Saturday, January 31, 2009

Obama's Speech

I read the following in my NetUser Computer Magazine.

Last week, in his Inaugural Address, President Obama said, "To those who cling to power through deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history."

Apparently this part of President Obama's address was excluded by many websites in China.

I have only one comment to make. Shame on you, China. If you want to be part of the modern world, you have to live with the modern world, not try to pretend that the world is really the way you wish that it was.


Went to see the new Anthony Gormley piece in Manchester Art gallery, I didn't realise that they had bought it. It hangs in the air right at the top of the atrium. Made of mild stell hula hoops, it's life size and is full of air, and a heart. I'll try to edit some more photos of Kevin and Patricia go to Manchester tomorrow. Right now I'm going to watch Teevee with my darling wife, I just cannot stand the excitement of writing in my blog three days running!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Here is something that looks like fun

Just read an article in Computeractive Magazine. I love it, lots of news and its not expensive like most techie computer mags. Anyway, I found a link to this web based application called "Wordle".

Wordle does "Word Clouds" that look like this and I think it is pretty damned neat.

Here is the link

This is what it does

By the way, this isn't mine, just an example that I copied from the Gallery. But I will certainly have a go with it at some future time. It really looks like fun.

Hidden Manchester

I watched a short program on the BBC last week. "Inside Out" is a magazine programme done by BBC North West and usually features bits and bobs about the North West. Usually I avoid it like the plague. Last week I spotted this little piece about Underground Manchester - so I recorded it on Sky+.

I have known about the Secret Telephone Exchange under Piccadilly Gardens for doneys years, but this piece on Hidden Manchester really amazed me. The best bit was about a place called "Victoria Arches" which must be around Victoria Station. Apparently it was build in the 1830's to support a new road into Manchester. So underground is this unbelievably huge open space, but you cannot get into it. They didn't show any external shots of entrances, presumably to keep the hoi polloi out.

During World War II Victoria Arches was used as a major Air Raid Shelter for Manchester. They showed one of the Gents Toilets. Huge. But after the war it must have been closed up again. It's silly really, it could be a real tourist attraction if only someone in Manchester had the foresight. I've been to Stockport's Air Raid Shelters with the kids today, and they attract a lot of visitors. So why shouldn't something similar in Manchester do the same.

Anyway, now, thanks to my friend Dianne, you can have a look as well. I mentioned, on facebook, that Pat and I are going into Manchester tomorrow to see the new Anthony Gormley statue in the Museum. He's the bloke who did the standing statues on Crosby Beach. This looks positively amazing on the tele. Diane replied with a message about the Underground Manchester exhibition at Urbis. She gave me the web address so I'll share it with you - Have a look at this:

My comment to Diane was "These are exceptional aren't they. There was a 10 minute piece about these piccies on "Inside Out" on the Beeb, just over a week ago. I watched it. This bloke, Andrew Paul Brooks, took the photos by wandering about these hidden spaces with a flash gun. By triggering the camera remotely he built up hundreds of photos and then overlayed them over each other using something like Photoshop. Some of these photos are phenomenal. I might try to coax Pat to go to Urbis as well tomorrow morning to see this exhibition.

Just as an experiment, I've put the address of this blog onto my Facebook Page, so it will be interesting to see if anyone from Facebook has a look at the blog. I'm fed up of the idea of writing a blog that is only for me and Danielle to read. We shall see.

Thursday, January 29, 2009



I discovered from one of my friends on Facebook that this means "Oh My God" which I should have worked out on my own. Thatnks DMG if you should ever happen to read this. maybe I should put the address of this blog on facebook and let the cognoscienti read it. Now there is a thought!

I didn't think it was so long since I last wrote on this, but then It is. Oh dear. I'm just not doing any of the things that I really like doing at the moment, so I'd better get my act together again, hadn't I.

Today. Today we had a presentation from the new Principal of the new Academy that our school is going to turn into at the end of Summer. Our new Principal is an interesting bloke, who looks deeply scary at the moment. He looks several things as well as scary, but I have a feeling that he might actually be good for the school, in a scary sort of way.

The bad new is that his Curriculum Plan for the Academy does not appear to have any room for History in it, though I am prepared to wait and see. maybe when he gets a chance to explain things we might discover that History is still there, but disguised. I don't really see why I am so upset as I won't be there for very much longer really, at fifty seven (soon to be eight) I am within leaping distance of retirement. Who knows.

I discovered, a few years ago, that there are just two countries in Europe where History is not a required subject in some form for all students up to 16. The two countries where it isn't required are Albania and the good old United Kingdom. Sob, it makes me so proud to belong to a plonking country that wants to forget its heritage.

Anyway, we shall see as we go along what the future brings.

I'll be sure to keep you up to date.