helenic: (CCTV - PSUK)

Last week PSUK were invited to the Westminster Legal Policy Forum Keynote Seminar on the future of policing - accountability, cost and effectiveness. Which was kind of cool, and kind of scary. I went on my own as they could only afford to fund one delegate (and we couldn't afford the £90 concession ticket or whatever it was) and Denny had been to one on his own last month on DNA databases. It was very interesting, and I've written a couple of articles in response to the discussion:

The future of policing: trust and accountability )

The future of policing: collaboration and social media )

Now that Denny's running for Parliament, he's taking a back seat in the maintenance of Police State UK until after the election. Given I'm already running three other businesses in addition to my political volunteer work, and that I'm also helping him with his campaign to some extent, I really don't have time to step up my involvement in PSUK; I've been spending more time on it over the last two weeks, but that really isn't sustainable. This means we are looking for contributions even more than normal. If you care about politics and civil liberties in the UK, please consider writing something for us - it doesn't have to be complex. I've written some guidelines for articles to help people get started. If you're interested but there's some barrier preventing you from contributing, let me know and I'll do what I can to help.

helenic: (Default)

For the last few days I've been helping [personal profile] denny with a secret project. This morning it became not-so-secret.

For each vote coming up in Parliament, I will put a poll on this website. Every voter living in Hackney South and Shoreditch will have a login for the site, and will be able to vote in the polls using their computer or their mobile phone.
Whatever the majority vote is, I will vote that way.

My partner [personal profile] denny is running for Parliament as an independent candidate, on a platform of direct digital democracy. This is very exciting! If he's elected, he'll use his communications budget to develop a secure site for the polls, based on authenticated individual logins and the electoral roll for his constituency. (Non-constituents may have a separate poll, but their vote won't be counted.) Many aspects of the idea will be refined democratically through the website, and engagement is very strongly encouraged. The hope is that other candidates will eventually want to stand on a similar platform - and in fact in the last few hours he's already had an enquiry or two along these lines.

The campaign is launching quite late in the day, so he needs all the help he can get. If you believe in the need for bottom-up democratic reform and think the idea has potential, please help spread the word. If you could post about the campaign on twitter, facebook, LJ or other social media that would be brilliant - his main chance of publicity is through word-of-mouth. In addition, he is particularly looking for:

- journalists and bloggers who might be interested in covering the campaign;
- magazine, newspaper or website editors who would like to run an article;
- people to print and/or distribute leaflets or sheets of stickers (an office printer will do);
- printers who might be able to offer a discount on print runs;
- people to design promotional materials such as leaflets, postcards, business cards (I'm doing my best, but I'm already very short of time - I can send you all the assets and resources you need);
- people to write to papers, journalists, MPs, Lords or other public figures, to call their attention to the campaign and ask if they're able to help.

He also needs donations to cover the compulsory deposit and campaign costs, but publicity is just as important at this stage - if not more so.

There's already been an exciting response from the internets so far today. Stoke Newington People ran an unsolicited article by Seamus McCauley, and blogger Jonathan MacDonald surprised us with a second. Twitter seems to like the idea. Online publicity is his main hope of success, especially if the campaign is covered in local and national papers, but of course it doesn't translate to support in his constituency, so he'll be canvassing and doing all the normal things as well. Any support you can give would be very much appreciated.

Edit: Wow. Thanks so much for all the responses and criticism; it's been a fascinating discussion. I'm sorry I don't have time to reply to every comment individually, but check this thread for my general response to people's concerns.

helenic: (inspiral)

The Memory Glow lantern installation for the Planet Angel X-Party continues apace. Here's the blurb in case you missed it. And a sneak preview picture! )

Our 'studio' has been relocated from the living room of [personal profile] bard's house (many thanks to him, [livejournal.com profile] strongtrousers and [profile] cyrus_ii for putting up with us imposing for quite so long) to my parents' new house in Chigwell, because it has All The Rooms and my parents are lovely. We're not used to being close enough to do this kind of favour for each other. It's marvellous and I'm immensely grateful for it.

So today, Niamh and I are moving into one of my parents' spare rooms for a week, so I can devout my every spare waking hour to finishing decorating lanterns without leaving my cat abandoned and starving in Tottenham. It's going to be a bit strange being away from my comptuer and commuting to OG from there, but it's the only option. This would be massively easier if I had a studio, or a bigger house, but while I'm still earning my fortune I'm really lucky to have parents who are willing and able to help out.

