Daily archives: April 10, 2005

Can't get there from here

An Observer journalist and photographer go in search of Middle England, and find it to be a hopeless quest.

So, one stereotype abandoned, we phone ahead to the Conservative Club in Maidenhead to see if we might talk about Middle England with a few of its regulars, and find another one. Come on over, we are told. When we arrive, however, this open door policy has been revised, somewhat.

A steward puts his nose around the door.

‘There are only three people in here,’ he explains, ‘and one disabled person, and it is against our policy to talk politics.’

But it’s the Conservative Club …

‘It’s one of our rules.’

How about if he just mentions to the people inside that we are here, and asks if they might step outside to chat to us.

That apparently is in contravention of rules, too: no mentioning.

‘Don’t get me wrong,’ he says, ‘but we have had journalists here before.’

What happened?

‘They got quotations from the people, and then used them in the newspaper.’

You wouldn’t want that, we agree.

(REM, Can’t Get There From Here)

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Not through my bars

A different take to wind power’s NIMBY problem. The company running a windmill close to Whitemoor jail have agreed to turn it off early in the morning because flickering shadows from the spinning blades were aggravating prisoners.

Whitemoor contains prisoners it is best not to upset, including road rage killer Kenneth Noye, Jeremy Bamber who murdered his family, and Barry George, who killed television presenter Jill Dando.

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Baghdad in Bloom

Despite everything, Baghdad is beginning to brighten up. It might help that the city has a history of desolation and rebirth.

Said by some historians to be the site of the Garden of Eden, it was founded in AD762 by Caliph Abu Ja’far al-Mansour and became the heart of medieval Muslim civilisation, a political capital as well as an architectural wonder immortalised in stories such as the 1001 Nights.

The Mongols, among others, razed it several times, but Baghdad recovered and 19th century visitors proclaimed it the most beautiful city in the east.

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Colour of Evil

Recently discovered colour footage has been used to piece together Hitler in Colour, a documentary about the man and his use of film and other propaganda.

David Batty, producer of Hitler in Colour, said: ‘Hitler’s rise to power mirrored the rise of colour film. In the Thirties there were two colour film studios: Agfa in Germany and Kodak in America. Hitler had an eye for PR and realised the power of colour film so he handed it to his cronies.

‘We believe Hitler was the most filmed person in the world up to his death.’

Hitler in Colour

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April 15th is International Poop for Peace day.

Under the influence of Taco Bell, there is no Christian or Muslim or Jew. There are only human bodies, reacting to the complications of digestion in the same predictable and malodorous ways. Poop wields supreme power over our bodies — when poop calls, you answer, or you face the consequences. Poop is our cruel tyrant, our fickle deity, our omnipotent oppressor — it is a force to which every human being has no choice but to submit.

And recognizing this is the first step toward world peace.

via Screenhead

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Auf Wiedersehn, Pet?

A robotic wall laying machine could dramatically change the way buildings are erected. From an eco point of view, the materials used can be changed and complex shapes formed- if the solar ventilation for a pbuilding requires complex ducting the robo-builder can do it from CAD designs- and labour savings can bring the prices down.

Khoshnevis is inspired by the technology’s potential to build dignified low-income housing. “A billion people today do not have adequate shelter,” he says. Using soil dug from the building site and stabilized with cement, the contour crafter could erect inexpensive dwellings customized to a family’s needs.

via Slashdot

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Spinneyhead Scale

The Spinneyhead family will be expanding in coming weeks. Spinneyworld’s still in development, so the first step on the road is the relaunch of Spinneyhead Scale as a blog. The world of models and modelling isn’t the fastest moving news wise, but teh Internets are a great place to find obscure reference material and out of the way garage kit manufacturers. I may also use the blog as a place to experiment with getting the most from Technorati tags, seeing as Blogger doesn’t allow me Movable Type style categories.

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