Showing posts from February, 2009

Today I sold out to advertising

I looked at my adsense page and found that I have earnt $17.10 in one year of having an adsense line on my blog! Not that I have received any of it as I think they only pay you once you have $100. 5 Years time? Hovever I did get an email from a mobile company asking me to add some text with a link to their site on my web page and they would give me $100 a year. So I thought I'd try it out and if you want to see it - look at the site below. And Did Those Feet ... Guided Walks in and around London On the other hand the Old Operating Theatre Museum has earned £70 from Where you put their search engine as your home search engine and if you go to adverts you make some money. We've made £70 in about 2 years but have not pushed it to our members partly because it isnt as good as google.

Google Inadequacies

Much as I'm impressed by some aspects of Google - some things are just not quite good enough. 1. China - ruined their reputation in my eyes 2. Google Calendar - does not allow you to classify or label events, and no use of colour to code events visually. This makes it not as good as Palm's calendar programme and will stop me using it unless I have to 3. Google Mail - using it really has advantage of portability and the labelling system is quite good but Google Mail has the following problems: a. Sometimes it is very slow, and sometimes it stops b. No easy way of backing up emails to hard disc - making you reliant on a commercial system who may or may not look after your data. c. Although labels and con versations are often a very good idea - sometimes they are not. Sometimes you do want to shunt a whole load of emails into a folder not just label them. Sometimes important mails are lost in a long conversations, making it hard to easily get to important emails.

Events Weekend of March 7th and 6th

I am doing two walks on the 8th March for London Walks These are: Myths & Archaeology - the origins of London Sunday, 8th March 10.45 am Tower Hill Tube The Archaeology of Ancient Bermondsey Sunday, 8th March 2.30 London Bridge Tooley Street Exit This walk will be done in conjunction with Alistair Douglas archaeologist who has done extensive excavations in Bermondsey and therefore should not be missed! Walks are £7 or £5 depending on whether you are a concession. I also enclose details of what looks like an interesting event at Kew Ethnobotany at Kew Kew is hosting an open day to showcase current research and practice in ethnobotany. There will be about 20 displays on topics including wild foods and medicines, pharmacognosy of British medicinal plants, Asian spices, traditional herbs, British home gardens, basket-making, the baobab tree, a large display of ethnographic textiles and fibres, and a mini-festival of ethnobotanical films. There will be ample opportunity to handle plant

colour enters my working life, gogglemail

I've just realised that my working life has been changed if not transformed by the use of colour in recent weeks. Firstly, I have been using Google mail and have learnt how to colour my labels. As I do so many different jobs I can colour code them and can spend an hour or so working on the OOT ones - and it is easy to see which they are and how much I have to do. So it is one reason to use Google mail , the other, and the main one is to be able to have all my emails with me where ever I am and this is very useful. I have also changed over the OOt to google mail and staff seem to like it. It means we hardly need a network as can access emails upstairs or downstairs. Computing is about to change Cloud computing is being to bite. Also I have been adding colour to my diary which is Palm Calendar -task can be given a colour, and it really helps I can now use the week view and for the first time it is useful as it shows me at a glance how the week is shaping - the colour makes it

Slumdog Millionaire Narrative analysis

At CSM I used Slumdog millionaire to help think about use of narrative in my student's projects. At the time it was simply a starting off warming up excercise but soon became apparent the story structure had relevance to the tutorial group. Slumdog has a plot which has a frame story based on the heroes involvement in 'Who wants to be a Millionaire'. the film begins at the time he has already won a substantial amount but is in prison being tortured as he is thought to be cheating. It flashes back to earlier questions, and ends shortly after Jamal has won 20m Rupees. The story timeline begins when Jamal is a little boy in the slums of Bombay and ends in Mumbai when he is reunited with Latika the love of his life, after winning the 20 million rupees. This story is told as a set of episodes told in flashback but in sequence slotted in between questions he is answering in Millionaire. Each flashback explains how he, the slumdog , knows the answers to some sophisticate

