Friday 29 October 2021

The Silver Key

"The Silver Key" is a fantasy short story by American writer H. P. Lovecraft. Written in 1926, it is considered part of his Dreamlands series. It was first published in the January 1929 issue of Weird Tales. It is a continuation of "The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath", and was followed by a sequel, "Through the Gates of the Silver Key", co-written with E. Hoffmann Price. The story and its sequel both feature Lovecraft's recurring character of Randolph Carter as the protagonist.

A man discovers, at the age of 30, that his daily waking exposure to the more practical, scientific ideas of man, has eventually eroded his ability to dream as he once did, and has made him regretfully subscribe more and more to the mundane beliefs of everyday, waking real life. Not certain which is truer, he sets out to determine whether the waking ideas of man are superior to his dreams.

Howard Phillips Lovecraft (August 20, 1890 – March 15, 1937) was an American writer of weird, science, fantasy, and horror fiction. Lovecraft is best known for his creation of a body of work that became known as the Cthulhu Mythos.

The Silver Key

Howard Phillips Lovecraft

Alex Fox

Friday 22 October 2021


These are photographs of some things I have made in the pottery workshop that is happening in Camphill Milton Keynes. A bowl, a trinket pot, a spoon and two wobbly mugs.

Pottery, one of the oldest and most widespread of the decorative arts, consisting of objects made of clay and hardened with heat. The objects made are commonly useful ones, such as vessels for holding liquids or plates or bowls from which food can be served.

Clay, the basic material of pottery, has two distinctive characteristics: it is plastic (i.e., it can be molded and will retain the shape imposed upon it); and it hardens on firing to form a brittle but otherwise virtually indestructible material that is not attacked by any of the agents that corrode metals or organic materials. Firing also protects the clay body against the effects of water. If a sun-dried clay vessel is filled with water, it will eventually collapse, but, if it is heated, chemical changes that begin to take place at about 900 °F (500 °C) preclude a return to the plastic state no matter how much water is later in contact with it. Clay is a refractory substance; it will vitrify only at temperatures of about 2,900 °F (1,600 °C). If it is mixed with a substance that will vitrify at a lower temperature (about 2,200 °F, or 1,200 °C) and the mixture is subjected to heat of this order, the clay will hold the object in shape while the other substance vitrifies. This forms a nonporous opaque body known as stoneware. When feldspar or soapstone (steatite) is added to the clay and exposed to a temperature of 2,000 to 2,650 °F (1,100 to 1,450 °C), the product becomes translucent and is known as porcelain. In this section, earthenware is used to denote all pottery substances that are not vitrified and are therefore slightly porous and coarser than vitrified materials.

A bowl

Trinket pot

Trinket pot with lid off


Wobbly mug

Another wobbly mug
Alex Fox

Friday 15 October 2021

Raspberry Pi Foundation

The Raspberry Pi Foundation is a British charity and company founded in 2009 to promote the study of basiccomputer science in schools, and is responsible for developing the Raspberry Pi single-board computers.
The Raspberry Pi Foundation is a charitable organization registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales. The board of trustees was assembled by 2008 and the Raspberry Pi Foundation was founded as a registered charity in May 2009 in Caldecote, England. In 2016, The Foundation moved its headquarters to Station Road, Cambridge.  The Foundation is supported by the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory and Broadcom. Its aim is to "promote the study of computer science and related topics, especially at school level, and to put the fun back into learning computing." Project co-founder Eben Upton is a former academic, currently employed by Broadcom as a systen-on-chip architect and associate technical director. Components, albeit in small numbers, were able to be sourced from suppliers, due to the charitable status of the organization.
When the decline in numbers and skills of students applying for Computer Science became a concern for a team that included Eben Upton Upton, Rob Mullins, Jack Lang and Alen Mycroft at the University of Cambridge’s Computer Laboratory in 2006, a need for a tiny and affordable computer came to their minds. Several versions of the early Raspberry Pi prototypes were designed but were very limited by the high cost and low power processors for mobile devices at that time.
In 2008, the team started a collaboration with Pete Lomas, MD of Norcott Technologies and David Braben, the co-author of the seminal BBC Micro game Elite, and formed the Raspberry Pi Foundation. Three years later, the Raspberry Pi Model B was born and it had sold over two million units within two years of mass production.

Raspberry Pi Model 4B

Alex Fox

Friday 8 October 2021

Armchair Theatre (album)

Armchair Theatre is the first solo album by Jeff Lynne, released in 1990.

The album reunited Lynne with Electric Light Orchestra's keyboard player Richard Tandy and featured fellow Traveling Wilburys member George Harrison (both Harrison and the Wilburys were signed to Warner Bros. Records, parent of Reprise Records which released this album). Lynne wrote and recorded "Now You're Gone" as a tribute to his late mother. The album also features cover versions of two classics: "September Song" and "Stormy Weather".

The songs "Every Little Thing" and "Lift Me Up" were released as singles both featuring non-album b-sides, "I'm Gone" from the former and "Borderline" and "Sirens" from the latter. Despite positive reviews the album became only a minor hit.

A remaster by Frontiers was released on 19 April 2013 in the UK, and on 23 April 2013 in the US, and included two bonus tracks, one of them being previously unreleased. Additional bonus track was included in the Japanese re-release.

Tracklist                                Length

1. Every Little Thing              3:43
2. Don't Let Go                      3:01
3. Lift Me Up                          3:38
4. Nobody Home                   3:54
5. September Song               2:59
6. Now You're Gone              3:58
7. Don't Say Goodbye           3:10
8. What Would It Take           2:42
9. Stormy Weather                3:44
10. Blown Away                     3:32
11. Save Me Now                  1:54

Alex Fox

Friday 1 October 2021

Milton Keynes Museum

These are photohraphs of residents of Camphill Milton Keynes visiting Milton Keynes Museum.

Milton Keynes Museum is an independent local museum in the parish of Wolverton and Greenleys in Milton Keynes, England. It is mostly run by volunteers with a small number of paid staff.

The museum is housed in a former Victorian farmstead. It covers the history of the Milton Keynes area, including northern Buckinghamshire and southern Northamptonshire, from the year 1800 onwards. It includes the Stacey Hill Collection of rural life, consisting of agricultural, domestic, industrial, and social objects connected to the area before the 1967 foundation of Milton Keynes.

There is also a collection of many memorabilia of the nearby Wolverton railway works.

The museum's 'Connected Earth' collection includes a variety of historic telephones and switchboards, many still in working order. The museum also has some historic Post Office and British Telecom vehicles. The largest of these is the 'Road Phone', an enormous working telephone used for promotional purposes.

The museum was previously called the Stacey Hill Museum.

The museum is on the southern outskirts of Wolverton, just off H2 Miller's Way at McConnell Drive.

Alex Fox