Archive for January, 2009

Legobama… America’s Finest Immortalised in… Lego!

January 31, 2009

It seems that you can make absolutely anything out of Lego – as this picture of Barack Obama demonstrates…

However, if you’re more interested in things made out of lego than you are in people made out of the stuff, take a look at these other works of art…

Withnail and I

January 30, 2009

Withnail and I is thought by many to be one of the greatest cult films of the 1980s. So TOTD was interested to learn that Sleddale Hall, the remote Cumbrian farmhouse that served as Uncle Monty’s cottage, is being auctioned on 16th February by water company United Utilities. You’ll find it on a map at Grid Reference NY 540 113 and there are some nice photos at

There is a brief description of the film here

and here’s a clip from the film that shows the cottage (at 1:20)

The Worldwide Guide to Movie Locations 

provides some more information about other locations used in the film.

TOTD can no longer go on holiday without saying “We’ve gone on holiday by mistake”, or “Are you the farmer?”.

Measuring worth

January 29, 2009

TOTD recently unearthed a document relating to the purchase of equipment for the Department of Geography in the 1970s. A black and white video recorder was purchased in 1973 for the sum of £340. So what what is its relative worth today? Was that a significant purchase back in 1973?

You can compute the relative value of a UK Pound amount at this informative site:

So, in terms of affordability, we can find out that our £340 spent on a black and white video recorder in 1973 would be worth about £3000 today, i.e. at least six times the cost of a top-of-the-range 500GB DVD/HDD digital box.

Pop-up pulp fiction

January 28, 2009

American photographer Thomas Allen cuts out the pictures on the covers of old pulp fiction paperbacks to create these great dioramas (you may need to scroll down the page a bit to see them).

Don’t get any ideas though as you browse the shelves of our collection!

Telling tales

January 27, 2009

You don’t have to be a parent to enjoy this wonderful new collection of real life parenting yarns.

You’ll need to use a browser such as Firefox or Internet Explorer 7 to enjoy this fully.

Chinese New Year

January 26, 2009

Happy New Year to any readers of TOTD who are celebrating the Year of the Ox.

Have a bit of fun with your mouse here:

The burning of firecrackers is a traditional part of the celebration. This is what happens if you let off 40,000 of them in just 10 seconds:

Probably best not to try this at home folks.

Morris Dancing, Anyone…

January 25, 2009

If the current economic climate sees you avoiding the High Street at all costs, don’t despair. You could always pop on down to Commercial Road for a bit of morris dancing, just like these folks did in Norwich…

and if anyone tells you that the tall one with the ginger beard is in any way related to a member of TOTD, we will strenuously deny it!!!

National Compliment Day

January 24, 2009

Today is National Compliment Day, so TOTD urge you to be brave:

Pay someone a compliment and put a HUGE smile on their face.

If you’re not sure what to say, you could always take inspiration from the following…


and if you’re really not sure how to give or receive a compliment, this video clip tells you how.

Cutty Sark

January 23, 2009

Computational mechanics, computer modelling, CAD – we don’t often get TOTD items for you guys.  But while we’re evidently on quite interesting C words today, here’s a Chris explaining how science and technology might save a grand old lady:

Turtles in sweaters

January 22, 2009

TOTD comes to you this week from the science and technology floor of the Library.  Not always associated with the most thrilling journals the Library takes. 

However, this caught our eye:

Getting them to wear lycra lets researchers measure their swimming effort.  And of course  brings a whole new meaning to ‘turtle neck sweaters’.