I was just looking for information about recycling plastic on the Hackney website, and came across this:
“Yellow pages directories are made into separate components and reprocessed into new batteries or reused as raw materials.”
Batteries made out of phone books? That’s quite impressive technology.

And catching up on older news… I had a lovely long weekend in Brussels, and came back late Sunday night so I was able to spend a lazy Bank Holiday Monday on Southbank. I went to the Tate Modern to check out the re-hang, then to the pub.
I didn’t do anything touristy in Brussels, though we did accidentally come across Manneken Pis and I rubbed effigy of ‘T Serclaes. We went to a few small exhibitions, lots of clubs (Just Another Party, Miss Kittin at Fuse) and ate waffles. I find the bilingual thing fascinating – the Walloons and the Flems don’t even call the city by the same name.

“Daggy music is one way to make the hoons leave an area, because they can’t stand the music”. Ahh, Australia. The BBC article helpfully explains that “Daggy is Australian slang for unfashionable or uncool”.
I read in WWW that ‘CUB’ cashed-up bogans is a new phrase in use in Australia – can anyone confirm?

Yesterday was lovely. I went to the Art Car Boot Fair, checked out a graduate art show also on Brick Lane and caught up with friends for beers. And it was even sunny! Later Min and I saw Bic Runga, supported by Anna Coddington, in a lovely intimate gig at the Spitz. Anika Moa also sang back-up. I hadn’t seen her before so that was a bonus.
I didn’t make it to any of the birthdays I was meant to go to, but I think I needed a break more than I needed big nights out. Work has been too busy for too long. So now it’s heads down and back to Roman pottery codes, OAI XML stuff and clay objects.

“Archaeologists studying an ancient mosaic found by workers laying cable south of Rome have been astonished to discover that it is an optical illusion.
Viewed one way up it is a bald old man with a beard, but turned the other way round it is a beardless youth.” (Guardian)

“There’s no point debating anything online. You might as well hurl shoes in the air to knock clouds from the sky. The internet’s perfect for all manner of things, but productive discussion ain’t one of them. It provides scant room for debate and infinite opportunities for fruitless point-scoring: the heady combination of perceived anonymity, gestated responses, random heckling and a notional “live audience” quickly conspire to create a “perfect storm” of perpetual bickering.” Guardian
I’m not sure I agree but it’s an interesting viewpoint.

“There is, I think, a growing sensitivity to cartoons’ potential impact in public debate. Maybe that is because they are becoming one of the last redoubts for undisciplined, unspun commentary. You might argue that the powers that be could reasonably expect loyalty in time of a war against terror. I don’t agree, however, that we are made safer by limiting the organs of dissent.

Cartoons are the hub of the surviving anti-spin and shaming devices in the mainstream media at a time when spin and shamelessness are a ballooning element in public life.

The spin doctors out there will be noticing how much cartoonists can add to an argument, and will be thinking of ways to cultivate them, ways of helping them over the fear that dogs them all: that the paper will have to run with a blank space where their cartoon should be. Let them and their editors be warned, and long may they remain uncultivatable.” (Age)