Archive for October, 2011

Blood and Bone China – last episode released, complete

The final chapter of the epic “vampires in Victorian Stoke-on-Trent” drama series Blood and Bone China has just been released: Chapter 12. The series is also made in the city. Here’s a link to Chapter One with Playlist to start you off, and an embedding here of Chapter One…

The Spyders of Burslem – new Midlands novel

The Spyders of Burslem is a dark historical mystery, published this Halloween. “It is the year 1869 in the Midlands pottery town of Burslem, where a new age of industry and learning struggles to be born. A young graduate has arrived to teach the workers, but finds himself on the trail of a deadly evil.” […]

Direct funding for individual artists from UK arts councils

A new report from Artists’ Newsletter (aka ‘a-n’), A fair share: direct funding for individual artists from UK arts councils. “there were only 1,033 applications from individual artists to Arts Council England’s (ACE) Grants for the Arts (GFTA) fund in the 2009-10 financial year” [and there were just] “485 successful applications by individual artists in […]

New art galleries planned for Birmingham

Three new art galleries planned for Birmingham city centre. To be based around the terminus of the branch line that may serve HS2 (High Speed Rail), a major train line that could pass to the east of Birmingham at some point in the future. “the Curzon Street railway station buildings could house a museum of […]

How to restore the default font configuration in Google Chrome

One of the most annoying things with Google Chrome can be the inability to restore the default font configuration. It happens like this… some users accidentally press down the Crtl key on their keyboard, and then nudge their mouse scroll-wheel at the same time. On many systems this causes font size to increase or decrease […]

All Public Catalogue Foundation paintings now online for West Midlands

The Public Catalogue Foundation (PCF) has just announced that all oil paintings in public ownership in Staffordshire have been uploaded to the BBC Your Paintings website for the nation to enjoy. This completes the PCF’s online coverage of the West Midlands except for a bit in central Birmingham.

British Ceramics Biennial in Stoke-on-Trent – win tickets

The Guardian has just added a chance to win a trip for two to the British Ceramics Biennial in Stoke-on-Trent.

On my Kindle

A few of the more interesting recent press articles being fed through to my Kindle as a handy bundle by Instapaper… How Amazon makes money from the Kindle part one and part two. How soon will retail sales of plain text ebooks reach 80% of the market? Will ebooks be able to devise a workable […]

10,000 years

Designing a marker system to last 10,000 years for warning of radioactive storage facilities… “A marker system should be chosen that instills awe, pride, and admiration, as it is these feelings that motivate people to maintain ancient markers, monuments, and buildings.” It has to be not valuable enough to be stolen, either. No giant crystal […]

A guide to buying flat caps of quality

Is your head feeling a little chilly on these cold mornings? With the men’s vintage flat-cap decidedly back in fashion, here’s my selection of the best four places to buy quality flat-caps online. I’ve used Village Caps, Hanna, and Kangol a number of times, and the Harris Tweed people look like genuine Scottish crofters… Village […]

Creative/media tops age 14-15 careers poll

An interesting new survey of schoolkids aged 14-15, asking which careers they think they might find interesting. “Media” came top of their list, “creative industries and the arts” came second. Charities, transport, government jobs, environment, and energy all scrape pitifully along the bottom of the rankings. Teenagers are also choosing what they perceive as the […]

Animating business

A lovely animation by one of my city’s leading painters, in partnership with a local animator, to make an eye-catching animation for a company which has been building a new retirement village…

100 words of English

The most interesting 100 words in English, laid out and described in historical order of their introduction into the language. I’ve put them together, keeping almost the same chronological order, to make a prose poem. David Crystal starts his list (around which he’s built a new book) with the Anglo-Saxons, but I’ve gone a bit […]

‘Fresh’ at the Stoke Ceramics Biennial 2011

‘Fresh’ at the Stoke-on-Trent Ceramics Biennial 2011, a set on Flickr. 12 pictures from the Fresh exhibition at the Stoke Ceramics Biennial 2011, now on at the Spode factory in Stoke town (near the main rail station).

Double your dole

An imaginary scheme: “Double Your Dole”, to help with graduate unemployment. Imagine that a new government scheme allowed a bona fide local charity to use Kickstarter to raise £4k (basically, dole + fringe benefits) to have an unemployed graduate (1st class or 2:1) undertake a genuinely socially-useful project in the community for one year. The […]

BBC cuts Birmingham again

The BBC is set to cut Birmingham media production yet again. 100 jobs in “Factual programming for BBC television and Radio 4” could trundle off to Bristol and Cardiff, almost completing the hollowing out of national BBC programme production in the West Midlands. Birmingham’s Dave Harte has commentary that links such moves to the city’s […]

How does a city maintain its ‘digital public squares’?

How does a city build its “digital reach” on a national and global basis, and how does it do so authentically? We care about sprucing up parks, keeping the litter out of the city centre, hanging out the flower baskets, and sometimes making new public squares. But the ‘digital public squares’ seemingly go untended by […]

Dear Fairy

Congratulations to an iClone friend of mine, Tom Jantol. He’s set to appear at the awards ceremony of the “I’ve Seen Films” festival in Italy. It’s run by Rutger Hauer. Members of the Jury this year include Ridley Scott and Paul Verhoeven, among others. Dear Fairy from Tom Jantol on Vimeo.

Instapaper to WordPress

I was hoping that Instapaper would get around to having a “send your articles list to your blog” button for WordPress blogs by now. No sign of it, yet. So it’s a tedious copy-and-paste job to get the links here, instead of a friction-free click. Anyway, here’s a selection of the most interesting articles I […]

Using @font-face

The UK’s Computer Arts magazine has a useful mini-tutorial on how to use @font-face to style web type… “The @font-face command and Web Open Font Formats (.woff files [containers for normal fonts]) now enable designers to create and link to a specific, traditionally non-web-safe font in all modern browsers. […] When a visitor lands, either […]