Friday, 31 August 2012

El Hadjii-Diouf: the jury is out

El Hadji-Diouf- the butt of many a joke and clearly a perfect candidate for clever GIF editing types to work over.
I stumbled on this in a thread that I got to after cursing that I wasn't in New York to visit exhibitions at the Museum of the Moving Image.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Israel road trip in 2010

View Israel, 2010 in a larger map
View some of the photographs from this trip

Spending a little bit of time looking at maps and Google earth again. Getting excited about what I could do with them. Better not get too carried away with it all.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

London Street Scene

Another cropping of a scan.
I really should be doing them at higher resolution but I kind of like the effect. This is Lombard street in the City. Probably lugging around gold or something. 

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Boy in the photograph

Take another look at the boy in the foreground. The following text explains a little more about him. Surprised? I was:
"Little Mic-Mac Gosling," as the boy with the pitcher is familiarly called by all in his extended circle of friends and acquaintances, is seventeen years old, though he only reaches the height of three feet ten inches. He is, in fact, so small, and, at the same time, so intelligent for his size, that he once held an excellent situation as a lady's page; but I presume he is now getting too old for such an office. His bare feet, I should add, are not necessarily symptoms of poverty; for, as a sailor, and during a long voyage to South Africa, he learnt to dispense with boots and shoes while on deck.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Social media guidance for civil servants

The 29 page report was far too much to enjoy reading but it seems comprehensive enough and the above options made me chuckle a bit. They are options for:
'Tackling the infrastructure issues that can inhibit access to the internet and social media channels'.
Top tip that one about their legacy IE6 and IE7 installations. Truly modern Government running a legacy Civil Service. oO  

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Book Cut-and-Shut

This is all a bit Catchphrase and perhaps a bit meta. I had a scanned image from a book of a bank scene from the 19th century. There are so many interesting interactions going on in the larger picture I decided to focus on some of them. I'm sure other people are interested in this kind of thing, for me I just like to see what we can easily do nowadays with digitised content using simple digital technologies. 

 Thanks for stopping. Bye!

Wednesday, 20 June 2012


Sunday, 3 June 2012

Monday, 28 May 2012

Beit Hanina, Jerusalem

View Larger Map

I visited this area in 2010 and stayed in a room we fondly called the bunker. This was because we weren't used to sleeping in a room with iron doors and a blast shield on the window, but by all accounts it's standard in these parts when it comes to new buildings. 
I remember seeing these green skips about. People filled them with rubbish and then burnt it all out. Quite a sight when they were going but also a real kicker for the environment. You can see all the crap in the background and that is actually one of many endearing memories of the trip. 
If you turn around on the view you will see a wall covered in graffiti. 

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Joseph Chamberlain and Beatrice Webb

A new years day diary entry, 1901, recalling relations with
 Joseph Chamberlain, influential politician and father
 of Neville Chamberlain,which began in 1882.

Beatrice Webb, 1900
Joseph Chamberlain


 "Then came the catastrophy of my life. At a London dinner party I met Joseph Chamberlain. At once, and I think on both sides, there arose the question of marriage. He was seeking a wife, attractive, docile and capable I was ripe for love: revelling in newly acquired health and freedom, my intelligence wide awake, my heart unclaimed.

"In all this business of life I remained hardheaded and cold, using whatever feminine charms I possessed to further my intellectual ends. Sentimental relationships I had: but the sentiment was always on the other side! Possibly I owe this debt to Chamberlain. He absorbed the whole of my sexual feeling."(1)
 Further reading:
Beatrice on Joseph
Joseph Chamberlain

 LSE Digital Library and LSE Flickr

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Girl in Pink

Girl in pink fading into nothingness. Words on chest 'I hate the way I look' x3. 2002, 1/5.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Moon + River over the course of a Tuesday

Two metres long. Best appreciated from three metres distance.  

Anatomical Artwork

At home in Wimbledon
We have art. Handpicked over the years from friends exhibitions. Worth every penny when I think about it. This is also huge and one of four pieces of anatomical artwork we have. One looks lewd but is in fact a cross-section of brain tissue. Yum, Yum!

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Cracking Day

Back streets of Wimbledon
It was a cracking day spent in the office at home drying out a carpet after overnight flooding. I wish the office was not so large or carpeted. Goodbye Tuesday. You have been a strange day mostly involving me staring out of windows and at a computer screen. 

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Not Instagram

I'm not passing judgement. How can I? I just haven't gone in for Instagram yet.
 I took these two pictures in a bathroom with funny mirror-glass tiles that are made to distort your reflection. 
I think at the time I'd had a couple and thought i'd stick it to Instagram by not using it. What was I thinking! 

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Russian Robot Poster

РОБОТЫ - Comrades of Steel
Russian posters are really cool. Not too sure why but there is something about Soviet poster culture that I find visually appealing.

I'm fortunate to be working with some at the moment that are going to be shared online in the not too distant future. Not sure how they'll measure up to the Robot though. 
Photo by Z Mallet
Hoping he might change photo rights to CC so I don't feel so bad about breaking the copyright that has been claimed over this picture.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Easter Scan

Easter and I spent a day or so with an old friend who has two little girls. I love seeing the little mites and their innocence and enthusiasm (they are also a little bonkers) always fills me with joy. 
We drew a picture together (using real paper and crayons). A masterpiece, I'm sure you would agree!
 Rather than deprive their kitchen fridge of the beauty Daddy used CamScanner on his Samsung Note so I could take a copy home with me. 

