Daily archives: November 30, 2005

Merry Christmas, you're sacked

City Life is to close, the last issue will come out on December 7th. I never really utilised the magazine much, but I did get mentioned in it three times- the blogging article earlier this year, a nasty review of my self published novel and a mention for a mini comic I put out years ago. I do think it’s a loss, if only for those four times a year I picked it up to find something new to do.

via Public Relations Consultant

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Surreal traffic calming

Oxford based children’s author and traffic campaigner Ted Dewan set up a series of art installations in his residential street as traffic calming measures. The “roadwitches” included giant bunnies, a bed for a sleeping policeman and a living room in the middle of the road. Of course, some drivers showed the IQ reducing effects of too long in their smog boxes.

“A driver of a 4×4 didn’t so much disapprove – he was too crazed and violent for that. He seemed to be made psychotic by the idea that roads could exist for anything other than him to drive on,” he says.

This motorist deliberately drove into pieces of the living room furniture and then called the council to demand that they shift whatever was left lying in the road.

via BoingBoing

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Gone in 60 Seconds

Forget the Cage/ Jolie/ Jones remake, this is the real deal.

H B “Toby” Halicki wrote, directed, starred in and did many of the stunts for this classic car heist/ chase movie. For $400,000 his character and a team of insurance investigators with a sideline in Grand Theft Auto have to steal 48 cars to order. Most of the thefts go smoothly, bar the occasional wild animal or trunkfull of heroin, but it’s the final car, Eleanor- a Mach 1 Mustang, that causes all the trouble and sets up a forty minute car chase across California.

The acting’s a little ropey, but in a charming way, and the film doesn’t slow down long enough for anyone to embarrass themselves with excessive emoting. The chase is the heart of the film, some of it shot on open roads and with genuine accidents incorporated into it. There’s none of the more-is-less feeling you get with car chases in so many recent movies. You know that half the stuff in Matrix Reloaded is done on a computer, so you’re not really excited by it (impressed, yes, but not excited). Plus it serves as a time capsule, holding the same sort of fascination as an episode of the Sweeney or similar, with all the 70’s hardware, cars and fashions.

Halicki died whilst making Gone in 60 Seconds 2, but also made Junkman, the trailer for which is one of the special features on this disc.

This is one of those cases where Amazon’s rental service has done its job.  I definitely want a copy of this film. As you can see from the list in the left hand column, we’ve got a varied selection of movies lined up for the coming months, all of which interest me, but none of which I’d just go ahead and buy without seeing them first. It’s a great system and I highly recommend it.

incompetence watch- banks

I wrote a cheque on the eighteenth. The money left my bank last thursday. Jessops still haven’t received the money and won’t give me my shiny new camera until they do. They also expect it to take a fortnight for them to get money from a cheque payment.
What exactly is their bank doing with my/their money for the week and a bit between taking it out of my account and putting it into jessops’?

All I want for Christmas is a Kalashnikov

So that it can be turned into useful tools by a blacksmith in Sierra Leone.

Peace is paying dividends in Sierra Leone. The same civil war that depleted the country of tools and work is now providing ample raw material for recovery: weapons. Enterprising blacksmiths and metal workers convert them into farm implements so that a Kalashnikov becomes hoes and axe heads and a rocket launcher transforms into pickaxes, sickles and even school bells.
The indisputable heavyweight champ is a tank (or a heavy duty 16 wheeler) that can provide a year’s work for 5 blacksmiths, turning it into 3,000 items vital to equip a farming village of 100 families. Jobs, tools, agriculture. It isn’t everyday that what you long for comes true.

via BoingBoing

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Get a better browser, make Ian some money

I’ve talked up Firefox before. It’s a far better browser than Internet Explorer, more secure, better organised thanks to tabbing and with loads of third party plug ins. Version 1.5 has just been released.

Yet 78% of you (well, of the last 100 visitors, anyway) still use Explorer to visit Spinneyhead. So I’m going to ask you to trade up to something better and help me earn some money at the same time. Click on the link at the top of the page, download- for free- a superior browser and install it, and I’ll get a dollar. I’d recommend Firefox for free, but this way is even better.

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