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#savefabric

Maybe you’ve heard of fabric in London if you’re into electronic music. I have never been there myself but I’ve been enjoying many of their live mixes which they sell online.

Unfortunately fabric closed down this year. Two men OD’d and died on the premises, which is why the council revoked their license.

Discussions ensue. About the future of safe clubbing, and of music.

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Since then, the London club scene has launched a massive campaign to save the culture. Which also results in this 111 track compilation – ten quid for 11 hours of music. I’m in.

Sherlocking London

We just spent four days touring London with a bit of a twist. As many of you might know, I’m a fan, and have been looking forward to exploring the city memorably serving as a backdrop to the famous detective. Even though most of BBC Sherlock was shot in Cardiff, many exterior shots were filmed in London. So we visited most of them and some of the ACD canon locations as well.

As a base, we used this free Sherlock Holmes tour:

If you want to know more about the locations, Sherlockology has a pretty swell list.

Lots of gratuitious selfies ahead, so stop reading now if you’re not into stupidly happy people. Consider yourself warned.

Sunday 

We arrived at Heathrow at an ungodly hour and had to have a kip once we checked into our hotel. In the evening, we started the tour at Picadilly Circus.

picadilly

This location is at the beginning for two reasons: It’s in the opening title of the BBC show as an iconic London landmark. In ‘A study in Scarlet’ Watson meets his friend Stamford at the Criterion. Over dinner he tells him that Sherlock is looking for a roommate. The Criterion is very beautiful:

crit_photo

We were a bit underdressed but had some kick-ass martinis and ogled the gold ceiling (Thias had Tiramisu and I’m holding a surprisingly delicious Chili and Passionfruit concoction).

criterion-lene

After that, we met up with a friend and went to metal pub in Camden. Talk about contrast.

Monday

On Monday we had a Full English at Speedy’s Café. Best coffee I had in London so far.

speedys

And of course, a gratuitious picture in front of “221b”.

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While scanning for free wifi I found this little gimmick:

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Hilarious!

Then we adjourned to the real 221b Baker Street. Emerging from the tube, you bump into the Sherlock Holmes statue.

sherlock-statue

There is a little QR code you can scan as a part of the talking statues art project. He wishes he was facing the other way because it’s so boring. Also he misses Watson at his side. So sad.

The Sherlock Holmes Museum at 221b Baker Street was expensive (15PS) but nice nonetheless. The first thing you notice when you enter is the intense smell, lemongrass oil. I wonder why they burn it, maybe the whole place reeks? It is rather old.

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Obligatory picture in the study, pipe, hat, the whole shebang.

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Behold the Hound and the mostly Chinese fan mail he boldly protects.

hound.jpg

After that we had stroll around Regent’s park to catch a break from all the belligerent tourists with their stupid selfie sticks. I was too ashamed to be photographed outside the museum wearing a deerstalker. I just couldn’t do it. It’s just an ear hat, anyway.

In the afternoon, we drove out to St. Barts.

barts

Sherlock jumped off the roof here. For the record, I still don’t believe Moriarty is really dead. If Sherlock can fake it, so can he.

barts-outside

Sherlock left quite the “impact”, there was this where he landed on the pavement.

barts-baustelle

If you zoom in closely, you can see the fan grafitti. Seems to be sort of a pilgrimage thing. The pathology wing is not in active use anymore, so tons of people wrote in the dirt on the windows.

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Speaking of fan fiction and various *locks, it might have made me chuckle just a tiny bit what kind of street is located exactly opposite the wing.

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We had a Sherlock-and-Molly-appropriate lunch at Barts (without any corpses).

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Next up was Tower 42, used as the bank in “The Blind Banker”. Exterior shot:

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Interior shot. Managed to sneak a quick picture in the lobby. As if I was going to rob them. Or am I?

tower-42-inside

Mike Stamford and John Watson meet in Russell Square Garden in the new series. They’re still drinking Criterion coffee as a nod toward the original meeting place.

russell-square

After all that walking around we thought “Let’s have dinner!” and went to Angelo’s. Or rather, Tapas Brindisa in Soho. They redecorated a bit since filming ‘A Study in Pink’, but the hanging lights are still there.

brindisa-inside

Need a cab?

brindisa-outside

Tuesday

We started at the South Bank and systematically worked our way to Belgravia.The South Bank is basically all of ‘The Blind Banker’.

