The International Flag of Planet Earth

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Flag of Planet Earth

Inspirational, well thought-out proposal for a flag for unified, “for Earth” projects. The website is terrible, but the artwork’s great, and it’s always nice to see an artist focus on the idea of “uniting humanity” in spite of our politically-fractured world.

The Bad Hair, Incorrect Feathering, and Missing Skin Flaps of Dinosaur Art

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llustrating long-extinct creatures is difficult, but important work. With no living specimens to observe, it’s up to “paleoartists” who draw, paint, or otherwise illustrate the creatures of prehistory as we think they might’ve been. Their work is the reason that when we talk about velociraptors, stegosaurs, or even woolly mammoths, we have some idea of what they looked like.

But since all we have to go on are fossils, deciding how a dinosaur would have looked is as much art as it is science. And there’s at least one paleoartist who thinks we might be getting things wrong…

Work Calendar [NSFW?]

In my office at the Bodleian, we’ve got a calendar on which employees mark their annual leave. The theme of the calendar is supposed to be paintings inspired by flowers… but – and maybe it’s just my dirty mind – this month’s image seems just a little bit saucy:

Our calendar this month. That's supposed to be a flower, is it?

Click to embiggen. It can’t be just me that sees… it… right?

The Shark

This morning, I left Earth to go to nearby Headington. This trip was primarily to put money into the back, register with a GP, and get some keys cut for the new lock in the garage door. However, I also took the excuse to re-assemble my bike since the move and get out and about because it occured to me that, through working from home (as I now do), I hadn’t actually been outside at all in several days, and I’d be at risk of some kind of cabin fever if I didn’t get some sunlight once in a while.

Headington’s perfectly nice, and an easy 10-minute cycle away from Earth: there’s an uphill section which I was ashamed to see other cyclists pushing their bikes up, but having spent the last ten years in a hilly Welsh town, there was no such nonesense from me. It’s nice to be living somewhere with cycle lanes pretty much everywhere, and motorists who pay attention to the bicycles that weave amongst them: having cycled along the unlit A44 at night and narrowly avoided being cut down by the speeding lorries that frequent that road, it’s a relief to be somewhere where cyclists are better-protected.

While running my various errands, I also took the time to visit the Headington Shark.

Yes, I now live a short walk away from one of Britain’s most unusual art pieces: a 25-foot fibreglass shark stuck head-first through the roof of a small terraced house in Oxfordshire. It’s supposed to be some kind of protest against nuclear proliferation, and it first appeared on the 41st anniversary of the atomic boming of Nagasaki, but I’m not sure that I “get it”. It is kind-of awesome, though.

In other news: this weekend Ruth, JTA and I will attempt to go to Jen & Nick’s wedding, in Belfast. I say “attempt” because we’ve not had a lot of luck with weddings, recently. Last year, Ruth managed to upset the bride at a wedding that she and I went to. Then, this year, the three of us failed to get to Andy & Siân‘s wedding when we had a series of car-related problems, and then the bride and groom didn’t make it to Adam & Emma’s wedding reception, after they got stuck in the USA when an inconsiderate volcano caused their flight to be cancelled. We’re hopeful that we’re not going to bring our string of bad luck to this wedding, too!

Silliest Thing I’ve Seen All Week

As this hilarious BBC news story tells it, an artist came home to his Liverpool house to find that:

(a) A criminal had broken in to his home.
(b) Mistaking a piece of his artwork as a human head in a jar, the criminal turned himself in to the police to tell them about it. He also confessed all of his crimes to his mother.
(c) The police broke down the door and raided the house, and found that the contents of the jar were merely formaldehyde and a mask made from rashers of bacon.

I laughed.

Now I’m going home. I’m not feeling top-form today.

Cool Thing Of The Day

Cool And Interesting Thing Of The Day To Do At The University Of Wales, Aberystwyth, #49:

Tear apart a pile of stolen computer keyboards to make a cool name plaque for your door, with real pressable buttons for each letter of your name, and not-pressable ones that say Enter, and Compose Character, and Do, and Lock, and, my favourite of all, stolen from an old dumb terminal, Rub Out. Also Blu Tack on some old network cards and a circuitbord. My room here is really starting to become a home…

The ‘cool and interesting things’ were originally published to a location at which my “friends back home” could read them, during the first few months of my time at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, which I started in September 1999. It proved to be particularly popular, and so now it is immortalised through the medium of my weblog.

Cool Thing Of The Day

Cool And Interesting Thing Of The Day To Do At The University Of Wales, Aberystwyth, #47:

Steal some old VT-320 keyboards from the skip outside the Llandinam Extension and smash them up to make a cool nameplate for your door out of the keys. It reads:
[D][A][N][I][E][L], then lower, [Enter], and then by the lock, [Lock]. Not bad, I thought.

The ‘cool and interesting things’ were originally published to a location at which my “friends back home” could read them, during the first few months of my time at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, which I started in September 1999. It proved to be particularly popular, and so now it is immortalised through the medium of my weblog.