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Monday, November 28, 2005

New Media In Wales

LOL Teh N00b. My gander's up this morning looking at this [DEAD SITE] goldenpixilawards.co.uk - Welsh New Media awards web site. It needs an award itself for A. Lack of clue about what works on the web. B. Teeth grindingly poor flash movie intro (that's soooo last century) and C. Most vague use of the words New Media - which in this context is a meaningless and pointless term.

Let's see - Best still image made using New Media. Define that please? Does that mean digital photography and photo enhancement / digital design using software are out? They're all very old technologies now - hardly cutting edge New Media.

Or how about - Best piece of New Media design for the web? What does that entail exactly? Most web developers and builders I know are all using old technologies for web design - html, php, css etc.

Best of all - Best piece of Welsh Language New Media. Hmmm, talk about superficial. I'd stump up money if the winning piece in that category actually featured anything more than the Welsh language to merit it. The actual concept will have no doubt been seen elsewhere and the technologies used to create it anything but Welsh language. So what's the point of the distinction?

Normally I wouldn't dream of moaning at another web site, but after looking a bit deeper, what a surprise, its tax payer's money funding it. It's great to see public money being frittered away proving that Wales is a back water and never ran when it comes to the internet age and modern technology - the lack of vision and clarity in the award site and editorial should be proof enough of that.

Posted by Dio Bach at 09:52 | 1 comments | links to this post
Friday, November 25, 2005

Listen The Snow Is Falling...

Wahay, a bit of the old white stuff this morning, not a lot but a couple of centimetres. Enough to make walking to work a chore, but a happy one at that. I can't remember the last time we had a snow like this before Christmas.

It was quite strange seeing the trees with autumn leaves and snow - a riot of colour and possibilities, none of which I took the time to capture. I did however grab the next picture just to show some strange comparisons. Welsh weather, so variable that you can choose what you get just by crossing the road. One the one side we have spring greens, the other a winter scene.

Spring on one side, winter on the other - Welsh weather

For those of us who are a bit short in the common sense department. BBC Wales' weatherman Derek offers some sensible advice and a *top* weather tip.

Derek's top cold weather tip

Thanks for that sage advice Derek, if I hadn't of checked there I could have mistakenly gone out in my shorts and T-Shirt.

Anyway, I found myself singing Galaxie 500 on the way in, as the title of this post hints (I think its a Yoko Ono cover, but I wouldn't know the original). I thought I'd share a quick list of some top snow related tunes from my favourites.

Galaxie 500 - Listen The Snow Is Falling | Snowstorm
Cocteau Twins - How To Bring A Blush To The Snow
Cranes - Here Comes The Snow
Explosions In The Sky - Snow and Lights
Low - Snowstorm
Mono - Just Snow
My Bloody Valentine - Soft As Snow (But Warm Inside)
Nico - Roses In The Snow | Frozen Warnings
The Pop Group - Snowgirl
Silver Mountain Reveries - There's A River In The Valley Made Of Snow

And finally - try this unique new Irish search engine. Very amusing.

Posted by Dio Bach at 12:45 | 0 comments | links to this post
Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!

William Burroughs reading his Thanks Giving PrayerFor some of my American friends who I know will appreciate this - Wiliam Burroughs 1986 Thanksgiving Prayer. Pinched from just - about - everywhere today.

In other news. I think we've been sold a dummy some where. It now seems to me that the whole Giantology site is increasingly looking fake and part of a very clever and engaging viral marketing campaign.

Shadow of the Colossus monsterThe latest post is so obviously from that PS2 game that I feel silly for having got excited. Other sites have mentioned that it was probably a hoax, but I got caught up in the owners protestations that he wasn't and didn't look around else where first...

Ho hum - was a great idea for a site anyway - it should be kept going just for the links to *non-viral* stuff which is still fascinating. In my defense - I never bought into the ones obviously from the game. But there was still some good stuff published on there. Just goes to show you can't believe everything you see on the web. ;)

Posted by Dio Bach at 15:03 | 0 comments | links to this post
Monday, November 21, 2005


Been clearing the decks a bit - got a few old photos to taken over the last couple of weeks that I haven't gotten around to posting so I'm having a big blow out here. Starting closest in time, I took Elis for a frosty stroll around St Fagans yesterday morning - took a few snaps as seen below. Hover for descriptions.

