Interesting 2009 – forty even more interesting things

As is becoming traditional (2007, 2008), I’ve made a very brief list of what happened at this year’s Interesting

Interesting 2009 Interesting 2009 Bubblino at Interesting 2009 Interesting 2009 Interesting 2009 Hello, Interesting 2009

  1. Tom Loosemore on the race to sail faster than 50 knots.
  2. Jessica Greenwood on why the least interesting things about sport is the score (football, with all its attendant drama, is a $500B industry).
  3. Robert Brook spoke on being a gentleman (by birth, costume or behaviour).
  4. Toby Barnes on a brief history of cheating in video-games (cheating, when it involves other people, is wrong).
  5. Leila Johnston read some snippets from her very funny book, ‘The Enemy of Chaos
  6. Cait Hurley talked about Arthur Jefferson (Stan Laurel’s dad and an awesome guy).
  7. Alby Reid told us that everything we knew about nuclear power was wrong (How many people died as a result of Chernobyl? 56.)
  8. Katy Lindemann enthused about robots (Tweenbots are especially adorable).
  9. The very cute Bubblino made an appearance on stage (blowing bubbles across the stage every time ‘interesting’ was mentioned on twitter).
  10. Dominic Tinley explained why we don’t see the colour violet on our computers and cameras, as well as what Radio 4 would look like if we could see sound.
  11. Andy Huntington took us on a tour of keyboard instruments and explained ‘equal temperament’.
  12. Alice Taylor talked about ‘merchants vs craftants’ (give some love back to the crafters).
  13. Tim Duckett kindly taught us morse code in 10 minutes. For example: Z = Zinc Zoo kee-per– – . .
  14. Michal Migurski talked about maps and paper and a much-photocopied intersection map of San Francisco (paper wiki).
  15. Josie Fraser talked about psychological violence in UK 1970s and 80s girls comics (‘it can be dangerous to mock a monkey’).
  16. Dan Maier talked about Sir Francis Galton (I now really want to read Galton’s book ‘The Art of Travel‘, and to a lesser extent his thoughts on ‘Africa for the Chinese’ (“one of the 5 most racist things I’ve ever read”, according to Dan) and ‘Arithmetic by Smell‘).
  17. Asi Sharabi showed us 6-8 year old children’s ideas of interestingness (which centered around technology, friends, motors and animals).
  18. Meg Pickard taught us about drinking rituals and associated customs (toast, cheers, your good health, chin chin, rule of thumb).
  19. Alex Deschamps-Sonsino got us to make a very complicated origami box.
  20. Tuur Van Balen talked about yoghurt and DNA synthesis (“I’ve never done bio-technology under such time pressure!”)
  21. Jon Gisby taught us how to conduct a symphony orchestra (“It’s like riding a horse at speed; fun, but with a significant risk of abject and public failure”).
  22. Jessica Bigarel discussed, and beautifully presented, her meta meta data data (capturing each flight of stairs travelled up or down was “an arduous dataset and it was very disruptive to my life”).
  23. Craig Smith talked about his dad (“he sharpens a drill bit better than any man in Huddersfield”) and showed us the types of water wheels (under shot, breast shot, over shot and pitch back).
  24. Tom Fishburne talked about innovation and cartoons.
  25. Anab Jain talked about her Indian superpowers.
  26. Naomi Alderman talked about greek tragedy and goats.
  27. Gavin Bell talked about the writing of his new ‘Social Web Applications’ book (wifi is a blessing and a curse).
  28. Emma Marsland shared the ponies she has loved, real and imagined, from since 1970
  29. Nick Hand shared his ongoing journey around the coast of mainland Britain (5000 miles in 100 days).
  30. We heard about the ‘BIL‘ unconference in Oxford next summer (BIL is to TED as Bar camp is to Foo camp).
  31. Mark Earls and his Darwinian Display Team demonstrated random drift.
  32. Robert Thomas demonstrated RjDj (‘Music as Software’).
  33. Gem Spear talked about electric trains and underground creeks (GM’s inglorious part in killing off the inter-urban railway systems in the US, and a rather nice discussion of running surface runoff water through gardens rather then through underground culverts).
  34. Paul Hammond showed us how to win at Monopoly (if you can buy it, buy it; trade up to a full colour group asap; go for the oranges (stats!); unless it’s early in the game, stay in jail; create a housing shortage; don’t play house rules, as they’ll only make the game take too long; don’t play it at all, it’s a rubbish game. Instead, play German board games, which are not all German and not all board games).
  35. David Smith gave a touching and powerful talk about teaching (you can’t teach children well unless you love children).
  36. Richard Reynolds mentioned his Guerilla Gardening book and told a lovely story about planting sunflowers opposite Parliament.
  37. We watched Jim Le Fevre‘s beautiful astrotagging film.
  38. Claire Margetts told us about the ‘Do’ lectures.
  39. Matt Ward showed us why frivolity is important by showing his plans for watching a bullet reach the top of its trajectory (“Understanding comes through doing”).
  40. Dan Germain talked about sunsets (“basically, when the sun disappears”, by which time it has apparently already happened) and asked why we persist in taking bad photos of them, pondering whether it’s because they remind us of death).

