Ali’s Mental Meanderings

wandering, not lost

Geek-i-odic Table of the Elements

Last night following the Sydney BarCamp 3 Unorganisers meeting I unveiled the ‘secret BarCamp project’ I’d been working on for the last few weeks. At an earlier meeting we were talking about the idea of having Mikons but they weren’t quite right for us. Instead I had the random idea to come up with a list of things that people can identify with and then just write a one or two letter ‘code’ for each thing on the bottom of your name tag. The others thought this was quite a novel idea and it was suggested maybe doing it in a table, which led to the suggestion that we modify a periodic table. Bingo! Since I had no other tasks I offered to take on this project with a fellow unorganiser, the lovely JodieM. The project took flight.

JodieM found a periodic table online and created a shared GoogleDoc that we could work from. Then as tends to happen she got busier and I got less busy. This resulted in most of the element ideas coming from my side and taking suggestions from others. It was easy to come up with the things that I could relate to but more than a few times I was concerned that I’d missed something glaringly obvious.  I ran my ideas past a few people during the development stages and was pretty happy with the spread I’d created. Hopefully not too much of some things and missing other. A moment of quiet humour led to me add ‘Ni’ for Monty Python and that has by far been the most commented on ‘element’.

The finalised table (for now)  is able to be viewed here.  It’s been licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-Share Alike 2.5 Australia License . I’d love to see it used in other BarCamps as I think it really does embody the whole BarCamp spirit and other geeky networking events. There are way more elements than space on the table which is no bad thing as it lets each group update the table and add the elements that mean the most to them. I’ve also deliberately left the space at the bottom blank. The element list is going to be printed up and put next to the table. On the day the bottom spaces can be filled in by Sydney BarCamp3 attendees with what they’d like to add.

I’m pretty excited that it’s been so well received. It’s also the first project that I’ve CC Licensed which is also exciting, for me at least. A couple of people have mentioned that it’d be a cool t-shirt idea. I think so too and may look into doing a run sometime. Keep an eye out here and on my twitter timeline for more details.

Thank-you to everybody for their feedback!


March 28, 2008 Posted by | creative commons | , , , , , | 9 Comments

White Rabbited

Catherine hit me with a White Rabbit so in the spirit of sharing I’m going to play along.

The rules:
1- Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
2 – People who are tagged need to write a post on their own blog (about their eight things) and post these rules.
3 – At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
4 – Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

8 Random Things:

  1. I enjoy problem solving, puzzles and challenges. I adore cryptic crosswords and sudoku in particular.
  2. My personality type is ESTJ which kind of explains a lot, but not everything.
  3. I was once proposed to.
  4. If given the choice between dark, milk or white, I’ll take dark chocolate every time.
  5. Tutoring is the most self-fulfilling job I’ve ever done and would do it again in a heartbeat.
  6. I made a resolution a couple of years ago to fly somewhere at least once every 12 months for as long as I can. So far so good.
  7. I’m something of a clutz and tend to drop things or trip often.
  8. I often knit while watching episodes or movies at home to occupy my hands. Not only is it the ultimate in stress reliever but I find it difficult to just sit and watch something, especially if I’m alone.

I’m tagging:
~ Lauren Watson
~ Monnie
~ Fiona Henderson
~ Michael Specht
~ Della Misner
~ Donna Brown
~ Tony Buttafuoco
~ Lauren Hewitt

March 18, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 2 Comments

Only a number

Something that has been discussed in various circles lately is age. While out with some colleagues on Friday night the topic arose and not for the first time has somebody been surprised that I’m 25. This person was actually agape, later explaining that they’d thought me to be closer to 21 and that I didn’t look 25 at all. On my birthday last year in a different workplace I had colleagues asking me if I’d finished high school the previous year. When I look in the mirror I don’t see an 18 or even a 21 year old. In conversation when the topic of age comes up, majority of people will guess I’m 23.

The point to the post is that I continually observe how age seems to be less important than your achievements, passions and outlooks. At a different event I was among a group where the exclamation of ‘I can’t believe you’re only 23’ was the response to a story about somebody and what they had done during recent years. Majority of my social and professional interactions involve people across a very diverse age group. My friends group age range exceeds 25 years between youngest and oldest. In recent years age seems to matter less when it comes to determining who you talk to and befriend, especially among technology people. What keeps us all so young? Our areas of passion are young and vibrant to many; do we tend to adopt those characteristics and to non-tech people appear much younger than our years?

What I’d like to find out is whether the age barrier breakdown is occuring amongst non-technology people. What about groups in other countries or even different parts of Australia? I think it’s great that I know and have built friendships with people of varying ages. Experience comes with age and develops into widsom. Sharing of wisdom is something that people can always benefit from.

March 9, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 2 Comments