Archive for the ‘games’ Tag

The Northern Line Game

‘The Northern Line Game’ was one of three street games I played with my friends in my 20s. ‘Secret & Obvious’ involved sitting at a cafe table with Stuart and first saying what was obvious about any selected passer-by and then revealing a secret of theirs (perhaps derived from clues in their appearance, perhaps belying how they project themselves). ‘The Name Game’ involved sitting on some steps with Katherine, usually in The City, and guessing the names of passers-by i.e. formulating rather fanciful handles inspired by their appearance. ‘The Northern Line Game’ was also played with Katherine, a fellow Northern Line native with a similar sensibility, now moved on from the shadow of Edgware Castle to Aspen, Colorado. You get on the black line in town and travel out to the suburbs, guessing exactly where each person will get off. The distinction between say a Hendon Central and a Colindale is a fine one but she was masterful in her judgments. Here’s a first stab at mapping out who is where on the Northern line these days. If you can help refine or improve the station names please feel free to add your thoughts below and I’ll amend the map. Also if you can help with the southern stretch which is out of my range…

I’m Feeling Lucky – The Story 3

tom watson mp on the phone hacking scandal at The Story 2012

To Thine Own Self Be True (Tom Watson)

I was in Rottingdean the other day with the Enfants Terribles when we passed a small shop called Serendipity. I asked them whether they knew what it meant and I ended up explaining it in terms of the Google ‘I’m Feeling Lucky’ button (which I have to admit I’ve never quite got and always struck me as a bit of a lack of imagination on the part of the presser – it really isn’t difficult in the era of the Web to go on your own random or serendipitous journey).

The Wikipedia entry for Serendipity (which Google freakily informs me Aleks Krotoski shared on tumblr.com on 29 Apr 2011, Aleks having appeared at The Story #1 in February 2010) is one of its more charming entries:

Serendipity means a “happy accident” or “pleasant surprise”; specifically, the accident of finding something good or useful without looking for it. The word has been voted one of the ten English words hardest to translate in June 2004 by a British translation company. [prime wikispam] However, due to its sociological use, the word has been exported into many other languages. Julius H. Comroe once described serendipity as : to look for a needle in a haystack and get out of it with the farmer’s daughter.”

Meanwhile, over on the other side of Brighton… towards Hove/Portslade my former colleague at Channel 4, Matt Locke, was busy putting the finishing touches to his The Story conference, like the programme for the day which was etched into bars of dark chocolate. When Matt started this one day gathering in 2010 it was a labour of love alongside his day job at C4. I thoroughly enjoyed that first iteration and recorded 4 things I learned from it on Simple Pleasures part 4. It’s interesting looking back at that entry today: the first thing I learnt was:

1) The best conferences (like this one) have only two outputs – Inspiration and catalysing Connections between people.

The same held good for #2 last year featuring the likes of a controversial Adam Curtis, writer Graham Linehan and photographer Martin Parr. I think I was too indolent to write up last year’s.

Connections, inspiration and creativity are the meat and two veg of this blog and what the Web is wonderful at catalysing. Straight after exiting Conway Hall yesterday I met up with Karyn Reeves who was waiting just outside, a statistician from Perth, Australia who specialises in analysing mathematical patterns around AIDS infection. Karyn is only the second person I’ve met in real life through having made contact online. The first was Sandra, a street art aficionado from Jaffa. Karyn writes a lovely blog about vintage Penguin books, which she collects and reads weekly, and I came across her in the wake of reading an old Penguin I picked up at random in my local bookshop, Black Gull, about the trial of Roger Casement. By chance Casement’s defence lawyer, I read, had his chambers at 4 Raymond Buildings from where my best friend now operates. What a tangled Web we weave. So Karyn and I headed back from The Story 3 to Black Gull where she picked up a few more P-p-p-enguins.

Meanwhile back at the start of the day… Meg Pickard of The Guardian, with whom I got into a lively online discussion at one of the earlier two The Story s about where The Guardian should gather their user-generated photos of Antony Gormley’s One and Other  (which we were discussing here and he was explaining here), kicked off the proceedings with a quick update from The Ministry of Stories, the excellent local children’s literacy project based in a Monsters Supplies shop in Hoxton and championed by the likes of Nick Hornby. Part of the ticket price for The Story goes to the now thriving, volunteer-driven project. It’s great to see such a thing burgeoning in Hoxton – when I was a teenager my step-dad would drive me past there on the way to Petticoat Lane where I worked on the market stall outside his shop, he’d point past some grim Victorian estate and say ” ‘Oxton, arse-hole of the universe, never go there, son.” How it has come on over the years…

Next up was Matt Sheret of LastFM in discussion with producer Simon Thornton of Fat Boy Slim fame about telling stories through the album form. Simon was the fella behind the brilliant remix of Brimful of Asha (way better than the original) as well as the marvelous Turn On Tune In Cop Out by Freakpower. The whole debate about the patterns of music consumption in the Web/On Demand age and the relationship between albums and single tracks is a fascinating one still, and particularly for me at the moment as I’m working on a development to do with a classic album with Bob Geldof’s gang at Ten Alps and Universal Music, very much shaped around a carefully constructed sequence of 9 great songs which may or may not now be a thing of the past (I take Simon’s side, but I would wouldn’t I).