Interesting 2009 Matt David Smith at Interesting 2009 Interesting 2009 Interesting 2009 Interesting 2009

Another great job from Russell. Three years in a row, Interesting continues to live up to its name.


RSS feed for comments on this post.

  1. 16 was Dan Maier –

    Good to see you and thanks for this handy post – a good memory-refresher in a day packed with interestingness.

    Comment by Meg — September 13, 2009 #

  2. Thanks Meg.

    Comment by Roo — September 13, 2009 #

  3. Mark Earls –


    Gem Spear (I was told by Russell, and this is how she appeared on the running order, but I assumed the spelling and I don’t know where she lives on the web)

    Comment by Lloyd Davis — September 13, 2009 #

  4. Thanks Lloyd. I wondered if it could be Spier but Russell confirms that it is indeed spelled Spear.

    Comment by Roo — September 13, 2009 #

  5. Thank you so much for the sum up and links to all the speakers, was a brilliant day!

    Nice to briefly meet you in the morning as well.

    Comment by Willem van der Horst — September 13, 2009 #

  6. Fantastic day, am now determined to find out more about Francis Galton and have a new love of ponies. I will also be haunting the shabbier charity shops, looking for copies of 1970s and 80s girls comics, hoping to actually read what dreadful fate awaited the girl who mocked a monkey.
    Had I remembered to do an interesting drawing for Asi, it would have been a giraffe – does this mean I am 6-8 years old?

    Comment by Grumpygrandma — September 13, 2009 #

  7. […] Roo Reynolds has posted a great (and very thorough) round up of the day over on his blog, but for me the highlights of an Interesting are always the random facts, observations and insights you come away with, like: […]

    Pingback by insights from Interesting 2009 « (almost) always thinking — September 13, 2009 #

  8. […] weekend I attended Interesting, a series of talks organised by Russell Davies for the (mostly) marketing crowd about the […]

    Pingback by Nuclear Power at Interesting09 « ligress — September 14, 2009 #

  9. cheers!


    Comment by Asi — September 14, 2009 #

  10. […] Roo Reynolds has done a nice little write-up. […]

    Pingback by Paul Miller » Blog Archive » All conferences are basically rubbish — September 14, 2009 #

  11. […] I gave a brief history of the piano keyboard at Interesting09 on the 12th September along with many interesting people. […]

    Pingback by Andy Huntington Interaction & Sound » news — September 14, 2009 #

  12. […] Interesting 2009 – forty even more interesting things – Roo Reynolds – gutted that I wasn’t fast enough in getting a ticket this year. […]

    Pingback by renaissance chambara alias Ged Carroll - Links of the day — September 15, 2009 #

  13. […] music format that stands out above the rest”. The article appeared after our recent talk at Interesting 09, which featured the 350 strong audience all controlling the Doppelganger scene at once ! It was a […]

    Pingback by RjDj » Blog Archive » Kids on DSP on MTV sticky — September 16, 2009 #

  14. Hi Roo,

    I’ve been hearing about Interesting for the past couple of years, but never really knew what the content was like. So thanks for this round-up. Makes me want to go. More than I already did.

