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An exploration of the familiar 
Greetings from my shed...
Hello my inquisitive friends.
Since I last wrote I dodged a bunch of cancelled trains plus the remnants of flooding and ventured up to Durham. Arriving in the dark, I shared a small keg of beer with an old friend I’d not seen for 10 years. Then the following morning, I headed to The Bright Ideas Gathering.
I’d failed to grab a ticket the night before (nothing to do with the beer (I don’t think)) But event organisers Herb Kim and Emma Turnbull were more than accommodating and I got to enjoy the curation of Stefano Pecci.
Although around since 2021, for me, this event has flown below the radar and I’m glad to have finally got to experience it. The moment I walked in I was met with hello’s and hugs from old friends and knew this was going to be another gathering with soul.
Sat at the front, I absorbed the bright ideas and took a few snaps along the way. Check out this link to find out more about the speakers. Durham County Council partnered with this event and the Gala was a great venue. I hope to return to the city and see what other inspiring artistic endeavours it has in the calendar. Sadly I’ll not make the Lumiere Festival between the 16-19 this year, but that’s certainly one for the wish list.
This two day AI generated film competition has quite a few weird and wonderful entries for you to get stuck into. Some of them are a bit uncanny valley, some dark, others funny. All of them are just the beginning of a whole new genre of film making that I think will move a lot faster than we think. Thanks to Uchujin for the heads up.
Here is a random offering from the huge selection made of films with RunwayML.
Mmmm a long read with gadgets and cool schematics.
I’ve been thinking about sentences that get to the essence of things. Like the opening line of Leo Tolstoy's novel Anna Karenina: "All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way."
A favourite bit of an old 1997 journal I was writing up this week had this passage…
“It suddenly hit me earlier that I'm in India. It's amazing. I feel alive, and although everything in this part of town appears dirty and broken, it certainly has character. Speaking of which, the doctor guy had to rush to catch a train and gave me a chunk of opium. Nice guy. Nice place. When a doctor gives you opium, you must take it with gratitude and savour the moment. It may never happen again.”
Tales from the women-only hotel on Lexington Avenue - The Barbizon Hotel
Digital Human’s Permanence is one of those podcasts that really resonate with me. If you listen you’ll know why.
Gaza - Does history matter?
Snake pizza. Courtesy of PizaHut
Here are the faces of three friends happy to have come across a stash of free beer. And despite it being low alcohol we are still happy.
Thanks to Mark Wong of Impossibrew we got to sample his creation. We were all genuinely impressed with how indistinguishable from full alcohol beer it tasted, and although we can’t all be sure we experienced our happiness because of the included nootropics, our moods were certainly enhanced in some way. Surprise… being together… having free stuff? Who knows?
After rescuing the Halloween pumpkin from the front door I chopped it in half, scooped out the seeds, filled it with chopped onion, mushrooms (other veg) passata, herbs and spices and then baked it. Oh I also melted cheese over the top. I think it was a sweet meat variety as it was truly delicious. I have a rushed and terrible photo of it somewhere so I’ll leave it to your imagination. We were all farting for days after, but it was worth it. I also slow baked the seeds with some spicy seasoning and am munching my way through them.
QuadLock still has 30% off everything. I have finally bagged the right mount for my motorbike. The waterproof (not weatherproof) one. There is a difference. This does not require USB and attaches straight to the battery. Bring on a wet winter.
This will sit on the essential vibration dampener.
Photographers are constantly tempted by new gear. For me it’s the promise of improved image quality or better ergonomics and sharing features. I was very tempted by the Nikon Zf this week. It reminds me (as it’s designed to) of the FM2’s that I still have and enjoy.
Amazing low light capabilities and an existing suite of lenses enticed me all the more. But thankfully it’s bigger that the FM2 and therefore not as portable as my X-Pro3. Currently the only cameras that still tempt me are the Fujifilm X100 Monochrome which doesn’t exist (yet?) and the Leica Q3 which is three times the price of the X-pro3 but in my opinion not three times the camera.
So at the moment I’m able to fend off temptation. As Jay Maisel said… "Gear is good, but vision is better."And Dorothea Lange"The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera."
I will also add that my most used camera is the iPhone13 Pro and the X-Pro3 probably saved me £1200 as I was in no rush to get the iPhone 14 Pro. In fact I’d planned to finally get the 15 ProMax but outside of video capabilities I still think the X-Pro3 is a better camera when I want super high quality. So maybe it’s already paid for itself.
A big thank you to those that pay a small amount a month to support my writing and curation here. If you are keen to support this email moving forward but can’t quite afford it, let me know, I’m flexible. [Insert photo of me doing the box splits].
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This video will save me a few links. It also covers the hyped AI Pin and the amazing new sensor from Sony.
Hello new person from Twyning on the Documentally community map. I wonder who you are.
A tool that aims to keep terrorism off the internet.
How the Dutch used windmills for passive communication.
Some of my other places include Letterboxd, GoodReads, FarceBook, Flickr, Strava, Untappd, Diaspora, Vivino, LinkedIn, YouTube, Mastodon, a ham radio newsletter or search ‘Documentally’ on Wire, Birdsite or Bluesky.
Self checkouts dropped by Booths. The robots loose this round.
A fascinating rethink of wind turbine design.
Thank you for reading. And clicking links. And commenting (if you did). It’s nice to know you are on the other side of the screen.
Next week is next week and i’m currently enjoying the now. Enjoy your now and let’s chat soon.
“Truth reveals itself to the inquisitive and runs away from the bigots and cynics”
~ Abhijit Naskar
See you out there.