Nuts and Bolts Lecture at UCL

Claire Sussums gave an excellent lecture on Data standards and organisation required for running major museum internet projects. She used as an example the Exploring 20th Century London project . The major technical problem is to get data from disparate sources and databases into a common standard acceptable to all. The major creative problem is to make the accumulation of data meaningful - this is partly done by creating 4 main ways into the data: Timeline Theme Place Search Now there are 11 partners in the project - still this does create a still very partial data set for example I searched for clapton sport - hoping to find information on the first black professional footballer, but all I got were objects which had jewish affinities, simply because the jewish museum has a great collection of portraits of ordinary people

Open Archives Initiative and Dublin Core

Useful web site for interchanging data between web sites and interoperability. Open Archives Initiative Also look at the Dublin Core

Web design on a budget. Six free alternatives to Dreamweaver.

This was mentioned in the Guardian. Dreamweaver is quite easy to use but it is expensive unless you can justify and educational copy. Web design on a budget. Six free alternatives to Dreamweaver.

Canon Printers monopoly practices?

I have just had a week without my printer courtesy of Canon. I put in a new inktank , and the printer started telling me 'Cannot recognise inktank ' and listed all 4 inktanks . Canon Pixma iX 4000. The reset light lit up with 4 blinks. So, this is the bloody annoying Canon attempt to force you to use their expensive ink rather than cheaper compatible cartridges - I guess. I begin by replacing cartridges at first just the blank then them all. I buy about 8 new tanks from various suppliers including a refill yourself solution and get ink all over me and the desk. Nothing solves the problem so I ring Canon and a continental voice tells me that the problem is that I am not using Canon original cartridges and he refuses to engage except to tell me that compatible cartridges can or have ruined my printer. I'm assuming it is simply a question of finding an override - the internet tells me that pressing the reset button for 5 secs might be the answer, or turning off and

Old Operating Theatre Museum busy day

Amazingly busy day at the Museum - lots of people coming in for Half term and 2 groups - one UA3 and a group from More London - I gave short walk from More London to the Old Operating Theatre Museum via Guys. Sometimes seems better when I'm rushing - get more in more concentrated more animated. Toilet blocked - the only problem - brand new toilet and plumber says blocked with concrete. Pub manager complaining that too many of our visitors are using his toilet. Also had ICT visit which I think is going to be interesting - finding out how far behind I now am. The issues that came up were particularly around Data Protection. Here I am backing the system up onto a portable hard disc bringing home, putting it on the home pc - none of it encrypted. I think the issue will be if I get run over by a bus ........ But what I wanted out of the free visit was advice on setting up a webcasting system and advice on setting up video points around the Museum for artists (and us to use).

Climate change and archaeology

Very interesting post by Mike Haseler in Brit Arch: Essentially he is saying that methods of recording the past tend to attentuate temperature change, smoothing down the peaks, so a comparison of present (measured with modern instruments) compared with the past will tend to so wilder fluctuations now than then just because of methods of recording. The post is as follows (with thanks to Mike for permission to quote it): 'Having studied the recent instrumentational record of global climate, half the change takes place in periods less than 10years and half over ten years. So it seems pretty clear that unless multi-proxy temperature reconstructions have an accuracy of better than 10years there will be a substantial reduction in the apparent variability of global temperature. To put that simply, there are many peaks/troughs that are 10, 30, 100 years long. If two proxies are offset by e.g. 10 years, the peak in one proxy will not coincide with that in another and therefore the si

Climate Change and archaeology

I'm finding myself out of step with Climate Change. I hate to be considered a climate chance denier but I think my archaeological background gives a different perspective on the subject. This is the first time I have tried to articulate my position. Firstly, I believe that recycling and cutting down emissions are worthy of support but I think this is irrespective of Climate Change. We should be maker the world a cleaner more sustainable place in any case. So I'm not a burn coal and to hell with it type of chap. But, as an archaeologist, it is clear that climate change is the norm - Chris Stringer in Homo Brittanicus shows that the British Isles have been made inhospitable to humans 5 times in the last million years by climate change. The last great climate change saw a 7 degree change in temperature in 15 years. So, climate change is a normal part of the planetary cycle. And what seems strange to me is that the logic of the green position is to try and freeze our clim