    Comment by David Airey — September 16, 2009 #

  15. David: cool. Do check out summaries of 2007 and 2008 for even more interesting things you missed in previous years. :-)

    Comment by Roo — September 16, 2009 #

  16. […] – from the very personal to the scientific, through the political, culinary, historic, crafty and EVERYTHING in […]

    Pingback by No Man’s Blog - Two comments on Interesting 09 — September 17, 2009 #

  17. […] Interesting 2009 – forty even more interesting things – Roo Reynolds – […]

    Pingback by Community-Chest » Bookmarks for septembre 15th from 10:11 to 10:25 — September 17, 2009 #

  18. Interesting2009 has caused me to do two very productive things this week:

    1. Convince a cat food brand they should have a PDF download of a paper cup that allows people to measure the amount of food they should dispense to their cats.
    2. Learn how to play the theme tune to Rainbow on the guitar.

    Comment by Mike — September 17, 2009 #

  19. […] If you are interested in learning more about who spoke about what interesting things, check out Roo’s Interesting wrap-up. Oh, and if you’d like to start your own personal data collection, start […]

    Pingback by what consumes me, bud caddell » jessicabigarel: I was delighted to speak at Interesting earlier… — October 1, 2009 #

  20. […] If you are interested in learning more about who spoke about what interesting things, check out Roo’s Interesting wrap-up. Oh, and if you’d like to start your own personal data collection, start here. […]

    Pingback by Planner Reads » Blog Archive » jessicabigarel: I was delighted to speak at Interesting earlier… — October 1, 2009 #

  21. […] to Worry Friends and Inconvenience People. Leila’s reading from Enemy of Chaos was one of the forty very interesting things that happened at Interesting 2009. If you were foolish enough to miss that, I hope you’ve at least read […]

    Pingback by ‘Enemy of Chaos’ walkthrough – Roo Reynolds — October 4, 2009 #

  22. […] Russell’s ‘incomplete list of interesting speakers‘ – Roo Reynolds’ traditional wrapup list – Daniel Weir’s delightful writeup That’s rather like being invited to play the […]

    Pingback by Robert Brook — Interesting Gentlemen — December 14, 2009 #

  23. […] It started with dConstruct and an excuse to spend a long weekend in Brighton, and continued with Interesting.   This was the third annual Interesting outing, with the difference that this time I was talking […]

    Pingback by adoption curve dot net » Blog Archive » That was the year that was — December 31, 2009 #

  24. […] I thought about the Interesting conference which I learned about after reading the fabulous Roo Reynold’s blogpost. I was so smitten by the context, and thought that was rather geeky of me. So of course? How do you […]

    Pingback by Girl Geek Dinner « Remember What The Dormouse Said — February 17, 2010 #

  25. […] Cool Owned images Filed Under: Owned by admin — 6 Comments January 13, 2011 Check out these Owned images: At your own risk Image by Meneer De Braker (Akbar2) chair by Ron Arad Interesting 2009 – To Thine Own Self Be True Image by Roo Reynolds Quick summary of what happened at Interesting 2009:… […]

    Pingback by Cool Owned images | Laugh Compilation — January 13, 2011 #

  26. […] years: 2007, 2008, 2009. June 19, 2011 | conferences, culture, fun, interesting | No […]

    Pingback by Interesting 2011 – Roo Reynolds — June 19, 2011 #

  27. […] those links up here. In the meantime, you can find reports on Interesting 2009 at these places: Roo Reynolds’ round-up Another round-up from Alby Reid Daniel Weir’s two-part (so far) round up): part 1, part 2 […]

    Pingback by my Interesting Saturday | mondo a-go-go — July 17, 2013 #

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Powered by WordPress with GimpStyle Theme design by Horacio Bella.
The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent my employer's positions, strategies or opinions.