At this point Channel 4 wove back in in the form of artist Jeremy Deller, currently setting up his one-man show at the Hayward on the South Bank and the prime mover of Artangel’s The Battle of Orgreave, commissioned and funded by C4. He sees the ’84-’85 miners’ strike as a critical moment in British history (it gets  its own room in his soon-to-open retrospective) and that programme/artistic re-enactment as a way of “exhuming a corpse to give it a proper post-mortem”. He spoke about how everyone of our generation remembers where they were when the miners took on ‘The Iron Lady’ (in spite of the fact I’d voted for her [Streep not Thatch] Meryl Streep’s apology [in the Miltonian sense of explanation/justification] for the strange politics of that movie at the BAFTAs the other night is still bugging me)  – my other half was up in Ayrshire making her graduation film about the miners’ wives with a dodgy old University of Ulster camera, while I was visiting my oldest friend at Baliol where a furious debate about how to support the strike was erupting in their common room, featuring toffs in donkey jackets as well as more grown-up, committed people than me, who was still relying on the likes of Joe Strummer and Elvis Costello to give me some political insight). Deller’s still- image only presentation was one of the highlights of the day for me, centred on one iconic photograph of a miner father and his glam rock showbiz son.

Next up, blogger Liz Henry who told the fascinating story of A Gay Girl in Damascus, a murky tale of hoaxing and fictional blogging (an area I find fascinating as an emerging writing form and which formed a substantial part of the now traditional annual Story lunch with Tim Wright and Rob Bevan, the former in particular much interested in this territory [and the person who taught me the value of the image-only presentation when I helped host the launch of his outstanding In Search of Oldton project at Channel 4 HQ a few years ago]).  I learnt a lovely new word too ‘Sockpuppeting’ – to comment on your own blog both positively and negatively as a way of stimulating interest/activity. One of the interesting facts that emerged was that The Guardian published the initial story without establishing proper (off-line) sources based on people who had actually met the Gay Girl in question in real life (shades of Karyn above and Tom/Emily below).

Late on Thursday afternoon, the eve of The Story, I met for the first time Anthony Owen, Head of Magic (arguably the best job-title in the business) at Objective TV, home of Derren Brown. We were kicking off a project to do with consumerism. Lo and behold within 18 hours he’s up on stage before me doing a magic trick and explaining the role of narrative within that art/entertainment form. Particularly interesting for me as the youngest Enfant Terrible has recently become obsessed with performing magic, daily learning tricks off of YouTube and practising them with his chums over Skype (before posting them back on YouTube and Facebook). Anthony singled out the quality of encapsulating “something we’d love to have happen” (e.g. being psychic, becoming immortal, etc.) as the defining characteristic of a great trick – so sawing a woman in half only to reunite the two still living ends is a story about immortality which also has the key quality of being sum-upable in a sentence.

Coincidence and serendipity came to the fore again in the afternoon when Emily Bell, formerly of The Guardian online and now teaching at Columbia (who I first had the pleasure of hanging out with on the panel of judges she lead at The Guardian Student Journalism Awards a few years ago, in The Ivy so clearly a former era) interviewed Tom Watson MP about the phone-hacking scandal whilst: Meanwhile across town… in Wapping Rupert Murdoch was entering the newsroom of the Currant Bun and sticking two Aussie fingers up at the British establishment and public, who momentarily humiliated him last summer, by announcing the impending launch of The Sun on Sunday. The audience was riveted by the recounting of events from both the MP and Guardian perspectives, and the interview typified the rich and perfectly balanced mix of contributions making up the day’s programme. Watson predicted that there was a massive PC/Data hacking dimension to the scandal still to break.

Vying with Deller for highlight of the day was Scott Burnham. The last time I met Scott was in the back of a Nissan Cube in which he was filming me spouting on about why I love London. At this year’s The Story he spoke vibrantly about design in the city and urban play through a classic tale of 7 Coins, the last vestiges of a beautiful public art project in Amsterdam. He told of the construction of a Stefan Sagmeister piece made up of 250,000 one cent pieces and its subsequent thoughtless destruction by dumb cops who were trying to protect the raw cash (still held as evidence in the police station). His conclusion was that we’ll always have Paris… I mean, we’ll always have Amsterdam… he means, we always have the story if not the creation itself. He took the 7 coins, painted blue on one side, out of his pocket to show me and the Royal College of Art’s Bronac Ferran as we chatted outside the hall during the tea break.

Also up in contention as a highlight was artist Ellie Harrison, author of Confessions of a Recovering Data Collector. She started her work focused on gathering everyday data on her life or ‘life tracking’ at Nottingham Trent university art school and then later at  Glasgow School of Art (where our host Matt once studied). An early such work was ‘Eat 22′ in which she recorded everything she ate for a year  in 1,560 photos. At the start of her talk she positioned herself firmly as a Thatcher’s Child (a resonant link back to Deller’s earlier session) and was sporting a Bring Back British Rail T-shirt (a campaign she champions, also resonant as my aforementioned best-friend above worked on that Kafkaesque privitisation). So food and beyond, Ellie’s obsession and the thread through her work seems to be with Consumption – she spoke about her development with great humour and insight (including into her own compulsions). From ‘Eat 22′ she went on to record all her everyday actions in a spreadsheet, in turn converted to colour-coded graphs, which is when the addiction kicked in. I was sitting in a brainstorm at an indie production company a couple of weeks ago discussing mental health and happiness when a colleague I have know a long time revealed he’s been keeping a numerical record of his mood on a precise scale of 1 to 100 every day for well over a decade, with the last five years available likewise in Excel form. So art/fiction are no stranger than life.

