OU blog

Personal Blogs

Design Museum

The armchair skier

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Saturday, 25 Apr 2015, 06:44

Unable to get near a mountain this winter I've nonetheless gloried in watching the seasons start and gradually melt away into spring from the Katalys HD livecams at 1250m, 2750m up in the French Alps. 

 Fig.1 La Grande Rochette looking south east towards Mt Bellevarde from summer into early winter.

Once there is snow the landscape changes little. The weather changes dramatically. People comes and go. The snow mounts up, then sinks away.

 

Climate change is telling. Three decades ago the winter 'season' kicked off in Val d'Isere with the first races of the World Cup on the 17th November - they are now lucky to race at all at this height in December. Three decades ago, closer to four in fact, having worked 12 hours days 6/7 days a week since early December I finished my 'season' on 2nd May and could still ski down to 1250m ... just. The snow below 2000m has, without artificial snow largely melted away.

A paper studying fifty years of snowfall in the Alps paints a convincing story: snow cover is variable, the season later and shorter, the freezing level consistently higher making rain as likely as snow even as high as 2000m through-out the season. Yet to confound the 'industry' a nice fall of 47cm this weekend and early next week falling down to 1500m is forecast. All but a handful of resorts with glaciers close this weekend.

Permalink
Share post
Design Museum

What's your favourite remote HD webcam view?

Visible to anyone in the world
From Alps

Fig.1 Late yesterday afternoon looking north.

Looking north towards the Aiguille de la Grande Sassiere 3380m from ten miles south at Tovierer, 2700m above Tignes Le Lac, French Alps. 16h40 Friday 19th December 2014

I'm at home in Lewes. I've not been up here for nearly 25 years, though I have watched over the alps for nearly a year courtesy of a set of HD Webcams. Is it like being there to follow the seasons? To witness the first snow. To see the grass turn green? To follow the weather?

Do you have a favourite webcam you watch? Birds nesting for Spring Watch? A beach? Your garden?!

 

 

Permalink
Share post
Design Museum

The honest image - who are you or were you?

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 4 Feb 2013, 09:32

0h3wbqnZSCevvSlxw1N8UFmKK-ZC4Lc5d9FdJhKpoSSgC-SzFXF_Q4znvruLunGKYCmwsXbVGRAxZq7rMCIyfrclv5c6Ytvp9KlYYLRbyqi6oDmhHSMKI4v7Eg

What image should we use to portray ourselves?

Is there such as thing as best practice? Ought it to be like joining a gym, we have a snapshot taken on a webcam and this current image, no matter how it comes out, becomes who we are?

mYjkqi7E2_cROzBuW7NWZ9me9TcvVhTWGt6aIZ3JqptF0ovjgZj2us4fXSR05B1eeWKoSQinpMBL7nhYy91El89shGaT6wNirC5PBces5Q_KiSB9Zo6DKFuBkA

Do so few of us dislike or distrust what we see when we look at our faces in the mirror each morning?

It has been the subject of research, role play in online education; I'd like to do some of my own. I began a year ago with this.

YTmELm4HTL4MqxIkJ3KJ33r_cmrtN628Mccb2OJtJp1CsmWwqZzbpr5FE0SU7zANGs0nVX7JpKuMz8-rL858mE1qpnoSO59S3EcMRQ4bjPku0KPPDaB8sge2iw

I liked the picture, felt it was healthy, robust and confident and confident.

I should have looked at the date on it. August 2004. Happy and sunny days. You age under stress and from the mid-40s it doesn't take much to add ten years -all that sun in the past, being unwell. As I write below, his spirit, like mine (I hope) remains that of an enthusiastic twenty-something. The same occurred with the Elluminate session we had in H800 the other day, the tutor on the webcam (initially in a scratchy black and white image) is not the person who goes by in the General Forum. Are we all guilty of this. Men included? We go with something in our late thirties or early to mid-forties?

72q6M7zPYnMVW9l76SOoSuyyR-fk0av8xPtNN8_lzf5Tz9wbKGCoXDnNVHKH4bSAI6IVXT75SjWIIsAjCCpEFtVjGZHR2KKPbCFUho_hR7F6q1e9yAjHzWJE6w

I then went with this.

An image I long ago used in my eleven year old blog. I wanted something that was indicative of the content and would last. I'm still inclined to run with this. It is indicative of what I think blogging is all about - the contents of your mind, what you think i.e. you 'mind bursts' as I call them on numerous blogs.

C30b2NXHRmTq_fCv2ODCTgsgyp8NvfA5QIbtC4yp6gFe_weALmEGcDEn2vE58_pIDeCgYnWEFjHmMtQXZaW9yIdOJCRm6waUl-J6Rgu_Iuerw3cV49nN7_pnEw

Facebook personas sees me in a number of guises

While on Skype I use a image taken with the webcam on the day of an online interview - this is a month ago, so as contemporary as it gets.

I3-IacJfRMnMFf_TMuia_5BesRw336bGkBmX0pYUyCTxNlV7nnRyX50t5xgqxVmPw_H343NlAFqYLrO3sTL4A7Tc4ZOrXDtYWyehf7c-Bvgb2UnnBHJQYQFPBg

I have this image fronting Tumblr taken 21 years ago.