If you've not turned your phone into a scanner yet then I can't recommend the functionality enough. I'm always surprised when I see people at work running around to make photocopies of stuff when there are tools like CamScanner out there that are much more suited to our age. The last person I showed it to on their iPhone was literally shaking with excitement at the prospect of using it. I really mean that. I also really think that those of us who work in HE could help people hack their use of places like libraries by 'sharing with authority' the new tools of the trade. Some people don't even use Google Docs, Dropbox etc when these are the kind of established tools that would really simplify things for them. You wouldn't believe the number of memory sticks that go missing every single day where I work...

Facebook, Twitter and now TalkBin: connecting with library customers

I'm a big believer that if you work in the service industry then you should open up as many channels of communication with your customers as you possibly can. Where I work a good chunk of time is spent assisting people at service points and this is valuable face time in which we get to promote and recommend services and facilities. While I think we could always do-more-to-get-more out of these encounters it often isn't appropriate. The person generally knows what they want and due to demands on their time want it done quickly. There are excellent research and learning support services available for people who want to 'partner up' and go beyond, but these can accommodate only a certain number and are perhaps not fully or widely appreciated.

In my opinion, an area that could be invested in would be social media and an institutions online profile.
Social media and improved networks are allowing for new channels to open up very quickly and efficiently. Facebook and Twitter are a no-brainer nowadays as a way of building and promoting brands and engaging with customers. Through that engagement much can be learned to inform improvement of services and, at the same time, perceived and actual engagement with the local customer community. However, this is all done out in the open, and although that is not necessarily a bad thing, it can cause 'clutter' in feeds, particularly if the institution was intending for them to be more one way in nature or don't have the inclination or staff to cover the associated workload.

Enter TalkBin. Another recent Google acquisition that I think would be worthwhile giving a whirl to see how it increases feedback. After-all, staff can't be everywhere all the time and tools like this could really help us know where we should be, when and what extra value we can add. I've heard from colleagues at a variety of institutions that attempts to engage through questionnaires, focus groups and face-to-face sessions leads to a generally underwhelming number of responses. Why not enable mobile text feedback?

I very much think that time invested by staff in experimenting with new service delivery methods, communication channels and feedback mechanisms is a worthwhile endeavor.

 Where I work there are staff with the flexibility to make the good things successful and the bad a valuable learning experience. The above Tweet is a pretty good summation of my general feeling and if such a culture and environment were further fostered, then i'd say it would be a surefire way to stay at the tip of this fast changing environment.

Of course, communications and customer service is by no means all online, but it is hard to deny how increasingly important online is becoming and how, while not getting carried away, we should be keeping an eye out for what is already going on in other sectors and then tune accordingly.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012


 Bonkers. Here are a couple of memes inspired by this frankly bonkers Bercow speech:

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Escaping New York

My memory is hazy but when I think of these escape ladders I think of American TV and how many times they've been used for escaping someone armed. It never seems to be a fire. Hmm.
New York!

Picture credit: Neil Stewart (66)

Monday, 19 March 2012

Well done Designer. Don't agree with your methods

I stopped and stared at this for a while. It grabbed my attention and the yellow and blue piqued my interest/raised my concern in a way those Police Incident boards are supposed too. 
When it finally dawned on me that it was an advert I was pretty disappointed by the tactics. 
I'll let it go (but abokado you are on my black list), as it does a job. I guess I'm doing them one now as well.

Sad Fox

I always thought he looked so sad when he was there but he made so many people smile.
I often found that seeing him on my way to work in the mornings cheered me up no end. 
All credit to the folks at the Hayward and the public art they deliver to pull people in, even if they don't.
For now I'm left Fighting the Nothingness. For now. 

Swede Mason Appreciation Society

Just a few (+1) Swede Mason YouTube videos that I've enjoyed very much recently. Video mixers don't seem to enjoy being called 'Mashup Artists' but along with the Cassette Boy(s) Swede Mason deserves a lot of credit for being one.

Obama dominating

Buttery Biscuit Base - Masterchef

Angry Mel

Power Slide Clarkson


Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Creationist Park, CA

RoarView Mirror
Looking back on the dinosaurs of 2010

City Monsters

Eye, eye (eye). Israel/Palestine, 2010
As Easter approaches I think of having gone there two ago. What an incredibly fascinating place. Was scared out of my wits beforehand, but loved every minute. 
I'll never really understand what is going on there. 
I now like to keep an eye on the areas news but it is often troubling and unsettling.
City Monsters, huh.  

Britney, 2002

Lost but not forgotten

Big Mac and What

He caught me. I felt horrible and judgemental.
I am a bad person. Life bites.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

The Children of Beatrice & Sidney Webb

Beatrice Webb reflecting on the London School of Economics (1895) and the New Statesman (1913), two British institutions that she and Sidney played the leading role in creating.

Beatrice and Sidney Webb, c1942

Webbs on the Webb 
September 14th 1936.

                          In old age it is one of the minor satisfactions of life to watch the success of your children, literal children or symbolic.  The London School of Economics is undoubtedly our most famous one; but the New Statesman is also creditable - it is the most successful of the general weeklies, actually making a profit on its 25000 readers, and has absorbed two of its rivals, The Nation and the Week-end Review.

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The Children of Beatrice & Sidney Webb by Andy Jack is licensed under Creative Commons
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Saturday, 18 February 2012

An Israeli Dilemma

A cartoon by Ronny Gordon taken from the Jerusalem Post. source link

Rarely is life as straightforward as a cartoon like this might suggest; but they don't half help simplify things.
Escalating Middle East tensions are seriously bad for the whole world and the increasing complexity of this historical period is deeply concerning.
I realise that war is a great stimulus for change and makes people a lot of money, but if we end up with nuclear wastelands here and there we might as well all just give up. Bleeding egotistical folly. Plus, I've always wanted to go to Iran so if we could all just settle down and take a step back then I will get on with renewing my passport. 

Nothing Much Else To Say