This weekend with UMHC I walked up Helvellyn via Striding Edge. I’ve done it before several times, once with my parents when I was 8 or something, and once, this summer, with a Hiking club friend, when we backpacked over Helvellyn in beautiful sunshine.
It was a bit different this time.. the rain didn’t get as bad as it threatened to, but the wind made walking along the top of the ridge perhaps a bit precarious.
I took a few photos and a bit of video:
When you go to a someone on the street and ask them what their first thoughts on politicians?
What answers would you expect to get?
I just listened to a thought provoking radio program – initially I assumed I’d immediately form a firm opinion, having listened to it… but I’m still undecided.
Have a listen to it – it’s only 30 minutes and I found it really engaging.
What do you think? Is the current level of political cynicism justified?
Symphony of Science is a wonderful series of musical videos by John Boswell, autotuning famous scientists talking about big questions and setting it to music. The debut track, “A Glorious Dawn” was a fantastic breakthrough. Since then there have been many more fantastic tracks and the latest track featuring Morgan Freeman, Stephen Hawking, Michio Kaku, Brian Cox, Richard Feynman and Frank Close, is no exception.
Originally posted on the Pirate Party website.
Tim Dobson – Pirate Party UK Education Spokesperson:
On Sunday I was in Germany watching the Pirate Party movement making history again. The Pirate Party entered the Berlin State Parliament, gaining 14 seats after polling almost 9% of the vote. At the same time the liberal FDP, a junior partner in the ruling coalition, crashed out, with only 1.9%. Pirate Party UK is inspired by the hard work of all the activists that made this result possible and sends its warmest congratulations.
Pirate Party Germany’s success shows our movement’s ideas have a broad appeal and platform. Despite smears from a clearly rattled opposition during the election campaign, the Berlin Pirates showed they have a lot to offer on education, business, representative democracy and social policy. Equally, the people of Berlin have realised that it is about time that their politicians understand the Internet better.
This result shows that the desire for a new politics and digital rights fit for the 21st century continues to grow throughout Europe. As Rick Falkvinge, Pirate Party Sweden founder put it, “We fight for civil liberties together, shoulder to shoulder, and we succeed together.”
I was lucky to get an insight into the Pirate’s campaign from the inside, their innovative poster designs and campaign slogans – ‘Ask your children why they vote for the Pirate Party’, clearly captured the imagination of the people of Berlin.
I had a great meeting with Andreas Baum, one of the 14 Pirates who will be taking up seats in the state parliament. He showed to me their ‘Glazenmobil’, a trailer with a glass wall containing a mock up of a typical front room. Their message was that instead of transparent private lives, there should be transparent politics.
In Britain, where cities are in danger of being left behind in global competition and held back by outdated political masters, the Pirate Party will continue making its case for change. We will be following in our German partners success with new candidates and a more comprehensive policy platform.
Pirate Party UK
+44 (0) 161 987 7880
I have spent all day with the German Pirate Party campaigning, in Berlin.
This is a moment towards the end of the day when we walked up to a SDP campaign point and started talking to all the people they tried to flyer.
Music from Mikuláš Ferjenčík, PPCZ
Today I am in Berlin. Capital of Germany, and according to polls, soon to be one of the latest homes of the Pirate Party.
Almost as soon as I stepped out of the train station, I started noticing the distinct Pirate flag logo on the posters attached to lamp posts.
Unlike in Britain, where unions and rich overseas donors, apparently get to decide who hears a party’s point point of view, in Germany, the Pirate Party qualifies for state funding for attaining a minimum level of the vote in previous elections. For this federal election in Berlin, they have a “lean”, 50,000 euro budget.
A quick look over their campaign website though shows clearly that the crew haven’t lost any roots to technology. Links to social networking sites, including identi.ca bristles from the sides. Two tone posters with greyscale photos are everywhere. Indeed, this looks like the Pirates here are in their element. Soaking up every minute of being a “surprise” newcomer to this election.
Philipp Magalski, one of the parties top candidates in Berlin told Reuters:
“If we get into the Berlin parliament, it will generate a snowball effect, with people realising we are a force to be reckoned with.”
With the elections on Saturday/Sunday, the Pirates have nothing to lose. All that remains now, is a final sprint to the finish line.
Today, I will be “embedded” with the party, meeting the crew and helping out where possible, and I can’t think of anywhere else I’d rather be.
If Prof. Brian Cox can make understanding physics cool, how can we do the same for technology & IT?
I had an interesting conversation with James Cun. We both agreed that Cox’s personality had made physics more appealing to younger generations. We touched at previous attempts to make technology cool – the BBC’s Virtual Revolution (presented by Aleks Krotoski) series tried, and ultimately failed.
It was a well put together production, with good production values, a good cast, knowledgable presenter… But it lacked the spontaneity and jovial humanity that makes Cox such a ‘legend’ in the eyes of young people today.
Cox’s fans even include Radio One who remixed one of his series to explain N-Dubz and the “mysteries of the music business”. Cox clearly has an ability to convey and make science interesting in a way other presenters and broadcasters somehow miss.
In my blog post of Eric Schmit ‘s criticism of the UK’s education system, I agreed that we need “a focus on innovation and entrepreneurship, but in a very practical, hands-on way”.
So I was interested to see the Culture Minister, Ed Vaizey, speak along the same lines in The House of Commons the other day.
“The BBC’s power to make a difference in this area is significant, and I hope now that it will find a charismatic presenter for a history of computer science, so that we can increase interest in computer science education.”
Who? What? How?
Some have suggested the upcoming Raspberry Pi computer could play a role but really, I think the sucess will rest with the presenter’s style.
A presenter who can explain why something is wrong, why a small group of people should know it’s wrong in 2011, why everyone else know’s their wrong and can then conclude why people who believe is are ”complete twats”. That’s the guy who can sell computer science to the country.
The question is, who could do this?