Preloaded I have known since they were born, as I worked with founder Paul Canty, as well as Rob Bevan and Tim Wright, on a game called MindGym way back when. Paul’s colleague,  Phil Stuart, and writer Tom Chatfield talked us through the game of self-discovery, death and philosophy they made for Channel 4 Education – The End.  This rounded off a fine day, alongside Karen Lubbock and Jeremy Leslie on mags and Karen magazine in paricular, ‘a magazine made out of the ordinary’, and a lively turn from Danny O’Brien on josticks, hacking, anarchy and the universe. And where can you go from there…

Stefan Sagmeister installation 250,000 coins

Among these 250,000 are 7 coins with a story

It’s not (only) TV – Italian Documentary Screenings cross-platform workshop

The Medicine Men (and friend) on Channel 4

The Medicine Men (and friend) on Channel 4

Here are the references for the Cross-platform workshop at Trento:

My Commissions:

Osama Loves – a participative journey
Embarrassing Bodies – a popular health show
Empire’s Children – capturing people’s stories of the end of empire
Big Art Mob – documenting public art across the UK and beyond
Surgery Live – using Twitter to enhance live TV
Alone In The Wild – another experiment in using Twitter with TV
Landshare – linking people who want to grow their own food with space to grow it (derived from a factual format – River Cottage)
Sexperience – sex education through people’s first-hand experience
Adoption Experience – all about adoption from people’s direct experience
Picture This – a friendly place to improve your photography, integrated with an arts series
Medicine Chest – capturing people’s stories about traditional approaches to health

Other Channel 4 Commissions:

Bow Street Runner – a history game about the founding of the British police force
1066 – another history game about the Norman Conquest

MindGym

Hooked up the other day, after a dog’s age, with designmeister Jason Loader (who has just set up on his own as Yeah Love). We made MindGym together way back when – a game about creative thinking. Jason has been kind (and patient) enough over the weekend to dig out some of the old design assets from a moribund machine…

MindGym: The Changing Room

MindGym: The Changing Room

MindGym: The Pool of Ideas

MindGym: The Pool of Ideas

MindGym: The Pool of Ideas - Deep End

MindGym: The Pool of Ideas - Deep End

MindGym: The Think Tank

MindGym: The Think Tank

MindGym: The Games Room

MindGym: The Games Room

MindGym: Spy sim

MindGym: Spy sim

There are some more here

All these 3D environments were designed by Jason Loader (at a time when they typically took over 18 hours to render, so a bit on the frustrating side if you didn’t get it right first time).  MindGym was a concept I came up with at Melrose Film Productions in the wake of making a series of films about Creativity.  I nicked the title from Lenin or one of those Ruskies, who used the term with reference to chess. So Jason and I started work on it, then the pair of us hooked up with NoHo Digital to realise a bastard creation of great energy. Rob Bevan (now at XPT) did the interface design and programming, skilfully combining this kind of rich 3D with elegant 2D inspired by You Don’t Know Jack. His creative partner Tim Wright led the writing team – him, Ben Miller and me – it was a comic script with serious stuff underlying the gags. I couldn’t help chuckling recently when I heard someone refer to Rob & Tim as the Jagger & Richards of new media. Talking of which, Nigel Harris did the music and sound design – excellent audio was one of our explicit creative goals, again inspired by YDK Jack. And talking of Jack the lads, Paul Canty (now of Preloaded) and Mike Saunders (Kew Digital), who were just starting out, were also among the production team. The studio was infested with red ants (possibly flesh-eating), but it didn’t distract us from the task at hand…

Long Players

whats going on - marvin gaye After playing the 100 Greatest Songs of all time parlour game with my friend Doug Miller over Christmas (me in the North of London, him in the South of France) he came back with the 50 Greatest LPs of all time challenge (no compilations, only one record per artist/band). I failed miserably – couldn’t boil it down to less than 75. So here they are – the 75 best LPs ever (of course, I’ll be popping back from time to time to make the odd sneaky change):

