rashbre central: June 2007

Saturday 30 June 2007

free iphone

The Brits are sometimes accused of queuing for things, but not to the extent of the reported lines for the iPhone, now freely available on 5th Avenue's Apple Store.

There's no tariffs for the UK yet, so the above hastily created rashbre central replica can join the throngs of cutouts from Gizmodo and the eBay auctions. Enjoy impressing people in your local high street this weekend by holding this free cutout model to your ear and talking.

Friday 29 June 2007

a question of balance

Some things just look wrong.

Today, I snapped this familiar sight to City workers in central London. Its a building which is being carefully demolished floor by floor and is now at the delicate stage with most of the lower levels out but the upper ones still in place.

Its going to be replaced with a stylish glass pyramid structure, but at the moment looks slightly precarious standing next to the famous Lloyds Insurance building.

Wednesday 27 June 2007

Tone Down

blair brown.jpg Today we see the end of the Tony years and the start of the Brown Year. For a few minutes today we were Prime Minister-less, whilst the complicated protocol between Downing Street and Buck House took place. Why the two guys couldn’t share a ride and show up together is a question we shouldn’t ask. And it’s not as if the Queen would be surprised about it – or maybe she doesn’t watch telly?

Georgie had a few things to say too, I noticed. He seemed to use negatives more than absolutely necessary. Why say something about the rumours were not true about Tony being his pet poodle? And that Gordon was not a dour Scotsman? If anything is guaranteed to ensure that everyone has heard both of these wisecracks it would be the through the global broadcast of a world leader. Oh well.

Will Gordon get to have an ‘s’ on the end of Year? We shall have to wait to see…

Tuesday 26 June 2007


co2.gifWith all the talk of muddy footprints over the last few days, I thought it would be interesting to do some footprint detection of my own.

I started with the big footprint of Prince Charles. That's Carbon footprint, which he quotes as the princely size of 3,421 tonnes of Carbon Dioxide. Quite a lot. A Ford Mondeo weighs 1.5 tonnes. So that carbon footprint is around the weight of 2,280 cars, or 6.25 cars weight of CO2 per day.

I separately calculated rashbre central's output, which is roughly one per cent of the Prince's figure, including all of rashbre central's travel and air mileage.

This makes me wonder if its actually understated for the Prince, who doesn't seem to mind using helicopters and chauffeured cars driving in parallel to his own train journey.

Next, I looked at the cost, for rashbre central of creating some sustainable forestry as a full offset. I selected reforestation of a small part of the Great Rift Valley, in Kenya, where a modest sum can fully offset the CO2 emission. At one level, being thoughtful can help reduce the original number(lights off etc), at another level, doing something in an area where the money makes a big difference can create a personal offset.

So do you want to have a look at your own carbon footprint profile? its right here

And the science part? A litre of gasoline(petrol) weighs around a kilo. 87% is carbon and the rest hydrogen. When the gasoline burns, the carbon fuses with oxygen (atomic weights 12C+16O+16O= 44CO2 or 44/12=3.7x as much), so the weight of the litre of gasoline becomes 87% of 3.7 times as much in CO2 emission terms (3.2 times as heavy).

Sunday 24 June 2007

glastonbury mud

glastophoto.jpgI've been helping get photos loaded across on Christina Nott's website this weekend, courtesy of the Glastonbury mud.

They seem to be mainly mobile phone shots and I've tried to link them to the posts appearing at this year's musical mud-fest.

From what I can see, and have heard, it seems to be an excellent event.

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Saturday 23 June 2007

laser or sonic?

laser saxon
Dr Who's Nemesis is the detective from Life on Mars. As the current episodes also have Captain Jack from Torchwood, its a bit of a time traveller fest. Add the current Dr Who assistant and as the Master remarked in the last episode, all demographics are represented.

Tonight's episode featured a Prime Minister of the United Kingdom with a sketchy past presiding over the end of the world, whilst being initially bossed around by President of the United States. Obviously fictional.

Things get out of hand when the Prime Minister uses his big balls and then his laser screwdriver to overpower the mere sonics of the Doctor. I shall have to remember to record next week's episode so that I see then end of the series.

nott my picture

Christina has sent me a few emails with Glastonbury photos to upload to her blog. Unfortunately, the password I used when I set up the blog seems to have changed and I shall have to wait until I get a text or email with the right information. In the meantime, I am reliably informed that it is quite muddy.

