Stuff that occurs to me

All of my 'how to' posts are tagged here. The most popular posts are about blocking and private accounts on Twitter, also the science communication jobs list. None of the science or medical information I might post to this blog should be taken as medical advice (I'm not medically trained).

Think of this blog as a sort of nursery for my half-baked ideas hence 'stuff that occurs to me'.

Contact: @JoBrodie Email: jo DOT brodie AT gmail DOT com

Science in London: The 2016 scientific society talks in London blog post

Friday, 21 June 2013

Nifty tool from Alzheimer's Research UK and Tilt - for people to find out more about dementia research

Tonight I took my smart casual trousers to the Royal College of Physicians to see "The Lab" which is a rather nice new website thing from Alzheimer's Research UK and developed by Tilt. They've been working on it for five months and I think they've done a really good job.




It reminded me of a really good version of Second Life. It's immersively interactive in that at the beginning you are in a virtual room - you can use the mouse scroll button to move through the room and as you do so various options pop up (not in an annoying way) and you can click on them to see more, or keep on moving around the room to see other options. There's a panel on the left which tells you where you are and what else there is to see - I suggested, though it may not be particularly useful for other people, greying out the bits that you've seen.

The Lab is all about charity science communication (yay!) and giving people information about the dementia research that Alzheimer's Research UK funds but also a 'bigger picture' overview of the different types of research that there are, such as the stages of clinical trials, what information you can get (and can't get) from animal research etc. I am hugely in favour of this sort of thing in general and I thought the layout was very good. There are five or six sections with some subdivisions and you can learn about research in fruitflies or look at the brain under a microscope.

One of the things that I thought was a particular nice touch is that if you log in with Facebook (to be honest I'd never do this myself) it will take photos of your friends and apply them to 'photo albums' on a 'table' in one part of the room. As the pages of the photo album turn your friends disappear - a poignant if slightly spooky hint of what it's like to lose people to Alzheimer's. I thought that was genius.

I do feel as a person who likes a spot of critical appraisal that I ought to find something to say that could be improved but to be honest I probably only spent half an hour with it and thought it was fab, perhaps I'll come up with other suggestions at another time. The site has been developed with people affected by dementia but I'd be interested to hear what all my HCI (human-computer interaction) and usability chums think of it as well.

One of the things I checked was to see if new stuff can be added and yes, it's customisable - that's one of the dangers of these things, that they look fab to start with but rapidly go out of date. I hope there's the infrastructure in place to keep it up to date even if staff move teams etc. On each section there's a tab marked news which will bring information that's relevant to whatever section you're in - that's a nice idea and will be easier to manage if it can be automated.

Twenty years ago I did an MSc in Neuroscience at the Institute of Psychiatry so I wanted to find out how dementia diagnosis has changed over the years. Back then I think it wasn't possible to diagnose Alzheimer's (or distinguish among the different types of dementia) without the person's brain becoming available after their death. I think I probably need to find out a bit more about the different types of tests that can be done (both verbal tests and more sensitive brain scans) but not while delightful people are offering me wine and tiny little canapes.

One thing I didn't know or had forgotten is that dementia-related damage can take several years (around 15 years) before symptoms become noticeable. This isn't too surprising as it's similar with Type 2 diabetes (in fact many people diagnosed with the condition are already experiencing the effects of complications of diabetes).

There was talk of some drugs that had looked like they might show promise but were found not to be much use when the disease state was more obvious. It's possible (by no means guaranteed) that these drugs could prove useful in arresting the early development of the condition if it can be picked up earlier, but I suppose all drug companies say that ;) Screening everyone is not a fantastic idea but in some higher risk groups it might be useful.

A couple of people were chatting about the future possibility of a blood test for dementia - this piqued my curiosity because of the blood brain barrier which tends to keep things in the brain very separate from the rest of the body. Obviously there are things that are small / fat-soluble / membrane-channel-amenable enough to go wherever they please but I've no idea what such a test might end up being and what 'thing' is being monitored. I understand there's a CSF (cerebro-spinal fluid / spinal tap) type of test available, but ugh - I can't imagine being overly in favour of that for me or any loved ones.

I also suggested, for the nerdier viewers, some links to more in-depth information. There are some fantastic pictures of cells and brain 'stuff' from the researchers that Alzheimer's UK funds with a brief explanation of what's going on. Possibly some visitors will want to know more about these, but it's good that the site isn't bogged down with too much chatter.

There's a nice video of one of the researchers going about her daily work, with purple gloves and that pinkish coloured cell medium (Dulbecco's MEM?) - made me miss working in the lab a teeny tiny bit (though my equipment was largely glassware from the 1950s as I did lipid chemistry not molecular biology).

I think that any video hosted on YouTube can be captioned, though haven't investigated it too much, but I suggested this anyway - there was music in the room so I couldn't really hear what the researcher was saying in her video. I also passed on the rather good tip I learned from Kat from Cancer Research UK which is that podcasts benefit from a transcript - for at least two reasons. One it helps people know how to spell technical terms if they want to go searching and two, it makes the content Google-searchable in a way that the audio isn't.

What remains to be seen is what do people affected by dementia think about the resource and will they use it / like it. It's true enough that lots of people with a long-term health condition are very, very interested in research (naturally many are exceptionally interested in a cure and a bit disappointed by anything that doesn't relate to that) but also many are more immediately interested in maintaining the quality of their daily life and managing their condition well.

