Newsletter 126 – March 2007


Number 126 – March 2007 – ISSN 1470-1863

Architecture – Writing – Online Learning

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0— ‘Green Architecture’ – book review

This is a general exploration of one of the
most complex and important issues of today –
how to construct a human habitat in harmony
with nature.

James Wines includes a review of 20th century
green architecture, a review of eco-oriented
shelter from Neolithic times to the present,
and a survey of architects who are seeking to
change the relationship between buildings
and the environment.

It’s a beautifully produced book – full of
full colour photographs of new concepts in
building. And it’s amazingly cheap.

Green Architecture

0— Pub quiz – Question #1

How many pins are there in the back row
in ten-pin bowling?

0— ‘Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes’ – new edition

Here’s the answer to any poet’s prayers. If you’re
stuck for a rhyme, you look up the word and are given
a whole range of possible rhyming options. Not only
that, you also get examples from famous poets, tips
on how the words are pronounced, and more.

There’s even an introduction giving you advice
on how to write poetry – if you must. Full review –

Dictionary of Rhymes

0— Pub quiz – Question #2

Which continent is the longest from North to South?

0— ‘The Bloomsbury Group’ – Portraits

For those who might be tired of lots of talk
about the characters of the Bloomsbury Group,
here’s a welcome change – a picture book.

It was originally a catalogue from a National
Portrait Gallery exhibition, but is now
published by them as a very stylish hardback.

Frances Spalding offers an introductory essay,
followed by biographical sketches of the main
characters. There are also some quite rare
photographs showing Bloomsbury at leisure –
something it did very stylishly. Full review at –

The Bloomsbury Group – A Portrait Gallery

0— Pub quiz – Question #3

Do peanuts grow above the ground or under it?

0— ‘Letterforms’ – essays on typography

Stanley Morison (one r) was the man who
designed Times New Roman – which is probably
the default font on the computer you are
using right now.

This elegantly designed book contains two
of his essays – both concerned with the
history of typography. They are almost
breathtakingly scholarly. This self-taught
man seemed to have known *everything* about
his subject. It’s one for type buffs.


0— Pub quiz – Question #4

What is measured by a pedometer?


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0— Pub quiz – Question #5

Who was captain of the ‘Hispaniola’?

DELETED ITEM {out-of-print]

0— Pub quiz – Question #6

How many dots are used in each letter of the Braille system?

0—– ‘Some People’ – short stories

Harold Nicolson is best known as the husband
of Vita Sackville-West, who had a love affair
with Virginia Woolf.

But he was also an amazingly prolific writer,
and a rare case of an upper-class toff whose
political allegiances swung during his lifetime
from right to left, rather than the other way.

He wrote a collection of short ‘stories’ or
character sketches which were an eye-opener
for me. They’re witty, urbane, and beautifully
written in an accomplished literary style.

Full review and details at –

Some People

0— Pub quiz – Question #7

What is the highest number in a Sudoku puzzle?

0— Digital Life – News

Some Second Life early-adopters, angry at the
site’s commercial development, have started a
virtual terrorist group and bombed an American
Apparel store.

Egyptian blogger Abdel Kareem Nabil has been jailed
for criticising President Mubarek and his old
University, al-Azhar, on his weblog.

For every 1% of broadband growth, newspaper
circulation drops 0.2%.

[Thanks to Popbitch for these items.]

0— Pub quiz – Question #8

Who did Boris Yeltsin make his Prime Minister in 1999?


Later this year we are launching the
first of a series of online courses.

You can study at your own pace, in your
own time, from anywhere in the world.

Get immediate feedback when you answer
questions; support from a tutor; and
submit your work for assessment and a
completion certificate.

“Improve your Writing Skills” is the
first course. It’s modularised, so you
can choose the course content to suit
your own needs. Further details at –

Online Courses

0— Pub quiz – Question #9

In which country did Venetian blinds originate?

0— It’s a Snap!

Have you noticed those annoying pop-ups
which offer page previews when you hover
your cursor over a link?

The idea is that you get a mini-glimpse
of a page you might visit. First time I
saw one I thought Wow – that’s cute!

But the trouble is that they’re too small
to give you any useful information. On top
of that, they obscure text on the page you’re
reading. By the time I’d seen two or three
more, I wanted to get rid of them.

Here’s how to do it.

Click on the little ‘Options’ text, and
choose ‘Disable for ALL sites’. Hey Presto!

0— Pub quiz – Question #10

How many legs has a lobster?

0— Reader’s Letters and Corrections

Of Palms and Pies

“What type of tree is the source of sago?”

Peter Rosier writes from Sydney Australia
to say that “I think you’ll find that sago
comes from the cycad, a palm tree-lookalike,
but not in fact a palm tree.”

“In which country is Fray Bentos a port?”
Elizabeth Murphy, another antipodean, from
Canberra, opines that “I beg to differ.

Fray Bentos isn’t a port at all; it’s a very
yummy tinned steak and kidney pie!! Available
in supermarkets even in Oz. ;-)”

Our Jazz reviewer John White would concur.
He too is a big Fray Bentos fan. But then
he’s from Hull, so he would, wouldn’t he.

0— Pub quiz – ANSWERS

#1 How many pins are there in the back row
in ten-pin bowling?

#2 Which continent is the longest from North to South?
ANSWER: South America

#3 Do peanuts grow above the ground or under it?

#4 What is measured by a pedometer?
ANSWER: Walking distance

#5 Who was captain of the ‘Hispaniola’?
ANSWER: Long John Silver

#6 How many dots are used in each letter of the Braille system?

#7 What is the highest number in a Sudoku puzzle?

#8 Who did Boris Yeltsin make his Prime Minister in 1999?
ANSWER: Vladimir Putin

#9 In which country did Venetian blinds originate?

#10 How many legs has a lobster?


Design Management

The Handbook of Good English

Virginia Woolf – illustrated

CSS The Missing Manual

Hyde Park Gate News

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ISSN 1470-1863
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