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Archive for the ‘photos’ Category

Has it really been that long since I blogged? Yikes.  A first batch of photos from my trip to Turkey with Alexandra – some highlights from Istanbul, with more to follow. Apologies to those who’ve never sat through all my photos before for the excessive number of structures, building materials, etc – people to go in Facebook albums very soon.

Isti1

Isti3

Isti4

Isti6

 

Isti2

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SNOTBOY 1

SNOTBOY 2

The NSW RTA (Roads and Traffic Authority)’s newest ad campaign to tackle speeding, “Speeding. No-one Thinks Big of You“, has been reported by both the BBC (here) and Jezebel (here), my newest favourite source of trashy news. [As an aside, Jezebel’s ‘Snap Judgment’ posts are gold.] I was surprised to learn that the little finger wagging it features was not an international sign of male inadequacy, with both outlets feeling the need to explain it. I guess it is a rather Australian way to tackle issues of speeding, something we’ve been doing for a long time. (If anyone can get proud about being the world leader in traffic ads, it’d be us…)

(American) Jezebel was pretty openly surprised:

“apparently, insulting an Aussie’s manhood is a more effective way to shame him into slowing down than images of death and dismemberment.”

Getting people to slow down is about as hard as getting them to drive less – though perhaps cheaper and easier . The RTA has said elsewhere that shock tactics aren’t working, so hopefully a fresh approach will have some impact.

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The London 2012 brand has been unveiled:

2012 Pink

4 colours 2012

Confused? Impressed? LOCOG explain that: (you can see the sappy promo video here)

London 2012 will be everyone’s Games, everyone’s 2012. This is the vision at the very heart of the new London 2012 brand. It will define the venues that are built and the Games that London and the UK will host. The new 2012 emblem will use the Olympic spirit to inspire everyone and reach out to young people. It is an invitation to take part and be involved.

These will be a Games where everyone is invited to join in. A Games where people are inspired to either take part in the many sports, cultural, educational and community events leading up to 2012 or inspired to achieve personal goals.

London 2012 will encourage active participation involving people nationwide in a whole range of Games initiatives from community activities and volunteering to sporting and cultural events. It will inspire young people and connect them to sport by putting the inspirational values of the Olympic and Paralympic Games on the school curriculum.

[…] The new emblem is dynamic, modern and flexible. It will work with new technology and across traditional and new media networks.

It will become London 2012’s visual icon, instantly recognisable amongst all age groups, all around the world. It will establish the character and identity of the London 2012 Games and what the Games will symbolise nationally and internationally. For the first time for a Host City, the new emblems for the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games are based on the same core shape, reflecting London’s commitment to hosting a truly integrated Paralympic Games.

For what it’s worth, I actually quite like it – I thought that the idea and the energy was all a bit inspiring. Sadly, not many others did – am concerned the fact that I like it is conclusive proof I have no taste, but there is a good case to suggest it is more that I have no baggage in being positive about things, without the British insistance on understatement in all things.

True to form, the British press has been vocal in attacking the concept – generating lots of negativity. Some of this is rather entertaining, to be fair:

David Brent 2012

 

2012 Ripp Off

Exit 2012

 

(I do like the tangram-ness of the whole thing, plus my old friend non-extremity man!)

Sad that none of the criticism is about how logos are becoming brands, but pleasing that people are concerned about how much has been spent on things.

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Site with a view

To finish off my binge of blogging, here are some photos of my site, showing our proximity to the Guildhall itself, the number of cranes nearby due to all the work in EC, and the view over the rooftops to nearby St Paul’s Cathedral, one of my favourite buildings in London.

Site 1

 

 Site 2

 

Site 3

The actual job itself has very little to show – we’re just a shell at the moment. But rest assured you’ll be seeing some structural glazing before too long.

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Was walking to Uni (for Spanish, Monday nights) this week and saw this headline:

AFL Scandal

 

Turns out this did not involve an AFL footballer (and former Magpie,) rather it was the bloke who hosts “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” here in the UK, but certainly made me stop in the street. (The fact that Australia’s Chris Tarrant used to play for a man who hosts the same show is just the kind of thing that could make for a cute column.)

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One of the many differences between UK and Australian society is water – these people have no idea what a water restriction is, or indeed a drought. This became clear at work during the week when I was attempting to clarify an irrigation scope and struggled to comprehend the exact meaning of the phrase “hose pipe ban” – in the end, the only level of restriction last summer, was that people couldn’t uses hoses. At a stretch, certain types of sprinklers were restricted. Trying to explain a multi-level system was a big sell. A good fear monger could clean up here with a bogus consulting role, like the government’s Water Tsar. (Also, in many parts of the country, the phenomenon of a sports match or training session being ‘rained out’ seems foreign – odd, I suppose when they’re the ones getting all the rain, but just some trivia nonetheless. Try telling tales of the ‘wet weather line’ at school/uni if you want some strange looks or giggles.)

The point to all this talk of rain (yes, there is one) is to lead to the highlight of my trip to Switzerland last weekend. (In truth, the highlight was a girls’ weekend and associated sleepovers and gossip, but from a blogging-adventures, this stuff is easier to report.) On Sunday Flick organised for our crew to join a trip to Glarus, where we got to see Landsgemeinde, a uniquely Swiss phenomenon, and in this case a wet one.

As you can see in these photos:

Landsgemeinde1

Landsgemeinde2

Landsgemeinde3

Once we arrived in Glarus we went to the main square where they’d set up benches and platforms to house the voters of the canton, who vote with a pink card that seemed to have some form of agenda, but was primarily a voter registration or proof of entitlement to vote. The outside benches under a sea of umbrellas are all the visitors, outside the fence that keeps the voters in.

Each motion was debated (in Swiss German), often amended to the delight of procedure junkies everywhere, and then eventually votes were cast. It was rather good to be an observer as you could have your umbrella up all the time (they were lowered for voting) and just adjourn to a nearby cafe when the weather got too much.

Bizarrely for such a precise people, the vote was not done on exact numbers, but based on a “clear majority”, and obviously the voting was very public. The absence of the private AEC cardboard booths, and the numbers of tourists and observers was certainly unique. Interestingly to us compulsory voting types, organisers only plan for about 20-30% of eligible voters to attend- but then again, the Swiss are over-franchised, with a constant stream of voting opportunities.

Glarus was a gorgeous corner of Switzerland, and a beautiful spot in spite of the fairly miserable weather. It was actually really nice to see mountains and cliffs after the flatness of London. There was something for the family – a parade in robes, traditional banners from the public buildings, Swiss military guards and a market of food and everyday market crap.

The real process highlight was the final motion of the session when Glarus became only the second Canton to lower the voting age to 16. We followed the detail at intervals when interpreters were available, so got a sense of the speeches (including an old man who kept everyone in the rain to bang on about how young people can’t be trusted with such matters, but ended with an assurance he likes them very much, just thinks they’re useless) and then watched the tussles as the votes were recast a few times to get a clear majority. After several rounds, the motion carried and we joined in with the cheers.

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Had meant to post these late last week, but have since gone a little arty on the whole thing – check out some ‘textures’ of my current site office, in an ‘unfurnished’ room in the Strand campus of KCL. No telephone line, no computer, no Internet connection – and minimal phone reception!

3×3 of my office at KCL

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