Category Archives: Whimsy

Your Visual DNA quiz

I’ve just had a bit of fun with this quiz and thought I’d share it.  you click on photos that appeal to you according to the questions and it comes up with a fun personality quiz.  here’s mine…


Wish I was a High Time Roller though – now where’s that champagne!…

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Full Circle for Technology

What goes around, comes around doesn’t it?  and now I’ve been pointed to something that proves that old meets new in Technology too.

Ian, my skiing buddy, who writes a blog about MOM, pointed me to Geeky girl, who now writes a blog called Electric bunnies, who blogged about Stripes (click the image for the link) which is an illusion (I love illusions) using modern technology which has exactly the same effect as really old technology in the film industry called the Zoetrope

image And with our latest device, Surface being able to play pong too, you’ll see what I mean about everything going full circle…

and round again…

A brain of 2 halves

Woah.  What a video!

I’m catching up on my RSS feeds, email and admin as all of my team are out of the office and there’s a lot less for me to do this week as a people manager.  So I’m reading all of the links I’ve stored in OneNote and just generally slowing down after the madness of the last 2 weeks – giving my brain a rest.

So I was amazed to watch this video this morning, where Jill Bolte Taylor, a Brain scientist talks about the day she had a stroke and her unique ability to watch what was happening inside her brain.  It’s also interesting where she shows just how separate the 2 halves of our brain are, and compares one half to parallel processing and the other half to serial processing. I know that some of you are interested in this right brain left brain stuff as you all mailed me with advice when I was tormented by that annoying dancing woman the other month

Nod to Steven for pointing me to this video

Compelling stuff and well worth listening to the end.  Not for the squeamish though – that’s a real brain she’s holding in her hands and you can see both halves really easily…

Vote for me (or perhaps not…)

I was really delighted to see that both Steve and Andrew had been shortlisted for the Computer Weekly blog awards and also really pleased that I’d made the list too.  To see 3 of us from 5 in our team make the shortlist is an amazing achievement that I can feel really proud of as a team manager.    I did originally  put the “vote for me” button on the side of my blog, but I felt so uncomfortable with the button being there that I’ve now taken it off.

It feels really weird, my job as an evangelist means that I should be going out and hustling for votes but it just doesn’t feel right somehow.  Am I Astroturfing by doing this?  Is this the start of the slippery slope for me?

And even by blogging about this, am I doing this too? There’s a lot of discussion about this by the bloggers over here with wildly differing opinions.  Oh heck.

Anyway, Good luck to David, Giorgio, Jason, Jerry, John, Mike, Ray,  and Steve – it’s nice to see so many Microsoft names in there and nice to see that our “Blog smart” blogging policy enables us to share all of the great and amazing stuff that we get to work with here.

So go and vote for someone….

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The power of your words

Have you ever snapped at someone because you were busy? stressed?  on a deadline? Have you ever teased someone, had a laugh, shared a joke?

Been bitingly acerbic?  Witty? funny? cutting?

I know I have.

But after seeing this video, I’ll think much more carefully before I make that sarcastic jokey comment in future. 

I was moved to tears to see the biggest bully in the room be forgiven by his classmate and to see the group dynamics change.

I wish so much I could show this to the people that intimidate and bully me from time to time – in the hope that they’ll see the power of their words can have on others…

Right Brain or Left Brain illusion

My mother showed me something which has been driving me totally mad since yesterday.


(Click on the icon for the web page with the animated version)

It’s an illusion which apparently tests whether you’re using your right brain or your left brain.  I’ve stared at this image of the dancing girl for far too long, and to me, she’s only going round in one direction.

So I asked James, who definitely uses a different side of his brain to me and he can only see her moving in one direction only too – the same way as me.

But both my Mum and my Dad, see her stop and change direction, Dad by breathing deeply, Mum by concentrating. Me?  Nothing at all.  She steadfastly goes in the same direction – round and round, round and round. 

So please please let me know – can you see her moving anticlockwise at all?  Can anyone see her moving in both directions.  It’s driving me mad!

Or is this moving both directions something only the over 60′s can see?….

USB Wine for the holidays

Well its fairly obvious that everyone is winding down for Christmas  as I’m starting to get some really daft things sent to me by mail.  I’ve been sent loads of emails from my friends and family who have turned themselves into elves with Elf Yourself, and today I was sent a video from You Tube with this wonderful new USB device.  I want one!



But beware of the warning in one of the comments:

Don’t buy this product just yet! The wine download rate is very slow.
There is a new mobile phone coming to the market very soon, that includes a built in high speed broadband beverage tap, the download rate leaves this product for dead. The phone includes FREE wine sampling and a built in breath analyser so you never need to drink drive again

but now, sitting at my PC with a glass of mulled wine in my hand, I think that its a damn good idea actually. – and a totally brilliant marketing campaign…


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Microsoft Executives and a pair of high heels…

I spent the morning with Gordon Frazer at our company All hands meeting which we hold every quarter.  We all get together, Gordon is MC and the executives all have a session to talk about progress and innovation so far this year.  I’d been asked to talk about Web 2.0 and how our internal communications have moved from their current delivery mechanism to a Windows Gadget for your Vista Sidebar.  A huge honour to be asked – especially for this opportunity to present to all of my peers.  My peers?  Aargh!

As an evangelist, I’m not fazed by talking to big crowds, not worried about talking about something outside of my comfort area, but sitting amongst most of the Microsoft UK executive team was initially a terrifying thought.  Why was I scared?  Heck, our exec team in the UK are the most approachable set of people I’ve ever met, all of them will stop and say hello in the corridor, have a chat, will respond to mails, Instant Messages, and are always helpful.

So I spent all morning in hell of a panic, not really understanding why until it was time for my segment.  I stood up – and realised why.

high-heels.jpgAlong the whole row of executives, I was easily the shortest.  By about 30cms (1ft).  Even the women on the exec team in the UK are incredibly tall.

Thank god for my high heels, they gave me confidence alongside the tall guys and helped me see over the table for my demo.  Subconsciously I must have known this when I was getting ready for work this morning and chose my favourite killer heels.

But what a different feeling after my session today.  Instead of feeling elated and excited, rushed with the adrenaline, all I could think of was taking my shoes off and going back to my loafers.

And going back to being short…