Tag Archives: conference

Reni in virtual reality

Friday 23rd November 2018, 11.45am (day 2,647)

Virtual reality, 23/11/18

The reason I came to Germany was to come to a conference here, at the University of Passau, right in the bottom right-hand (south-east) corner of the country. The best experience I had at it was to get plugged in for ten minutes to an amazing virtual reality rig — created by students — which replicated, and rather well, the experience of being in a zero-gravity environment, specifically an abandoned space station. Once I got over the dizziness and tried to forget that my legs were relevant in this place, it was very effective. I wish I could somehow have photographed my own immersion, but that didn’t prove possible, so here’s fellow delegate Reni playing with it, after me.

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The last keynote

Thursday 27th September 2018, 10.00am (day 2,590)

Speaker's shadow, 27/9/18

The idea for this shot came to me as I was listening to the last keynote speaker at the conference, and for me the last event of it, as I headed for Oulu airport straight after it had finished. It was a bugger to get all things in focus though, and when I managed it, he wasn’t quite doing the interesting things with his hands that he was on other shots: so they look a bit like a big lump here. Still, this is basically the shot that I was trying to capture.

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End of the session

Wednesday 26th September 2018, 12.10pm (day 2,589)

ECIL session end, 26/9/18

End of the morning session — time for lunch. I chose this shot because I like the mixture of stasis and movement, some people are happy to stick around for a little while longer and chat, others (and I admit I am typically among this latter group) bounce up at the opportunity to be first in the queue for lunch.

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Jesús takes a photo

Tuesday 25th September 2018, 7.10pm (day 2,588)

Jesús Lau, 25/9/18

Where there is a conference, then there will be a conference reception, usually held in whatever local municipal building is considered most convenient: here, Oulu City Hall. It had a ceiling considered worthy of documenting by my fellow delegate Jesús — who comes from Mexico, the sort of place where they name their men Jesús, a name I have always thought must be something to live up to.

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Cober Hill

Wednesday 15th November 2017, 8.35am (day 2,274)

Cober Hill, 15/11/17

Venue for our conference, which ended today, Cober Hill was built as a private house by some rich Victorian nob, but in 1920 was bought by the Rowntree Foundation and has been a venue for educational, residential courses and conferences ever since. And a fine venue it was, too. Why can’t more conferences be held in some nice house out in the country somewhere? Far more inspirational than some pokey rooms up on the third floor of some anonymous campus building somewhere. Good move on behalf of the organisers if you ask me.

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Lego library

Tuesday 14th November 2017, 11.45am (day 2,273)

Lego library, 14/11/17

After the cider tasting, the Lego therapy. i2c2 is a conference devoted to (as its name suggests), “Innovation, Inspiration and Creativity”… and Lego seems as good a way to get this kind of outcome as anything else (as the wife would doubtless agree). Asked then to create the ‘ideal librarian’ in Lego, I (as a non-librarian) decided the epitome for me was someone who could help me navigate the maze of info: hence this model. At least my Lego avatar looks happy at the prospect, anyway.

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Cider tasting

Monday 13th November 2017, 7.40pm (day 2,272)

Cider tasting, 13/11/17

First day of the academic conference that has brought me to the east coast. I could picture the intellectual efforts, but let’s go with the evening’s alcohol consumption instead. These guys (from the Hedge Hoggers company) not only served us samples of their product but engaged us in its manufacture as well, hence the barrel of apples captured in the background. I don’t even like cider particularly, and I’m not saying I was converted, but it was a damn good effort.

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Gobinder sorts the blinds out

Wednesday 28th June 2017, 8.45am (day 2,134)

Working the blinds, 28/6/17

Even if one is a professor of information science (as Gobinder is), one may still take on the responsibility of getting the lighting in the room right, prior to the opening session on day 2 of the i3 conference…

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Daria the translator

Thursday 8th June 2017, 1.35pm (day 2,114)

Daria, 8/6/17

Election day of course — but I’m still in Russia, this being the last day of the conference here in Khanty-Mansiysk. Daria here was one of the two simultaneous translators who worked throughout the two and a half days. I cannot help but be amazed by the talent of translators generally, but to do it simultaneously — like a Babel fish — now that really is astonishing. Will machines ever be able to do this? I seriously doubt it. Imagine a computer that can translate a joke from one language to another on the spot.

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United Nations (sort of)

Wednesday 7th June 2017, 11.45am (day 2,113)

United Nations, 7/6/17

The conference I’m attending here has been organised by UNESCO (as was the one I went to four years ago in Moscow) so we get to feel like the United Nations with our own little flags marking our place on the table: spot my Union Jack, there on the left… Cynics might also say that the general absence of activity is also redolent of the real UN, but hey, even they need refreshment breaks now and again I am sure.

If there are any chess fans out there you might like to know that in this room the Chess Olympiad was held in 2010 and will be again, in 2020.

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