I shall wait for Bjork to be on BBC4 at 00:40UK.

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Friday 22 June 2007

"I'll take it from here"

I've no idea whether it will be any good or not, but I expect I'll see 'Die Hard Four' or whatever its called.

Cyber attack on the United States with analogue hero Bruce no doubt speaking a few choice 'Bruce-isms".
"You just killed a helicopter with a car"..."I was out of bullets".
"Why'd you bring a cop into my command center?" ... "command center? its a basement."

And launch date on 4th July, of course.

Thursday 21 June 2007


man of mysteryrashbre central has a rather erratic range of posts and topics which should deter anyone who wants to settle into a single theme. So its quite pleasing on the infrequent moments of browsing back through the tracker log to spot a familiar visitor from the past, even if they flit briefly past without leaving a comment. rashbre central says "hail fellow, well met" to such welcome travellers.

There's been a similar effect on email over the last few days. Outlook crashed with a horrible 81050014 error and in the process deleted all of my mobile phone contacts. I've recovered, but in the process, some long term acquaintances have made contact again.

Tuesday 19 June 2007


oops. I passed 1,000 posts without realizing it. This is number 1008.

So I looked up 1008 A.D. and found the Leningrad Codex and also the year of the "The Tale of Genji" about the son of an emperor of Japan.

The tale was a lengthy psycho-drama in which Genji is exiled from court, goes adventuring, then through political intrigue eventually works his way back. There's a lot more that a one sentence summary of a complex set of stories can't relay and the tale is quite a well known in some parts of the world.

Unlike the Leningrad Codex, although the codex is reputedly the most common source of translation for the New Testament.

Harry Potter ending

Probably a hoax? Some things are insecure. I have not changed the wording.

From: go harry
Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2007 05:23:45 +0800
* Harry Potter 0day

Dear my brothers,

Voldemort killed Hermione. Yes, that's true. And we knew that 2 days ago.

This is the end of the not yet published (someone could call that 0day) book

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows .

At the end of the story Hagrid was killed by Snape in the attempt of ambush Hermione and Ron.
Ron and Hermione flees in privet drive but Voldermort, surprising them, engaged a magical duel with Ron and Hermione.

Voldemort attacked trough the imperius curse and Hermione, to protect the life of Ron fight hardly for more than 6 pages and then finally die.
(boring, very boring... it's always the same story!)

Then, to make a long story short, Harry came up, killed all the bad guys and Hogwarts against became a good place to stay and have fun.

Ah, i missed one important information about Draco Malfoy, he started to create Horcrux (for fun and profit!).
The end.

Yes, we did it.
We did it by following the precious words of the great Pope Benedict XVI when he still was Cardinal Josepth Ratzinger.
He explained why Harry Potter bring the youngs of our earth to Neo Paganism faith.

So we make this spoiler to make reading of the upcoming book useless and boring.

The attack strategy was the easiest one.
The usual milw0rm downloaded exploit delivered by email/click-on-the-link/open-browser/click-on-this-animated-icon/back-connect to some employee of Bloomsbury Publishing, the company that's behind the Harry crap.

It's amazing to see how much people inside the company have copies and drafts of this book.
Curiosity killed the cat.

Who kill curiosity?

To protect you and your families

God bless you


So do we believe this, or not?

Monday 18 June 2007

Glastonbury Stage Live WebCam

UPDATE: Above picture is 2008
I've noticed a few 2008 Glastonbury hits coming to this 2007 post, so I've added the latest picture. Click it to go to the latest rashbre central entry... and below, for comparison, is the 2007 webcam picture just before the camera broke in the rain.
Another UK webcam moment; here's the Glastonbury main stage being assembled for the concerts which start in a few days.

Friend Christina will be heading along to the concert and is already packing tents and wellington boots.

UPDATE: the webcam broke with the rain.

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Sunday 17 June 2007

More monuments

Reading Oracle Car Park
After the glory of Stonehenge a couple of days ago and the whimsical banksy interpretation, I thought I'd keep an eye open for other interesting monuments.

What could be finer than this one, spied atop a multi-story car park? There's even a special set of steps inside it to be able to climb to the top, although they were chained off on Saturday when I was visiting.

Saturday 16 June 2007

Live London

Here's a view of some areas of London, mainly areas more well-known to tourists.

