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Saturday, May 25, 2013

40 years ago today...

40 years ago today, an LP was released which 'broke the rules'...
Tubular Bells was the work of teenage Mike Oldfield. He was backed by Richard Branson, who decided to create a record company called 'Virgin Records' so that he could release the album. Mike played all the instruments, and multi-tracked them. He created a continuous piece of music, rather than a lot of singles.

I first heard Tubular Bells when I was aged 10 or 11. My uncle Steven had a copy, and played it all the time when I went round to my nana's house. I loved it so much that I bought my own copy.

I have probably played this album well over a thousand times in my life. I have seen it performed live several times, and was also present at the world premiere of the 3rd version of the album - getting very wet on Horse Guards Parade.
Oldfield has also recorded other albums which together have formed the soundtrack to my life for the past 40 years.

Ommadawn is my 'train journey' album - 'Hergest Ridge' is my 'relaxation' album, and 'Crises' reminds me of my visit to Norway, and listening to 'The Lake' by the most wonderful glacial lake on a balmy evening...



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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

LocateStreet

Here's a mention for a new Geography game called LOCATESTREET 

This is a 'variation' on GeoGuessr, with various points being offered for guidance, although the Elevation option doesn't offer that much help...

You can choose to play on a Global basis, or other scales.

You are presented with 4 options of location to choose from, and if you pick the correct option you can earn bonus points for clicking on the actual location on a map...
The site takes you to some fairly out of the way places... I seemed to end up on rural roads, and in cul-de-sacs on industrial estates quite often.

Hardcore players should choose the GLOBAL option... and discover that South America looks a lot like Australia in places...
Choose the COUNTRY option, and explore a range of countries from a list, which includes the UK. This offers potential for a CITY based search for example.
There are also some US based Thematic search options.

The game is addictive. Had to stop myself playing on it last night....
If you get one of the highest scores so far you can enter your e-mail to be added to the High Score table. May be an incentive for some to use additional 'support' to search for business names etc., but that wouldn't be in the spirit of the game...

Also, while playing, I've come across a few random sights.
This looks like some sort of hawk diving into a field to catch something ?


And what is this bloke doing standing in the road ?


The game was developed by Nick Burkhart of Chelonia Labs in California.

As with GeoGuessr, there are various clues that you can look for to help with locating yourself in fairly random housing estates.

Telephone dialling codes tend not to be blurred out. 020 will tell you that you're in London.
If on a main road, head for junctions where there'll be road signs.
Look at the vernacular building materials - some places have distinctive stone or house designs.
Become familiar with the basic geography of London, which features heavily in the UK option.

Be aware though, that they can be misleading. I spotted a Yorkshire registration on a motorbike, which ended up being up in the far north of Scotland, flipping tourists...

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