No need to be Board

As the writer of Doctor Who was signing for fans in the Hayes’ Waterstone’s, the message “Bad Wolf,” a reference to the latest Doctor Who series appeared on the electronic sign outside. The sign allows passers-by to text any message to the screen, to be read by passers-by.

The Big Issue seller was given a helping hand by a message that read, “Big Issue for sale here. Please buy one.” Extreme amusement was also provided by a message that read, “Good Morning Cardiff. Big Brother is watching. Look behind you.” Seeing people spin around to find someone watching them is all too amusing.

Mr and Mrs Williams from Cardiff stopped to make sense of the exhibit. “It’s a strange novelty, that’s for sure. I thought it was something to do with the rugby,” said Mrs Williams.

Although the power trip you get from watching someone respond to your message is a little disturbing, this exhibit is great fun. It’s on from 10am – 11pm Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th October. To find out more go to May You Live in Interesting Times.


May You Live in Interesting Times

This weekend Cardiff is playing host to a weekend celebrating creative technologies. May You Live in Interesting Times, as it's called, is being organised by Bloc (Creative Technology Wales) and Chapter. The weekend is split into two sections. There is a conference going on over the weekend, at which such things as gaming and loative media will be discussed. While this is going on out and about in Cardiff people will be demonstrating their creative arts be it in the means of film, practical displays or hands-on activities. Examples of such events include Blast Theory's Can You See Me Now? (image above). A game in which players virtually control runners in the real city of Cardiff. Players will be located outside the National Museum and using hand-held computer devices will direct their runners around the city.
"Well, that's really cool, you're thinking." But you live nowhere near Cardiff, or you do, but the weather's a bit nasty at the moment. You're not sure if you'll have time to go along, and even if you do, how are you going to watch a film up at Chapter whilst attending an event down in the Bay? In the spirt of the event, you do it virtually.
Reporters will be out on the streets attending the events, talking to the onlookers, and writing about what they see. They will (almost) instantly blog their reports on the event's own blog, so that you can find out what is going on, pretty much as it happens. This is instant journalism, and I am lucky enough to be co-reporterting the event alongside Sarah Chapman, a fellow student at Cardiff School of Journalism.


Board Free News

What would you dare a bloke longboarding 5000 miles across Australia to do? Next August South Wales based Dave Cornthwaite sets out to break a world record, and he wants you to dare him.

Dave took up the sport just seven months ago, and already plans to use it to raise money for charity as he boards across Australia. The adventure came about when Dave, fed up with work and wanting to get away, was thinking of unusual ways to see the world:

“I decided to combine my newest and oldest passions. Longboarding collided with travel and BoardFree was born.”

Dave is asking people to sponsor him to carry out dares whilst he is on his adventure. To Dare Dave, go to

Halloween doesn't have to be scary

Halloween doesn’t have to be scary, according to Amnesty International. They are transforming Clwb Ifor Bach into a bubbling cauldron of entertainment for one spooky night.

On Sunday 30th November, from 3pm to midnight, the Welsh club will lend its three floors to a diverse Welsh event. Featuring over 80 acts, both new and established, the event will certainly cater to a wide range of tastes. The décor and sounds will no doubt be special; those who set up Glastonbury Festival’s Avalon Field are providing them.

Drum'n'bass, indie and bhangra, estonian folk, ska and stilt walking are just some of things that will be going on in the Meltdown Halloweenathon in which Amnesty is hoping to raise £1000. Performers are not being paid for their performances and just 12 volunteers are running the whole event.

For the full line-up go to www.cardiffmeltdown.com. Tickets are available from www.clwb.net and Spillers record shop in Cardiff City Centre.

Produced for Live Cardiff


Amanda Powell

Students on Cardiff University's postgraduate journalism diplomas were earlier treated to a talk from Amanda Powell, the editor of www.bbc.co.uk/walesnews and www.bbc.co.uk/newyddion.
She talked about exactly how the BBC ensures that it is covering news as it happens, it was very interesting. Apparently a BBC journalist can write the basic story within a very impressive five minutes.
When questioned about where the BBC's news sites are going to be going next Amanda mentioned the use of audio and visual technologies which they're working on incorporating into their sites. This basically means that internet users can watch television reports at any time rather than having to wait until the next news bulletin. This raises interesting issues about what will happen to the television broadcasts and how they will adapt to cope with this change.

A new Chapter in blogging

Next Friday Cardiff's Chapter Art Centre is holding a talk on the rise and importance of blogging. The talk is being given by one Victor Keegan who is well known for writing on this subject in The Guardian. It is being hosted by the fantastic CIPR and is certainly not to be missed by anyone even remotely interested in this exciting media.


Blog yourself up

There is an interesting article in this month's issue of Journalist, the NUJ (National Union of Journalists) magazine. Written by Graham Holliday he explained that his blog has brought him a number of commisions.
The article went on to state that many UK journalists are yet to realise the potential of a blog.
I took an unscientific survey of the 500-plus members of the www.freelancejournalism.com email discussion list. Only 12 admitted to writing a blog.

