TMR on Two Podcasts!

Amazingly I have appeared on two podcasts in the last week. Hot on the heels of meeting up with the voices and commenters at Sidepodcast.com last week when an impromptu chat was recorded with a whole group of us, I also joined in with the Sidepodpanel on Sunday night! It was a lot of fun and I hope to go on again at some point in time, if they’ll have me. The edited podcasts are now live on the site so go over and check them out!

Sidepodchat:
This is an irregular feature on the website and the Science Museum Meetup provided an ideal chance to hold a version with everyone actually present in person. I had a few words to say but preferred to mill around listening to everyone else speak, as much as was possible with so many people in an open space!
Head here to listen to the podcast, it comes in at a tidy 16 minutes and you can listen on the page or download the MP3.
Although I sent a voicemail just before Melbourne, this was my first ‘proper’ podcast appearance with me talking live and direct into the mike. A very strange experience!

Sidepodpanel (Series 2 Panel 10):
This is a regular series in which two teams of three guests answer questions set by a guest host, with points awarded by Christine who is the host of the other podcasts produced by SPC (as I’m sure you don’t need telling, being regular listeners yourselves).
I was placed with Team Fish & Chips alongside Alex and Scott. We were up against Team Alex’s Trousers comprising Gavin, Steven and Andy. The guest host was Chris Evans (not the TV/radio one). Don’t ask about the team names. 🙂

Before listening to this one you should be familiar with this video from the former ITV commentator James Allen.

It was a hell of a lot of fun to take part so thanks to everyone concerned! It was very, very nerve-racking being put on the spot and coming up with something but everyone was nice about it and encouraging – after all, they were all newbies once too – and actually it was a good thing because it meant the questions were pitched at the right level, and made us all think. Nice job Chris!

Head to this page to hear the podcast! This one comes in at less than 40 minutes. Download it and listen after this weekend’s racing action if you prefer.

Don’t forget to catch up with all the Bahrain action with their other podcasts across the weekend including the brilliant aSide with Joe featuring Joe Saward of GrandPrix.com, calling direct from Bahrain.

Sidepodcast Meetup: Science Museum, London

What: Fast Forward F1 exhibition
When: Wednesday 15th April, 2009
Where: Science Museum, Kensington, London

Background: A few weeks ago Mr & Mrs C, the brains behind Sidepodcast.com, mentioned they planned to visit the new F1 technology exhibition at the Science Museum in London, and asked if any of the commenters from the site would like to join them. I tagged along for the ride.

Arriving into London Waterloo on time, I hit a snag: signal failure on the Underground. Being stuck on a hot, sweaty tube train is not a lot of fun and so I arrived at the museum 30 minutes later than planned, not a good start when you’ve never met the other attendees before. Thankfully from reading the comments it seems our hosts arrived mere minutes before I did, something I didn’t realise at the time and it helps that ‘Sidepodtime’ is fairly relaxed and nobody seemed to mind.

Once clear of the bag-search area ubiquitous of any London attraction these days I made a beeline for the McLaren hung upside down from the ceiling, then up the stairs to the designated meeting place where I found a large group of Formula 1 fans!

McLaren on the ceiling

After a quick group photo we made our way to the adjacent exhibit – it’s fair to say as soon as we saw it we were fairly underwhelmed. There are 20 objects arranged in a rough square in a very dark corner of a mezzanine floor above the main lobby, and you got the distinct impression it had been tucked out of the way.

F1 Exhibits (image brightened with Picasa software)

Each exhibit had a small piece of text underneath it explaining what the object was for, which was actually very interesting, the shame about it was that we’d all read the same information online before visiting the museum and it would have been nice to have found out a little more. Perhaps this information was contained within the touch-screens, I tried one of them and couldn’t make much sense of how to use it – it didn’t respond to touches very well.