Beauty Stab – ABC
The Stars We Are – Marc Almond
The Last Waltz – The Band
The White Album – The Beatles
Post – Bjork
Go Tell It on the Mountain – Blind Boys of Alabama
Plastic Letters – Blondie
Space Oddity – David Bowie
Love Bites – Buzzcocks
The Clash – The Clash
A Rush of Blood to the Head – Coldplay
* A Love Supreme – John Coltrane
Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me – The Cure
* Kind of Blue – Miles Davis
Don’t Stand Me Down – Dexy’s Midnight Runners
Hot August Night – Neil Diamond
The Doors – The Doors
Pink Moon – Nick Drake
Blood on the Tracks – Bob Dylan
Bill Evans – Conversations with Myself
Tiger in the Rain – Michael Franks
* Stay Human – Michael Franti & Spearhead
The Score – The Fugees
* What’s Going On – Marvin Gaye
Flesh – David Gray
Guys & Dolls movie ST
Are you experienced? – Jimi Hendrix
The Miseducation of – Lauryn Hill
Yarona – Abdullah Ibrahim trio
All Mod Cons – The Jam
Jesus Christ Superstar
Unknown Pleasures – Joy Division
On Song – Brian Kennedy
Led Zeppelin IV – Led Zeppelin
Imagine – John Lennon
Cinquieme As – MC Solaar
The Snake – Shane MacGowan & the Popes
Madness – Madness
Correct Use of Soap – Magazine
Exodus – Bob Marley & the Wailers
* Solid Air – John Martyn
New World Order – Curtis Mayfield
Monk’s Dream – Thelonius Monk quartet
A Night in San Francisco – Van Morrison
Blues and the Abstract Truth – Oliver Nelson
Throw Down Yours Arms – Sinead O’Connor
Meddle – Pink Floyd
Dummy – Portishead
Metal Box – Public Image Ltd (in the metal box)
O – Damien Rice
Some Girls – The Rolling Stones
Stranded – Roxy Music
Rumblefish OST (Stewart Copeland)
The Crack – The Ruts
Abraxas – Sanata
Gymnopedies – Eric Satie
Never Mind the Bollocks – The Sex Pistols
* Songs for Swinging Lovers – Frank Sinatra
The Scream – Siouxsie and the Banshees
Six Days in June
Easter – Patti Smith
The Specials – The Specials
The Rising – Bruce Springsteen
We’ll Never Turn Back – Mavis Staples
Tea for the Tillerman – Cat Stevens
Brilliant Trees – David Sylvian
Remain in the Light – Talking Heads
Sweet Baby James – James Taylor
Stan Tracey – Under Milk Wood
Joshua Tree – U2
Signing Off – UB40
Live in Leeds – The Who
Talking Book – Stevie Wonder
Harvest – Neil Young
*Road to Freedom – The Young Disciples

And in case you’ve ever lain awake at night wondering what the top 7 LPs of all time are in order, here you are:

1 Kind of Blue – Miles Davis
2 What’s Going On – Marvin Gaye
3 A Love Supreme – John Coltrane
4 Songs for Swinging Lovers – Frank Sinatra
5 Solid Air – John Martyn
6 Road to Freedom – The Young Disciples
7 Stay Human – Michael Franti & Spearhead

Doug’s top 50 is somewhat more sophisticated as befits an international man of mystery:
1. Mariano/Vant’hof/Catherine – Sleep My Love
2. Garbarek/Gismonti/Haden – Folk Songs
3. What’s Going On – Marvin Gaye
4. Songs in the Key of Life – Stevie Wonder
5. Beyond Skin – Nitin Sawhney
6. Soro – Salif Keita
7. Leftfield – Leftism
8. John Coltrane – A Love Supreme
9. Airto Moreira – Seeds on the Ground
10. Khomsa – Anouar Brahem
11. Santana – Caravanserai
12. Edu Lobo – Cantiga De Longe
13. Remain in Light – Talking Heads
14. Eastern Sounds – Yusef Lateeef
15. Devotional Songs – Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan
16. The Velvet Underground and Nico
17. Gabor Szabo & Bobby Womack – High Contrast
18. The Isley Brothers – 3+3
19. This Is My Country – The Impressions
20. Pharaoh Sanders – Journey To the One
21. Miles Davis – In a Silent Way
22. DJ Shadow Entroducing
23. Keith Jarrett – The Koln Concert
24. Sigur Ros – Takk
25. Let it Bleed – The Rolling Stones
26. Brian Eno/Harold Budd – The Plateau of Mirror
27. Dark Side of the Moon – Pink Floyd
28. Tabula Rasa – Arvo Part
29. Mothership Connection – Parliament
30. Lou Reed – Transformer
31. Led Zeppelin – 2
32. David Sylvian – Secrets of the Beehive
33. Free Will – Gil Scot Heron
34. David Crosby – If I Could Only Remember My Name
35. Spirit – 12 Dreams of Dr Sardonicus
36. Jdilla – Donuts
37. Five Leaves Left – Nick Drake
38. Clube De Esquina – Milton Nascimento
39. Sonny Rollins – Saxophone Colossus
40. Lonnie Liston Smith – Expansions
41. Anthony and the Johnsons – I am a Bird Now
42. TheInflated Tear – Rahsan Roland Kirk
43. Blue Camel – Rabih Abou-Khalil
44. What Colour is Love – Terry Callier
45. Fat Albert Rotunda – Herbie Hancock
46. Diamond Dogs – David Bowie
47. Assagai – Afrorock
48. Biosphere – Sub-Strata
49. Ein Deutche Requiem – Brahms (Simon Rattle)
50. The Nordic Quartet – Rypdal/Surman/Storaas.Krog

Feel free to join in…

TLAs

SPV

In the last few days, during the course of day-to-day work, I’ve come across a whole load of new TLAs – that is, Three Letter Acronyms – and I thought it might be high time to collect the whole set, so here are the beginnings of my A to Z of TLAs. Do feel free to teach me some more…

