The Drowned and the Saved

I don’t wish to invoke the memories of Primo Levi, a survivor of Auschwitz, in anything as banal as my blog yet this is how I feel about the plight of humanity sometimes. We are caught in a bind, trapped between the amazing, exciting world ahead of us and the very real threat of extinction … Continue reading The Drowned and the Saved

Swarm!

Sabine Hauert is a swarm engineer. She is also a lecturer in robotics at Bristol University and spends a lot of her time designing swarming nanobots for biomed applications. I heard her give a fascinating presentation at Thinking Digital this year, another one to add to the ever growing list of reasons to have gone … Continue reading Swarm!

Young people trapped in small towns

The headline in the Big Issue (issue #1362) said that spiraling rents are forcing young people to stay in small towns instead of moving to cities with better jobs. This follows some research by the Resolution Foundation. The implication is clear, small towns are bad for young people. They do not offer them the range … Continue reading Young people trapped in small towns

Dynamo on the Wear

This was my sixth Dynamo North East conference. There have only been six and so I have a 100% attendance record. All of them have been good, most of them have been great but this one was exceptional. Why? I have been asking myself that very question. Firstly, the venue was great. Sunderland University’s campus … Continue reading Dynamo on the Wear

Implementing technology is easy

The solution to problems may be quite simple. Seeing the results however, may take a lot more effort. In 1847, Ignaz Semmelweiss discovered that if doctors washed their hands before attending women in childbirth it dramatically reduced deaths from puerperal fever. But before his work could have much benefit  he had to persuade people - … Continue reading Implementing technology is easy

Understanding poetry

I never know if I understand poetry but that is a silly thing to say. Does it really matter? It is just the same as when I am reading a book. Sometimes I understand the twists and turns of the plot, the interrelations of the characters and the underlying story that the author is trying … Continue reading Understanding poetry

Buy a newspaper

I’ve done something I haven’t done for a long time. I’ve bought a newspaper. It must be fifteen years or so since I last bought one and this was around the time when online news was starting to take off seriously. This isn’t the reason I stopped however. I had been reading a copy of … Continue reading Buy a newspaper