An interesting article on a recent light-art extravaganza in Wolverhampton city centre, which I was sorry to miss. It followed the city’s light art trial in their Junction 2012 festival. And Wolverhampton had previously staged real excellence in outdoor light art, and on a grand scale, namely the magnificent “Charge” event that took over the whole of West Park back in the year 2000.
The article also has technical details on how it was done…
“The images were produced using a single Christie Roadster S+20K projector located on top of a specially built tower close to the building, fitted with a 1.2 – 1 short-throw lens. Content … was played back from a MacBook Pro running Millumin software, which is perfect for single projector shows like this.”
I think there’s also possibly scope for using the show windows of empty shops as mini performance spaces, in this kind of city-wide event. Theatrically lit and filled with automata, stringed puppet shows, or shadow puppetry screens.
Incidentally, there’s currently a show of light art at the Shire Hall gallery in the centre of nearby Stafford town.
03 Dec 2013
I recently heard from a friend about “bacteria in room-temperature cooked rice”. It was news to me, and for years I’ve often reheated plain boiled rice. Now it seems the BBC is stirring the idea into a nascent panic. But, hang on, let’s first take a look at the actual number of cases in the UK. In…
“England and Wales between 1993-1999, of over 1093 foodborne [illness] outbreaks with a known causative agent, [only] 2% were caused by B. cereus” (Source: “Bacillus cereus and other Bacillus spp in foodstuffs”, The European Food Safety Authority Journal, 2005, 175, pp 1-48)
Meaning: only an average of 3.12 cases per year in the UK. Sadly it looks to me like the emerging “killer rice” meme is yet another example of a society that eschews rationality and data, in favour of knee-jerk emotion and fear.
Mmmm, bracing: Llandudno in February is hosting the two day conference Digital Past 2014…
Digital Past is a two day conference which showcases innovative digital technologies for data capture, interpretation and dissemination of heritage sites and artefacts.
Toys confiscated by teachers from London schoolchildren in 150 different schools, over thirty years. On display now at the Victoria & Albert Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green, London.
12 Nov 2013
My desktop RSS reader FeedDemon has sadly just stopped development with a new 4.5 version. But the developer Nick Bradbury (the genius behind the classic HomeSite HTML editor) has very kindly made FeedDemon advert-free and has also enabled the Pro version for everyone…
“As promised, this last version of FeedDemon is completely free. All of the features of the Pro version are available, and ads are no longer shown in the bottom left of the screen.”
Some pictures of old Birmingham, rescued from the This is Birmingham Facebook group (soon to close)…
Just right of the New St. station ramp, with what is now Waterstones on the corner. Underground loos entrance in the centre of the road. Mid 1960s?
Bull Ring Market elevated shops area, 1966.
Half way down Corporation St.?
Corporation Place, 1963 (entrance from Corporation St. to Aston University campus and BIAD).
The old Snow Hill Station, 1976 (side).
My JURN search-engine has just had its annual full check-and-repair. JURN lets you search inside 4,538 free ejournals in the arts & humanities, and the results gives full-text access to all articles.
My JURN Directory is also repaired and updated. This organised directory contains links to the home-pages of 3,000 of the English-language ejournals included in JURN.
07 Nov 2013
It looks like I’ll be switching back to Firefox as a Web browser, over Christmas, as Google Chrome is set to block install of all extensions that don’t come from its own extension store. There is no way I could tolerate Google Search without GoogleMonkeyR, or Facebook without F.B. Purity. Also not on the Chrome extensions store are: After The Deadline; Flickr: Show All Sizes; and RSS Subscriptions with FEED: Handler Support (the only RSS address bar buttonizer that seems to work with FeedDemon).
Virgin Media Business has launched…
“a super-fast free Wi-Fi service to serve the city of Birmingham [Visitors] will be able to access unlimited Wi-Fi free of charge across the city centre with the eight connected locations providing 2.5sq miles of coverage. [...] In order to connect users should look for the hotspot ID “_Bham Free WiFi” on the device in question and then follow the onscreen instructions to connect to the service, which has no usage limits.”
07 Nov 2013
Another electric bicycle based on past classic designs. The Icon E-Flyer is based on the classic 1920s British motorcycle look…
05 Nov 2013
BASF’s Concept 1865. A “Penny Farthing” bicycle, reinvented with advanced materials, puncture proof tyres, and an electric motor.
03 Nov 2013
Facebook apps Unbaby Me and Unpolitic Me are now a unified Google Chrome extension called Rather. The Rather congif is now accessed via a discreet grey “r” on your Web browser’s toolbar. Adding new keywords is very clunky, and needs to be better handled. Setting up the replacement cats is also a pain: http://instagram.com/tags/tabbycat/feed/recent.rss from your old UnBabyMe doesn’t work, it has to be #tabbycat. Even when #tabbycat is accepted, replacements don’t seem to be made. I might go back to Unpolitic.me, frankly, as it seems a lot more straightforward.
But for those willing wrestle with it, Rather is claimed as…
“the most robust system ever created for blocking the things that bother you on Facebook and Twitter by replacing them with things you’d rather see, like cats.”
30 Oct 2013
There’s been a big chunk of government spin this week, on the proposals for High Speed 2 rail. I was an enthusiast for HS2 when it was first announced. I’m still an enthusiast for the London to Birmingham route — as long as it has only one or at most two stops on it, has the speed promised, and doesn’t go massively over budget (although budget overruns seem almost a certainty).
As for the follow-on construction of the Birmingham to Manchester section of HS2, that should be left until we know what the London — Birmingham costs are (inc. any technology and engineering work-arounds) and what running-times actually look like.
My main worry is that by the time every Council with enough Westminster pull has a station on the line north of Birmingham (Crewe and Stafford are the latest to get one announced), the whole London to Manchester trip will probably actually be slower than the current West Coast Main Line.
From the large Paul Horton retrospective exhibition, which has recently opened at the Waterhall in BM&AG in Birmingham city centre…
Visited the Library of Birmingham today, and made a few future-tastic 1920px desktop wallpapers from my snaps of the architecture…
The BBC’s fictional Peaky Blinders TV series is loosely based on the real Peaky Blinders — who were supposedly notorious in the late-Victorian Birmingham of the 1890s. Well-known historian Professor Carl Chinn, Chair of Birmingham Community History at Birmingham University, has a new video in which he reveals the truth behind the drama…
Hat-tip: History West Midlands magazine.
An interesting literary/history conference at Warwick in March 2014… Devouring: Food, Drink and the Written Word, 1800—1945.
“We’re making a monster map of Britain’s trees. Use Treezilla to record the trees near you…”
The front page needs a little layout tweaking for Chrome, but it’s still in beta.
A new Wish You Were Here report (PDF link) on music tourism, from UK Music and VisitBritain. In 2012 income generated directly or indirectly by 6.5m music tourists amounted to £2.2bn, which includes direct spending of £1.3bn.
“The West Midlands was the fourth largest region in terms of the number of overseas music tourists, drawing a healthy 24,000 music lovers from abroad.”