Archive for September, 2009

Lusine – Two Dots

September 29th, 2009 by Ian

I listened to so much Lusine when I was at uni. Serial Hodgepodge seemed to have so much going on, so much detail, so many little voices. It was a much needed break from my slightly dangerous Boards of Canada obsession. Now Jeff McIlwain is back with Two Dots. It is the first single from A Certain Distance and this predictably quirky video accompanies it.

Via the Fabric nightclub blog.

Multi-screen idiocy

September 27th, 2009 by Ian

Ever felt the need to watch Hollyoaks whilst shooting 14yr olds on Xbox Live? Me neither. But it didn’t stop this horrific creation that we named Megatron, in tribute to the new series of Peep Show:

Megatron in action

Megatron in action

Does it look stupid? Yes. Is it pointless? Yes. But no more ridiculous than one of Intel’s latest little projects, the four-screen laptop. Obviously Intel have 1-upped us here, but we were on a much more conservative budget. You win ‘Ridiculous use of screens 09’ this year Intel and to think I didn’t expect you to beat the sheer pointlessness of the Optimus Keyboard. Tshk!

Neurosonics Audiomedical Labs Inc.

September 24th, 2009 by Ian

This short video seems to be a collaboration between the usually wonderful Scratch Perverts, beat-boxer Schlomo, Foreign Beggars and others. It’s a headache inducing head-heavy-head-fuck.

Visit for more info and credits.

TEDx Sheffield

September 22nd, 2009 by Ian

You’ve probably heard of the TED talks. They’ve spread in part due to their excellent internet strategy: a powerful website, a strong presence on YouTube, software like Miro and the like. TEDx is a series of talks operating in the UK under license, I believe. They don’t quite pull in the Bill Gates and Seth Godins’ of the main TED talks but, as I found out last week, they present some pretty interesting folks.

TEDx came to Sheffield so my colleague and I spent the whole day at Electric Works and yes, we had a go on the slide. The range of talks kept things interesting. It started off quite business-orientated and the highlight in the morning was definitely Mike Southon of the Financial Times. He gave an obviously very finely tuned presentation that likened business success to the path the Beatles took. It was pretty ‘fluffy’ stuff, but I’m no business-head so that was probably fortunate. As the day progressed, the talks got a bit more creative-y. Highlights for me were Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino from Tinker it! bigging up the Arduino open-source hardware project and Andy Huntington with his little magic noise boxes (my name for them, not his). I wanted my own.

Andy Huntington at TEDx Sheffield

Andy Huntington at TEDx Sheffield

By the afternoon, the suits had all disappeared and the crowd was a little more geeky (I mean that in a loving way, obviously). That’s understandable, considering the breadth of topics. TEDx Sheffield was a day that did inspire, the only bad thing I thought was that they played us videos of previous international TED talks. I could have stayed at home to watch those, guys. I took some (not especially great) pictures that you can view on my flickr stream.

Oh the Humanity! in 25 words or more

September 21st, 2009 by Ian

This is one of the finest headlines I’ve ever seen crafted by the wordsmiths at the Mail. I think they’ve channeled a certain similarly perceptive master of language in writing this. Does anyone remember this classic line from Alan Partridge?  More of this please. I don’t want to read an article. If you can’t consolidate a complete ‘story’ in the headline, then don’t bother.

Via the ever brilliant @bengoldacre – an essential follow.

People of Walmart is a gallery of failure / awesome

September 17th, 2009 by Ian

Tough To See Past All Of This Awesomeness

Feel free to delete as applicable. This is the best blog since Goths in hot weather. I’m sure it could happily be extended to ASDA. Maybe on a Saturday morning.

