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I'm Jay. I'm an explorer, adventurer, struggling rock climber, wannabe astronaut, and writer from London, England. I now live in Western Australia.

My aim is to share stories to inform, entertain and, hopefully, inspire others to explore the world -- while also expanding my own horizons.

The rest of the time, I'm a copywriter, freelance journalist, and digital marketing geek promoting things that are important to me.

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The Pilion Trust, a charity that helps some of the poorest and most vulnerable, has conducted a social experiment on the people of London to see if we really do care about those who are less fortunate.

A man wearing sign saying ‘Fuck the poor’ was sent out to the streets of the capital as part of a campaign for the charity by Publicis. Londoners were secretly filmed taking the man to task for the offensive statement.

Afterwards, the man flipped his sign over so that it read ‘Help the poor’ and he proceeded to ask for donations - but this time people completely ignored him.

via Best Ads on TV

ugtastic:

Many Hands Make Light Work

At the moment there are over 123 video interviews published for UGtastic totaling well over 1300 minutes of content. That’s more than 21 hours of interviews! Each of those interviews needs descriptions, show-notes, transcripts and captioning on top of the basic editing, uploading, and embedding. I have two choices here, give up or ask for help. For a while there I was on the verge of giving up…

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West Australian sunset. Read more about my Amazing Aussie Adventure here: http://flatfootedadventurer.com

Meteorite almost hits Norwegian skydiver

One summer day in 2012, Anders Helstrup and several other members of Oslo Parachute Club jumped from a small plane that had taken off from Østre Æra Airport in Hedmark.

Helstrup, wearing a wing suit and with two cameras fixed to his helmet, released his parachute. On the way down he realised something was happening.

“I got the feeling that there was something, but I didn’t register what was happening,” Helstrup explained to NRK.no.

Read the full story here

I wrote a few weeks ago about swimming outdoors at Serpentine Falls, and how it was the only time I’ve been wild swimming other than at Highgate Ponds in London.

Swimming is something I enjoy a lot. I like the meditative calm of just pushing through the water, thinking quietly, and the variety of being able to pick up the pace if I feel the need: and being non-impact, it’s much better suited to me than running.

Naturally, on this amazing Aussie adventure of mine I have embraced with open arms the many opportunities for swimming in the ocean.

Read the full post here: http://flatfootedadventurer.com/?p=884

unmarkeddoormusic:

Jack White - “High Ball Stepper” 

Today’s the day, WA. Remember to vote — and vote 1 Greens & Senator Scott Ludlam. #green14 #wavotes http://thndr.it/1hqVVdT

13 year old surfer Olive Bowens is directly addressing sexism in the sport — and has written a letter to “surfers bible” Tracks magazine, objecting to their representation of women in print and online.

Bowens said: “‘There was one video of Stephanie Gilmore surfing. That was pretty good. But even if there was a 1000 videos of girls surfing there was still that section that was called ‘Girls’ and you clicked on it and it was all girls that weren’t even surfing. Just in bikinis; models really. That really annoyed me.”

The magazine defends its content, and says “obviously [girls] are not our primary audience”.

It’s really inspiring to see young people taking a stand against this sexism — a glance through websites, Instagram accounts and magazines dedicated to surfing so often seem to focus more on females in bikinis than being awesome surfers.

via Daily Life

"Matt DeBergalis has released version 0.7.1 of Meteor, with the improvements to oplog and minimongo, CSS preprocessing, and Meteor developer accounts.

Version 0.7.1 includes added support to minimongo for what DeBergalis refers to on the Meteor blog as “more of the ‘estoteric corners’ of the MongoDB query language.” With the new release comes better matching for Mongo’s behavior when there are arrays in the document, as well as improved support for $nin, $ne, $not.

Aside from minimongo (Meteor’s client-side Mongo emulator) improvements, the new release brings CSS preprocessing and sourcemaps”

Read the full article here: http://www.infoq.com/news/2014/03/meteor-071

This picture, and others like it, annoy me greatly.

Never mind for a moment that the scene is most likely staged and presented as “real”, that’s art for you — and photography is no different.

What annoys me is the suggestion that these people are zombies, that they’re somehow brainless automatons.

Do you know what I see when I look at this picture?

The guy in front of the line in the picture? He’s having a Skype conversation with his parents in another country. Thanks to this technology he can have a face-to-face conversation with his family that miss him.

