Wythenshawe’s vertical farm

At the Manchester International Festival there was an event discussing plans to build a vertical farm in an old office building or similar. Being my usual disorganised self, I didn’t get tickets for the event. It has been announced that a building in Wythenshawe has been selected and the farm will hopefully provide food for the 2013 Festival.

My take on a vertical farm in Sounds of Soldiers had a bunch of guerilla gardeners taking over a multi-storey car park. The first draft of that bit of the story can be found here.

links for 2011-01-11

  • Officers found a Glock 9mm pistol, another 9mm handgun, a pump-action shotgun and a fully-automatic rifle, along with ammunition, at a house on Burbage Road in Wythenshawe.

    They also found a large cannabis farm.

  • All I’m saying is that whilst Phillip Hammond and his ilk insist on playing the victim mentality card with overblown rhetoric, we might as well go mad and have fun with language to trump the stupidity of what is being stated by those in power.
  • How did a bunch of lifeless molecules transform themselves into living cells, turning the ancient, dead Earth into a planet teeming with life? It's an incredibly difficult question to answer, but a new model might explain part of the story.

    Before you can have life, complex organic molecules have to start replicating themselves in much the same way that cells reproduce. Molecules that can replicate themselves using only the chemicals around them are what we might call "protocells", a key transitional stage between a fully lifeless world and one dominated by living cells.

    (tags: life)

links for 2011-01-10

Tweets today

22:51 How far behind gmt is New York? What time would it be here to be 3am there? I could look it up I guess. #

23:04 @SkippyUK I’m being lazy. It was more rhetorical than anything else. #

23:22 Blog: Tweets today tinyurl.com/6hmrms #

09:36 Off to Wythenshawe Hospital, where nurses shall do unspeakable things to me. (And not the post you would normally say for.) #

12:22 Not so many unspeakable things done to me as expected. But next time they’ll have to use anaesthetic. #

17:11 Went into Waterstones for business books, spent £65 on Final Cut manuals. (And £12.99 on the Manga Sutra.) #

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Wythenshawe's carbon neutral festival

Wythenshawe is to hold the “Party without Pollution” festival next month, and is encouraging local residents to save enough energy to make the whole event carbon neutral. The headquarters for the festival are in a building made from shipping crates that incorporates a number of energy saving, if gimmicky, devices such as a cycle powered photocopier.

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A trip into the Daily-Mailiverse

Just a few Daily Mail stories from the last few days.

Holy diversity! Look what’s happened to Batwoman

Holy sad comics news story cliche number one!

The new Batwoman is to be a “buxom socialite” lesbian and (Gasp! Choke!) comics in general are becoming a bit less white.

(Wikipedia’s Batwoman page)

Harry Potter heroine ‘encourages violence in girls’

I haven’t read the books, but I have seen the films and Hermione is portrayed as a geek most of the time. So why isn’t there a shocking rise in girls studying as a result? I think someone has a book to sell.

Professor James Garbarino, author of the book, See Jane Hit: Why Girls Are Growing More Violent and What We Can Do About it

There’s a surprise.

(Harry Potter stuff on Amazon)

Farmer who builds gallows accused of profiting from death

So it would be okay if he did it for charity? From that offended headline they managed to twist the story round to suggest the return of capital punishment mightn’t be so bad, especially for child murderers.

Brown’s billions are ‘sovietising’ the north

Wythenshawe just looks like a gulag, okay. I know, let’s privatise everything.

Downloads of Net porn hit record high

More than nine million men – almost 40 per cent of the adult male population – logged on to sex websites last year, more than four times as many as the estimated two million in 2000.

The number of women downloading Internet porn soared 30 per cent to 1.4million.

So more women are looking at porn but, somehow, it’s only the men who have “unrealistic” expectations because of what they see? Is Britain a country of hot studs with big dicks and perfect six packs?

And no, dear Daily Mail reporter, adult pornography does not lead to child porn addiction.

Why won’t internet bosses stamp out web porn?

Or, rather, “Why won’t they do what we tell them to do?”

Old graves may be used for double burials

The idea involves reopening untended graves more than 75 years old and transferring the remains to a smaller container, which would be buried deeper in the same plot.

Another coffin could then be lowered into the original space.

Why does Ken Loach loathe his country so much?

Because of people like you?

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Cow Punching

The bovine terrorists have started attacking two year olds. Fearing for my safety, I headed off to get the Wythenshawe and Airport Moos. The shiney new Forum is very impressive, but if it needs to have the lights on on a day as bright as this then there’s something wrong.

I’ve never actually flown out of Manchester Airport, only gone to drop people off and pick them up. And I’ve only ever gone there via the M56, so I got lost trying to cycle from Wythenshawe to Ringway. But it was a nice kind of lost, particularly on a day this sunny. I managed to get six of the seven cows, Alphadite is airside and I really didn’t want to piss off Police with guns. If anyone’s flying out of Manchester before September can they try to get me a picture please.

And then I went to pay homage to Concorde, seeing as I was in the area. I also found the cutest little Vampire. I think I want one.

Click the image for the full picture

You have to love a temp job where you turn up and the first thing they do is make sure you’ve got internet access. It’s all for work, of course, and doesn’t count when the connection’s been so crap for the last two days. I’m working at Wythenshawe hospital, a sprawling complex with institutional red brick building hived around by clunky functional concrete and shiny new steel and glass buildings. I’m getting way below my last rate, but it’s work.

The journey in in the morning involves a bus change at Wythenshawe bus terminus. It’s been six years since I was last in Wythenshawe and, if anything, the place has deteriorated in the mean time. The ‘town’ was originally conceived as a Garden City, a quaint thirties idea involving slapping a chunk of suburb into the countryside where there would be enough space for healthy open air-ness. Bad planning and the war meant that no real amenities were provided until the sixties when a dire shopping centre was poured into the town. Now, bits of the area look like warzones. It reminds me a little of Hulme in the early nineties, so there might be hope for regeneration.

Anyway, enough of that. Seeds

�One of the prisoners heard a guard mention a troop train?�


Rey translated the question into Overall for Umat.

�Before sundown. That is all he knows. They would head for the siding south of here to let it pass.�

�We should move out.� Move suggested.

�We should. But��� Lensman surveyed the flat, featureless landscape. �If they decide to dismount and follow us, how far would we get before they caught us?�

�An ambush?�

Lensman turned back to Umat. �We have spare weaponry, and what came from the guards. How many of your men will fight.�

The question was only half translated when Umat answered, �All!