OXO Tower Wharf is where they find the murdered museum security guard. Fortunately, it was low tide, so we could descend to the shore.

oxo-wharf

Next up was the skate park where they find the code fragments.

skate-park

Waterloo Bridge (where Sherlock meets a representative of the Homeless network) is also there, but it was a bit dangerous on the other side.

Trafalgar Square.

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The Diogenes Club aka the British Academy.

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St. James Park, on our way to solve the attempted murder at the Wellington Barracks.

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Observing Wellington Barracks.

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For reference: ‘The Sign of Three’

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My Watson is not in the picture because he’s obviously taking it.

New Scotland Yard. Hi, Greg.

scotland-yard

44 Eaton Square. Hi, Irene.

eaton-square

In the evening, we paid a visit to the Sherlock Holmes Pub near Trafalgar Square.

sh-pub

I had Mrs Hudson’s Ale Pie and the local Sherlock Holmes brew. Couldn’t move after, so good.

There is a study you can peak into.

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Little details in decoration.

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After dinner, we went for a stroll along the shore again.

Hungerford Bridge by night.

hungerford-bridge

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Wednesday

In the morning we visited the Natural History Museum, which in the late 19th century was still called the British Museum where Sherlock Holmes went for his research occasionally. Lots of dinosaurs and dead things.

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Postcards home! Can you decipher it?

postcard

Flying home in the evening. Bye, London.

bye-london

 

Black light objects

We resurrected the Zauberwald at Waldeck Freakquenz 2016, an small forest clearing with surround sound installations. It’s really quite the experience, standing in a beautifully illuminated forest and not being able to pinpoint the exact location where the sound emanates from.

Since we had some black lights, we decided on some last minute crafting. Here is a short instruction on how to build some easy black light objects.

Materials for one object:

about 2,4 m strips of wood (thin)

small nails

hammer

white wool

UV paint

Saw strips of wood each about 80 cm and connect with nails to a triangle shape. Of course you can build other shapes, too.

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Put nails into the wood in about 5cm intervals.

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Connect the wool to one side and start making patterns (keep it tight).

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When you’re done, paint the frame with UV paint.

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If you want to build 3D objects, just build two triangles, one slightly smaller than the other, and insert it in the bigger one.

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Sadly, my camera is to shit to capture the whole thing at night. But it looks nice. Maybe next year we’ll try something more difficult. Enjoy your crafting!

Super Mario Kart Turnier

Auf dem Waldeck Freakquenz 20. August 2016 planen wir nicht wie die letzten fünf Jahre ein Tetris-Turnier, sondern probieren mal was Neues.

Hier geht’s zur Voranmeldung!

Live VJing

Here is some live VJing I did for the International Orchestra of the United Kingdom of Goats @ Waldeck Freakquenz 2014. I used Avenue.

http://bit.ly/29Mgzi0

Sorry for the poor sound quality, there are some things a GoPro can’t do.

 

Hey, we finally edited some of the GoPro material we filmed on our festival, Waldeck Freakquenz.

See our retro gaming café, our Kinect sandbox, bands, enthusiastic Tetris chanting and further awesomeness.

 

Review: Sherlock Holmes – The Devil’s Daughter

I enjoyed the last two Frogwares Sherlock Holmes adventures so much that I anticipated the next part eagerly. Supposed to be released in May, it came out in June, on my wedding day, so I thought ‘Hey, I’ll buy this one now as a gift to myself’.

Was it fun? Yes, it was fun! 20 hours of fun, to be exact.

There are a lot of things going for this title. I love the dense Victorian London atmosphere, the hidden references, the ‘mind palace’ and character portraits.

But sadly, there are also many things that felt off to me.

Characters

The voice acting and characters in this series have been getting better and better. They were well done in the previous titles, e.g. ‘Crimes and Punishments’.

And they changed the voice actors, which is always a shame. I liked the previous interpretations and I was disappointed to not meet old acquaintances.

(Except Lestrade. They didn’t change Lestrade. Hey, Greg.)

I’ve grown rather attached to that version of Watson. The Watson character in ‘The Devil’s Daughter’ looks like a Spanish rent boy and embodies none of his characteristics as charmingly as his predecessor.

Sherlock_Holmes_Crimes_and_Punishments_Card_1watson

 

 

 

 

 

 

How is that the same person?

 

 

Also Katelyn aka the Devil’s aka Moriarty’s daughter was just plain annoying. Her story arc was well executed, but she didn’t feel like a kid you’d want to save at all. Sorry. Her voice acting felt like an adult playing a cranky girl.

