All change!

I’m moving the blog onto a new web server, so things might be a little weird for a couple of days 🙂
To help make the move, I’m using my “other” domain ( but this will eventually revert back to once everything is working okay.

It’s raining squirrels

Squirrels falling out of the sky isn’t something that’s unheard of in Huddersfield — see this BBC News story about an inventor who suffered whiplash from a falling squirrel — but I’d not seen it happen until yesterday.
Late yesterday afternoon, we ventured out into the snow and had a little wander through the local woods. I’d taken my camera with me and, not too far into the woods, I took this photo of the path…
My camera’s set up to do a “burst” of shots, so it automatically took another 3 photos in quick succession. Just as I was taking the first photo, I was aware of a noise in the tree tops — what I didn’t realise was it was the sound of a squirrel falling 😀
The next shot caught the squirrel in mid-fall, although it’s just a blur in the middle of the frame…
…it had a soft landing in about 9 inches of snow…
…and then headed straight back up the nearest tree…
…within seconds it was leaping around the tree tops like nothing had happened…

Yay for Talis!

Congratulations to both Talis and LibLime!

Talis, the UK market leader in providing academic and public library solutions, and LibLime, the leader in open solutions for libraries, are pleased to announce a partnership to make available over five million bibliographic records to the library community on the ‡ platform.
Talis and LibLime Open Data on ‡

How cool is that?

ITV Unforgiven – campus shots

Following on from the last blog post, here’s some of the “on-campus” photos…
(that naughty faked “York” signage)
(Quayside, staged to look like a student cafeteria)
snapshot20090128184323 snapshot20090128184333
(The Art & Design section of the Main Library — apparently the few seconds of footage that appeared in the final programme took 3 hours to shoot!)
(St Paul’s Hall — a venue that attendees of the world famous Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival will be familiar with)
snapshot20090128183905 snapshot20090128184223
(outside the Creative Arts Building — the foundation stone was unveiled by The Queen in 2007)
(inside the Creative Arts Building, with St Paul’s Hall in the background)
snapshot20090128184155 snapshot20090128184342
(Storthes Hall, student accommodation)

Hey up — we’re on TV!

The last episode of “Unforgiven” (IMDB) has just finished, and it featured quite a bit of footage filmed on-campus at the University of Huddersfield — mostly in the new Creative Arts Building, opposite the library…
However, if you watched the programme, you probably spotted that the TV production crew covered up the University of Huddersfield signage and replaced it with “University of York”. They even used the same font and design as York!!!
I’m not sure if there’s anyone from York reading this blog, but I’m curious to know what exactly happened. Presumably the University of York gave the production company permission to use their corporate branding? If so, why didn’t they just do the filming at York in the first place? I’m also surprised that the top brass at Huddersfield gave the production company permission to dress our University as another one — especially one that wasn’t a fictional university :-S
Anyway, if you did watch the final episode, the parts where Ruth Slater (played by Suranne Jones) followed her sister (Emily Beecham) to the university were filmed at Huddersfield in the Creative Arts Building and in the Quayside area of the Central Services Building.

Britannica 2.0

Whilst reading an article on The Times web site about Britannica turning up late to the 2.0 party (“Britannica 2.0 shows Wikipedia how it’s done“), this sentence jumped out at me:

Mr Cauz [Britannica’s president] said the Britannica site was “definitely not as popular” as Wikipedia, attracting about 1.5 million people each day compared with Wikipedia’s approximate 6 million visitors a day.

Do those figures seem a little fishy to you? As Information Professionals, is your usage ratio of Britannica to Wikipedia 1:4?
According to Quantcast, in the USA alone, there are an average estimated 8,300,000 people visiting the domain every day (or 69,565,464 people per month). A 2007 report on the comScore web site indicates that the USA represents around 20% of the worldwide internet audience so, potentially, Wikipedia may be attracting up to 41,500,000 people per day**.
The comparative US figures on Quantcast for the domain are an average estimated 170,300 people per day or 3,925,622 per month.
Maybe Quantcast isn’t that relaible? So, I went to Alexa and downloaded their daily list of the top 1,000,000 web sites. Not surpisingly, Wikipedia was near the top of the list (#8). Britannica doesn’t even make the list. In fact, according to Alexa, the following sites (which do make the top million list) are more popular than Britannica…

…I wonder if Mr Cauz lies awake at night worrying that YouTube user happygal17 (SFW) is apparently more popular than Britannica?
I guess it’s true what they say — you can’t always believe everything you read in newspapers!
** – the figure will likely be much lower, as Wikipedia doesn’t make the top 50 most visited sites in China (it’s currently #65)