Leila Johnston at ROUGOL, 16th March

No, that’s Leila, not Leela – it’s the one from Hack Circus, not the one from Doctor Who!

The March meeting of the RISC OS User Group of London – ROUGOL – should be something quite special for those able to attend: The guest speaker for the meeting is a comedy writer, a technologist, a maker, and a broadcaster, all rolled into one in the form of Leila Johnston of Hack Circus, a quarterly live show and magazine exploring areas such as speculative science, subversive technology, and so on.

Leila has given many talks, covering hot topics ranging from boredom on the Starship Enterprise (where anyone who said “S” in a game of I Spy was made to wear a red shirt for the next away mission) through to creativity in the Terminator films (not many people know that the liquid metal T1000 in Terminator 2 did a nice sideline, moonlighting as a living robotic statue).

Having spoken at TEDx events (TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design, and started out in the mid-1980s as a conference focusing on the convergence of those areas), Ada Lovelace Day Live (a celebration of the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and maths, and named for Ava Lovelace, considered the world’s first computer programmer), The Royal Institution, and The Royal Academy of Arts, Leila has surely now reached the pinnacle of her career with a talk at a ROUGOL meeting.

Leila’s talks often feature slides generated using BBC BASIC, rather than standard tools designed for the purpose, such as Powerpoint, and her ROUGOL talk will therefore be something of a meta-talk, because rather than give a talk supported by slides, she will instead be talking about the slides used in her talks – although there is no word at this stage on whether or not her talk about the slides used to support her talks will itself be supported by slides.

Umm. Quite.

Leila will be explaining how and why she creates the slides this way, as well as why programming should be considered both a creative and a fun pastime (something that it is – but perhaps the point is to get that across to others).

The meeting takes place from 7:45pm on Monday, March 16th, 2015, at the usual venue:

The Blue-Eyed Maid (upstairs in the Spice Lounge restaurant)

173 Borough High Street



There is no charge for admittance, and everyone is welcome. The venue itself sells a range of hot and cold food, as well as both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.

Located between (and within five minutes walk of) London Bridge and Borough tube stations, the Blue-Eyed Maid is readily accessible by public transport, and there is ample cycle parking. For drivers, the Congestion Charge ends at 6:00pm, well before the meeting starts, so your only real concern is parking – which is restricted at all times on double red lines, and best left until after 7:00pm on single red or yellow lines.

ROUGOL can be contacted by email, on Twitter or by telephone on 07970 211 629 if you need any help finding the venue, or for any other information.

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