Fingers crossed tomorrow's launch goes well and that people enjoy playing around with the new tool. Well done to Dr Laura Phipps who developed the project and also congrats to Marcus from the fundraising team who walked me through the tool and was super knowledgeable about dementia too.

Here's some other stuff I've written about charity science communication:

The Guardian have also written about the new site too
www.guardian.co.uk/society/2013/jun/21/alzheimers-research-dementia-lab


Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Woolwich sur mer - the delights of the Royal Docks for plane spotting

Royal Victoria Dock runs alongside the Excel Centre and at the end of it there are two perimeter fences keeping you well away from London City Airport, which sits next to Royal Albert Dock. The Victoria Dock is on the final approach and reasonably small aircraft come thundering in to the airport at a brisk 5.5 degrees instead of a flatter 3 at Heathrow.

You can get up close to the perimeter fence which has a stetch of raised lighting at one section, leading towards the runway (and perfectly aligned with it). If you stand there and look up you'll get a fantastic view of the aircraft going overhead. Between the Victoria Dock and the perimeter fence is the underpass for the Connaught Bridge, that's where I was.

Here are a couple of videos I took. It was a lovely sunny day today so I pretended I was at the St Maarten airport, that's the one where massive aircraft whoosh over the heads of beachgoers from about 15ft before landing on the runway. I'd quite like to take some videos of that.






View Larger Map


On the bottom right quarter of the map above there's a slightly darker beige bit, that's the start of the runway. I was standing beneath / just outside of Connaught Bridge, facing towards the darker beige runway as aircraft came up the water on the left of the picture (that's Royal Victoria Dock), passed me overhead and then onto the runway with Royal Albert Dock on the aircraft's left.

Monday, 17 June 2013

London: Open Air Cinema Screenings 2013

Oooh. Oooooooh. Open Air Cinema in the Outdoors with Movie Screens Outside is the best thing ever and they've already started screening some of them in London. Every year I collect the ones I hear about into a Google Site thing I set up a year or so ago (openaircinemascreens) and ping them here too.

Here's everything in London that I've found (so far). What a fantastic array of outdoor film opportunity! Note that The Nomad also have showings in Rochester and other places but I've just included London (and Bexley) ones so have a look at their website for other ones.

I can't pretend that I'm not a teeny bit disappointed that Jurassic Park isn't there, though I did enjoy watching that in Bexley a couple of years ago in a lovely spot. Also I'd really, really like to see The Mummy on the big screen again, it's got Brendan Fraser, a Jerry Goldsmith score (a lovely example below for your listening pleasure) and Jonathan Hyde advising against reading from The Book.

Post updated - 13 July 2013
I counted the films listed below, there are about 240 screenings!! :-o

Post updated - 6 August 2013
New plan... it's the 20th anniversary of Stargate next year. The film isn't listed on Filmbank which makes it harder for open air screenings to show it, let's get it added :D 

Previous posts on this topic
Open air cinema screens in London (11 April 2010)



TICKETS AND INFORMATION
*****************************
Pop Up Screens http://www.popupscreens.co.uk/whats-on/ 
Chiswick House and Gardens http://www.chgt.org.uk/index.asp?Pageid=45
Bootstrap Company (Dalston Roof Top) http://www.bootstrapcompany.co.uk/26_event_listings
The Sunset Cinema (Sutton High Street) http://www.sutton.gov.uk/suttonpress/index.aspx?articleid=17964
Shuffle Festival (films curated by Danny Boyle) at St Clement's, Bow http://www.shufflefestival.com/programme.html

Note: DRP in the list below refers to the Bootstrap Company's Dalston Roof Top cinema where the film shown is kept secret until the last minute, so I don't know what any of them are.

May 2013
8 May - DRP [Film4Free] - Dalston Roof Top
15 May - DRP [Film4Free] - Dalston Roof Top
21 May - DRP [Film4Free] - Dalston Roof Top

June 2013 - note location, then see tickets and information section above to buy tickets
4 June - DRP [Film4Free] - Dalston Roof Top
11 June - DRP [Film4Free] - Dalston Roof Top
16 June - Ted [Rooftop Film Club] - Queen of Hoxton, Shoreditch
16 June - Brief Encounter [Rooftop Film Club] - Kensington Rooftop
17 June - Troll Hunter [Rooftop Film Club] - Queen of Hoxton, Shoreditch
18 June - Empire Records [Rooftop Film Club] - Queen of Hoxton, Shoreditch
18 June - Juno [Rooftop Film Club] - Bussey Building, Peckham Rye
18 June - DRP [Film4Free] - Dalston Roof Top
19 June - Beasts of the Southern Wild [Rooftop Film Club] - Queen of Hoxton, Shoreditch
19 June - Drive [Rooftop Film Club] - Bussey Building, Peckham Rye
20 June - Dazed and Confused [Rooftop Film Club] - Bussey Building, Peckham Rye
21 June - Wayne's World [Rooftop Film Club] - Bussey Building, Peckham Rye e
22 June - (500) Days of Summer [Rooftop Film Club] - Bussey Building, Peckham Rye
22 June - Queen live at Wembley [Rooftop Film Club] - Netil House Rooftop
23 June - Old School [Rooftop Film Club] - Queen of Hoxton, Shoreditch
23 June - I Give It A Year [Rooftop Film Club] - Kensington Rooftop
24 June - Dazed and Confused [Rooftop Film Club] - Queen of Hoxton, Shoreditch
25 June - The Lost Boys [Rooftop Film Club] - Queen of Hoxton, Shoreditch
25 June - Moonrise Kingdom [Rooftop Film Club] - Bussey Building, Peckham Rye
26 June - Shame [Rooftop Film Club] - Bussey Building, Peckham Rye
27 June - Breakfast Club [Rooftop Film Club] - Bussey Building, Peckham Rye
28 June - Withnail and I [Rooftop Film Club] - Bussey Building, Peckham Rye
29 June - The Truman Show [Rooftop Film Club] - Bussey Building, Peckham Rye
30 June - Zoolander [Rooftop Film Club] - Bussey Building, Peckham Rye
30 June - This is Spinal Tap [Rooftop Film Club] - Queen of Hoxton, Shoreditch