Triumphant upgrading of our Mailing List software - phplist

We have been using phplist as our mailing list software for some time, partly because it allows users to manage their own subscription, and partly so it can be used both from home and from Museum. We had a bit of a disaster with it as two of us were using it at the same time and some glitch deleted Old Operating Theatre Museum membership - did not delete the emails but deleted membership. I 'fixed' it by joining up all those with no membership back to the OOT list. Rough and ready but not too much damage. I also uploaded people from our idealist database. Having done that I decided to upgrade to the latest version as this plugs various security holes. I have been dreading doing this as it is a geek thing requiring knowledge of php potentially. But in the event it was a piece of cake AND the new version is an improvement - we can now see the icons for bold, underline, justify etc which were not visible on the old version. : Homepage : home

London Transport Lecture

* Selling the suburbs (London Transport Museum) Talk about how posters were used to promote the idyll of Metro-land in the early 20th century on Tuesday, 10 March at 18:30:00 More details: Mailing list Breakdown We had a problem with the Old Operating Theatre museum Mailing list yesterday. If you may have been deleted from the list accidently, so if you want to receive museum news as well as this list please email me and I'll make sure you are put back on it Kevin -- If you do not want to receive any more newsletters, To update your preferences and to unsubscribe visit -- Powered by PHPlist, --

Banners for the Old Operating Theatre Museum go up around Borough High Street

Our publicity campaign, funded by the Renaissance Hub, has begun with the erection of our banners in Borough Market. We have also had a leaflet printed which has been distributed around Southwark. We are planning printing some cards to give to Market Traders and an article in the Traders magazine. I spoke to a couple of American visitors who were planning to visit but saw the Banners and they said it made it easier to find the museum.

Busy day Web 2.0, walk and crit

A busy day -had a very good session at UCL with a talk by Mark Carmall of the Grant museum looking at some of the implications of web 2.0. I think Mark is correct to point out that most museum web projects are pointing at an audience already won and not at new audience. Is he right though to believe hat maybe not yet the time for Museums to target world of warcraft and second life type of audiences? Then to OOT to give talk on the operating theatre and walk on public health to norwich school. Finally to CSM for Living History Crit with Katharine from the BM projects progressing but aware of the difficulty of first time workshops for kids by students.

Tudor London - Schools Walk

I took a group of 8 year old children around the City on a Tudor Walk. Problem was it was really wet and the children so small and wet! Hopefully, they got something from the talk - we walked around St Pauls to Smithfield and looked at rich and poor in Tudor London

Biographies: King John of England - by Mark Hopkins

This is an excellent essay on King John - I'm struggling to write my history of the Kings of England and much admire this one. But only read the first page because his first para is very similar to mine and don't one to copy! Biographies: King John of England - by Mark Hopkins - Helium

Sick London at the Bishopsgate Institute

Talk Doctors, 'Delusions' and the Great Wen: Alternative Medicine's London Roots Speaker: Roberta Bivins Tuesday 10 February • 7.30pm Tickets: £7, concs £5; advance booking required By the 1830s a wide range of alternative and cross-cultural medical practices were already flourishing in London. From acupuncture to animal magnetism, middle-class Londoners could take their pick of the latest medical fads, fancies, and innovations from around the world. 'Regular' medicine raged, newspapers scoffed and scandalmongered — but 'alternative medicine' was nonetheless installed as a feature of London life. Drawing on the accounts of doctors and patients alike, this talk will look at the long history and enduring legacy of alternative medicine in London. Roberta Bivins is an Associate Professor of the History of Medicine at University of Warwick. Her work has examined the cross-cultural transmission of medical expertise, and the history of alternative and global medic