There are many things that I could put here. Appart from my interest in computers and games, I have an interest in Medieval Reinactment, the human brain and politics. I also have a wonderful family, both my little family here in Norway and my extended family in NZ.

Medieval Reinactment

My first reinactment activities were in Highschool in Hawera in Taranaki. I used and angle grinder and welder to make a sword and did a sword fight as part of the play Macbeth, and did some LARPing at Turuturumoki a local Maori Pa. At University I joined the Otago University Medieval Society. I met some wonderful people and had a lot of fun learning sword fighting, leather work, rope making, medieval cooking. We did regular public displays and visited schools to engage students with history. The group was a reinactment society so we used metal weapons and thick sheilds. Trusting each other while fighting was critical to safe displays and practices.

It was as part of the OUMS that I auditioned as an extra in Lord of the Rings. I was a wildman in the second film near the beginning where we burn down a Rohan village while two kids ride away on a hourse. It was a lot of fun to be involved in the filming, even thought it was only 3 days of shooting. I got to keep my goatee, and did not have a wig but instead had my hair combed back to make it look shaggy. My other link to the film is that the blacksmith who made my reinactment sword later became the armourer for LOTRs. The sword is mostly retired now, but it is nice to have a couple of links to the iconic film.

In Norway I have not been sword fighting and re-enacting regularly, but each year from 2009 I have gone to the Hamar Medieval festival and built traction trebuchets. This involves getting trees delivered and having 6 of us build and display the trebuchet. The machines we have built are about 2.5 to 4 meters at the axle and up to 6 meter throwing arms. They are made in the style of the viking age siege weapons which were used from the 800s to the 1100s. We through about 4kg up to 100 meters. I also give a presentation about the use of siege weapons and the how they were used in a period of time when most historians do not believe they were common.

The Brain

I started my PhD looking at the early visual system in humans. Unfortuately at the time science did not know enough about the feedback in the visual system for me to acurately model what was happening in the biology. 17 years on and we still do not known what the feedback is doing. I am still interested in the early visual system and some of the interesting science. I recently played with the EYEwire game, which helps to make the connectome of the retina. It is a facinating project which will hopefully eventually lead to understanding more about the brain.

My research on the role of REM in learning is still very intersting to me. I have recently started using the Basis B1 which measures many biological functions and from those estimates sleep phases. It is very intersting, and links with work we are currently doing on cognitive decline and the role games might play in slowing the progress of dementia.


I have strong left leanings in my political views. I believe in a strong society, and contributing to society according to your means. I support high taxation and a well funded education and health system. I believe that the only way to have a safe, happy, and productive society to to support people who are struggling and create the desire to give back. In New Zealand I was a member of the Labour Party, as my father and grandfather before me. My great grandfather was a communist objecter and spent the first world war in prison for his views. The idea that society should support each other and that an hour of a persons effort should be of similar value, runs deep in my genes. I am interested in potentially spending time trying to improve society by serving as a politician, I just have to work out the best time, and best route to becoming an elected representative.