Monthly archives: May 2005

Manchester Whit Walks

The Whit Walks started in 1800 when the Sunday Schools gathered once a year to parade around town. Over time, the parades became associated with Whit Sunday, the seventh Sunday after Easter. They continued into the 1950s and have recently been resurrected. More information on this page.

I happened upon this year’s Whit Walk entirely by accident when I cycled into town yesterday. I didn’t even catch it all, but it took a good half hour to pass my position. I’ve uploaded pictures to Flickr and you can see all the photos tagged “whit walk” here.


Spinneyworld is up and running. The index page remains the same, but click on the world map now and you go to the blog. I’m still working on the manifesto for Spinneyworld, but the tag line comes close- local news from around the world.

A number of changes remain to be implemented. I’m going to change the css a little so that whilst the blog retains the look of the rest of the family it also has some aspects that differentiate it. There’ll be a headline reader on the front page and I’ll get a picture for the top of the sidebar.

Oh, and I’m going to try and recruit some bloggers. I’m looking for a blogger in every time zone if possible. Britain’s covered, as it has Damian and me, and we may be able to get a Greek contingent. Which just leaves the rest of the world. If you’re interested, get in touch. There’s a link to the e-mail on the sidebar.

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Now also appearing nightly at…..

From the end of the week (though I got all eager and posted something today) I shall be guest blogging on the UAV Blog, which does exactly what it says on the tin. I don’t know a lot about UAVs, but I’m hardly ignorant either and I fancy learning more about the state of the art so I can extrapolate when I start writing more Sounds of Soldiers.

This came about because Darren at Problogger is off for a month long holiday and asked for caretakers to look after his, quite profitable, stable of niche blogs. As well as myself there are a few other, probably more distiunguished, bloggers helping him out whilst he’s away. Far too many of them are being added to my list of RSS feed subscriptions.

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Big Green

Some of Britain’s leading industrialists are calling on the Government to give their industries concrete targets for reducing CO2 emmissions.

The letter has been arranged through the Prince of Wales Business and Environment programme. The business leaders say they are very concerned about the prospect of dangerous climate change and support the government’s target of reducing CO2 emissions by 60% by 2050.

They regret that industry and government are currently caught in a Catch 22. Governments are nervous of clamping down on climate change emissions for fear of a backlash from business.

via treehugger

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Wierd shit you run into on a Bank Holiday

I went into town to buy gardening gear, only to run into a long procession marching down Upper Brook Street. It turned out to be a modern version of the Whit walks, where the churches from all the parishes around Manchester come out and stroll about to make their presence felt.

I only had my phone cam to take pictures with. I’ve uploaded them to Flickr because I’m experimenting with using that for Spinneyworld pictures. Check out the Spinneyworld group here.

(I think the phone’s camera is beginning to die. I’m sure the colour saturation is off and if you look at the periphery of each picture you’ll see it’s fuzzy.)

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But I want that one….

Moral dilemma time. Yesterday I was working out what I wanted from my next mobile phone (fewer minutes- I’m currently only using 40 of the 200 free minutes I pay for every month- better data rates and lots of cheap texts). Secondary in importance was which phone I wanted to do all these things with. Sadly, according to ethiscore, SonyEricsson, whose products I’ve liked since having a 6210, come out second from bottom in the ratings. Sharp, the maker of my current phone, come in joint second, but I’m less than impressed with the software that comes with it and my preferred supplier doesn’t issue them anyway. Sagem is also joint second, but their phones are shit

I guess there’s always Nokia.

via hippyshopper

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The future's bright, the future's European

The Project for the New European Century.

The emergence of the European model is a paradigm-changing event � it is not about a particular country or region going up or down for a few years. The EU already covers 450 million citizens, but beyond them there are another 1.5 billion people in about 80 countries umbillically linked to the EU through trade, finance, foreign investment and aid.

This is the “Eurosphere” � Europe’s growing zone of influence. Through continued enlargement and the EU’s new neighborhood policy, nearly a third of the world’s population has come under the influence of a zone of peace, prosperity and democracy.

via WorldChanging

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Burnt out on asbestos

Earlier this year a blogger called Michael Buffington started a pecialist blog on asbestos. The idea was to see how lucrative niche blogging could be, because lawyers were paying big bucks to put their Google ads on asbestos related sites as the lawsuits are money spinners. The experiment seems to be over. The lesson seems to have been that if you’re going to aim for a niche, make it one your interested in. Which just gives me a chance to say that all the Spinneyhead special subject blogs are about things that interest me or get me excited, even if they seem at odds with the main blogs slightly twisted character.

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UAV School

Teaching soldiers to fly remote control planes at Fort Huachuca.

Most of the teaching here at Fort Huachuca, from federal flight regulations to the operation of the drones’ infrared cameras, is done by outside contractors. Bill Hempel’s specialty is training “external pilots” — the guys who use twin joysticks to take off and land the 23-foot-long, split-tailed Hunter UAVs. It’s kind of an unmanned master class; only soldiers who already know how to keep a drone in the air — which is just a matter of pointing and clicking, really — can sign up for external pilot duties.

“We take these Army guys who don’t know the front end of an airplane from the back, and we teach them from scratch all the aviation they need to make them pilots,” he explains.

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