No Stop – Even More World Cup Post-Match Analysis

These Are A Few Of Our Favourite Things

The whole world cup depicted as almost DNA type chromosomes

What could be better eh? A combination of top drawer infographic type instant fact visualisation and the entire World Cup. It’s as if someone else had been forced to spend their entire summer watching it alongside me only they had to take notes. Here the very quality Michael Deal has taken all the action from the 64 games and distilled it into a rather nice chart that you could fool people into thinking was something like the chromosomal DNA matrix of football. You can find it on the Umbro blog.

Now, based on my own recollections of the matches and a magnifying glass, I’m not so sure that statistics really tell you all that much about exactly how a match unfolded. I’m always wary of those ‘highlight stats’ like percentage of possession and shots, which never seem to tell the whole story, but these graphics are interesting in a couple of ways.

First, if they are to be believed, either my memory has gone completely and I am deliberately misremembering things, or someone, somewhere at Stato Central has got a very, very liberal definition of what a shot is. I don’t recall nearly that many shots in the matches I watched.

Second, and way more interesting, is the way you can see the balance of play going. Spain’s match with Switzerland is a great case in point. Spain, as masters of the passing it around the back to one another, seem to be represented with an almost solid block of green as they monopolise possession, while Switzerland appear either to never have had the ball or to be incapable of passing it to one another as great tracts of blank space show through their performance. Equally Engerland’s performances, which I recall being chock full of inept failed passes, appear to be full of possession.

I think that the problem with these stats is that there’s no qualitative side to them, a pass is a pass is a pass, whether it’s a short easy one played between two defenders meandering around at the back or a defence splitting goal creating pass that changes the game. It would be interesting to see if there was some way of both measuring the quality/effectiveness of a pass and depicting it. Then you really would have the basis for a cool visual interpretation of the game.

Some Cool Things I Did This Year – Videos

Minimal effort video using a toy camera, iMovie and Logic for the music.

Long Time Coming

So yeah, I had the birthday, which was very enjoyable thanks for asking.

The Roundhouse playing piana

The Roundhouse playing piana

We went off to see the David Byrne ‘Playing The Building’ installation at the Roundhouse during one of its ‘bring your own tambourine’ evenings, which had the potential for both awesome spectacle and truly painful knitted raffia music. The reality was a bit half and half. I felt a little let down by the installation. While it’s a great idea – a kind of artistic Einsteurzende Neubauten (go google them) without the full on destruction – I thought it veered too far in the direction of installation rather than an actual functional experience. You can see that the single piano-cadavered instrument sitting in the middle of the Roundhouse makes a fantastic image, stark, empty and a fusion of ancient and modern, but it would have been far more interesting to have more instruments controlling the sounds made by the building. Certainly more people would have been able to interact with it than were allowed for by the single piano and you’d have had a much more exciting, cacophonic experience.

It was, however, a genius idea to allow people to come in on certain evenings with their own instruments. Again, this could have been a recipe for disaster. Instead it was somehow incredibly touching and polite as bunches of people with guitars, tubas, those mouthy blow organ things that the guy in Gang of Four had, toy instruments and a variety of other wind and percussive things strolled around the space playing their own things, while trying not to overwhelm anyone else. And while it could have gone all Glastonbury porridge field, it somehow didn’t. Not my usual thing, but really good.

View from Arundel Castle

View from Arundel Castle

Meanwhile in my search for the perfect iPhone app, I’ve discovered two really sweet ones. The first is the carefully hidden tilt-shift filter in Photo FX (find it in Lens fx /depth of field). Tilt-shift being the effect that makes everything look like it’s a teeny weeny little model as exemplified by my favourite Monster Truck videos (see this post). While hardly perfect, it’s pretty good as you can see from these images. I would like to be able to alter the blur areas but that’s just being picky.

The other great app is iDrum Underworld. A bunch of Underworld tunes, including Cowgirl, Born Slippy and King of Snake, which you can mix up and use to create your own stuff. Really compelling and pretty addictive. As one review said, ‘This steals your life’.

I’ve also started to get back into running using my favourite social media site (or at least the one I’ve been most active on), Nike+. I’m using their now-working-pretty-well Coach facility, which has me doing very simple daily runs, although that will ramp up as the weeks progress. You can follow my attempts to get one leg in front of the other on Twitter.

Dawn of the apps

It’s all starting to come together. A few weeks ago I discovered a peculiar thing. I’ve always carried a small camera with me ever since the days of the original Cannon Ixus, more for a sense of ‘it’ll be there when I need it’ than any really coherent plan. I’ve worked my way up from film to digital to really proper 5 megapixel + digital. And the more digital and costless it’s become the more I’ve been using it. However, recently I’ve been leaving it at home and there it sits getting ever more lonely.
So what has brought about this change? Have I just stopped taking pictures or what? Obviously if you look at this blog or my Flickr photostream you’ll see I haven’t, so what is going on?
The fact is I’ve downgraded, or not so much downgraded as sidestepped. I’m still carrying a camera only instead of boasting super focusing and loads of manual control like the Ixus, it boasts pretty crap resolution but a host of fantastic add-ons. It is of course my iPhone. And the single most compelling reason for using it as my main camera is the ability it gives me to adapt, publish and share my pictures.
Using relatively inexpensive apps, like ColorSplash, Photogene, and Mobile Fotos, I can take pictures, colour correct them, crop them and play with them, then upload them immediately to my Flickr page. It’s a revelation.
Of course it would be doubly great if the camera in the iPhone wasn’t such a dog, but what really surprised me was that I found the immediacy offered by the iPhone/app/Flickr combination far outweighed the superiority of the Ixus images. Sure I’ll still use the Ixus for my big Hockneyesque collages, but for everything else the apps have it.

Creativity 102

This is the slideshow of the How To be Creative manifesto.
Sorry that there appears to be a really crap thing saying that you can print this that happens to obscure some of the bottom left hand side. So you’re probably better off looking at the full pdf on the Change This site.

Creativity 101

I’ve been getting interested in exactly what creativity is and what you can do to develop it within organisations. In particular, is creativity something that is just there innately, or can you nurture it so as to become more creative, both as an individual and an organisation. And, if so, what we can do to build and maintain spaces and environments that are most conducive to creativity.

The most thought provoking piece I’ve found so far is a How To Be Creative manifesto by Hugh MacLeod. This video is inspired by the core elements of the manifesto, but the whole thing is worth reading.