Human Shield Tourism

Bush show just how war can be peace

After a discussion with a friend of mine who is planning travel tours of remote parts of Afghanistan, we got to wondering what might happen if, instead of protesting in our own streets against the proposed war on Iraq, we decided to do the same thing in Baghdad…

Would Bush and Blair drop bombs on Iraq in the knowledge that there were 10,000 tourists, many of them their own citizens, sightseeing around the country?

What if there were 20,000? Or more?


Welcome to the new home of my cropping tool.

Cropper is a visual tool for Director which allows you to crop images directly in your movie’s cast libraries, while keeping their regPoints intact. You can also crop a button from it’s background, produce identically cropped On and Roll states, and drop it on the score for perfect positioning.

If you’ve ever spent hours in the Paint Window preparing buttons so they don’t jitter on rollover, or erasing unwanted areas of an image to keep its regPoint then you’ll know exactly why I made this.
Continue reading Cropper

Rann of Kutchh Recordings

These recording sessions took place in musicians’ houses in and around Bhuj, Gujarat, an area known as the Rann of Kutchh in January 1999. Located a stone’s throw from the India/Pakistan border, it remains one of the more remote parts of India.

Much of the local musical heritage is under threat of extinction as traditional instruments fall out of favour with the younger generation. The music could not have been recorded without the kind assistance of Mr Umesh Jadia of the Museum of Kutchh in Bhuj.

Harmonium player Abubhai Mir
Harmonium player Abubhai Mir
Naubat player Amad Mir
Naubat player Amad Mir
The Mir Family
The Mir Family
Sharnai player Ayaz Mir
Sharnai player Ayaz Mir
Sharnai players
Sharnai players
Morchang (Jew's Harp) player
Morchang (Jew’s Harp) player

Postscript: As a consequence of the earthquake disaster in the region the following year, much of Bhuj was destroyed. I dearly wish I could find out if the people I worked with and recorded are still around. So far, I’ve found no way of confirming whether they are alive or dead, and this still makes me feel very sad when I hear their beautiful music.

Top of the Pops V2

The upgraded and expanded demo for the second TOTP CDROM.

Top of the Pops Version 2

Sadly, these two demos only stay online because Telepathy host them. The BBC seem to have kind of given up on TOTP’s interactive content, though I’ve heard that they are busy transferring their focus to interactive TV instead. Since CDROMs seem to have died a death as an entertainment medium, this is probably a wise move.

Shockwave Status:

Click here to play

Top of the Pops V1

This is the first transfer of the Shockwave movies which used to be on my Flowmotion site.

Top of the Pops Version 1

The first TOTP CDROM was my first major interactive project – I spent six months of my life getting my head round the quirks and intricacies of Director to program it. A six month spell of working in India followed, as a means of rekindling my creative energies.

Still, winning the Macromedia UCON Best Entertainment CDROM award kind of compensated for all the heart- (and head-) aches. Now that Nigel and Sarah are leaving to spend the next few years on tropical beaches, I wonder what will become of the beautiful plastic award that used to sit on the shelf in the Telepathy toilets?

Shockwave Status:

Click here to play

Things I wish existed: No. 1

(An occasional series of stuff that I think should be made)

I’m not normally one for brand-loyalty, but every time I go travelling, I wish I could take Marmite with me… I admit to preferring it over all other yeast extract products. So why don’t they make something like this:

travel marmite
Travel Marmite

I’d buy it for the sidepocket of my laptop bag, let alone for my rucksack on longer excursions. Come on Marmite… make it for those of us that love your product (a bit too much).

Who’s common round here?

The Millennium Dome: thorn in the side of governments, the laughing-stock of the people. And one huge conundrum. We have an alternative suggestion to the current crop of proposals.

It seems so obvious…

The Dome as Parliament
The Dome as Parliament

It may be a cliche to say that our institutions are shaped by their physical surroundings, and that the debates which take place are a reflection of that architectural form, but it seems to us that the old adversarial system embodied in the current House of Commons (sic) does not allow modern consensual politics to be conducted. The world has moved on, yet our institutions have not.

We suggest that the site of the Dome is ideal for a circular debating chamber; a form already in use at institutions such as the UN, the new German parliament, and so on.

Futhermore, we suggest that a glass structure, with high-speed data-links and a public access policy akin to the Tate Modern, would come to symbolise ‘open government’ to the many people currently disillusioned with politics and with politicians.

We now have the perfect opportunity to upgrade the ‘Mother of Parliaments’ to one which would be the envy of the world.

(written with Richard Higgs)