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I’ve just annoyed most of my workmates by roaring with laughter at these images (I was looking at a discussion on critical thinking at the time – honest!) I think it shows my geeky/science nerd side but nevertheless, they made me laugh. Great resource for a science teacher.hominidssmall.jpg


I’ve just come across this blog – and it made me laugh out loud.


One of my favourite blogs is that by Hugh McLeod of Gaping Void. He does the marketing for Stormhoek wines as well as some work for Microsoft and the about to be released Hallam Foe   movie.  He creates cartoons on the back of business cards and although some of them are too extreme for here I was delighted to see that you can now put a Gaping Void application on Facebook.  For those who aren’t aware of his work I’ll insert an example below.


My colleague John Dalziel found a great tool this morning. It is an automatic MP3 generator for any blog. so it converts text to speech. If you click on the button to the left of the heading – Odiogo, it will take you to a page with all the posts from this blog available as audio files. You can also subscribe to them using any of the following services.


At the time of writing the full text of each entry isn’t available as I had an incorrect button pressed within the blog. Within a short space of time though the full posts will be there. What a brilliant tool and it’s free!

Our team moved into new offices on the campus of Lancaster University at the beginning of this month.  We are in a garret at the top of Bailrigg House which is the original old mansion house that stands at the northern end of the site.


Although it is a bit of a trek up the stairs the view is fantastic.  This is the view from my office. Note the cricket scoreboard on the playing fields and in the distance the delightful view of Heysham Nuclear Power Station – mmm.  In the distance you can see Morecambe Bay and you can tell whether the tide is in.


There are 52 days to go before Blog Action Day. October 15th has been designated an action day when bloggers are encouraged to blog about the environment. You can register your blog at the above site and commit to highlights environmental issues on the said date. I just hope I remember to do it on the day.

This weekend sees the annual TV Festival in Edinburgh as part of its International Arts Festival.  The BBC’s Editors blog is asking viewers for their opinions on the state of television in the UK after all the revelations about fakery within the medium.  There are already over a hundred postings on there with some pretty forceful opinions being put forward.  I’ve put my thoughts on there and thought I’d put them down here.  Needless to say they are a list of dislikes.

News anchor to correspondent on location ‘So its been a particularly difficult day today for the Government, Mark’ – Correspondent ‘Yes Hugh, its has been a particularly difficult day for the Government’ or any other subject that they are reporting on – it’s lazy and it’s patronising for the viewer.

BBC news trailling a programme scheduled for later that day as if it was a news item.  ‘A Panorama team have discovered … ‘  That isn’t news, it’s advertising.

Previewing short clips from a programme to keep us interested.  I want to see a story unfold, I don’t want to be told half way through what is going to be happening in 15 minutes time.

No more celebrity pancake making on ice or whatever – enough already!

Whew – nothing like a good rant.  If you want to have your say and Peter Barron who is one of the organisers of the Festival says he will take the comments to the 2,000 great and good who make our TV, go to the Editors blog and let rip.

I always check the ‘Astronomy Picture of the Day’ which is a Google gadget and have it on my facebook page. Today’s however is pretty spectactular so I’ll just reproduce the complete post here.


A Sonic Boom
Credit: Ensign John Gay, USS Constellation, US Navy Explanation: Is this what a sonic boom looks like? When an airplane travels at a speed faster than sound, density waves of sound emitted by the plane cannot precede the plane, and so accumulate in a cone behind the plane. When this shock wave passes, a listener hears all at once the sound emitted over a longer period: a sonic boom. As a plane accelerates to just break the sound barrier, however, an unusual cloud might form. The origin of this cloud is still debated. A leading theory is that a drop in air pressure at the plane described by the Prandtl-Glauert Singularity occurs so that moist air condenses there to form water droplets. Above, an F/A-18 Hornet was photographed just as it broke the sound barrier. Large meteors and the space shuttle frequently produce audible sonic booms before they are slowed below sound speed by the Earth’s atmosphere.

I see I have been named ‘blog of the day’ on Fuelmyblog. This is accessed by the widget in the left hand column which asks you to ‘Fuel my blog’. I actually find this rather cumbersome as you have to register and then log in each time you may want to vote for a blog. Looking at statistics for this blog the wordpress ones, indicate that I’m getting about 80-100 hits a day with 6 over 100 in the last month. The statcounter statistics – again accessed via a widget in the left hand column (at the bottom) show I have an average of 82 hits daily with the actual number varying from the wordpress figures by up to 20. The statcounter also gives you a map showing the worldwide location and ISP for each hit. It is slightly more detailed than the Clustrmaps which shows all the hits globally. So hello, Hawaii, India, Argentina and Iraq amongst others.

All these mean that someone somewhere has clicked onto the blog, not read it but for example, just done a Google image search for ‘Morecambe bookshop’ and the post on books appears. It makes for interesting reading. WordPress also gives you a list of the search terms that have lead a reader to your blog – so the latest were ‘wasp sting pics’, lauren Conrad house’ (no idea) and ‘Appleby Horse Fair 2007’ (I get a lot of those!) and ‘kiosk handbags’. It shows what a fickle and slippery world marketing is, as it is difficult to anticipate what it is that will fire the imagination of the viewer. So 8591 and counting.

I’ve just come across a great toolkit for young people to plan their career with the qualifications they have. It’s called i-Portfolio and contains tests to indicate what might be your ideal job, your type of intelligence, job fit and personality preferences and it’s free. I’ve only gone so far on it (pretending to be my youngest daughter!) and it seems to be really easy to use. It helps search for courses, and advises on possible career paths and even builds a Curriculum Vitae for you. Actually I might just go back and add my details and see if I’m doing the right job. Perhaps I should have been a fish farmer?

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August 2007
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