Here are a few of the goodies at the exhibition:

Pod for premature babies Wheelchair

Medical telemetry system Wellbeing pod (no, we didn’t know either)

Other items included reinforced materials for soldiers’ armour, a magnetic device for cleaning a house heating system, a bicycle (the one at the Ferrari shop seemed more advanced), and some carbon-fibre stairs. Yes I took a (bad) photo of that too.

There was some tech intended for F1 as well, although this KERS device is not currently being used by any of the teams we believed it was intended to end up in the Honda. It would have been the only ‘hybrid’ KERS on the grid to use a combination of a flywheel with battery packs and is perhaps surprisingly small:

Flybrid KERS – a flywheel/battery hybrid system

The funniest moment was the comedy security guard! He took his job FAR too seriously. There was an invisible ‘barrier’ between the walkway and the glass/plastic cases – if you broke the barrier with your hand, or if you leaned in for a close photo an annoyingly loud alarm sounded until you moved back. This guy kept walking briskly around the exhibit telling people off for activating the alarm. Net result: more and more people did it! Only when he was relieved and another more relaxed guard appeared did the buzzing suddenly stop…

A final look

It took about an hour to cover the exhibits at a very slow pace and we hung around for another 30 or so minutes chatting and looking in closer detail, before getting bored of the whole thing. We were having a good time yet this was much more to do with who we were with than what we were seeing. If you are in London or if you are meeting a few people then it’s worth popping in for a while to check out the exhibits because they are interesting – our complaint was that so much more could have been done.

We wandered downstairs to the space section of the museum:

Huygens probe Hubble telescope

The actual capsule from Apollo 10!!

Someone then remembered there is another McLaren stationed at the very back of Museum. We went to take a look and it turned out to be Mika Hakkinen’s crashed car from the 1999 German Grand Prix at the old version of Hockenheim.

McLaren-Mercedes
Diffuser -1999 style Diffuser

By now we’d got entirely bored of the museum – this may have been due to the stuffy heat in there and the many kids running around, after all it was the Easter holidays. We decided to relocate ourselves to nearby Hyde Park for an ice cream and a chat and we stayed there for a very enjoyable afternoon. I’m sure we were there longer than in the museum, not that it matters.
We even broadcast live via justin.tv/sidepodcast which was an interesting experiment, before the audio gear was set up and a ‘Sidepodchat’ was recorded. I think most of us said at least a few words on that – even me!

After that we adjourned to the pub for a refreshing drink or five, a bite to eat, and a lot of alcohol-fuelled debate about F1 and other sorts of racing which is always fun. It’s been quite a long time since my last alcohol-fuelled F1 debate (outside of text comments) so that was good. With that we were done!

They are all a great bunch of people and the C’s are even nicer in person than on the podcasts, which is quite an achievement. Thanks guys for organising everything. And it was nice to finally meet Gavin after talking online for so long!

The following day I wandered around London for a while and located the Ferrari Store in Regent Street, it was good to see they have a relatively modern car (2003) in the main entrance but not being big on Ferrari I didn’t stay long.
I then found another shop I liked a lot: Pole Position, also in Regent Street towards the Piccadilly end. It was here I found some BrawnGP merchandise and so I promptly paid £19.99 for a hat, and the same again for an Aston Martin Racing hat. I do collect racing hats although I no longer wear them as often as I did. The guys in the shop were amazed at how quickly the BrawnGP gear was selling – the consignment had arrived 15 minutes before I did and they had almost sold out!

Suitable satisfied with a very enjoyable two days I made my way back home. Sorry for the long post but I think it deserved it! Take yourself along to the museum if you are in the area and be sure to pick up some F1 gear from Pole Position.

* * *
Links
An edited edition of the chat in the park is due to be released as a podcast soon, I’ll update this post with a link when it appears – let’s not pressure them though, they have a very big schedule of podcasts to record on each race weekend!

CLICK HERE to listen to the latest ‘Aside With Joe’, the regular feature with Joe Saward of GrandPrix.com who calls Sidepodcast every Friday or Saturday from each Grand Prix – it is always a very revealing chat and well worth the listen.

