Countdown to Life wins the RTS

Top news for Team BDH! We have won the National RTS Award for Best Digital Effects for our work on Countdown To Life: The Extraordinary Making of You.
Congratulations everyone, a massive team effort on this one. Up against some pretty stiff competition as well.

The judges said:
“This was a stunning entry, with the success of the whole show entirely dependent on the skill of the Effects team. The textures and liquids they created were so realistic that the jury felt completely immersed, forgetting they weren’t watching a real embryo. An extraordinary piece of work.”
You can see the full list of winner here, and some examples of our work here.

The Timbuktu Manuscripts 13C+


Timbuktu Manuscripts or (Tombouctou Manuscripts) is a blanket term for the large number of historically important manuscripts that have been preserved for centuries in private households in Timbuktu, Mali. The collections include manuscripts about art, medicine, philosophy, and science, as well as priceless copies of the Quran. The number of manuscripts in the collections has been estimated as high as 700,000.


The majority of manuscripts were written in Arabic, but many were also in local languages, including Manding, Songhay and Tamasheq. The dates of the manuscripts ranged between the late 13th and the early 20th centuries (i.e., from the Islamisation of the Mali Empire until the decline of traditional education in French Sudan). Their subject matter ranged from scholarly works to short letters. The manuscripts were passed down in Timbuktu families and were mostly in poor condition.[4] Most of the manuscripts remain unstudied and uncatalogued, and their total number is unknown, affording only rough estimates. A selection of about 160 manuscripts from the Mamma Haidara Library in Timbuktu and the Ahmed Baba collection were digitized by the Tombouctou Manuscripts Project in the 2000s.


With the demise of Arabic education in Mali under French colonial rule, appreciation for the medieval manuscripts declined in Timbuktu, and many were being sold off. Time magazine related the account of an imam who picked up four of them for $50 each. In October 2008 one of the households was flooded, destroying 700 manuscripts.

from Wikipedia via Muslim Culture

If I don’t do it, I’ll stop doing it.

Great interview with Laurie Anderson on reality, virtual reality, working practices and the election. Worth reading all of it really.

This on Philip Glass and daily work:

I’ve been playing with Phil a lot lately. It’s been really, really interesting and fun, really nice. I remember one particular thing, the summer before this we were playing Ravello. It was a hard day. We had traveled there. We rehearsed. We’d done the show. We’d gone out for an endless dinner. It was two in the morning and we came back. I had to leave for Rome in a couple of hours. I was just packing and doing stuff. I came up from the garden and he was there with [his girlfriend] Sari. They had just done two hours of yoga. I was like, “Phil, it’s four in the morning. Couldn’t you do it tomorrow?” He said, “No, I wouldn’t of done it today. I need to do it everyday. If I don’t do it, I’ll stop doing it.” He’s like that with music, too. He’s so disciplined. It’s amazing. I’ve known Phil for many decades. He’s always been like that. He’s dedicated. He puts the time in. He’s also massively, musically talented… he’s a genius, and a hard working genius.


18th November 2016

Write down what you value; what standards you hold for yourself and for others. Write about your dreams for the future and your hopes for your children. Write about the struggle of your ancestors and how the hardship they overcame shaped the person you are today.
Write your biography, write down your memories. Because if you do not do it now, you may forget.
Write a list of things you would never do. Because it is possible that in the next year, you will do them.
Write a list of things you would never believe. Because it is possible that in the next year, you will either believe them or be forced to say you believe them.

This is how to be your own light

The 14 Features of Eternal Fascism by Umberto Eco

“These features cannot be organized into a system; many of them contradict each other, and are also typical of other kinds of despotism or fanaticism. But it is enough that one of them be present to allow fascism to coagulate around it.:”


1. The cult of tradition. “One has only to look at the syllabus of every fascist movement to find the major traditionalist thinkers. The Nazi gnosis was nourished by traditionalist, syncretistic, occult elements.”

2. The rejection of modernism. “The Enlightenment, the Age of Reason, is seen as the beginning of modern depravity. In this sense Ur-Fascism can be defined as irrationalism.”

3. The cult of action for action’s sake. “Action being beautiful in itself, it must be taken before, or without, any previous reflection. Thinking is a form of emasculation.”

4. Disagreement is treason. “The critical spirit makes distinctions, and to distinguish is a sign of modernism. In modern culture the scientific community praises disagreement as a way to improve knowledge.”

5. Fear of difference. “The first appeal of a fascist or prematurely fascist movement is an appeal against the intruders. Thus Ur-Fascism is racist by definition.”

6. Appeal to social frustration. “One of the most typical features of the historical fascism was the appeal to a frustrated middle class, a class suffering from an economic crisis or feelings of political humiliation, and frightened by the pressure of lower social groups.”

7. The obsession with a plot. “The followers must feel besieged. The easiest way to solve the plot is the appeal to xenophobia.”

8. The humiliation by the wealth and force of their enemies. “By a continuous shifting of rhetorical focus, the enemies are at the same time too strong and too weak.”

9. Pacifism is trafficking with the enemy. “For Ur-Fascism there is no struggle for life but, rather, life is lived for struggle.”

10. Contempt for the weak. “Elitism is a typical aspect of any reactionary ideology.”

11. Everybody is educated to become a hero. “In Ur-Fascist ideology, heroism is the norm. This cult of heroism is strictly linked with the cult of death.”

12. Machismo and weaponry. “Machismo implies both disdain for women and intolerance and condemnation of nonstandard sexual habits, from chastity to homosexuality.”

13. Selective populism. “There is in our future a TV or Internet populism, in which the emotional response of a selected group of citizens can be presented and accepted as the Voice of the People.”

14. Ur-Fascism speaks Newspeak. “All the Nazi or Fascist schoolbooks made use of an impoverished vocabulary, and an elementary syntax, in order to limit the instruments for complex and critical reasoning.”


Umberto Eco

via Kottke

Before last Tuesday’s news…

Intermittently Regular #365 Sketch Project Update 162-166

Yes, I’ve been pretty shaken up over the last week. Who hasn’t. The drawings here were all made before last Tuesday’s news.

This week I’ve been putting all my energy into redecorating our kitchen, so I haven’t managed drawing yet.

Hopefully soon though.

Be kind. Be useful.

162/365 Pedestrians in Clifton scribbled in pocketbook. V-ball. 30/09/16 Notebook: Artemis
163/365 I dug the hamsters grave then I drew the hamsters grave. RIP Pearl. (This is my first for Inktober) 02/10/16 V-ball 5 mins Notebook: Myrtle
164/365 Clifton Window (agin) V-ball Notebook:Myrtle
165/365 Lotte the Fluff Dog in full office effect. To be honest she didn’t sit still all ****ing day. V-ball Draw whilst downloading various bits of data. Notebook: Myrtle
166/365 Ivy on tree trunk. 10 mins. Straight to V-ball Notebook: Myrtle