All entries for July 2006

July 13, 2006

Enough with the lights

Writing about web page http://pipeline.corante.com/archives/2006/07/07/memo_to_the_public_relations_department.php

A very nice call to PR departments from Derek Lowe at Corante to stop photographing science subjects with eerie lights:

This is addressed to all professional photographers: please, no more colored spotlights. I know that you see this as a deficiency, but scientists do not work with purple radiance coming from the walls behind them. Not if we can help it, we don't, and if we notice that sort of thing going on, we head for the exits. In the same manner, our instruments do not, regrettably, emit orange glows that light our faces up from beneath, not for the most part, and if they start doing that we generally don't bend closer so as to emphasize the thoughtful contours of our faces. When we hold up Erlenmeyer flasks to eye level to see the future of research in them, which we try not to do too often because we usually don't want to know, rarely is this accompanied by an eerie red light coming from the general direction of our pockets. It's a bad sign when that happens, actually.

I guess the problem is that I bet more school kids would get into science if labs were filled with spooky purple lights, smoking test tubes and weird bangs. Don't we need labs that resemble Kenneth Williams' lair in Carry On Screaming – smoke, lights, a foxy assistant and a monster to do your bidding. Now that's scientastic!


July 12, 2006

Advice for graduates entering the workplace #3

Today's lessons – pitching a service.

If you are going to pitch a service to a potential customer try and make sure you get the name right. An example from today's inbox from Title Films:

"I would be happy to come and meet with you to discuss ideas for using film to promote Coventry University, or simply, if you would like to find out more about us and the services we can provide for you."

Oops…


Uh oh! Who the hell okayed this pile'o'turds?

Title:
Pirates of the Carribbean 2
Rating:
1 out of 5 stars

Wow, was that ever a bad film. If I write to Disney do you think I might get reallocated my 2:30 hours?

This was just a mess of a film which was a chore to watch. About 45 minutes too long this suffers from multiple plot lines that go nowhere, tedious dialogue, dull characters and tenuous solutions to certain story inconsistencies.

Depp's Keith Richards impression was fun in the first film but gets on your nerves here. Bloom is a wet slap on the arse and couldn't act his way out of a paper bag. Knightly is dull, the supporting characters dull and Bill Nighy, bless him, is lost behind a mass of CGI nonsense.

Bloom in particular is a massive waste of time. I remember seeing something about him claiming him to be the next great british actor – well, that's not going to be happening soon. At least with Depp you know he can act and be inventive and that this is just pissing about for him. For Bloom this is it – this is all he can do. The review on AskaNinja gets it right: 'Keira Knightly is a more manly version of Orlando Bloom'.

This is one of those films that, like Star Wars 1–3, make you think as you are watching –'ooh, that'll be a good bit in the computer game.' It's just a massive exercise in promoting a bunch of crappy merchandise – it's not a film, it's a 2:30 hour advert.

Just lazy–arsed film making of the worst sort.


July 11, 2006

The Family Bible

When my Gran died recently my Mother acquired the Family Bible amongst other items.

I'd never seen this before and when she showed it to me the other day it was really amazing.

The Bible itself is a large leather bound volume all in Welsh (which my Gran always felt was God's own language) given to my Grandfather in the early 1920s.

What is fascinating is that both my Grandparents carefully recorded at the front all significant events for the family – births, deaths, marriages (and divorces!) throughout the last 90 odd years.

The last entry my Gran made recorded the birth of Grace – my niece. It's a sad entry as her strong script of previous entries is obviously failing. Since then my Mum has added my marriage to Steph and the birth of Rhys – my nephew – events that Gran couldn't add at the time.

The blank pages at the front are now pretty full up so the last entries are in the margin of Genesis – somewhat fitting perhaps for a new owner to start there.

I hope we have the capacity to keep filling up the pages with family events. I guess nowadays you would blog this stuff, but I think in this instance I would prefer to keep recording these things in an old leather bound tome. Keeps a certain sense of gravitas I think is perhaps lost in the immediacy of the electronic world.


July 10, 2006

WarwickPodcasts are 'the very best'

Writing about web page http://education.guardian.co.uk/appleeducation

Well, this was a nice surprise to come back to after a week off. The Guardian listed Warwick Podcasts as one of their top 10 recommended educational podcasts, to quote from their supplement:

"Apple and EducationGuardian present below their essential guide to setting up your own podcast and highlight ten of the very best educational podcast around at the moment."

And there we are. Now we just have to make sure we stay there!


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