Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay: the lustre of pearls?

The video presentation released by Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay certainly looks impressive, but will the scheme have a ‘lustre of pearl’ effect on the bay?

The presentation describes plans to construct a 10.5 km causeway, using innovative techniques, to create a 11 sq km lagoon in a £650m development. But will it live up to its promises?

A lagoon for energy?

Fitted with turbines capable of generating enough electricity to power over 100,000 homes, the causeway certainly ticks the environment-friendly boxes, helping to create a carbon-neutral Wales. But what will the impact be on the local ecology? On its website the company appear to be quite honest in accepting that the development will have some impact on the local environment, and have confirmed that they will be producing an Environmental Impact Assessment report.

A lagoon of opportunity?

The developer states that the lagoon will provide an environment for reviving old marine-based industries such as oyster beds, kelp farming; and watersports like sailing and triathlon. These are to be welcomed and can only further enhance the bay’s status as a premier location for seafood and watersports.

A lagoon for jobs?

It is fair to say that the tidal lagoon will create some much needed jobs for the area and give our local economy a boost. But I assume that a development as cutting edge as this will require some highly-skilled expertise. I wonder how many of these jobs will come to Swansea Bay? I believe that the lagoon offers the Swansea Bay region an exciting opportunity to create a research centre, possibly at the new university campus on Fabian Way, to lead the way in the development of tidal power technologies for export.

A lagoon for art?

Some may find the suggested dragon sculpture a little cliche. However, the developers should surely be applauded for their efforts to include public artworks in the scheme. Cape Farewell, an arts group committed to engaging the public around the issue of climate change through the arts, have been commissioned to develop a creative inquiry into the scheme and how it will impact change on the area. Perhaps, artworks that stimulate debate around climate change and the marine environment specifically would be more appropriate and beneficial, and better reflect the innovation of the scheme?

What do you think?

Detailed plans are still being prepared ahead of an expected public consultation during the summer and submission to the UK Secretary of State for Climate Change and Energy in the autumn.

Meanwhile, here’s the report of the children of nearby St Thomas Primary:

And here’s what the children of Grange Primary had to say in a classroom debate:

Moo-vellous Yeo Valley ad is viral hit

Organic yoghurt maker, Yeo Valley, is causing quite a stir online.

The company’s recent advert, produced by ad agency BBH and featuring four rapping farmers, is proving to be an online hit with 1,136,900 views on You Tube to date.

Anyone watching the the young farmers rapping through the British countryside can be forgiven for thinking they’re watching a music video rather than a commercial, it’s that good.

Such is the song’s popularity that it has been recently released on iTunes and media commentators are tipping the song to top the UK music charts this Christmas, thereby beating the X-Factor finalist – unless Wagner wins!

My guess is that it may just do it, it has the right mix of quirky fun, that we Brits rave, and one of the rappers is the stunning brunnette Alexandra Evans, winner of the fourth series of Britain’s Next Top Model, adding a touch of glamour.

Watch the video and let me know what you think, if anything it’s a great viral.

John Lewis ad has the X Factor

People watching last night’s X Factor winessed the perfect execution of a TV commercial.

John Lewis’ choice of the Elton John track ‘Your Song’ for its advert, aired during a break of the popular show featuring his hits, is nothing short of genius.

Ellie Goulding’s soft vocals bring a wonderful warmth to Elton’s ‘Your Song’ and the ad captures just the right amount of Christmas magic and sentimentality to make one quietly think of another EJ classic ‘Can you feel the love tonight’.

Similarly, Marks and Spencer’s use of popular comedian, Peter Kay, with a host of celebs in its Christmas advert is quirky, funny and likely to be very viral.

This Christmas is setting up to be a battle to see which of our well-love high street brands has the X Factor.

Have John Lewis, with their everday people, trumped M&S and the celebs? See for yourself and let me know.

Dire Straits Alchemy Live

Despite being unable to read music or play an instrument I love music. I’ve got nigh on 500 CDs stored in several places throughout the house.  The past week, after having a bit of a sort,  I’ve had the sounds of Dire Straits blasting through the house.

Here’s a clip of Dire Straits performing Telegraph Road on tour in 1984 – classic!

One of my favourite albums has got to be their Alchemy Live with Telegraph Road being a particular track I like to repeat. It’s got great lyrics which make you question whether with all our technology we’ve really improved life, and the music, especially the riff (at least that’s what I think it’s called) gets the old adrenaline going when driving.

Top 10 Bristish tearooms revealed

As you’re well aware tea in Britain is like a national institution, we do like to take our tea seriously. apparently each day we sink 165 million cups of it. Not surprising, given any crisis the answer is ‘I’ll put the kettle on’.

It really is our national drink – classless, timeless and tasty. But where do you go for a brew? Well the tourism bods at Visit Britain have a few suggestions.

I for one quite fancy The Wolsely, the cakes look delish. But the Attic in Bristol appear to have their own blends – interesting! And Betty’s looks traditional.

I think I’ll put the kettle on!

Rage Against The Machine to challenge X-Factor for Christmas No.1

Why is the Christmas Number One always the new “X-Factor” winner these days?

I’m sick of it . ITV’s kings (or queens) of karaoke have been duping the public with their recycled pop to reach the summit of the festive chart for the last four years running.

But it’s the season (I mean there’s reason) to be jolly as an online guerilla campaign to topple Simon Cowell’s non-stars from the top is gathering momentum.

Tens of thousands of people have joined the Facebook group created by Jon Morter, which calls on people to buy Rage Against The Machine’s infamous, insurrectionary 1992 track  “Killing in the Name” and send that to the top of the singles chart on December 25 instead of whichever contestant wins the 2009 competition.

The increasingly popular Facebook group states “Fed up of Simon Cowell’s latest karaoke act being Christmas No.1? Me too… So who’s up for a mass-purchase of the track ‘KILLING IN THE NAME’ from December 13th (DON’T BUY IT YET!) as a protest to the X-Factor monotony?”

It appears that the campaign is causing something of a stir offline too with mentions on BBC’s Radio 1 and 6 Music, Sky News, KERRANG!, and by the likes of Phil Jupitus.

Apparently this is not the first time that Jon has sought to stop an X-Factor winner from reaching the festive top spot. Last year, he unsuccessfully pitched Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” against Alexandra Burke’s cover of “Hallelujah”.

If you’ve had enough of manufactured pop and covers then buy the single in the week of 13th – 19th of December from either 7 Digital, iTunes or Play.com to ensure the track is No.1 on the 25th.

Please also pledge your support by joining the Facebook group.

Coronation Street’s Maggie Jones dies

I’m not a huge fan of Corrie or soaps for that matter, but whenever I’ve sat down with my better-half, Emma, and watched the beloved drama I’ve always enjoyed storylines involving Blanche Hunt.

It is with a sense of sadness that I’ve just learned that Maggie Jones, the actress who played the popular character, has died.

A favourite scene of mine involving Blanche is a more recent one, when Peter Barlow attends an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting accompanied by Ken, Deidree and Blanche. Well you can imagine, it was hilarious!

See for yourself.

God bless you Maggie and may you rest in peace. Britain’s soap watchers will surely miss you.