New from the Web

Detective Heart of America – The Final Freedomfrom Jason Steele, the man behind Film Cow, creator of the very famous Charlie The Unicorn, probably the most talented of the ‘sicko American college humour’ video-makers. This is a proper feature-length film made with incredibly lo-fi puppets (in other words a load of dolls and ornaments), but it hangs together amazingly well.  The secret is in the writing, which is unfailingly sharp, and the pace, which is unrelenting.

Acedia from Mark Mckeown, which I discovered on a experimental animation forum. A peculiar mixture of 2D animation, 3D animation and photographic stills, with a soundtrack from someone called Azuza Inkh – it’s a real oddity, but in its own odd way it really works.

New Media Writing Prize, 2015

The New Media Writing Prize, which is run by Bournemouth University and IF-Book (the Institute for the Future of the Book) is now in its sixth year and has just announced its annual call for entries, first prize £1000:

We are looking for good storytelling (fiction or non-fiction) written specifically for delivery and reading/viewing on a PC or Mac, the web, or a hand-held device such as an iPad or mobile phone… 

The essence of new-media writing for us is great storytelling which uses anything and everything that digital media can offer, along with user/audience interactivity. It’s got to be something that couldn’t work in ‘old’ media.
Every year I find fault with these criteria, firstly because of the emphasis on storytelling – much of the  best new media work being poetry or some other form of non-narrative work – and secondly because of the insistence on user/audience interactivity – which ignores things like generative text.  To be fair to them, though, when it comes to the judging they seem to be more broadminded than these guidelines might suggest. What’s more, it’s a big prize as new media goes, certainly the biggest one in the UK; it’s been going quite  long time in new media terms; and it has consistently pulled in some interesting work.

New work from Pall Thayer and Dave Miller

Pall Thayer’s Objects of Art is a series of JavaScripts, each of which creates a cleverly-decorated window in your web browser. If you read the code you’ll see that he’s given the functions names that wittily refer to the objects created by the code – nerdy humour perhaps, but being a bit of a nerd I really like it. Viewers of the work can change the code and then see what difference their changes make to the web-objects created, and he’s intending to add some functionality so that these amendments can be saved a become part of the permanent project. You can see all of this at

Dave Miller’s Opinion in a Cube is a typically forthright political piece about Jeremy Corbyn. It’s in the form of a virtual cube which you can manipulate to see different pictures and bits of text on each of the six sides. It’s a nice piece of design, and in terms of the writing the best side is a mock-up newspaper column headed Daily Mailograph: Ten Reasons Why Voting for Corbyn will Lead to Civil War, which is really funny.

Dr Hairy’s Research Summaries, Sept 2015

For more about Dr Hairy’s research summaries, please visit

In this month’s summaries:

How medicine is broken, and how we can fix it

BMJ 2015;350:h3397

Protecting families from recurrent stillbirth

BMJ 2015;350:h3262

PAin SoluTions In the Emergency Setting (PASTIES)—patient controlled analgesia versus routine care in emergency department patients with non-traumatic abdominal pain: randomised trial

BMJ 2015;350:h3147

Irritable bowel syndrome: new and emerging treatments

BMJ 2015;350:h1622

Are prolific authors too much of a good thing?

BMJ 2015;351:h2782

Multiple sclerosis: summary of NICE guidance

BMJ 2014;349:g5701

The best and worst treatments for Helicobacter pylori

BMJ 2015;351:h4146

Marjolin’s ulcer

BMJ 2015;351:h3997

Avoid prescribing antibiotics in acute rhinosinusitis

BMJ 2014;349:g5703

GPs should consider delaying prescription of antibiotics, says NICE

BMJ (News section) 2015;351:h4486

Dr Hairy’s Research Summaries, Vol 2


The second series of Dr Hairy’s Research Summaries (2014-15) is now available in book form. More than 120 research articles summarised right down to the basics, complete with quizzes and jokes! Impress your friends and colleagues, get up to speed with what’s going on in medical research, and have some fun at the same time!

Click here to visit our catalogue.

2015-06-21, Sunday

I’ve just been catching up with recent posts on the Netbehaviour list, and there are several which are well worth a look:

‘For What It’s Worth’ by Pall Thayer, a really well-conceived  piece on the value of art. Here’s what Pall has to say about it:

It's an interactive,
audio-visual piece that uses bitcoin transactions for interaction and
input. It combines abstracted digital data with images of art that have a
high perceived value but places the value of the whole simply at the
accumulated value of donations and therefore begs the question, "What
establishes the monetary value of a work of art." In this realm of
non-physical art and this age of exceedingly high prices being paid for
art, it seems a valid question.

‘Crossover’ and ‘Queue’, two brilliant little videos from Bjorn Magnhildoen. I had my heart in my mouth watching ‘Crossover’ .

Lastly, for those interested in electronic literature, Dave Miller posted a link to ELMCIP, which is a very wide-ranging and comprehensive knowledge-base on the subject. Rather academic in feel – based in Bergen – but a really valuable resource if, say, you were writing a Ph.D.

Dr Hairy’s Research Summaries, May 2015

Late as usual, the May Research Summaries have just gone online. To find out more, visit .

Subjects covered this month:

A letter to the next secretary of state for health

BMJ 2015;350:h2296

Safety of new oral anticoagulants

BMJ 2015;350:h1679

Syphilitic condylomata lata mimicking anogenital warts

BMJ 2015;350:h1259

Foot drop

BMJ 2015;350:h1736

Advancing equity in healthcare

BMJ 2015;350:h1617

Drug treatments for rheumatoid arthritis: looking backwards to move forwards

BMJ 2015;350:h1192

High INR on warfarin

BMJ 2015;350:h1282

Teenagers with back pain

BMJ 2015;350:h1275

Serotonin and depression

BMJ 2015;350:h1771

Drug treatment for adults with HIV infection

BMJ 2015;350:h1555

Dr Hairy’s Curriculum Casebook – section 7 (final section)

The seventh and final section of Dr Hairy’s Curriculum Casebook has just been made available online. This one deals with:

    • Respiratory Health
    • Care of People with Musculoskeletal Problems
    • Care of people with skin problems

Dr Hairy’s Curriculum Casebook is an attempt to relate the RCGP’s GP Curriculum to the everyday realities of primary care. For more information, go to .


WritersCast is a series of podcasts about writing and the publishing industry – basically a series of recorded interviews with various different writers and publishers, recorded by David Wilk, who has been in publishing himself for several decades, at least since the 1970s. I’ve been following the series for some years, since David did an interview with the British new media writer Andy Campbell, about whose work I have written myself. Anyway, the latest one in the series is particularly interesting and inspiring: it’s an interview with Anne Kingsbury and Karl Garten about their alternative bookstore/literary centre ‘Woodland Pattern’, based in Milkwaukee. They’ve been running this place since 1979, not only stocking a huge selection of what we here in the UK would call small press poetry, but also putting on readings and literary events at the rate of about three a week. I can’t imagine how they manage to make a living out of this enterprise, and the interview doesn’t really make it clear, but the small press culture is more highly-regarded in the USA than it is in the UK, thanks to experimental poets like the Objectivists who published their work via small presses. The interview ends with a long digression about Lorine Niedecker, according to Wikipaedia ‘the only woman associated with the Objectivist poets’, who I must confess I hadn’t come across before. It’s really interesting stuff, and well worth listening to if you’ve got some spare time: .