July 2013
- note location, then see tickets and information section above to buy tickets
1 July - Midnight in Paris [Rooftop Film Club] - Queen of Hoxton, Shoreditch
2 July - Mean Girls [Rooftop Film Club] - Bussey Building, Peckham Rye
2 July - Flashdance [Rooftop Film Club] - Queen of Hoxton, Shoreditch
3 July - Brief Encounter [Rooftop Film Club] - Bussey Building, Peckham Rye
4 July - Team America [Rooftop Film Club] - Bussey Building, Peckham Rye
5 July - Reservoir Dogs [Rooftop Film Club] - Bussey Building, Peckham Rye
6 July - Labyrinth [Rooftop Film Club] - Bussey Building, Peckham Rye
7 July - Big [Rooftop Film Club] - Queen of Hoxton, Shoreditch
8 July - Moon [Rooftop Film Club] - Queen of Hoxton, Shoreditch
9 July - DRP [Film4Free] - Dalston Roof Top
9 July - Casablanca [Rooftop Film Club] - Bussey Building, Peckham Rye
10 July - Sightseers [Rooftop Film Club] - Queen of Hoxton, Shoreditch
10 July - Dr Strangelove [Rooftop Film Club] - Bussey Building, Peckham Rye
11 July - Ferris Bueller's Day Off [Rooftop Film Club] - Bussey Building, Peckham Rye
12 July - Top Gun [Rooftop Film Club] - PBussey Building, Peckham Rye
12 July - The Big Lebowski [Pop Up Screens] - Bishop's Park, Fulham
13 July - Zoolander [Pop Up Screens] - Bishop's Park, Fulham
13 July - Midnight in Paris [Rooftop Film Club] - PBussey Building, Peckham Rye
14 July - Raiders of the Lost Ark [Pop Up Screens] - Bishop's Park, Fulham
14 July - School of Rock [The Nomad] - Ealing Summer Screenings
14 July - This is Spinal Tap [The Nomad] - Ealing Summer Screenings
14 July - Psycho [Rooftop Film Club] - Queen of Hoxton, Shoreditch
15 July - Hitchcock [Rooftop Film Club] - Queen of Hoxton, Shoreditch
15 July - Adam Buxton's Best of Bug: The Evolution of Music Videos [The Nomad] - Ealing Summer Screenings
16 July - Devil Wears Prada [Rooftop Film Club] - Queen of Hoxton, Shoreditch
16 July - DRP [Film4Free] - Dalston Roof Top
16 July - Blue Valentine [Rooftop Film Club] - Bussey Building, Peckham Rye
17 July - Evil Dead [Rooftop Film Club] - Bussey Building, Peckham Rye
18 July - Seven Psychopaths [Rooftop Film Club] - Bussey Building, Peckham Rye
19 July - Empire Records [Pop Up Screens] - Wormholt Park, Shepherd's Bush
19 July - The Goonies [Rooftop Film Club] - Bussey Building, Peckham Rye
20 July - The Wedding Singer [Pop Up Screens] - Wormholt Park, Shepherd's Bush
20 July - Back to the Future [Rooftop Film Club] - Bussey Building, Peckham Rye
21 July - Star Trek II Wrath of Khan [Pop Up Screens] - Wormholt Park, Shepherd's Bush
21 July - Anchorman [Luna Cinema] - One New Change London
21 July - Coming to America [Rooftop Film Club] - Queen of Hoxton, Shoreditch
22 July - Easy Rider [Rooftop Film Club] - Queen of Hoxton, Shoreditch
23 July - Grease 2 [Rooftop Film Club] - Queen of Hoxton, Shoreditch
23 July - Bridesmaids [Rooftop Film Club] - Bussey Building, Peckham Rye
23 July - DRP [Film4Free] - Dalston Roof Top
24 July - Tyrannosaur [Rooftop Film Club] - Queen of Hoxton, Shoreditch
24 July - Jaws [Luna Cinema] - Brockwell Lido
24 July - Let the Right One In [Rooftop Film Club] - Bussey Building, Peckham Rye
25 July - film to be decided by public vote [Luna Cinema] - Pinewood Studios
25 July - Life is Beautiful [Rooftop Film Club] - Bussey Building, Peckham Rye
25 July - Fake Addition [Not Real Film] - added because someone always steals these posts, Ealing.
25 July - Silver Linings Playbook [Rooftop Film Club] - Queen of Hoxton, Shoreditch
26 July - Anchorman [Pop Up Screens] - Morden Hall Park, Morden
26 July - Labyrinth [Luna Cinema] - Dulwich Park
26 July - Argo [Rooftop Film Club] - Bussey Building, Peckham Rye
27 July - Grease [Pop Up Screens] - Morden Hall Park, Morden
27 July - Grease [Luna Cinema] - Hampton Court Palace
27 July - Ghostbusters [The Sunset Cinema] - Sutton High Street
27 July - Silver Linings Playbook [Rooftop Film Club] - Bussey Building, Peckham Rye
28 July - Back to the Future [Pop Up Screens] - Morden Hall Park, Morden
28 July - Some Like It Hot [Luna Cinema] - Hampton Court Palace
28 July - Meet The Parents [Rooftop Film Club] - Queen of Hoxton, Shoreditch
29 July - Memento [Rooftop Film Club] - Queen of Hoxton, Shoreditch
30 July - Bridesmaids [Rooftop Film Club] - Queen of Hoxton, Shoreditch
30 July - DRP [Film4Free] - Dalston Roof Top
30 July - Amelie [Rooftop Film Club] - Bussey Building, Peckham Rye
31 July - The Wrestler [Rooftop Film Club] - Queen of Hoxton, Shoreditch
31 July - Trance [Rooftop Film Club] - Bussey Building, Peckham Rye
31 July - Anchorman [Rooftop Film Club] - Springbridge Car Park, Ealing Broadway


