Writing from July 2006

My new Whit Stillman website

For several years I've been maintaining a page dedicated to the film director Whit Stillman, who has probably escaped having other sites created about him because his most recent film, The Last Days of Disco, was in 1998. I filled the gap, quite enjoying something as simple an un-techy as a fan site. But the old page was getting a little unwieldy, and if he does get another film off the ground Mr Stillman would deserve something better.

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In Web Development on 8 July 2006. 1 comment. Permalink

I’m going to drama school

Straight to the point: at the end of October I’m going to be starting an almost-full-time acting course at LISPA. Woo! Yay! Eek! Scary! Blimey! etc.

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In LISPA on 10 July 2006. 6 comments. Permalink

The Time When

Three months ago the BBC announced ‘Creative Future,’ an “editorial blueprint” for the next six years. One item on the corporate to-do list was “Pilot a Knowledge Building online project called Eyewitness — History enabling people to record and share their memories and experiences of any day over the last 100 years.” I’ve been working on a prototype of this and a couple of weeks ago The Time When (as it’s now known) went quietly live.

Rather than leap straight in to building a huge and complex solution, the BBC decided to create this quick and simple prototype, to see what works and what doesn’t. You add your memories of a particular day in history and everyone’s memories are aggregated together by date and mixed with contextual information about what else was happening in the world that day, eg, 29 July 1981 or 11 Sep 2001.

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In Web Development on 17 July 2006. 1 comment. Permalink

Summer clown school

Last week I had a holiday and spent my time at the City Lit doing a five-day course on clowning taught by Gerry Flanagan. Like me you probably think of clowns having big shoes, custard pies and cars that fall apart. You’ll be disappointed to hear that the course involved none of that and you should be thinking more of people like Laurel and Hardy and Harold Lloyd, but without as much slapstick or as many stunts as they managed. They’re ordinary people who remain relentlessly optimistic when everything they do inevitably goes horribly wrong.

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In City Lit on 21 July 2006. 1 comment. Permalink

Wanted: A walking map of London for Palm OS

A little while back, after months of dithering, I replaced my barely-working SonyEricsson T610 phone and my aging but dependable Palm Vx with a shiny Treo 650 off eBay. After the inevitable initial fiddling and cursing (and praising The Missing Sync) it’s proved to be a lovely, if chunky, slice of technology. But there’s one thing I really, really miss from my Palm Vx: a walking map of London.

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In Misc on 24 July 2006. 8 comments. Permalink

HotWired demo site from 1995

Jeff Veen recently posted a look back at HotWired, discussing how the design of the site changed over the years since 1994. This reminded me that I have a demo copy of HotWired which he and you might like so here it is, HotWired from 1995.

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In Misc on 27 July 2006. 5 comments. Permalink

Encore Theatre Magazine

I was going to link to Encore Theatre Magazine, which has recently started up its weblog after many months of silence, but del.icio.us only lets me link to sites once. So instead you get treated to a fine example of the site’s fantastic ranting. While they do like some things (such as the current NT production of The Seagull) they mainly do an excellent line in outraged fury, such as this paragraph:

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In Acting on 28 July 2006. 1 comment. Permalink

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