Saturday, 20 September 2014

A great day in Sheffield

Those of you who know me well will know that I'm very proud of both the City I live in, and the University at which I work. Today has been a wonderful day, celebrating both. So, a bit of a different blog post - what I did today, in pictures.

Started off up at the Student village where our new students are arriving, and we put on a great event to welcome them and their parents and families. The sun didn't actually shine, but it did stop raining, and the helpful staff even mind the students' suitcases so they don't have to carry them upstairs to get their keys.

 Our team were out in force helping students connect to our network, and with any other IT problem they might have. Here's them at the start, waiting for the students to arrive.

As we make our systems easier to use and more resilient, the less we have to deal with problems, and the more we can help them get the best out of our services.

After spending soe time at both villages, I walked into the City Centre, mainly to see what was going on with the Festival of the Mind.  Saw the pop up gardens:

and went into the Spiegel Tent to see the CiCS team who are handling all of the technical support, including the AV and filming the talks.

Then went to the Cathedral where there was another pop up garden

and I got a chance to see the remodelling of some of the interior, including a new lantern in the ceiling

I really went in to see the Loomery Scrolls which is an exhibition of drawings by the artist Chris Wallbank documenting life in the guillemot breeding colonies of Skomer Island, based on the research of our own Professor Tim Birkhead.

These were really stunning, and I was lucky enough to bump into the artist, and had a really interesting chat about how he'd done them.
 I took the opportunity to have a really good look round the cathedral, which is spectacular, and had a good look at the candlesticks in the crypt made by my neighbour and good friend, Keith Tyssen.

Then it was down to Castle House, which used to house the Co-Op, but the University has taken it over and transformed it as part of Festival of the Mind into an Artspace. There was a display from the National Fairground archive, including the greatest photobooth in the world, which of course we had to have a picture taken in - the Clown, the Ringmaster and the Bearded Lady!

There were some great art installations in the building - here's a couple:

As well as a demonstration of how hot we are, and how hot buildings are demonstrating heat loss and thermal energy

The building is a fantastic example of  1920's architecture, including a cantilevered spiral staircase

It was great to see it being used in this way - it lends itself to pop up shops and art installations - hope for the future?
After all of that walking it was time to meet some friends for a sit down and well earned drink, and then it was back to the Spiegel Tent for Man vs Machine  - a great show looking at whether fMRI scanning can get the same result in judging what we are thinking about as a mind reader. Without giving too much away, the answer is yes.

Very entertaining show from Dr Aneurin Kennerley from our Dept of Psychology and an exceptional mind reader/mentalist/magician called Looch. I loved him!

After that it was wine, pizza, home, more wine.

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