August 2013 - note location, then see tickets and information section above to buy tickets
1 August - Top Gun [Luna Cinema] - Kensington Palace
1 August - Labyrinth [Rooftop Film Club] - Springbridge Car Park, Ealing Broadway
1 August - The Big Lebowski [Rooftop Film Club] - Bussey Building, Peckham Rye
2 August - Skyfall [Luna Cinema] - Kensington Palace
2 August - Usual Suspects [Pop Up Screens] - Manor House Gardens, Lewisham
2 August - Top Gun [Rooftop Film Club] - Springbridge Car Park, Ealing Broadway
2 August - The Usual Suspects [Rooftop Film Club] - Bussey Building, Peckham Rye
3 August - Casablanca [Luna Cinema] - Kensington Palace
3 August - Jaws [Pop Up Screens] - Manor House Gardens, Lewisham
3 August - Jaws [Rooftop Film Club] - Bussey Building, Peckham Rye
3 August - The Goonies [Rooftop Film Club] - Springbridge Car Park, Ealing Broadway
3 August - Grease [The Sunset Cinema] - Sutton High Street
4 August - Labyrinth [Pop Up Screens] - Manor House Gardens, Lewisham
4 August - Roadhouse [Rooftop Film Club] - Queen of Hoxton, Shoreditch
4 August - The Graduate [Rooftop Film Club] - Springbridge Car Park, Ealing Broadway
5 August - The 40 Year Old Virgin [Rooftop Film Club] - Queen of Hoxton, Shoreditch
6 August - DRP [Film4Free] - Dalston Roof Top
6 August - Moonrise Kingdom [Rooftop Film Club] - Queen of Hoxton, Shoreditch
6 August - The Notebook [Rooftop Film Club] - Bussey Building, Peckham Rye
7 August - The Neverending Story [The Nomad] - Coram Secret Garden
7 August - Dirty Dancing [Luna Cinema] - Hall Place, Bexley
7 August - There's Something About Mary [Rooftop Film Club] - Queen of Hoxton, Shoreditch
7 August - Breakfast at Tiffany's [Rooftop Film Club] - Springbridge Car Park, Ealing Broadway
7 August - The Intouchables [Rooftop Film Club] - Bussey Building, Peckham Rye (2011 film)
7 August - Back to the Future [The Sunset Cinema] - Sutton High Street
8 August - About Time [Film4] - Somerset House
8 August - E.T. The Extra Terrestrial [Luna Cinema] - Opera Holland Park
8 August - The Big Lebowski [Rooftop Film Club] - Springbridge Car Park, Ealing Broadway
8 August - Memento [Rooftop Film Club] - Bussey Building, Peckham Rye
8 August - Shallow Grave [Shuffle Festival], St Clement's, Bow
9 August - What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? [Film4] - Somerset House
9 August - Priscilla, Queen of the Desert [The Nomad] - Homelanz, Boston Manor Park
9 August - Terminator [Pop Up Screens] - Ravenscourt Park, Hammersmith
9 August - Breakfast At Tiffany's [Luna Cinema] - Opera Holland Park
9 August - The Lost Boys [Rooftop Film Club] - Springbridge Car Park, Ealing Broadway
9 August - Romeo and Juliet [Rooftop Film Club] - Bussey Building, Peckham Rye
9 August - The Long Good Friday [Shuffle Festival] - St Clement's, Bow
10 August - West Side Story [Luna Cinema] - Opera Holland Park
10 August - Moulin Rouge! [Pop Up Screens] - Ravenscourt Park, Hammersmith
10 August - Mean Girls + Carrie + The Loved Ones [Film4] - Somerset House
10 August - Silver Linings Playbook [Rooftop Film Club] - Springbridge Car Park, Ealing Broadway
10 August - Moulin Rouge [Rooftop Film Club] - Bussey Building, Peckham Rye
10 August - Withnail & I [Shuffle Festival] - St Clement's, Bow
11 August - A night of silent films [Luna Cinema] - Opera Holland Park
11 August - Mad Max [The Nomad] - Homelanz, Boston Manor Park
11 August - The Untouchables [Film4] - Somerset House (Brian de Palma)
11 August - Top Gun [Pop Up Screens] - Ravenscourt Park, Hammersmith
11 August - The Artist [Rooftop Film Club] - Springbridge Car Park, Ealing Broadway
11 August - One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest [Shuffle Festival] - St Clement's, Bow
12 August - Guys and Dolls [Film4] - Somerset House
12 August - Weird Science [Rooftop Film Club] - Queen of Hoxton, Shoreditch
12 August - Slumdog Millionaire [Shuffle Festival] - St Clement's, Bow
13 August - The Way Way Back [Film4] - Somerset House
13 August - DRP [Film4Free] - Dalston Roof Top
13 August - 10 Things I Hate About You [Rooftop Film Club] - Queen of Hoxton, Shoreditch
13 August - Breakfast at Tiffany's [Rooftop Film Club] - Bussey Building, Peckham Rye
13 August - Frankenstein National Theatre [Shuffle Festival] - St Clement's, Bow
14 August - Kes [Film4] - Somerset House
14 August - The Silence of The Lambs [Rooftop Film Club] - Queen of Hoxton, Shoreditch
14 August - Pan's Labyrinth [Rooftop Film Club] - Bussey Building, Peckham Rye
14 August - The Italian Job [The Sunset Cinema] - Sutton High Street
14 August - Attack the Block [Shuffle Festival] - St Clement's, Bow
15 August - Throne of Blood [Film4] - Somerset House
15 August - Kill Bill Vol 1 [Rooftop Film Club] - Bussey Building, Peckham Rye
15 August - Trance [Shuffle Festival] - St Clement's, Bow
16 August - Predator + Gremlins 2: The New Batch [Film4] - Somerset House
16 August - Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels [Pop Up Screens] - South Park, Parson's Green
16 August - True Romance [Rooftop Film Club] - Bussey Building, Peckham Rye
16 August - Trainspotting [Shuffle Festival] - St Clement's, Bow
17 August - The Goonies [Pop Up Screens] - South Park, Parson's Green
17 August - Badlands + Raising Arizona [Film4] - Somerset House
17 August - Stand By Me [The Nomad] - Queen's Park
17 August - The Goonies [Luna Cinema] - Battersea Park
17 August - Pulp Fiction [Rooftop Film Club] - Bussey Building, Peckham Rye
17 August - London: The Modern Babylon [Shuffle Festival] - St Clement's, Bow
18 August - Top Gun [Luna Cinema] - Battersea Park
18 August - Mean Girls [Pop Up Screens] - South Park, Parson's Green
18 August - Crazy Stupid Love [Film4] - Somerset House
18 August - Donnie Darko [Rooftop Film Club] - Queen of Hoxton, Shoreditch
18 August - Batman Begins [The Nomad] - Bushy Park
18 August - Elephant Man [Shuffle Festival] - St Clement's, Bow
19 August - The Red Shoes [Film4] - Somerset House
19 August - The Never Ending Story [Rooftop Film Club] - Queen of Hoxton, Shoreditch
20 August - Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid [Film4] - Somerset House
20 August - Argo [Luna Cinema] One New Change, London
20 August - Little Miss Sunshine [Rooftop Film Club] - Queen of Hoxton, Shoreditch
20 August - Some Like It Hot [Rooftop Film Club] - Bussey Building, Peckham Rye
21 August - Prince Avalanche [Film4] - Somerset House
21 August - The Kid [The Nomad] - Coram Secret Garden
21 August - Unbreakable [Rooftop Film Club] - Queen of Hoxton, Shoreditch
21 August - City of God [Rooftop Film Club] - Bussey Building, Peckham Rye
22 August - The Motorcycle Diaries [The Nomad] - Horniman Museum and Gardens
22 August - The Look of Love [Rooftop Film Club] - Queen of Hoxton, Shoreditch
22 August - Sightseers [Rooftop Film Club] - Bussey Building, Peckham Rye
23 August - Ghostbusters [Pop Up Screens] - Morden Hall Park, Morden
23 August - Cocktail [Rooftop Film Club] - Bussey Building, Peckham Rye
24 August - Priscilla Queen of the Desert [Pop Up Screens] - Morden Hall Park, Morden
24 August - The Usual Suspects [The Nomad] - Queen's Park
24 August - Jerry Maguire [Rooftop Film Club] - Bussey Building, Peckham Rye
25 August - Juno [Pop Up Screens] - Morden Hall Park, Morden
25 August - Central Station [The Nomad] - Horniman Museum and Gardens
25 August - Shakespeare in Love [Luna Cinema] - Regent's Park Open Air Theatre
25 August - Blazing Saddles [Rooftop Film Club] - Queen of Hoxton, Shoreditch
26 August - Pretty Woman [Luna Cinema] - Dulwich Park
26 August - Bonnie and Clyde [Rooftop Film Club] - Queen of Hoxton, Shoreditch
27 August - DRP [Film4Free] - Dalston Roof Top
27 August - Crazy Stupid Love [Rooftop Film Club] - Queen of Hoxton, Shoreditch
27 August - Thelma and Louise [Rooftop Film Club] - Bussey Building, Peckham Rye
28 August - Where The Wild Things Are [The Nomad] - Coram Secret Garden
28 August - Napoleon Dynamite [Luna Cinema] - Brockwell Lido
28 August - Rust and Bone [Rooftop Film Club] - Bussey Building, Peckham Rye
29 August - Annie Hall [The Nomad] - Fulham Palace
29 August - West Side Story - Chiswick House and Gardens
29 August - An American Werewolf in London [Rooftop Film Club] - Queen of Hoxton, Shoreditch
29 August - Zero Dark Thirty [Rooftop Film Club] - Bussey Building, Peckham Rye
30 August - V for Vendetta [Pop Up Screens] - Coram's Fields, Holborn
30 August - The Commitments - Chiswick House and Gardens
30 August - Fight Club [Rooftop Film Club] - Bussey Building, Peckham Rye
31 August - Romeo & Juliet [Pop Up Screens] - Coram's Fields, Holborn
31 August - Se7en [Rooftop Film Club] - Bussey Building, Peckham Rye

