Distractions, reflections

David Ing, at large … Sometimes, my mind wanders

2015/11 Moments November 2015

Markham, Ontario; Scarborough, Ontario; Toronto, Ontario; Istanbul, Turkey; Athens, Greece; Sounion, Greece; London, England; Hull, England; Cambridge, England; Madison Heights, Michigan; Fairfield, Iowa.

Cascon Day 1 plenary
Cascon Day 1 plenary: Resilience engineering and antifragility, says @Kocolosk @IBMCAS #CASCON, is a research interest in his role as DE & CTO, Cloud Data Services, IBM Analytics. Plenary presentation on “Data Services in the Cloud: Past, Present and Future” included history on open source projects with Cloudant, new enthusiasm for Apache Spark. (IBM Centre for Advanced Studies, CASCON, Markham, Ontario) 20151102
CASCON 2015 best paper
CASCON 2015 best paper: Game design characteristics by Mazz Nasir @prof_lyons @IBMCAS #CASCON presentation of paper, awarded as 2015 best a few hours earlier. “Operation Sting: A Collaborative Heist” designed as 20 to 30 minutes of icebreaking, good for teams who have not previously met together face-to-face. Measures included speech turns and floor holding, laughter and pauses in subsequent meetings, compared with control groups. (IBM Centre for Advanced Studies, CASCON, Markham) 20151102
CASCON Day 2 plenary
CASCON Day 2 plenary: Plenary @IBMCAS #CASCON describes @SilverHookPower as @ibmiotf exemplar, by Jim Caldwell, in building and managing an IoT solution. The race team gets real-time intelligence, the fans get a better viewer experience, and officials can rapidly ensure the leading competitor has won within rules. James Caldwell presented in his role as Director, IBM Internet of Things, Continuous Engineering Solutions Development. (IBM Centre for Advanced Studies, Cascon, Markham, Ontario) 20151103
CASCON Day 3 plenary
CASCON Day 3 plenary: Bayesian analysis, says @EliotSiegel @IBMCAS #CASCON is better by machines than typical human judgement. Imaging provides more data than just the specific question that a doctor is hypothesising. Imaging and clinical data is high dimensional information. Regression methods are insufficient. (IBM Centre for Advanced Sides Studies, CASCON, Markham, Ontario) 20151104
Brick oven
Brick oven: Custom-made pizza in only a few minutes, when the fire is already hot. Friday afternoon at 3:30, bakery wasn’t busy, so a good destination for a casual business meeting. Strudel and cookies for dessert, could have brought fresh bread home. Chose location so that friend could beat traffic from city centre to the east end, he dropped me off for the westbound subway. (Calabria Bakery, Midland Avenue, Scarborough, Ontario) 20151106

Queen Saulter
Queen Saulter: Sparks fly from grinding rails, replacing streetcar tracks on short segment on Queen Street East. Scope seems to be limited within the block, but diversions reroute from Broadview to Coxwell up to Gerrard Street for 2 days. Rails were worn, and maintenance was scheduled separate from major construction at Queen and Leslie, not to slow that down. (Queen Street East at Saulter Street, Toronto, Ontario) 20151107
Skylight rainbow
Skylight rainbow: Low stress Monday pm departure to Europe, time to admire the small touches that humanise an airport terminal. From what perspective would we have to view a rainbow, to see the other side of the circle arc? (Pearson Airport Terminal 1 departures, Toronto, Ontario) 20151109
Lounge Istanbul
Lounge Istanbul: After passing the pool table and grand piano, found 2 more grand pianos downstairs, not to mention the golf driving simulator, slot car racing and video games. Chef stations for panini, breakfast eggs, crepes, pretzels, cakes. Multiple espresso stations with servers on both floors. Turks really know how to entertain. (Turkish Airlines Lounge Istanbul) 20151110
Technopolis City of Athens
Technopolis City of Athens: Illuminated red towers of former industrial gas works, now converted into exhibition space and industrial museum. Venues closed during late night walk. In the Gazi neighbourhood, many restaurants and event destinations closed for winter, customers still dining casually on a November Tuesday night after 9 p.m. (Technoopolis City of Athens, Gazi district, Greece) 20151110
Monastiraki: First ride on back of motorcycle, from Athens suburb Gerakas to city centre Monastiraki. Greek motorbike style is on dotted line between automobile lanes, where most drivers give enough space to squeeze through. A.L. lent me his helmet, and took a slower place than single passenger bikes. Wall poster speaks to mood on political situation in Greece: Open your eyes: Time to wake up: Enough is enough is enough is enough. More motorcycle tomorrow, there’s a general strike! (Monastiraki, Athens, Greece) 20151111
Numismatic Museum Café
Numismatic Museum Café: Relaxed jazz with Trevor-Cheimarios-Koromilas Trio in elegant cafe setting. Repertoire creatively covers familiar American standards usually performed without vocalist. General strike today closed metro, so crowds deterred from overwhelming the 8-table venue. Ride into town on motorcycle tonight to just north of Syntagma Square faced less traffic than yesterday. (Numismatic Museum Café, Athens, Greece) 20151112
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier: Changing of the guard at midnight in front of Parliament Buildings in Greece. A.L., who served in the military, thought that they were newbies, as their timing was not well coordinated. He confirmed with an observing officer, who said it was their third day. Walking the streets where riots were reported on the news 12 hours earlier, all is quiet, showing that demonstrators only perform when the camera is on. (Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Syntagma Square, Athens, Greece) 20151212
Panepistimio: Smashed glass of metro stop map was one of the few signs of the vandalism by anarchists reported on the day of the general strike in Greece. Walking around Syntagma Square, watched some cleaners removing graffiti from walls. The events concluded when news reporters filled their final reports for the day. At midnight, even protesters are in the bars, or taking a rest. (Panepistimio, Athens, Greece) 20151112

