Category: ‘Uncategorized’

Dancing Queen

Since the pandemic turned our world inside out most of us have been sat for hours on end each day in front of a display (phone, tablet, laptop or PC) interacting with all manner of virtual... Read more →

Remote Working

It has been a full-on week of remote working since the university instructed us last week to do so because of the escalation of coronavirus. It feels like I have had more videoconferencing meetings than hot... Read more →

Standing Out

Much has been written about the power of a label to make the object it is attached to stand out. Popular techniques used include striking images, bright colours, ironic slogans and unusual designs. The trick is... Read more →

Amazon Go

I had the pleasure of visiting Amazon’s HQ in Seattle last week to give a talk on my research. I also got to experience Amazon Go – the new grocery store they have created which has... Read more →

Digital Faces

The other day, I accidentally touched a part of my address book on my phone screen and it started calling a friend on WhatsApp. I knew it was starting to connect by its distinct soft pulsing... Read more →

Smart AI

One of my PhD students has been investigating how environmental sensors can be situated in community gardens to provide new data about light levels. The motivation stems from wanting to help the volunteers who work in... Read more →

Game Changer

A couple of months ago when visiting Cape Town, a friend asked me to take a Fidget cube over for her son. I did not think anything of it at the time other than noticing it... Read more →

Face Age

I have been watching episodes of “Tonight at the London Palladium” on ITV for the last couple of weeks. My interest was whetted when seeing one of my former schoolmates, Bradley Walsh, hosting it. He is... Read more →

All-electric Car

Driving a fully electric car for the first time felt like being in an ultra turbo charged golf buggy. Well, the acceleration and deceleration part of driving. Instead of going vroom vroom when you put your... Read more →

Cashless Society

Every Thursday a bustling Farmer’s Market comes to our university campus. It is a feast for the eyes and nostrils. Giant pans of steaming paella, sizzling burgers and other culinary delights await the throngs of students... Read more →

Social Niceties

“You’re a jerk!” The words spat venomously from behind me. I looked behind, startled, and saw someone I knew from a while back. She continued: “Why didn’t you get in touch? You’re a jerk!” I replied,... Read more →

About Time

My dream fellowship has now officially ended. I’ve returned to Cape Town where it first started, two years ago. The original plan was to come back for a short time to reflect on what I have... Read more →

Remembering Others

How would you like to be remembered after you die? Most of us hope by our better qualities and achievements in life. Special people leave an enormous legacy because of what they have done on the... Read more →

Doing Good

Last summer London was awash with the feel good factor, fuelled by a sea of volunteers going out of their way to help tourists while jollying visitors to and from the Olympic Park. You couldn’t help... Read more →

Kind Acts

During the Olympics, London was full of people being smiley, friendly and kindly. Strangers talked to one other on the trains, in queues and while sitting at the same table, drinking, eating and being merry. The... Read more →

Left Behind

When I lived in Swansea, in my student days, I often heard it said that the city was the graveyard of ambition – wrongly or rightly attributed to Dylan Thomas, the great welsh poet who once... Read more →

Remembering Mike

It is 10 years since Mike’s sudden and unexpected death. A heart attack – completely out of the blue. It was a terrible shock and I remember vividly to this day, in slow motion, his last... Read more →