Sunday, 31 May 2009

so many things about Basingstoke

This blogspot is hopefully about things that might interest and support the global classroom and the world community we all belong to. However, we can't join that group without recognising and celebrating our local community.

Twitter has enabled many tourist offices to big up their towns. Basingstoke has joined in. @basingstoke.

One link to the destination basingstoke site lists "30 things you may not know about Basingstoke"

Among the gems someone feels will make us go weak at the knees?

Festival Place was featured by Jeremy Clarkson in BBC’s Top Gear TV show in November 2008. (damned by association?)

Basingstoke and Deane won a Silver Gilt Award at the South & South East's 'In Bloom' Awards 2007 and 2008.

The wikipedia entry makes more interesting reading

I live in Basingstoke and generally its a good place. Lots of facilities, especially for the young. Two multi-screens, a world class concert hall, theatres, ice rink and great sporting facilities.

But again if you are young the public transport system absolutely stinks. I use buses all the time in London, but here in B, expect the last bus to be long before I get back. And a bus on Sunday? Forget it.

AND - a complete lack of individual character. An enormous shopping centre, with the same shops you find in every UK town. Lots of chain restaurants and pubs, but no little places to eat that you would find all over London. Lots of people have asked me to recommend a good place to eat. Its easy to find easy food but no place that stands out as unique. Happy to hear about good places that aren't pubs with a menu.

The town is bland and and to me our Museum says a lot of what's wrong. Milestones was built with millions of public money but they charge £7.50 to get in. It is billed as "Hampshire’s living history museum" but it seems to have forgotten what century we are in. The sort of experience that has transformed the free museums in London has been completely forgotten. No interactivity or use of new technologies. A real disappointment, although the cafe's teacakes seem to go down well according to reviews on the site.

So I love Basingstoke, and intend to celebrate it on these pages, but the local council really seems to have missed the point in its "big up pages".

If you live here, work here or just passed by on the M3 one day in the summer, let me and the Council know what you would like for the place. Hopefully not another Festival Place.

Friday, 29 May 2009

and an older cartoon from the Herald

Zuma, Zapiro and Satire

the banned documentary link to video

Lots of stuff in the last few days that gets you worrying about the power of the new government in South Africa. The documentary that has now been banned twice, the threat of legal action over the Zapiro cartoon and the puerile clashes between Zille and Malema.

My point? When I first saw the accompanying cartoon I was shocked and a little chilled. But satire shouldn't be easy. In the UK we had the Spitting Image thing and at first those of us who loved it felt we were being edgy and out there. Then we discovered that some of the Tory politicians portrayed in puppet form wanted to buy the rubber version!

Zuma seems to be working hard to reassure people that he is really working for all. Threatening to take Zapiro to court does him no favours. And Malema!

Thursday, 28 May 2009

the Stephen Fry story-Carry on Twittering?

stephenfryOoh missus, me abs and me pecs!

Stephen's latest tweet (thursday 28th noon)

Stephen shows links and new Twitter utilities at his best. But sometimes......

Read all of his updates to see the best and the worst of Twitter. It's fine having the trivial when you are the famous Stephen Fry but if you are an ordinary punter from Hampshire what value this tweet:

Afternoon all, Hubbys gone to Shanklin for a couple of hours so Im left at home to Twitter!!! Should be ironing though ha ha" @Linda100 (and she has 300 followers!)

tools, ideas and innovations from some great people

The people on Twitter who have been the most useful to me in recommending
sites, tools and ideas.

My little fave bunch.

and of course @stephenfry !!

the great TWITTER debate

As a late arrival to this community, I have sometimes seemed over enthusiastic. But there are so many silly things said about what goes online, as well as some very silly twitterers. But I don't think people in education have seen what we can all do with this. Lots of pioneers but the wagons are a long way behind.

So some initial thoughts while they are still in my head.

1. Did some searching for refs to BASINGSTOKE and discovered some useful ideas and people and one twitterer who had nothing to say but had over 1000 followers! Its really easy to see why people who just dip their toes in the water get the wrong impression.

2. On the day of the SOUTH AFRICA elections in April, I watched the voting on BBC News24, SkyNews and AlJazeera. All interesting but not nearly as informative as the tweets from people actually lining up to vote. People in Cape Town were telling each other via TWITTER what queues were the longest and heading off for another station.

The Guardian correspondent in Africa wrote stuff for the paper but in his tweets he gave us much more interesting info. (@SmithinAfrica) . Where else could you get descriptions of what was happening as people arrived for ZUMA's slightly premature celebration party that evening? And I was able to pass on to those who were interested, what the media in the UK was reporting. Some of it was just plain inaccurate.

3. The power of Stephen Fry!! Next post

me (sort of...)

me (sort of...)