Archive for September, 2006

Goodbye Dancers, Hello Hippos

September 26th, 2006

For many a year we marveled at the spinning globes on BBC1, and then in 1997 we were treated to a globe style hot air balloon. Things were good until 2002 when the balloon was not replaced by the obvious (globe styled juggling balls :-) ), but by dancers NOT wearing globe t-shirts. I was not a happy bunny.

Four and a half years on I am pleased to report we have a new set of indents on the way including kites, the moon, a surfer and hippos among others. Errr, yes, that’s correct, hippos. The globe has not reappeared, but they all have a rounded styling and a soft and friendly BBC One logo in the middle.

You can see more of the new indents on the BBC Press Office web site.

Please not that this posting may be a little bios against dancers and pro globes, and hippos. :-)

Update : A montage of the new idents (including the hippos) are available to view here on YouTube. If you fancy a trip down memory lane you can also watch the baloon and the dancers.

Beer Cannon Montage

September 22nd, 2006

I have come across this on YouTube and, well, it’s daft enough for me to enjoy it.

Bannatyne’s Casino Closes

September 21st, 2006

Normally this would not bother me, but a friend was employed by the casino who, like many other employees, has not been told about the closure. Currently the staff are uncertain that they will be payed for the last month or the month’s notice period.

After not being able to call the casino all day my friend presumed there was no one on reception (because of staff shortages) and went to work a few hours early to help out. To there surprise the casino was locked with a notice in the window saying that the casino was closed and hoped to relocate soon.

Later on in the evening we checked the Internet and found this article on icNewcaslte (NCJ Media Limited). Remembering that my friend had not been informed about the closure and is not in consultation with the HR department so I would take many of the facts stated with a pinch of salt. Actually the article stated me on my “piss pour lazy reporting” rants normally reserved for select television news reports, but I will spare you that now. I am pleased to say that the Evening Chronicle (also NCJ Media Limited) did brief but more accurate story here.

Apparently the casino has been running on a skeleton staff for a while now and many could not figure out why more croupiers and inspectors were not being employed. It was presumed by me that trained staff were not forthcoming and Bannatyne’s were not going to pay for training, but I guess I was wrong.

Currently there is no answer on the casino’s direct line, but according to the British Casino Association, Bannatyne’s head office is on 01325 356677.

Update: My friend has now been contacted by phone and has been told that they will get paid and is on indefinite leave. They are still waiting for written conformation.

Update2: Aspers are offering a free meal for two with a bottle of wine for anyone who will let Aspers cut up there Bannatyne’s membership card.

Update3: The new casino will not be opening for 6 months and the staff have been given notice and are being made redundant.

BarCamp London – Geocaching

September 12th, 2006

On the first weekend in September I attended BarCampLondon, a tech community get together. To attend you need to give a presentation about, well anything, but best go for something that everyone else will be interested in.

I decided to (or should that be persuaded to) get things rolling by giving my presentation in the first slot, and opted to talk about the high tech treasure hunt game of Geocaching. Below are the links I promised to publish in the presentation.

In May 2000 the United States turned off the selective availability of the global positioning system that intern allowed the system to be fully used by the public. Someone had the great idea of hiding a stash and publishing it’s coordinates online for someone else to find, and find it they did. More about the history of Geocaching is available on the website owned by Groundspeak.

Although there are several cache listing sites where the location of these “Caches” are listed the most popular is, and in the UK we have a great resource at that collates statistics from and allows more advanced searches.

The UK does have a body that is formed by UK Geocachers to help UK Geocachers called the Geocaching Association of Great Britain.

Another site that I recommend having a look at is that conatins a list of all the concrete trigpoints used by ordnance sevey. Because they rely on line of sight for navigation they are normally located in a place that comes with a stunning view and are often well worth a visit.