Goo-d Stuff

I love this amazing Sheffield-themed design and digital art stuff from Steel City-based designer and digital artist Matt Cockayne, t/a Goo Design.

I freely admit that most of the mugs, t-shirts etc will probably mean a limited amount to anyone from outside Sheffield, but I was toying with doing this post when the man himself tweeted this, which swung it immediately.


That is, of course, R2-D2, clearly displaying amorous feelings for a Bessemer Converter – one of the staples of steel production in Sheffield since the mid-1800s. However, given the size difference (here’s my daughter standing underneath a reasonably sized model)…

…this probably “in’t t’droid he were lookin’ fer”.

Click here to have a look at Matt’s work and the products available on his shopify site.

P.S. Having been brought up around both the initial Star Wars franchise and the Kelham Island Industrial Museum, I am astounded, somewhat incredulous and somewhat disappointed that I had never spotted this now strikingly obvious R2D2/Bessemer Converter similarity before.

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Stevie’s Positive Thoughts

Happy stuff from robot-voiced super scientist Steven “Happy Happy Joy Joy” Hawking this week:

Professor Stephen Hawking says a disaster on Earth within the next 1000 or 10,000 years is a “near certainty”.

Oh good.

“We face a number of threats: nuclear war, global warming and genetically engineered viruses,” Hawking told the Radio Times ahead of his BBC Reith Lecture.

“Although the chance of a disaster on planet Earth in a given year may be quite low, it adds up over time, to a near certainty in the next 1000 or 10,000 years.”

The first sad thing about Professor Hawking’s warning is that he tends to be correct on the stuff that he shares with us, his work on the wave function of the universe, singularities of gravitational collapse and cosmology, and the development of irregularities in a single bubble inflationary universe springing immediately to mind.

The second sad thing about his warning is that it was an answer to a question posed by a schoolboy who wanted to know whether the world was likely to end at the hand of humans or from a natural disaster.

Is it just me, or should schoolboys rather not be thinking about that sort of thing? They should be thinking about whose side they’re going to be on in the break time footy match, or – if they’re older – Katie* Chapman in the Lower Sixth. Not impending doom. Not the end of civilisation.
No man – something’s up there. This schoolboy needs some sort of assessment before he goes postal on his classmates, especially now he’s had this sort of answer from the world’s leading genius.

* Or Keith Chapman. Or both. Each to their own. 

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Return to the Oos Kaap

Last year’s journey to the Wild Coast of the Eastern Cape apparently proved to be such a success with the kids that having offered them the opportunity to return, it looks like we’re going to head back there this winter.

Last time was memorable in many ways: some good, some not. Even the journey there gave us two road related blog posts. This time around, we’ll know which activities we need to book in advance, how the resort works and have the opportunity to catch up on the stuff we missed out on last time.

The birdlife round there is spectacular – hence this quota photo of a Giant (it’s not actually that big) Kingfisher* (which has the excellent Linnean name of Megaceryle maxima – half Roman Emperor, half Transformer robot villain) – and with the new camera, I’m already looking forward to some pointing and shooting.

Anyway, that’s something positive to think about (if not the drive), albeit a loooong way off right now.

* Other kingfishers on show last time around included the Pied and the Brown-hooded.

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DA leader Mmusi Maimane makes “a keynote speech” on Race and Identity in his party and in South Africa, and suddenly Twitter is “mysteriously” unavailable?

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Could it be that the ANC have blocked access so that no-one was able to hear or engage with this landmark address?

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Probably not, to be honest.

UPDATE: Still, the fact that this was a worldwide outage hasn’t stopped some people (namely Mmusi’s wife) from thinking the worst:

Do you really think they’re that bothered? Really?
Eish. Bit of a stretch.

7 Comments | Tagged , , , , | Posted in in the news, politics, that's a bit mad

Here and There

It’s no surprise that it’s around this time of year that the meteorological differences between my hometown and my adopted hometown are at their most distinct and obvious. That said, it’s always something of interest when there’s concurrently snow in Sheffield and a heatwave in Cape Town. Yesterday was one of those days.

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That’s Sheffield on the left, by the way.
Eagle-eyed readers with knowledge of the False Bay coastline (it’s a small subset, but it must apply to someone), will already have noted that Fishhoek, Simonstown and the rest of the Peninsula are missing from the horizon on that apparently rather washed out second shot. That’s due to the thick smoke from the fires currently burning in Elgin over the weekend, (as you can see from the helpfully annotated image below).
Sadly, I don’t think this view will be quite the same a it was a couple of weeks ago.


Meanwhile, as Flickr friend SheffDave’s photostream confirms, things were altogether colder and whiter in the Steel City.

Personally, I don’t particularly mind either sort of weather, as long as I know it’s coming. The effects of the snow and cold can be overcome with warm clothing (or finding a pub with a fire); the somewhat unpleasant heat by wearing fewer clothes (or being lucky enough to live in a house with a swimming pool).

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