BrizBunny Rotating Header Image

November, 2008:

Teddy Killers

High-speed photography is an amazing thing.  Milk splashes and rain drops, are the usual fare.  This time someone has stepped over the line, and used their powers for evil instead of advertising; they shot a teddy bear.

bear shot

Image: Dan Tobin Smith for Kilimanjaro

Kilimanjaro magazine Olu Odukoya founder says, “Seeing things exploding isn’t particularly rare, but seeing a teddy bear exploding evokes an emotional response.”  Our response is: “Cool!”  Especially once we had seen the “making of” video.

School Memories: Free-Ranging Home.

I have just read a blog post with a lovely photo of the Radnor Street Cemetery, in Swindon [^], that brought make a few memories.

This is a photo of the cemetery that I found, available for public use under the Attribution, Share Alike Creative Commons Licence by Brian Robert Marshall, showing what a good view the cemetery offers of the town centre.

radnor str cemetery

Image Credit:  Brian Robert Marshall, under this CC Licence.

For a while, the Radnor Str Cemetery was one of our regular detours on the way home from school, back when free-ranging kids were the norm [^] rather than the exception. 

I don’t know why we went through here, it was definitely an out of the way route compared to the our usual walk down Clifton Street.  I think that it was a bit of a thrill, all those creepy gravestones, and the risk of being locked in.  And for some reason I can only remember going through there in the winter months, probably for the extra creepiness!  But then again perhaps that is just my memory playing tricks on me.

Thank you June for the story, the Hidden Swindon blog [^], and for bringing back this almost forgotten memory.  More information can be found on the Blunsdon Parish Council webpage about the cemetery [^], and there are more black & white photos [^] on the BBC Wiltshire site.

UK Councils Bans Foreign Words

The BBC has just ran a story about some local councils banning the use of Latin words [^] and phrases in official communications.  Terms that have been banned include: “vice versa”, “pro rata”, “via”, and “ad hoc”. 

Latin Manuscript

Latin Manuscript

The directive is aimed at improving clarity for people whose are not native English speakers, with councils claiming that the use of Latin words is “elitist and discriminatory”.  It should be noted that many of these words have no simple equivalent in the English language.  Try replacing pro rata or ad hoc in a sentence concisely and without reducing the clarity of the message!

An award should be presented to the Plain English Campaign for the most ridiculous comment on the matter: the ban might stop people confusing the Latin abbreviation e.g. with the word “egg”.

Image Credit:  Elaine Kerr [^]

Rick Astley – Best Act Ever!

The result are now in [^] for the MTV European Music Awards 2008 – Rick Astley is now officially the Best Act Ever.  As mentioned in my earlier post urging reader to “Vote Rick 08”, this is a triumph over mediocrity.  Some of the other acts nominated for the award were; Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and Tokio Hotel.  Congratulations to Rick and the Best Act Ever [^] website, without which this probably would not have been possible.

Rick Astley - EMA 2008 - Best Act Ever

Rick Astley - EMA 2008 - Best Act Ever

Are we now going to see a Rick Revival? And is the twenty-first century ready for that?

90 Years of Remembrance

Today marks the 90th anniversary of the end of the Great War, “The War to End All Wars”.  This was a heart-felt wish of a war-ravaged world, a world that had just witnessed a bloodshed on a scale never seen before.

Poppy Appeal

Poppy Appeal

The past couple of years have seen a steady thinning of the World War One survivors ranks.  Thankfully, this has not meant that the commemoration has been forgotten.  The BBC will televise the two minute silence [^] at the London Cenotaph to commemorate the anniversary.  Leading the country will be Britain’s remaining three veterans: Henry Allingham, Harry Patch and William Stone.

Some have claimed that the days like Remembrance Day, or Armistice Day, and ANZAC Day are a celebration of this horror.  This over looks the intention of these days, a remembrance of those who lost their lives in the service of their country, and the loss suffered by their families.  It is worth remembering that:

“Without their sacrifice the world would be a very different place today and we might not have the freedoms that we take for granted today.”

UK Veterans Minister, Tom Watson. [^]

Remembrance Day has since widened it’s scope to commemorate the sacrifices of all conflicts since 1914 up to the present day.

The least that any of us can do is buy a poppy [^] and observe the two minute silence on the the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.

We are the dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie

In Flanders’ fields.

Lt.-Col. John McCrae – “In Flanders Fields”