catching sleepers

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Catching Sleepers INTERESTING NORTH 13 th November 2010 E: [email protected] T: @olishaw W olishaw.com Presenting: Hi I'm olishaw, I’m talking about a study I’ve been doing over the last 12 months

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What started off as a passing curiosity to alleviate the monotony of my long daily commute soon developed into a year long ‘lite’ anthropological study on the behavior of ‘sleepers’ on public transport. Through this study I have been looking at identifying the traits, behaviors and patterns of sleepers. What similarities could be found in the type of person that makes a ‘sleeper’? As well as the pros & cons of different sleeping methods and tactics.

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Catching SleepersINTERESTING NORTH 13th November 2010

E: [email protected]

T: @olishaw

W olishaw.com

Presenting:

Hi  I'm  olishaw,  I’m  talking  about  a  study  I’ve  been  doing  over  the  last  12  months

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“The art of noticing and capturing a person sleeping in public”

What is ‘catching sleepers’ ?

So  what  is  catching  sleepers?  

Put  simply  its  the  art  of  documenBng  someone  asleep  in  a  public  place,  I  came  to  think  of  it  a  bit  like  wildlife  photography,  where  you  enter  into  the  subjects  habitat  and  document  them

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Who am I ?

A  bit  of  context...  I  don't  have  a  PhD  and  I’m  not  a  trained  anthropologist,  but  I  am  lucky  in  that  I  can  pracBce  certain  aspects  of  it  in  my  work

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Why did I do this study?

A  year  ago  I  changed  jobs  resulBng  in  me  traveling  through  5  zones  of  the  London  underground  and  back  each  day,  spending  an  hour  or  more  twice  a  day  on  the  tube  I  quickly  ran  out  of  things  to  keep  myself  occupied.  

I  began  to  noBce  a  frequent  number  of  people  a  sleep  on  the  tube,  with  an  interest  in  cultural  research  I  thought  I  would  document  this  phenomenon  and  turn  it  into  a  study...

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Developing a methodology

I  quickly  realised  that  like  any  study  i  needed  an  approach,  a  methodology

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You can’t use an SLR, I quickly discovered that discretion was the key to success.

How to catch a sleeper

What  became  quickly  apparent  is  that  you  need  to  be  discreet,  you  cant  go  poking  a  big  SLR  in  peoples  faces,  even  if  they  are  asleep,  everyone  else  in  the  carriage  starts  to  look  at  you  funny

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How to catch a sleeper

An iPhone and ninja cam was invaluable

+

I  have  no  affiliaBon  with  ninjacam,  but  I  will  champion  it  as  a  great  app  for  being  discreet,  basically  it  can  make  you  iphone  look  like  it’s  off  while  you  snap  away.  It  does  make  you  learn  how  to  shoot  from  the  hip

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“It’s one of the few times you don't want someone to look at the camera when your taking their picture”

Some times you get spotted

Even  with  these  precauBons,  you  someBmes  can  sBll  get  spoQed,  it’s  not  foolproof

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You  think  he’s  asleep

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oh,  no  I’ve  been  spoQed

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spoQed  again

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This  guy  was  an  interesBng  one,  he  noBces  the  camera

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wonders  what  I’m  doing  doing,  but  even  when  I  move  seats  (to  capture  a  different  sleeper)

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he  came  and  sat  in  front  of  me  and  went  to  sleep,  clearly  not  that  bothered  

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Who are the sleepers?

So  who  are  these  sleepers?

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“The bum on the sidewalk can enjoy the same tasting Coke as the president of the USA”

...all types of people

Andy Warhol (possibly)

Well  they  come  from  all  walks  of  life,  I  like  this  quote  about  how  a  can  of  coke  is  the  same  no  maQer  who  drinks  it  (theres  not  premium  can).  

In  the  same  way  sleep  is  one  of  those  social  levellers

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So  everyone  sleeps,  older  people

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younger  people

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women

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men

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all  types

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no  maQer  who  the  are

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...all time of the day & year

and  it  happens  through  out  the  year

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Winter Summer

through  all  the  seasons,  hot,  cold...