Cape Sounion
Cape Sounion: Ruins of the Temple of Poseidon, built circa 440 B.C. Southeast from Athens, A.L. first through eastern small towns, and then along the scenic coastal highway by the Aegean Sea to the end of the peninsula. Perfect day for sightseeing, 24 degrees and sunny, unusual for November. Only a few tourists visiting, so mostly a silent vista of the sea and islands, and time to decompress. (Temple of Poseidon, Cape Sounion, Greece) 20151113
Glyfada: Evening in the “Beverly Hills of Greece” with many modern buildings, upmarket shopping, expensive sport cars and teenagers hanging out in the playground speaking accented English. Southern suburb of Athens, reputed as one of wealthiest. Friends say this neighbourhood is less impacted by the economic downturn than the city centre districts previously visited. (Glyfada, Greece) 2015113
Monastiraki underground
Monastiraki underground: Archeological ruins of stone walls securing banks of River Eridanos, from 5th century B.C. Excavated under Monastiraki Square when the metro station as constructed in the late 1990s. Located above the level of trains, the site is visible through a glass ceiling in the square on ground level. (Monastiraki metro station, Athens, Greece) 20151114
Platia Anagenniseos
Platia Anagenniseos: Teenagers and skateboarders hanging out after 11 pm in a park in the Kaisariani suburb of Athens, just east of the Acropolis. Town was originally founded in 1922 as a refugee camp for Greeks driven out of Asia Minor. Just south of the University of Athens, the district has become a middle class neighbourhood. The park is ringed by restaurants and shops. (Platia Anagenniseos, Kaisariani, Greece) 20151114
King's Cross Station
King’s Cross Station: Train platform canopy. Missed 1:48 train to York, waiting for 4:47. Flight Athens- Heathrow was late, had to wait for medical emergency to deplane, and then immigration line for non-EU visitors was over an hour. Fortunately, had bought a ticket for any train today, so penalty is just waiting. Opportunity for soup in Chinese resto across the street. (King’s Cross Railway Station, London, England) 20151115
King's Cross Station
King’s Cross Station: Atrium ceiling support mesh extends down to ground floor. Illumination bounces light off celling, not much daylight coming in on cloudy London afternoon. Congestion at LHR slowed flight from Athens, medical emergency delayed deplaning, then more than an hour in innovation line. Foresaw fallback train, so stress of waiting is mitigated. (King’s Cross Railway Station, London, England) 20151115
University of Hull
University of Hull: Flowerbed shows hardy plants, as temperatures in decline in mid-November England. Having an unofficial visit to campus, as past weekend of cybernetics events has exhausted the local community. University buildings look pretty much the same as prior trips, although the people are changing. (Brynmor Jones Library, University of Hull, UK) 20151116
Hull University Union
Hull University Union: Of the 3 bars in the student union building, only one was open in early afternoon. Browsed through market on ground floor, bookstore upstairs. Strange that I’ve been to this campus many times over the past decade, and today is the first day I’ve had free time to wander around. (Hull University Union, University House, Hull, UK) 20151116
Hull U. Centre for Systems Studies
Hull U. Centre for Systems Studies: Allenna Leonard on “Stafford Beer’s Fifty Years of Applied Epistemology, or What Else Besides the VSM?” A casual talk, starting from the history of operational research. Audio and video recordings captured for online release later. (Hull University Centre for Systems Studies, Cottingham Road, Hull, UK) 20151117
Wolfson College
Wolfson College: Lecture by @ireneclng on “Creating New Markets in the Digital Economy. Contents included updates of 2013 book, plus “Payment is applause: markets and business models past, present and future” given at Wolfson@50 anniversary lecture on the previous date. (Wolfson College, Cambridge, England) 20151119
River Cam