A – ASM = Assistant Stage Manager {courtesy of Moblogger OJ and the BBC} or AFP = Advertiser Funded Programming or ACL = Anterior Cruciate Ligament (which footballers damage just when they are most needed) {courtesy of Paul Chappel} or ATV = Automated Transfer Vehicle [launched by the ESA (= European Space Agency) in March 08 bound for the ISS (International Space Station)] or = Appointment to View {courtesy of Hideous Productions} or ADP = Automatic Data Processing or ASD = Autistic Spectrum Disorder {courtesy of Siren’s Cry} or AWS = Amazon Web Services (see 4iP) or API = Compulsory Advance Passenger Information for the Spanish authorities (required if you are flying from the UK, Republic of Ireland, Switzerland or Morocco to Spain) {courtesy of Ryanscrewthemforeverypennyair} + Application Programming Interface or AIG – American International Group or AET = After Extra Time (in sad rememberance of Carling Cup Final 1st March 09 in which Spurs lost on penalties AET) or ATM = Airtime Management (Channel 4) or AFM = American Film Market or ACR = A Certain Ratio (Factory Records band as seen in 24 Hour Party People)

B – BNC = Bayonet Nut Connector (“y’know, the locking connectors like what you use to join co-ax together”) {courtesy of Mat} or BFF = Best Friend Forever {courtesy of Lisa Devaney} or BOF = Beurre Oeufs Fromage [a blackmarketeer in wartime occupied France - read in Murder in the Marais by Carla Black] or BBC = Bucks Boarding Centre {sticker on the tube today 11.1.08} or BAA= British Animation Awards {4mations} or BRB = be right back or BTP = British Transport Police or BOA = British Olympics Association (to mark this first day of the 2008 Beijing Olympics 08/08/08 ) or BEA = British European Airways (BBC Radio 4 1968 Day-by-Day) or BoE = Bank of England (to mark the credit crunch meltdown) or BBW = big breasted woman or BYO = bring your own bottle or BIP = Brand Information Page (channel4.com jargon) or BOD = Brian O’Driscoll (in commemoration of Ireland-England 6 Nations international at Croke Park at which BOD scored a telling try and drop goal 28th Feb 09, watched at McKevitt’s in Carlingford) or BME = British Music Experience (launched 3.3.09 by Harvey Goldsmith at the old Millennium Dome) + Black and Minority Ethnic or BFC = Britain’s Forgotten Children, forthcoming season on Channel 4 starting 9.v.09 – not to be confused with BFG = Big Friendly Giant (Roald Dahl) {courtesy of Jodie Morris} or KFC = Kentucky Fried Chicken or BSG = Broadband Stakeholder Group (which I helped establish in 2000) or BSD = Bullshit Detector {courtesy of The Clash – and me} or BSL = British Sign Language {courtesy of OAD Alex Horstmann}

C – CTA = Call to action {courtesy of Adam Preloaded} or CSF = Comic Sans FTypingerror / Cerebro-Spinal Fluid {courtesy of Mobloggers Seaneeboy and Hildegard} or CPF= Close Personal Friend {Mojo – used with irony i.e. celebs/musos you don’t really know properly but pretend you do} or CPR = Courtesy Professionalism Respect {NYPD} or CDO = Collateralized Debt Obligations [what made Goldman Sachs even richer this year - i.e. dumping them] or CBT = Cognitive Behaviourial Therapy or Computer-based Training (so if you do an online course you could find yourself doing CBT CBT) or CSF = Cheltenham Science Festival (where we recently filmed Richard Dawkins speaking on Charles Darwin) or CPO = Chief Petty Officer or CPM = Cost Per Thousand or CIM = Come in Mouth or CPD = (Continuing Professional Development) + Compulsive Price Disclosure [as in 'Oh this top, £5 from Primark' or 'these shoes, £20 in the sale'] {courtesy of Technokitten, she’s outdone herself} or CDN = Content Delivery Network {courtesy of Mint Digital} + Cultural Diversity Network

D – DOG = Digital On-screen Graphic [those watermarky things on the corner of on-line video and digital tv channels] or DTO = Download to Own {courtesy of Gareth RDF} or DIC = Dubai International Capital [who want to dic about with Liverpool FC] / Death is Coming [medical term] or DSS = Dinosaur Space Service [Astrosaurs] or Dgl = Donegal {courtesy of Maura Logue of Ballyshannon} or D2T = Direct to Tribe ["marketingspeak - not 1 to 1, not 1 to many, but 1 to some"] {courtesy of Technokitten} or DCD = Digital Cinema Distribution {courtesy of UK Media Desk} or DRC = “(not so) Democratic Republic of Congo” {courtesy of Practical Psychologist} or DSA = Daily Supplementary Allowance or DPA = Data Protection Act or DFI = Different Fucking Idea (production crew codeword on TV shoots) {courtesy of Sarah Mulvey, Commissioning Editor, Documentaries, Channel 4} or DIY = Don’t Involve Yourself (Roy on The Archers 28Nov08 ) or DFP = Documentary Film Program (1/09 the Channel 4 BRITDOC Foundation and Sundance Film Festival announced a new partnership with the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program to take the innovative documentary pitching forum, the Good Pitch, on the road in North America) or DHC = Director of Hatcheries and Conditioning (Brave New World – Aldous Huxley)

E – EOF = End Of File {courtesy of Mat} or EDP = Education Projects {Pirate, heart of the Kafkaesque bureaucracy of Channel 4 commissioning} or EAB = Education Advisory Board {courtesy of Channel 4 Education – some lovely peeps involved} or ETB = Embarrassing Teen Bodies (coming Oct 08 ) or EPC – Elasto Plastic Concrete {courtesy of Practical Psychologist} or ECM = Editions of Contemporary Music + Every Child Matters or ECB = England & Wales Cricket Board (Wales doesn’t get its dubya) + European Central Bank

