Random Thoughts 14: the first half of 2012

This is a first half of the year catch up post for my series of Random Thoughts posts. This is a collection of  links, things found on the web and other stuf that has occured to me Рbut, along with my fall off in blogging activity generally, the collection of links for these posts also slowed down. But there are still a few that I think are worth sharing.

Michael Kiwanuka – Tell Me A Tale

This was one of my favourite songs from 2011. This version is from Later with Jools Holland last November.

Bedfordshire announces new Vice Chancellor

I’ve written a fair bit about where Les Ebdon is going when he steps down as Vice Chancellor of the University of Bedfordshire, so I ought to mention that we learnt in April who his replacement will be. It is former Labour MP and government minister Bill Rammell.

William Hague’s green economy letter to David Cameron

I struggled to find anything to disagree with in this leaked letter from Foriegn Secretary William Hague. We need a government that is loudly and clearly committed to green growth, but Osborne is a barrier, Cameron has gone silent compared to his hug a huskie days, and the Liberal Democrats generally speaking are not being nearly as vocal enough. So more power to Hague’s elbow.

New Statesman – Better porn with de Botton

Philosopher Alain de Botton wants to promote better ethical porn. A form of “pornography in which sexual desire would be invited to support, rather than permitted to undermine, our higher values.”

Is it WordPress?

A cool little tool that checks to see if a website is running WordPress.

New history section on the Number 10 website

In what I think is a good initiative the Number 10 website is having the history section on its website revamped. This includes a really good short history of the building itself, a virtual tour of some of the rooms, profiles of all the Prime Ministers, and articles from historians. The last of these will be added to over the year so it could end up as a really good resource.

Paul Mason On “Davy Jones, Signifier Of Modernity”

I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for The Monkees. “Day Dream Believer” would probably be one of my Desert Island Discs. So I was sad to hear of the death of Davy Jones; “the english one” in the original manufactured boy band. I thought Paul Mason’s piece here is a good attempt at placing The Monkees in to the right place in our cultural history.

Little Boots – Every Night I Say A Prayer

My musical following of electro pop diva Little Boots seems to be becoming a permanent feature, but this is a much better version of ‘Every Night I Say A Prayer’ than the far too camp official video.

Boris Johnson: his job creation pledge is meaningless

I was pleased to see newly elected Liberal Democrat London Assembly member Stephen Knight scoring an early win against the Tory Mayor.

Network Rail – Virtual Archive

This is cool. In a new project Network Rail have started putting documents from their historical archive online. If you are the sort of person who enjoys looking at architects plans for railway stations from several hundered years ago, and let’s face it who doesn’t, then this is for you. There is only a limited number of documents at the moment – but as it expands it should become a fascinating resource.

Tim Bentinck’s Website

Hat tip to my friend Laura for pointing me at the website of actor and Renaissance man (or possibly Renaissance geek) Tim Bentinck. Mr Bentinck will be familiar to most for playing David Archer in Britain’s longest running radio soap opera, and to some for his role in ‘The Thick of It’. Gamers will have come across his work without knowing it as he has voiced characters in countless computer games. But impressively there is much more to him than actor and voice over artist. His website sparked two moments of nostalgia for me; my own memories of the Deer Leap swimming pool and my love for my Psion Series 5, the best gadget I ever owned, iPhone/iPad included.

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