Cone and fence and shadows and leaves and frost

Elis of the leaves

Frosty flowers

Ice crystals and shadows

Elis and long winter shadows

Hedgerows in the Castle Garden at St Fagans

Icy pond in the Castle Garden at the Museum Of Welsh Life

Its been a nice November the last week, cold, crisp and sunny. Its almost feels like a proper winter, but I dare say temperatures will be back up to the later half of the teens come December, as they usually do.

Anyway, more from St Fagans, we were there in the dark the other weekend, so I took a few photos of the moon and buildings and some interiors from the old farmhouse - and there's a nice sunset as well tagged on the end for your enjoyments.

Inside the old farmhouse - ornate wardrobe

Old grandfather clock in the old farmhouse at St Fagans

Moon and the roof of the pebble cottage

Dark shapes and moon

Autumnal sunset

Posted by Dio Bach at 00:28 | 2 comments | links to this post
Thursday, November 17, 2005

Evil Empire - Have You Got A Newish Sony CD?

Sory ElectronicsYou might have missed the recent kerfuffle with Sony and their PC malware that they've been putting on audio CDs. It installs without warning to stop you trying to do evil things with your music - Its called Rootkit and its a prime example of corporations playing hard and fast with the law.

Badly thought out, badly implemented and messing up a PC near you (500,000+ networks in the US has an rootkit infected PC behind it) - if you've got a Sony CD, be careful what you do with it. And if you've been infected, trying to uninstall it can be equally dangerous.

Will Sony be made to pay for it? Will consumers everywhere boycott Sony? Unlikely I think, but Sory Electroincs hopes we all do. It really is shocking what big corporations can get away with.

Posted by Dio Bach at 10:18 | 4 comments | links to this post
Tuesday, November 15, 2005

All Change Again

Yup, new template time once more. Flushed from the improvement in a number of things on the Chav Mum site, I pinched the code and CSS to give this the going over I've wanted to do for a while now. It's still in progress, so if things break and disappear then they will be sorted. Any thoughts and comments would also be appreciated.

The main changes are that all the stuff that used to slow the page down (javascripts from trendy blog places and directories etc.) have all dropped off the main tables to their own tables at the very bottom of the page. It looks a bit messy, but should stop the annoying lag hangs that the nav block on the right used to get.

You'll also notice I've gone border crazy - I like that look and now I can do tidy borders with CSS and not the horrid table type borders. Also, ever since I added the Goggle ads I've been frustrated by the fact they reflected blogging rather than the site's content of Digital Photography and Art sort of things. I've taken steps to change that with the layout - it'll take a few weeks to notice it on the homepage here, but its already working on some of the archive pages.

Oh yes, and there's a new favicon and Contact section. I've dropped the Guestbook, also, its goodbye to the searches sub-domain as well as dropping the old reviews and articles sub-domain. The articles are being moved here in favour of a new slimmed down approach which I'll be adding the old content back too over time. I'm quite pleased with the way it looks - let us know what you think. :)

Posted by Dio Bach at 23:58 | 11 comments | links to this post
Monday, November 14, 2005

Giantology - Being Hoaxed?

The Tsunami ColossusThose of you who know me will know there's been a minor fascination with giants and mythology in my work, so will not be surprised to hear how much I'm enjoying this site all about giants and the study of.

There's been a spate of recent posts about new discoveries, supposedly uncovered in recent disasters. The Iranian giant, the Siberian ice giant, the Phillipines underwater giant and the Tusnami colossus have all recently come to light. The consensus is that a the Tusnami and the Ice Giant are hoaxes, possibly as some slick marketing campaign for the release of the PS2 game Shadow Of The Colossus".

This is not to say that Giantology is a hoax, anything but. The truth is yet to emerge about this, but its and interesting ruse as well as an interesting marketing ploy - targetting real sites to spread the message.