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It’s happening all over europe

And  its  happening  all  over  europe

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(well I found sleepers in Berlin and Paris)

Well  its  world  wide,  but  I  was  fortunate  enough  to  go  to  france  and  germany  whilst  doing  the  study  an  have  documented  sleepers  in  Berlin  &  Paris

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They’re not just on the tube

And  sleepers  are  not  just  on  the  tube,  public  sleeping  happens  all  over

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On  buses

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On  the  overground  trains

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And  even  in  Starbucks

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at  lunchBme  on  saturday  (it  wasn’t  exactly  quite)

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Some  people  could  quite  make  it  onto  the  tube  before  they  fell  asleep

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Some points of interest

So,  a  few  points  of  interest  that  came  out  of  the  study

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Habitual sleepers

There are some sleepers are habitual, getting the tube at the same time (same carriage) every working day.

...They must be factoring it into their daily sleep quota

I  was  amazed  that  they  would  always  wake  up  in  Bme  fore  there  stop

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Where as...

Where as there are other unplanned sleepers who would sleep though there stop...

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...even  if  it  was  the  end  of  the  line.

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This  lady  was  on  a  busy  bustling  tube

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Even  when  people  got  on  and  of  she  remain  undisturbed  in  her  slumber

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Now  this  guy

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Was  fast  asleep  long  aZer  the  train  had  pulled  in  an  everyone  had  disembarked  the  train  (I  stayed  around  for  a  while  to  see  how  long  before  he  woke  up)

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Busy or quite a sleeper will sleep on regardless...

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An  empty  tube,  apart  form  these  two  seaming  unconnected  people  at  one  end  of  the  carriage  (and  myself)

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This  lady  was  fast  asleep  on  a  busy  rush  hour  tube

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An  slept  on  oblivious  to  it  all

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On a Eurostar trip at 5pm returning from Paris...

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walking  the  length  of  the  train  I  discovered  a  whole  train  full  of  sleepers

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Some  more  prepared  then  others

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Some  more  asleep  then  others

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Behaviours of the sleepers

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Personal security: What do with your belongings?

One  of  the  biggest  quesBons  I  asked  myself  was  what  about  their  belongings,  and  I  noBced  some  techniques  employed  by  the  sleepers

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The holding tight,

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This  guy  had  white  knuckles  because  he  was  holding  the  bag  so  Bght

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Or  use  the  bag  as  a  head  rest...

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Strap it on,

Don't  think  you  have  the  mind  to  hold  your  bag  when  asleep?  Try  strapping  it  to  yourself  for  security

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This  lady  clearly  prioriBsed  her  bag,  one  (more  precious)  strapped  on  and  the  other  sat  beside  her

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The Confident (between you legs),

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One  strapped,  one  between  the  legs

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This  behaviour  was  typically  a  male  favourite

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This  guy  looked  like  he  might  drop  he’s  phone  he  was  in  such  a  deep  sleep

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The Over-Confident (the offering)

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Here  is  my  bag...

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...please  take  it  from  me

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Now  this  was  my  favourite,  almost  a  zen  like  prayer

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The Berlin technique,

And  then  there  was  the  Berlin  technique

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as  seen  at  3am  on  Friday  evening

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Getting Comfortable

Contrary  to  what  you  have  seen  it’s  not  easy  for  everyone  to  find  a  comfortable  sleeping  posiBon

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This  guy  was  swaying  for  about  30mins  one  side  then  the  other

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She  thought  she  was  comfy,  but  nope,  she  slumps  over

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This  guy  relaxes  into  it...  aZer  a  Bme

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This  lady  without  any  fuss  moves  seat  mid  sleep  to  gain  a  more  comfortable  posiBon

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This  lady  moves  seats  and  gets  really  comfy  

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Am  I  comfy?  Ah  maybe  now...  oh  this  is  beQer...  Ah  thats  the  spot!

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Has  a  yawn  and  then  give  into  the  sleep

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The  train  goes  over  a  bump,  and  he  slumps  forward

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This  guy  is  denying  he's  sleepy,  he  slowly  starts  to  succumb  to  it

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Then  the  sleep  takes  hold

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What to do with your head ?