This is amazing when one of the Guardian's top editors recently said that she would not hire anyone who did not keep a blog. This is clearly the way forward.


S4C would like to meet...

S4C is soon to be using modern dating methods in order to improve the link between television and music companies in Wales.

The television company is inviting Welsh music companies to a ‘Speed Dating’ event being held on December 13th. Any music business that owns the copyright of the music they are promoting will be welcome at the event, being held at Cardiff’s Angel Hotel from 1pm.

Guto Brychan, Welsh Language Officer at Welsh Music Foundation comments:
“It enables music companies to come in direct contact with those within the television industry who are responsible for the music used in their programming.” He stresses that the people who attend must own the copyright of the material they’re promoting, or be acting on the owners behalf.

There will only be space for twelve companies but record labels, publishers, composers and musicians will all attend the event. S4C does however, plan to make the event a regular occurrence. As such it will allow television and music companies to network and keep in contact on a regular basis.

Produced for Sound Nation

Gypsy and Traveller Awareness Day

On October 17th Cardiff Council made a step towards lowering barriers between ethnic groups by holding a Gypsy and Traveller awareness day.

Held at County Hall the event was organised by the Policy and Economic Development Equality and the Gypsy and Traveller Service Provider Network.
Deputy Lord Mayor Councillor Monica Walsh opened the event, chaired by Councillor Judith Woodman, an Executive member for Communities, Housing and Social Justice. She spoke to alt:Cardiff:

“This event was held to make people more aware of the history, lives and culture of the gypsy & traveller community. Hopefully we can dispel some negative myths about this group. In Cardiff we have two sites and the gypsies and travellers who live there pay rent and council tax.”

Produced for alt:Cardiff


Cardiff Cycling Campaign

Cardiff Cycling Campaign fights for safer cycling in Cardiff. Alt:Cardiff spoke to senior member, Ken Barker, about the group’s work.
The new shopping centre, St Davids 2, is a current issue CCC is campaigning about. CCC feels that it would worsen cycling conditions and destroy vital bicycle routes. Mr Barker explains;
“St David’s 2 forces cyclists onto highly-trafficked roads with cyclist-hostile multi-lanes and complex junctions. In doing so it deters less confident cyclists from coming into the city centre, so counters increased cycling policy.”
Cardiff Cycling Campaign has been active since 1988. It campaigns and lobbies Welsh Assembly Members and Cardiff Councillors. It’s also part of Cardiff Council’s Cycling Liaison and of Cycle Campaign Network UK.
The group’s 250 members are updated about campaigns and issues affecting cyclists in Cardiff through use of a magazine and website. Members also attend monthly meetings.
To find out more go to www.cardiffcyclingcampaign.org.uk.

Produced for alt:Cardiff


Lost in Lost

Lost is currently the main topic of conversation every Thursday morning and many theories are being thrown around the internet (www.usatoday.com/life/television/news/2004-11-16-lost-mysteries_x.htm). The best site that I have found relating to it all so far is Channel Four's own site (www.channel4.com/entertainment/tv/microsites/L/lost/) and the Oceanic Airlines (www.oceanic-air.com/). If you have enough patience to investigate the site thoroughly you will find some very cool hidden extras.
I just really hope that whatever it is that is going on, it is absolutely brilliant. There is nothing more frustrating than dedicating many hours of cognitive processing simply to find out that it was all a dream or, they're all in heaven (although I think that there is sufficient evidence to prove the latter incorrect).
I am so addicted that I almost purchased the Lost magazine today. I was prevented by the fact that it was ultra-thin yet ultra-expensive. No thank you!
I don't like suspense, I just want to know. Please someone help me!



They’re no longer alright, they are swinging along to a much slower Badly Drawn Boy-esque sway. But it works! Music fans everywhere are gossiping about the how dark the music of Supergrass has got but the consensus seems to be the same everywhere, that it is an excellent move!
Low C, the first single to come from Road to Rouen, is the epitome of this style. It views days gone by through sepia-tinted glasses.

Produced for
Big Issue Cymru

2DTV - The Complete Series 5

15, 100mins (Contender Home Entertainment)

Series 5 of this hit show pokes fun at some of the most easily ridiculed celebrities, politicians and royals. The only concern is that some of the sketches are probably not all that far from the truth; indeed this is what makes them all the more entertaining.
Wayne Rooney, John Prescott and Gordon Ramsey all feature in this series and while the sketches that feature Peter Andre and Jordan are particular highlights, the most entertaining ones have to be those that make fun of Mr Bush.

Produced for Buzz

The Future's Funniest

This week Jongleurs is hosting the Cardiff heat of a comedy competition that allows the audience to choose tomorrow’s comedians.
Taking place on Thusrday 13th Oct, the event is part of the Samsung Mobile Comedy Live Tour that is searching for the student comedian of the year. The night will feature sets from the two competitors as well as stand-up routines from Jongleurs comedians.
Votes made by the audience on the night will contribute to 50% of the final vote, with the other 50% being made online at www.samsungcomedylive.com. The four competitors with the highest number of votes by Tuesday 29th November will take part in the final in London on 4th December.
The winner will not only be given the chance to do six paid gigs, but will also win £1000 cash and a Samsung mobile.

