wales dot tumblr dot com

In 2009 I obtained the tumblr URL wales.tumblr.com and created a site called the ‘Official Tumblelog of Wales’. Here I would post links to irreverent and amusing news stories, curious photographs, memes, odd clippings from the past, pop culture and anything a little offbeat.

“A man who buried a female colleague’s body on farmland put the location of the shallow grave in the “favourites” list on his sat nav, a court has heard”
Grave listed in accused’s sat nav, BBC News

I ran out of steam about two years later after 108 posts. Two years after that, at the end of 2013, I left Wales.

Lately however I’ve noticed a curious uptake in activity around the blog. It’s getting on average one or two new followers per day, and a similar amount of reblogs and likes. As I write this there are 456 followers.

The URL wales.tumblr.com is a good one and it seems a shame to let a blog stagnate when it could be growing instead, therefore I’m hoping someone who find this post will offer to take it over (either via my secret contact page, on Twitter or by leaving a comment below). I’m not going to ask for a resume or anything, but I’m only going to hand it over to someone who clearly gets Tumblr and doesn’t just want the URL for some marketing nonsense.

If that’s you, please get in touch!

UPDATE: I found a taker, so wales.tumblr.com is now under new management!

Some more pictures →

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Zom-B-Girls: Back these zombie pin-up playing cards on Kickstarter

ZOM-B-GIRLS screenshot I’ve backed seven Kickstarter projects at this point, and have been really happy with the experience. I keep an eye on the campaigns running out of Cardiff, but until now I haven’t found anything that I wanted to back.

So, if you like poker, pin-up girls and zombies — and you want to support some local artists — then you should back Zom-B-Girls too!

We believe many will love a unique deck incorporating humour, playful sexiness and of course that current staple of pop culture, the ever lovin’ Zombie! Just because humanity has perished from this alternate post apocalyptic zombie world doesn’t mean they have to miss out on cute girls when they play cards! And neither should you.

There’s another 7 days to go, and at this time the creators have raised almost half of their £4,500 goal. They’ve added a bunch more tiers too, so now you can get multiple decks, a calendar and desktop wallpapers. You only need to pledge £5 to get a deck (if the campaign meets its goal) but if you pledge in the higher tiers you can actually appear in the deck as either a zombie or a survivor!

That link again: “ZOM-B-GIRLS” Zombies Pin-Up Playing Cards

ZOM-B-GIRLS pack design

UPDATE 2013.09.04: With 36 hours to go this project was stalled at <50% funded, and has just been cancelled. I just received a backer update from Timothy Thomas saying that he has lost contact with artist Robert Elsmore who has moved to Canada. He promises that there will be a second campaign in the future with new artists.

Upcoming events in Cardiff for creative geeks

Preamble: Firstly, check out The Alternate Diff blog for more things to do in Cardiff (found via a profile on the Cardiff Blogs blog). Secondly, I’ve created a new page to serve as a public editorial calendar for this blog. It’s going to serve mostly to remind me about upcoming blogging topics, but those may frequently be local events so there’ll be some overlap.

Onto the events →

Stylish cyclists of Cardiff, my contribution to #CardiffMakeaMag

I’ve broken away early from efforts at the Cardiff School of Journalism to produce a cycling-themed magazine in a day for the Cardiff Arts Festival. You can monitor the progress of those who are still toiling away on Twitter by following the hashtag #cardiffmakeamag.

For my part, I teamed up with an aspiring magazine journalist called Lucinda who attempted to chase down cyclists who caught her eye. She would then quiz them on cycling in Cardiff while I took pictures. Typically I make great efforts to keep humans out of my pictures, so these aren’t exactly my best work. Still, it was nice to try something different.

Update: Here is the final spread as it appears in the magazine Off The Chain.

Cardiff Cycle Style

I think it looks fantastic! Well done all. See my photographs →

Wales Blog Awards 2010 and 2011: A call for information

Note: See bottom of this post for updates.

Wales Blog Awards logo Last year I wrote about the blogs that were shortlisted for – and won – the Wales Blog Awards. I had an idea for a follow-up post this year that would give a more detailed analysis of the Welsh blogging scene. I would measure things like post frequency, average comments attracted per post, image use, age of blog, social media followers etc.

In addition, I wanted to go back and look at the blogs shortlisted for 2010 and 2011. This is when I noticed that much of the history of the Wales Blog Awards has already been deleted.

Do you have any record of this information? Please read on… →

Magazine in a Day – Cycling

Aside

Update: Bicycle by Simon Child, from The Noun Project As I mentioned previously on this blog, I’ve signed up a photographer for a fun project called Content: A Magazine in a Day, which is going to be taking place at the School of Journalism this Saturday as a part of the Cardiff Design Festival.

Since then a loose theme has been announced: Cycling – a theme that is running through many of the Design Festival events.

I’ve no idea who I’ll be working with or what direction the magazine will take, and I assume that’s the idea. Personally, I just hope the rain takes a break as I’ll be making use of my bike.