As well as the inevitable last-minute finishing-the-lanterns crisis, entirely unhelped by [livejournal.com profile] bluedevi's and my chronic perfectionism, at the moment I'm trying to untangle a whole heap of last minute logistical crises. The lantern-making workshop we're running on the night is now sorted in terms of designs and materials. The LEDs for the installation have been ordered and we've got a plan for how and when we're going to rig them. [livejournal.com profile] bluedevi and I will head to the venue on the morning of the Party to spend the day rigging and getting everything right (and dealing with the inevitable last minute things going wrong). We're running the craft table until midnight and (I think!) have the rest of the evening off to party and enjoy ourselves :) Then we're staying on Saturday morning to de rig, and we have a tentative plan for where the lanterns go after the Party.

But we're stuck on how to get them there. This isn't really a last-minute panic - we've known all along that we didn't have a transport solution, and were relying on Planet Angel to help out. But various options have fallen through, and we're getting to the stage of Desperately Asking Everyone We Know On The Internet. Hi, internet! We can offer free tickets to the Party, petrol money, pints of your favourite tipple and probably more - if there's something you'd like in return just ask and we'll see what we can do :)

There are twelve lanterns of varying sizes. Half of them are stackable cuboids and cylinders; a few are awkward round shapes. Three of them are BIG round shapes - the biggest is 3ft across. It's a bit tricky because they're bulky and fragile (although very lightweight) so ideally we are looking for someone with an estate car or people carrier.

At the moment they're in Chigwell in Essex, at my parents' house. We need to get them from there to the Colosseum in Vauxhall on the morning of Friday 27th so we can rig the installation. We know they just about fit in a car because [profile] strongtrousers drove them to Chigwell, although it'll be a tight squeeze and there won't be space for passengers.

Now there are two ways of doing this...

If someone is able to drive to Chigwell on Friday morning, we'll help you pack the lanterns into the car, then you drive to Vauxhall while [livejournal.com profile] bluedevi and I get on the tube (carrying the biggest two/three lanterns by hand if necessary) and meet you at the venue. Easy!

However, we know that most people are working during the day Friday ... so if necessary we can do the journey in two stages.

If anyone is able to drive up to Chigwell on Wednesday or Thursday (in the evening maybe?) and drop the lanterns off somewhere in South/Central London a bit closer to Vauxhall, we can leave them there until Friday morning and then collect them in a cab to take them to the venue.

So... is anyone able to help out with the driving? And if you don't drive, do you have a house within affordable cab distance of Vauxhall where you could store our lantern project for a day or two next week?

Thanks so much in advance to anyone able to volunteer. We are A Bit Stuck so any help you could give would be massively appreciated.

helenic: (whitby - by the sea)

Does anyone have a Victorian/Edwardian outfit I could borrow for Thursday or Friday next week (21/22 May)? We're doing a two-day shoot in Greenwich and I've got custom-made costumes sorted for most of the scenes, but it would be really good to have a different one for me to wear at the beginning of the film when my character arrives at the house. It's about 1900, my character is a governessy type of young aristocrat, a bit like Jane Eyre but obviously later. Costume doesn't have to be perfect for the period, it wouldn't be out of character for her to be wearing something old-fashioned. Unfortunately our budget doesn't stretch to hiring something just for one 2 minute scene, and I should have sorted this out months ago but I've just had too many other things to think about.

Most of my Victoriana is either lower-class (maidservant etc) or a bit goth; plus I wore my black silk taffeta in the previous film and it would be nice if it wasn't totally obvious how limited our wardrobe is ;)

I don't need a whole costume necessarily - bare minimum would be a hat, and a coat or travelling cloak which I could wear over one of my long skirts. But if anyone has a suitable dress or skirt suit in a size 8-12 that would be amazing. I can travel within London to collect on Mon-Wed next week, or cover postage costs. If you can help, I'll happily buy you something off Amazon or Play.com to say thankyou. :)


Aug. 31st, 2007 03:22 am
helenic: (windowsill; cafe; people-watching)

1. I am supposed to be packing. I have been supposed to be packing all week. I haven't been doing much packing. I've packed the books in the lounge. That's it: I haven't even started on my room yet, let alone the kitchen and bathroom and porch. I'm confident I can do it between now and tomorrow evening, but I do need to sleep tomorrow evening so I'm vaguely alive for the move on Saturday. Which means I'll be missing Night 1 of [livejournal.com profile] anarquistador's leaving party, but I'm hoping to catch him at some point between now and him fleeing the country forever, even if it's just to find out where he's passed out on Sunday afternoon and go hug him for a bit.

2. One of the complications with the whole "packing all night and all day tomorrow" plan is that the Foundry called me today asking me to be on their radio show tomorrow lunchtime. It's an informal chat show which I've listened to a few times, and I've said yes, on the understanding that I'm staying up all night packing and may not be a) coherent or b) awake even if I have done enough packing to justify going over there for a couple of hours. Anyway, if any of you want to listen to me ramble about our art tomorrow, you can find the live mp3/realaudio stream here. They have keywords to kickstart discussion each show, and apparently tomorrow's are "Electric, eclectic, eccentric". Anyone got any bright or funny ideas vaguely related to those, let me know and I'll take them with me.