Recent news reports say that the UK is the most heavily monitored country in Europe with cameras, so I thought I'd hook into a few to see what I could piece together - and the updates are 'live' or 'nearly live'

This was quite easy and I hope gives a flavour of today in London - right now.

Come back later for another and different peek!

jam busting
Piccadilly Circus
jam busting
Whitehall and Parliament Square
jam busting
Oxford Circus
jam busting
Chelsea Bridge Road
jam busting
Centrepoint and St Giles Circus
jam busting
jam busting
Hyde Park Corner
jam busting
Kensington High Street
jam busting
Marble Arch
jam busting
Vauxhall Bridge Road

Friday 15 June 2007


stonedhenge banksy
The altar stone at Stonehenge, installed around 2,600 BC, is a six ton slab of sandstone brought by means unknown from Wales to Salisbury plain. rashbre central uses this as its icon at the top of the blog. The central monument in Banksy's latest installation is a replica of the ancient monument built on the site of the forthcoming Glastonbury festival.

Its made of a portable toilet that has been sawed in half and sunk into the Somerset field.

The Guardian today shows a druidic figure standing atop the monument, in tribute to the summer solstice on June 21, the first evening of the festival.

Banksy himself has no illusions about the sanctity of his work, however: "A lot of monuments are a bit rubbish," he said, "but this really is a pile of crap.

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Thursday 14 June 2007

stepping out

London again today and part of the time taking refuge in a wifi zone away from the crowds.

Starbucks is okay up to a point but it can be difficult to spread out papers and sometimes even hard to find a seat. So today I was in this discreet venue, sitting in a moderately large room with other business folk who also wanted a desk and fast network connections.

Wednesday 13 June 2007

Californian quarters, maybe...but the Eye?

I noticed today and snapped the London Eye's makeover. This time its showing a large picture of "the Silver Surfer" in its middle, which rotates with the Eye. For some reason I think of "silver surfer" as a demographic of internet user rather than an exiled amoral super being.

The last noteworthy makeover was for red nose day and the Eye wore a red nose and also had one of the pods painted red. I'm less sure about the current change; if the reason related to charity fundraising (Red Nose day), London, the Olympics or something similarly noteworthy, then absolutely change the Eye.

But for a film promotion?
Red Nose Eye

OTA: Wordless Wednesday

early breakfast

Add a comment, trackback or a link for Wordless Wednesday!


Tuesday 12 June 2007

windows safari

Safari on Windows
As regular readers will know, rashbre central is made on a a Mac. And most blogs rashbre central browse are also browsed on a mac, using Safari, the Apple OS X browser.

Well, the interesting news is that Safari is now also available for a PC!

A simple download allows PC users of most types to try the Safari interface, which Apple claims is the fastest browser running on Windows according to the iBench tests.

Safari 3 properly emerges with OS X's next release (Leopard) and features easy-to-manage bookmarks, effortless browsing with easy-to-organize tabs and a built-in RSS reader to quickly scan the latest news and information. Check out Safari 3 public beta as a free download at www.apple.com/safari. It looks like the mac version except for the missing top right coloured clickies and an ominous 'bug button' on the top bar.

When Apple finally introduce Leopard (in October), it is claimed to have over 300 new features. This includes a new Desktop and Dock with Stacks; an updated Finder and a new way to easily browse and share files between multiple Macs;

There's Quick Look, a new way to rapidly preview most files without opening an application; Time Machine, a new way to easily and automatically back up and restore lost files or a complete Mac; Spaces, a powerful new feature to create groups of applications and instantly switch between them; and enhanced iChat and Mail applications, which allow users to communicate even more creatively.

And running Safari on Windows is a very odd sensation...

Monday 11 June 2007

declare independence

Improbably combining the last two posts, here's Bjork with a reacTable.

coffee (tables) anyone?

Remember those Atari pub games, built into the top of tables? Well, now its moved a whole stage further, with prototype systems like the reacTable and the Popular Mechanics coffee table project at Microsoft looking at ways to use surfaces as part of the computing model. There's a short video about this, one showing a musical instrument and the second illustrating how you can put, say, a camera down on a table and the photos in it pop out onto the glass surface. they can be scaled and manipulated and then shuffled into, say, a mobile phone.

The musical instrument is real but the rest of the technology is really a teaser prototype at the moment, but does have interesting possibilities, somewhat like the display technology used in films like Artificial Intelligence.

