29.3.06

[the brand spanking new IoCT]

Yesterday marked the first "official" day of the IoCT. The builders worked to the very last minute (13:59). We shuffled in about ten minutes early, super eager to see the (semi)finished product. Wowee! While the computers, flying robots, robotic bugs/insects, robotic dogs, ps2, nintendo game cube, furry rugs, bistro table, laptops, speakers, lcd screens, etc...weren't yet in place, the building is finally finished! Yippy. This new centre for creative technologies is going to play a very important role in new developments in the uk (and perhaps internationally). The interdisciplinary centre promises to be a place where creativity can happen. It certainly already *feels* like that kind of place. The pale blue hesian walls, the cube windows, the huge glass sliding doors, the comfy couch, the smooth blue floor (for the robots' ease of movement), and plethora of technology available make me want to just dive right in! Soon the security measures will be in place and the huge area kitted out. For now, here is an image of the finished outside. That screen hanging at the front (top) of the building will display various snippets of text/poetry written by writers in residence at the IoCT. It's going to be exxxxciting!

28.3.06

[inspiration]

Limbic SystemToday Simon and I had the pleasure of attending a lecture given by artist Jo Fairfax. My visceral reaction was totally unrelated to the real experience. I had visions of a flighty artist umming and ahhing about space and physicality and colours blending together and a personal vision. Instead we were kept laughing so hard we had to be warned (by Jo) not to "wee." He took us on a hilarious journey through several of his artistic creations. Each synopsis was accompanied by jokes (ranging from the folks in Basingstoke who "wee" in public subways, the football hooligans who fight under lit archways, and the Leicester youn'uns who vandalise all Jo's public art) which kept us laughing and made us all see how much *fun* art can be. Central to Jo's talk was the idea that nature provides inspiration. Jo told us about tarantula's legs which are able to move thanks to hydrolics (fluid not muscle), the horned toad which is really a lizard so why is it called a toad, the lantern fly with its big (but fake) head. He said that problems begin to arise when we (artists, creators, people) "lose the link with nature." That got me thinking (incredible, I know!). I wonder what I find inspiring in the natural world. What about you? I know pools of light and rippling water immediately instills a kind of peace in me...is that inspiration?

"Sculptural Lighting"2005. Sculpture 1100cm x 150cm x 850cm. White copper and pre-programmed colour change lights. White copper tubing sculpture in the form of a ripple suspended from the soffit for a restaurant entrance in the Neptune Marina, Ipswich. Four pre-programmed coloured spotlights illuminate the sculpture at night time. The lights slowly change colour throughout the evening.

24.3.06

[if you show me yours, i'll show you mine]

Your Political Profile

Overall: 10% Conservative, 90% Liberal
Social Issues: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal
Personal Responsibility: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal
Fiscal Issues: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal
Ethics: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal
Defense and Crime: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal

How Liberal / Conservative Are You?

21.3.06

[google just keeps going]


Google today launches its financial information service, Google Finance, going head-to-head with the likes of Reuters and Bloomberg.Not so long ago Reuters ruled the roost. Its terminals were stationed in the offices of every serious news organization. Then Bloomberg took them on and, for a while, partially eclipsed the venerable British firm.Now Google, the self-designated […]

20.3.06

[tube-fific!]

I wish I could say that I took a photo of this very imaginative use of tube station names...but I found in on a blog over here.

18.3.06

[internet use - demographics]

How Women and Men Use the Internet: Women are catching up to men in most measures of online life. Men like the internet for the experiences it offers, while women like it for the human connections it promotes.

A wide-ranging look at the way American women and men use the internet shows that men continue to pursue many internet activities more intensively than women, and that men are still first out of the blocks in trying the latest technologies. At the same time, there are trends showing that women are catching up in overall use and are framing their online experience with a greater emphasis on deepening connections with people.

Click here to read the article.

