Archive for November, 2015

Robot cats!

The long-awaited robot cat is available, albeit in an early and rather basic form. It needs to have programmable gestures, by the look of it, to expand the range of actions. Also the different purr types and meows. Though doubtless various toy-hacking nerds are working on that… Not quite as cool as…

The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement – measures on arts and cultural industries

Some notes on the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement today, in terms of new measures likely to affect the arts and creative industries:- * The Small Business Rate Relief scheme will be extended for another year. * Apprenticeship funding will be increased and expanded, there will be a total of “3 million apprentices” by 2020. * “Every […]

The Edge is where The Centre is

A book of essays and observations on the West Midlands’ film Penda’s Fen, The Edge is where The Centre is, in a new revised and expanded second edition.

Birmingham Science Fiction Group

Birmingham Science Fiction Group, with a focus on literary science-fiction…

Cat pubs

Cat pubs, hopefully soon to become as a much of a trend as cat cafes… “Bristol’s Bag o’ Nails pub has over a dozen cats roaming around the establishment and they are all happy to join you for a convivial pint.” Perhaps one could make a temporary ‘cat pub’, if a group all brought their […]

The online shop, or not

Do you ever fill up your online shopping cart with goodies, only to then abandon the site without buying them? You’re not alone. While the people of the West Midlands are the most prolific gift-givers in the UK at 2015 (an average of 17 Xmas presents, given to more than eight family & friends), we’re […]

‘We’ll keep a pipeline in the valleys…’

The Birmingham Post, on how a giant 60-year scheme laboured from 1893 to 1953 to bring only the purest Welsh mountain water to the people of Birmingham, myself included (some decades further on). I always vaguely knew that the water came from the Welsh mountains, and it certainly tasted good gulping it down as a […]

Visit the British Museum using Google Streetview

You can walk through the British Museum, using Google Streetview… “Built over 15 months with the help of a Google employee with a camera on wheels … completed by the Google Cultural Institute after hours, with special lightbulbs being installed to ensure the lighting remained the same through the galleries.”

The Design Economy

A new report from the Design Council, The Design Economy (only the executive summary is free)… * Worth £71.7bn GVA to the UK in 2013. * Provided 7.3% of exports in 2013. * Increased in size by 27.9% during the great recession of 2009-2013. * Design employs approx. 580,000 people directly in the UK, with […]

Irish Studies South

The new open access journal Irish Studies South opens well, with a large special issue on poet Seamus Heaney…