Saturday 9 June 2007

eg vil pakka fjölskyl dunni minni

bjork - brigitte la combe
Not for everyone, but I found myself applauding the television late last night. I was watching Björk Gudmundsdottir on Jules Holland’s “Later” show as she performed some tracks from her recent album “Volta”, which I have been playing in the car over the last couple of weeks. So engrossing that I felt I was in the concert.

The staging included her Icelandic all-female brass section, dressed in colourful clothing evocative of a major celebration. The tracks played were “Earth Intruders” and “Declare Independence” from the album as well as “The Anchor Song”, which she sang in Icelandic.

Björk inhabited the stage with a pixie like presence along with tracks fusing techno rave rhythm, world music beat and her own distinctive singing style. The album has more treats; some links with older work such as the sounds of the sea in a foghorn inspired interlude on one of the tracks.

Sublime eccentricity.

Friday 8 June 2007

deckchair art

deck damien hirstThere has been some progress in the G8 talks, although some of this is re-iteration of the 2005 G8 Gleneagles commitments.

The Leaders have pledged to spend some $60bn on health improvements for Africa, with half from the USA. This is a little bit of a shell game though, because quite a lot of this money had been previously pledged in Gleneagles ($50bn) and there have been delays in getting the money allocated.

Unfortunately US President Bush missed the first few hours of Friday's business, suffering from a stomach complaint. He managed some other topics covering "further measures" against Iran if Tehran failed to stop its uranium enrichment programme and further action against Sudan if Khartoum failed to support international efforts to end the conflict in Darfur. Also a warning to North Korea to stop testing nuclear-capable missiles and abandon all nuclear programmes.

If Angela Merkal's original agenda was mainly Africa and Climate then it comes as some re-assertion of what was said two years ago. The other topics were not part of the prime-time menu. Tony Blair seems to be saying "immense progress" has been made. Specifically, 18 countries have had their debts written off, which is clearly positive progress.

On the emissions though, we now have a debate about what to do to replace the Kyoto protocol with something else, against a target for suggested 50% reduction by the somewhat distant 2050.

Lets hope this is not just re-arranging deckchairs.
deck bird worralthompson

i want candy

bigbro2.jpgI see that Channel Four has been in the news a lot over the last few days. First the Diana broadcast and now a racism incident in Big Brother, after something similar though more vitriolic happened a year ago.

I have not been watching this series although, probably like many others, I tuned in last night when the scene was broadcast. Sure enough one of the housemates said something rather unpleasant to another, although the tone of the comment was perhaps naively ingrained rather than outwardly hostile, compared with the events of a year ago. In any event the situation created much discussion within the house and within hours broadcasters had swooped on the the housemate who left in a 3am eviction.

So Channel Four have had another TV feast and publicity, this time taking a rapid righteous stance against unacceptable language. And meantime, Big Brother gets more like 'Willy Wonka's Candy Factory' every day.


rashbre facebookI see some have spotted that rashbre central is also on facebook. I originally set up facebook as a placeholder and have just added last.fm, flickr and rashbre central feeds as well as a few other amusements to it. So, if you are facebook user, do drop by, click me as a friend and we'll gradually all link together.

Otherwise, there's a few normal posts below to browse...

Thursday 7 June 2007


Today the leaders of the most powerful industrialised countries have got together in Heiligendamm, Germany, on the Baltic coast. So far the television news seems to be mainly around the various photoshoots of leaders, their spouses and about the protestors around the edge of the site, which is reached by steam railway.

The main purpose for the Angela Merkel hosted event is supposed to be the influence these leaders can have upon matters such as global poverty (through debt relief) and global warming. Indeed, today there's been some discussions about plans to halve carbon emissions by 2050, although whether 43 years is really an accelerated pace is a moot point.

Non Kyoto protocol US President Bush came to the summit refusing to agree to targets to reduce greenhouse gases but he has made a proposal for a separate meeting of the world’s top emitters for discussions on ways of combating global warming. Why talk about it now when everyone's together, when he can host a separate meeting on his ranch in Texas?

