Thursday, September 30, 2004

Look, music notation software for on the move. - could it be what i'm looking for? And one less project possibilty...?

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Found again., the alleged voice of web development. Or the tried and tested easy access nicely designed fun at teh same time web news blog, whichever you prefer.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Call for travel stories from my colleague, Geoff,
who's a nice chap so why not give him a hand..

Geoff says:
I am currently writing a book about travel, not a journal aboutone trip but
more of a psychological appraisal of the travellers worldand I would like to
include different case studies from anyone who has been travelling for a
substantial amount of time and have moved from placeto place. Everyone has
stories from trips they have been on and what Iam offering is the oppurtunity to
have one of your stories published ina book for all to see. You can include your
name, where you are from, whereyou travelled from to etc if you wish or if you
prefer you can remainanonymous, its up to you. If you help me out then I will
provide a copy of thebook for free to the authors of any of the stories that are
included. I amlooking for stories of 1000 words or less that fit roughly under
one of the following headingsTransportParties from around the worldAwakenings to
new cultures, food, languages and religionsFeelings about different countries
and the attitude to touristsAdventures and dangerous situations (give me a
specific story)The big goodbye- how it feels to leave for such a long timeWhy
you decided to go and how you decided on the route you choseI would really
appreciate if you could help me out but even if thisdoes not apply then please
please please could you forward this on to anyoneyou know that you think has a
travel story that they are bursting to tell. Youcan send any stories to me on
and I will try and reply to everyone who does. Thanks for taking the time to
read this andhope to hear from you soon. Geoff Bland
I urge Gaz to submit the ol' passport in a safe story..

News from Nepal, as recommended by the G Dawg:

RSA Design Directions: same briefs, fancy name

The first call for entries for this year's RSA awards and collaborations is out. Alarmingly, it seems the final deadline is december - I myself am hoping this is just an anomoly due to early publication.
Last year's winners makes very interesting browsing, comprising as it does several Glasgow PDE students' work, and the department in fact winning a special award for 'producing' 3 out of the 4 finalists for Inclusive Design. i say nothing.

Technology that's kinda in-between, I guess

The Intermediate Technology Development Group - interesting 'NGO' (still not used to that abbrev.) working with the conundrum of applying technology in developing worlds. Not that our local world is not developing. It is. Its just developing from bad to worse. I hope at least with the ITDG there will be less bad development to get worse. Based on 'small is beautiful' ideology, of which i know very little about but can guess.

Edward Hopper

OK, a return to more normal blogging. Thankfully.

I was a little annoyed to have missed an exhibition of Edward Hopper at Tate Modern in London. Then I saw the ticket price and was comforted (£9) Especially as it seems you can see a good bit of this great exhibition on the web for nothing:

If you're anything like me then you'll know his 'Nighthawks' painting and every time you've seen it you've thought of how you must look up more work by whoever the painter was. I never would have known were it not for the fantastic public service of the tate galleries and especially their website. And the guardian of course!

Thursday, September 02, 2004

St. Annes, UK

Back in the nest, all downy feathers and lie ins. A morning newspaper, the washing up, rubbish on the box, popping over to Dave's house unexpectedly, cups of tea and nearby piano. creature comforts? essential living, I say. Its been a while, perhaps too long but no time to look back.

4 days in London are always welcome - the houses, the back streets, the squeak of bus breaks, changing tube lines, watchin the people, the unmistakable suburbs. Every visit to londonVillage is different and increasingly good.. could really get used to it. Must be memories of an Ealing babyhood.

What is there left to be proud of? I remember a few years ago discussing the escargot-ish Italian postal service in mocking tones, with the rose tinted image of Postman Pat's stoic 'the post must get through' Royal Mail in the fore of my mind. A sad misconception today obviously as the Royal Mail manages to fall short of all 15 targets!?! Come on guys, at least one? OK, a success rate of precisely 0% can be swallowed if it means the company isn't still running at a mammoth loss (don't know if it does mean that, mind) but it was with a start (and a reference to Murphy's law) that I read that my very own Fylde was the 7th worst performing borough this year! Remind me never to send a letter here, else it may be more likely to write a bestseller than ever be delivered. Guess that'll be no chrsitmas prezzies this year.

My rose-tinted, nay blind, view of the postal service is probably one of those idiosynchracies referred to by lovable lil Bill Bryson at the start of Notes from a Small Island (note that sudden bout of literacy, and I use the term loosely, is due to a recent bank holiday browsing in Waterstones with my BA in English Literature endowed cousin), along with the fact that we islanders have a habit of perceiving the UK as a big place. Something Mr. Bryson, and my sub-continental cousin are only too hasty point out.

They are right though, I now appreciate this after the last two months. Reassuringly, I think the Czechs whom I met were worse for this: although happy in the knowledge that anywhere in the republic is accessible in half a day (it would seem), there was still a tendency to regard the journey there and beyond as a long haul. They don't, of course, have the island mentality that exists, albeit on a huge scale, in Britain. I might add that the fundamental difference between British and continental cultures can be traced directly to this geographical difference, and which also accounts for certain similarities with Norway (An island perhaps not in the geographical sense but certainly in the economic and social).

I end on a recently discovered book review of the afore mentioned book, which certainly 'clears up' a few things with me concerning the shameful state of Blackpool's (and don't you believe it, St' Annes') beaches:

He delightfully intermingles political commentary with travelogue. He visits
Blackpool, for example, where there are long beaches - that officially don't
exist. "I am not making this up. In the late 1980s, when the European Community
issued a directive about the standards of ocean-borne sewage, it turned out that
nearly every British seaside town failed to come anywhere near even the minimum compliance levels. Most of the bigger resorts like Blackpool went right off the
edge of the turdometer, or whatever they measure these things with. This
presented an obvious problem to Mrs. Thatcher's government, which was loath to
spend money on British beaches when there were perfectly good beaches in
Mustique and Barbados, so it drew up an official decree -- this is so bizarre I
can hardly stand it, but I swear it is true -- that Brighton, Blackpool,
Scarborough, and many other leading resorts did not have, strictly speaking,
beaches. Christ knows what it then termed these expanses of sand -- intermediate sewage buffers, I suppose -- but in any case it disposed of the problem without
either solving it or costing the treasury a penny, which is of course the main
thing, or in the case of the present government, the only thing."