Upcoming Cardiff events: Cryptography, WordPress plug-ins and what you can’t say online

These are just some of the cool and interesting things happening in Cardiff over the next few months. I’m not trying to be as comprehensive as I have been in previous events roundups. Check out Steve’s post at SEOno for more cool things happening this month.

CryptoParty Cardiff – 22nd September 2012

CryptoParty With our rights to privacy online being eroded away little by little every day, now is a great time to learn the basics of cryptography. CryptoParty is a free and independently run initiative to promote the use of encryption tools and other ways to stay safe and secure online. Continue reading

Cardiff Life: Welcome to my brilliantly varied blog!

It has been brought to my attention that this blog was given a rather flattering write-up in the September issue of Cardiff Life magazine! I’ve copied the text below, adding in the links to the relevant pages for any Cardiff Life readers who want to specifically check out something mentioned:

Cardiff Life excerpt about halfblog.netBlog: halfblog.net

Run by Geoff Rogers, the content is brilliantly varied, ranging from stuff about Cardiff Design Festival to the musings of American futurist Buckminster Fuller. And there’s a fantastic series of posts taken from his old ChromaFeed.tv blog, which has clips from interesting short films, animations and such-like (check out the No Robots clip), together with erudite thoughts and comments.

Sarah Mia’s blog Falling Forward is also featured, and Neil Cocker gets a whole half-page on his Cardiff Start initiative.

My thanks to Cardiff Life for the plug!

Continue reading

Meet Nick Boing Boing, pet sheep

Nick Boing Boing, pet sheep Today I was surprised and amused to see a pet sheep being taken for a walk along the Taff in north Cardiff.

Nick is perfectly happy to be petted (though he’s a bit smelly) and seemed to be completely unfazed by dogs. He is 22 stone though, so it’s probably the dogs that need to be worried.

Continue reading

Zombie Apocalypse Now In A Minute

Keith Zombie Apocalypse Now In A Minute is a Cardiff-set webcomic documenting the rise of the undead in Wales. Inspired by Shaun of the Dead and the feel of a post-match Cardiff, the story follows the adventures of Keith, an overweight, sarcastic bartender who attempts to hide out in the castle.

The webcomic is the work of Jamie McGowan who himself runs a bar in Cardiff, which has no doubt provided him with plenty of inspiration. The artwork is stylish and imaginative, and captures Cardiff perfectly.

Continue reading

A new hyperlocal blog for Gabalfa, Cardiff

Gabalfa blog This week I created a new Cardiff hyperlocal blog for the Maendy, ‘Lower Heath’, western-edge-of-Cathays area known to the council as the ward of Gabalfa.

It’s a funny area to cover. Wikipedia says Gabalfa “is characterised by an enormous fly over road at the Gabalfa Interchange, where the A48 road meets the A470 road (North Road) which leads from Cardiff to northern Wales, and the A469 road (Caerphilly Road)”, which about sums the area up.

Continue reading

Election 2012: Gabalfa, Cardiff

I’m not really very political, but I thought it would be interesting to get a bit hyperlocal and see how much of a web presence my local wannabe counsellors have. (The actual hyperlocal blog for my area — heathlands.us — seems more interested in organising a street party and setting up a pirate radio station…)

Peter Law writing in WalesOnline says about the Gabalfa lineup:

A difficult ward to call. Lib Dem incumbent Ed Bridges is well regarded and increased his share of the vote four years ago. Labour has a lot of ground to make-up, but may well snatch one of the two seats up for grabs.

Based on their engagement online, these are indeed the only two parties who seem to have any interest in this little ward. Continue reading

Link

GamesDev South Wales started up fairly recently and plan to meet every month. The next gathering is upstairs in O’Neill’s this April 25th at 7.30.

We’re trying to find anyone involved in the computer games industry in South Wales – whether AAA, indie, mobile, social, handheld, desktop or whatever – and get them together. Students and hobbyists are welcome, too!

They are also on Twitter and seem to organise via their Google Group.

I don’t work in game development, but I’d love to! If you’re interested in that, then you’ll probably be interested in this… Continue reading

WordPress Users Wales meet-up: Wednesday 29th February

WordPress heart logo The second WordPress Users Wales meet-up is on Wednesday 29th February at The Promised Land, from 6.30pm. As before, register with Eventbrite.

Apparently this is a traditional date for women to make marriage proposals, so there is the potential for the night to take an unexpected turn!

Joel Hughes will be talking about the ‘Developer as Blogger’ and Nicky Getgood ‘WordPress for Hyperlocal’ and her work at Talk About Local. Continue reading

Upcoming geek events in Cardiff

Just a quick roundup of events planed for the next couple of months in Cardiff. If you want me to add something, leave a comment.

MathsJam Cardiff – Tuesday 24th January 2012 (tomorrow!)

We meet on the second to last Tuesday of every month, from 7pm in the evening, in the Grape and Olive wine bar which is located at the corner of Wedal Road and Allensbank Road, just off the A48.