F – FRO = fuck right off (as in “I’m going to FRO now” rather than as a term of abuse – courtesy of Cowbite) or FFS = for fuck’s sake or FoI = Freedom of Information or FDR = Franklin Delano Roosevelt or FTW = For The Win (geeks, courtesy of Mike Butcher, TechCrunch) + Fuck The World (bikers) + Forever Two Wheels (motorcycle enthusiasts) or FSA = Football Supporters’ Assocation + Financial Services Authority

G – GSM = Global System for Mobile communications {courtesy of Alfie Dennen} or GEH = Gormley Event Horizon {courtesy of Billy Liar} or GCT = Grand Central Terminal {courtesy of Bronx Elf} or GIB = Government Investigation Bureau {Zac Power} or GTA = Greater Toronto Area {encountered by chance in the Facebook Group ‘Single Muslims looking for their Soulmate in the GTA’} or GOK = God Only Knows [commonly used on doctors' notes - from The Guardian: Medical Shorthand 8.2.08] or GBS = George Bernard Shaw or GFE = Girl Friend Experience or GBH = Grievous Bodily Harm + Godalming Borough Hall or GPF = Global Protection Force (Jack Stalwart books by Elizabeth Singer Hunt, current favourite of Enfant Terrible #2 – see GIB) or GSE = Grapefruit Seeds Extract {courtesy of Denise on Medicine Chest} or GYO = Grow Your Own (came across thanks to my Landshare project with River Cottage) or GBF = Gay Best Friend (“every girl’s gotta have one”) {courtesy of Kate Quilton}

H – HRD = Human Resource Development {courtesy of Practical Psychologist} or HEI = Higher Education Institution or HoF = House of Fraser (as in “I’m nipping out to HOF”) {courtesy of Alma Demirdzic & Lizzy Keene} or HLC = Hideous Lady’s Cardigan {Nationwide TV ad} or HFR = Horseferry Road or HON = Health on the Net {courtesy of MedicineChest Ltd} or HTH = hope that helps

I – ITB = Invitation to Bid {courtesy of the UN via Practical Psychologist} or ITT = Invitation to Tender {courtesy of Mike Flood Page of Illumina Digital} or ICT = (no, not the dull one but) Inverness Caledonian Thistle (the northerly football team) or IBS = Irritable Bowel Syndrome {Embarrassing Illnesses online, Maverick TV} or IOC = International Olympics Committee [to mark the Olympics hand-over 24.8.08 ] or IED = Improvised Explosive Device (heard in a recent news report about Afghanistan) or ICE = US Immigration & Customs Enforcement (The Visitor) or ITT = Initial Teacher Training or IMO = International Maritime Organisation + In My Opinion or ISA = Intelligent Speed Adaptation (mooted technology for limiting car speeds, in the news 12.08) or IRL = In Real Life {courtesy of Mike Butcher of Techcrunch} + Indy Racing League + Ireland or IoM = Isle of Man (George Best Airport, Belfast) or ICC = International Criminal Court (who yesterday 3.3.09 issued a warrant for the arrest of Omar al Bashir, President of Sudan who then withdrew the licences to operate of various NGOs in a new Waltz with Bashir) or ITF = Indie Training Fund (where I spoke on Multiplatform interactive media yesterday 3.3.09 at the invitation of MFP [Mike Flood Page of Illumina Digital] but unfortunately my taxi arrived at ITF = International Transport Federation, so a real life example of the dangers inherent in TLAs) or IFB = the Irish Film Board aka Bord Scannan na hÉireann or IOT = In Our Time (with Melvyn Bragg on BBC Radio 4)

J – JIT = Just in Time or JLC = Justin Lee Collins {courtesy of Top Gear} or JKG = John Kenneth Galbraith

K – KPS = Kosovo Police School {courtesy of Practical Psychologist} or KTN = Knowledge Transfer Network {courtesy of TSB courtesy of DTI} or KGB = Komitjet Gosudarstvjennoj Bjezopasnosti / Committee for State Security + Knowledge Generation Bureau (owners of 118 118)

L – LDM = Life Defining Moment {courtesy of Practical Psychologist from his new book} or LGR = London Greek Radio (coming to you live&direct from North Finchley) or LSD = Light Space and Drawers [from Skins, when Chris was learning the ropes as a trainee estate agent] or LBD = Little Black Dress or LOL = laugh out loud or LCT = Luxury Car Tuning {courtesy of spam} or LTS = Long Term Solution {courtesy of Daily Networker} or LCC = London Cats Club, a Flickr group I just noticed with one member (go on, help her out) or LHC = Large Hadron Collider [8 Sep 08 to mark the start of a grand experiment] or LFB = London Fire Brigade or LHR = London Heathrow or LBV = Late Bottled Vintage (port)

M – MPU = Mid Page Unit [i knew what they were - flat ad spaces within the editorial content of websites - but had never heard what it stood for] or MSM = Mainstream (offline) Media or MDC = Movement for Democratic Change [who probably should be running Zimbabwe at this point] and Milk Development Council or MPT = Movement Poise Thrill {courtesy of Body Data Space} or MTS = Medium Term Solution {courtesy of Daily Networker} or MAV = Mothers Against Violence as featured in Secret Millionaire (series 3 episode 1 5/8/08 ) or MAC = Motorised Ambulance Convoy [Christopher Landon: Ice Cold in Alex] or MJQ = Modern Jazz Quartet (inspired by listening to Joe Locke {courtesy of Tom Marcello}) or MHQ = Mission Head Quarters {courtesy of Practical Psychologist, just back from a stint with the UN) or MAP = Membership Action Plan (what Georgia & Ukraine need to get into NATO 12.08 ) or MLF = Martha Lane Fox (Channel 4 Non-Exec, fellow member of the C4 EAB = Education Advisory Board) or MTP = My Tiny Plot (which I came across while working on Medicine Chest) or MVP = Most Valuable Player – from NBA via CNN (Lebron James is 08-09 MVP)

