Newsletter 140 – May 2008


Number 140 – May 2008 – ISSN 1470-1863

Music, Arts, Culture, and Technology
from the digital hub at Manchester UK

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0— ‘Working at Home’ – interior design

This is the second book I consulted for making
office space stylish before starting my own Big Move.

It shows interior design solutions for writers,
artists, musicians, architects, graphic designers,
a printer, business people, and a textile designer.

But you don’t have to have a glamorous job to learn
from these examples. Just arrange your living space
to suit what you most want to do.

However, these stunning creations show truly
inspiring ways of combining your office and
your home – in a way which make both more
attractive and more interesting.

redbtn Working at Home

0— Pub Quiz Question #1

In which country did Mah-Jong originate?

0— ‘Dora Carrington’ – biographical notes

A new addition to our series of biographical
notes has just gone on line. Dora Carrington was
an artist who hardly ever exhibited or even
signed her own work.

She was also one of the most radical of the
Bloomsbury Group – with both male and female
lovers (which might be what makes her so popular).

For most of her adult life she was married to Ralph
Partridge, but she lived with Lytton Strachey, who
was of course of the Uranist persuasion.

When Strachey died rather suddenly of stomach cancer,
she borrowed a neighbour’s gun and shot herself.

redbtn Dora Carrington

0— Pub quiz – Question #2

Which mythological figure had a bull’s head on a man’s body?

0— B.A.T.H.R.O.O.M.S

A man has six items in his bathroom: toothbrush
and toothpaste, shaving cream, razor, a bar of soap,
and a towel from Marks & Spencer.

The average number of items in the typical woman’s
bathroom is 337. A man would not be able to identify
more than 20 of these items.

0— Dongle Testing – my new hobby

I’m test driving a cute little USB modem that you
stick into your laptop to get Mobile Broadband
wherever you go. No need for a wireless hub – and
you don’t need to be near a hotspot.

The software installed in moments without a single
hitch, and it made an immediate connection for me.

Connectivity is available as Pay As You Go or on a
contract. Cost varies depending on usage, with deals
at £10, £15 and £25 per month. And the dongle itself
is f.r.e.e on one of these contracts.

Next week I’m going to try it in the car – to see
if it can hold a connection whilst I whiz my babe
magnet round the M60, which is Manchester’s
answer to the Boulevard Periferique.


0— Pub quiz – Question #3

What is the main island of Japan called?

0— S.U.C.C.E.S.S

A successful man is one who makes more money
than his wife can spend.

A successful woman is one who can find such a man.

0— Pub quiz – Question #4

When is St Swithin’s Day?

0— New Asus notebook – latest news

Like many other people in the last few months,
I ordered a new Asus notebook. Small, super-fast,
cheap, and based on open source software.

Then I waited, and waited, and waited.

Apparently there’s been a fire in the factory
where the batteries are made. So we’ll all
have to wait.

In the meantime, this guy has set up a site
which tracks availability in the UK.

Read the small print very carefully, Many
retailers are resorting to sharp practice
because of the demand.

redbtn Asus netbooks

Meanwhile, such is the popularity of these nifty
little bits of kit, they’re going for above the
market price on eBay!

And the new 9-inch screen Asus was launched
in the UK last week – but it’s 50% dearer.

redbtn More on Asus netbooks

0— R.U.L.E.S OF A.R.G.U.M.E.N.TS

A woman has the last word in any argument.

Anything a man says after that is the
beginning of a new argument.

0— Pub quiz – Question #5

Where is the House of the Rising Sun?

0— Microsoft – One Step Behind

Microsoft is poised to cast off a decades-old
model of installing programs such as Word and
Excel on computers prior to shipping and instead
charge consumers to access them on a monthly basis.

Programs such as Word would no longer sit on a user’s
computer. Instead, you access Microsoft’s Office Suite
via the web as part of a monthly fee. Your documents
would also sit on Microsoft’s servers.

redbtn Microsoft

This is desperation showing – and another
failure to keep up with Open Sources.

Why should anybody bother paying – when you can
have the Open Office suite completely f.r.e.e?

