Aug 062009
 
The cast of Chomp! take over the Royal Mile

The cast of Chomp! take over the Royal Mile

This evening I was doing the City of the Dead Underground City tour at 9pm, but I was on the Royal mile from about 6.30 to see the street performers and generally hang out. At about 7pm, the cast of “Chomp! The new Zombie Musical” took over the High Street.

Usually at festival time you get hundreds of posh schoolkid luvvies who are in productions and make a fool of themselves on The Mile trying to get people interested in seeing their shows. Chomp! seems a little different – these actors are really getting into the part – a gang of zombies came sprinting up the Royal Mile, chasing each other and terrorising members of the public. Luckily the army arrived and a huge fight broke out between them and the zombies.

There was some extremely realistic looking punches being delivered between a zombie in a bowler hat and tails (who I assume is the leader) and one of the soldiers. Then suddenly two of the Zombies broke into song… “Shooting Out The Brains of the Dead” – A jolly ditty about DIY zombie lobotomy – brilliant!

The show is on in C-1, Venue 34. 5:15pm 7-8 August. I’m working both nights so I can’t make it – you should go though!

Update, If you missed the show live, Andy Evans has made a video of one of the early performances available:

Chomp! The new Zombie Musical – Act 1

Chomp! The new Zombie Musical – Act 2

Aug 062009
 

Twitter.com is currently down. Status.twitter.com reports that they are currently fighting a DDOS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack which has been running by my estimation since shortly before 15:00 BST.

In a DDOS attack, the server is sent enough requests to overwhelm the server and affect genuine users. In the case of a site like twitter, which has lots of bandwidth, the attack generally comes from a botnet (computers infected with malware which can be turned to a variety of uses – from sending spam emails to DDOSing sites).

There is speculation that this attack is being perpetrated by the same “Dastardly Hackers” who brought down Gawker on Sunday while ddosing consumerist.com.

Twitter status - down!

Twitter status - down!

Twitter’s status page currently reports that the site is back up, but I have found that service is still intermittent.

I want my twitter back!

Aug 042009
 

Having made my own jump rings from silverplated copper wire, I decided to put them together into something that looks a bit more like some jewelery. The result, a 7″ bracelet with a chain made of double links and a box-chain central section.

2x2 chain with Box section

2x2 chain with Box section

The joins in the links are much tighter this time round than my last attempt. Things to work on for the next one are to scratch the links less with the pliers while closing them, and to make the chain of silver rather than plated copper.

I’m quite pleased with the decorative section in the middle though – really tight due to the aspect ratio of the rings.

Aug 022009
 

My second set of Moo mini-cards arrived a few days ago. I’m delighted with this set too. My last set featured photographs of Greyfriar’s Kirkyard and were intended to give to people who had been on my ghost tour and wanted my details. This new set are a bit more colourful and light hearted for general use where I don’t want to scare people away.

The thing I like about moo mini-cards is their quirky shape and size – they are different to any other business card anyone will have in their wallet (unless you’re at a tweetup where everyone seems to have them!). I love that you can get many different images printed in one order for a reasonable price. Anyway, these are my newest cards – let me know what you think!

Moo mini-cards

Moo mini-cards

Aug 022009
 
10m of 0.8mm Silver-plated copper wire

10m of 0.8mm Silver-plated copper wire

I found a shop on St Mary’s Street in the Old Town which sells jewelery making supplies and picked up a 10m length of 0.8m silver plated copper wire for the bargain price of £4.50. At home I looked around for a suitable mandrel and found a short length of metal bar from an old portable TV aerial (who said jewelery-making wasn’t glamorous?) and set about winding the wire round it. Winding will be much easier next time when I get a decent length mandrel and drill a hole in it to hold the wire. In this case, I just did it with my hands. I have a lovely blister on my index finger to prove it. Lesson learned.

Once the wire was wound, I slid the mandrel out and was left with a (not very springy) spring. It wasn’t as uniform as I had hoped for – the diameter was the same all the way along, but there were a few small gaps between each turn. I suspect this won’t make a huge difference, but some rings will be more open than others when I am finished. Hopefully it will not affect the size of each ring too much.

Wire after removing mandrel

Wire after removing mandrel

Before cutting it, I decided to make sure that I didn’t lose the rings all over the floor. Paul had recommended taping the wire before cutting, but I am out of masking tape and Sellotape wasn’t sticking so well. I slid a length of thread through the middle of the wire and tied it in a loop – my thinking was that most of the rings would end up hanging on the thread. This was fairly successful although I found a lot of the rings ended up linked round the blade of the saw – this meant that the thread tended to get a bit tangled. Next time I may try without the thread or tape. I was holding the rings between my fingers anyway, so I don’t think too many will fall.

I put beeswax on the blade of the saw as recommended (for silver anyway – not sure what I was supposed to use with copper) and it seemed to do the job. It cut much more quickly right after applying the wax, so I stopped regularly to apply more.

After being so careful not to drop any of the rings, I was a bit gutted when I stood up and knocked them all over the floor anyway.

Hand-made jump rings

Hand-made jump rings

I now have 110 shiny little circles ready to link together. I suspect I’ll need more to make anything useful (Terri’s Byzantine chain bracelet took 200) but I still have plenty of wire left over to make more.