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Sideways Looks #19: A Halloween Data Cartoon, also Metaverse


Short but exciting newsletter. I've made and released the first content from the Data Skills Consultancy. It's a short Halloween-inspired animation about basic data skills.

A still image to whet your appetite below. You can watch the video on whichever platform you prefer (Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube). If you enjoy it please do like/comment/share, and give the page a follow, as that is essential to building the pages up as a professional brand.

I haven't done much video editing for over a decade (at school I entered a film competition with a nature documentary parody called Walking with Teachers, which took on an unexpected cult following for a bit). Making this content, I learned a lot about animation, recording, captioning, the absolute eyeache of video editing....

Happy to share any learnings if you're interested. And, of course, very interested to hear thoughts from any of you.

Happy Halloween,



Fun Fact About: Hocus Pocus


One of the many things I learned during lockdown was the cult around the film Hocus Pocus, which seems to play a similar role during halloween as Love Actually at Christmas. Even as someone who doesn't enjoy films, I can confirm it's a lot of fun (Bette Midler is obviously having the time of her life). And apparently a new one is coming. In the meantime please enjoy these facts about the film - my favourite is that:

To really sell the idea to Disney, [producers] set the mood by having executives walk into a dark room with witches' brooms and a vacuum cleaner hanging from the ceiling and 15 pounds of candy corn.




Meetups: I have started regularly attending events at the strange and fascinating Newspeak House, and regular tech policy meetups now branded 'TxP'. Would thoroughly recommend both, which are not only interesting discussions but also a lot of fun. This week at Newspeak House I broke off a discussion of Google Deepmind to lead a game of Mafia.

R.e. Metaverse: Ep. 541 of the Wired podcast is absolutely brutal - with justification, and in an interesting way - about the bizarre and toe-curlingly awkward launch of Facebook's new parent company 'Meta' and its plans for 'Metaverse'.

New Privacy Tech: Not unrelated to Facebook (and Apple, Google, etc...) there's been long-running discussions about how to give people more power over their own data (which still being able to use valuable tools). These two articles give a great summary of the landscape and problems. It seems niche but I genuinely think is something society needs to discuss more.

And finally: Mark Zuckerberg's dreams of Virtual Reality will never compete with those of Dean Pelton in the superb comedy series Community.


Thanks for reading. Please do let me know your thoughts via this short poll.


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