Every generation has its defining toys and every child their own personal favourite. I’ve always been a bit of a tinkerer myself, and I spent many a happy hour playing with Brio and Meccano when I was a child. But the ultimate in construction toys was, and will always be, Lego.
Science and technology magazines aren’t popular reading for many five to 12-year-olds. I know I would have taken Beano or Sonic the Comic over New Scientist any day when I was that age. But, with a little help from Wallace and Gromit, Techno Quest bravely sought to get kids into science.
I joined Platform in October 2008 and have fulfilled a multitude of roles as a section editor and online editor during my three years on the editorial team. During that time, I organised and managed several contributors, helped plan and improve Platform’s online presence and have edited over 600 stories for the website.
The blink of an eye. That is how long it took me to cross the stage and shake the hand of the waiting school leader from NTU, according to friends and parents at today’s graduation ceremony. It didn’t feel anything like the “blink of an eye”, in fact it felt like an age, and the passing of an age I thought I might never see.
America doesn’t get Japan’s obsession with Monster Hunter and Europe still doesn’t get America’s reverence for Twisted Metal. According to Twisted Metal co-creator David Jaffe, it’s all because the series is “rough around the edges, it’s raw, it’s like a garage band. It’s dented, it’s busted up, it’s oil and diesel fuel. And to us in America, at least to Twisted Metal fans, it wears that as a badge of honour. We like that spirit.”
The oft outspoken game designer went on to say: “Your WipEout is our Twisted Metal.” However, I’m not so sure it’s as clear-cut as that. The series has long been built on its manic car combat gameplay, with vehicles that turn-on-a-dime and aggressive weaponry that will reduce your ride to a smoking chassis way before you get a chance to ram an attacking opponent. And these things are what make Twisted what it is. No, this isn’t solely a clash of culturally identities, this is a clash of culturally expectations.
Last October, Guardian Tech alerted me to a unique BBC project aimed to make positive change through digital innovation. BBC Backstage was formed in 2004 to encourage social innovation through the use of shared data and collaboration. Sadly, it was brought to my attention a little too late as it closed early this year. But fortunately its successes have been archived to help future inventors and digital producers.
Stories about new stuff, old stuff, lost stuff and found stuff…
Astronomy Now and forever
I’ve mentioned on occasion that becoming an astronaut and going into space were some of my childhood dreams, dreams that now seem destine to remain pure fantasy. But even if I never get the opportunity to venture into the heavens beyond Earth’s atmosphere, I gained an interest in astronomy that I’m still fond of to this day. My father has been getting Astronomy Now for as long as I can remember, and the magazine still contains descriptive articles and illuminating photography and diagrams for space enthusiasts. Long may its exploration of the heavens continue.