Archive for October, 2008

Microsoft nibbles an Apple for Halloween

A nice little Microsoft Halloween prank outside the Apple store in Birmingham’s Bull Ring. Microsofties whisked in and installed a guerilla video-recording booth under the noses of the Apple genii. In which people could record their own “I’m a PC” ad…

Midlands Halloween ‘list of 10’

Whooohooo… Halloween. Time for a West Midlands ‘list of 10’ for spook, in no particular order… 1. I Bought a Vampire Motorcycle (feature-film). 2. Wild Edric: A Narrative Poem (book-length poem). 3. Suburban Glamour (graphic novel). 4. The Dancing Did. And Did Those Feet (album). 5. Franc Brett Young’s Cold Harbour (Novel, 1924). 6. Mary […]

Birmingham Gay Symphony Orchestra

Tres fab; Birmingham has a Birmingham Gay Symphony Orchestra.

On Whitby sands

Mike Whitby launches the Hello Digital fest (video). Also check the sidebar for Chris Unitt’s other video reports from the fest. [ Hat-tip: Pete Ashton ]

Birmingham City Council replies to Bennie Gray

Birmingham City Council replies to yesterday’s Post article by Bennie Gray (Pete Ashton now has the whole article by Gray). It makes an interesting exercise to Google the names of the support schemes that councillors point to, as if one were a potential inward-investor in the city… “the ‘Business support scheme for creative industries’” (One […]

A Challenge For Birmingham

Bennie Gray — owner of The Custard Factory and The Big Peg, and head of the SPACE organisation which runs another nine projects in the city — warns in today’s Post that… “Birmingham must urgently embrace the spirit of entrepreneurialism the city was built upon […] In a call-to-arms manifesto entitled A Challenge For Birmingham, […]

2009 Midlands/Brum anniversaries

1759: 250 years 250th anniversary of the founding of the firm of Wedgwood. 1809: 200 years The 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin is in February 2009. The 200th anniversary of the death of Matthew Boulton, one of the main players in the industrial revolution, is in August 2009. The 200th anniversary of […]

Clean Rhubarb

The website of Birmingham’s Rhubarb Radio (at the Custard Factory) has one of the cleanest, calmest and most enticing front-pages I’ve seen for a long time… ‘Enticing’ in the sense that the front page doesn’t hold itself to be too important (even the obligatory pointless Flash animation is in muted greys, and quickly stops), and […]

Kingstanding Odeon in VR

Tom Lennon does a bit of virtual archeology, and digs up the Kingstanding Odeon as a 3d VR model. I vaguely remember this imposing building from when I was a young child, but by then I think it had long-since been converted into a bingo hall? Although I have a vague memory that it may […]

Can architecture make a difference?

Chris from BIAD‘s Architecture department has a new blog on the global architecture schools blog-hub Archinect… “Is it time to acknowledge that architecture will never come back from being a cosmetic endeavor? And should we therefore come up with another term for producing projects that make us think differently? Because perhaps it’s too late for […]

Bastards with bookshops

Ah yes, now I remember why one never asked second-hand book dealers for discounts, in my youth. Bookride remembers too… “One must not forget the Birmingham dealer, who on being asked for a discount for books would tear them in half in front of the customer. What particularly irked him was the phrase ‘What can […]

Caleb Charland

As we approach Halloween, Caleb Charland’s subtly spooky contemporary spirit-photographs seem a suitable counterpoint to the commercial crassness… Cube with ruler and penlight (2007) But, if you do want a more ghoulish approach then try the photography of Franco Bebber.

‘The water-spider’s lair’

A triptych for Halloween…

Substrakt addition

Substrakt has a set of notes from the event everyone was interested in at Birmingham’s Hello Digital — the panel chat with Heather Champ, Director of Community at Flickr. Champ also had a dig at Birmingham’s official BizFiz wi-fi service… “What a funny thing to do, to say ‘here’s the internet’ but then ‘here is […]

A walk around Birmingham’s toy-making district in 1829

A free ‘missing’ chapter from a new book by historian and economist George A. Selgin, Good Money: Birmingham Button Makers, the Royal Mint, and the Beginnings of Modern Coinage, 1775—1821 (2008). His free chapter takes us on a fascinating… “tour of Birmingham’s toy-making district as it was on a mid-October Friday in 1829”. The book […]

Birmingham at 4am

Karen Strunks starts a new photo project: Birmingham city-centre at 4am.

‘Greater Birmingham’

A talk by the director of the Centre for Cities think-tank, Dermot Finch, puts the ‘city-region’ and ‘Greater Birmingham’ names back on the table for discussion. Elsewhere, it seems that the team for the International Digital Lab is firming up nicely.

The Social Media Classroom

Jon Bounds spots a new teaching resource called The Social Media Classroom. It’s Drupal-based (which I, along with Jon, find offputting), but hosted installs are apparently “coming soon”. It’s… “a free and open-source (Drupal-based) web service that provides teachers and learners with an integrated set of social media that each course can use for its […]

Painted Sculpture of Classical Antiquity

Most of the austere and sometimes-frosty classical statues in The British Museum are apparently only that way because the paint completely wore away from them, over the millennia… Ancient Greek sculpture, British Museum A new travelling exhibition and conference aims to correct the picture. Gods in Color: Painted Sculpture of Classical Antiquity is currently on […]

Atlas of Cyberspace

The influential book The Atlas of Cyberspace (2001) is now free online under a Creative Commons licence… “Richly illustrated with over 300 full colour images, it comprehensively catalogues 30 years worth of maps that reveal the rich and varied landscapes of cyberspace.”