N – NTK = No to Knives {courtesy of Royal Armouries} or Need to Know {courtesy of Dave Green} or NGA = Next Generation Access {Broadband Stakeholders’ Group} or NCA = News and Current Affairs {courtesy of Jon Rowlands, Renegade Pictures} or NQR = Not Quite Right [commonly used on doctors' notes - from The Guardian: Medical Shorthand 8.2.08] or NFI – no fucking idea or NSU – Non-Specific Urethritis (” ’the clap’ to you and me” – courtesy of Practical Psychologist) or NID = Naval Intelligence Division (For Your Eyes Only James Bond exhibition at the Imperial War Museum 1.6.08 ) or NCT = National Car Test, the Irish MOT + National Childbirth Trust or NFI – No Fucking Invite {courtesy of Ed Baker at the video dictionary Wordia} (“when you don’t get invited to a party/gig – and all your friends have been invited” – ‘I’ve been NFI’d’) or NED = Non-Executive Director {courtesy of Martha Lane Fox} + unruly layabout youth (Scottish, most likely derived from acronym for ‘non-educated delinquent’ according to The Septic’s Companion)

O – ORT = Oxford Reading Tree {courtesy of Mr O’Shannessy, Our Lady of Muswell School AKA OLM) or OMG = Oh my god! or OBL = Osama Bin Laden (the Osama but not an Osama) or OSS = Office of Strategic Services [formerly COI = Central Office of Information, at the time of FDR - Philip Kerr: Hitler's Peace] or ODC = Ordinary Decent Crime (as opposed to terrorism – Radio 4 Today 27/9/08 ) or OWO = Oral Without Condom or ONS = Office for National Statistics to be found at NSO = National Statistics Online (overseen by UKSA)

P – PPC = Pay per Click [I heard it used by a marketeer this afternoon to mean paid for search on web search engines - when I asked, it took her a good few seconds to remember what the letters actually stood for] or PFJ = People’s Front of Judaea {courtesy of Practical Psychologist} or PWD = Public Works Department {courtesy of Empire’s Children} or PSP = Public Service Publisher (if you’re Ofcom, and something more straightforward that fits in your pocket if you’re an everyday mortal) and Personal Support Plan (if you’re a teacher) or PQQ = Pre-qualification Questionnaire {courtesy of Mike Flood Page of Illumina Digital} or PVT = Public Value Test {BBC} or PDI = previous disco injury ["occurs in persons over 40" - courtesy of Maura Logue] or PDA = Public Display of Affection or PDW = Programme Data Warehouse (Channel 4 IS) or PMQs = Prime Minister’s Question Time or PWL = Percy Wyndham Lewis (exhibition at the NPG [National Portrait Gallery] 7.09 ) or PCA = the Professional Cricketers’ Association (trade union for the men in white) or PSG = Paris Saint-Germain (in Il y a longtemps que je t’aime) or PWI = Possession with Intent (to supply) (Richard Price’s novel Samaritan) or PHF = Paul Hamlyn Foundation (who I visited recently to explore synergies) or PAD = People’s Alliance for Democracy (Thai “yellow shirt” movement, whose leader was shot yesterday 16.4.09) – not to be confused with Pad Thai = Thai-style fried noodles or PLP = Parliamentary Labour Party

Q – QVC – see TSV or QoS = Quantum of Solace or Question of Sport (Simon Mayo & Mark Kermode’s film reviews on BBC Radio 5)

R – RSM = Resident Sergeant Major {courtesy of Practical Psychologist} or RFP = Request for Proposals {courtesy of Alfred in Prague} or RSA = Regional Screen Agency + Royal Society for the Arts + Ridley Scott Associates) or RFO = Regularly Funded Organisations {courtesy of the Arts Council via Mike Smith of Carbon Media} or RMU = Retail Merchandising Unit {Make Your Mark in the Mall} or RMC = Ready Mix Concrete {courtesy of Practical Psychologist} or RAF = Rapid Action Force (the men in blue protecting the India vs England cricket test match 12.08) or RPG = Rocket-propelled Grenade {courtesy of the outstanding Waltz with Bashir} + Role-Playing Game or RBS – Royal Bank of Scotland AKA Right British Swindle/Scandal or ROG – Ronan O’Gara {courtesy of Practical Psychologist} or ROA = Rave on Air (annual event at Ravensbourne College on whose Broadcast Advisory Board I sit) or RPS = Rock Paper Scissors – check out my new game