September 2013 - note location, then see tickets and information section above to buy tickets
1 September - E.T. [Pop Up Screens] - Coram's Fields, Holborn
1 September - The Birds [Luna Cinema] - Regent's Park Open Air Theatre
4 September - The Lost Boys [The Nomad] - Coram Secret Garden
4 September - Top Gun [Luna Cinema] - Hall Place, Bexley
5 September - When Harry Met Sally [The Nomad] - Fulham Palace
5 September - Django Unchanged [Luna Cinema] - Dulwich Park
6 September - Ghostbusters [The Nomad] - Roundwood Park
6 September - Pulp Fiction [Pop Up Screens] - Bishop's Park, Fulham
7 September - Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon [The Nomad] - Queen's Park
7 September - Dirty Dancing [Pop Up Screens] - Bishop's Park, Fulham
8 September - Chitty Chitty Bang Bang [Pop Up Screens] - Bishop's Park, Fulham
8 September - Argo [Luna Cinema] - Dulwich Park
10 September - Donnie Darko [The Nomad] Brompton Cemetery
11 September - Edward Scissorhands [The Nomad] Brompton Cemetery
11 September - Skyfall [More London] - Scoop Amphitheatre
12 September - Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon [More London] - Scoop Amphitheatre
12 September - Four Weddings and a Funeral [The Nomad] - Fulham Palace
12 September - Cinema Paradiso [Luna Cinema] - Kew Gardens
13 September - Frankenweenie [More London] - Scoop Amphitheatre
13 September - Fight Club [Pop Up Screens] - Ravenscourt Park, Hammersmith
13 September - Rocky Horror Picture Show [Luna Cinema] - Kew Gardens
14 September - Blues Brothers [Pop Up Screens] - Ravenscourt Park, Hammersmith
14 September - Dirty Dancing [Luna Cinema] - Kew Gardens
15 September - The Wizard of Oz [Pop Up Screens] - Ravenscourt Park, Hammersmith
15 September - film decided by public vote [Luna Cinema] - One New Change, London
18 September - Back to the Future [More London] - Scoop Amphitheatre
18 September - public vote [Luna Cinema] - Brockwell Lido
19 September - Spinal Tap [Luna Cinema] - Dulwich Park
19 September - The Good, The Bad and The Ugly [More London] - Scoop Amphitheatre
19 September - Amelie [The Nomad] - Fulham Palace
20 September - In the Mood for Love [The Nomad] Hyde Park Lido
20 September - Les Miserables [More London] - Scoop Amphitheatre
20 September - The Truman Show [Pop Up Screens] - East Greenwich Pleasaunce
21 September - Roman Holiday [The Nomad] - Queen's Park
21 September - Bedknobs & Broomsticks - [Pop Up Screens] - East Greenwich Pleasaunce
22 September - Breathless [The Nomad] Hyde Park Lido 
25 September - Amour [More London] - Scoop Amphitheatre
26 September - The Birds [More London] - Scoop Amphitheatre
27 September - surprise film to be announced [More London] - Scoop Amphitheatre
28 September - Les Miserables [Luna Cinema] - Hampton Court Palace
29 September - Life of Pi [Luna Cinema] - Hampton Court Palace

