“May Not Be Love” – The Beautiful Word

8 02 2013

It’s been a while since I’ve shared an update from The Beautiful Word.

At noon today they released this rather jolly stop-motion video they made. ‘May Not Be Love’ is a track from a 10 track album they are hoping to release this year, produced by Julian Tardo.

If you enjoyed this, the good news is that they will be on tour from 1 April this year. The dates and venues are still to be confirmed, so bookmark their website, like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, subscribe to them on YouTube and do whatever you do with people on MySpace and Soundcloud – don’t miss out!

While you’re waiting, why not check out some of their other tracks?


New Phone Update – 23 First Android Apps

25 07 2011

Seeing as my last post about my new Galaxy S II has been so popular, here’s a quick update from day 3.

I’ve put a load of music on it, using Kies and configured the built-in apps for my various social networking accounts, etc. So, the obvious next step was to start downloading some apps.

Here’s what I’ve installed so far:

  • AVG anti-virus – with Android‘s growing popularity, it’s important to protect your phone
  • WordPress – obviously
  • Huffington Post – ditto
  • IMDb – I rely quite heavily on IMDb when I’m watching TV and films; it puts a stop to those endless “who’s that?”, “what was she in?” conversations.
  • StumbleUpon – I love StumbleUpon. I find so many new sites, opinions and ideas from it.
  • TV Guide – so many times I’ve been out somewhere, knowing that there’s something I’d like to watch later, but not knowing exactly what time it’s on. It’s great to be able to check what time it’s on and whether it’ll be repeated on another channel later.
  • ITV Player – so I can watch ITV programmes as well as BBC ones on my phone (it came with iPlayer pre-installed)
  • Facebook – this has a bit more functionality than Social Hub
  • Shazam – for IDing music out and about. Easier than memorising the lyrics to search for later!
  • Google Sky Map – this is going to be really interesting. I’ve not had chance to go outside at night and look at this, but I’m looking forward to it.
  • Barcode Scanner – scan barcodes on the go for price comparisons or data import.
  • Adobe Reader – for viewing PDFs.
  • Dictionary – both dictionary and thesaurus functionality with text and voice search.
  • Google Earth
  • Knitting Stash – save details of equipment, supplies and progress on projects
  • Google Shopper
  • Pulse – news / feed reader. Nice layout.
  • ReadItLater – save all kinds of text (articles, documents, web pages etc) to read later offline.
  • Photoshop Express – photo editing software. I’ve not tested this yet.
  • Amazon KindleeBook reading software.
  • Skyfire – I’ve not tested this web browser yet, but apparently it’s much faster than the default.
  • Evernote – allows you to create notes (text, audio, images) and store them in the cloud, accessible from any device with the software installed. Lots of people have been raving about this app, so I’m going to give it a go.
  • Layar – displays augmented reality (AR) layers over your camera display. Choose from all sorts of different layers, eg Tube stations, restaurants etc.

Great in Britain

21 07 2011

I’ve just come across the Great in Britain photo archive. It is definitely worth a look. Here’s the blurb:

Great in Britain is a unique photographic archive of the British people at work. We invite the nation to submit photographs that celebrate the understated pride and passion of the often unsung working heroes that form the bedrock of this great nation. This gives us a fascinating insight into the world of work in Britain, chronicling the diversity of skills that exist in this country, as well as the great innovation and endeavour.

greatinbritain.co.uk will become a unique resource, a visual time capsule that will build a legacy for the future and enable viewers to discover and appreciate those who live and work around them now.

Through the Great in Britain project, Barbour will curate an archive of images that celebrate the Rural Community in Britain. We want to see the people who live and work in the countryside, catalogue the variety and breadth of skills and vocations that exist, and showcase the contribution that they make to our society.

Send us the pictures and tell us the stories of the people that you admire, those from your community, those that truly put the Great in Great Britain.


24 05 2011
I know that the mere mention of DIY sends shivers up some people’s spines. Although it’s often time-consuming, noisy, messy and or smelly, it really doesn’t have to be as hard as you think. I’m really selling it here, aren’t I?
Personally, I enjoy DIY once I get started, but I find the getting started difficult – I just can’t motivate myself to do it – what if I get half-way through and find I want to stop and can’t? What if I get a room into a state in which it can’t be used and then don’t get time to finish? I don’t worry that I can’t do it, I worry that I just won’t do it, which can be overcome – it’s a case of determination and mind over matter.
Many people do worry that they can’t do it, though, or they don’t know how to go about it and don’t know where to start. There’s also the potential problem of not having the kit for the job.This is all sounding a bit negative, isn’t it? Let’s cut to the good bits.

