Tag Archives: eccentric

Kelvedon Hatch Secret Nuclear Bunker

More photos from my visit to the Secret Bunker can be seen at the following flickr account and here

A dicator brand

Saparmyrat Niyazov outlawed opera, ballet and men listening to car radios. He decreed that the month of January should be named after him and April after his mother. He published a book of his spiritual thoughts that became required reading not only in schools, but for all those wishing to pass their driving test. Even for central Asia, the absolute rule of Sapurmurat Niyazov was colourful. He had his face everywhere including watch faces, vodka bottles, statuettes and public portraits on the street.

Some of his demands varied from the strange to the absurd:

Ordered the building of a palace made of ice to accommodate up to 1,000 people in the Turkmen desert.

Built numerous monuments to himself including a gold-plated statue that rotates to face the sun at all times

Plastered his own image on carpets, vodka bottles, watches and launched his own brand of perfume. When he dyed his hair black, he made it illegal to own watches which showed him with grey hair

Banned opera and ballet, long hair or beards for men and the playing of recorded music at any public event

Published a book of spiritual musings or “vessel of knowledge, wisdom and sound thought”, the Ruhnama, and introduced it into the country’s legal code

Changed the name of January to Turkmenbashi, and the name of April to that of his mother

Closed all hospitals except those in the capital, Ashgabat

Decreed the building of a desert zoo host penguins among others

Urged young people not to get gold dentures saying: “Those of you whose teeth have fallen out did not gnaw on bones. This is my advice.”

Via The guardian

Water salon at the DIRTCAFE

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During design week I was fortunate enough to experience an amazing informal debate/event called the DirtCafe based on the theme of water. It took place in Borough Market Trustees building right next to the market and consisted of people, wine and cheese! The dirt cafe is a collaborative & experimental London-based venture that began in 2004. According to the Dirtcafe website, “the collaborators of the Dirt Cafe Project seek humanising ways to unlock thinking by connecting specialists and influencers with those who question the status quo and give dimension to new and alternative scenarios.”

The event was filled with a variety of speakers talking about their own views on water including Surfers Against Sewage, Catherine Green and her Inside its Wet water RCA project, a medical tea herbalist, an artist who will melt an iceberg in London, store it in a mineral water bottle and sell it as an art piece for £500,000, a Mexican lady who discussed the still existing methods used to store water in a “botijo”, a Thames waterways expert, the founder of Artecnica and a lady who told us how to do sth green even if you are busy ( or lazy) at The Nag.

The DirtCafe is a brilliant way to bring a lot of disciplines together to discuss a huge subject that I never actually really thought could be so engaging. This format provides a way to meet a number of interesting peeps who can provide insights into many ways that design can be applied to re-analyse existing ways of thinking.

Good work Clair Hartten and Sarah Bilney!

Sir Peter Blake

Watched the Sir Peter Blake on The South Bank Show programme and absolutely loved his studio. His whole studio is pretty much a piece of work crammed with paraphenalia. Collections of typeface, objects that are white, picture frames, miniature pop culture figures, phrenology heads, victorian screens, autographs. A museum of himself that he will be able to leave behind for the future. A true eccentric.

Other worlds – The Raelians

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Along my journey of research into different cults and sects and societies i have been introduced to the aetheist UFO religion called the Raelians who were founded in the seventies and focus on on the social ideas of sexual self-determination, individualism, and humanitarianism in the spirit of sharing and responsibility. Such supporters are they of individual non judgemental thought and freedom that there is even a Rael’s Girls website that gives support to those who want to work in the sex industry. They even have their own Rael Radio.

Some inspiring people

Patrick Moore the Astronomer and host of The Sky at Night.

Patrick Moore, an astronomer from my hometown who set up his laboratory in his home and has been the host for the longest running TV programme, The Sky at Night…
Roald Dahl the writer
When I was little, Roald Dahl the writer was my hero and lived round the corner from me in Great Missenden in Bucks. He wrote Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Witches, BFG, The Twits and other distrubing stories.