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Even more surprised to see a Matt Traverso ad for 'How to reverse diabetes' on Facebook

Just spotted an advert on my Facebook page for a way to reverse diabetes. I've pointed out to Facebook that this advert (or a suspiciously similar one) has already been 'banned' in the UK - ie an adjudication was upheld against it and it must not be shown in its current form again.

In case people with diabetes are Googling to find out information about an e-book on the topic I hope they'll find this.

Save your money, the advert is full of nonsense about acids and alkalis that betrays some confused thinking about physiology as well. The person or people behind the book, Matt Traverso, has / have already had two adjudications upheld against him / them for misleading advertising about diabetes and also Alzheimer's.

This is the offending website for diabetes http://www.reverse-diabetes-today[dot]com/ (replace [dot] with a dot for link to work).

For an example of how spectacularly wrong the advert is here's a sentence that demonstrates a lack of awareness of the different ways in which Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes develop:

"If you don’t stop the attacks on your pancreas‚ you develop type 2 and eventually type 1 diabetes!"

No, Type 1 diabetes is largely an autoimmune condition. The immune system starts attacking the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin and as the cells die off the person's blood glucose levels rise. Type 2 diabetes usually begins with insulin resistance. There's plenty of insulin and sufficient cells in the pancreas to produce it but the rest of the body's organs aren't responding appropriately, so even though there's enough insulin to do the job of normalising glucose levels it's not able to do it and so glucose levels rise.

I say largely because there are obviously people whose diabetes doesn't fit neatly into these categories (some people have MODY - maturity onset diabetes of the young, or LADA - latent autoimmune diabetes in adults and there are other forms of diabetes that are also caused by a very specific genetic change).

