Friday, November 12, 2010

A cracking good Festival of Ideas

I'm back from a fun and rewarding trip to the UK and thought I would wrap up the week with a quick look back at my time there, before kicking off my new "life of leisure" era on Monday.

The highlight was certainly the Festival of Ideas in Bristol this past Monday. I arrived in town in the morning and did a quick walk through town - Bristol's a nice place, certainly more laid back than London, and I would liked to have spent more time there. I was in desperate need of some down time, though, so I checked out a movie (Due Date... it was terrible!) before heading over to the Festival.

The format was basically a Q&A interview. Festival director Andrew Kelly quizzed me on Sex, Bombs and Burgers and what it says about us, and technology's role in society. Andrew was very well prepared and we had a great discussion. What boggled the mind is that we had a sell-out crowd of 120 people show up and actually pay a few pounds apiece to listen in. The fact that most attendees were young was not lost on anyone, so whenever somebody says that young people don't read, I'm not inclined to believe them.

The audience Q&A that followed was lively and good fun, and I had a blast talking to a few people afterward about everything from Battlestar Galactica to nanotechnology (more on BSG early next week). I understand that futurist Ray Kurzweil will be doing some similar talks over in the UK soon, which is funny because he's the very last person I interviewed while working for CBC a few weeks ago. Ray, who I find to be a mind-blowing guy, came up a few times - I'll be posting that interview somewhere very soon.

In any event, thanks very much to everyone who came out and I hope you had as good a time as I did!

Alas, there's no online video of the Festival talk (they sometimes post audio, which I'm looking into), otherwise I'd post it here. Interestingly, this seems to be par for the course with the UK. My UK media coverage section looks a little , largely because many of the interviews I've done and reviews I've received haven't been posted online. I do have scans of a few, including a short BBC Focus review and an awesome one from the Saturday Times that suggests my book should have been called Eat, Slay, Love. Ha!

There are a few more pieces of coverage coming up, including some stuff on arts blog Ran$om Note and the BBC's Outriders podcast. I'll post links to those when they become available.

One last piece of housekeeping - please remember to adjust your bookmarks to my new blog site, . I'm still running concurrently with the new site, which is a bit of a pain, so I'll be redirecting the old to the new relatively soon. That shouldn't cause any disruptions, but I wouldn't want anyone to be surprised. Have a good weekend!


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