The design that is. No idea why the green arrows are there. Will try to fix them this weekend I think.
//update 5th May
Early days, but I think Steve from LearnAsOne may have fixed my site. He spotted that a slideshow function had been turned on somehow, and that may well have been what was causing the problems…
I get sent a lot of press releases in the course of a working day. Sometimes it can literally be hundreds. It’s my fault for not hunkering down and sticking to one subject matter to write about. I get everything from update reports on hospitals in Libya to… well… this.
It’s… one of the few things to have actually made me stop during a busy day and pay more than a cursory bit of attention to an email that should have been filtered through to my PR bin (for searching through at a later date if I’m really, really short of a story). Apparently, it’s a cover for an Xbox 360 that “is a brand built from the ground up to provide everything the avid gamer needs to get the most out of their console”.
Look, it’s colourful and it’s got hooks you can hang gamepads on. It’s what every living room needs, right?
It’s almost the perfect press release: Pointless product, eye stopping picture, no direct link for more information, sent to a list bought in from somewhere else without actually bothering to check and see if I write about Xboxes. Which, apart from in very specific circumstances, I don’t. The reply-to address is simply ‘PR’ too, so I have no idea who it’s from.
I want one.
But nothing else. I’ve tried really hard to like the periodicals download, really I have. I’ve paid for the Independent, the Financial Times and the New Statesman, mainly because I’ve felt so guilty reading all their content online for free for so long. But I couldn’t quite put my finger on my reading magazine articles on a Kindle was so unsatisfying, especially when I absolutely devour books on the thing and by many more of them since I got a the device.
Now I realise what it is. Half of the joy of a magazine is browsing, in the same way that websites are more engrossing when their full of informative links. I’ve had the latest copy of the Staggers on my Kindle for over a week now, but if it hadn’t been for someone linking to this amazing story by Hugh Grant (of all people) via Facebook, I’d have missed it. The Kindle actively pushes you away from index pages and article links and almost forces you to read in a linear fashion. Which is perfect for books, of course, but terrible for news articles.
Anyway – enough wibbling about the Kindle. Go read Hugh Grant’s bugging the buggers piece for a quite incredible piece of journalism and possibly the first honest thing that’s been written about phone hacking so far.
Several features which I’m really enjoying. Unusually so. Also, all at nicely oblique angles to the day-to-day stuff which keeps me in toast and butter. Will link to them in due course.
They aren’t completely random. I took Tabby to the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust in Arundel at the weekend. She loved it.
There’s a bit of an exclusive over at Dan’s blog, artistsandmakers.com. Apparently the Sky Arts channel is going to start giving out bursaries to artists and projects. What sort of art will Murdoch sponsor, I wonder.
Somehow, I managed to get hold of one of Nikon’s fabulous 35mm F1.8 lenses within two days of ordering. Jessops told me they had over 100 orders they didn’t expect to fulfil for two weeks, yet mine was waiting for me when I got home. Shame I didn’t have it yesterday, but I’m very much looking forward to playing with it. I was too busy taking pics like this to take one of the lens, sorry.
Oh yeah – it’s a bargain too. I paid £160 for mine.
On Wednesday, I went to display manufacturer’s annual exhibition of its R&D partnerships. There were lots of cool things like giant touchscreens and 3D projectors. Everything was overshadowed by the venue though: the majestic and ruinous Battersea Power Station. At the end of the day, we even got a tour of the famous control room.
Click on the pic to see some more shots over at Flickr.
I have no idea why the image at the top of the blog vanished for a week or so. Still, he’s back now, and that’s the main thing.
This year for Mothers’ Day we decided to avoid the crowded pubs and restaurants all full of feasting families. After all, since I usually cook on Sunday’s anyway, it would be more of a break for me than Tamsin.
Instead, I packed a picnic (mistake – the weather wasn’t really up to it) and took Tam and Tabby to Bignor Roman Villa, just outside of Arundel.
It’s an extraordinary place, the remains of a giant villa in what’s now the South Downs and – as of this week – a national park. Discovered by farmers in 1811, it has some of the best preserved Roman floor mosaics in the country. There are several rooms and a bath house fully excavated, and covered some time in the 19th Century with barns which are still standing, and are themselves listed buildings now too.
I didn’t get chance to ask how much of the floor is as it was found – it looks like there has been some clumsy repair work done at some stage in its history – for starters many of the holes in to the hypocaust underfloor channelling have simply been concreted in. But it’s nothing like the reconstruction work that is so disappointing at, say, Knossos on Crete.
What’s really worth going for, though, is the fact that a lot of the floor that you can actually walk on is at least the original tiling picked up, concreted under and replaced. That’s the small red clay tiles in the photo at the bottom of this post. It also has the longest complete single mosaic in Britain running along the remains of the North Corridor.
You can get up close to many of the mosaics, and most bizarre of all is the artefacts room, where a large table with a model of what the villa would have looked like is standing on the remains of a rather impressive mosaic.
Seems slightly sacrilegious to me, but I’m not an archaeologist, so what do I know?
Anyway – if you’re looking to kill a couple of hours in the South Downs, I can recommend Bignor as a way to do it.