Paul May

Graduation

05 September 2014

It’s been a very busy, and very important few weeks. Last week I had the great honour to watch my brother graduate from University of Chicago with a PhD in Anthropology. I am so proud of him. It takes a lot of hard work to tackle a complex project spanning many years, but he did it.

After the graduation I spent some time in New York, catching up with the team at Sloan Kettering. Our projects have been challenging, and not without some major bumps in the road, but this week things became simpler, and better. The feedback from the eventual users of our work is very positive. We’re definitely on a fruitful path, and we’ve been given permission to make our work as good as it needs to be. It feels like this week marked the crossing of some important threshold.

I also got to spend some time with my New York friends, who I miss quite a bit. It’s so cool to be able to come back, spend time with them, and hear about all their lives and their work. They’re building new devices, designing interfaces, writing software, building automata, writing about technology, and making all sorts of things work a little better. They are all so eager to learn, make, and understand more. I feel really refreshed and inspired, because of them.

Also this week; some perspective.

Throughout the universe, galaxies tend to clump together in massive structures that astronomers call superclusters. According to the new map, Earth's galaxy lives near the edge of the Laniakea supercluster, which measures 500 million light-years in diameter and includes roughly 100,000 galaxies.

In a few weeks, me and Cliona will introduce a new little person into this sea of infinity. I am excited to meet whomever arrives.

Paul May is a researcher and interaction designer from Dublin, Ireland. Keywords include: triathlon, photography, cooking, technology, health, data, society, media.

Oxford to Brighton, Weeknotes

18 August 2014

A week of solid progress on work projects; things are starting to get very interesting - that point of a project where big chunks start knitting together.

I trained lightly this week. I'm starting to plan ahead for the winter, and have just been trying to keep things ticking over. I'd like to focus on swimming and running this winter.

The week culminated in a long cycle from Oxford to Brighton, and then a lovely weekend in Brighton. The cycle should have been about 160K, but between meandering and free-form navigation, it ended up being 192K door-to-door, and about 7.5 hours on the bike. The journey wasn't particularly tough on the legs, but the constant navigation was mentally taxing. I was glad to get off the bike.

The weekend in Brighton was very nice; it's a really interesting town. Charming, hip, and a little faded around the edges; a mix of seaside tack and a graphic designer insurgency. Definitely somewhere I'd like to explore more. We stayed in a lovely AirBnB just outside the town. Highly recommended; incredibly friendly host, wonderful breakfast.

What else. Took lots of photos, saw people kitesurfing in the middle of a bloody gale. Ate fish and chips.

Successful week.

Do Anything, Eat Anything

10 August 2014

It's feen a fun week. I raced my first triathlon in 5 years last weekend. As this was my only priority race for the year (I'll maybe do one other triathlon before focusing on winter training), I've allowed myself a week of rest, eating anything I want, doing whatever. It's been nice. I've gained just over 1Kg in a week, which is hilarious and terrifying.

I took the time that I would have spent training fixing up my blog a little. I wanted to try some new typography, and a more flexible structure. The paint is still wet, but I am excited to be rummaging around and trying some new things. I get to prototype things at work quite a bit, but it's nice to work on my own little place on the web, even if I only have time to make something very simple.

Cliona is doing great. We are now just 10 weeks away from the birth of our first child. We don't know if it's going to be a boy or a girl, and as such, haven't decided on a name, or even a shortlist of names. We'll probably think more about that over the next few weeks. What's certain is that the baby is kicking and wriggling around like it can't wait for the transition to land-mode.

My sister-in-law, Michelle, got engaged to her boyfriend Kevin today. My sister-sister, Louise, has started sending out invitations to her own wedding in October. It's all very lovely.

Work is going well. My team is really working hard, and solving some very challenging problems. We need more people; so if you're a software engineer, interaction designer, or otherwise good at building things for the web, please get in touch.

The weather here has started to turn a little chillier, a little gloomier. I want to wring what's left out of the summer, so this week I'd like to spend some time out on the bike. Hopefully the weather cooperates.