3. The Foundry asked if we could leave the exhibition up until Tuesday 4th, because although the place is closed Mondays apparently they have a private showing and they want our stuff to still be up for that. It's more likely to be a mate of the barman than anything highbrow or exciting, but still, it's nice that they want to show off our art. So I need to go round next Tuesday at midday to take everything down, get the screws out of the walls, etc. I'm hoping Kristen can help me as she's off work next week, but I'm not sure what we're going to do with all the paintings. Would anyone who's buying a piece be able to collect it on Tuesday afternoon or evening? If evening, I can possibly leave things at Denny's (he lives near the Foundry) for a few hours to save transporting them across London to the new house, but I don't want to fill his flat with canvasses all week, so if you can't collect on Tuesday you'll need to visit the new house to pick things up. It's Seaford Road, near Seven Sisters. I guess I'll have to rely on cabs to carry everything back there from the Foundry.

4. I have a box in my room containing approximately 4 000 K~nesis flyers. This is aggravating me, as I could really use that box for packing. What do I DO with these flyers? Ideas so far include papering the new house with them and constructing a new sculptural art piece out of them. However, both of these plans involve carrying them to the new house, which means I don't get to use the box. Hrrrrm. I could litter the city with them, but I'm only leaving the house tomorrow to go and do this radio show. Maybe I'll ask people's opinions on air.

helenic: (ARTISTE dahling)

We're on the Foundry website! It's real! And we're nearly there! Most of this week and weekend is being spent frantically finishing everything. Kristen and I are going to be bringing everything left at her flat in Maidenhead back with us on the train on Saturday, which will be tricky, but since neither of us drive it's our only option. After that, we just have to work out how to get it from the Catcave to the Foundry.

We'll be able to start work installing the exhibition from 2pm on Tuesday afternoon, and the work will all need to be completed by 6pm. We won't get any help from the venue, so the afternoon will be an entertaining one of painting the walls, drilling holes and hanging hooks, sticking up titles and prices, arranging sculptures and canvasses, and working out how to suspend things from the ceiling. It'll be hard work but lots of fun, hopefully.

The Foundry have offered to let us bring all our gear on Sunday evening, so that it can be left there until we arrive on Tuesday to set everything up (they're completely closed on Monday). This would mean that if any of our friends who drive are able to help us transport artworks from Archway to Old Street, then we could do so outside of working hours, which makes things slightly more flexible. However, we would need to turn up with all our stuff after the bar had closed on Sunday - between 10.30pm and midnight would be best. Kristen will need to have gone back to Maidenhead by then for work on Sunday, so if we are taking stuff over on Sunday it'll be just me.

It would be really really useful if any of our friends were able to help with setting the exhibition up, and love/beer/presents would be happily given in return if you wanted to be part of it :) Would anyone be available and willing to help with any of the following?

- driving paintings/sculptures from Archway Road (N19 3TT) to the Foundry (EC2A 3JL) on Sunday night, aiming to get there by 11pm - it's about a half hour drive. We wouldn't have more than a carload; if you had a car in which the back seats could be put down, that would be ideal as paintings could be laid flat.
- driving the rest of the artworks to the Foundry on Tuesday, aiming to get there by 2pm.
- if you don't drive, helping us carry paintings/sculptures down to the taxi on Sunday or Tuesday (one of the sculptures is heavy and fragile, and will take some care to move).
- lending us tools to hang paintings - an electric drill and hammer would be particularly useful
- coming along on Tuesday afternoon to help vandalise do creative DIY in our corner of the Foundry (Kristen and I will act as creative directors so you don't have to have any ideas unless you want to, but since we're quite short on time it would be fantastic to have an extra pair of hands to help with the physical work).
- distributing flyers around your London workplace, or pubs/coffeeshops etc this weekend

If there aren't any drivers available then we can make do with taxis, but if we could get even one lift there on either day then it would make it far, far easier and cheaper. Please let us know if you're around at either of these times and able to help out! Free drinks at the launch party and similar boons are available in exchange - as well as our deep gratitude and the chance to be involved in an art project which is extremely special for us, and hopefully fun and exciting for everyone else :)

And for everyone else, a reminder: the exhibition is set up on Tuesday 21st, but the launch party will be the evening of Wednesday 22nd, from 6pm (I'm not sure what time we'll be arriving). There will be interesting and entertaining music by [livejournal.com profile] kilinrax, locally brewed beer, and lots of art as well as ours - but of course, ours is going to be the most interesting. Do invite friends, family, co-workers, and rich people.