Follow @RealityMinus3 for details, or email cardiff@mathsjam.com.

And don’t be put off by the ‘wine bar’ thing – it’s really not that fancy.

Dorkbot Cardiff #6 – Thursday 26th January 2012

Dorkbot Cardiff (Ignore the date on their page, the next meeting is in fact this year.)

Typically a small gathering, but it’s always eclectic, and this week’s seems no different: Nic Finch will be talking about his VJ work, Rhys Philips on protecting aircraft against lightning strikes and Matt Cook with some sounds from Hong Kong.

Also, anyone else is welcome to show and tell in an ‘open dork’ session.

The dorkbot global network is made of groups of people “doing strange things with electricity”. There are more than 100 groups worldwide, who meet at various intervals and present work in progress, experiments, hacks and other unexpected uses of technology. Members of dorkbot groups include artists, engineers, designers, musicians, hackers, curious types, no robots yet.

Talks will be in Milgi’s garage, 213 City Road, CF24 3JD from 7:30, with presentations starting at 8:00. If you haven’t been before, don’t be put off by the alleyway; the garage is a pretty good venue.

Cardiff UX Bookclub – Thursday 26th January 2012

If Dorkbot isn’t your thing, there’s also the Cardiff UX Bookclub, discussing Selling the Invisible by Harry Beckwith. They meet at Sequence, Fitzalan House, CF24 0EL at 6.30pm.

Follow @uxbookclubcdf.

Cardiff Node.js User Group – Saturday 28th January, 2012

CNUG held at Y Mochyn Du near Sofia gardens at 1pm. See Eventbrite for details.

Follow @cnug_js.

February

unified.diff – Wednesday 1st February 2012

For too long, Cardiff’s software development community has been fragmented by language, discipline, and platform.

unified.diff is a monthly meet-up for anybody involved or interested in the field of software development.

We hold tech talks, and trade war stories.

The first gathering is at O’Neill’s on Trinity St., starting at 7pm:

19:00 Interfacing
19:20 Walkthrough
19:30 The Loneliness of a Long Distance Coder – Carey Hiles – @handybitesize
20:00 How to handle your terminal like a boss – Warren Seymour – @woogoose
20:30 Clean Code – Gavin Davies – @gavd_uk
21:00 Memory fragmentation
23:00 Shutdown

Follow @unifieddiff.

South Wales Linux User Group – Wednesday 1st February 2012

SWLUG meet in the City Arms on the first Wednesday Tuesday of every month, from about 7pm. They also have regular meetings in Carmarthen.

Note: For this Cardiff meet-up, they will be joining in with unified.diff at O’Neill’s (see above).

Follow @SWLUG.

Update 2012.03.23: From April, SWLUG are moving to the first Tuesday of every month, to avoid clashing with unified.diff.

Cardiff Windows Phone User Group – 8th February 2012

At The Promised Land – doors open from 6.30pm. Book tickets through Eventbrite, follow @cdf_wpug and do the Facebook thing.

Cardiff Blogs Meetup – Wednesday 22nd February 2012

Starting at 6:30pm at the Maldron Hotel on Saint Mary St. (an excellent venue). It’s free, and they’re so inclusive that you don’t actually have to be from Cardiff or a blogger to attend!

Cardiff International Comic & Animation Expo – 25-26th February 2012

Cardiff International Comic & Animation Expo If you don’t know what this is all about, read my blog post from last year.

Apparently 75% of the tickets have been sold, though I gather a limited amount will be sold on the day at the doors.

Truthfully, there is no one must-see draw to this in terms of guest speakers (for me), but the stalls, displays, artists, costumes and over-exited fans make this a must. I’ve only bought a single day ticket though.

Follow @CardiffExpo.

WordPress Users Wales – Wednesday 29th February 2012

No firm date for this one yet, but pencil it in for late Feb. I’d expect this second WordPress gathering to focus on useful, practical advice for new WordPress users.

Follow @WordPressWales.

TEDxCardiff – Saturday 31st March 2012

TEDxCardiff logo Tickets went on sale this morning, and I expect them to sell out quickly (if they haven’t gone already Update: Tickets sold out within 20 minutes!). I believe there will be more made available later though. Speakers are still being announced (they’ve just announced Lionel Fanthorpe!) but whoever ends up speaking in the unannounced slots, they’re pretty much guaranteed to be interesting and entertaining if past talks are anything to judge by.

TEDxCardiff 2012 will be held in the Weston Studio at the Wales Millennium Centre. There are two sessions (2-4pm and 6-8pm). Tickets are £6 for one session or £10 for both. You need to call the box office to purchase: 029 2063 6464.

Follow @TEDxCardiff.

Also, keep an ear out for new Cardiff Blogs (@cdfblogs) meet-ups. (All set for the 22nd Feb – see above.)

There’s also likely to be a Geek Cluster gathering mid-February. Follow @dorkomatic for info.