Sherlock was more or less ok, though he looked very disheveled – not very English, right? You don’t even get a suit until the third case. How I am supposed to live?

New and old elements

Some old elements were changed: The lockpicking system has gotten more intricate, which is good, because I like lockpicking! Now there are two levels you can switch between. I think I prefer with system to the previous one (turn the cylinder until the lines match, boring).

They added a some new elements to the game: There are some balancing and chasing scenes. The balancing acts felt very contrived to me. I’m not a assassin, I’m a dectective. I detect. I don’t want to join the circus. In one episode you play street urchin  Wiggins (from the ‘homeless network’) observing a suspect, that was in character and appropriate. The chase was fun and ‘Assassin’s Creed’-like. But I feel that the game could have done without that extra element, which just makes you spend more time on not solving any cases. Which is what this game is all about. Or it should be.

The bar fight was fun, though, and had the right pace! So not all the new elements are useless, but some just weren’t very ‘fitting’. Character portraits, deductions and crimes scene mechanics are the same, thank God.

All in all, it’s worth spending time and money on. But I miss my old pals, and I have no sense of balance whatson-ever.

 

 

JPL Visions of the Future

NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory made a bunch of free propaganda posters for a bright future! If I had to decorate a restaurant or something, I’d choose some of those.You can download the whole thing, about 600 MB, here.

 

Apparently, coloring books for adults are a thing now. We anticipated the trend years ago, when we (the organization crew of our festival Waldeck-Freakquenz) produced a stack of slightly NSFW and silly art, which we wanted to offer for free at our next festival. It’s gotten lost in someone’s files now, but I swear, this year is the year it gets printed.

Anyway, there are all sorts of coloring books now, from animals and gardens to Game of Thrones to Dr Who (expensive) and even magazines like Flow.

This morning I stumbled over a hashtag on twitter, it’s called #ColorOurCollections. Libraries all around the world offer coloring pages, prints and sketches from their archives for free! Special collections libraries and archives around the world are teaming up to provide coloring pages scanned from historic materials all week.  Here are just some highlights:

The New York Academy of Medicine

Bodleian Library

Europeana

Ellis Library

… and lots more. Peruse the hashtags this week, there’s a ton of participants. Have fun!

 

Quantum mechanics for dummies

So I’ve been reading Alan Turing’s biography by Andrew Hodges and find myself glued to the pages. Sadly, I suck balls at math (no pun intended). I truly do. It’s the subject that ruined my otherwise perfect GPA in high school. I’ve been trying to grasp some of the concepts mentioned in the book, and quantum mechanics is one of them. This is fascinating! I never saw that before. I mean I heard the words thrown around but I never understood what it meant. I guess I still don’t. I would love to go back to school and start all over and actually pay attention in physics, maths and chemistry. Anyway, there’s this thing on reddit, ‘explain it to me like I’m five years old’, and anyone who has ever done this properly will probably scream in protest, but it’s ok to dumb it down a bit to get across the idea to non-pros (hey, Stephen Hawking agrees!).

There seem to be a lot of people responding who overestimate the vocabulary of a five-year-old. Here’s my best shot at speaking to a kindergartner.

Physics is how we try to figure out what happens when we throw a rock at another rock. It’s pretty easy to see that throwing a small rock at a big rock is different from throwing a big rock at a small rock. One day, somebody got tired of playing around with big rocks and started using the smallest rocks he could find and throwing them at each other. These rocks were so small that you can’t see them with your eyes, you have to use other tools to know what they’re doing, kind of like when an ant bites you or a bee stings you, you can’t see what they did but you know they did something because it made your arm hurt. Even though they couldn’t see the rocks, they knew what was happening because the tools they made showed them, just like your arm tells you when you get stung/bitten.

So the next thing this guy did with his very tiny rocks was to launch them through a very thin hole at a sheet and see what happened when they came out of the other side. Most people would probably guess that tiny rocks that are shot through a tiny opening will make a tiny hole in the sheet. But that’s not what happened. The tiny rocks spread out once they went through the tiny hole and they wanted to go through the sheet more easily in some places than others. But this only happens when you use small enough pieces of rock. The big pieces of rock don’t act like that. We’re still trying to figure out why.

Some also posted this link to a video of the double slit experiment (which I found very helpful since I’m a visual learner):

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