There seems to be a reticence on the part of the site owner to admit this - but if they're not connected, I can't help but feel that the Iranian giant and the underwater giant are also hoaxes.

The underwater sculpture/fossil off the PhillipinesThe photographs of the creatures don't look right, they both look like montages to my eyes, albeit very well done fakes. Its hard to put an academic reason on why, but it comes down to a gut feeling in part inspired by what I see at the cinema all the time these days - somethings are made to look too real.

That's a strange thing to say, but I think if you look closely, the lighting isn't right, its not consistant across the frame. The spinal column bits in the one photo look espescially wrong. The same for the amazing head under the sea - it looks to well done, too over egged. I can't point to a specific thing, its more a gut feeling. I'd love these to be real, but I can't pledge myself to the fact they are. I'm still far from convinced.

Its a great little site though - the podcasts MP3 Downloads are worth a quick listen as well. Your thoughts on the authenticity of the Iranian and Phillipines giants would be appreciated. Its fair to say I've not looked really deeply into them beyond what I've seen on the Giantology site and their respective home sites. If you've seen more academic evidence let us know.

Posted by Dio Bach at 12:54 | 4 comments | links to this post
Thursday, November 10, 2005

Oak Island Money Pit

The tiny Nova Scotia island, home of the world famous money pit is up for sale. The story of the Oak Island money pit is one I've come across a few times over the years, and its both magical and intriguing to say the least.

All sorts of theories exist about whats down it, from pirate treasure to the Holy Grail, but the truth is no one knows, and it could just be one of the most ingenious and long running pranks ever.

Now for $7 Million you can buy the island yourself. Its already swallowed a number of live savings and claimed lives, but I hope whoever gets it finally finds something, because I'd love to know.

Posted by Dio Bach at 20:19 | 2 comments | links to this post
Wednesday, November 09, 2005

22 Degree Solar Halo

22 Degree Solar HaloThat's what that is see. I posted the picture of a sun halo over Cardiff Bay to flickr where someone kindly left a message saying what it was and a link to a site about frequent sun halos.

Live and learn. It's always nice to learn something like that - and that's an interesting little site. Nice to put names to those strange little glows we see from time to time in the sky.

Posted by Dio Bach at 22:36 | 0 comments | links to this post
Sunday, November 06, 2005

Forgotten Forts

Maunsell Sea FortsAmazingly beautiful and eerily surreal sea forts on stilts, rusting away off the Kent coast. Used as a Pirate Radio station in the 60s, you can see more pictures of them fairly intact here.

They almost look like some kind of Victorian walking alien thing out of War Of The Worlds or some similar steam engine powered war machine. I'd love to go see them myself, but it sounds like they won't be around much longer. A real shame, maybe they should be listed or something.

Via Boing Boing

Posted by Dio Bach at 10:42 | 2 comments | links to this post
Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Grey Cardiff Bay Away Day

On leave this week, so been we went to Cardiff Bay for a stroll. I had a dreadful night last night, some horrid flu like thing. I spent the night tossing and turning with a fever and have been achy and lethargic all day. Starting to feel a bit better now, but I've also had a bit of a dickey stomach as well with it all. Typical holiday really, get of, get ill.

But enough moaning, on with the show. Not much to say, really, was quite deserted today so I just took some greyish shots, heart wasn't in it much. There was some strange cloud flair from the sun, it almost looked like a rainbow. The shot below shows it as it was, that big arc around the sun was visible in the clouds and isn't some weird lens flare. Hover for descriptions.

Strange sun arc reflection in the clouds over the St David's Hotel, Cardiff

Lamposts and jet trails

Bay tour boat and sea quays

Grey view of St David's Hotel and Cardiff Bay

Masts and vapour trails...

Masts and vapour trails... In landscape this time

Welsh Assembly Beta V2.0 - still under construction - awaiting first stable release

Elis and some public art

Masts again, and life preserver

Posted by Dio Bach at 23:55 | 2 comments | links to this post

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