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Random Thoughts for 31st July 2013: hats, elephants and things to celebrate

Random Thoughts logoThis is the latest in my series of Random Thoughts posts with links, things found on the web and other stuff that has occurred to me between 17th July 2013 and 31st July 2013:

Residents offered chance to speak about town’s outdoor sports facilities

Back when I was a councillor and a portfolio-holder I remember trying to get the Council to do some work on developing a proper strategy for outdoor sports. Sadly I got resistance from some officers and the idea never really went anywhere. So I was interested to see that Luton Borough Council have started a consultation on a ‘Playing pitch strategy’. More details.

Lib Dems select Maajid Nawaz as candidate in ultra-close three-way marginal of Hampstead and Kilburn

I was really delighted to hear about this selection. For a whole host of reasons this is an excellent choice. Best of luck to Maajid Nawaz and the Hampstead and Kilburn team.

Snow Surprise – Whipsnade Zoo

This edition’s Whispnade Zoo animal picture is of a baby elephant playing in some snow. I didn’t know that Hemel Hempstead had a “snow centre” — but they do and they from time to time give snow to elephants.

Baby elephant in the snow

Why Microsoft’s reorganization is a bad idea | stratēchery by Ben Thompson

For an organisational structures geek like me this is a fascinating article about the differences between functional and divisional organisations and what kinds of businesses they are right for.

Sarah Teather: ‘I’m angry there are no alternative voices on immigration’

“If we step back from the things that are core to our values, we will allow public debate to move away from us, and the centre of gravity has moved somewhere else, and then the lack of our distinctive public voice making that argument makes it very difficult for other people who share our view to stand up and be counted.”

When Bjork Met Attenborough – Channel 4

I was thoroughly entertained by this documentary shown last Saturday. An exploration of the relationship between music and nature featuring two people who I admire greatly. I could have done with more interaction between the two of them — there wasn’t as much as the title promises — but what there was was lovely.

Luton Hats

I wanted to warmly welcome this new website that celebrates Luton and hat making. Luton has had a long association with the hat making industry. The town was essentially founded on the business of making straw hats. It is an industry that continues to be a part of the town’s economy today. However, I was surprised — and very pleased — to discover from this site just how many business in the hat industry there are in the town.

There are also some really fabulous photographs. This one shows a collection of hat blocks which are used to shape the felt.

Photo of hat blocks

Airport celebrates 75th birthday | Anglia – ITV News

Another key part of Luton’s industrial story is of-course the airport. This month it has been celebrating its 75th Birthday.

A very important baby boy born in London

Gay marriage first: How Ed got down on one knee to propose to Russell… and made a little piece of history

Congratulations to Caroline 🙂 And congratulations to Ed and Russell too.

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