13.3.06

[13 - Tzameti]

Indeed, in a film, the text is a little thing. It is essential to make it invisible. The primacy of the eye over the ear obliges the poet to tell his story in silence, to connect images, to provide for their slightest backward motion and the slightest relief. Jean Cocteau

Sébastien, a 22 year old builder, finds himself in a quandry. While fixing Jean Francois Godon's rickety roof, he overhears a conversation in which Jean Francois admits he won't be able to pay the builder. Sébastien continues working as if unaware of ramifactions this will have on his already nearly destitute family (mother, father, sister, grandfather). Later, Sébastien again overhears a coversation between Jean Francois and an old friend. There is a plan in the works and if all goes well, Jean Francois will make a lot of money. Before the plan can even begin, Jean Francois, morphine addict, dies, apparently from an overdose. Poor Sébastien is told to pack up as no one can pay him to continue his work. By chance, Sébastien finds an envelope within which is a train ticket to Paris and a pre-paid hotel room. Perhaps this will lead Sébastien to that money he overhead J.F. talking about. So, Sébastien goes home, mum gives him a haircut and off he goes onto the train, this is the beginning of his descent into psychological torture. We notice rough looking men in suits trailing Sebastien and we're not sure whether they're the good or bad guys (we find out later they are the police). Sébastien, having taken on the identity of Godon, finds the hotel and falls asleep. He is awoke by a 'phone call which gives him intricate instructions. Sébastien follows them and then continues to receive more. Eventually, after car-rides, passwords, cryptic 'phone calls, Sébastien finds himself in a big house in the middle of a forrest. The tension which has been building steadily now comes to a head. Sébastien finds himself as a player in a terrible game. He is number 13 (I gather this is what Tzameti means). He is made to wear a t-shirt with the "lucky" number inscribed on it. Sébastien is then ushered into another room filled with men. The black and white filming really adds to the oppressiveness of this scene. Sébastien is pushed onto a stage occupied by 12 other men. They are shuffled into a circle and each is given a gun. Sébastien (the acting is absolutely amazing) begins shaking as he starts to realise what kind of game this is. He is told to load a bullet into the gun...he is shaking so much someone else loads it for him. The game-leader shouts to all the "players" to spin the barrel of the gun. "Spin...spin...encore...encore!" shouts the leader. Then he screams to the players to position their guns, that means pointing their gun at the back of the head of the person in front of them. Sébastien is shaking uncontrollably, he gazes behind him only to have the games-master shout "eyes in front!" Then he explains that once the lightbulb in the middle of the ring lights up, they are all to shoot. The bulb lights. We hear shots fired. We see some people drop. We see Sébastien and the man in front of him still standing. Sébastien won't/can't shoot. A man jumps into the ring, this will throw off all the betting. Sébastien better shoot otherwise someone will just shoot him. "tirez, tirez" screams the game-leader, "tirez tirez!" scream the men who brought Sébastien there....he shoots. No one falls. That was lucky they all breathe. And so it continues, until round 4, the duel. I won't give away the ending as this is a must-see film. We walked out of the cinema wondering what had hit us. What should we have learned from that film, what was the moral? Don't steal? Don't do anything desperate even if you feel you must in order to survive. This was one dark DARK film which really probes the depths of criminal minds and explosive violence.

NB 13 is winner of best sound at cannes

12.3.06

[snowy walk in the Peak District]

Who said walking was relaxing? We didn't have time to relax with the dodgying the crazy sheep who decided to follow us and jumping over stone walls (and falling onto HARD rocks) to escape crazy CRAZY horses who decided to charge after us....it was exhilirating to say the least. I didn't know Steve and Mark could run so fast or jump so high!! We sat there wheezing on the other side of the stone wall while the crazy mad horses (two of them but two's enough!) stood huffing at us on the other side and poking cloven hooves through gaps in the wall....very surreal! Then, as we couldn't follow the footpath thanks to the wild beasts, we had to trudge UP a 600 meter hill. Now, if a hill is involved, I'm only going DOWN it....so up was not so much fun. We all stopped about 10 minutes into it to have a brief heart-attack which provided us with a much needed rest (although biscuits and tea would have been more welcome and warming). With ears ringing from the blood pumping we clambered to the top and surveyed the scenery. It was very beautiful and looked like a patchwork quilt, all the stone walls and wooden fences cutting through the landscape, but not so worth the heart attack! As we were off the (somewhat beaten) path it then took us two hours to find a suitable way down. There was plenty of snow (and rocks covered by the snow) so we mostly slid our way down the hill side. So there were the three of us, wrapped in bullet-proof thermals, slidding, swearing, and yelping our way down. (Speaking of wild animals eh...) Funnily enough, we came out right where we parked the car. We got several honks from people who must have a) loved our fashion sense and bright yellow waterproofs, b) thought we were crazy for walking in -3 degree snowy weather (that's cold for this neck of the woods!) or c) wanted to alert us to the two lost sheep baaing behind us. (maybe it was d) all of the above). Anyway, we made it back safe and sound and without any extra pets, kitty wouldn't know what to do with two pet sheep.

