Firework Fun

Speaking of the Brighton Festival, I should mentioned the utterly awesome display of theatrics and fireworks that I saw last Saturday. In preston park at 22:00, Groupe 4 1 put on the most marvellous display. It wasn’t just fireworks. it was also men with suits made of lights, flying through the air to a musical and video backdrop. Absolutely beautiful. Touching, in places. Downright weird in others.

Sadly, most of the photos that I’ve seen so far have just been of the fireworks, so that’s what you’ll have to see.

All culled from brighton fireworks on flickr.

1 Sorry, it’s a horrid flash based site. Completely unknown to google as well. I ended up there almost by accident.


Revenge of LoveLock

It’s Brighton Festival time. On Tuesday, I saw James Lovelock speak about his new book “Revenge of Gaia”. I’m new to the whole gaia thing, but the notion of treating the earth as a holistic system makes a lot of sense to me.

He talked a little bit about Gaia, but much of the talk seemed to be given over to his dislike of wind farms and his pro-nuclear energy stance. Myself, I’m neither anti-nuke nor pro-nuke. He did question much of the evidence regarding nuclear energy that we had been led to believe, claiming that the safety issue of spent nuclear fuel is overrated, and the cost issues of nuclear are mostly because of onerous health & safety legislation.

He quipped that he’d be more than happy to have spent nuclear fuel in his backyard because it might keep the damned wind farm developers off it…

The other main theme was about global warming. Like most scientists, he cheerfully accepts that it’s happening. But his view of what will happen and when seems to be markedly more doom-and-gloom. But he’s still happy, because he just thinks we should prepare more. Oh, and that Britain will probably emerge relatively unscathed because of it’s location.

Overall, I certainly wasn’t convinced he was correct, but he did give me food for thought. Thanks to the wonders of this internet thingy, I can also read his critics at the same time.

Oh—I didn’t buy the book. I’m not that convinced…


XTech is Over

The months go past and the conferences come and go. As usual, I can’t afford to go (and “it sounds interesting” isn’t a convincing business case), so I eagerly lap up all the blogs and slides afterwards.

Jeremy’s just come back from xtech and triggered an hour or two of reading. I definitely recommend checking out his slides on Hijax, which is a very good way of doing gracefully degrading Ajax.

He rightly pointed out Suw Harman who seems to have been in many of the sessions and provided good summaries (although possibly in more of the web 2.0 talks than the others, but that’s mostly what I’m interested in).

Following the links, Paul Hammond mentioned Alex Russell’s talk, which has some rather good insights:

Comparing JavaScript to Java or C++ has always been like converting Unicode to ASCII by lopping off the high bits.

Brendan Eich’s talk on JavaScript 2 appears to be the same one that he gave at the Ajax Experience last week, and are hosted at JavaScript 2 and the Future of the Web. It’s really heartening to see that JavaScript is going in a sensible direction after the appallingingly bad (yet thankfully stillborn) js20.

Lastly, everybody needs to read Mark Nottingham on Web 2.0 Caching. It’s critical to getting good performance in the new web order.

Next years is scheduled to be in Paris. I’ll have to see if I can make it this time. Maybe if I get off my arse and find something interesting to write about…