I’ve been quiet recently as I’ve been working on various things. One of them is now public and may be helpful to educators and bloggers. Tom Goskar and I have put together the site Archaeopix. The front of the site is a clear
rip-off homage to Astronomy Picture of the Day. I like that. It’s an excuse to say “Hey look at this thing!” and generally be positive.
The clever bit is the search page.
Searching Flickr can be hit ‘n’ miss. Generally if you want to use a photo for a blog or educational handout and you need it quickly, it needs to be licensed under a creative commons licence. You can search on Flickr for cc-licensed photos, but a search for “Rome” will bring up everything with Rome in it. Groups are handy because they’re themed. So you could search the Archaeology group for Rome. The problem then is that you’ll find a lot of ©opyright photos. You really need a group which is all cc-licensed. Chiron is a good example of that. However Chiron’s strength is that it focuses on the classical world, which means you won’t find prehistoric Europe in it, or anything Mayan. This is where Archaeopix search comes in.
Using this you can define what you want to use the photo for. You can specify if you want to use the photo on a commercial site or if you want to be able to mess around with the image for a poster. You can then specify which group you want to search in. The default is Archaeology, but there’s others like Chiron, or Southwestern Archaeology. The search looks at the Flickr API, so that only photos matching a suitable licence turn up in the results.
It won’t turn all Flickr groups into Chiron clones, but it makes them more useful. If you’ve any suggestions on improving the search leave me a comment below. Or you could just look at the Taj Mahal’s Evil Twin — which is today’s photo.
This is what I hope will be the last politics post for a little while. I try to avoid it, because the volume of material means there’s a huge amount to criticise on all sides. Yet it seems foolish to look into a trivial book, when something like this happens.
At the G20 protests Ian Tomlinson died from a heart attack. He wasn’t protesting, he was just trying to get home. The police issued a statement that he died after protesters prevented medics from treating him. Video evidence has come to light which shows that’s not likely to be true. A video at the Guardian shows Tomlinson, with his hands in his pockets walking away from police armed in riot gear. He is attacked from behind and knocked to the ground shortly before he died. No police officers offered any assistance, it came from the public. In light of that, it’s reasonable to seriously consider other claims that Tomlinson had been assaulted by officers before the video was shot.
There’s plenty of blame. The police officer striking Tomlinson is clearly a coward but, seeing as his actions don’t seem to have resulted in immediate action, there’s plenty of other people to suspend or fire. Whoever put out the misleading statement on Tomlinson’s death is, at best, negligent. The people who devised the policing strategy are, at best, incompetent. Ultimately the government has eroded civil liberties to the extent that people cannot protest against its economic mismanagement. The same government has recently passed a law which could make this type of filming illegal because, as any Icelander can tell you, anti-terror leglislation has a tendency to spread. By making everyone a potential enemy they too have had a part in this.
It’s common to pin the blame for the breakdown of modern society onto a fashionable hobby-horse, video games, rock ‘n’ roll or the fad of the day. The behaviour of the police is always going to be contributing factor. I’m willing to best most of the people joining didn’t enter the force to assault people, but if you meet an officer now will you really want to take the risk? That’s a problem if you’re in favour of justice because policing cannot happen without the consent of a community. Otherwise it’s just a paramilitary occupation. The video shows plenty of witnesses in yellow jackets. If they won’t assist the law, who will?
A friend was on BBC Leicester briefly on Thursday (25 minutes in). You can tell how well it went if I tell you she was described as a ‘full-on feminist’.