insights from Interesting 2009

Despite a few technical hiccups and so many speakers that it overran a bit, Interesting2009 lived up to the fine reputation of its 2007 and 2008 predecessors.

In the unlikely event that you’re not up to speed, Interesting is an annual day long shindig organised by Russell Davies and the main rule for speakers is to ‘talk about something Interesting but it can’t be your job’.

Roo Reynolds has posted a great (and very thorough) round up of the day over on his blog, but for me the highlights of an Interesting are always the random facts, observations and insights you come away with, like:

  • Sailing very, very fast involves the boat not really being in the water
  • Stan Laurel’s (offof Laurel & Hardy) Dad was an awesome guy
  • Chernobyl wasn’t technically a nuclear explosion, only killed 56 people and didn’t cause birth defects
  • Bees can’t see purple
  • E is the most common letter in the English language
  • Sir Frances Galton sort of invented the dog whistle, only his version didn’t work on dogs, it just scared ponies
  • The ability to generate ideas isn’t a well that might run dry – it’s a muscle that needs exercising
  • Evolution is a bit like Chinese Whispers, i.e. people further down the line doing stuff a bit differently.  In genetics it’s called Random Drift
  • People remember stories, not facts

Big thanks to Russell & his band of helpers for organising the day and thank you to my agency’s lovely clients for proving Interesting snacks for everyone – cheers to Traidcraft for the Geobars and Henry Goode for all the liquorice.

my Interesting2009 photos on flickr (2008 and 2007 pics here too)
everyone’s tagged photos on flickr
official Interesting2009 website
Interesting09 recent tweets


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