Friday, 27 March 2009

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Rail track

The world's longest model railway!

"It has six miles of track, cost £8m to build and its 1,150 square metres (12,380 square feet) take in the US, Scandinavia and the Swiss Alps." From BBC Europe web site.
more about "Rail track", posted with vodpod

It's a filthy day

Raining here - streams of water running down the side of the road and it's windy too, big change from last week.

- Posted using

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Images online

MobypictureThe previous post, Misty morning, was a test of posting to Mobypicture. This is a service that hosts images which can be uploaded by email and thus from a range of mobile devices as well as larger PCs. It feeds other services and, for now at least, it's set to feed this blog and my Twitter account.

You might also have noticed that I'm using Twitpics
- it feeds a little widget down the side there. Twitpic provides a very similar service to that offered by Mobypicture but of late it's been unreliable. I thought I'd give them both a spin.

I'll use Mobypicture for images that I want to blog and Twitpic for images that won't have oodles of text.

Does that help exp
lain why it's all gone photos-a-gogo on this blog?

I think it's worth reflecting - yet again - on how quickly all this has arrived. Not long ago a digital camera was far too expensive for many people to own. The cost of storage meant that most companies could only store a few images and they'd usually be on a central server rather than on local PCs. Connection speeds were too poor to reliably host images online and web designers were very careful about using images because users with slow connections wouldn't hang around while the pictures download.

Fast moving world.

Misty morning

Took this the other day - uploading to Moby as a test

- Posted using

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Google street view

Many folk are very exercised about Google Street View so I decided to give it a go. I found some truly beautiful pictures on it and it's fantastic for showing how close together some sites of special interest are located.

(Click images for better view)
Look at this for example. First I navigated to The Pev on Great Bridgewater Street and then went towards the Bridgewater Hall to The Briton's Protection!

I'm sure that many - spurred on by the BBC - are looking for images of people throwing up or engaged in something naughty but as far as I can see capturing images of beautiful pubs is wonderful.

More power to Google!

Thursday, 19 March 2009

The pharm goes phacebook

This will mean something to a very small number of people :-)

Wednesday, 18 March 2009


This striking piece is called "Letraset for Dyslexics" and it's stencilled on one of the walls in the coffee area at LCC. It's the work of Jon Adams. Jon is currently a Research Fellow at the University of Portsmouth school of Architecture. He's a geologist and spent 25 years working as a book illustrator.

His work reflects his own early life as an unrecognized dyslexic and he works with Dada South and others to promote the work of disabled artists.

I've distilled the text from the information on site and I loved this and other pieces on display. Check out Jon's website for more information and to see work.

Monday, 16 March 2009

I love this advert!

more about "Berocca", posted with vodpod

Sunday, 15 March 2009

More government madness

Plans for a minimum price for alcohol

The government's top medical adviser has drawn up plans for a minimum price for alcohol which would double the cost of some drinks in England. Under the proposal from Sir Liam Donaldson, it has been reported that no drinks could be sold for less than 50 pence per unit of alcohol they contain. It would mean most bottles of wine could not be sold for less than £4.50.

BBC News 15/03

Of course, as was discussed this morning on the broadcast media, this won't have an enormous impact on those with a steady income and a controlled alcohol habit. The groups which will be hardest hit are those people who are addicted to booze and those with a low or no income. These groups tend to overlap.

Of course there are some major flaws in the logic here. If I travel for about an hour from here I can be in a Calais Hypermarket stocking up on as much booze as the car will carry. Increasing the differential between UK prices and those on the mainland of Europe is a great was of helping the ferry services and the French economy. As with other drugs those who have a real addiction will turn to illegal means to acquire the means with which to buy their drug of choice - is there any reason to believe that alcohol is any different in this regard?

One of the declared target groups are younger people who binge drink but many of these people have the highest disposable income;first job, living with parents, no mortgage, etc. One of the target groups not explicitly declared is made up of those homeless people who drink cheap cider - they are price-sensitive but without additional support to deal with a wide-range of problems, sometimes including mental health issues, simply hiking the price of White Lightening isn't sorting anything out at all.

Another worrying strand is that this isn't a tax. The government are considering instructing private companies on their charging policies but the government will not get any of the money raised by this policy should it be introduced. This really is the nanny state gone mad.

Nobody doubts that alcohol is a dangerous drug and the damage caused by misusing it can be devastating but this isn't the correct way of dealing with the issues. No personal agenda here - I earn a reasonable whack and if I want a drink I might grumble about the price but I can afford the money. If I decided to binge drink I could still afford it (In fact since I stopped smoking I have a good deal more disposable income). I suppose this also points to the stupidity of this plan - it'll just be the middle-class who can afford to go on getting wrecked but they will keep on drinking regardless of what Liam thinks happens behind the net curtains.


