether to write the usual 50,000 words of mostly nonsense or do something else.

I could write less (I already know I can reach 50,000 words in a month) or write about my life (Microserfs style maybe.. Or just do Clovember). I could decide upon some other form of using words perhaps, although the year I attempted Interactive Fiction (using Inform 7), I didn't get very far.

I enjoy NaNoWriMo, so am keen to do something still.


What I did in September 2014

September was busy! I attended the Making the City Playable conference, BarCamp London X, Open House London, saw Douglas Coupland, visited Brighton, and did various other things.

Read more...Collapse )


Tennis racket mirror

Tennis Racket

(As requested by clarehooper.)


World of Mirrors

Opposite the station, there's a shop that sells tennis rackets that have had their strings replaced by mirrors.

Every time I stare at the tennis rackets, I imagine what else might be replaced by mirrors.

I imagine looking up at traffic lights, only to find that there is no red light, as it has been replaced by a mirror.

I imagine attempting to post a letter into a postbox, but finding I cannot, as there is a mirror there, stopping me.

I imagine breaking open a conker shell, and there will be a mirror there too.


BarCamp London X

Had a wonderful time at BarCamp London X. "A free-to-attend weekend unconference for designers, developers and geeks of all types at Microsoft's offices in Victoria, London."

I learnt about Scala, puppies, search engines, the future, sequencing your genes, the Novikov self-consistency principle, augmented reality, quantum physics, passwords, philosophy of AI, writing on the road, UI archeology, art and mathematics, synthesizers, Haskell, how to design things to make sense, and probably other things too! I also played a card game about being a band on tour, and spoke to many interesting people, and ended up wearing a pirate hat and an inflatable parrot on my shoulder and didn't want to go home.

List of sessions I went toCollapse )

The grid



At Electromagnetic Field 2014, the conference badge was no ordinary piece of laminated paper attached to a lanyard, it was instead a TiLDA MKe.

From the description on the EMFCamp website: Announcing TiLDA MKe: "At its heart the badge is an Arduino Due compatible 32bit ARM Cortex M3. A rechargeable battery will keep it running for days, and you can charge it over USB when the juice runs out. We added a 128x64 pixel LCD screen, two RGB LEDs, a radio transceiver, joystick, accelerometer, gyroscope, speaker, infrared, and all sorts of other fun parts."

Unfortunately, the badge wasn't quite finished when EMFCamp started and some of it didn't quite work, but we were all given badges that we could at least play Tetris on. :)

I am attending BarCamp London X at the weekend, and they said to bring your own conference badge, and as the TiLDA MKe is definitely the most advanced conference badge I have, I decided I would take that.

I've uploaded the latest code to the badge, and now made it display a name, using instructions on the wiki page (TiLDA MKe) and help from people on IRC. Maybe I'll try something more advanced later!



Open House London - 2014

Open House London always makes me like London more. I started Open House Weekend at the top of the Cheesegrater, admiring the great views, and ended it in a toilet at the ArtsLav, an arts venue in former public toilets.

These are the places I visited this year:

Cheesegrater (The Leadenhall Building)
Blackfriars Arts Treasure Hunt (well, did a bit of it)
100 Victoria Embankment - Unilever House
240 Blackfriars
Billingsgate Roman House and Baths
CityPoint (Simmons & Simmons' offices and art collection)

Canary Wharf Crossrail Station construction site
Marx Memorial Library
Finsbury Town Hall
Angel Building
The Small House


Computer Anonymous meetup

Computer Anonymous London are meeting on 1st October 2014 at the Willow Walk, Victoria. All are welcome!

More details:
Computer Anonymous - London.


Open House London

It's Open House London next weekend, which I am looking forward to. Any recommendations for places to see? Cheesegrater is obviously on my list, and I have tickets to 240 Blackfriars and CityPoint. What are you planning to see?

These are some of the places I have been to in the past:

Crystal Palace Subway
Canada Water Library
Carpenters' Hall
Chartered Accountants' Hall
One Canada Square
Citigroup Centre
Brunel Museum
Battersea Power Station
Peter Jones
Holy Trinity Church
Argentine Ambassador's Residence
Romanian Cultural Institute
Adaptable House

City Hall
Westminster City Hall
The Pumphouse, Pimlico District Heating Undertaking
Limehouse Town Hall
Limehouse Accumulator Tower
Skyroom and Architecture Foundation
Masonic Temple
St Ethelburga's Centre for Reconciliation and Peace
Custom House
Apothecaries' Hall
City of London School
One New Change

Lloyd's of London
BT Tower
Broadgate Tower + 201 Bishopsgate
30 Crown Place
Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings
Spitalfields Charnel House
Sandycombe Lodge
The LuxPod
Institut français du Royaume-Uni
College of Psychic Studies
Balfron Tower
Chrisp Street Market Clocktower

Neasden Bunker
The Stables
Master Mariners
Foreign Office
Banqueting house? Admiralty house? My records are incomplete for the Saturday.
Babylon Roof Gardens
Shell Grotto
York House
Orleans Gallery
Garrick's Temple to Shakespeare

Vintner's Hall
30 St Mary Axe
Old Turkish Baths
Village Underground

Gibbs Building
Neasden Bunker
The Stables
Blizard Building
Brunel Museum

Neasden Bunker
St Anne's Church

Photos on Flickr: Open House London.


Playing in the city

I am currently at the Making the City Playable conference in Bristol, and thinking about playing in the city.

Some of the ways I play in the city:

Location based games, using a phone, such as Ingress.
Recently, also, Zombies, Run! (Well.. Zombies 5k - Couch to 5k equivalent).

I think also that ways of exploring / experimental travel techniques are also a form of playing in the city:
Using phone apps, such as Serendipitor, Dérive app, and cards such as Drifft.
Flâneurs Dreamwidth Community June challenges.

Also, I play games such as:

I also enjoy the ways in which people have made the world seem more playful, from art installations to rope swings to a postbox that has eyes.

How about you? How do you play in the city, or play with the city? What playful interactions do you have in the city or with the city?