Newsletter 150 – March 2009
——– MANTEX NEWSLETTER ——–
Number 150 – March 2009 – ISSN 1470-1863
Music, Arts, Culture, and Technology
as seen from digital hub Manchester UK
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Happy Birthday Edition – We’re ten years old today!
0— ‘WordPress for Dummies’ – new book
I’ve been looking into the use of a content
management system (CMS) for running the Mantex
web site. This gives a greater degree of both
organisation and control of its content.
WordPress started life as blogging software –
and is still used as such. But it has now grown
into a full-scale CMS.
This Dummies guide shows you how to use for both
purposes. And in both cases it’s completely f.r.e.e
You can either sign up at WordPress.com and let
them host your blog, or you can download the software
onto your own machine and enjoy a greater degree of
freedom and control.
One alternative to WordPress is Drupal. If you
missed the guidance manual on that, it’s here
0— Pub Quiz Question #1
In which newspaper does Rupert Bear appear?
0— Recession promotes Open Sources
The logic of using Open Source Software
is beginning to sink in as the credit crunch
gets deeper and deeper.
This recent item in the Guardian points to
a third of a million downloads per day for Open
Office. That’s good news.
But politically, this ought to be taken further.
At a time when the UK government is wasting
billions of taxpayers’ money, it’s scandalous
that public sector IT projects are not compelled
to use OSS.
0— Pub quiz – Question #2
What is the other name for Deadly Nightshade?
0— Oxford Dictionary for Scientific Writers and Editors
OUP do a series of their great reference works
in which big books are produced in a small,
The latest is a dictionary of scientific terms.
It covers biology, physics, chemistry, and new
disciplines such as micro-biology and computer
It not only shows you how to spell words such as
‘leucocyte’ but it explains important scientific
concepts and has details of famous scientists.
0— Pub quiz – Question #3
What is South Africa’s administrative capital?
0— Typography News
For those seeking inspiration for print and
web publications, look no further than one of
my favourite sites at the moment.
Smashing Magazine is run by two guys in
Lubeck, north Germany, and delivers high
quality design articles every day of the
0— Pub quiz – Question #4
Which snake appears on the Pharaoh’s crown?
0— iPhone Art – new digital gallery
Artist Jorge Colombo makes pictures of
New York street life using a graphic
application on his iPhone.
It’s amazing to discover that he actually
creates these pictures with his fingers,
working in the dark. Marvel at the skill,
then see how it’s done by watching the
movies he makes of the process.
0— Pub quiz – Question #5
What did Perseus’s helmet do for him?
0— ‘Enforcing Intellectual Property Rights’ – new book
If you work on a project with co-partners for
a client – who owns the intellectual property
rights to what you produce?
And if there is disagreement, what’s the best
way of defending your claim?
The answers to these and many other legal issues
surrounding copyright and its infringement are
covered in Jane Lambert’s new book.
She’s a barrister specialising in IPR who writes
a plain-language guide for individuals and small
This is the first book I have ever read on the
subject of copyright which is actually quite
entertaining. But more importantly, it’s also
0— Pub quiz – Question #6
Which actress was stabbed in the shower in ‘Psycho’?
0— Pub Quiz – Question #7
What is kohlrabi?
0— More F.r.e.e Music – Yaay!!
Spotify is the latest source of completely
f.r.e.e music – launched in February this year.
It’s a UK-Swedish venture which comes in two
basic flavours – buck-shee (with ads) and an
ad-less version for which you pay a small fee.
You can create playlists, and very neatly, it
moves automatically from one track to the next.
I put it to the test, requesting my favourite
pianist – Michel Petrucciani. Back came 204 tracks.
It was recommended by my grandson – who is ten.
0— Pub quiz – Question #8
How many points does a compass have?
0— Political Blogging
Well! Last week was a lively episode in
the political blogosphere.
First there was MEP Daniel Hannan’s speech
in the European Parliament in which he
denounced Prime Minister Gordon Brown and
his bankrupt policies. You can see that here:
This video clip went viral and had been viewed
by over a million people within two days.
Then there was a standoff between Guido Fawkes
and Derek Draper. Guido is a right-wing libertarian
who specialises in uncovering lies, spin, and
hypocrisy where he sees it – from any part of the
political spectrum. This includes exposing Draper’s
lies about his curriculum vitae. Guido’s blog is here:
And close up behind him comes Iain Dale – a center
right conservative. He’s a bit softer, but no less
professional. These guys blog at a prodigious rate –
posting regularly two or three times a day, and every
few minutes during crises.
You might not agree with all their views, but they
bring the blogosphere to life, that’s for sure.
0— Pub quiz – Question #9
Which bird is also known as the windhover?
0— 3D Modelling – f.r.e.e software
Have you seen those 3-D models of housing
plans they have on TV programs such as
The basic frame of a house is sketched out,
then rooms are added one at a time.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to do all that
on your own computer? Well – now you can.
The ubiquitous Google have created a super
new modelling application called SketchUp 7
that can do all that, and more besides.
And as you would expect, it’s f.r.e.e
0— Pub quiz – Question #10
What does a haematologist study?
0— Coming soon
‘Memoirs of a Novelist’
Josef Albers on Colour Theory
‘Painting the Web’
‘The Diary of a Man of Fifty’
0— Readers’ Letters + Corrections
Kay Kovalevs writes from Perth, Australia to
point out that Koalas are NOT bears. And she’s right!
Tom Church in Abingdon, Oxfordshire points out:
“It’s a common mistake but I thought I’d point it out –
the quiz question about the first SOS call being from
the Titanic is actually an urban myth.
SOS was used adopted in 1906 with the first report
of it being used in 1909 on the steamship Arapahoe.
You can find out more at
0— Pub quiz – ANSWERS
#1 In which newspaper does Rupert Bear appear?
ANSWER: Daily Express
#2 What is the other name for Deadly Nightshade?
#3 What is South Africa’s administrative capital?
#4 Which snake appears on the Pharaoh’s crown?
#5 What did Perseus’s helmet do for him?
ANSWER: Made him invisible
#6 Which actress was stabbed in the shower in ‘Psycho’?
ANSWER: Janet Leigh
#7 What is kohlrabi?
ANSWER: A vegetable (cabbage)
#8 How many points does a compass have?
#9 Which bird is also known as the windhover?
#10 What does a haematologist study?
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