Sunday, 30 September 2007

Website launch

Apologies to those who are waiting to see it, and thanks again for your patience, but the website is not yet live with the programme for October. There were a few niggly, last minute problems at the end of the week and hence it'll go up on Monday (we hope!). More when we have it.

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Friday, 28 September 2007

Post-launch Friday-itis...

No, this isn't a reference to the fact that I'm suffering from a severe case of goldfish-memory-itis this afternoon (though it might as well be!). It's one of the hundreds of images that we've been selecting to put on the website - see if you can spot them when it finally goes live on Monday!

Yesterday's programme launch went really well and I was delighted to see so many faces there, familiar and new. Everyone seemed to have a good time networking, looking through the programme and drinking champagne! But today it's back down to earth with a bump, as I do the final proofs for the website, sort out a very special busking location (more soon!) and deal with a million (I exaggerate) emails and messages from yesterday when I was busy running round with the event.

Anyway the weekend is beckoning and I suspect that this will be the last quiet one until the end of October...

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Monday, 24 September 2007

Trailblazers - first one next week!

As part of the run up to the festival (four weeks and counting), but as from next week, we're running a series of trailblazer events, working with other festivals and partners to bring a little bit of science to food, drink, writing, and the stars…

We're delighted to be working with Jodrell Bank, Manchester Literature Festival, Manchester Food and Drink Festival, and The RSA to bring you these special science collaboration events.

A week on Tuesday (2 October, 7pm) we're co-hosting our first event with University of Manchester and Jodrell Bank - '100 Years of Radio Astronomy: A Future Retrospective', by Professor Brian Boyle, Director of CSIRO’s Australia Telescope National Facility. He's an inspiring, exciting speaker, and this lecture ‘looks back’ from the year 2030 to review a century of radio astronomy - pulsars, quasars, the radiation from the Big Bang - and the new view it gives us of our Universe.

Tickets: Free! Contact Jodrell Bank by phone on 01477 571321.

2007 is the 50th Anniversary of the Lovell Telescope, the iconic radio telescope at Jodrell Bank created by Manchester scientist, Sir Bernard Lovell. This lecture is part of a series of events to celebrate this wonderful anniversary.

More on the other trailblazers soon... both here and on the main site!

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Friday, 21 September 2007

Me, me, me...

This post nicely follows the "work, work, work" one - things only come in threes round here it seems!

Of course, the festival couldn't happen without the help and goodwill of a lot of people and organisations - it's not all "me, me, me". And here are two of them to prove it! Owen and Caroline work at MoSI in the learning centre and have programmed ALL of the content at the museum - a huge task.

Thank you guys - for your effort, your enthusiasm, your patience, and most of all, your good humour!

[BTW - note on the wall in the background the cutting from the Guardian saying that orange clothes are "going up" - festival T-shirts here we come!]

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End of the week rush...

It's Friday morning about 10.30am.

I've played with updating content on the newly delivered website, arranged for delivery of 100k postcards and 20k festival programmes, sent an email to the volunteers about the launch next week, and fielded calls/ emails about the festival from as close as Leyland and as far away as Sweden and Singapore!

All of which leaves me with one question... Is it time to go home yet?

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Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Press coverage in MEN

The Manchester Evening News has been kind enough to cover two stories that we've put out in the last few months, so I thought I'd link to them here.

One was a piece in yesterday's edition by Angie Robinson from Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, relating the reduced numbers of students taking science subjects to the need to make science fun, and thus the festival. The other (from which the photo is taken) was the launch event back in April, celebreating the wonderful Joule's Gold beer that Paradise Brewery created for us.

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A week and a day...

It's a week and a day until we launch and go public with both the programme and the website. I don't know if it'll be a huge relief or completely terrifying - probably both!

I've just seen the final proofs for the website and I'm really pleased with them. Given that we've worked with three different designers on the three major marketing elements (print, web and education - long story as to why!) I'm delighted that they've all turned out to look so similar and feel like a united brand. And that all the designers have been so patient and flexible! Thanks to Raid Associates, Idaho and A&P.

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Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Work, work, work...

With less than 10 days till the programme launch, and less than five weeks until the festival itself, things are moving on apace!

I always find this an exciting time – when the majority of the hard work is behind you (or should be, apart from the festival itself!) and the preparation is starting to pay off. It’s not that thrilling for all of you I’m guessing (!), but knowing that the programmes, postcards, Tshirts, banners, badges, and other stuff is all ordered and due in time means I sleep better at night!

And generally, things seem to be going smoothly, even if I am a bit busy overall. I say “seem to” because my colleague in the office said the other day that this is always the calm before the storm – I know I’m prepared for what I should be prepared for, it’s just what I didn’t know I needed to be prepared for that I need to worry about…

Don’t forget that we’re running a series of trailblazers during October, in partnership with lots of other Manchester institutions and festivals – I’ll post more about those in due course.

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Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Other things to look out for during the festival…

A new Salford REdGENERATION nail varnish on sale at festival outlets

A project collecting your ‘Favourite Manchester Sounds’ aiming to discover what Mancunians think about their city’s soundscape and to reveal the Manchester of the ear

A city-wide pub quiz with Manchester Food and Drink Festival

Lots of other workshops, talks, shows, activities and events at the Museum of Science and Industry – there are just too many to list here!

Bluetooth messages broadcasting festival information in key locations

“Joule’s Gold”, our festival beer, made by Paradise Brewery, on sale at their stall in the Arndale Market and other select locations

Busloads of physics as the cities buses play host to a Manchester-exclusive poster campaign

The Josh Award for Science Communication

A special IMAX short showing only at the Odeon in the Printworks

A chance to get together with other “fizz-ics” readers because of Richard Hammond’s book “Can you feel the force?”

Some fantastic science busking and tricks at a variety of locations throughout the festival

Murder, mystery and crime-solving at the Museum of Science and Industry

Books and posters by 1001 Inventions being sold through festival outlets

And the festival fun doesn’t stop at midnight on the 28 October. Oh no. We know some of you are on half-term the week after so we’ve laid on some special events and activities just for you – check the MOSI website for things happening between 29 Oct - 4 Nov!

For all of these and more check the festival website when it goes live later this month - Manchester Science Festival

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Poet in Residence

That first flight in 1908
his name might have entered the record books
but a number out
a witness misplaced
and the name fades, a colour-wash drawing lifts
from the paper before it is set
soars above Manchester
and paints its lines over the map of the world.

by Helen Clare, Poet in Residence, Museum of Science and Industry.

For more information about the residency.

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