All entries for June 2007

June 29, 2007

There's hope for America yet!

Mika Brzezinski is added to the list of modern heroines – giving the Paris Hilton story the kicking it deserved. Maybe there is hope for American journalism yet.

Now, if only someone could have a word with the Express about Princess Diana or the other tabloids about Big Brother. Ugh.


The craziness of inflated prices for Premiership players

This man is worth £16.5 million.

Darren Bent

Whereas this man is worth £16.1 million.

Thierry Henry

Surely shome mishtake.

No, seriously – does anybody, anywhere get that?


June 25, 2007

nerdboy Flash Gordon reference – uh oh!

Oh dear – whilst watching a bit of Flash Gordon at the weekend (the things you do when it’s raining) I picked up a reference in a throw away line said by Dr Zarkov:

Zarkov and Barin are in Ming’s palace trying to rescue various others and come across a door with a coded lock – never fear, announces Zarkov, I should be able to cope with this, and so he does, explaining his success with the line

“A-ha! I thought it was one of the prime numbers of the Zeeman series. I haven’t changed!”

Now – could this be a reference to Warwick’s own Christopher Zeeman, stellar mathematician and founder of the Mathematics Department?


June 15, 2007

And straight in at number 25 (or number 3 depending on the list)

Writing about web page http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/newsandevents/audio/more/symmetry/

Why Beauty is Truth is currently hovering around the number 3 slot in the HE podcast iTunes chart and the number 25 slot on the Education charts. This is the first time we’ve broken into the top 25 of the Education charts – so kudos to Ian Stewart there.

I used to hate the whole notion of league tables, but now I am obsessed with that particular one.

Now I know how the Sugababes feel!


June 08, 2007

Your gig is cancelled

Writing about web page http://www.boingboing.net/2007/06/08/city_fights_illegal_.html

This story appeals to me in a funny way – how Glasgow City council are fighting flyposters by adding a cancelled sticker to offending posters. What a great creative idea.


In praise of second place

Writing about web page http://www.warwick.ac.uk/go/podcasts

So, we went to the Chartered Institute of Public Relations annual awards dinner last night. Warwick Podcasts, having won the Gold at the regional awards, was up for a gong in the Best Use of New Media blah blah blah.

We got Highly Recommended – which is pretty much 2nd place. Now, considering the 13,000 overall entries that’s not too shabby.

So I am now in possession of a shiny certificate which we can hang up on one of the non-existent walls in the communications office.

BTW – we were beaten by a goat in deely boppers. Happens to me all the time.


June 04, 2007

Well that didn't go well for 2012 then did it

Writing about web page http://www.technorati.com/posts/tag/2012%2Blogo?page=1

Oh dear.

Looks like the new design for the London 2012 Games has not gone down well at all.

Now, I guess there always is a tendency with these things for there to be an immediate ‘ooh – don’t like that’ reaction to new brands/logos. Consider the hoo-ha around the Birmingham University corporate branding.

I went and had a nose around the Wolf-Olins site – http://www.wolff-olins.com/ where there is a bit of a commentary about the work including some slides in the background of different implementations of the 2012 logo, including some where the logo is used as a cut-out over pictures, which to be fair works better than the logo on its own in its plain colour varieties. I can’t link to them but go and have a look – it’s in the client section of the very very annoying website.

So that leaves me wondering whether this is an issue with the logo, or an issue with the launch. Maybe some of the other examples should have made it into the presentation pack to give a clearer sense of the way in which the design can be interpreted.

But there is a fundamental issue in that statement. By creating a logo that allows for flexible interpretation the basic implementation says nothing at all – it’s bland and devoid of meaning. Meaning has to be imparted by its particular interpretation and that only comes with time (hence the evolution statement perhaps). This does not help the launch though and leaves a while lot of detail out of the mix – detail that might have saved what is surely turning into a significant PR disaster for the 2012 team.

I suspect that there is a raft of stuff yet to emerge about the branding and we may yet see some really innovative stuff that will make us go ‘Ahh – now I see what they meant…’ – but I am not going to hold my breath.

I do find the logo problematic in that it took me a long time to figure out it was ‘2012’ and the font sucks and the Lisa Simpson thing and the colours are poor and it makes no immediate connection with sport and it will date horribly and who decided the 80’s were where its at etc etc etc

It’s worrying that the team that was so tight and managed before the award of the games to London seems to have collapsed into chaos afterwards. I’ve tried to keep this reasonable balanced and give some benefit of doubt to the designer. There will be a lot of very negative coverage of this and I just feel that had the whole picture been made clear we might be in a different place right now.

Probably not though – gah!


Short history of symmetry – the last episode

Writing about web page http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/newsandevents/audio/more/symmetry/?podcastItem=symmetry7.mp3

The last episode of a short history of symmetry has been published completing the 7 show series.

I really enjoyed these and hope that those who have listened to them did so too.

Thanks to Ian Stewart for working on this project.


Dancing Robots

Here’s something we did with the new biped robots the Warwick Robot Football team got their hands on.

They are pretty smart little robots – the cartwheel is awesome, but the actuall football playing is a bit … slow?

Neat things anyhoo.


June 01, 2007

500 years of women in art

This is doing the rounds of various places at the moment – interesting to watch.


June 2007

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