Tuesday, May 31, 2011

TEDxEQChch #3: Pix (& other stuff)

In 1994 I did my first media course at NZBS... we were a mixed group of different backgrounds, interests and ages. At the end of the three months we all went our separate ways, although two of us did go on to do the radio degree course the next year. However over the last 17 years there is one guy that I've kept in touch with - not necessarily by design but via a series of random meetings.

Here in Shakeytown we like to pretend that we're a big city... we're not really, certainly not by world standards, and deep down we all know this. The standard line of thought is, if there are 6 degrees of separation around the world then in Christchurch, there are just two. Everyone seems to know someone you know, and if you move in certain artsy/creative/event circles then you'll run into the same faces reasonably frequently. As long as they're faces you enjoy seeing, this isn't a bad thing :)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

TEDxEQChch #2: TED talks

Throughout the TEDx conference on Saturday we had the chance to listen to talks given at previous TED events. Each provided moments of awe and inspiration, and some humour too... like this pearler from James Howard Kunstler that had the audience in stitches at times.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

TEDxEQChch #1

As days go, Saturday was a long one. I can't remember the last time I concentrated so hard for so long on so many different and interesting speakers. The main theme of yesterday is one that's been echoing today, with the Rise Up Christchurch telethon. We will rise again, we will have a thriving city once more but it's going to take time, thoughtful consultation and pragmatic decision-making.
Aurora Centre, TEDxEQChch venue
The TEDx team did a fabulous job of organising the event and I was most impressed to see people sorting out the lunch rubbish, with all the organic & recyclable waste being diverted. Big thumbs up! Also to the guys who arranged the stage decorations - made from local earthquake rubble. 
To see more pics of the inner city rubble... check out this album from the TEDx crew...
For those who weren't at the event yesterday & couldn't catch the live stream, here's a very quick roundup from my rather brief notes...

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Going up, looking down & moving on

It's been a busy week here in Shakeytown... well for me at least! Lots of writing, teaching, marking & going to appointments all over town including one out at uni, where I haven't been since February. Had things gone according to plan this year, by now I would have almost finished my two remaining honours papers and be preparing for a Masters project. Instead I've been spending my time on a different campus entirely, one that borders the red zone, with depressing vistas that consist largely of wire fences, leaning/broken buildings & soldiers on cordon duty.

So it was a nice change to be out at the university's Ilam campus, and pleasing to note that the lecture tents have been packed away. There was one reminder of the canvas town that was there until recently: the large marquee that housed the temporary cafe - InTentCity 6.3 - was still in the Law carpark.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Short term goals vs hoop dreams

Last year I took a class at UC called Presenting Sports, in which we looked at the ways in which sport is constructed for, and reported on, by the media. One of the films we discussed was Hoop Dreams, a documentary that followed two young Chicago basketball players trying to break into the big league. It is a little ironic therefore that one of my own hoop dreams got in the way of my desire to attend the Ideas Expo. There is an upside to my self-imposed, temporary withdrawal from the outside world yesterday - my conference paper is now finished & submitted. Soon I will be a published writer on how pop music helps create a carnival atmosphere at sporting events... I think I feel a specialty developing. Damn, forced to watch sports and listen to music. That could be tough ;)

However, more than 10,000 locals went along to CBS Arena to talk, listen and share ideas. There are many articles & stories about the event... here's a few:
High turnout shows Cantabrians care (includes pic of excellent 'munted' t-shirt)
Gehl Architects talk about the people
Cr Sue Wells on the day, and the day after
Dr Mark Quigley about avoiding 'wastelands', and Dr Rodd Carr on why UC won't be moving into town

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The early bird...

...gets told to bugger off. I mean, seriously... when I'm still in my dressing gown, what makes you think I'm ready to start a garage sale? And no you can't have a look around at 7.30am when all the signs/ads etc say 8.30am start.
But still, they & their ilk try it every single time. Oh well, as downsides go, that's a pretty easy one to deal with :)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

No shit, Sherlock

From the state-the-obvious file:
Christchurch residents the most stressed... a study confirms what most of us already knew: life in Shakeytown is stressful!

To give you an idea of what life is like around here, I recommend watching Natasha Utting's piece on "The new normal" from tonight's Campbell Live show on TV3.

From the I-need-another-button file:
Shared via Facebook: a photo album of pics from the Christchurch CBD - the part of our city that is still out of bounds to most people. This is the stuff we can't get in to view for ourselves... I'm not sure what is worse: seeing all these pictures or knowing that by the time I get close, it'll look completely different again, with piles of rubble & temporary carparks where once were thriving shops and communities.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Last one standing

The latest unemployment figures have just been released for NZ, and they show a very small decline in the number of people out of work. Well, at least on the surface... this TV3 item explains that Christchurch has been excluded from this latest survey and the local figures aren't great.

Since February's quake 858 more people have gone on the dole in Christchurch and 925 people are on an emergency earthquake benefit. There are also more than 6,000 people currently on an earthquake 'job rescue' package that is paying wages for staff of local businesses that are unable to operate.

But there is still more to it than official statistics will ever show.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Fridge of the future

I love bright young minds.
I love the ideas they have, the concepts they explore.
I love that they create or envisage revolutionary things like this fridge...
based on an idea from a science fiction story...