My week of Monday 31 January to Sunday 6 February 2022 saw me slowly returning to productivity after that lurgi. Certain circumstances led to the podcast recording being pushed back, but I got plenty of other things done.
One of the best bits was an editorial meeting with a new client that kicked off a whole series of things that’ll unfold through 2022. I can’t say any more because it’s SEKRIT.
- A challenge: Where is the Hill of Dead Pets? I posted this on Saturday, and the challenge is open for two weeks, until 8pm AEDT on Sunday 20 February. I reckon you can figure it out.
You can read my previous writing at Authory, where you can also subscribe to an email compilation of any new stories each Sunday morning.
I’ve finally uploaded some more of my train-related videos.
- RV004: Museum Station, being a few minutes of Sydney Trains action on a quiet afternoon, 23 March 2021.
- RV005: Coal Train at Wentworth Falls, in which an empty Southern Shorthaul Railroad coal train hauled by three CEY-class locomotives passes through Wentworth Falls station on 2 February 2022.
You can subscribe to my YouTube channel to be notified when new videos appear.
- I’ve created a new Flickr album Trainspergers which will eventually contain a selection of my railway photographs. For now it’s just all my existing photos on Flickr, good and bad. It really needs a good clean-out.
- Yes, I’ve updated my Waratah sequence 2021. This takes us up to day 159. Progress continues to be slow so there’s only four photos this week.
- My photo of a union march in Sydney has been used to illustrate yet another article, this time Surging Strikes at The Society Pages.
Podcasts, Corporate Largesse
As promised, another big batch of recommendations to make up for the recent dearth.
- Ze Frank’s latest video is True Facts: Proboscis Monkey. Watch it. Trust me.
- For a review of Saturday’s NSW by-elctions, check Ben Raue’s The Tally Room.
- Looking Beyond Ukraine: A View From Australia, from Dr Elizabeth Buchanan, who was on the podcast a few months back.
- Journalist Royce Kurmelovs has written up some hidden history, Happy birthday, Hitler: how Australia’s Nazis got away with ‘the whole rotten show’. It’s worth following the links too.
- Exposed documents reveal how the powerful clean up their digital past using a reputation laundering firm.
- The art of the viral news explainer, a seminar by the BBC’s Ros Atkins, whose short video explainers are usually must-watch journalism.
- “Dear English-speaking friends,” tweeted Rodolfo Ocampo, “As part of my PhD, I’m researching human-AI creative interaction. I created a little tool where you can write two themes and see the beginning of a story come alive. You can try it here.” It’s a lot of fun.
- A fascinating thread of AI-generated imagery. “I trained an AI on public domain bird illustrations from old books,” tweeted @DanielSolis (archive). “Ornithologists and birders, I’d love it if you were able to still ID some of these weirdos. I’ll share some of the ‘normal’ results first, the ones that kinda sorta look like real birds.”
- “I thought I’d do a thread of soviet anti-alcohol posters because they are often brilliant, ingenious, and… sobering,” tweeted Stu Nugent. Yes, worth a browse.
- Butterfly Center Closed Over Fears of Conspiracy Nuts, because of course. Sigh.
The Week Ahead
Monday is a Sydney day, for medical and social activities as well as the usual collection of errands.
[Update 8 February 2022: The rest of this section has been rearranged now that podcast plans have started to fall into place.]
On Tuesday morning I’m recording an episode in The 9pm Edict summer series with Elise Thomas about the various “freedom” protests around the world at the moment. You’ll remember her from April 2021. I’ll edit and post that episode later in the day.
(The planned episode with Dr Space Junk aka Dr Alice Gorman about the International Space Station Archaeological Project is stil to be scheduled.)
If you’re a podcast supporter with a TRIGGER WORD or a CONVERSATION TOPIC for either of these episodes, then please let me know as soon as possible.
The rest of the week is about that geek-work that I’m slowly plodding through, writing an article for ZDNet, and responding to whatever the parliamentary sitting week throws up.
On Thursday morning I’ll also try to catch What can the Cold War teach us about strategic competition? A conversation with historian Hal Brands from the United States Study Centre. I heard him recently on the Lawfare Podcast and it was fascinating.
On Saturday there’s a number of state by-elections in NSW, so watching the count that evening should be amusing.
As expected, February has brought some new events, although only a small proportion are relevant to my work needs.
- Indigenous Technologies: Innovations Powering the Continuation of our Oldest Civilisations, part of the The Sydney Dialogue from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), online, 14 February 2022.
- Taking the low road: China’s influence in Australian states and territories, ASPI, 15 February 2022.
- Increasing Resilience in a Post-Pandemic World, part of ASPI’s The Sydney Dialogue, online, 21 February 2022.
- Australian Computer Society’s Reimagination Thought Leaders’ Summit, Sydney, 23 February 2022 (TBC). So far the program looks a bit generic, and the whole “thought leaders” thing is such a turn-off, but I might go anyway.
- APRICOT 2022 / APNIC 53, 28 February to 3 March 2022.
- Aaron Chen at the Enmore Theatre, 5 May 2022.
- Nigel Ng’s The Haiyaa World Tour, Enmore Theatre, 9 June 2022.