I'm copying this from MCIVTA ("Manchester City information via the Alps"), an email fanzine, with the permission of the editor. I think it's a nice story which demonstrates yet again that people are generally nice despite the prevailing stories in the red tops.

Though for thousands of fans the UEFA Cup victory against Schalke will be remembered as City's best away win of the season, for one fan the trip to Gelsenkirchen had tragic consequences. As regular readers will know, Carl Ramsbottom, life long City fan, made the trip to Germany to watch his beloved blues and fell down a flight of stairs at a train station, suffering severe head injuries. Carl has been hospitalized in Germany ever since the event and the doctors alongside his family have been working hard in order to help Carl recover. From the dark however there is always a glimmer of light and this has come in the form of wonderful acts of charity from opposition fans. Only last month Schalke supporter Markus Rehse presented Carl and his family with a cheque for 2,500 euros which will go towards caring for Carl whilst he remains in Germany. Hughes told of the club's appreciation for the contribution: "It was fantastic to see how City and Schalke supporters stood together for Carl and I think this will forge a lasting bond between our two clubs. I would like to thank everyone so much for supporting the collection." Even before the contribution from the German side, a club a little closer to home got involved.

Ahead of the Boxing Day match between City and Hull, a Tiger's travelling fan took a look at the official City website in order to confirm travel details to CoMS. Whilst on the website, the Hull City fan known only as 'Tigger' read about Carl's situation and led a collection on the Hull City coaches in aid of Carl. The travelling fans donated more than £150.
From MCIVTA 1514, 12/03/09

Saturday, 14 March 2009

BBC NEWS | England | Dream job? Beer taster wanted

More about "BBC NEWS | England | Dream job? Beer ...", posted with vodpod

Job as a beer taster available - it's in Lincolnshire but the end of the queue is currently just outside Cardiff :-)

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Forgot to say....

"Consultation Evening" last night. First appointment was at 16:00 and the teacher arrived at 16:05 (people who know me know I hate being late for anything and I don't do waiting when others are late). Teacher arrived, sat us down and did the spiel. Had to borrow one of his red pens to correct his crib sheet because he'd spelt my son's name incorrectly! I was not very impressed at all.

Know your meme

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Faversham Guild Hall

Faversham Guild Hall
Originally uploaded by nogbad the bad
Cal and I have had a busy weekend! As well as having a drive around the Isle of Sheppey today we also had a walk in Faversham and had a quick shopping stop in Maidstone. If you don't know Faversham I can heartily recommend it - lovely buildings in the centre.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Thursday, 5 March 2009



Remember I used to live there? Well the church was featured on the local news last night. A grant they need to carry our repairs is threatened in these cash-strapped times. This link goes to the video and if you want to see the snippet about St Mary's starts at 42 seconds.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Cory Doctorow

Those not familiar with the name won't be aware that Cory is one of those terribly smart guys who spans a range of pursuits with scary efficiency. He's a blogger (co edits BoingBoing and his own site), journalist, sci fi author and general all round activist. He gave a talk at the OU last week and it was jolly good indeed! Start at Platform for an interview and from there hit the link to video of his talk (look for "Computing Research Centre Distinguished Lecture") it's well worth watching a few times! You should also check out Rebecca's visualization of the back channel in action during Cory's talk.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Who said librarians are boring?

It's all kicking off at CILIP (the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals). Their Chief Exec keeps a blog - rather pompously entitled "From the Chief Executive's Desk" - and he's shared with the world his view on Twitter. More importantly he's given his considered opinion on whether CILIP (remember the "Information Professionals" bit) should have a Twitter presence.

The simple answer, of course, is no. In terms of "official" activity, cyber life is just like real like - if it happens in a CILIP-sanctioned space, it's
official; if it happens down the pub or in someone else's space, it isn't.
Bob McKee - "From the Chief Executive's Desk", 18/02/09

How that is "a simple answer" is beyond me but I'm more exercised by this idea of hypothecating spaces. I'm writing this on blogspot while working for the University of the Arts, London but I'm also thinking about some work I'm doing for the Open University. This blogging space is neutral (not managed by any of the organizations I work for) so how credible is it?

Phil Bradley - a pukka member of CILIP (notice that the Cheif Exec's blog only accepts comments from paid up members of CILIP!) has written a wonderful response to the original posting.

This is proper web 2.0 stuff - and I think that this is the point that Bob has missed. "The space" is no longer contested - it's out there wherever people chose to write or speak. The idea that anyone will get that genii back in the bottle is laughable and those who aren't engaging with these technologies are the ones who are being left behind. Treat yourself to reading all the comments - the last one, it's from Bob, talks of printing off all the comments so that he can read them on the train and consider his response........

Thanks to Clari for tweeting this in the first place - the futility of Bob's position will be evidenced by the spike in reads that post will have simply because it's been passed around on Twitter.