Sunday, July 27, 2008

Local website heads-up'll bring back some memories, guaranteed! Some pages still "under construction", but lots of side-splitting content at I love Whitley Bay ......go click

Saturday, July 26, 2008


grawlixes.....the name given to those strings of random non-alphabetical characters that cartoonists use in speech bubbles to indicate profanity. Just one of the weekly useful words you could learn about if you subscribe to the WorldWideWords Newsletter. It arrives just in time for that first cup of coffee on a Saturday morning (Link Repost....because you're worth it!)

Went yesterday, worth a trot across the Millenium Bridge...

...."Early summer sees BALTIC present a magical new exhibition by internationally acclaimed Japanese artist Yoshitomo Nara, in collaboration with design unit graf. The exhibition will feature a village brought to life with Nara’s iconic characters, turning ordinary life into art."

Until 26th October at BALTIC

Puffin numbers down by a third.....

....climate change suspected. News item here. I feel a trip to the Farne Islands coming on before it's too late!
LATER....Thought I'd look for a live puffin webcam, found this one in Maine, US (OK, so not quite local!) Click on the image to'll need RealPlayer installed to view. Now call me cynical, but I think the pair standing motionless one third near left front are stuffed!

Capped.....Interactive Fiction

Recently I "acquired" (no names, no pack drill!) the complete BBC 80s kids scifi 2 series run of "The Tripods"....anyone remember it? (13 hours worth of kitch viewing pleasure that I'm TRYING to keep for a very rainy day!) Coincidently, I came across this piece of interactive fiction that's inspired by the original books. They say......

"Capped uses atmospheric weather conditions and a slowly-scrolling landscape which can be explored with the mouse. The piece was inspired by John Christopher's "Tripods" trilogy and suggests that an alien invasion imagined during the protagonist's childhood may not have been just a fictional game. Many areas of text are blurred or otherwise hard to read between bits of bushes and grass, reflecting the main character's inability to entirely recall his own memories."

Interact here (click on "launch project" button)

More similar projects on the parent site
(via Ample Sanity)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Word game

Multiple choice, identify the word origin game......sample question - arachibutyphobia - a fear of getting peanut butter stuck to the roof of your mouth.

Play it

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Building the Tyne Bridge

" (on the Tyne Bridge) commenced in August 1925. The two sides of the arch eventually met on 25 February 1928, insertion of the final alignment pins being accompanied by the firing of maroons and the breaking of flags and the bridge was opened by King George V on 10 October 1928."Picture gallery of the construction process at Amber Online with more historical detail here

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Big river

River Tyne from TFFDavid on Vimeo.

In knots....

How to tie a tie at

....and at the lower end

Ian's shoelace site ....34 different ways ( many?) to lace one's sensible shoes

Some Pre-Raphaelite eyecandy

Sort of how I feel.....but definitely not how I look, I've just cleaned out the fridge (so you'll just have to mentally superimpose primeval green splashes from the cucumber melt-down on that grecian gown!) John William Godward gallery at the

Midweek point-and-click

Play Pencil Rebel.....a stylish point-and-click game
(well, maybe tonight, after I've finished watching the complete back-catalogue of Torchwood!

Crowded beaches

Tynemouth Longsands, 23rd July you can see, unprecedented numbers (for the first week of the school holidays) were hitting the beach when I walked back from Tynemouth to Whitley Bay yesterday afternoon.

LATER.....A historical reference point, here's how popular it was before the days of foreign package holidays and the onset of possible climate change.

I guess SOMEONE had to do it..... on the image to read. Found at ModernMechanix

It's a small world

Check out the Nikon Small World gallery page for microscopic photographic delights

Guilt post.....

....OK, so admittedly I've been a bit lax with the posting business this last week.....I've been on holiday from work AND computer screens! Just to prove I'm still in the land of the living, here's a guilt-ridden, local interest post.

Published about 1908 by the Newcastle and Gateshead Chamber of Commerce. Full page scans of the complete book here at Also lots of local pictures at the parent site

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Rebecca's Graduation

She might have a degree but she couldn't get to grips with posting to the blog! Luckily the photo above landed in my inbox so here she is in all her glory.....WELL DONE REBECCA!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Simon's Cat in "TV Dinner"

Away day to the Lakes

Some pictures from somewhere higher than I expected to climb in the vicinity of Borrowdale and Keswick from yesterday's work away day....and before you ask, I've still got my feet in soak!

Monday, July 14, 2008

In the Brownies....

Me?....I was in the 'Little People' (zero badges up the arm) till I got chucked out for repeated non-appearance at church parade. Dusty church hall, over-diluted orange squash, all that "swearing allegiance to the queen" standing round a papiere mache toadstool stuff....and probably the first truly rational decision I made in life. Best not to dwell on it, tell you what, I give you Billy Connelly......