There are now LOADS of free resources online. With the continued popularity of DIY shows in recent years, the BBC and Channel 4 (and probably other TV channels) have lots of videos and step-by-step instructions on their websites (links at the end), as do hardware stores, such as B&Q.

The larger hardware stores, including B&Q, also offer tool hire, so there’s no need to shell out huge amounts of money for equipment you’ll only use once or twice.

B&Q and, again, probably other stores, offer free demonstrations of how to perform various tasks in their stores – details are provided on their website and are also tweeted by @BandQ on Twitter.

So, it’s time-consuming, messy, noisy and all that other stuff we mentioned above – why bother with DIY? Firstly, it’s cheaper than paying someone to do it for you and means that jobs that wouldn’t be worth spending the money on can be done. Secondly, you can get a great sense of pride and satisfaction from looking at something that you have completed, particularly if you’ve pushed yourself out of your comfort zone and done something you’d never done before and perhaps thought you couldn’t. Thirdly, our surroundings are important to us. If our home looks shabby and things are broken, we sub-consciously start to feel that we don’t deserve good things and over time it wears us down.
As a Bunty annual I had as a child stated, “the first step towards feeling good is looking good”.I’ve just searched Twitter for #householdpride and there are no tweets – let’s get it up there.


Pine Ridge Photos

18 03 2011

I came across a gallery of photos of Pine Ridge on aaronhuey.com. I’ve copied and pasted the description below. Click the text to view the slideshow.

Please check out the One Spirit (nativeprogress.org) website for information on what you can do to help.


Fighting for Survival on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation

On the Great Plains, hidden away on little traveled back roads, is American Prisoner of War Camp Number 334. This is also known as Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, home of the Lakota Sioux. They are the tribe that suffered the infamous Wounded Knee Massacre, in December of 1890, in which an estimated 350 Lakota were killed. Among the dead were over one hundred unarmed women and children. Since that day Wounded Knee, and the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, have been a symbol of the wrongs inflicted on Native Americans by the descendants of Europeans. Pine Ridge is the quintessential example of the failures of the reservation system, with staggering statistics on everything from violent crime to education.

Sadly, Pine Ridge continues to be the setting for an ongoing massacre within the tribe.
Gangs on the reservation are out of control, and the violence they live by grips even the smallest villages. Unemployment on the reservation fluctuates between 85-90%, the housing office is unable to afford to build new structures, and existing structures are falling apart. Many are homeless, and those with homes are packed into rotting buildings with up to five families. Thirty-nine percent of the homes on the Pine Ridge Reservation have no electricity. It is reported that at least 60% of the homes on the Pine Ridge Reservation are infested with black mold, which causes an often-fatal condition with infants, children, and the elderly. According to 2006 resources, about 97% of the population lives below federal poverty levels.

The tuberculosis rate on the Pine Ridge Reservation is approximately eight times higher than the U.S. national average. The infant mortality rate is the highest on this continent and is about 3 times higher than the U.S. national average. Cervical cancer is five times higher than the U.S. national average. The school drop out rate is over 70%. Teacher turnover is eight times that of the U.S. national average. Frequently, grandparents are raising their grandchildren because their own children have succumbed to alcoholism, domestic violence, and general apathy. Making life even more grim, fifty percent of the population over 40 suffers from diabetes and the life expectancy for men is a mere 48 years of age.

I have spent years following stories of war, poverty, and neglect in foreign conflicts around the world. I found, however, that I had a group in my own backyard that had been conveniently forgotten. This emotional photographic exploration has transcended the normal boundaries of a documentary for me. I have developed a deep friendship and love for the people of Pine Ridge, and for the families I have visited on several journeys over the past three years. My hope is that this photographic exploration will bring to light a people who have long been demonized, victimized, and romanticized, but ultimately abandoned.

I hope that these photos of the Lakota will, if nothing else, make it impossible to forget them.


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