Geo-writing: ‘A Boat called Calamity’

This year as a part of the Brighton Digital Festival I was pestered encouraged to participate in the Geo-writing project.

Geo-Writing invited you to grab writing prompts based on your location, wherever you were in the world! Centred around Brighton – where there were a higher intensity of prompts – but then rippling outwards, the prompts based on your location could be worked on straight away or emailed to yourself to work on at leisure. Authors used these prompts to write a fragment of a story, and submit to become part of a multi-authored ill-fitting story patchwork created during the Brighton Digital Festival. Sometimes, the same prompt was twisted through various viewpoints, other times characters and motifs featured in more than one tale.

My entry is written in the style of an Argus story and inspired by a prompt I found near West Pier: “A speedboat named Calamity crunches out on the pebbles.” The story also works as a loose prequel to these six Geo-writing stories by Clarissa about a Kemptown overrun by zombies known as ‘Blighters’.

West Pier

“Two taken to hospital after speedboat runs ashore”

The Argus, Monday 1 September 2014

TWO MEN have been taken to hospital after their speedboat ran ashore on the beach in front of the West Pier.

Emergency services were called to the scene shortly after 5am by Brenda Cobb, 48, who witnessed the incident. Mrs Cobb said that the boat appeared to be out of control as it ran onto the shore at high speed.

“When I went down to help I thought they were both dead at first. They weren’t moving and looked like they’d been out there a while” said Mrs Cobb. “So I called an ambulance. I didn’t think I could possibly help them.”

While it is unknown what caused the accident, it is possible that the occupants were in difficulty before they ran ashore. Mrs Cobb said that they looked unwell, but wasn’t sure if they were sick or simply injured and confused.

She said: “One of the blighters bit me! While I was on the phone I heard one of them moving about so I went over to to tell him that help was on the way. He just looked at me funny for a moment, then suddenly lunged forward and bit me on the arm. He broke the skin, but it’s fine. It gave me quite a shock though.”

The men have not yet been identified. The Argus has discovered that their vessel, an Oceanmaster 660 named ‘Calamity’, is not currently on the UK Ship Register.

Both men were taken to the Royal Sussex County Hospital.

More as we know it.

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New blog: Rapid Notes

Rapid Notes Yesterday I launched a new blog: Rapid Notes. It’s just hosted on a free WordPress.com account for now, and will probably stay that way.

I created this new outlet because I wanted a place to store and share the fascinating things I find online every day. I’m not going to put just any old thing up there, but it’ll be a busier blog than many of my others. Much busier. The idea is to help me identify what my real passions are by looking at the common themes of the items I post. I’ll be spending time getting the tags and categories — the taxonomy — just right. Then as the blog grows I’ll be able to look at my archives determine… well… something hopefully.

Follow the @foobot →

Babylon 1999

Warning: I’ve cranked the geek up to 11 for this uber-nostalgic post.

Buried Shadow (1999)

Buried Shadow (1999)

Recently I was reunited with a computer-generated image I created back in 1999 of a crashed Shadow ship from Babylon 5. I had submitted it as a cover image for the second issue of on online fan publication called Beyond Babylon. It wasn’t used on the cover, but it did get featured in the gallery. At some point I lost my original, so it was nice to be contacted out of the blue by someone who had a copy.

I have fond memories from those days of hanging out at the (now defunct) Babylon 5 Modellers Guild [b5mg.com] and the LightWave Group [lwg3d.org] (which evolved into the still-active Foundation 3D forums). Scifi-Art.com was another great community — I remember really liking their site design.

All this nostalgia got me digging around my old hard drives for more retro LightWave renders of mine.

Babylon 5 images

You can click on the small images below for a closer look. Not that I didn’t create any of these models myself, but the compositions, lighting and backgrounds were all my own work. Also, if you zoom in on that shot of Starfuries engaged in combat, you’ll see some of my own wing art designs. (Yes, that is Daffy Duck!)

The name of the place is ‘Babylon 5’ →

Galaxy class

I’ve just finished watching season 1 of The Next Generation, and I’ve been inspired to get back into LightWave 3D to produce a quick homage (or two).

Enterprise D

View full size (1200 × 675) or in glorious HD (1920 × 1080) on Flickr.

This is a faithful reproduction of one of the most widely-used promo shots of the Enterprise D (see below for the originals).

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Four fantastic WordPress logos

WoodPress logo For my recent post about the terrible quality adverts appearing on WordPress.com sites I created a nice high resolution blue glossy version of the WordPress logo. Then I was inspired to make a few variations.

They’re made avaliable here as 1000x1000px PNGs, with transparency, under a CC BY-NC-SA licence. Feel free to share and enjoy, but please remember to give credit (to Foomandoonian), ideally with a link back to this page.

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Logo design for a conference: Inner Worlds, Outer Worlds

Last year I designed a logo for a conference to be held at the University of Birmingham called Inner Worlds, Outer Worlds [PDF], with a variety of talks and workshops on the subject of ‘developing personal and institutional narratives in support of LGBTQ students’.

Inner Worlds, Outer Worlds conference logo

I was pretty happy with the metaphor behind the final logo, and I think the conference put it to good use. You can see my exploration and development process below.

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Adventures in WordPress theming

I’ve been a bit quiet on this blog and Twitter for a week or so now because I’ve been concentrating on a few personal projects:

A WordPress theme for hyperlocal bloggers

This one is just a Photoshop mock (the provisional name ‘The Local’ is going to have to be changed as I since found another theme with that name), but I’m quite pleased with the look and feel of it all. I wouldn’t usually do a mockup like this, but as I’m going to be learning WordPress theme creation from scratch, I didn’t want to have to be worrying about the design at the same time.

About halfway through creating this I realised it looked very BBC-ish. I’ll probably just try to give it a different default colour scheme to combat this.

The design has a lot of space for different widgets and I plan to give the nameplate area a lot of configuration options so no two of these blogs should look alike. 

One feature I quite like, but you can’t really see in this mock, is the image copyright ID icon. In the bottom right corner of the main cathedral pic, there’s a CC licence symbol. I imagine that when you hover over this, a full credit will pop up over the picture, with link to the source, etc. It seems like a neat solution to me, and not one I’ve seen elsewhere.

I’ve stalled work on this for the time being as I wanted to get my second project up and running first…

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Some fun Sarah Jane Adventures stuff I designed!

Today was my final day at BBC Wales after handing in my notice last month. Though I still have absolutely no regrets, I have actually been enjoying more creative freedom over the last few weeks. If the previous two years had been similar, I may not have left…

Anyway, I thought I’d show and tell some of the things I’ve made. You can find all these in the SJA Fun and Games section.

Sarah Jane Adventures — Storyteller

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Paris, Photoshopped

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I’ve been working on another batch of my unprocessed Paris photographs tonight, and thought I’d share this one in its before and after states. I usually don’t do this much work to my images, but I thought this one would be worth a bit of extra effort. As you can see, I’ve shifted the elements into more pleasing positions and removed some distracting elements, then tweaked the colours a little.

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