S – SWA = Site Wide Applications, after first 4 years of development became WCL {courtesy Channel 4 New Media} or SNS = Social Network Service/Site {courtesy of Matt Locke} or SPV = Special Purpose Vehicle – meaning a not-for-profit organisation {courtesy of Caroline Norbury of South-West Screen} or SPV = Spectrum Pursuit Vehicle {Captain Scarlet} or SIV = Special Investment Vehicle {mentioned on Radio 4 by Niall Ferguson, Harvard Professor of History and presenter of the Channel 4 series Empire} or SSO = Single Sign On {BBC – courtesy of Azka Malik} or SSI = Single Sign In {Channel 4 – courtesy of Azka Malik} or SPD = Space Patrol Delta {courtesy of Finlay Gee, age 5} or SLT = Science Lecture Theatre {unearthed by renowned archaeologist Nick Golson} or SIV = Simian Immunodeficiency Virus {courtesy of Chris & Xand van Tulleken, the Medicine Men} or SDM = Sustainable Defence Mechanism {courtesy of Practical Psychologist from UNFCCC, the UN Climate Change agency} or SID = Sound Inner Dialogue {courtesy of Practical Psychologist and his Assertiveness training know-how} or Seismic Intruder Device {courtesy of Sebasian Faulks writing as Ian Fleming in Devil May Care aka DMC} or SOE = Special Operations Executive {courtesy of Les Femmes de l’Ombre/Female Agents} or Society of Operations Engineers [professional engineering membership organisation promoting career development in road transport, plant engineering or engineer surveying, and light on gorgeous French actresses] or STS = Short Term Solution {courtesy of Daily Networker} or SFT = Students for a Free Tibet (who unfurled banners near the Olympic stadium in Beijing today 6.8.08 ) or SRE = Sex and Relationship Education or SJP = Sarah Jessica Parker or SFO = Serious Fraud Office (which today decided not to investigate TV phone-in scandals at the BBC and ITV) or SRE = Sex and Relationships Education (much in the news in the wake of Sexperience X.09 ) or SOW = Scheme of Work or SHH = Special Half Hour (Richard Bacon show on BBC Radio 5, refers to 12.30-01.00) or SOP = Standard Operating Procedure (Billy Boyle by James Benn) or SDP = Social, Domestic and Pleasure only (car insurance jargon) + Social Democratic Party, Society of Decorative Painters, Session Description Protocol.

T – TDC = Thinly Disguised Contempt {courtesy of Technokitten} or TML = Trans Manche Link {courtesy of Practical Psychologist} or TLC = (no, not what you think) Taxi and Limousine Commission {New York City} or TSB = Technology Strategy Board {offspring of another TLA, the DTI, which is now an FLA} or TLD = Top Level Domain or or TLR = Two-legged Rat [commonly used on doctors' notes to indicate experimental/extreme treatment - from The Guardian: Medical Shorthand 8.2.08] or TSE = Testicular Self-examination (thanks for the leaflet Una, TS Eliot must be turning in his grave) or TBH = To be honest {courtesy of Cowbite – “less pompous than imho” ihho} or TPT = Tara Palmer-Tomkinson [how many people are TLAs?] or TBL = Tim Berners Lee {courtesy of Stuart Cosgrove} or TBI = Traumatic Brain Injury {courtesy of Gary Trudeau as he addresses the issue of Iraq} or TLA = Three Letter Acronym and Teacher Learning Academy and Thomas Lord Audley school, Essex or TSV = Today’s Special Value as seen on QVC {courtesy of LJ Rich via Technokitten} or TBS = Talk Between Ships {Philip Kerr: Hitler’s Peace} or TMI = Too Much Information or TAC = The Archaeology Channel or TST = Traveller Support Team {courtesy of Siren’s Cry} or THR = The Hollywood Reporter {courtesy of THR spam} or TMO – Test Match Official {courtesy of Practical Psychologist} or TCG = Tir Chonaill Gaels (GAA Gaelic football club in London)

U – UNV = United Nations Volunteers {courtesy of Practical Psychologist} or URL = Uniform Resource Locator [not a directory of army tailors but the most oft used TLA of which no-one cares about the long form] or UBI = Unexplained Beer Injury [commonly used on doctors' notes - from The Guardian: Medical Shorthand 8.2.08] or UUC – University of Ulster at Coleraine {courtesy of alumnus Practical Psychologist} or UKA = UK Athletics

V – VFM = Value for Money {courtesy of Paul Deane at Aardman} or VTT = Velo Tout Terrain [learnt in Ondres, Les Landes]

W – WCL = Web Component Library {courtesy Channel 4 New Media} or WRL = Work-related Learning {Skillset} or WTC = World Trade Centre {as in Man on Wire} or WTF = What the fuck! or WFH = Working from Home {courtesy of Louby} or WFK = Who fucking knows? {courtesy of Louby – “I made it up just for you.”}

X – XRF = X-ray florescence {courtesy of Practical Psychologist}

Y – YSL = Yves Saint Laurent (until something more useful comes along) or YIF = yours in friendship “and is used to sign off emails in groups like Ladies Circle and Girlguiding UK” {courtesy of Technokitten} or YMO = Yellow Magic Orchestra {courtesy of Practical Psychologist} or YBA = Young British Artist(s) like Marc Quinn

Z – ZPL = Zero-error Probabilistic Logarithmic space {courtesy of Mat} (not too useful in my world but I think with Z it’s probably a case of beggars can’t be choosers) or ZTT = Zang Tumb Tuum {courtesy of Technokitten}

So the plan is to add to this list as I come across the little darlings.

Update 4.xii.07: As these little fellas (TLFs) multiply I’ve decided to give a bold award to the ones I most like

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