Remembrance Day still matters to Farnham residents

Nearly a century after the end of World War One, Farnham residents believe Poppy Day has as much relevance to them and their children as ever, while young British men and women fight abroad for their country.

Jack Keene reports for UCA Journalism News. 


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WordPress › Taking WordPress to War

Fascinating account of how photo journalist Teru Kuwayama carried out a reporting project in Afghanistan using WordPress as his publishing tool. Video session from this year’s Wordcamp event.

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Taking on OU mathematics – I think I may have miscalculated a bit


Another big gap in posting on my main Freelance Unbound blog in October (and, indeed, November) is not simply a sign that I am working too hard at my day job. No – the new university semester is drowning me as a learner, as well as a teacher.

This October saw me take on my dark nemesis – maths. And despite all my best intentions, my arch-foe looks like defeating me again.

Maths was my undoing at school. I did fine up to O-Level Elementary Maths – but then took on something called Additional Maths, which flummoxed me completely. Suddenly, equations had things like exclamation marks in them – what on earth was that about?

And I had no idea what any of it was for. Integration? Differentiation? I could understand trigonometry, and things like simultaneous equations. But this new material was bewildering. So I quietly gave up and moved on to English Literature and Economics.

This has always bothered me. So during my Open University science degree I’ve been determined to beat maths into submission. After all – I’m an adult now. I’m motivated and wise. Mature and methodical. Maths can’t defeat me again.

Oh dear. My first science unit with the OU was a gentle romp. I even understood basic quantum mechanics. But this maths unit (MST121 – Using Mathematics: a “broad, enjoyable introduction to university-level mathematics”) is made of sterner stuff.

Depressingly, I’ve pretty much hit a brick wall with it, just as I’ve reached the crossover between what I achieved successfully at school and the material that defeated me. All that stuff about being more mature and motivated seems not to be helping at all. 

Maybe the truth is that I can’t do it. I am actually a failure at maths beyond the basics. 

It’s a blow. I had really wanted to specialise in physics for my OU degree. Just like that chirpy Brian Cox, I wanted to probe the mysteries of the cosmos and delve into the subatomic structures of matter. 

But it looks like I may have to have a backup plan. Still – chemistry is pretty interesting. And I hear there is actually quite a bit of work in the field these days too…


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Paint the whole world…


Up above the streets and houses (of Stroud, in this case). Saw a double rainbow earlier in the afternoon, but the photo didn’t work…

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Video: Carole Waller fashion show Bath, 6 Oct 2011

Thursday night saw Bath’s well-heeled fashionistas and a bevy of fashion and textile students descend on the city’s quirky Octagon venue for an evening of see and be-seen at a fashion show by Bath-based textile artist Carole Waller.

There were loads of film and media folk too, going by the sheer weight of high-tech camera and video equipment. And brand new, soon-to-be-launched Bath “digital magazine” (read: “web site”) EdenBath was present with not one, but two correspondents in evidence. Watch this space for a report from its November launch party, if they remember to send me an invitation.

The even was recorded for UCA Journalism News by this roving correspondent via iPhone. More to come on its shortcomings as a journalistic reporting tool.

Typically the venue’s power cut out shortly after the fashion show, meaning the eager punters weren’t able to actually buy as much of the clothing as the organisers hoped, as the credit card machines went offline. Anyone in Bath on Sunday (today, 9 October) can grab the chance to go to the last day of the selling exhibition and buy a small piece of unique design history.


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The brutal truth about nature


It’s not nice and it’s not pretty…

(Though otherwise it was a lovely walk around the Ashton Court Estate.)

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Why I moved to Bath…


…and got a dog. Otherwise I’d be drinking coffee and reading the paper, just like anywhere.

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