Monthly Archives: July 2008

Nuremberg Time

For the last weeks I have been visiting friends and relatives in Nuremberg in Germany.  I am having a fantastic time and am really busy. In fact I am having one of the best times of my life – though I seem to repeat this every year by now.  Reviewing the Edinburgh Festival for Three Weeks was also a brilliant experience, as was reporting the G8 summit in Germany last year.

At the moment I am very happy doing little internet video clips for a local media outlet in Nuremberg; it is good fun as I have a very funny collegue and lots of interesting topics to engage with – we got sent to the huge music festival Rock im Park to do pictures and we could listen to bands like Against Me! and famous ones like Prodigy and Rage against the Machine, we were also able to go to interesting press conferences with delicious foods and visit places the public is hardly able to see, like inside the castle of some local celebraties. Most of the time we are dealing with interesting topics like unknown sports like Lacrosse or dogdancing, or profile people with extra-ordinary professions or hobbies, like a stuntman or a circus performer.
It’s such a pity that there isn’t anything like this in Edinburgh!

At the start I was very keen to do more social and political news stories; however these are done by a different department and in a more distant style to the subject.
So friends and folks of leftwing politics:  most videos fall under the general interest headline; apart from that it is all in German.  [ videos ]

Indymedia UK breaking up?

Indymedia London just announced that they’ll be moving to a new technical CMS and thereby plan to leave the MIR site. As York Indymedia and our little Scotland site also did before, and Bristol also reconfirmed its technical autonomy some years ago,  but partly because of different reasons.

 Reasons are that the site is just getting too big now, and also there seem to be difficulties maintaining it as there are too few voluntary programmers willing and able to cope with the huge workload and able to code with Java; the original system has also been modified a lot so it would be a difficult task for new people to get involved with it.  The database is getting huge, too; and Scotland had to move because of DADA getting more and more faulty and trenched in spam.  At the moment Drupal is pretty much in; because of the strong links with the GNU/Linux community it is quite an adaptable solution, though there still seem to be some problems with video, picture and audio publishing.

Discussions and debates in the network have already focussed on providing an rss-syndicated frontpage incorporating a lot more different groups and other alternative media and campaign sites news, but thereby changing the editorial radically as the reporting guidelines can be circumvented when syndicating content from other sites.


Every worm in my compost bin is happy

Over the last months I have been initiating a worm composting project in our highrise community in Edinburgh. I found a very enthusiastic supporter in Jenni Marrow, the chair of the Muirhouse Community Council, who managed to get a waste recycling grant from Edinburgh Council for this pilot project.

Unfortunately Jenni died in the middle of May, the funeral was pretty big with about 120 or so attendants. However, Jenni worked hard for so many more people – she pretty much single-handedly managed to derail the privatisation of social housing in Edinburgh by campaigning hard against the stock transfer  which had a multi-million pound PR project, and she won against them. 

It is a big shock for everybody in the community, especially as the Muirhose Community Council will now be much less active as Jennis best friend also had to leave the group because of health problems.

The worm composting project is therefore delayed till middle of August or so. I am looking forward to it, always wanted to try it out but the materials are so expensive.
The advantages of composting with worms is that it can be done indoors, its much quicker than composting in the garden and it should produce high quality compost and liquid fertiliser for gardeners. Apart from that, it saves organic material from going into the rubbish bin. Worms can also digest materials not compostable in outdoor compost bins, like bread, pasta, rice, food leftovers and similar.