Behind him, the young woman? She is learning another language with an app like Duolingo. She is going volunteering overseas, and wants to make an effort. Soon she will know some key words and phrases that will be useful.

The young man behind her isn’t playing Candy Crush, he’s reading an article on the New Scientist app about a medical breakthrough that will leave him with a small feeling of wonder for the rest of the day.

The two young women behind him are together looking at the online gallery for a museum of contemporary art, sharing ideas and thoughts on exhibitions ahead of their fine art class later that morning.

I could go on, but I think you get the point. Technology can give us a richer and more connected world.

Esperance is an odd kind of city, on the south-west coast of Western Australia. It has a modest population of about 10,000 people, but with a reputation for the best beaches in the world it is a draw for cruise ships and tour groups from around the world.

I arrived in Esperance at the start of Autumn, 10 days into March, with the heat mostly gone out of the summer and the tourists largely moved on. Though already Autumn, it would be mistaken for a good summer’s day back home: deep blue skies and sun sparkling on the southern ocean like thousands of fireflies…

"It’s raining in Esperance", read the full post here: http://flatfootedadventurer.com/2014/03/raining-esperance/#sthash.WI6IqcRX.dpuf

Esperance is an odd kind of city, on the south-west coast of Western Australia. It has a modest population of about 10,000 people, but with a reputation for the best beaches in the world it is a draw for cruise ships and tour groups from around the world.

I arrived in Esperance at the start of Autumn, 10 days into March, with the heat mostly gone out of the summer and the tourists largely moved on. Though already Autumn, it would be mistaken for a good summer’s day back home: deep blue skies and sun sparkling on the southern ocean like thousands of fireflies…

"It’s raining in Esperance", read the full post here: http://flatfootedadventurer.com/2014/03/raining-esperance/#sthash.WI6IqcRX.dpuf

A discussion today with friends on Twitter got me thinking about my favourite living authors. It’s a very difficult question.

Ask me my favourite books of all time, I can reel them off: The Great Gatsby, On The Road, Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up To Me, High Fidelity, The Big Sleep, Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung, On Green Dolphin Street, Love in the Time of Cholera, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas…

But living authors is a difficult one. Fitzgerald, Kerouac, Farina, Chandler, Bangs, Marquez and Thompson all get disqualified on account of their being dead. That leaves Hornby and Faulks, neither of whom have impressed me with their fiction despite having one stand out novel: I don’t rate either enough to call them a favourite author.

Outside the top titles rest other authors whose books I rate more frequently: Bret Easton Ellis makes it with both American Psycho and Rules of Attraction. Chuck Palahniuk probably contributes more titles to my book collection than any other author: but I feel it can be a little hit-and-miss. And I don’t feel strongly enough about either author to proclaim them my favourite.

Recently, I’ve been reading a lot and trying to expand my own horizons: my favourite authors all being much too homogenous. I enjoyed Americanah very much, finally got around to reading and appreciating Captain Correlli’s Mandolin, was moved by The Kite Runner, and wanted to take notes throughout The Art of Travel.

But I feel it would be premature, and possibly pretentious, to proclaim the consistently-brilliant Hosseini as my favourite living author after only reading two of his novels, more than two years apart. Other authors on my list to read next are Chinua Achebe, as well as more books by Adichie.

This doesn’t help me answer who my favourite living author is, however.

In an unexpected twist, although I haven’t rated his fiction for some time, I have a great appreciation of Nick Hornby’s recent non-fiction writing. Both 31 Songs and The Polysyllabic Spree were great books, and reminded me of what I loved about Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung: a genuine passion for the subject material, whether it be music or literature.

Lester Bangs I uphold is one of the best writers of the 20th Century, yet he remains largely unregarded because he wrote about music. Yet he wrote so passionately, so powerfully, and with a complete disregard for anything else.

Hunter S. Thompson embodied a similar passion in his writing: a kind of frenzied energy and devotion to a subject. For Thompson that could be the American dream or the campaign trail: even later in life in his sports writing for ESPN he couldn’t resist also talking about politics.

Tonight, I have been trying to get into Hubert Selby Jr’s Requiem for a Dream, but this does nothing for contributing diversity to my normal reading. And instead I am left with an unsatisfying end as a conclusion: I still don’t know.

I reject that I rate writers more highly if they are no longer living — Thompson was well and truly still alive when I read and loved so many of his books — it’s just unfortunate that it happens to go that way.

Instead, you tell me: Who is your favourite living author?