If you can't make the launch, the exhibition is open until Sunday 2nd September. I'll be there on the evenings of the 21st, the 22nd, the 23rd (maybe) and the 24th, so I doubt I'll be able to give any other guided tours. You are, of course, welcome to look round in your own time, or turn up on any of those nights to say hello :)

helenic: (Default)

I'm trying to add an element to an existing webpage - www.lapada.org. On their Fairs and Exhibitions page, I need to add four subsections inbetween the "LAPADA Fairs" heading and the main text. The new sections should look like this.

I've coded these subsections such that they work in IE. In Firefox, I have what looks like a 5 pixel gap underneath each image. According to Firebug, the gap is inside the 'imagecell' td, but it shouldn't be there, and I can't find a way of removing it.

When I insert this code into the existing LAPADA page, this gap underneath each image disappears. Fine. But there's a worse problem: a similar gap to the right hand side of either the title or textbox td, causing these cells to be wider than the image between them, and making the fixed-width background of the textbox td start to repeat on the right hand side. This problem exists in both Firefox and IE. Because this space doesn't exist when the code is taken out of context, I'm assuming it's some existing piece of styling on the LAPADA website interfering with the new sections. But I can't work out what could be causing it.

The existing LAPADA page with my new sections added to it can be seen here.

Can anyone advise me on
a) how to get rid of the horizontal gap in this page? (because I don't know what's causing it, and it's bugging me)
b) how to get rid of the extra space on the right hand side of each column in this page?

helenic: (Default)

Does anyone know who just left a voicemail message on my phone? It's being weird and not letting me top up, so I can't check it. If it was you, ring again?

helenic: (innocent kitten eyes)

At my birthday picnic we¹ really did consume an immense amount of food and drink. The shining moments of culinary delight, however, were:

1. The Eternal Pimms. [livejournal.com profile] corchen had the brilliant idea of buying one of those enormous tupperware cereal canisters with the lift up pour-lids, which turned out to hold about three litres of liquid. We put ice and chopped strawberries and cucumber into it, and every time it was emptied we left the fruit in the bottom and just refilled it with more liquid. Over the course of the afternoon it had added to it: Pimms and ginger ale, white wine, gin and tonic, limes, Pimms and lemonade and gin, more wine. The fruit became more and more interesting with each incarnation.

2. SALAAAADS. FOUR yummy delicious summery salads. Potato salad with new potatoes, full-fat mayonnaise, chopped fresh chives, sea salt and black pepper! Greek salad with quartered cherry tomatoes and finely sliced feta and quartered olives and mixed leaves and basil and raw garlic and a tiny bit of garlicy vinagrette! Green salad with big soft shredded lettuce and mixed leaves and avocado and spring onions and lemon zest and sliced cucumber and lemony vinagrette! Pasta salad with fusilli and tuna steak and chopped anchovies and capers and chopped cucumber and olive oil and black pepper and full-fat mayonnaise! They were faaaabulous. Although in retrospect, the pasta salad was a little too salty and should have had fewer capers, and the green salad could have got away with a lot more avocado. The potato salad was perfect. I love potato salad so much.

This summer, in the beautiful huge tiled kitchen of our luxurious penthouse uberflat, I intend to continue to make many wonderful salads. Tell me your favourite salad recipes!

[1] "We" being [livejournal.com profile] libellum, [livejournal.com profile] corchen, [livejournal.com profile] lovelyoliver, [livejournal.com profile] strongtrousers, [livejournal.com profile] cantabulous, [livejournal.com profile] elise, [livejournal.com profile] the_lady_lily, [livejournal.com profile] medieval_bunny, [livejournal.com profile] feanelwa, [livejournal.com profile] rathenar, [livejournal.com profile] _nicolai_, [livejournal.com profile] surje, [livejournal.com profile] casilda, [livejournal.com profile] deborah_c, [livejournal.com profile] davefish, [livejournal.com profile] the_alchemist, [livejournal.com profile] _proserpina_, [livejournal.com profile] deliberateblank, [livejournal.com profile] fiona_kitty, [livejournal.com profile] robinbloke, [livejournal.com profile] smcv. Anyone I've forgotten?


Jun. 24th, 2005 09:31 pm
helenic: (Sappho writing; speculative; thoughtful)

I've updated my Amazon wishlist. Is posting the link really awful? I only remembered I had it when, after following a link to Martin West's translation of (and article on) the newly released Sappho poem, I ended up reading Edith Hall's review (scroll down) of Josephine Balmer's translations and poetry. Which of course I immediately coveted, and then realised that a) I had a wishlist and b) it's my 21st birthday on Tuesday. This is as much a recommendation as a request - from the sound of it, everyone else should read Balmer too. That you should read the Sappho poem, of course, goes without saying.

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