diamond geezer

 Saturday, October 29, 2011


• London map websites are ten a penny these days, but CityMapper is a bit more multi-tasking than most. You click a start and end point, anywhere around London, and the site shows you the way from one to the other. Cleverer than that, it also tells you how long the journey would take by bus, tube, taxi, car or walking. Cleverer than that, it gives precise timings and a choice of routes if you choose to go by bus or tube, leaving now. Cleverer than that, it gives you a price for public transport journeys, and a calorie burn for biking or walking. Cleverer than that it translates that calorie burn into an grand latte equivalent. [I think you'll find that clever enough to be getting on with]

• The latest High Street 2012 venture is a highly unlikely urinal-inspired artwork, to be based at the old gents toilet outside Bow Church. It's to be called (and I am not making this up) Listed Loo, and will take the form of a "performance installation" organised by a theatre company. We're promised a "live promenade", following a series of historic characters to sites "in the actual environment" which have significant links to their stories. But be patient, residents of E3, because it'll be next spring before Listed Loo springs to life. [In the meantime, if nothing else, enjoy a lovely old photo of what Bow Road's Victorian Gents-in-the-middle-of-the-road used to look like]

• Fancy a trip to Aldwych tube station? That's a trip to Aldwych, the closed-fifteen-years-ago tube station. A proper down-to-the-disused-platforms trip, an official down-under visit, courtesy of TfL. Thought you might (unless you've been recently, in which case you'll likely pass). The London Transport Museum is organising this very-rare event, over the weekends of 25-27 November and 2-4 December. It'll cost an eye-watering £20 to gain entrance, but for that you'll get approximately 40 minutes underground, which sounds like something interesting is planned. The Aldwych Underground Station Open Days booking page accidentally became visible earlier this week, but has since been hidden away again until whenever the official launch is. Keep an eye on the LTM events page, and don't worry, because with 420 tickets a day up for grabs they're unlikely to sell out before you've noticed.
[The entrance is located on the Stand at the junction with Surrey Street WC2R 2NE Access to the platform is by staircase only and there is no working lift in operation. 160 stairs connect the ticket hall level to the platform level - there is no step-free access. It is advisable therefore that you should have a moderate to high level of fitness. Toilets are available at ticket hall level only. You will be underground for approximately 40 minutes. You must arrive at Aldwych 15 minutes before the tour you are booked on takes place. If you do not arrive on time, your place on the tour may be sold to another visitor, due to very high demand for this event. Please read more information for terms and condirtions.
Monday update: Open for booking again, on the quiet, sssh (click on "All events")
Tuesday update: Official booking page now live

• If you're of a vaguely academic bent, or have History GCSE, or like testing websites, then maybe you could help Bruce out. He's Project Manager for the fabulous British History Online, based at the Institute of Historical Research (part of the University of London). They're running a test on the next generation of historical research interface, which basically means you clicking eight times on eight screens to help gauge online search usability. Bruce says it should take no more than a minute, and one of the example texts used is from a memoranda book of late 16th century London. [I say please do it properly, so the results mean something, and get in before Thursday 3rd November when the test expires.]

• While we're with university stuff, what's the weather like in Central London right now? A graphical display from University College London tells all, second by second, including what the wind's up to, how much it's raining, how high the cloudbase is and what the sun did yesterday. Dig deeper to discover that this year's highest temperature was on July 27th at six minutes past three in the afternoon, and that this month's wettest day was last Tuesday. [Beats the intermittent data the Met Office churns out, or the simplicity of the BBC's new beta weather page]

This week I also enjoyed
Ian's delve into the Northern line's lost Embankment loop
• The BBC's 7 billion people and you interactive population widget
Annie Nightingale's Hallowe'en Special
Andrew's bus deregulation week (25 years on)
Fresh Meat

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