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You  can  hold  it

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The  head  back  technique  was  quite  a  popular  one

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This  lady  was  well  insulated  and  cushioned,  a  360  pillow

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The  head  forward  slump...

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Use what is around you,

Or  you  could  use  the  structure  around  you

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Make  the  most  of  the  space  around  you

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I  have  to  bring  special  aQenBon  to  this  guy,  he  has  got  his  head  balanced  on  2  inches  of  plasBc,  its  an  art  form

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I’m not really sleeping!

Then  there  are  the  people  who  pretend  that  they  aren’t  really  asleep

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Hiding  behind  their  bags

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The  readers...

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Now  I’m  not  sure  if  they  fall  asleep  reading,  or  if  they  make  it  look  like  they  are  reading  then  fall  asleep

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Listening  to  a  lullaby  

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This  guy  slumps  of  a  bit  later  in  the  journey

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Its  summer,  sunny,  you  have  your  sunglasses  on...

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But  then  you  slump  forwards  and  everyone  can  see  your  fast  asleep

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I’m asleep and I don’t care!

The  unashamed  sleepers

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Hood  up  and  I  don't  care

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No  hood,  use  what  you  have

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This  guy  looked  like  he  could  have  almost  be  posing  for  me  -­‐  if  it  wasn’t  for  the  snoring

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Is it infectious, like yawning?

So  I  began  to  wonder,  is  sleeping  infecBous  like  yawning  is?

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This  guy  seems  to  be  infecBng  the  lady  next  to  him

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3  strangers  sleeping  together  in  public

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The  most  I  had  in  one  tube  was  5

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This  guy  managed  to  infect  two  different  people  sat  next  to  him

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How do you know when its a deep sleep?

Apart  from  snoring...

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Lets  take  a  closer  look

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 it’s  the  mouth  open  imminent  drooling

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Catching sleepers game

So  to  maintain  my  enthusiasm  for  the  study  throughout  the  12  months,  i  made  up  a  game

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The Game of catching sleepers

A Cross between noticin.gs and pub cricket

+

Its  a  bit  like  noBcings  and  the  old  game  of  pub  cricket

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+1The sleeper

So... 1 point for a sleeper

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+2The improvised pillow

more effort to make a pillow, an extra point

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+3The pillow

it take some preparation to bring a pillow so more points

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+2The unique

2 points for a unique pose / position

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+2The end of the line* extra points for an empty carriage

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+10The yawner* must be caught in action

This is an especially hard one to catch in action

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+3The hiding

3 points is you can rumble a hiding sleeper

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+3The shameless

3 points for a shameless sleeper, they're more rare to find

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+5The open mouth* mega points for documented drool!

You get extra points for documenting some drool!

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+1 +1x 2The Multiplier* times by the number in shot

Multiplier points

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+1 +1x 3The Multiplier* times by the number in shot

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+1 +10x 2The Combo Multiplier

Comboʼs!

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+20The offering* such a unique pose

And mega points for my favourite pose

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Things I learnt on the way

So  a  few  things  I  learnt  about  sleeping  on  the  tube...

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Tips for sleeping on the tube

• Don’t have a bag or any belongings your not wearing

• Get an seat at the very front or very back or the tube

• If you think you might miss your stop, don't sleep

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Tips for sleeping on the tube

Most importantly:

Don’t fall asleep if you don't want some one to take your photo! :)

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Insights from desk research

Once  I  had  completed  the  study,  I  thought  that  I  should  (retrospecBvely)  do  some  desk  based  research  on  sleepers

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I  found  this  this  venn  diagram...I’ll  leave  that  with  you

[Sorry  cant  find  a  link  to  the  source  -­‐  FFFFound]

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Even  superheros  sleep  on  public  transport

[Sorry  cant  find  a  link  to  the  source  -­‐  FFFFound]

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Censored

And  it  could  be  worse...

you  could  be;  Drunk,  Naked  and  Asleep

[Sorry  cant  find  a  link  to  the  source  -­‐  FFFFound]

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E: [email protected]: @olishawW: olishaw.com

THANK YOU…