8.3.06

[blog international women's day!!]

"International Women's Day is the global day for honouring the work of women past and present, for reflecting on the progress made for women's equality to date, and for being inspired to achieve our full potential as we continue to work for women's equality in the year ahead.UNITED KINGDOM: Aurora - www.auroravoice.com

"International Women's Day celebrates the success that women have achieved. The YMCA of Greater Toronto offers opportunities for personal growth, community involvement and leadership."CANADA: YMCA - www.ymca.ca

"International Women's Day is about supporting women to give voice to their visions. It is about speaking truth and about the deep listening that keeps us in creative solution and collaboration. UNITED STATES: More Than Spring - www.morethansinging.com

“Progress for women is progress for all

Very nice but so what?! A gap remains between theory and the reality of women's lives. Many issues from the past, such as violence and poverty, have not been resolved (will they ever be?). Today, as women join the labour force in record numbers, raise families and participate in their communities, barriers remain. Just recently (27 of Feb. 2006) we heard Tony Blair admit that a "massive amount of work" remains to be done to close the pay gap between men and women. This is just one of barriers keeping women, whether they are Aboriginal women, women with disabilities, lesbians, single women, lone parents or women living in poverty, from realizing their full potential.

NB: If you have access to a blog, why not blog about International Women's Day and make a difference?

7.3.06

[cultural child]

A list of oxymorons and humorous questions to ponder.
Crazy Browser provides many features that make surfing the web more comfortable and less confusing.
Read about fads from the past 100 years: hula hoops, disco, pet rocks, goldfish swallowing, flagpole sitting, mood rings, Rubik's Cubes...
Project to construct an immense statue in the Black Hills honouring the Lakota leader.
Every Friday, the staff at Crazy Apple Rumours Site answers common help questions ... Earth-shattering news tonight as Crazy Apple Rumours Site has confirmed ...
Biography of the Lakota leader, also known as Tashunca-uitco.
A guide to psychiatric medications from first-hand experience, anecdotal evidence and personal research.
The true-life diary of a thirty-something, soon-to-be-divorced, OCD-germaphobe knitter who has four cats…
This system is dedicated to the indigenous peoples of the world and to the enrichment it can bring to all people.
Theory of Constraints links and information including conferences, books and publications, TOC definitions, and links to related sites.
Surf the Web with this powerful, customizable, easy-to-use browser. It provides many features that make surfing the web more comfortable and less confusing, ...
This is a video of a multi-input touch screen that hopefully will make its way into consumer computer market in time.
Portable lightweight outdoor seating for all occasions.
If you only saw one side of me, you may think Dave was crazy to marry emotional, risk-taking me, ...
Doggone crazy! is a board game that promotes child safety around dogs, dog bite prevention and dog communication.
(a selection of 15 sites which appeared from a google search for “crazy”)

3.3.06

[fleurs fiori flowers]






They are memories
trapped between the yellowed pages
of a story that will never end.
Plunging, sinking, dipping, drowning in the soil of my mind,
wearily folded, subdued, creased
upon fragments of thoughts.
They are coloured pains
that reconstruct a patchwork of lost moments
and quench themselves
with an invisible drizzle of time.
They support a stem, a petal and then a full blossoming of words,
like a night orchestrated in time with redolent awareness.
The residue - a frame of gelid memory
within which is etched the blurry profile of a
face already forgotten.

1.3.06

[signifying city]

telefonoaquabenzina






Vorrei ordinare ora.
Per favore, avrei bisogno di cerotti.
Dove posso comprare bombole di gas da campeggio?
É già partito il treno delle 11.15?
Che cosa succede?
Vorrei due ananas.
Ne prenda una, tre volte al giorno, dopo ogni pasto.
E quello lo chiami un sandwich al prosciutto? Mettilo via, subito !
Quando ha visto mia suocera, il gatto si è arrampicato sull'albero e non ne è ancora sceso.
Signora, non saprei dirle perché il Presidente indossava abiti femminili.
Non far cantare un'altra volta tuo fratello. Non vorrei che rompesse le finestre come l'ultima volta.
Vorresti passare la notte da me e fare tutte quelle cose che comunque racconterei a tutti che abbiamo fatto?
Tre persone su due non capiscono le proporzioni in matematica.

viaggiofuoco!