In the spirit of five things you didn't know about me comes thing #6 you were blissfully unaware of:

#6: I spent a summer north of the arctic circle, in Tromsø, northern Norway
 and
#6a: I was up there again last week!  Here's stuff from my trip along the themes of this blog:

 

.NET and AI:

Still Life in TromsøI resurrected a project from one of my past lives, Still Life, for the opening of a Toy Tech exhibition at an interactive science center for kids.

Still Life was my first major project written end-to-end in .NET and Managed DirectX.  The project uses a movement interface designed to creatively reward a participant for controlling their physical movements in a calm and relaxed way.  I developed it with the MindGames group at the late MediaLabEurope, in collaboration with physiotherapists at the Central Remedial Clinic in Dublin.  Today it feels eyeToy-esque, but it still looks really pretty.  (Nice pics from previous installations, and more info, is here.)

It's now set up in the Nordnorsk vitensenter, or Northern Norwegian Science Center, at the Northern Lights Planetarium at the University of Tromsø.  A good friend of mine, Mona, works at the Center and has been instrumental in putting together Toy Tech.  With dissected toys on display(from an Etch-a-Sketch to a Nintendo) and a chance to build your own rockets and more - it's fun for big kids like me, too!

 

Photography:

Northern lights, NorwayAfter hiding behind clouds for a week, on Friday the northern lights were out in force!

I'm very proud of these photos, even if Vista is already aglow with superior northern lights photography, and were my friends ever relieved when I finally got them :)

The northern lights exhaust superlatives.  They simply have to be experienced.

Tromsø's 50,000 residents, tucked into the mountains north of the arctic circle, experience total darkness during the winter months.  Around noon the sky glows pink like a sunset, but the sun never rises. 

Last Sunday was the first day the sun peeked over the horizon - cause for celebration! 

 

 

Moose:

Yum Yum MooseI sampled some succulent local cuisine, including two reindeer (finnbiff) dinners.  But pictured here is something new: that is the makings of moose tacos, being prepared in a cabin (hytte) north of the city.

Yum, Yum, Moose, indeed! 

Now my XBox Gamertag makes much more sense.