So, whatever happened to the Whitley Bay Flower Show?

Type "whitley bay Flower Show" into the Google search box and all you'll find is.......
"An elderly man ran naked through the marquee at the Whitley Bay Flower Show
They gave him first prize for his DRIED ARRANGEMENT !!"
.....and it has to be the first time I've only had a single result.
From the Tynemouth Lodge jokes page.....thanks for keeping the memory alive!!

Watch out'll have that pot over if you're not careful!

I went to the Laing Art Gallery (Newcastle) a couple of weeks ago to see a couple of temporary exhibitions. Included in "Love" (ended yesterday, 13th July) is Isabella and the Pot of Basil by Holman Hunt which is part of the Laing's permanent collection....she's off on-tour until later in the year, glad I caught her before she went! Actually, it's not so much Isabella, more the embroidered orange cloth underneath the pot that makes me want to reach out and touch. Bon voyage!

The periodic table of elements (videos)'re going to like these! Here's Sodium...

And the rest you can find at the Nottingham University YouTube channel

Art Deco

Lots to feast your eyes upon at Artophile (high quality scans when you click on the thumbnails, check the width and feel the quality by clicking on the image above)

High resolution vintage fabric designs electronic swatchbook from the PowerHouse Museum . Hundreds of designs from the 1800s to the 1920s. Public domain with high-res image downloads available.

Film trailers....

.....strange ones, at Trailer Club 70
And there's this compilation of the 5 most rubbish movie monsters from the same source

Eye/earcandy timewaster

Fun to play with....

Mouth of the Tyne 2008

I've just uploaded this to YouTube. A damp number from Beverley Knight during a brief lull in the rain. Great concert, pants weather....oh, the joys of a northeastern summer, thank goodness we packed flasks of coffee and something a bit more robust than chilled champagne. Roll on MOT 2009!!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Watch the video, then check out what they're selling

The product

.....and you didn't even know you wanted one!

Wonder whether it would work with Birds Custard Powder and the kitchen ghetto blaster?

"Here’s something to watch on a loop repeatedly at work. This awesome video shows the non-Newtonian properties of cornstarch mixed with water and placed on top of a subwoofer. Eerie isn’t it? It’s as if the “weird” liquid is…alive. It certainly plays with your mind as the fluid acts and behaves as if it has a mind of its own! TGIF everyone!" via Neatorama

Happy Birthday Sarah.....slightly early post!

earliest picture I could find.....and a very nice one! (PS.... jeez, I knitted both of those jumpers!)
Happy Birthday Sarah!!

Local video

Rather like this one......

Monday, July 07, 2008

Monday timewaster

Haven't tried're on your own....

2 episodes of "Something Amiss" online, Chapter One, Chapter Two

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Fly me to the moon

Daizy and I are signed up....OK, so in name only! Join the mission here

Friday, July 04, 2008

Empty nest

The last 2 kestrel chicks flew the coop yesterday (though 'the little one' came back and slept there looked a bit lonely!) Keep your bookmarks, I'm sure there'll be another batch next year

Friday cute overload

So sweet it'll make your teeth rot in their sockets!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Another early damming project

September 1930, and a plan conceived by a group of eminent English scientists to add 100,000 square miles to the overcrowded continents of Europe, is unveiled in Modern Mechanics. Interesting when juxtaposed with the German plan, of about the same vintage, to drain the Mediterranean (see earlier post re Atlantropa)

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Make a HUGE poster when you only have an A4 printer

"The Rasterbator creates huge, rasterized images from any picture. Upload an image, print the resulting multi-page pdf file and assemble the pages into extremely cool looking poster up to 20 meters in size." You can either do it online within certain limits, or download the desktop app here.

Local podcast and walking guide

I mentioned this website a week or so ago....but maybe you didn't bother to click and explore (confession, I didn't have a good ratch around either till last weekend!) After a bit of pleasurable ferreting about I found a couple of audio goodies for mp3 player owners on this page.....a 30 minute documentary ("Discover the world of Garmouth, the fictional setting - real-life North Shields/Tynemouth - of many of Robert Westall's books in this engaging and interesting radio documentary.") AND a 54 minute audio guide for a walk ("This is a 3 mile walk from North Shields to Tynemouth taking in many of the locations featured in the Westall books; The Machine Gunners, Fathom Five, The Watch House etc.....The walk should take around three hours. The guide features book readings, location and local history information and is complete with clearly signalled walking directions.")

Tuesday, July 01, 2008


One of those 'physics' games (and as someone who never did her physics homework, I'm probably not the best person to say "try it, why don't you") Plinky-ploinky music, "I could draw that" graphics.....perfect for a no-news Tuesday.

Play Poiser
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