Archive: December 4th, 2014

Watching @ChrisMessina on Newsnight on BBC 2.

Because of hashtags.

This reality is weird. I would like a new one please.



Going to the Hop Poles for a mulled cider to celebrate the launch of @WellcomeTrust’s Mindcraft:


As something of a science geek, I’m a big fan of the work of the Wellcome Trust:

We support the brightest minds in biomedical research and the medical humanities. Our breadth of support includes public engagement, education and the application of research to improve health.

I was very excited when Clearleft had the opportunity to work with them—we redesigned the Wellcome Library a while back. That was a fun responsive project, and an early use of a pattern portfolio as the deliverable.

We’ve been working with them on some other projects since then. We helped out with Mosaic, their terrific magazine site. I really enjoyed popping in to their fantastic building to chat with their talented designers.

The most recent Clearleft/Wellcome collaboration is something called Mindcraft. This started as a completely open-ended project—no one was quite sure what form the finished result would take. Over time it developed into a narrative-based series of historical events brought to life with browser technologies.

I didn’t work on this project but I loved watching it come together. The source material made for an interesting work environment.

Crazy wall Maps and legends.

Graham and Danielle did the front-end development, bringing Mikey’s designs to life, once Rich and Ben figured out the flow (all overseen by Jess).

The press release for Mindcraft describes it as “immersive” which immediately sets alarm bells ringing in expectation of big, scrolljacking pages …and to be honest, Mindcraft does have elements of that. It’s primarily intended to be visited on a large screen with a fast connection (although it’ll work on any sized-screen). But I think it manages to strike a pretty healthy balance of performance and “richness.” It certainly doesn’t feel gratuitous. The use of sound, imagery, and interaction is all in service to the story.

And boy, what a story!

Mindcraft explores a century of madness, murder and mental healing, from the arrival in Paris of Franz Anton Mesmer with his theories of ‘animal magnetism’ to the therapeutic power of hypnotism used by Freud.

I suggest you put on some headphones, make your browser window fullscreen, and start your journey.

It’s creepy, atmospheric, entertaining, and educational, all at the same time. I really like it. And I’m not just saying that because of Clearleft’s involvement. Like I said, I’m a science geek.

Scrubbed. :-(

Cutting it close! 2014-12-04T14:44:00Z


New launch time: 2014-12-04T13:26:00Z

Thanks to @TheAvangelist for graciously offering to pick up some lunch for me so I don’t miss this.

The dawning realisation that I’m going to have to choose between lunch and launch.


New launch time: 2014-12-04T12:55:00Z

Waiting for a new Orion launch time so that I can queue up the music from Sunshine accordingly.

Status: Green — cleared.

All holds removed.

“Race condition with the underscore S parameter…”

Sounds like launching a website.

Actually launching a rocket. #NASA_Orion

Hold! Hold! Hold!

Goosebumps: Go.


All systems: Go.

Weather: Go.

T-10 minutes.

Watching Florida from afar.

Counting down…

New launch time: 12:17