Another early reported topics seems to be about whether Russia's Mr Putin is going share an Azerbadjani radar station with the US and whether this means Mr Bush won't need to put his new anti-missile missile systems in Europe. Mr Putin is saying that he won't put missile systems targeted at Europe on his borders if the USA doesn't create a new missile shield in Europe. Somehow this all seems a long way from talking about global poverty and warmng.
G8 : the world cant wait
A protest related to this summit occurred a few days ago on the river bank opposite the Houses of Parliament in London. The essence was a reminder of the G8's previous and partially unfulfilled promises on debt relief. The protestors (including Midge Ure and Annie Lennox, in the photo) simply used alarm clocks timed to ring at two thirty pm, as a 'wake up call' to the G8 to remember the original purpose and promises of the meeting.

Wednesday 6 June 2007

nothing to see here - move along

There's a fuss about the Channel 4 programme about the Diana car crash ten years ago. Clarence House represent the sons Harry and William and say it should not have been shown without further edits.

The thing I find more shocking is that the inquest from the sad event is still open after some ten years. How is it that the major Establishment figures involved are unable to ensure that such a high profile situation gets resolved?

I pick a few points from the Lord Stevens inquiry which are also on the BBC's own web-site.

There was contact between the Mercedes carrying the princess and a white Fiat Uno (never found?) shortly before the crash. Henri Paul, the driver of the Mercedes, had alcohol levels twice the British drink-drive limit at the time of the crash. There was no evidence to support claims the security services were involved in any way in Princess Diana's death.

A ring had been bought by Dodi Al Fayed. A note apparently written by the princess outlines fears the Prince of Wales wanted to clear the way to marry a woman not named in the report. The woman was not Camilla, the report said. Prince Charles told the inquiry he did not know why his ex-wife wrote the letter and never discussed it with her.

As Sir Humphrey would say, "truth is a matter of perspective".

Tuesday 5 June 2007

affrontal logo to me

Well, they revealed the £400,000 Olympic Committee London 2012 logo and its pink fuzzy felt shapes as edgy, punky and modern. In a Rorschach test this picture has been known to yield a certain cartoon depiction of something best left to the imagination on this site. Or perhaps thats just me.

...Who needs Photoshop CS for artwork when five minutes with 1983's Paintbrush.exe can produce the above? Nice work, if you can get it. Below, Here's the old temporary logo, by way of a comparison. It sort of does what it says on the package.
So my rejection suggestions include sign a petiition, ask Mark Thomas to add it to the 1 person McDemos at Westminster, or maybe add a new petition to the UK government petition web-site.

Monday 4 June 2007

Wonderful Copenhagen

My hotel in Copenhagen is very central, just a short walk from the famous Tivoli Gardens. As I've been mainly in meetings and generally industrious, it hasn't given much time for sightseeing, although I have both worked and visted Copenhagen before as a tourist. A top place to visit during most peoples' time in Copenhagen, is the Tivoli Gardens and I'm pleased to say we'd arranged to meet in there in the evening for a dinner in the rather pleasant surroundings of Divan 2, which is one of the oldest restaurants in the Gardens.
A highly enjoyable evening and then exit from the restaurant into the twinkling lights of the still orientally themed garden, with many locals and visitors enjoying the late evening in a combination of restaurants, cafes and amusements.

Sunday 3 June 2007

normal service is resumed

testcard extract
I suppose I should have loaded a test card or similar whilst I have been travelling and not able to post to the blog. Normal service should resume as well as a few back posts covering a few recent excursions.

I'm in Copenhagen for the next few days, but I think there will be some bandwith too. Meantime, my back posts will cover some time spent in Cornwall (West of England - some claim it is a separate country) and before that a few days in Washington.

2012 London Olympics Brand


An interesting dilemma that the new Olympics Branding for 2012 London is to be unveiled tomorrow.

Unfortunately, the Committee responsible has already published a series of downloads available explaining why if you are not a designated interest, then you cannot display the logo.

I can understand not illicitly selling merchandise with the logo, or making unauthorised commercial gain from its use, but it does seem strange that the instructions state: You can support the 2012 Games by not engaging in the unauthorised use of the Games' Marks or purchasing unauthorised merchandise.

In the same document I am told that I could, however, use the National Lottery Scratch cards as a way to show support.

Friday 1 June 2007

Ted's Bay

I’m not sure of the real name of this beautiful little bay, but it has many great things going for it. It is secluded, has proper sand, some interesting rock formations, a couple of caves which would be ideal for smugglers in the olden days and a great view out to sea.
To the East is Cawsand and to the West is Rame.
An idyllic and unspoilt tranquil location.