Archive for May, 2008

Summer break

Well…. I have a mountain of books to read over the summer, places to be (not least the starship Normandy), and things to do. There may still be the occasional set of links, and pictures here, but don’t expect the usual flow of blog posts until near the end of the summer. Have a good […]


The Moggies of Moseley, Birmingham. Moseley, an area historically more inclined toward a woolly “knit-your-own-organic-muesli” thinking than rationality, pioneers objective scientific rating of the neighbourhood cats… [ Hat-tip: Pete Ashton ]

Accessorise your bicycle for the summer

Remember the days when bikes had coloured-tassles hanging from the handle-grips, and a folded-up business card stuck through the brake-blocks could make it sound like it had a motor? These days the designers are giving bike accessories a makeover… Flute handles for musical cycling… Leave a trail of soap-bubbles behind you. Each bubble contains one […]

More details on the new BIAD

Simon of Birmingham Eastside has been pumping the architects of the new Birmingham Institute of Art & Design (BIAD) for information… The “central feature” will be the Library. By which I assume they mean the central lowest building, the one that’s connected to the circular building with the tree inside it… Above: Curzon St. station […]

Wyre mesh

So you’ve got a massive English forest that straddles Worcestershire and Shropshire, and you want to see what the landscape once looked like without trees? Kev-down-the-pub might suggest you get out your chainsaw, but there’s a better way of doing it. Wedge some boffins and a rack of high-power lasers into a small light aircraft […]

WordCamp UK venue found

The venue for the WordPress UK WordCamp has been found. It’s to be at the Aston University Lakeside Centre, Birmingham (walk right to the top end of Corporation Street, and go over the ring-road and you’re there), and will be on Saturday and Sunday 19th-20th July 08. My photo of the lake-view from the Centre’s […]

Trains are… in hardback

Forbidden Planet has a long interview with Oliver East, on the occasion of the publication of the collected hardcover edition of the first three issues of “Trains are… mint”. “I attempted to turn a two-man tent into a pinhole camera and take it to caravan parks to take pictures of caravans, but it didn’t work […]

Paradise Circus

It seems that the Birmingham Bloggers pubmeet was hit by a burst of deadly cosmic rays while orbiting Digbeth last night, and has mutated into… The Fantastic Four Paradise Circus… Now inclusive of all blogging mutants (podcasters, flickr fans, tweeters, etc.)

Getting interactive with £36m

The BBC has lost £36m down the back of a website… “Not only has the BBC lost track of a phenomenal sum of money [ on interactive media ], but this mismanagement will now directly impact on the future development of this popular [ online ] service.” Why do I blog this? Because it would […]

Even Keele

Not something you see every day — Keele University, a stone’s-throw from Stoke-on-Trent, is offering a “0.7 Lectureship in Creative Writing“. Starting Sept 08.

Flyover flyer

A web page for the Hockley Flyover show, this coming Saturday. I don’t normally cover gigs, but this seems an exceptional and imaginative effort. Soweto Kinch turns the grotty & gritty space under the Hockley fly-over (you’d prefer not to stand opposite it waiting for a bus at night, believe me) into a temporary performance […]

Bite into an Apple

Free Apple Summer camp workshops, at Apple’s shop in the Birmingham Bull Ring… “Apple Summer Camp happens at all Apple Store locations and each Workshop is three hours. Learn iPhoto in the Photo Workshop, iMovie in the Movie Workshop, GarageBand in the Music Workshop and iWork in the Presentation Workshop. All workshops are recommended for […]

Community news site for Stoke

Stoke-on-Trent gets its own version of The Stirrer, only with graphic design values and (currently) without an RSS feed. It’s run by Matt Taylor, a journalism graduate from Staffordshire University and a Hanley (i.e.: Stoke city-centre) publican. The first few stories feature an excellently-made new video documentary about the human costs of the forced clearance […]

Steampunk in videogames

Ars Technica has a long and informed article on in videogames by Michael Thompson, which calls Birmingham’s Brass Goggles… “one of the foremost authorities of the genre on the web” Also on Ars Technica; a good summary of the current mood of the British videogame industry in the face of those newly-alluring state subsidies in […]

CiB for the summer

Created in Birmingham has had a makeover for the summer, and very nice it looks too. Stef and Chris have chosen a plain white background, the Futurosity-vero WordPress template, and Baskerville as the font. Baskerville, apart from being a very clean and flexible font, was of course made in Birmingham by… John Baskerville. If you’d […]

Main Lining wi-fi

An interesting techie account of exactly how you get broadband wi-fi on a moving train. It seems as though solving the ‘low-bridges’ problem on the West Coast Main line (London-Birmingham-Stoke-Manchester-Edinburgh) will lead to new inventions that, come 2010, can also be profitably sold across Europe.

Dept. of the bleedin’ obvious

Gosh, who knew? “Today, professor Michael Clarke, vice-principal of Birmingham University, will deliver a report calling for a radical rethink of how the city [ of Stoke-on-Trent ] is governed. “We are dismayed at the extent to which the city’s political system is damaged,” he says. “There is a deep-seated malaise in the city’s politics. […]

New BIAD to open 2012

Birmingham Eastside blog brings news that the new £150m BIAD plans/models are to go on show to the public… “An exhibition of the proposals will be open at Millennium Point on Friday, May 30 from 12.30pm-5.30pm, and on Saturday, 31 May from 9.30am-12.30pm.” The timing of which seems a bit off. You might have thought […]

Pre-Iron Age sites in the West Midlands, to visit

Following Julian Cope’s talk last night in Birmingham, some readers may be interested in a visit to some of the oldest sites in the West Midlands. Although, as someone who spent much of his late youth chasing ley-lines and folklore across south Warwickshire (sadly I couldn’t afford a camera then), I can tell you from […]

Pride cancellation protest

Martyn’s photos of the unofficial Gay Pride parade ‘cancellation protest event’…