Friday, October 31, 2008

Bad Welsh

.....The English is clear enough to lorry drivers - but the Welsh reads "I am not in the office at the moment. Please send any work to be translated."
The rest of the story here

And after the trick-or-treaters are tucked up in bed I'll be watching......



....cleans a big, big carpet, for less than half a crown......whoops, sorry, nostalgia for the joys of early UK TV advertising and substantially lower prices got the better of me there! Just to report that we've got 1001 posts under our belts and are still staggering along.
But should you feel the urge for celebrating the occasion with a substantial (it runs to 16 volumes, so definitely not for the faint-hearted, or prudish for that matter!) dose of culture, can I suggest "The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night" at ....plain vanilla text available for download. Wikipedia article with lots of links here

It wouldn't be Halloween if I wasn't listening to.....

Soooo.....why change the habits of a lifetime?

Ninja Cat

Berlin bound

Come Monday and you might catch me (along with aforementioned 50 quantity surveyors) on this live webcam on Kurf├╝rstendamm in Berlin, our hotel is over to the left and the U-bahn station to the right. So now all I've got to do is pack, and there won't be much because we're flying steerage with a 15kg hold baggage allowance, the ball gown and fur coat are on ice!

The 'DO' Lectures

I meant to post this a couple of weeks ago, but better late than never!
"The Do lectures are all about getting a handful of speakers together in one place, in the hope that they may inspire you to go Do something. To give you the tools and the desire to change the things you care about."
The lecures are all online here

Here's a sample
Andy Cummins....Surfers Against Sewage Campaign Officer
"Andy started surfing way back in 1992 in the North East. Back then surfing in the North Sea was similar to surfing in an open sewer. This served as great inspiration and drive to bring about change, but at 15 he never thought he could be an active part of that movement, so the most he did was join Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) and tag along to actions and events in his area.
Since then, travelling, experience and education has helped open his eyes to the scale of abuse our oceans and seas suffer at our hands. He has been a full time SAS campaigner since 2003, working on over 50 campaigns."

Spooky sounds from Saturn

NASA has posted some spooky sounds from the solar system....

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Another spooky game

Ghostscape is a game where..... "You play a veteran investigator of the occult who, upon hearing rumors of a haunted house, cannot stay away...and what a paranormal gold mine it turns out to be! Chairs and cups move as if grasped by some invisible hand, mysterious diary entries litter the floor, grotesque paintings adorn every room. And then, of course, there are the ghosts. But who would believe you? Luckily, you have your trusty camera to provide proof." (via JayisGames)

Halloween lucky dip

There's some lovely vintage Halloween images here (the image above is one of them)

Also worth checking out is the Vintage Halloween Postcard pool for creepy cards.

Monsters in mid-1870s news prints from Pink Tentacle.....

"For a brief period in the mid-1870s, artistic woodblock prints known as “newspaper nishiki-e” were a popular form of mass entertainment in Japan. These colorful prints fed the public’s enormous appetite for sensationalism by retelling shocking stories culled from the major newspapers of the day. The Meiji government swiftly cracked down on the publishers of these “unofficial” sources of information, causing them to disappear as quickly as they had appeared, but not before hundreds of issues had been published and circulated around Japan."

The interactive artwork. Wander/click around a deserted, derelict hospital. As they say "Stay a while, stay forever"

Why not get in the Halloween mood with some Zero Budget Zombie Make-up

Scuttlebuggery is described as "sort of like a game of liquid soccer played between beetles with drops of absinthe and formaldehyde" had me beat, but I rather liked the music, and I'm guessing that if you get past the first level you get to hear more

Who knows, maybe more later......

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Surveying Berlin.....again

And staying with the European theme, I'm off to Berlin on a fieldtrip very soon....check out the website, live the dream....imagine me tramping the streets with 50+ quantity surveyors! (I'll be the one at the back shouting 'two by two, hold hands while you cross that road, get a move on!''s rather like herding cats)

Here's one for Anne and John.....

.....just back from a long weekend in Paris (where apparently it was t-shirt weather....hang on, t-shirts, what are they?) They can relive the experience (of Paris, not the weather) at Paris en images....just a small collection of 25,000 pictures!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Halloween cocktail.....

....just so you can buy in the essentials in advance!

Brain Hemorrhage
1/2 - 3/4 oz. Peach Schnapps
Float 1-2 Tbl. of Baileys on top
Drop 1 tsp of grenadine through the Baileys.

Apparently it tastes like peaches and cream


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Slow, slow, quick quick, slow.....

On my iGoogle homepage I have this widget that delivers up random free fonts to download....the one above is dance-step....which reminded me of the vintage joys of Victor Sylvester and his Silver Strings (I really must get out more!!) So anyway, if I'm suffering, you can too. (Just pray I can't find a picture of Edmundo Ross in one of his ruffle-sleeved signature shirts because then you're in REAL trouble!)

First off, the distinctive sound.....

A vintage Victor struts his stuff in the 20's

....and some vintage "Come Dancing" (they sewed all the sequins on themselves!)

Jesmond Picture House

After standing empty for 15 years, the Jesmond Picture House is earmarked for demolition and replacement with a, no doubt faceless, office/shopping complex sometime soon (if the process hasn't already's a while since I went 'the posh way round' on the Metro to town!) Seeing that there's a bit of a family connection (Uncle Elwood was the manager there at least until the early 70's and was always good for a free seat on a quiet night when my grant cheque didn't quite stretch) I thought a memorial post was in order to mark its passing.

From Wikipedia...."This suburban cinema opened in 1921 and survived well into the multiplex age. Made in America was the last film to be screened there when it finally closed its doors in October 1993."

