Archive for the ‘personal’ Category



The last few months have been a whirlwind of exciting changes.

Firstly, I’ve now completed my PhD. I had my viva on March 25th with Sean Cubitt from Goldsmiths as my external examiner and Mark Jackson from the Geography department as my internal. I’m glad to say that we had a lively an interesting discussion, and at the end of it they let me know that I had passed with the minor end of minor corrections (basically a bunch of typos and a couple of references missed out of the bibliography). Since then I’ve completed those corrections and submitted the final version of the thesis to the library, so I’m now Dr Taffel!

In other exciting news, about a week after the viva I was flown out to New Zealand for an interview at Massey university in Palmerston North. I had a wonderful time out in NZ, catching up with some old friends who left the UK for Nelson a while ago, and then seeing a few bits of the stunning New Zealand scenery (pics on Flickr). I’m very pleased to say that Massey have offered me a job, so I’m currently in the process of sorting out a visa and relocation logistics, and as of July I’ll be a lecturer in Media Studies (Media Practice) at Massey.

It’s hugely exciting to be moving to a new country, a new job and a new lifestyle. I’m also slightly blown away by how quickly this has all happened, I know a lot of hugely talented people who’ve spent a fair amount of time with PhD corrections and then trying to find that elusive first full time academic post. For it to have all come together in a couple of months is amazing, and so I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who’s helped me get to where I am now, especially after being in a really low place a few years back after the bike accident and prolonged period of brokenness.


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General Update

So its been months since I got round to writing a blog post… Basically I’ve been busily trying to do a million and one other things, and sadly keeping this site updated has fallen to the bottom of my to do list, with finishing my phd (which is coming along quite well), a load of teaching, making films, giving talks, writing journal articles and conference papers, and peer reviewing journal articles being the things which mainly been taking up my time.

The next month or so looks quite unrelentingly hectic, but hopefully I’ll start making time to blog again after that… We’ll see


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A New Year

So we’re into 2011 with the customary hangover and borderline nocturnal lifestyle…

Looking back at 2010 it was a year of big changes for me in a really good way; January saw operation no.4 on my knee, involving the addition of synthetic ligaments to stabilise things, which thankfully has panned out pretty well. Consequently the rest of the year was more-or-less a period of recovery and rediscovering a plethora of things I haven’t been able to do since the start of 2008 (like walking without crutches).

So the plan for 2011… Keep working on my physical health, finish a draft of my PhD, get back into the habit of juggling work, study and social life. And maybe blog a bit. After nearly three years of feeling like my life was going nowhere and I was stuck in an endless cycle of pain, painkillers and immobility, it’s great to be able to have plans again



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I’m starting a new blog called Insightful Nonsense… I’ve been writing stuff here over the last couple of years while I’ve been recovering from being hit by a car. Over time this site’s covered a fairly broad selection of stuff, from numerous reviews of academic books and bits of research related stuff through to more colloquial pieces on climate change, politics, video DSLR film-making and more, and as I’m getting back into the pain joy of PhD-land I thought it would be useful to separate out my research related writing from random ranting about stuff and things alongside links to various things which make me smile.

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Writing Again

Well it’s been over six months since I last wrote anything here… Well in fact since I wrote anything at all. It’s been a pretty hard time for me, with an operation in October to remove the plate and nine screws from my left leg and then another operation to reconstruct my medial collatoral ligament and to put a polymer scaffold around my posterior cruciate ligament in January this year…

…But things are finally looking up for my on the physical front, which they haven’t done for a long time. my knee’s still painful and swollen but it isn’t unstable as it had been since getting hit by a car in February 2008, and so I’ve been able to trade in my crutches for a far more stylish walking stick. With a bit of luck if things keep progressing smoothly I’ll be able to get around without a walking aid at all sometime soonish. and i cant wait…

…So now that I’m on considerably less mind-melting medication I’m going to try and start writing things here again.

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