Archive for November, 2008

“Is there a future for West Midlands media?”

Subs’ Standards blog reports on Thursday’s Press Club meeting in Birmingham on the future of the mainstream media in the West Midlands… “The first 10 minutes were given over to a DVD compilation of Birmingham’s glorious print and TV past — featuring, bizarrely, images of New Faces, Pot Black and Basil Brush” Despite the free […]

FLIP six-pack

Six video interviews from Wolverhampton’s recent FLIP animation festival.

Cephalopod Works

Miquel Barcelo with Philippe Parreno, “Cephalopod Works” (Flash link), opening at London’s Pilar Corrias gallery on 26th November 08.

Nuclear: art & radioactivity

As part of the London exhibition Nuclear: art & radioactivity (until 30th Nov 08), there’s to be a one-day symposium… “In partnership with the RSA Arts & Ecology, the Arts Catalyst and SCAN present a Nuclear Forum at the RSA on Friday 28th November 08 (10am to 6pm), exploring the impact of nuclear power in […]

Branching out

John Ogden went in search of tree spirits in the Black Country.

Detroit accelerators

Detroit — a city not unlike Birmingham in its post-war dependence on large car makers — has commissioned a New Economy Strategies consultancy report (PDF link) on… “the best practices strategy of large creative accelerators“ …for the purposes of growing creative clusters. As studied in: London; New Zealand; Australia; Winston-Salem (USA) ; Providence (USA); Orlando, […]

75 comics currently being made into films

A big list of 75 comics currently being made into films. The problem being, of course; how many comic-films can you remember rising above simple forgettable entertainment? Nausicaa (an animation)? Batman Begins? X-Men 2? American Splendor? And er… that’s it, to my mind, in the slow train-wreck of adaptations. But even if all but five […]

Big bits

Birmingham Central picks the meaty bits off the City Centre Masterplan (aka The Big Plan). Update: there’s now also a digest of the Big Plan Options.

Reverse geocoding

Birmingham’s Subtrakt (kudos to them for recently winning a gong) point to a fascinating new ‘place-shaping’ ability for a Flickr/Google Maps API mashup… “Flickr recently made a loads of interesting geo information available, by plotting the outside edge of geotagged photos they’ve managed to roughly show where a ‘place’ is according to people who have […]

Morning Travelogue

Morning Travelogue, a video-blog by a London bloke who’s decided to try walking to work. Warning; sea-sickness inducing wobbly camera work. He really needs a tripod (probably tricky in Central London, if you don’t want van-loads of police suddenly jumping on you) or a camera with video stabilisation. Or else he needs to practice for […]


The Arts Council are launching their Digital Content Development Programme for the West Midlands (previously piloted in South Yorkshire from 2005) at the ill-fated The Public building in West Bromwich on Thursday 4th December 08. It’s a three-year programme, overseen by Steve Manthorp, and in South Yorkshire its remit was… 1) give annual research and […]

Stoke-on-Trent to ride out the recession?

The Times reports on a new Local Government Association (LGA) study forecasting likely job-losses in the recession, compiled by PACEC (Public and Corporate Economic Consultants). 180,000 job losses are forecast across the West Midlands. But, amazingly, PACEC is reported as suggesting that Stoke-on-Trent will do better than elsewhere… “there was a glimmer of hope for […]

West Midlands branch of The Writers’ Guild

Tom Green of The Writers’ Guild has a concise summary of the first nine months of activity by the West Midlands branch of the Guild.

A debate on the future of the Midlands media

The Birmingham Press Club has an event this Thursday, 20th November 08 from 6pm, at Austin Court (at the back of the ICC, central Birmingham). It’s a… “debate on the future of the Midlands media, held in the light of recent job losses across the region. Organised by the Birmingham Press Club, the debate panel […]

The Derringer

An unusual petrol-pedal hybrid bicycle, the Derringer, from California. With retro styling that harks back to the sort of 1920s motorcycles that my family business used to make, way back then, in Birmingham…

Wolff packs for Brum

Creative Republic are trying again with branding expert Michael Wolff (he bailed before his scheduled Sept 08 appearance). Wolff, of the famous Wolff Olins agency, will be appearing at Digbeth’s new Fazeley Studios, on Thursday 27th November 08 (from 5.30pm). The description of the original event said… “we have invited Michael to take on the […]

Urban Design conference

There’s to be a one-day conference on 19th November 08, at Wolverhampton Science Park, titled The Value Added by Urban Design to Development and Regeneration. With speakers from Urban Splash and MADE, it aims to be… “an informed debate and to try to pin down the economic, community-social, cultural and environmental value of good urban […]

Science, Technology and Culture in Birmingham and the West Midlands

A new book should be in the shops tomorrow. Industrial Enlightenment: Science, Technology and Culture in Birmingham and the West Midlands, 1760-1820 by Peter M. Jones should be out in hardcover on 17th November 08. The table of contents is here. It certainly looks interesting, but there’s a drawback — Manchester University Press will charge […]

River bus

Nunovo has made a very cool map of the No.11 bus route… “a mapping of photos taken as the bus crossed canals, brooks or rivers” It’s… “a plotting of Geosetter data onto a Google map via the GPS Visualizer scripts, but has also seen some work with GPSBabel,, Fotki and Photobucket. I had to […]

Is science fiction dying?

As science fiction / fantasy edges ever closer to the mainstream of culture, New Scientist magazine provocatively asks; “Is science fiction dying?”. Changing, certainly; the New Scientist follows the article with a survey of six SF writers pondering on the future of science fiction. And, as I’ve posted here before, author Neal Stephenson has his […]