The Jesmond didn't just do films, I remember seeing Alexi Sayle there in the mid 80' was described as "a memorably bawdy and raucous night", and I can vouch for the fact that it was!

In 2007 28DaysLater, the UK urban exporation group, 'gained access' (no names, no pack drill!) and took some pictures of the decayed interior....see them here together with scans of the Chronicle write-up

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Your name here.....

I tried embedding this video from (where it's described as "The ultimate generic industrial film, built around every script and visual cliche") but Blogger was having none of it. Made in 1960, you can read more details and download the original here

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sunday timewaster

Play the Eyeballing Game

Bisect the angle, find the centre of the circle, find the mid-point of the line etc....strangely addictive even when you're rubbish at it (it took me ages to get that screen grab where I was even vaguely close!)

Friday, October 10, 2008

When concrete was king

I found this set of 35mm teaching slides at work today and scanned them in....they date from 1973.

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

The Beatles do Shakespeare

Now I'm old enough to remember watching this live (and thinking that the Beatles made Shakespeare a bit more memorable than school did!).....the Fab Four doing the 'play within a play' from Midsummer Night's Dream.

Musical Mechanix

Surrey garages must be a bit bigger than we're used to in the North then!
via Modern Mechanix

Strike a light

Japanese matchboxes.....

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Puget soundscape

Listen to Puget Sound...

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Ukuleles on the Tyne

A date for your musical diary, there's still tickets left! A taster follows......

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Oliver Kilbourn - a retrospective

"Oliver Kilbourn (1904 – 1993) was a founder member of the Ashington Group, the former WEA art appreciation class that became widely known in the 1930’s as a body of artists committed to recording their working lives and their surroundings. Kilbourn developed a passion for painting, primarily as a painter himself but also for the work of others down the centuries. In the late Thirties and again in the Seventies he produced what he called ‘memoirs as a pitman’: three series of drawings and paintings detailing the working conditions he experienced as a boy of thirteen down the pit. The exhibition, from the artist’s estate, includes paintings and drawings never previously shown, among them pictures in Walpamur on board from the early days of the Group, studies of wartime blackout and wide-ranging landscapes as well as domestic scenes."

19 September– 31 October 2008
Northumbria University Gallery
Monday to Thursday 10am – 5pm, Friday and Saturday 10am to 4pm
Closed Sundays and Bank Holidays. Admission free.

Well worth a visit!

Snarling beast

I thought I'd start posting an occasional image of some local stone beasts I've come across recently. This snarling delight lives on Neville Hall (home of The North of England Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineers, Westgate Rd, door to the Lit and Phil)....he's rather splendid, don't you think?

Monday, October 06, 2008

Stay calm and stay in your homes

"A script written by the BBC and the government to be broadcast in the event of a nuclear attack has been published. The script, written in the 1970s and released by the National Archives, included instructions to "stay calm and stay in your own homes". It said communications had been disrupted, and the number of casualties and extent of damage were not known. Other papers reveal debates about how to ensure the person reading the script was authoritative and comforting. The script was discussed from 1973 to 1975, during the Cold War."

Read more, and download the transcript here

Graffiti Creator

Someone asked me to plaster a picture of a local beauty spot with mock graffiti today (don't ask!)....and not being that way artistically inclined I had to find something to aid the design process. Luckily I came across Graffiti Creator a while ago. Now it doesn't have a 'save' option, only 'print', but there's 2 workarounds if you want to use your tag as an image...
1 If you have a 'virtual' pdf printer installed just print to that, many image editing programmes are capable of opening pdfs where you can tidy the image up
2 That ever-useful PrtSc (Print Screen) key at the top of your keyboard works wonders too.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Welcome to Mars

"Two years ago, Ken Hollings (a UK journalist) presented a radio series called Welcome To Mars, his reflections on the "fantasy of science in the early years of the American Century." In this unscripted, engaging, and mind-bending series Ken connects the dots between nuclear war, LSD, flying saucers, the occult, weird science, B movies, and the birth of the space age. Ken's words are supported by an incredible outer space score prdocued by Simon James."

Listen to/download all 12 episodes here

A book based on the radio broadcasts is due to be published soon (details)

Saturday, October 04, 2008

60's Newcastle

Starts Monday, click the image for bigger. A few more details here, (and click on the image for all the gory details of the Bainbridge Revlon Make-up counter......go on, double dog dare you!)

Rainbow....the X rated episode

Bubble Cars

Oh, how I wanted one!

There's a great post about the Bubble Car Museum at Nothing to See Here for the similarly afflicted.

A moment in time

"Muther Grumble existed for around 2 years between 1971-1973 it was produced by a motley group of people consisting of students, workers, the unemployed, trade unionists, pensioners, hippies, artists etc, etc. - anyone who wanted to be involved could be. Its aim was to give a voice to the people of the North East and act as a link between the many varied community/self-help groups which were springing up throughout the region at that time."

The online archive of all 17 issues (either read online or download as pdf)

Thursday, October 02, 2008

What are you doing here?

because Dr Who REALLY wants to know!......

Animal crackers

Maw's Educated Ponies....
"When he retired in 1954, Mr Joseph Maw reminisced about his 44 years with educated animals. His first was a horse called Skylark, who could pick from a pile of handkerchiefs those colours named by the audience. Another was Daisy, who danced, and then there was Dolly, the Shetland pony who did sums and told fortunes. In addition, he had a troupe of performing dogs." No, no you can't leave me in suspense...tell me more

From the "North Shields, Life and Work, 1890-1930" Collection at Tomorrow's History
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