Trench run tee from Design by Humans

September 16th, 2009 by Ian

Design by Humans run a Threadless-style shop where they take designs from a large number of designers and print the best ones. I couldn’t resist this one:

Stay on target T-shirt by tastyhills from Design By Humans

Stay on target T-shirt by tastyhills from Design By Humans

Yes, those are F4U Corsairs taking the place of the usual X-Wings in the attack on the first Death Star. There is a P40 on the back as well, which I’d imagine takes the place of the Y-Wing. Obviously this is all going to make me very popular with girls, right? Nothing like a good 1940s/Star Wars mash-up.

I bought another tee too and spent enough money doing so (got hit by stupid import taxes, gah!) to warrant a quick review. They’re well printed and a good fit, but the quality of the fabric seems a bit disappointing. Certainly, it’s less than American Apparel tees that brands like this often print on. Time will tell how they fare. It’s available here at DbH, should you share my questionable taste in clothing.

Nerd Venn Diagram: Finally, the answer

September 15th, 2009 by Ian

Nerd venn diagram

Looks like I’m a nerd. I border on geek sometimes, but lets not kid ourselves, ‘eh?

(via Laughing squid, via Craig Newmark)

Differences between Current TV UK and US can be a little depressing

September 11th, 2009 by Ian

Current TV are an indie tv network who, I’m guessing reasonably confidently, depend mainly on the web for viewers.  They’ve done some good stuff. In particular, one thing I watched that stuck in my mind was a documentary on Russian nazi gangs who attack foreign students. It was hard hitting, it wasn’t the sort of thing you’d see on the BBC or CNN. It was ‘forgotten world’ reporting, exactly the sort of thing Current TV should do.  Naturally, I follow both CurrentTV US and Current TV UK on Twitter and something recently struck me.

Here in the UK we sometimes like to poke fun at the US’s attitude to current affairs reporting. Maybe we’ll laugh at the CNN homepage as it becomes full of reports of Britneys latest outburst. Or possibly we’d compare measured debate on Newsnight to O Reily / Becks insane outbursts. But on the web and especially at Current TV, the US often takes the intellectual high-ground (or at least the high-brow ground).  I attach the following as evidence from my Twitter client:

Current TV on my twitter client

Current TV in my twitter feed

Sadly, this sort of contrast is pretty typical. If you don’t believe me, I recommend you go to the Current website and use the top-right icon to switch between the British and American versions. So in short: come on Current UK! You’ve got some great staff and in the UK we’d love some relevant localised reporting. Surpass your US brother and don’t fall into the Heat Magazine pit.

(yes, I realise I posted this just after kittens. Shameful)

Meow mix is a cute decent into a hellish nightmare

September 8th, 2009 by Ian

You know that bit in Father Ted during ‘My Lovely Horse’ when Ted has the nightmare with the horse and the sax solo? Well, 0:45.

10:10 is a good idea but is in danger of doing more harm than good

September 7th, 2009 by Ian

This weekends article by Madeleine Bunting for the Guardian reads like parody. Lifestyle changes which will have arguably minimal positive effect on the environment: check. Angst over carbon footprint whilst still taking flights abroad and owning a large house: check. And as if to round off the parody so perfectly: Two paragraphs detailing the guilt of Aga ownership! Perfect! This is article, along with many disappointingly similar others, is part of the Guardians new 10:10 campaign. The idea is for us to sign up and make personal carbon cuts ourselves, 10% in 2010, so that pressure is put on the government to make similar efforts. It would be nice to think that we’d spend a little more time putting pressure on industry who of course are the real big polluters and whatever private citizens do is next to useless if we can’t get them on board.

1010 logo

The 10:10 campaign was launched in the Tate Modern because obviously a more smug middle class location was not available.I think the 10:10 tags are set to become some of this years more desirable items. Like those ‘Make Poverty History’ bracelets (I wonder how that one turned out?). All in all I think it’s a great idea. However it may contain too many elements which put us in danger of creating a wall of smugness that distances those who honestly care about climate change from those who are yet to sign up for the full effort.

Web developer hat on: The 10:10 website is superb in both it’s design and execution, except totally unnecessary use of flash of course.