Archive for July, 2012

Google Maps UK adds cycling routes

Google has added cycling routes to the UK version of Google Maps. Canal towpaths, too.

Google Maps Offline

Google Maps officially goes offline, if you have an Android smartphone… “Offline Maps: Wish you had a map when your device was offline? With offline maps, you can save and use certain maps when you’re not connected to the Internet. If you have GPS on the device, the blue dot will still work without a […]

Kickstarter vs. government arts funding

The U.S. crowd-funding website Kickstarter is now said to distribute more money to creatives per year than the NEA (the USA’s equivalent of the Arts Council), and without the intervening clutter. There are now better chances of success on Kickstarter than applying for NEA grants. Kickstarter funded three times more projects than the NEA in […]

Paine Proffit at The Public

Stoke-on-Trent artist Paine Proffit has a free show opening tomorrow at The Public, West Bromwich. “The Book of Albion” runs from 4th July 2012 – 9th September 2012, and it features a survey of his fine painted work for the covers of the West Browich Albion Football Club programme…


Trailer for Turbulence, a comedy movie shot in Birmingham for £5,000… “When a failing music venue staffed by fools looks set to close, manager Keith launches a last ditch ‘Battle of the Bands’ competition. More by accident than by design, musical genius is unleashed by a rapping transvestite, some precocious indie rockers and a barmaid […]

Why does the UK lack a serious comics industry?

Paul Abbott in The Spectator, on the lack of a British comic book industry — compared to America’s Hulk-like industry, and the lively and serious interest in comics shown in France and the low countries. Abbott basically appears to put it down to decades of stuffy political correctness among teachers, London media types, and large […]

The Midlands and the roots of English Romanticism

An interesting short article at The Spectator this week, by Austen Saunders. It shows that Charles Cotton’s poem “The Retirement” (1676) could well have been a key ideological template for English Romanticism. I’m no expert on Romanticism, but it’s a convincing argument, and all the more so if you also know that Cotton was highly […]