Archive for November, 2007

1920 x 1200 desktop Flickr-kitsch wallpapers

Since I’m mumbling through a cold and cough this weekend, I thought I’d do a little stress-free Picasa-trawl through my folders of old photographs. I’ve uploaded 30 ‘mass-appeal’ wallpapers for people using 1920 x 1200-pixel desktops to Flickr, since they’re better there than mouldering away unseen on my hard-drive. Don’t expect anything too arty; we’re […]

BrumCon 07

We have new dates for Birmingham’s BrumCon 07, which has had to be held over from October to May 2008… “We welcome all kinds of phreaks, geeks and other technologically interested people from all sides of the fence (as long as hats, badges and warrants are left at the door).”

Warning: the house price bore post

An interesting fillip to the recent journalistic “doom and gloom” on house prices in the West Midlands; the reliable FT House Price Index for September shows an increase of 4.4 percent in the West Midlands since last year. Which is only a fractional slowing of 0.7 percent in the rate of growth. And the East […]

American representations of otaku

Brrr, the temperature is going to fall to minus three degrees tonight. Time to snuggle up with some bedtime reading about nerds… Otak-who? … American representations of a Japanese youth subculture (PDF link).

Hidden Depths: Jacques Henri Lartigue

My copy of the limited-edition Hidden Depths: Jacques Henri Lartigue – a box containing a set of stereo cards, a nice stereo viewer, and a 32-page booklet – has arrived…. “The photographs have been carefully chosen from the Lartigue archive of over 5,000 stereos to show some very well known photographs (although never seen in […]

Laughing Swing

The Laughing Swing, courtesy of Rinotchild in Israel.

Axle EV-X7

Japan’s Axle Group re-invents the electric bicycle, anime-style. The EV-X7 apparently goes up to 100 miles on a single charge (more likely 40 miles on flat roads, with stopping and starting in traffic). Apparently they’ll be on sale for about £1200 in 2008, which is cheap for an ebike, especially one of this size. However, […]

Stoke-on-Trent in six minutes

You’ve probably all seen that wonderful speeded-up film of a train going from London to Brighton in six minutes. Nizzle has applied the same idea to the city of Stoke-on-Trent, visiting the whole city in just seven minutes…

The BT farce

The recent transfer of my BT phone line was a sustained farce, offering third-world levels of ‘service’ at a first-world price – in this case, a £124.99 re-connection charge. BT suggested to me that it would be a 10 to 12 working-day re-connection. Eventually it took 40 working days. For the record, what follows in […]

Maps of time

This morning I went looking for good timeline creation software, of possible use to a British academic. This was what I found… The Microsoft Office .xls add-on or Word .doc template will serve most simple needs; whereas the SIMILE Timeline from MIT offers a more complex and elegant Open Source solution – but only for […]


I hadn’t visited the Kahn+Selesnick site for a while. But now I find they have several new series there. Including a panoramic series called ApolloProphecy, which has led to a new Mars commission from NASA. Not on the website yet, but on the Pepper Gallery site, is their new Eisbergfreistadt series.

Virtual Gallery of Contemporary Fine Metalwork

A Flickr gallery of photos from the launch of the completed BIAD/THS interactive project Virtual Gallery of Contemporary Fine Metalwork. The DVD aims to be the definitive reference work (including innovative tactile elements). It sits alongside the earlier AHRC-funded Virtual Gallery of Contemporary Jewellery, also created and researched by Ken Quickenden, which is currently installed […]

Name of an artist?

Sometime in the mid to late 1980s, there was a small white-walled art gallery above a shop in Summer Row, at the back of the Central Library. As a callow lad I braved my way past the trendy-looking receptionists and visited a show of large detailed etchings or engravings, made on the tracks under railway […]

Rhonda Wilson interview

Rhonda Wilson, founder and director of Birmingham’s Seeing The Light, interviewed as part of a German project. “… Birmingham is one of the hardest cities to work in for an agency that represents image makers because Birmingham doesn’t really have a very good handle on its own image. So, it tends to use very out-of-date […]

Dream bear

I thought I’d have a go at quickly embellishing a strange shadow… (large version, 210kb)

Null points

Ouch, Stoke-on-Trent City Council has a naff new pop ‘anthem’, at the cost to the taxpayer of a mere £70,000. Sadly you can no longer hear it online, since the server for the entire Council website has fallen over for the weekend, as usual… Notice: An unexpected error has occurred. If this continues to be […]

Black Country cyclepath

Nice; there’s a nearly completed six-mile and mostly off-road cyclepath between the Black Country towns of Dudley and Stourbridge (the home place of my ancestors). The SUSTRANS newsletter says of Route 54… “it is the most direct route between Dudley and Stourbridge, and it possesses stunning views along most of its length“. (my emphasis). Stunning […]

New book by Arthur Lockwood

A new book has just been published by publishers Sansom & Co.. Change in the Midlands: Urban and industrial watercolours by Arthur Lockwood is described as… “Probably the most searching examination in the visual arts of any urban landscape in Britain” … the artist having been engaged in “20 years of painting change in the […]

Standstill funding?

Lyn Gardner writes on the recent DCMS/arts-funding Spending Review settlement. She points out that, even if it really does total a £200m inflation-matching standstill rise, this money will have to pay for the expensive Olympics cultural fringe… “The arts is already living with the £137m diversion of monies to the Olympics and I noted that […]

Inline British spellchecking in IE7, using IE7Pro

Until now I had overlooked the IE7 plug-in IE7Pro. But I’ve just found that it can do inline British-dictionary spell checking, in IE7 forms and blog entries. I had heard about it before, but assumed it to be shareware. But it’s actually freeware, and is being actively developed. It contains many IE7 widgets (which are […]