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Sunday, 23 October 2005
Totems

grace barrand

Here is another photograph of the Creative Link II exhibition at the Grace Barrand Design Centre in Nutfield, Surrey.

Posted by bigblue on 23/10/2005 at 03:31 AM
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Saturday, 22 October 2005
With grace

grace barrand

This is a photograph taken inside the Grace Barrand Design Centre in Nutfield, Surrey, of their current exhibition Creative Link II.

Posted by bigblue on 22/10/2005 at 03:17 PM
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Thursday, 20 October 2005
That is SIS to you

male operative

This month saw the launch of the new James Bond character: tougher, grittier and without the gadgets.  In real life it saw the launch of the MI6 website.  This is quite a development for the organisation which refused to acknowledge its own existence publically a mere 10 years ago.  The story is also covered in the Guardian.

Last week I found the above sign in a service station in England. Exactly what kind of organisation refers to its employees as operatives?

Posted by bigblue on 20/10/2005 at 10:30 PM
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Wednesday, 19 October 2005
Pet shop

Pet shop

This photo provides a wider perspective of the stencil graffiti I posted two days ago.

England’s most famous graffiti artist, Banksy currently has an exhibition, Crude Oils at 100 Westbourne Grove, London.  Widemedia reports

Billed as “an exhibition of remixed masterpieces, vandalised oil paintings and vermin”, the show met with a varied response. “Art is for rich people” said a member of the public who was asked if he wanted to venture into the rat/art-infested enclosure. “No, it isn’t - this is Banky’s art - it’s all over London and it’s for everyone” retorted someone from the queue. There was no VIP entry, everyone waited in a democratic line before signing a form with 11 terms and conditions and entering the space where they were greeted with a warning to stay calm and tread carefully around the gallery as the “welfare of rats is paramount”.

There’s a review over at Londonist, and some photographs over at Wooster Collective.

Posted by bigblue on 19/10/2005 at 12:53 AM
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Tuesday, 18 October 2005
Lorries turning

warning sign

The above signs greet one arriving in Merstham, Surrey, when approaching the village from Nutfield.

Tonight bluemeanie and I drove to Nottingham to experience A Night at the Opera, staged by the Northhampton Festival Opera company.  It comprised staged scenes from eight different operas, sung to a piano accompanist.  It was great, and the fact that they were singing in English meant that you could follow the meaning of the songs better, and appreciate the element of absurdist comedy in many of the scenes.  At least I think there was an element of absurdist comedy, is opera supposed to be high-brow?

Posted by bigblue on 18/10/2005 at 12:56 AM
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Sunday, 16 October 2005
Pac Graffiti

graffiti

Another stenciled item of graffiti appeared in Oxted recently, to add to the other example.  It is not clear that the same stenciler was responsible. 

Yesterday I chose a Saturday newspaper based upon the DVD it was giving away. There were about 4 or 6 DVDs being given away in different papers so I chose based on the movie I would most like to see. I ended up with the newspaper that I normally get, but I feel a bit disturbed that I changed my criteria. From the BBC: How can papers afford to give away DVDs?.  It raises some interesting questions about the entertainment (music, film) industry.

Posted by bigblue on 16/10/2005 at 05:21 PM
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Saturday, 15 October 2005
Master Park

Master Park

It’s been a long time since I posted a photograph with this view of Master Park, so here’s an autumnal shot that I took recently.

My online German tutor sent me a list yesterday of famous German inventions.  Pfaf!  This is the kind of thing to stir controversy. Johannes Guttenberg’s moveable type printing, Rudolph Diesel’s diesel engine, and Albert Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity seem pretty good things to celebrate, as is Karl Benz’s petrol powered

death machine

automobile.

But Felix Hoffman’s Aspirin? What are the origins of this drug.

Hippocrates, a Greek physician for whom the Hippocratic Oath is named, wrote in the 5th century BC about a bitter powder extracted from willow bark that could ease aches and pains and reduce fevers. This remedy is also mentioned in texts from ancient Sumeria, Egypt and Assyria. Native American Indians used it for headaches, fever, sore muscles, rheumatism, and chills. The Reverend Edward Stone, a vicar from Chipping Norton in Oxfordshire England, noted in 1763 that the bark of the willow was effective in reducing a fever.

And as the Wikipedia continues, there is also no small controversy about who produced the first synthetic version of the drug. I wonder about some of the other choices.

Posted by bigblue on 15/10/2005 at 02:05 PM
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Friday, 14 October 2005
Various things

sunset

Another photo of the same sunset.

I have quite a bit of filing and paperwork to catch up on, but I don’t think I’ll be converting to the Noguchi system. Generally I arrange my paperwork within subject specific boxes in descending date order (i.e. most recent is on top).  Another interesting link I came across concerns The long tail of Google News. My own approach to news tracking is to use Bloglines, subscribing to feeds by selected news sources, people and interests. 

Why are we still feeding #### (specifically blood, restaurant plate waste, poultry droppings, brains and spinal matter from animals) to cows and to pets?  New proposals in the USA propose to outlaw some of the worst remaining practices.

Another interesting link I found is the Hurricane Katrina diaspora map which shows the dispersal of survivors in the USA, based upon internet safe lists posted by the survivors.  Meanwhile Christian Science Monitor unpacks the Cultural myths behind the Katrina whispers, and the New York Times looks at the culture clash between many of the survivors and the communites that have taken them in.

And regarding the recent earthquake in Pakistan, refer to the South Asia Earthquake Relief site.  They list major sources of information on the quake, as well as links to organisations that require donations of money, blood, goods and services.

Posted by bigblue on 14/10/2005 at 06:56 PM
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