Monthly Archives: February 2009

The Station Squirrel


“These commuters are nuts”, and other obvious humour…  I guess these videos must be by the same person who took this photo.

Don’t forget that The Blackheath Society holds regular events to tidy up the green areas around Blackheath Station.  The next one isn’t scheduled yet according to their website, but I’m sure they will arrange one soon.  One way to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

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Bomb damage maps of Blackheath

Blackheath Bomb Damage Map from London Metropolitan Archives taken by Flickr user Yersinia

This map shows a colour-coded key explaining the severity of bomb damage in London after the WW2 bombings.  They are from the London Metropolitan Archives, and were photographed by Flickr user Yersinia.  There is also a key to the wider maps showing all of London here.

However, it seems an alternative path of destruction is being carried out by the London Metropolitan Archives, as all of this information is going to be digitally archived, and placed online.  “What could possibly be wrong with that?”, you may ask…  Well, all of the original data collected by the City of London would have been paid for by the people of London through taxation.  And the archives are going to be placed online by a private company called The Generations Network Inc., based in Utah, who run ancestry.co.uk.  But don’t worry because, as the City of London site helpfully points out:

We will provide free access to view the indexes and images through Ancestry.co.uk on the computer terminals in our public rooms.

I’ve just tried to access the ancestry.co.uk “shop”, and it seems that the privilege of viewing a birth certificate (for example) would cost me the rather spectacular sum of £20.  However, if I would like reprints on top of that, it will only cost me £10.  Bargain, I say.

Now, whilst I like the idea that Information screams to be free, I am painfully aware that bandwidth, servers, hosting, and archiving all costs money.  However, as mysociety has shown, there are much much better ways of achieving the same goals, without ripping off the people who funded the data collection in the first place.  The tide of euphoria around this idea in the US is quite astonishing at the moment, and this poster:

Code a Better Country

… should be required reading for whichever bureaucrat came up with the idea of selling our data off in £20 chunks.  For the geeks amongst you, this article  “Want to change the world?  Learn to Program” which was pointed out by O’Reilly (the blogger, not the builder in Fawlty Towers), is really good, and explains how Stimuluswatch.org was set-up in the US.

Further Reading:  Free Our Data.

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Mrs Bugle now slightly more “Mrs”

Greenwich Meridian by Flickr user Lady Madonna
I proposed to Mrs Bugle on the Meridian line at Greenwich Observatory yesterday. She said yes. Which was nice. Lots of people clapped. She started crying, but I’m assured that it was in a good way. This blog wouldn’t exist if she hadn’t started one first. And I love her. That is all. :)

Photo by Flickr user Lady Madonna.

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Pancake Races at the Blackheath Farmers Market

Pancake by flickr user PSD

As spotted by Twitter user Moderateorgood, there will be a pancake race at the Blackheath Farmers Market on Sunday 22nd February starting at 12:20-14:00.

There’s a good poster for it here, although I hope they don’t get sued by the Olympic committee for daring to use their corporate name in vain! As mentioned before, the Farmers Market is exactly the sort of thing that should be encouraged – it’s cheaper than Sainsbury’s, better for you, and the planet too..

A recipe for pancakes can be found on the London Farmer’s Market website.

Photo by Flickr user PSD

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The station, slowly coming together

Blackheath Station in 3D in Google Earth and SketchUp
I’m never going to be an architect, but here’s Blackheath station gradually coming together in Google Earth… See this post for more info.

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Mysterious Glyphs

Is this normal graffiti? It looks like it might possibly be Chinese? Or am I just hopeless at reading the tags that angry young men use these days. At least it doesn’t say “Tox ’08″….

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One lost scarf, and a comet

Lost Green Paisley Scarf on Blackheath
Saw this little notice pinned up on one of the traffic lights on Sunday- it must have sentimental value I guess… If anyone’s seen the scarf, call the number!
Great big dirty snowball on the heath - possibly a comet?
And this enormous lump of snow still sitting on the heath – there are several still dotted around. They look like they’ve fallen from a passing aeroplane, now all the rest of the snow has melted.. Or perhaps part of a comet (always referred to by scientists as “great big dirty snowballs”)…

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