Open Thinkering


Tag: igloo

Things I learned this week – #2

The most significant things I’ve learned this week have been snow-related. Have a quick look at the above YouTube video of me building an igloo. That took me 7 hours! Instead of getting all philosophical and talking about how good it felt to create something out of nothing and how I started to feel ‘at one’ with the snow, I’ll reflect on some practical considerations:

  1. I should estimate how long things are likely to take before they start
  2. The size of an igloo depends on the angle of the walls – easy to forget!
  3. There are lots of different types of snow.
  4. Igloos are actually quite warm!

I considered sleeping in it, but having worked on it for 7 hours straight every single muscle in my body hurt. I went in the bath, read my book and went to bed… :-p

Here’s a brief overview of other stuff I’ve learned this week, broken down by category.


Productivity & Inspiration


Data, Design & Infographics


This made me laugh! (via Mashable)

This resonated with me – via Jennifer Hagy @ indexed

  • The ever-relevant and insightful Harold Jarche looks back at Seth Godin’s predictions for 2009 from 5 years ago (startlingly accurate) and his own from 2007, as well as looking forward to new and emerging business models.
  • I love mashups and Best of Bootie 2009 absolutely rocks. Especially DJ Earworm’s United State of Pop 2009 (top 25 Billboard songs, mashed up!).
  • Mashable reflects on ways social media has changed us. This post makes a lot of sense and I’m going to start to use the term ‘ambient intimacy’ to explain a lot of what goes on, online. It makes sense. 🙂

Frozen Britain seen from above

BBC News posted a great satellite photo of what Britain looked like without the Gulf Stream last week.

  • There are some places in the world you’re just not allowed to go. This post on listverse (via @dougpete) highlights the ‘Top 10’ of these.
  • Vicki Davis (aka Cool Cat Teacher) in a reflective and revealing post entitled Sojourner Truth outlines her recent struggles with blogging and celebrity.


You’re only given a little spark of madness. You musn’t lose it. (Robin Williams)

A bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove that you don’t need it. (Bob Hope)

(both via @gbmiii)

Some Friday fun!

A few things that have kept me smiling over the last few days…

1. Snow

There’s been snow on the ground here in Northumberland since before my birthday (December 22nd). It’s several inches deep now and it’s snowing more as I type this. Suffice to say, the whole world around here has ground to a halt. BBC News have a wonderful video of a helicopter ride over Yorkshire (where I used to live) and Northumberland. Unfortunately I can’t embed it, so you’ll have to click through:

2. Everything I have

Via swissmiss (a great design-focused blog to subscribe to, if you don’t already) comes one man’s visual record of everything he has:

It reminds me of the 100 things page Leo Babauta (he of Zen Habits fame) keeps updated on his other blog, He took up Dave Bruno’s challengeto limit himself to 100 personal items. Noble.

3.  Man sleeps in suburban igloo.

CC BY Steven Roberge (not the actual igloo!)

The aforementioned snow situation in England at the moment necessitates people to actually talk to their neighbours. Amazing, but true. David Munt, 28, from Hertfordshire went one step further and played in the snow with some of the children on his street without accusations of being a paedophile. Also amazing (given the current climate).

They built an igloo together and he promised he would sleep in it. He did. The world marvelled. (via