Download it here – and start using it now.

redbtn OpenOffice

And if you don’t want to bother clogging up
your hard disk, are offering a f.r.e.e
online version, with 1GB of storage space where
you can store your data.

And if you didn’t know, Open Office is more
than just a word-processor. It has spreadsheets,
presentation software, and a database.


0— Pub quiz – Question #6

What is the third letter of the Greek alphabet?

0— ‘Charleston: Past and Present’

Charleston is the country house which was
established by Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant.
It’s near Lewes, in Sussex.

They decorated the whole house in modernist
style with their own works and contemporary

This guide to the history and contents of the
house is a combination of official listings of the
paintings and decorations (lavishly illustrated)
with memoirs of some of the people who lived there.

redbtn Charleston

0— T.H.E. F.U.T.U.R.E

A woman worries about the future until she gets a husband.

A man never worries about the future until he gets a wife.

0— Charleston Festival – May 2008

Charleston houses not only the original paintings
and interior decor of the Bloomsberries, but has
an arts festival every year around this time.

Scandalous Liaisons, Literary Love Affairs,
Salman Rushdie, Grayson Perry, Gore Vidal:
those are just some of the treats lined up
for mid to late May. More details here –

If you’re going to the festival, read the
book above to get to know the background.

redbtn Charleston festival

0— Pub quiz – Question #7

Who is the female lead in Puccini’s ‘La Boheme’?

0—– “How to Find Information” – new book

Did you know that even though Google has
ten billion web pages in its database,
the Internet contains only a small fraction
of the world’s total information.

This is a new edition of a guide for anyone
who wants to develop really serious research

Naturally it tells you how to search on the
Web, but it’s built on a solid foundation of
library research and data retrieval skills.

There is even advice on how to identify
your own information needs, how to interpret
your search results, and how to keep up with
the latest trends. Full review at –

redbtn How to Find Information

0— Pub quiz – Question #8

What does BMEWS stand for?

0— ‘A Boy at the Hogarth Press’

This is one of the shortest and slightest
memoirs of Bloomsbury Group life I have
ever come across. But it’s also one of
the most amusing.

Richard Kennedy was only sixteen years old
when he went to work at the Hogarth Press
for Leonard and Virginia Woolf.

But he’s more interested in getting off with girls
than being dazzled by their intellectual brilliance.

The thumbnail sketches he gives of them are
like Adrian Mole meets Bloomsbury. Great fun.

redbtn A Boy at the Hogarth Press

0— M.A.R.R.I.A.G.E

A woman marries a man expecting he will
change – but he doesn’t.

A man marries a woman expecting that she won’t
change – but she does.

0— Pub quiz – Question #9

Who wrote ‘Les Miserables’?

0— Back to the Future!

You type with black letters on a white
background – right? That’s how nearly
everyone does it. But for those who grew
up on WordPerfect, you can change to typing
white on a blue background if you wish.

1. Open Tools, Options
2. Click the General tab
3. Check the Blue background, white text
4. Click OK

0— Pub quiz – Question #10

What did the Ark of the Covenant contain?

0— Pub quiz – ANSWERS

#1 In which country did Mah-Jong originate?

#2 Which mythological figure had a bull’s head on a man’s body?
ANSWER: The Minotaur

#3 What is the main island of Japan called?
ANSWER: Honshu

#4 When is St Swithin’s Day?
ANSWER: 15th July

#5 Where is the House of the Rising Sun?
ANSWER: New Orleans

#6 What is the third letter of the Greek alphabet?

#7 Who is the female lead in Puccini’s ‘La Boheme’?

#8 What does BMEWS stand for?
ANSWER: Ballistic Missile Early Warning System

#9 Who wrote ‘Les Miserables’?
ANSWER: Victor Hugo

#10 What did the Ark of the Covenant contain?
ANSWER: The tablets of the Ten Commandments

0— Coming soon

Wordless Novels

Web 2.0 Strategies

Thrown to the Woolfs

Writer’s Marketplace UK 2009

Fonts and Encoding

The Edwardians – a novel

Hachette French Dictionary

The Meaning of Life

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All Rights Reserved

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ISSN 1470-1863
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