Friday, February 24
It snowed in the morning and again in the afternoon. I spent the morning writing, and making notes in preparation for the courses that will begin soon. I have decided to take the Digital Mediascapes course in a somewhat different direction. We will look more at Robin Dunbar’s work, and then go on to examine media bubbles in terms of conspiracy theories and the legendary David Icke. He has the best overall “everything you know is wrong” theory that I know of, since it involves both satanism and beings from another dimension who control the British royal family.
In the afternoon I explored the problem with the image library on this site and realised it had a very different cause from the one I had suspected. The bulk-loading plugin I used to transfer the older images from their own folder into the image library did nothing like it advertised. It failed to actually move the files and failed to generate the additional thumbnails. It only changed the links to the files and then somehow set the dates of some them to 2073. I need to spend a whole day experimenting to find a way to undo the damage and then bulk upload the files into the media library in a way that makes sense, and leaves the site working.
I will need to run tests on individual images to make certain that whatever solution I come up with actually works, and then figure out how to bulk-upload the thousand images into the library in a way that leaves their dates intact. Ho hum, I say.
In the afternoon I did some backing up, and made sure the Linode servers still seemed happy. They did.
At 16:15 I stood under the clock and waited for Russell and Sara who had arrived from England last night. They had dressed up so warmly that I hardly recognised them under their hats, scarves and upturned coats.
We walked to Kiasma and had cups of tea and hot chocolate. Sara has arrived to deliver a keynote speech at a conference in Turku called The Value of Arts. She will talk about the uses and abuses of impact studies. I forgot to ask her why she appears to work in the department of archeology at UCL since, as far as I remember, her field is arts history and arts management.
After our beverages we walked to Rautatientori where I gave them a brief tutorial on how to catch trains to Turku (Sara) and the airport (Russell). I showed them the Church of Burger King which both amused and impressed them, and then we parted. They had spent the day walking arouns the centre of Helsinki and wanted to put their feet up at the hotel.
Now I wait for a metro home and find myself on the platform at Rautatientori watching two vending machines, which stand their like unwanted guards. In the five minutes that I spy on them from a distance nobody else takes any notice of them at all.
It will snow again as I walk from the bus to the house and I will realise that, sometime over the weekend, some snowblading will happen.