White Light, White Heat: A Social Experiment

Like the BBC’s flagship new drama series White Heat, I’m thinking just now about being young again. No, I’m not consulting Goldie Hawn‘s face doctor, I’m just doing a little job for the AQR. Having noticed that my youth has slammed the door on me, the AQR is involving me in a little initiative toContinue reading “White Light, White Heat: A Social Experiment”

Oscar for Best Live Action Short Film goes to … The Shore

Don’t worry, I’m not claiming credit for it. But great that a short film called The Shore, set and made in my native Northern Ireland, won an Oscar last night. I haven’t seen it yet, but I’m of course heavily into shore metaphors and a sucker for anything Ulster-ish, so I expect at the veryContinue reading “Oscar for Best Live Action Short Film goes to … The Shore”

Public image limited – and metrosexuals’ kindly uncles

Stuffed like a museum coypu with fieldwork last month, January was a vintage period for methodological learnings for me: new experiences and new twists on familiar ones in front of the Great British Public. Unlike the coypu, I’ll be living off the experiences for a while. The first one to muse on is this: howContinue reading “Public image limited – and metrosexuals’ kindly uncles”

Boiling it down should make you sweat

Diane Abbott‘s twitter controversy last week was something of a storm in a teacup (white or black tea, it certainly could have done with some more sweetener in it). But what interested me was her defence: that it was hard to capture the context – discourses about the legacy of colonialist thinking – in 140Continue reading “Boiling it down should make you sweat”

A creative opener for discussion groups

Here’s a tip I’m happy to share with any other qual researchers reading this (and indeed anyone reading this, though others may not find it very useful). On my new project, which is a kind of qualitative segmentation exercise for a charity, we tried an opening exercise for a discussion group I hadn’t used beforeContinue reading “A creative opener for discussion groups”

How you can visualise data with an MIT research budget – wow

If you can stop him talking about his kids, he can be quite interesting. Thanks to Dutch social media expert Jaap den Dulk (twitter: @dulk) for the link to this talk from MIT Media Lab researcher Deb Roy earlier in 2011. Jaap gave a talk this morning as part of the ICG webinar on socialContinue reading “How you can visualise data with an MIT research budget – wow”

Britney Spears: harder to stalk than I had imagined

This might bring a whole new audience to Strangers On The Shore and (another) one that will be bitterly disappointed. I went into t’ Smoke yesterday for a meeting on AQR ambassadorial business and had a spare half hour afterwards before my schlepp back to Jericho (in Oxford, not the West Bank). So I poppedContinue reading “Britney Spears: harder to stalk than I had imagined”

The Light At The End Of The Tunnel (Is The Light Of An Oncoming Train)

  One of my favourite song titles (from Half Man Half Biscuit‘s Cammell Laird Social Club album) seems appropriate today, given the economic news. As an individual micro-business, the bigger patterns of the economy kind of don’t matter – and kind of do. It can be hard to make the connection sometimes. At one level,Continue reading “The Light At The End Of The Tunnel (Is The Light Of An Oncoming Train)”

Highlight of the week: Soviet-era posters on the dangers of alcohol, in Creative Review

I’ve been a sucker for Soviet-era Russian posters ever since seeing a Stenberg Brothers exhibition of Russian film posters in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam in 1998. Imagine my delight then this week when Creative Review tweeted (@CreativeReview) a series of public information posters mainly from the 30s, 40s and 50s on the perils of boozeContinue reading “Highlight of the week: Soviet-era posters on the dangers of alcohol, in Creative Review”

An Old Git Remembers: The Last Time Youth Unemployment Was This Bad

Youth unemployment in the UK went over the 1 million mark this week. It’s not been this bad, we hear, since the early 90s: see the chart in the BBC News story on it: Youth unemployment. As this shows, the peak was really in 1992: and it just happens, that’s when I first came ontoContinue reading “An Old Git Remembers: The Last Time Youth Unemployment Was This Bad”