1980s Children’s TV Programmes
Jul30

1980s Children’s TV Programmes

During the 1980s television channels in the UK would alter their programming during the summer months to accommodate children staying home. They probably still do but the toil of modern life and the necessity to work for a living means I’ve no idea if that’s true. Anyway, there are plenty of YouTube channels devoted to saving some of the shows themselves and even idents and trails of my youth so it was nice to discover this preview of kids TV programming in the summer of 1983 from what was my local ITV channel at the time, TVS. I remember all the shows in the follow clip quite fondly. The Dead Zone Animated Series Based on the Stephen King novel and tying in with the film release in the same year The Dead Zone Animated Series was an attempt to saturate the market, tackling the adults in the cinema and the kids at home with the intriguing tales of a man who develops the power of precognition but is haunted by the horrors he sees unfolding. Nine episodes of the cartoon were produced but only six were ever broadcast as the storylines were considered too dark for children which was a shame as the penultimate episode accurately predicted Milli Vanilli. The Missing Link Gang An imported series from Canada about a gang of kids who refuse to evolve but try to fit in with society by solving crimes and helping journalists investigate stories. They are constantly tormented by scientific and religious communities and individuals who find their existence to be in violation of biological and theological positions and are slowly killed off by rational and irrational people from all walks of life. Harrowing and with a deep message, nine episodes of the series were filmed but only six were ever broadcast as the storylines were considered too dark for children which was a shame as the penultimate episode warned of the dangers of internet stalkers long before the World Wide Web was even considered. German New Wave Music Hour Music and the new fad of music videos was considered an easy choice to occupy children’s attentions in 1983 but access to the pop charts was prohibited outside the BBC at that time so ITV imported a hastily-made series of hour-long music shows from Europe with each weekly episode featuring a different country and style. Nine episodes of Music Hour were imported but only six were ever broadcast as the pro-Nazi themes in German New Wave and incessant smoking in French Shouting Poems were considered too influential for children which was a shame as the penultimate episode featured Italian Pouting Dance...

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Floral Photography Of Emi Nakajima
Jul30

Floral Photography Of Emi Nakajima

Someone I follow on Google+ and whose photography always fills me with joy is Emi Nakajima. Her photographs of flowers have such a fabulous, tranquil feel to them; a dream-like quality that comes from the very shallow depth of field and gorgeously smooth background and colours. And while I don’t usually like people watermarking their own photos there’s something about the wording of her name across each image that makes you believe each picture could be a book cover. A small sample of some of her wonderfulo photos is below. If you ever need to ease off the stresses of daily life you could do a lot worse than scroll through Emi Nakajima’s...

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Say No To Toddlers – 1970s Public Information Film
Jul09

Say No To Toddlers – 1970s Public Information Film

Graham Weevilface is not a name that’s particularly well-known these days but in the mid 1970s he was one of the leading producers of public information films on behalf of the British government. He was a recipient of numerous awards for films such as Danger! Slow Worm! and Chalk Cliffs: White Trauma but it’s his 1976 classic Say No To Toddlers that arguably had the most impact on a British public on the cusp of emerging from the darkness of high unemployment and unending energy crises into a brave new world of European integration and booming prosperity. A massive sense of relief following World War II, the rise of promiscuity in the 1960s, and long, dark nights with nothing better to do in the early 1970s led to a state of what was described in government documentation at the time as “too many blasted babies” and so a number of programmes were accelerated in order to reduce the birth rate in the British Isles. Alongside adding bromide to the water supply and inventing a new craze called “aerobics” that was designed to tire people out making sex less likely the services of Weevilface were sought out and in very short order he was able to produce the following classic film clip. Shown in cinemas and on television – particularly before and after schools and colleges programmes as children were most open to the message within – Say No To Toddlers was initially received with the kind of stupefying horror associated with all British public information films; the creepy music and stark voiceover messages were requirements of government-sanctioned movies but Weevilface excelled in the craft. However, in follow-up interviews with childless men and women during the 1980s and early 1990s it’s this specific film warning the dangers that toddlers and children possess that most often came out with a sense of warmth; many interviewees claimed that had it not been for the consideration of the British government they might have inadvertently unleashed swarms of adult-killing, car-stealing babies into the general...

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Great Team Leaders: The Borg Queen
Jul08

Great Team Leaders: The Borg Queen

We’re undertaking a mandatory course of team leadership at work which has included all the things you’d expect from one of those courses – anger, recriminations, making towers out of spaghetti and marshmallows, bitter comments, dropping oranges on spaghetti bridges, open mockery – and the latest session has required each of us to select a great leader, alive or dead, real or fictional, and to list the attributes we admire in their leadership roles. Examples of people selected by other poor souls forced to participate in these lessons have included Alexander the Great, Bill Gates, and Alex Ferguson. All very typical. As you can probably already tell, I went with someone a little different. When it comes to great leaders with all the leadership qualities you could ever possibly want in one of these team building courses you just can’t beat the Borg Queen. Just what were those skills and attributes that made the Borg Queen a great leader in my opinion? I’m glad you wanted to know. Seeks to improve her team by embracing everyone’s distinctiveness into the whole. Good at assimilating knowledge; encourages her team to assimilate knowledge too. Gives her team the right tools to get the job done. Excellent communicator; listens to everyone and gets her message to everyone too. Adapts quickly to problems. Great determination; considers resistance to the project’s success to be...

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Top 5 Horrifically Dangerous Spanish Festivals
Jul05

Top 5 Horrifically Dangerous Spanish Festivals

Spain: famous for its sun, sea, soaring temperatures, siestas, and Salvador Dali. But it’s not just things that begin with the letter ‘S’ that Spain embraces so let’s take a quick look at five horrifically dangerous events that help to mould the characters of Spanish people. Running Of The Bulls Not exclusive to Spain and not limited to just one place there is, however, one very famous “Running of the Bulls” event and that’s the one that takes place in the 8-day festival in Saint Fermin, Pamplona. With a few rules – competitors must be 18, sober, must run in the same direction as the bulls, and cannot let the bulls know that their deaths are imminent through interpretive dance – the running takes place through the town and injuries are pretty commonplace. Less common, but certainly not unexpectedly, deaths – typically by goring or a fatal realisation that your life has culminated in you jogging along with cows – do occur too. At the end of the run the bulls are celebrated by the crowd and are released to live their lives out in peace. No, of course not! The bulls and runners are led into an arena and are fought and killed. The Castells of Tarragona Castells are human towers formed by teams who build solid bases then add layers of people in order to place someone as high as possible, remove supporting people to leave a single human chain, then dismantle safely in order to… nobody knows. The important thing, though, is that a lot of weight ends up being supported by people and a lot of people are sufficiently high in the air that if the tower collapses – and they do – then there’s quite a distance to fall. Deaths have occurred. At festivals different teams of tower-builders often compete in brightly-coloured displays of daring and there are different tower designs depending on the number of levels a team wants to build as well as the number of people per level that is supported. A tower is considered complete when the uppermost person – the enxaneta (usually a child because it takes them longer to fall) – raises four fingers in the air to give praise to the Sky God Ugalugha, climbs down, then all the levels descend in order from the top down. At the end of the festival the losing teams of tower-builders are fought and killed. The Arizkun Festival If you were wondering if the Spanish had a festival that combined running through the streets leaping over bonfires trying not to incinerate your pubic regions as well as Wicker Man-style pagan...

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