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kindred1Kindred is a fascinating little movie, and definitely worth catching if you can (the festival circuit is probably your best bet).

It was born out of a recognition that there has not so far been a great deal of science fiction cinema featuring indigenous Australians, even though there is rich ground to be mined around the idea of what it means to be alien.

Crowdfunding raised the necessaries (disclaimer: I donated) to turn a glimmer of an idea into some serious screen time.

The guts of the story is that a modern day young indigenous man feels out of step with his community and their beliefs, declaring to his sister a greater affinity with whatever might be out there in space. Just as their night-time argument draws the attention of a community uncle, the trio is visited and abducted by a UFO.

The rest of the story is told in flashback as the young man is about to be returned to his community. He remembers a series of scenes that take place in the brightly lit, sterile environment of the alien spaceship. How the trio deals with the aliens – and are dealt with – is the core of the movie.

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ashton d29ceqtsb

ashton d29ceqtsbMy son Cormac has been talking about picking up the guitar again. Being 12 now and all grown up, the 3/4 size Valencia nylon string classical he used in early music classes is not going to cut it.

He’s been displaying more interest in making music lately, and I was pretty impressed when he worked out how to play Axel F on piano (to me, it’s Beverly Hills Cop; to him, it’s probably Crazy Frog), so I want to encourage him.

The music corner has a few good options, but he’s not getting at the Maton and the pickups on the Ibanez semi-acoustic are shot. But wait. Isn’t there another guitar tucked away downstairs? Ah yes, the Ashton D29CEQTSB.

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teco2I must admit I had some reservations about putting myself back into the cut and thrust of hands-on web design and development. After writing and editing articles about the cutting edge at SitePoint, it all felt quite daunting.

It’s not like I haven’t been creating websites the last couple of years (there should be a post soon coming about those sites) but it’s telling that as soon as I left SitePoint three of my long term clients wanted me to do site redesigns.

That was gratifying and exciting. I also pitched for and won a pretty exciting web job, one where the clients had great content and needed a complete design and development effort in a limited timeframe. That site also is almost ready to launch – maybe another week or two.

However, the first cab off the rank has been a redesign for TECO, a client that has been with me since 2008.

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OffscreenWell, that year flew past.

I’ll give a more detailed account soon but, for now, suffice to say SitePoint kept me pretty busy in 2013. I left in December and a mere month later I’m ready to again pick up the digital pen.

I’m going to start with a review of the seventh issue of an industry magazine that has become a favourite of mine, Offscreen.

I’ve mentioned Offscreen before in my reading lists: the first issue and the third, in fact. Offscreen is an independent magazine about “people who use the internet and technology to be creative, solve problems, and build successful businesses”. The previous six issues have profiled some fascinating people, often giving unique insights into what they do and how they came to do it.

Issue 7 raises the bar.

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