Young people at heavy metal concerts often report being dazed and confused, possible symptoms of mild traumatic brain injury. Little formal injury research has been conducted on the world wide phenomenon of head banging, even though case reports indicate the inherent risks in this activity, especially in head and neck injury. Head banging is a violent activity associated with hard rock and various subgenres of heavy metal. Over the past five years hard rock and heavy metal have contributed to about 30% of all record sales in the United States1 and, as of 2002, rock albums have outsold pop albums.
Stroking the robot isn’t meant to be a euphemism. Sally doesn’t try to take in stray puppies and lambs, but she did once want to adopt a rusty old tractor and restore it.
I’m not very happy with how Alice has come out in this page. And my own experiments with beard growing haven’t helped me make Dan’s any better.
This Web-only article is a special rich-media presentation of the feature, "12 Events That Will Change Everything," which appears in the June 2010 issue of Scientific American.
I've noticed an alarming trend in television finales, lately: God.
Mycobacterium vaccae bacteria are already known to decrease anxiety, but it might have even more dramatic properties. Recent studies on mice suggest the bacteria, commonly found in the soils of people's gardens, also increases intelligence and the ability to learn.
Thirty-five years ago, the U.S. government built a fleet of cars that were safer than anything on the road. Twenty-five years ago, the government shredded them in secret. Two escaped the crusher. This is their story.
Some companies have "skunk works" – secure, secret laboratories for their highly creative staff where they can freely experiment without disrupting the daily business.
An upcoming page of Point of Contact has been thumbnailed to include a shot of a mini-UAV soaring over Afghanistan. The mini spy plane will then play a role in a few following pages. I think I’m going to have it look like a Nightwind 2
The Killer Inside Me
Hotel Gramercy Park
The Greening of Southie.
Guest of Cindy Sherman
I also discovered today that publishing on Kindle is now open to folks outside the US. Time to create a bundled edition of my novellas.
Interesting stuff- the cognitive skills which are enhanced by web browsing are the opposite of the ones which are best for learning. I read this all the way through and only managed to be distracted by the rest of the web once. That’s almost a record.
I read about weeknotes in Wired and thought they might be something interesting and useful to do. I can give you an update of what I’m getting on with and leave reminders to myself of what needs to get done. Of course, it’s taken me a few weeks to get around to starting one.
I’m going to fiddle around with the structure as I do more of these. In future I’ll probably open with a rundown of what I’ve achieved from previous weeknotes. For now let’s leave this bit empty.
To be done in the next week
I need to get at least one page of Point of Contact done for publication on Monday. The next page is one of the ones I didn’t thumbnail, as was this Monday’s, so I have to do a little more work than on other pages. It’s also the last talky page before a load of action pages that will round out part 1.
There were three bikes in my project queue for this week. I’ve already got the first one out of the way, it was in quite good shape and just needed cleaning and a little fettling. I’m left with a BMX build and a Raleigh Nova shopper. The Raleigh was missing the pull chain for its hub gears and had no brakes. Replacement brakes were more expensive than the gear parts, which is annoying. I need to source one more item from the parts pile and I should be able to put this bike back together. The BMX has already had a replacement fork fitted. I’ve bought new cable for the detangler kit and just have to pick the replacement handlebars and brake levers and it should go together no problem. They should get done on Friday or Saturday. The bike trade looks like becoming a good mini business. I’m planning to get a bike trailer to make collecting bikes and bits easier.
Events in the next week
Eurocultured is on this weekend. I haven’t been to that the last couple of times.
Longer term and deadline free projects
Bob Time, the footage for which I shot in October of last year, needs to be finished. I now have a computer which is up to the job and, after comparing a couple of trial versions of video editing software, have ordered Sony Vegas Movie Studio Platinum 9. It’s not as fully featured as some of the packages I’ve used in the past, but it does most of the stuff I want. I should write a comparison review of Vegas and Premiere Elements, and there’s a tutorial on matte keying which needs to be done because none of the ones I found were all that clear.
Lulu have lowered the prices of some of the formats for their print on demand books.. I think ilt’s time to do an omnibus of my three most recent novellas- Sounds of Soldiers, Global Weirding and So Much To Answer For– and some other stuff. Just a straightforward job, I may just pour the text into a word processor and let it do most of the work rather than lay out the pages in a dtp program.
I don’t know if I’ve mentioned Magcloud before. It’s another print on demand service, but this time for magazines rather than books. I’ve ordered a few of the magazines on their list and they’re very nicely finished, printed on decent stock and quite glossy. As with any POD service, some of their range is stunning and some of it….. isn’t. I hope to produce a magazine that’s nearer the stunning end of the collection. Working title is Somewhere Else and the first few issues are going to be dedicated to photos. I’m going to go back through my architecture wanders and retouch the best of the photos to create the first one. Then I’ve got all my photos of ghost signs to look through. And I know quite a few photographers, maybe I can work with them on something.