In moments of euphoria having just successfully negotiated a 15m pond of slush on a pair of skis in front of a crowd of early May skiers below the Tignes Glacier, France. The day I proposed to my wife. We'd be 'going out together' for three days ... we've now been together, well 21 years. In my original diary we could create banner ads to publicise what we had to say to fellow writers. One of these has a spread as long as the contents of my diaries and blog: they run from a 13 year old Head Chorister in cassock and ruffs, though gap, undergrad, to add exec, video director, with four woman I didn't marry.

La5kHQROBDF2X_Z6B06wdpvqvQEZiK7BcatppCZ2DbfNf0PlTiJiFadT9yNSOR8rMkAuwria-vUl2XPa4kuZpWr54ixuani0Dh7N8nu6sw2-cRULZ6F5gNio0g

Increasingly, I am thinking of using a self-portrait, that this attempt to capture myself through my minds eye

is more telling that a photograph.

hvdeNO9ddiQ-Wkal0GNJ6aWitGTu5idUS8QwO3Um8HR138ON1zaMd0DwPg2biBwxOZxdgmqiMU2_y2xWTWV8du_iqAkqFrYI_cO8gtbfAWs52p3sriyETTL9YQ

I could use the drawing I did of a 14 year old

What amuses me most here is how I superimpose these attachments as if I were in a school play, the beard is clearly on the soft face of a pubescent boy - I should have looked at my grandfather for the face I'd get, with the more bulbous nose and pronounced chin. Talking of which, I find it intriguing that I am the spitting image of my grandfather, that my own children see images of him age 20 and think it has to be me. All that changes as he ages into a 40 and 50 year old is he goes bald, whereas I am thus far limited to a thinning of the crown.

This I'm afraid, if the age of my children in the rest of the picture is something to go by, is some seven years ago sad

My only reason for picking it is that I haven't renewed my contact lenses and am inclined, after twenty years wearing them to give up. Maybe laser surgery when I have the cash? This is contemporary. It doesn't say who I am, just 'what' I am. Wearing a child's hat (he's a dad), the headset to record notes onto a digital recorder (for a podcast), a coat he bought for honeymooning in the Alps (we went skiing) 18 years ago …

34rkS0lCuih49Kp2KZUtaU36-QXMk7YBdQLuOq1Z6gNK2V3WbtB1M_Ieamb59-lET8utVjEZCmbRSa_CfSOXZXVmUyXYRp76xRPyOtt5TyvBa_QH5SvRKiE7qA

I have of course not changed much since 1977

It takes me back to the original point - who are we? how do we representative ourselves online in a single image when we are all a sum of a complex of parts? Is it any wonder that we present multiple selves online, the more so the longer we've lived? I don't remember my father being around to take this picture. though clearly he did. I do remember the great-big wellies though and the joy of water spilling over the top if I could find a puddle or pond deep enough. And the jumpers knitted by my granny (sleeves always too long). And the trees in the garden I climbed behind. And my sister and brother … How set in were the learning process by then?

wKKpe0ZAxa1e9sqRyW_bahMr8uairY_sThqczOEpiQnLKYQLg8aDiBz_PsHDx3n4aKnRXqudrWmZ8UIaF1cFdmTvehWuyclKlcq1fHEpU4j_4032JeYSQWsL0w

The Dracula Spectacula, People's Theatre, Newcastle.

The teeth were made from dentine and fitted by an orthodontist.I rather foolishly sharpened the fangs and bit through my own lip on the last night. I had to sing while gargling my own blood. The joy of memories.

  • Could a daily snap taken when looking in the bathroom mirror be used to tag memories from that 'era' of your life?
Permalink Add your comment
Share post
Design Museum

My mind is repeatedly blown apart

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Monday, 29 Aug 2011, 08:16

Once upon, a long time ago, I failed to take proper note of an issue of Mad Magazine, which I never read often, and it wasn't my copy, that featured a neferous business character who had a video phone, or TV phone (I don't know what they were called by the cominc in 1972 or whenever the issue came out). Perhaps it was a mock-advertisement for a roller-blind that had on it pictures designed to fool the caller, so a picture of him working late at the office, when in fact he was at a cocktail party, or ill at home, when in fact he was sunning himself in Hawaii, this kind of thing. These days, sitting infront of a webcam, you can be weraing pyjamas on the lower half and a collar and tie in vision ... you can tidy up one corner of your office/study, even decorate this one wall. Or, the modern day equivalent, would be a green screen and a video feed of wherever it is you may be pretending to be.

A share this with fellow Skypers. Ahead of an interview on Skype I will at least have a hair cut and iron a shirt. I'll even have a bath, though we haven't got as far as 'smelly.cam' yet, or have we?

Meanwhile, what blew my mind and had me reaching for the keyboard was this.

It may not find me the copy of Mad Magazine I'm looking for, but it strikes me as a mightily useful platform/tool.

It was a cartoon by Don Martin

Personally I miss trips to the National Archive or to the National Repositoiry of Newspapers; like surfing the web, it is extraordinary what you find, even when you weren't looking for it.



Permalink Add your comment
Share post

This blog might contain posts that are only visible to logged-in users, or where only logged-in users can comment. If you have an account on the system, please log in for full access.

Total visits to this blog: 5312917