You can view my gallery here or by clicking the thumbnails above. The photos aren’t spectacular but I’m no photographer! I hope it gives something of a flavour to the day.

This is the website of the exhibution.

To London!

Tomorrow I and a large group of fellow listeners to the world’s greatest F1 podcast will be hooking up with show host Christine and her trusty sidekick known only as ‘Me’ (or Mr.C). We’ll take a wander around the Science Museum in London where the McLaren F1 team have set up a series of exhibits under the title, “20 Ways F1 Is Changing Our World”.

There’s a lot cool techie stuff about applying F1 knowledge to real life and I think there will be about 20 of us going so it should be a lot of fun!

Here is the Sidepodcast post about the meetup including a video from the BBC which I think is UK-only but others might as well give it a go anyway.
Here is the Science Museum web page about it all and the New Scientist had a gallery of it. I hope to bring you a little report on Thursday as well as some photos if they’ll allow us to take any. I also hope to make use of Twitter and Twitpic from my mobile, if I can get them working.

I’ve been to London several times before but only once in the guise of a motorsport fan, this back in 2004 for the “F1 In Regent Street” demo runs where I stood three feet from F1 cars and didn’t see a single one! Pics! But don’t click that, there’s nothing there worth looking at.
Let’s hope that hyped up F1 fans will not be blocking all of the exhibits tomorrow in a frenzy of excitement. Look, a KERS device, crowd around it!

You may think I am mad for going all the way to London to meet some internet people in a museum, and you would be right. I started to wonder about my sanity when I saw the increased train prices..

TMR Gets Airtime on Sidepodcast

That’s right, I guested on my very first podcast!

I appeared alongside many others on Sidepodcast.com‘s recent Episode #97 with a modest little prediction for the upcoming Australian Grand Prix.

The podcast featured predictions from a whole host of regular commenters from Sidepodcast’s Live Comments, many of whom have their own blogs which I recommend you check out (I’ll be updating my links over the weekend).

If some of them seem at ease on the calls it’s because they regularly call in to the various podcasts produced by SPC. This was my first phone-in to any show anywhere!

You can listen via two methods:

– If you’ve got less than an hour I highly recommend you listen to the full Episode as it weighs in at a perfectly-formed 43 minutes, an ideal length in my opinion because you don’t have to set aside your evening to hear it! There are a variety of options for listening in, just go to the page to find out more. The predictions appear in the ‘Feedback’ section but don’t worry about that, you’ll come to it soon enough.

– If you’re more pushed for time please check out the 6 minute Predictions Montage.

While you are on the site take a listen to this week’s hilarious Panel featuring guest host Gavin Brown! The podcast edition should appear later this week so look out for it.

There are also a variety of F1 Season Previews to look out for as well as an hour-long fascinating chat with F1 scribe Joe Saward who is the man behind GrandPrix.com as well as being a published author of racing books. (Meesh, if you’re reading this, he talks about the trials of being a journalist in the F1 media centre – some things don’t change, even in F1!).
Even if you don’t listen to any of the other items above, at least make sure you listen to that discussion. It’s worth it.

SPC Crash Course
These guys ‘live comment’ everything. That is to say, a ‘live blog’ but with all the commenters joining in with conversation in real time. You can’t quite imagine it until you see it, so go there now!

To keep up with chat between events, go here: Doohickey
For commenting during events, go here: LCLT

Just keep it clean and keep an eye on what thread you’re posting in and you’ll be fine.

Warning: This will take over your life. It has mine – and I don’t see that as a bad thing. That’s when you know you’re hooked.

I will be in the comments for all F1 races and for as many qualifying sessions as I can make. During races I may be a little quiet as I’ll be taking notes for this blog, though I do hope to throw my oar in from time to time. These guys do the practice sessions as well, unfortunately I have to work. Grr, damned work, grr.

PS – I still hate my voice