Blog archive June 2006
24.06.06 / 01 / flaming lips in hyde park
just back from seeing the flaming lips and massive attack in hyde park as part of a week-long festival. dj shadow played too on a different stage but overlapped with flaming lips - jonny went to see shadow, i dare say he will have some decent pictures and blog about it.
flaming lips were marvellous. wayne coyne began by rolling around in an inflatable ball on the audience. on stage there were girls dressed as aliens in purple satin, guys as santas, four giant inflatable astronauts, captain america, superman, wonder woman, the guitarist in a skeleton suit... nothing succeeds like excess. then they sang Bohemian Rhapsody. and released giant green and yellow balloons on the audience, and fired streamers and a blizzard of confetti through 'do you realise'. in its crazy way it was all immensely moving. definitely a kingdom band. funnily enough we were watching it with the guy who books acts for greenbelt. flaming lips would be perfect, but gb can't afford them. and the gb stewards would make us pick up all the paper afterwards and put it in green sacks ;)
oh, and one of the aliens was a guy and proposed to one of the alien girls in the middle of the set. i thought they should have got married in the inflatable ball rolling around on the audience, with the priest in there too.
18.06.06 / 01 / labydome
it's grass labyrinth season at grace: the spirit labyrinth service on 10th june and the minet park labyrinth on 17th june.
while setting up the minet park event i was musing about who looks after it [do they have a hut?] and how it lies on the land [wouldn't it be nice to climb to a vantage point], and these things came together like this - the labydome
which kind of owes something to jupiter 2 from lost in space [labyrinth family robinson?]
only trouble is, there will always be people walking about on your roof
Eh-oh ! Tinky Winky is asking 'Where is the nice grass for the lovely rabbits ? They might not like it on the roof ?'
brilliant. you could probably make it so you wouldn't notice people walking on your roof, until the one with windows on the roof -- strange shadows etc -- actually that could be cool...
i've just given the house version a more realistic entrance. when i started i was imagining the dome as an object sitting on the ground, hence the flying saucer hatch in the dome surface. but a better [and more troll-like] entrance is to go into the ground under the lip of the dome.
i was thinking that if one would do this it might be better to arrange the living area/church space area/ beanbag space to be underground somewhat, this would allow for a more realistic walkable dome, as it currently sits the dome would end up too high to walk on, or too low for people to be inside...
being underground might also allow for better insulation...
the dome as sketched is about 30m in diameter and the slope where it hits the ground is 30 degrees - which is still walkable. part of the fun is that it's easier to walk nearer the centre, and harder further away. so you not only go in and out, and up and down, but the slope changes too.
given this size you get around 3.5m clear height inside at the centre, even allowing for constructional thickness. the central space that's above head height is about 19m diameter, surrounded by a 4m wide strip of floor that's below head height. a 19m diameter room isn't bad.
but you're right, for something more complex it would be good to go down. i was thinking of an entry that ramped down anyway, just for the drama. and then the take-off angle for the outer surface might come down to 25 degrees.
well, when i get the money i'll commission you to design it as my house :)
14.06.06 / 01 / natural fibres better for everest
replica clothes pass everest test
climbers George Mallory and Sandy Irvine died while attempting to scale everest in 1924. it has long been assumed that their 'amateurish' clothing was at least partly to blame. but the discovery of mallory's body on everest in 1999 enabled researchers to create replica clothes. over the last few weeks these have been tested by climbers on mount everest - and have turned out to be superior to modern synthetic-based garments!
the ultimate intention of the research is to find out if mallory and irvine actually reached the summit in 1924, long before the first 'official' conquest by norgay and hillary in 1953. if it turns out that they died on the way down, history will have been rewritten as a result of fabric technology.
the superiority of natural fabrics for extreme conditions is a pet subject of howies, so i tipped them off and they blogged it. i find the whole thing fascinating - it seems we have to relearn what our ancestors knew [but didn't know that they knew]. like proper bread instead of wonderloaf.
Great Stuff... personally I don't think they made it, there is too much circumstantial evidence against, I guess until the camera is found then we'll never know. On a similar experiment: Tim Severin replicated St Brendan's voyage in the 70s for National Geographic (the book is called 'Brendan's Voyage') and found that the materials used in the saga, though they had long been cited as a reason the story couldn't be true, were actually the best materials possible and way better than modern equivalents. One example is that the saga says that Brendan used Oak Bark Tanned Leather for the boats skin. Severin got the guild of tanners to conduct experiments using different solutions to tan the hide and found that the ONLY one which would work was Oak Bark! Well worth a read (for the spiritual challenge too!)
11.06.06 / 01 / baby photos!
this is the first time i've ever blogged baby photos. it seems to be a blogger's rite of passage.
btw he already has his own email address. at one week old. though he doesn't own a domain yet as far as i know. maybe i should get him one for christmas...
10.06.06 / 02 / water powered gadgets
do exist after all - see here
i'd love to know how this works
from tango group who market the freeplay wind-up radios and torches
mind you, i'm not sure how much of an advance water-powered calculators are - there have been solar-powered ones for years. and my 1980 casio scientific is still going on the original battery - and it's not for lack of use, it's been my only calculator through 26 years as a student and architect.
10.06.06 / 01 / world naked bike ride
naked cycling protest this afternoon in london, brought to you by world naked bike ride as a protest against oil dependency and the dominance of cars on roads. the nakedness higlights the vulnerability of the human body in traffic, but of course it also makes headlines. apparently last year's ride was the UK's biggest ever naked protest at 250 people. fortunately the weather's great today at 25C sun.
*groans* How come these things are almost always fat ugly middle-aged men?
because they're the people who are least hung up about what their bodies look like naked? cf football/rugby supporters
or maybe what looks like 'fat and ugly' naked is actually the statistical norm for bodies...
Male is not the statistical norm. That's only half the population. Walk through my local 'hood, and the statistical norm is black and lithe.
No, I just mean that when you see nudists or streakers, they always seem to be slightly desperate middle-aged men looking for a little frisson or titillation. I applaud their activism (in this case), but it's the same culprits as usual.
according to the london health observatory's statistics currently 35% of london's population are overweight! which is a good argument for cycling, however clad. you'd think a nude cycle ride would be a parade of lean fit bodies wouldn't you.
04.06.06 / 01 / uncle
as of 3:51am yesterday i am an uncle, to edward peter collins. good job it wasn't a girl or i'd have been an aunt.
congrats uncle steve !! i think you would have made a great auntie
CONGRATULATIONS! What a beautiful thing to happen in a painful season of your life.
congratulations... when each of my nieces were born we exclaimed "hoorah im an auntie". now abigail is 3 she still calls me auntie darren... it used to be cute...
if there are any pictures of the dj shadow show, let us know.
man, just last night i was in the car listening to the lips and talking about how i've never seen them live. there's not a hipster worth their weight in parliment cigarettes here that hasn't seen them at least twice.
as far as they being a kingdom band, i couldn't agree more. you have to check out the documentary on them ('fearless freaks' i think it's called). it will convince you of that even more. wayne is this rather messianic figure, amongst all this poverty in OKC and drug addicts in his family and band.
dj shadow is rather good as well, but i think you made the right choice.
Pete Rollins introduced me to the Flaming Lips in 2002 and i really love their music. Wish they would come to my neck of the woods as the description you and Jonny give sound fantastic. How do you like the new albumn? I think i will download it from itunes.