River Cam: Punts to let by Bridge Street, with Magdalene College on the other wide of the water. Close to the Roman ford that was the northern entrance to Cambridge in the 8th century A.D. (Magdalene Bridge, Cambridge, England) 20151119
Sussex Street
Sussex Street: Pedestrian way dates back to medieval times, but was redesigned for mixed use buildings in the late 1920s. Linked bridge was added in 1991. (Sussex Street, Cambridge, England) 20151119
HAT Luncheon
HAT Luncheon: Welcomed by @ireneclng and Hub-of-All-Things team to demonstration of house retrofitted with sensors on Internet of Things. Data is continuously recorded and available privately to the homeowner and other potential market partners. Mixture of work and social is a privilege for senior university researchers who can choose to work with friends. Any movements within 20m of house are photographed. (HAT Central, Barton, England) 20151120
St. Pancras Station
St. Pancras Station: Christmas tree as tall cone of Disney plush toys, in one of the busier train stations in London. Ringed by retail shops, so maybe travellers aren’t too hurried to browse in windows. The date is not yet past American Thanksgiving, but in the UK, perhaps the previous biggest event is Halloween. (St. Pancras Station, London, England) 20151121
St Pancras Station
St. Pancras Station: Cornelia Parker (2015) Eclipse suspends a negative image of the Dent clock in front of the original. The perspective of dark and light faces changes as pedestrians walk around the station. (St. Pancras station, London, England) 20151121
Toronto Beaches boardwalk
Toronto Beaches boardwalk: Touring city, stopped by Leuty Lifeguard Station to look onto Lake Ontario. Blue sky in morning, ice pellets at midday, cloudy by afternoon. SHN brought hat, gloves and boots to dress for weather that is about the same as Finland. (Leuty Lifeguard Station, Toronto, Ontario) 20151122
York University
York University: Systems Thinking in Environmental Studies ENVS 4523 course, session on the Ecosystem Approach. Martin Bunch reviews early research project on water quality in the Cooum River in Chennai, India. Earlier, SHN spoke about AaltoMexico lab evolution over 3 years. I made some comments on master’s student presentations. Learning about different styles of pedagogy in different universities. (Environmental Studies building, York University, Toronto, Ontario) 20151123
Lazy Daisy's Café
Lazy Daisy’s Café: Exposed brick wall with artist’s painting gives a livingroom feel in cafe located in the neighbourhood better known for Indian restaurants. Venue chosen by a colleague for an informal exchange with a visitor. The discussion content was similar to the written documents and e-mails, but face-to-face meetings given a strong appreciation for opportunities for collaboration. (Lazy Daisy’s Café, Little India, Toronto, Ontario) 20151124
Satay House
Satay House: Intercept lunch on way from Toronto to Iowa. Usually would visit overnight, but short schedule made 12+ hour drive the plan. Neighbourhood has large choice of Asian restaurants, so when Viet resto was closed on Wednesday, AHI redirected is to Malaysian. (Satay House, Madison Heights, Michigan) 20151125
Fairfield, Iowa
Fairfield, Iowa: Traditional American Thanksgiving, at friend’s house in Iowa. Started meal earlier, at noon, relaxed leisurely pace. (Fairfield, Iowa) 20151126
Fairfield, Iowa
Fairfield, Iowa: Meeting at retreat can include remote colleague on video over the Internet, as our room is quiet. Outside, cows in the pen, horses in the barn. (Fairfield, Iowa) 20151127
Town Square
Town Square: Nativity scene in Central Park of Fairfield, Iowa, has space for extra characters. Non-American visitor freaked out by happy holiday music playing in the background. (Fairfield, Iowa) 20151128

Icicle lights above fireplace
Icicle lights above fireplace: Post-Thanksgiving decoration by child looking forward to next holiday season. Fireplace is more than decorative, warming up the house, logs added every three hours. We unplugged the Christmas tree set up at one side, as blinking lights are too much in the dim room. (Fairfield, Iowa) 20151129
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