Smallfilms and The Clangers

May 29, 2007 at 9:44 pm (kids, music) (, , , , , , , )

I watched the programme about Smallfilms (Bagpuss, Ivor the Engine, The Clangers, etc) last night (‘Ivor the Engine and the story of Smallfilms’).  Like many, I love Smallfilms pictures – especially Bagpuss and The Clangers.

The programme was excellent, however it did get me wondering more about the music they used in the Clangers – it was such an integral part of the films, yet very unique.  Well, wikipedia helped me out there – it turns out that the music was composed by Vernon Elliot, who played the bassoon for Ivor the Engine. It was written to follow ‘musical sketches’ drawn out by Oliver Postgate.

The programme was followed by a single episode of The Clangers, ‘The Music of the Spheres’, featuring the hoots. This really did show off the weird and wonderful music to its full.

Kevin.

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honest.gov

May 23, 2007 at 9:14 pm (internet) (, , )

Wouldn’t this be a good domain to have it if existed?  You could have http://www.reliable-cars.honest.gov, http://www.cheap-electronics.honest.gov, http://www.free-mp3s.honest.gov. Hours of fun!

Shame only the US government can register .gov addresses.

Kevin.

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Julian Beever – Pavement Art

May 21, 2007 at 10:31 pm (interesting) (, , , )

This chaps work is just incredible.  I would so much like to see one of these pictures for real. Alas, the chances are pretty slim as his work doesn’t tend to last long.

I came across his pictures in an article in flipside magazine.  He also has a wikipedia entry.

Just amazing stuff!

Kevin.

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Should children be allowed out on their own?

May 16, 2007 at 7:02 pm (kids, security) (, , , , )

Just been reading a very interesting point of view about how people perceive the risks to children walking/playing on their own in the street.  Especially interesting is the comment that we could be performing a very poor risk trade-off here, swapping fear of an improbably problem occurring (abduction) for ignorance of a much more real problem occurring (poor health).

Sounds logical and mirrors my ‘security’ experiences, but its hard to bring yourself to believe it, which sort of confirms the point the article is trying to make – that people are hopeless at judging risks, especially when children are involved.  Bruce Schneier has a very good essay on this subject too.

Both quite thought provoking and well worth a read.

Kevin.

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CCTV in the UK

May 16, 2007 at 6:47 pm (security) (, , )

There was an interesting programme on telly last night (Tues) about CCTV in the UK (the first in a two-part series).  It showed lots of examples of when CCTV helped solved crimes over the years, presenting significant ‘mile-stones’ in the development of the technology.

What it didn’t really do however, was address the other side of the argument, and talk about what has been lost in the process.  Everyone remembers a few very high-profile cases where they were a real asset.  No one knows if there are any privacy violations that are caused by having cameras.  I’m certainly not aware of any analysis of whether the cost (in terms of what we lose in privacy) is outweighed by the gains.

They also talked about how cameras act as a deterrent – again this is true from the point of view of the community that now has the cameras, but it hasn’t solve the crime problem, just moved it to another area that doesn’t have cameras.  The problem is solved from the point of view of the community, but not from the point of view of society.

All very interesting though, but I would like to see the other side of the story – especially as cameras are (apparently) getting more intelligent in spotting problems.

Kevin.

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Middle of the Internet

May 9, 2007 at 9:55 pm (internet) (, , , )

Whilst on the subject of interesting wikipedia pages, I also found the page that lists some of the ‘last pages of the Internet‘.  Nothing special here really, I’ve seen some of these before – and there is a nice irony associated with having a collection of pages claiming to be the last page of the Internet …

What I did like though, was the page that claims to be the middle page of the Internet.  A nice touch.  Made me smile.

Kevin.

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A paradox …

May 9, 2007 at 9:24 pm (internet, science) (, , , , )

Its funny what you find browsing wikipedia.  One page I stumbled across recently, is the list of paradoxes.  This really is fascinating reading.

I quite like the logic and mathematical paradoxes. One that caught my eye is the interesting number paradox, which says that the first number to be considered dull (ie not interesting), becomes interesting simply because if this fact.

Some other interesting ones are the self-referential ones, like ‘this page is intentionally blank‘, the liar’s paradox and so on.

There are some related pages that are also worthy of a read, see Zenos Paradoxes and Impossible Objects.

Kevin.

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