This is chance to have your say in the comedians of the future.

Produced for Live Cardiff

Brenden Stuart Burns, Oriel Davies

One man who appreciates his country is Welsh artist Brendan Stuart Burns. His works, celebrating the Pembrokeshire coastline, are being displayed in Oriel Davies from 15th October.
Winner of the National Eisteddfod Gold Medal in 1998, and Welsh Artist of the Year in 2000, this is a chance to see both existing and new works of one of Wales’ most promising artists.
Burns sets out to explore concepts of space, time, weather and light, mainly using pigment and wax. His extensive knowledge of the ever-changing Pembrokeshire Coast has been the influence for this large and ongoing series of paintings. Rarely seen charcoal and graphite sketches are to be featured in the exhibition, alongside the more familiar paintings.
Since obtaining his degree in Fine Art at Cardiff University in 1985 Burns has gone on to win many awards and to have been involved in many exhibitions. Burns is accustomed to being featured in exhibitions both as the main subject and as a contributing artist. Oriel Davies latest exhibition however is a major solo exhibition. Admission: free. Info: 01686 62504 (LB)

Produced for Buzz

Supergrass aren't alright

It’s been over a decade since they told us that they were Alright, but on Friday Supergrass will be at Cardiff Union proving that they’ve now experienced less happy times.
The past few years have been a testing time for some of the band members but the result is what is said by many to be their darkest album to date, Road to Rouen.
Although they have never had a UK number one, Supergrass have been a regular act on the singles chart since they first appeared there in February 1995. They are set to be back in the charts in a couple of weeks with new single Low C, scheduled for UK release on October 13th.

Produced for Live Cardiff

Mariah Shakes Off Another Number

She’s been kicking around the charts for years, but unlike other artists for whom the same can be said, she is still considered cool. Her endless success in teaming up with some of the hottest acts of the moment, Busta Rhymes on Give It To Me for example, is a sure help towards her endless success.

Get Your Number, released 26th September as a double A-Side with Shake It Off, is no exception; it is Jermaine Dupri that she has worked with to write and record this track together. Snoop Dog, Twista and Nelly are also artists featured on The Emancipation of Mimi, the album from which these tracks are coming.

Shake It Off
is about having the strength to leave a bad relationship whilst Get Your Number plays upon the experience of meeting in a club. The videos to both tracks are hot and loaded with all the coolest imagery, exactly as you would expect from Mariah, a girl who is much about the visual.

Marked out by Mariah’s endlessly beautiful and individual voice, both the latest album and Shake It Off are taking the US Billboard charts by storm. They follow the success of summer love-song We Belong Together.

It is worth your while listening to these tracks if you are either a Mariah fan or if you appreciate mainstream R’n’B.

Produced for London by Design

REVIEWS: When the Wind Blows, Shooting Stars and Rowetta

PG, 81mins (Channel 4 DVD, DVD)

Based on the illustrated novel by Raymond Briggs, author of The Snowman, comes a tale far more disturbing than the festive favourite.
First released in 1986, when the threat of nuclear war was great, it tells the tale of an elderly couple who endure a nuclear attack.
Although the animation reminds us how far we have come cinematically in twenty years, the subject is almost still as relevant today.
It’s refreshing to watch a film that’s making a social point, but don’t watch this if you’re looking for a comforting film.***LB

Produced for Buzz

Harry Shapiro
(Serpent’s Tail, £9.99)

In Shooting Stars, Shapiro poignantly highlights the differences and ironies between the reality of the drug world and its silver screen representation. He particularly focuses on the substance abuse that takes place behind the closed doors of the LA hills.
Using startling evidence and citing frightening statistics, Shapiro produces a startling book that is sure to interest fans of Trainspotting and of the Howard Marks biographies.

Rowetta (Gut Records)

It seems that Rowetta was so excited about being able to record a solo album that she just sang her favourite songs, regardless of whether or not that would make for a good album. There are only three originals on this 16 track album.
Some good versions are delivered though, with her rendition of Oasis Stop Crying Your Heart Out being a particular success. As with many covers it allows the true brilliance of the song writing to stand out.
She’d be good in a cabaret but is not going to storm the album charts.

Produced for Big Issue Cymru


Joe Blogs

A blog is an online diary. A blog is a place that Joe Bloggs can give his opinion about anything he so chooses. The idea is that someone out there wants to know what Joe Bloggs thinks. I'm not so convinced that is true. But I am not Joe Bloggs and I don't really mind if no-one ever reads my blog, the thought that someone might one day is satisfying but not the real reason for me starting this up. I am a young journalist training on Cardiff School of Journalism's Magazine Journalism course. I am interested in the media and am going to use this site to document what I think, primarily about the media world. I am also going to use this blog to show the work that I am creating. If anyone does ever find themselves on my site, especially Joe Bloggs, I would very much appreciate a comment just so I know if anyone does ever come here.