Robert L. Peters

29 August 2008

A kick-ass web conference…

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Brighton, United Kingdom

I’ve been asked to be a speaker at the <head> web conference, a unique new type of event that is global, green… and online. Here’s the skinny… “<head> is a web conference that brings together some of the most interesting and exciting developers, designers, creatives, and thought leaders from around the web to share with you their passions and expertise. The sessions cover a wide range of timely topics including web standards, accessibility, web application development, Flash, Flex, and scalability.

The premise for <head> is simple: instead of making you come to the web conference, let’s make the web conference come to you. <head> is a web conference with all of the traditional elements. We have live speakers, presentations, question and answer sections, and networking opportunities. The twist is that the conference takes place everywhere—all over the world—and at real-world gatherings called local conference hubs. And we use the Internet to tie it all together.

<head> is an environmentally-friendly web conference. We save on thousands of flights and the resulting carbon emissions by having speakers and attendees interact with the conference locally.

We have not lost sight of the key aspects that we love about conferences: the social interactions, the conversations, the sense of community, the exchange of knowledge, and the forging of new friendships and opportunities. We are building these into our online community where attendees and non-attendees alike can interact before, during, and after the conference.

Attendees and speakers can participate in the conference from the comfort of their own homes or surrounded by others at local conference hubs around the world. Local conference hubs are real-world, local gatherings supported by local venue sponsors (like Yahoo! in London, and the BBC in Manchester) and local community groups such as Adobe User Groups. Local conference hubs make the conference truly global in scope and inject it with the real-world social element that is so crucial to a successful conference.

<head> is delivered live, over the Internet, using a custom conference application built with Adobe Flash Media Interactive Server (FMIS), Adobe Flex, and Adobe Flash technologies. Courtesy of our Platinum Sponsor and Technology Partner, Influxis, we have a rock-solid cluster of FMIS instances that is capable of supporting 10,000 simultaneous connections during the connection.”


27 August 2008

What? the WAVE, and greeting cards…

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Winnipeg Beach, Manitoba

We’ve been busy the past few days preparing for the second round of this summer’s 7th Wave Artists’ Studio Tour, which culminates on this Labour Day weekend (Saturday and Sunday) when “the public is invited to tour the studios and participating artists of the Interlake… essentially a self-guided tour enabling visitors to speak with the artists and view their work in very picturesque locations.” Ev’s one of the participating artists who will be flying a distinctive blue-and-white Wave flag outside her studio in Winnipeg Beach.

“North of Winnipeg, take the scenic route through cottage country along Lake Winnipeg’s western shore, experience the vastness of Netley Creek and Oak Hammock Marshes, leave the beaten path for charming country lanes, and take a trip inland to Stonewall. Cover the whole tour in a round trip loop, or make it a day or a weekend adventure. Great restaurants, picnic sites, sandy beaches, a refreshing dip, inspiring historic sites, first class accommodations, and of course, an art experience close up and personal!”

Images: three of the 25 “What?” greeting-card designs that will debut at Evelin Richter’s studio on the weekend (ranging from nonsensical and cheeky to puzzlingly contemplative…).


25 August 2008

350…

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(from the good folks at Free Range Studios)

“What’s it going to take to stop climate chaos? Well, global warming guru Bill McKibben has a simple answer: 350. That’s the parts per million of CO2 in the atmosphere that scientists now believe is safe. And it’s the number we have to achieve.”


Meeting the Walrus…

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(from SwissMiss; thanks Adrian)

“In 1969, a 14-year-old Beatle fanatic named Jerry Levitan, armed with a reel-to-reel tape deck, snuck into John Lennon’s hotel room in Toronto and convinced John to do an interview about peace. 38 years later, Jerry has produced a film about it. Using the original interview recording as the soundtrack, director Josh Raskin has woven a visual narrative which tenderly romances Lennon’s every word in a cascading flood of multipronged animation. Raskin marries the terrifyingly genius pen work of James Braithwaite with masterful digital illustration by Alex Kurina, resulting in a spell-binding vessel for Lennon’s boundless wit, and timeless message.”

Enjoy the moment… here and get the back-story here.


24 August 2008

Special Defects

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Eindhoven, the Netherlands

Check out the “personal experimental project and digital playground” of Antonio Costa at specialdefects.com (and preview a work-in-progress piece inspired by the work of Chris Jordan entitled Running the Numbers). I had the pleasure of meeting the multi-talented architect/interaction designer/podcaster at FITC Amsterdam earlier this year—Antonio’s just informed me that he’ll be tutoring at the prestigious Academy of Design in the University of Eindhoven this coming semester… best wishes!


21 August 2008

Manhua with (an anti-imperialist) twist…

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Beijing, China

Check out Ethan Persoff’s GALLERY OF 35 ANTI-U.S. CHINESE POLITICAL CARTOONS (circa 1958-1960). “Culled and restored from reviewing hundreds of Eastern newspaper pages and illustrations, this set of 35 images represents what we consider the best late 50s editorial cartoons (Manhua) from China and Indochina. Set during a time of escalating western imperialism, these images react against U.S. military actions in Laos and Vietnam, and represent a unique moment of political commentary. It seems to be a hidden history, too.” Most of these comics have never before been re-published, and even fewer have ever been exhibited or documented… a real find for fans of period propaganda art.


