Priest in the Church of England. Trustee SPCK. Father, husband, son. "Small acts of Good change the world."

Tag: lonely planet

What a bunch of muppets

Rocking at the EspyThis week I did my first proper gig with the LP Band – Slabotomy – at the Espy in St Kilda. We rocked. We seriously took hold of Rock and taught it a few lessons. In fact Rock was a little pissed at the end and stormed off the stage. But…. through it all we saw a band that did two sets, raised  $1200 for The Hotham Mission and just had an amazing time.

The thing that rocks most about the fact that Lonely Planet has a band, is that it has a really really good band – a band that can fill the Gershwin room at the Espy (a pretty funky and cool venue), sell $1200 worth of tickets on the door and still consider that a warm up gig for the ‘real’ one next week at the Christmas party.

The social aspect of the band is pretty cool too – there’s the head of HR, the head of IT, there’s the chap who makes the tea (me) and a lawyer, and an IT guy and a cartographer, and an ex-author now head of editorial for the website, there’s…. well you get the picture. I just like the fact that I’m a pretty naff singer, and an even worse drummer and I still get to play the drums on Lady Marmalade and sing Beat It… and because the rest of the band is quite so good – I manage to pull it off.

Now… to leave you with a video of us rehearsing for the next gig – I think you’ll like it.

(Watch on YouTube)

Outraged of Hatfield / Melbourne

You have got to be kidding me. Okay I’m coming a little late to this argument, but given it’s just appeared in my twitter stream, I’m going to comment.

The TUC (Trades Union Congress) have called for the Lonely Planet Burma guide to be removed from the shelves. The theory being, that the guide encourages travel to Burma, and therefore, gives foreign currency to the Junta.

Let me get this straight. By constricting information about an entire nation and how to travel there, Lonely Planet supports the Junta?

The TUC has this to say

TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: ‘The very existence of a travel guide to Burma encourages people to visit a country they might not otherwise consider. We want to see the travel industry drop Burma from their list of destinations and taking the Lonely Planet guidebook off the shelves would help enormously. If enough people sign our petition and stop buying Lonely Planet guides, we hope we can encourage the BBC to think again.’

I couldn’t disagree more. Holly Cow are they actually serious? Well looking at the petition (which has been running since Feb 2008) it appears not – 454 people have signed it.

Travel, fundamentally changes the way you view the world. Through travel you gain an understanding of a people, a country, that you simply can not achieve in any other way. By visiting a country, by talking with people in that country, by traveling through that country you gain an empathy, a deeper connection, an understanding, that can’t be built by proxy. By talking to each other, we make the world a smaller place.

Travel, fundamentally changes the world around us.

The ethically corrupt argument of censorship of information about a country and how to travel to that country and around that country, is totally absurd.

Gadling has some good comments on this story that I think pretty much show how most people feel.

So I’m leaving the BBC….

Melbourne City Scape by Andrew Hux …. I never thought I’d say those words again, after one brief stint (18 months) a couple of years ago, I found I missed the rather amazing atmosphere and creative people.

There’s lots that can get on your nerves about the BBC (generally it’s finance), but none of that stops it being one of the most amazing places to work in the world, it’s easily the best place to work in the UK – and therein is the problem.

There was frankly no-one in the UK that could have got me out of the beeb, not with buckets of cash and technology that would have made me cry… but then along came Lonely Planet and devised a role that I simply had to go for, and thankfully have got!

So from the start of October I’ll be the new Innovation Ecosystem Manager for Lonely Planet based out of Melbourne in Australia – it’s all rather cool 🙂