People with Type 2 diabetes may move from managing their diabetes with diet / activity and perhaps pills to diet / activity and insulin (and possibly pills as well) - but they still have Type 2 diabetes. I'm prepared to accept that many people are confused by this (I've spoken to hundreds who are) and it's not too surprising given that diabetes used to be classified as 'insulin dependent' and 'insulin independent'. However, as far as I'm concerned this confusion is inexcusable in anyone trying to claim the status of a healthcare information provider for people with diabetes.

The website also makes some very grand claims about curing diabetes in three weeks and references as well as confusing 'normal' blood glucose levels with 'not having diabetes'. There's undoubtedly a great deal that a healthy diet can do to help glucose levels, as well as blood fats, but normal levels doesn't necessarily mean 'cure', particularly if the complications of diabetes are already underway.

It's one of those things where there's some generally sensible lifestyle advice (eat fruit and veg, move about a bit, don't survive on processed foods) that is then overlaid with some vaguely mystical nonsense that sounds sciencey, and presumably makes the advice a bit more marketable.

"Dr. Young is an American microbiologist and nutrition scientist and known as one of the top research scientists in the world. His findings are currently sending shockwaves throughout the scientific community."

This bit is rather comical given his history. Young is also an advocate of live blood analysis which appears to be a bogus diagnostic technique to help you find out how many herbal supplements you need to buy.

Here are two Advertising Standards Authority adjudications against Matt Traverso's adverts:

Matt Traverso t/a Vital Life Education
A website offering a book called "The Alzheimer's-Reversing Breakthrough" stated "Discover The Truth About Alzheimer's That Doctors And Pharmaceutical Companies Don't Want You To Know About 'At...
Date: 11 May 2011
Decision: Upheld

Matt Traverso t/a Vital Life Education Claims on a website, viewed on 13 April 2011, for a book entitled “How to reverse Diabetes”. The ad was headed "The Diabetes-Reversing BreakthroughTM Don't Even Think About Taking More...
Date: 3 August 2011
Decision: Upheld



Bit surprised that Vitabiotics (of several ASA adjudications) have won a Queen's Award for Pregnacare

While reading this rather excellent blog post highlighting why Holland & Barrett's #askourowls campaign is a lot more wrongheaded than I'd originally thought (see also this) I found their Facebook page which led me to this news about Vitabiotics:
"Vitabiotics is honoured to be the FIRST ever vitamin supplement company to receive The Queen's Award for Enterprise in the category of Innovation."
This is specifically for their Pregnacare range which includes folic acid, some B vitamins and omega 3 fats. I'm fairly sure there's reasonable evidence that all of those sorts of things are pretty useful in pregnancy, although I'm also fairly sure that they can be acquired much more cheaply - even as supplements, not just from the diet which would obviously be the cheapest option of all.

Slightly mean of me but it would make me chuckle if Pregnacare was subject to an Advertising Standards Adjudication, but only because Vitabiotics have already had a handful of adjudications for their other products.

Vitabiotics Diabetone (30 June 2010) - upheld
Vitabiotics Neurozan (30 April 2011) - upheld
Vitabiotics Immunace (11 May 2011) - upheld

Vitabiotics Wellman (28 Nov 2012) - this one was not upheld

Vitabiotics put in a complaint themselves, about an advert from a different company - NeoCell, which was also upheld.

As far as I can tell Holland & Barrett have had three ASA adjudications upheld against them (one was only in part) however none related to evidence for products but confusing advertising about price reductions.

I don't know how many of the products that H&B sell have been subject to ASA adjudications, beyond the Vitabiotics ones though.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Lovely film music from David Holmes / The Free Association - Code 46

I remember watching the film Code 46 (with Tim Robbins and Samantha Morton) and making my friends rewind the DVD at the end so that I could see who had made the music for it - David Holmes and The Free Association.

It's a dystopian (well, utopian for some) film about governmental genetic oversight and the severe penalties in place to prevent inappropriate genetic mixing in a futuristic world where clones exist.

David's music for the end of the film kicks in at about 2.38 in the clip below, after Coldplay. (If the video doesn't work you may have to watch it on YouTube). The track is called Inside / Outside.



And here's some more from earlier in the film, it's a track called Shanghai.



Lovely stuff.

With Foy Vance he also created the music for Terry George's Oscar-winning short film The Shore (Foy Vance also worked with Terry again more recently to create the score for his film Whole Lotta Sole).

Here's one of the tracks used in The Shore...



...and there's lots of information on this page about the soundtrack for Whole Lotta Sole.


Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Twitter has killed off RSS feeds, that's why your stuff doesn't work

by @JoBrodie, brodiesnotes.blogspot.com

RSS Food
All gone...

Twitter's been threatening to kill off RSS feeds for a while now and it seems it's finally done it some time today.

****** 2 July 2013  
Try http://rss4twitter.appspot.com instead.
Twitter-RSS (http://www.twitter-rss.com/) no longer works and is redirecting to what seems to be a blog / web hosting service.

A commenter on a different post suggests
Twitter killed off RSS feeds a few weeks back when it retired v1 of the API. I ended up writing my own set of scripts that filled this gap by providing RSS feeds. It is called Twools. You run it on your website and it gives you various RSS feeds of your Twitter data with powerful data. You can then use with a service like IFTTT.