That Was The Week That Was in tweets. I used to have something running which dumped each day’s tweets to Spinneyhead, but I got complaints about it and its often recursive nature. Here are a few of the sillier and/or wittier things I’ve Tweeted in the last week or two.
Avatar would have been much more interesting if the Na’avi were based upon the Tree People from Cannibal Holocaust http://bit.ly/aUrIC4 11:23 PM May 11th
In a cafe, designing robots for the comic. Later I’m going to a demo of 3d tv, so more scifi. 4:23 PM May 12th
Shall soon be learning about 3d tv. Is it more than just an expensive way to self-diagnose photosensitive epilepsy? 6:48 PM May 12th
How long until someone sues their parents for passing on bad genes? 9:13 AM May 13th
Why do I have the impression that the first Lib Dem/Tory cabinet meeting started with them all throwing their car keys onto the table. 1:48 PM May 13th
The bus I was on nearly mowed down a load of lamb dressed as mutton. 6:54 PM May 14th
I am not a care bear! 8:51 PM May 14th
“This one time, at Sex Camp.” 9:29 PM May 14th
Just saw the pink panther cross Oxford Road. 2:51 PM May 15th
“Crabs. They’re like battle spiders.” 6:00 PM May 15th
It’s never nice when the bike you’re working on draws blood. I’m worried it’ll get a taste for it and I’ll be responsible for a vampire BMX. 11:56 AM May 17th
Conversation at the back of the bus- “I’m telling you this in confidence.” after mentioning 1 name I recognise. Wish I could hear more. 10:46 PM May 19th
Heading east until I end up somewhere I don’t recognise. Then I shall explore. 2:04 PM May 21st
Always wake gnome with coffee. 9:56 PM May 22nd
I’ve not seen a single episode of Lost. Would tonight’s be a good place to start? 6:34 PM May 24th
Here’s some interesting finds on eBay. Soviet era Russian models, of British cars. The Bulgarian seller has listed three 1:18th scale car kits- a Vauxhall of some type, a Jaguar E Type and an Austin Morris. It seems odd that the Soviets would want to make models of Western vehicles, particularly such decadent items as an E Type. The models came with an electric motor, though not all three listed still have theirs. I must resist the temptation to bid and find out more.
I haven’t been on one of my bike wanders for a very long time. So last Friday I set out with the intention of getting lost. I got on to Lapwing Lane and headed east until I ended up somewhere I’d never been before. Then I carried on into the unknown. The first little bit of the unknown was between Burnage and Heaton Chapel, then it was vaguely familiar all the way to Reddish.
I entered terra nova properly in Reddish Vale, before crossing the M60 by footbridge.
After a detour through an industrial estate I found myself at Arden Hall, which I have passed previously
Heading the wrong way I found an advertising hoarding which was the equivalent of the hall. The bus shelter also contained this noticeboard for Romiley Forum-
Back on track I headed down a dead end lane- because I always take those as challenges- and found the perfect tinker’s doer-upper. I think it’s an old works building of some form. If you look in the middle window on the first floor you can see a shelving arrangement which looks like it was for some form of filing.
The dead end lane turned into a path which eventually took me to Bredbury. From there I followed the canal for several miles, getting in some birdwatching and a bit of off roading in Gower Hey Wood.
Eventually I found a major road and turned west, heading back to the pub just in time to meet everyone and rehydrate with blackcurrant and soda. Four hours of riding and I ended up two miles from home in the beer garden of Hardy’s Well. It was worth it. I filled in a few gaps in the parts of Greater Manchester I’ve visited and discovered that I can’t always rely on my phone’s mapping programs to tell me where I am. Both the Ovi Maps software my Nokia X6 shipped with and the Google Maps which I installed flaked out when I got outside the M60. Which is odd because I’m certain I’ve had Google Maps tell me quite accurately where I was in Cumbria, which has to be less well equipped with transmitters than the eastern fringes of Stockport.
Here are the rest of the photos from the “Getting lost east of Manchester” photoset.
After several false starts trying to get the perspective right, with construction lines criss-crossing the page and confusing me, I decided to cheat and do most of the work in Photoshop. Below is what I actually drew. There was a fair amount of copying, resizing, mirroring and pasting done to get the final image.
Withy Grove Stores, Shudehill, Manchester. I’ve been inside once in twenty years. Most of the time it looks like it’s closed, but every so often you’ll notice the window display’s changed. The gun shop across from it has closed recently, I think all the character shops opposite the Arndale will disappear soon, which will be a shame.