20 August 2008

40 years ago today…

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Prague, Czech Republic

Time does indeed slip by quickly (and yet little seems to change)… I vividly recall the Russian surprise-invasion of Czechoslovakia on this day in 1968. Living in (West) Germany at the time (the event sent shock-waves throughout Europe) I joined peaceful protest rallies in Basel (where I was attending school, just across the Swiss border)—my first active political involvement as a 14-year-old. Read the NYT invasion story here.


19 August 2008

Oooops…

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(location and source unknown)


18 August 2008

Climbing holidays…

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Banff, Alberta

I’ve just spent the past two weeks mountaineering with friends in Canada’s fantastic Rockies. For the first week, I joined an organized outing with colleagues from the Alpine Club of Canada (11 each from the Manitoba and Thunder Bay ACC Sections) based out of the Elizabeth Parker Hut at Lake O’Hara (Yoho National Park, British Columbia) and the Abbot Hut (perched precariously on a col straddling the Alberta/B.C. border and continental divide). Highlights of my week included various alpine hikes (Mt. Yukness, Obabin Prospect, etc.), a solo ascent of Mt. Feuz, and a long and spectacular descent from Abbot Pass to the Chateau on Lake Louise via the Fuhrmann Ledges on Mt. Lefroy (first used as an alternative to the ‘Death Trap’ route by the Swiss Guides some hundred years ago, then re-established by Peter Fuhrmann several decades ago).

For the second week, I hung out in the Lake Louise and Banff area (using Bettie as a ‘base-camp’) with long-time climbing buddies Gregor Brandt, Janice Liwanag and Simon Statkewich. As the weather was hot(!) and sunny we opted for mostly R&R and took in our fair share of dips in chilly alpine lakes… though Simon and I did pull off a sweltering 8-pitch rock climb (5.7, 335 m) on Mother’s Day Buttress, Cascade Mountain. The week ended with a jaunt down to Kananaskis Country and some climbing at Wasootch Slabs. All in all a fantastic fortnight—refreshing for mind, body and spirit.

Images (from top): Lake O’Hara with the ACC’s Elizabeth Parker Hut (grassy clearing in foreground); Cathedral Mtn. in early morning light (taken from the hut); solo on Mt. Feuz; the Abbot Hut at 2925 meters elevation (on the narrow col between Mt. Victoria and Mt. Lefroy); looking down the Death Trap from the col with a forewarning of inclement weather; descending the rubble-strewn Fuhrmann Ledges of Mt. Lefroy high above the glaciated valley (photo by Simon, thanks); “Stella-time” at the Chateau Lake Louise (with Josee Lavoie, Gregor and Simon)—admittedly smelly and grubby after the 7-hour descent, we made a bit of a stir by climbing the stone wall to the lavish outdoor patio rather than traipsing through the 5-star hotel lobby with our packs and axes).


Fuhrmann Ledges beta…

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Lake Louise, Alberta

I met the famous mountaineering guide Peter Fuhrmann on the way up to Abbot Hut about a decade ago. He was busy painting blue-square route-markers on the few stable rocks that seemed to survive the annual avalanche-flushing of the nasty 670-meter scree gully that one has to scramble up from Lake Oesa (altitude 2265 m) leading to the col straddling the continental divide that the hut is balanced on. The following day, I saw a party gingerly traversing the lower glaciated slopes of Mount Lefroy, having ascended via the “Fuhrmann Ledges” (a century-old route established by the Swiss Guides that Peter F. re-established a half-century later). Ever since, I’ve wanted to suss out that ‘alternative’ route to Lake Louise, and last week finally presented the opportunity (the highlight of this year’s mountaineering holiday). Highly recommended (the crux is route-finding [getting onto the correct ledge is crucial] not technical, as the most exposed sections are protected with fixed hardware)! Total distance from Abbot Hut (at 2925 meters) to the Chateau is an estimated 13-14 km, with a vertical drop of 1215 meters—count on 5 to 8 hours for the descent… enjoy!

Photo/topo: Joe Mckay (who allegedly ‘improved the route’ with fixed ropes). From the hut, traverse the lower glaciated slopes of Mount Lefroy (leave early to avoid excessive rockfall; roped travel is recommended as there are crevasses) in a downward angle heading due North, descending more or less in the middle of the talus/scree slope (half-way between the cliff bands on the right and the drop-off to the Death Trap on the left—look for round orange paint marks as you pick your way through some delicate obstacles). At the North end of Lefroy, move to the lower outside edge of the large ‘balcony’ and look for one of numerous stone-men (cairns) and more orange paint daubs that mark the route to the correct ledge system to circumnavigate the steep cliffs. Follow these ledges right around Lefroy (towards the East, then heading directly South for nearly 1 km), exiting onto a (somewhat nasty) 300-meter-high scree cone which leads down to the large lateral moraines (the glaciers have been melting remarkably fast of late) pointing down toward Lake Louise. After crossing the exit stream below the Lower Victoria Glacier (we had to wade across this year, as the flow was considerable) head left across the valley just before you hit the trees to get up onto the established hiking trail returning from the Plain of Six Glaciers Tea-hut (2075 meters elevation) and leading back to Chateau Lake Louise (1710 meters elevation).


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