I've written more about it here, if you are interested.... http://iag.me/socialmedia/tools/introducing-twools-your-twitter-rss-feeds-unleashed/
******

I'm not sure how many people will be affected by Twitter's ending of RSS outputs, or if it will affect people at all but I'm fairly convinced that there are those who will have set something up, perhaps a couple of years ago, to send tweets via RSS to a bit of their website and will now find that it doesn't work. Possibly they won't even know why or what to do with the error message, which is probably only helpful if you're a developer.

The error message for the RSS feed for #test says
"The Twitter REST API v1 is no longer active. Please migrate to API v1.1. https://dev.twitter.com/docs/api/1.1/overview."

There appear to be lots of very good reasons why Twitter RSS isn't that good a way of working with stuff but I feel a pang of disappointment at the fact that it was really quite easy to use if you knew little about coding, and now it might be a bit harder to do what you easily did before. To be fair Twitter does have some amazing widgets that work beautifully with websites and blogs, but I am still raising an imaginary toast to the RSS feeds, and how we all used them when Twitter pulled the plug on IFTTT.

Goodbye Twitter RSS.

Here are some previous, now out of date, posts from me on Twitter's RSS feeds.

5 March 2013
Workarounds for people who used RSS feeds from Twitter - and now can't

12 October 2012
Has Twitter killed RSS feeds yet? Possibly not, but not working awfully well

30 September 2012
Handy Twitter RSS feeds to bypass IFTTT Twitter trigger switchoff

22 September 2012
IFTTT and Twitter - what alternatives will work?

Further reading
Battle for the planet of the APIs (17 June 2013) by Jeremy Keith 
This talks about the changing landscape of shareable feeds across different platforms and how it's becoming less easy to do so because many 'social' media are effectively becoming walled gardens. And my post gets a namecheck which was a nice surprise that happened when I clicked a link to the 'Battle for the planet of the APIs' post while reading this next one.

Lockdown (3 July 2013) by Marco Ament
"The bigger problem is that they’ve abandoned interoperability. RSS, semantic markup, microformats, and open APIs all enable interoperability, but the big players don’t want that — they want to lock you in, shut out competitors, and make a service so proprietary that even if you could get your data out, it would be either useless (no alternatives to import into) or cripplingly lonely (empty social networks)."

Search terms: Has Twitter stopped RSS feeds? Yes 



Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Days since my email was last hacked: one

I woke up this morning with a Twitter DM from a pal (thank you Rhys) telling me that he'd received  a spam email from me. On checking the rest of my traffic 'routes' I discovered that one of my email accounts had sent out a bunch of spam links between 1.15 and 1.25am early this morning, while I was fast asleep in a comfy hotel bed. It had selected a random four or five people from my contact list and sent them spam.

There was no evidence of the spam messages in my Sent mailbox, but a suspicious number of auto-bounce-fail messages in my Inbox and Spam mailboxes. It took me a few hours to discover the extent of the problem, and to fix it, as I'm in a hotel with comically feeble wi-fi (I've rung reception four times in 24 hours to ask them to do something about it, and they always do). I also discovered that I'd manage to spam my own blog as I have the 'post by email' option set up, and that address is in my contacts too.

Although I have always said it's a matter of when and not if someone gets a nasty email shock, what surprised me was that I had actually taken the recommended precautions of a reasonably strong password and using the two-step process for login.

Also, I hadn't logged in since being at the hotel (I hardly ever log in to be honest as I have the 'remember me' setting on my laptop - perhaps that is a mistake), although I am on public wifi.

Eventually I managed to regain control of my email account (I changed the password, someone else reset it again locking me out, but I got it reset again, now seems sorted). I'm tempted to think it's more likely to have been hacking or a virus (possibly a keylogger although I hear there aren't that many for Macs) rather than phishing, but however it happened it was a bit annoying and stressful, and the rubbish wifi didn't help.

Until this point I'd had a clear run of no hacks etc since 1992 when I had my first email account. Sadface.

Observations
People's responses
Nearly everyone I know is excessively computer-literate and many sent brief messages alerting me to the problem. One or two not-quite-as-computer-savvy chums wondered if it was something I'd sent (big clue is that I hardly ever send a single-line email as I'm a bit e-chatty!) or not, and one said they'd look at it later, hopefully they got my message letting them know to avoid it.

Contacts list
For some time I've thought that a contacts list is a liability. Whoever got into my email managed to send messages to lots of people on it as well as people I don't think I've ever heard of. Possibly those I've not heard of were cced on a message that I was cced in on as well and the system has just collected everything that comes through its gates. Or possibly the hacker just added in some extra email addresses that have nothing to do with me.

The convenience of being able to type the first few letters of someone's email address and for the whole address to ping into place is obviously great, especially when the numbers of emails sent is an order of magnitude larger than the numbers of time I've been hacked.

I think there was something recently about a journalist (or employer of a bank or some other secrecy-conscious organisation) whose email account was hacked. For the journalist this might be a bit embarrassing but what happens if one of the handful of random contacts sent a spam message is someone who really doesn't want anyone knowing that they've contacted that journalist. Hopefully they'll have used a super-secret email address but... what if they didn't.

An advantage of a contacts list is lots of people to spam who will then kindly tell you that you've spammed them. At least I knew my account was compromised!

I wonder if businesses have 'resilience strategies' in place to prevent their contacts list from leaking, beyond simply BCCing people if they have to write to more than one of them.