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They're poets and.. they kinda do know it.

byron.jpegIf you've been sitting at home longing for an injection of modern culture, only you sort of can't really be bothered to pick up a book and read, and it's too cold to trapse over the river to the Tate Modern, then Poetcasting could be the thing for you. Poetcasting, as you can probably guess from the name, is basically a selection of different poets reading out their own works, (so as you can expect, there's a large amount of relatively new and unknown writers in there), and making them available for download in the form of a Podcast.

They also have the odd well-known poet, and have established a presense in the exciting world of social networking (get at them on (myspace facebook and twitter), therefore making it easy to be kept up to date on the world of poetry via various news-feeds. It's actually quite a fun way to spend an hour or two.

Posted by on January 22, 2009 4:41 PM in Culture news| Websites
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Cute stuff

Paean to the Polaroid & its Austrian Saviour

Me and My cool CamAnyone who knows me will be familiar with the larger than average bags I carry around principally for the purposes of carrying a massively clunky plastic PINK polaroid camera.. It has been bashed, had whiskey spilt on it, facepaint dripped on it, and taken up obscene amounts of luggage space travelling to, amongst other less exotic destinations, Sydney, Melbourne, San Francisco, Philly, and New York. I've illustrated this entry with some of my favourite polasnaps of recent times. My room is also a shrine to these little world windows.

I have had a special place in my heart for the polaroid since I was first shown this pola1.jpglivejournal community, Postmarks, which centres around the exchange of artfully-taken polaroid pictures with cryptic descriptions, sent in the post across America between a couple - you don't find out their relationship but they get pretty deep - then lovingly scanned for the world to see.There is no dialogue on the blog apart from these images, which is perhaps what makes it so captivating.

Me on the Bus, NYE 2007In 2003 I bought the above camera, from eBay, of course, which came free with a pair of pink sunglasses that predated last summer's Ray Ban revival substantially. I lost those glasses but touch wood, as yet I've kept a hold of the pink beast. Of course we were all despondent not so long ago when it was announced that Polaroid would no longer be making film, I still managed to find the stuff in my local branch of Boots. How long would stocks last, though?

In the meantime, the Young Future People use apps like the rather cute although infuratingly mac only (mac only.. pfftshh) to 'polafy' their digital snaps. Cool, yes, but you can't stick those on your walls for shit!

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Posted by on January 19, 2009 5:06 PM in Culture news| Cute stuff
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Top 5

Top 5 blogs - 2008 in review

I wish I had the presence of mind to write decent, timely end-of-year review blog posts.

But I don't.

Somehow, despite my best intentions, December is a very solipsistic month where I'm constantly rushing to catch up with social events, gift-buying, and errant scraps of wrapping paper.

The closest I come to annual hindsight during December is the feverish counting up of my remaining days of leave.

This year I managed a vague letter to 2008, but the authors of the blogs I regularly read have examined the past year with far keener eyes and much better penmanship.

So please allow me to share with you my personal top 5 blogs reviewing 2008.

These are they...

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In The News...

New Year news roundup: Norway bans sex buying, UK housewives loose on the internet, Barbie turns 50

The first of January is always a slow news day (one of the main media stories on The Guardian is that Shooting Stars was watched by 3m people), but apparently Norway and UK housewives have been busy.

Norway has passed a law making the purchase of sex illegal in an attempt to stamp out sex tourism and trafficking. These laws target clients - prostitutes, whereas, are to be offered free healthcare and education instead.

British housewives spend more than 47% of their time online, making them - and I love this phrase - mouse potatoes, and Barbie turns 50. My, doesn't she look good for her age, clearly she's had some work done, etc.

Of course the Guardian's Barbie-through-the-ages gallery doesn't compare with our own gallery of limited edition Barbies.

Now get away with you. I have a goose to cook.

If only that were a euphemism...

In The News...

Wednesday news: boo to 999 timewaster Linda Lusardi, save the tomboys

Cor, women drivers, eh?

I have a head/desk moment whenever I hear of women living up to the stereotype (even the good ones, like multitasking, but that could just be because I can't multitask. I can barely unitask), but this has to take the biscuit.

Actress Linda Lusardi called 999 from her car. Why? Because she was stuck in traffic on the motorway and wanted to know if she could go onto the hard shoulder so that she wouldn't be late for her pantomime.

Do it with me. Come on. Head. Desk.

But come over the jump for more worrying news about the phasing-out of tomboys in modern children's entertainment.

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Posted by Robyn Wilder on December 31, 2008 8:00 AM in Celebrities| Culture news| In The News...| Robyn Wilder
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Women artists

The wonderful world of Kate Beaton

Now, I hate to use the words "quirky" or "whimsical" to describe another woman's work, because they seem to be bywords for "shit" or "pretty but insignificant".

However. Kate Beaton's brilliant web comics have been buoying me up for months now - theyre stuffed full of genuine quirk and whimsy, with their Shetland pony adventures, unlikely exploits of minor historical characters and Kate's own conversations with a younger self. And they're not shit or insignificant, they're very, very funny.


Come over the jump to see some of my favourites.

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Picture question: what's this?

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This Weekend

Women's magazine exhibition at the Women's Library in London - Between the Covers


Between the Covers is a free exhibition at the Women's Library in east London.

Between the Covers chronicles how women's magazines have evolved over the years - from The Ladies Diary of the 17th Century, through the housewife publications and feminist bibles of the 1950s and 60s, to the present day glossies and e-zines (Dollymix even features!).

The Women's Library is a library and cultural centre in East London. They show films, hold workshops and talks, and put on two main exhibitions a year.

More after the jump...

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Yay Or Nay

9/11 World Trade Center plush toys, urban knitting and general crafty delights


Now, I don't have anything against knitters. Some of my best friends knit. In fact, one of my best friends, the fabulous Tchatchke, knitted me this fetching beanie to keep my thoughts warm in winter. But the sad fact is I have needle envy. I can't knit, sew or crochet - I wish I could, but I don't have the patience and my fingers won't obey me. And I can't imagine the thought and care that must go into crafting a piece of work.

So what to make of these homemade 9/11 plush toys by Johnny and Jenny Ryan? (More after the jump)

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Posted by Robyn Wilder on December 15, 2008 6:22 PM in Crafty| Culture news| Ethics| Robyn Wilder| Yay Or Nay
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Turner Prize 2008: Featuring Nick Cave, Homer Simpson and Felix The Cat?

leckey&cave.jpgThe Turner Prize completely passed me by this year. I usually have at least a cursory glance at the entrants' work to see if they're any good or utter crap (modern art really only falls in to those two categories, no?), but it was only this morning I realised the competition had come and gone.

The Turner Prize is a funny one. Now that every kind of arts-related contest has a text voting system built in for maximum public interaction, any award that gets handed out on the say-so of experts or industry professionals (see also the Mercury Music Prize) tends to get some degree of flak from the general public, but the Turner managed to be controversial even before X Factor came along to sabotage our Saturday nights.

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