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What can you do in 48 hours?

Visit many of Venice’s most popular tourist attractions.

Race across the Atacama Desert in a jeep.

Watch two seasons of 24.

Or if you’d prefer something a little less drastic (this is surely less drastic than two solid days of Jack Bauer?) and lot more creative, you can always take part in Film Dash – Chris Unitt’s 48 hour filmmaking challenge – which starts this Friday 17th October.

Intrigued? Have a look at the Film Dash website for more ...

I’m being followed by Stephen Fry

Twitter is amazing. If you’ve not heard of or used it before I’d urge you to have a play.

It’s probably easiest to explain Twitter as a kind of mini-blogging tool; similar to Facebook’s status updates but without all the stuff like walls, adverts, poking and throwing sheep getting in the way ...

Once signed up you have 140 characters per update to do with as you will, and in your Twitter stream you can follow what fellow tweeters have to say. They may or may not follow you back but, as the title of this post suggests, Stephen Fry – yep, actual, real-life Stephen Fry – is following me! (As well as thousands of others, but still ...) He’s Twittering his way round the globe at the moment, making a new show called Last Chance to See which is all about endangered species. His current location: Kenya, filming white rhino. And I know this. Told you Twitter’s amazing!

Though I don’t lead as exciting a life as Mr Fry, so far through Twitter I have managed, amongst other things, to: virtually meet a whole load of interesting people; be followed by a comedy genius; tell the world what I’m having for lunch; snag some spare Book Festival tickets (Thanks Jon!) – and I’m currently in 140 character discussions about urban gardening.

Twitter – just like garlic bread before it – is the future.

Jaguars and swans

As James is taking part in their Young Professionals on Arts Boards scheme, the folks at Arts & Business kindly invited us along to their awards ceremony at the Town Hall last night.

The Jaguar Arts & Business Awards celebrate the best collaborative projects between ... you guessed it, arts and business!

The evening’s musical entertainment was provided by Orchestra of the Swan, who I’d heard about but never actually heard until last night. They were great, playing the 20th Century Fox fanfare (complete with foot-stomping in place of drums!), several movements from a beautiful piece by Elgar, plus The Avengers theme tune which sounds amazing played live by a dozen assorted strings.

Back to the ceremony - we were pleased to see both The Big Picture (BBC, Jessops and Audiences Central) and the Aston Creative Development Programme (Aston Business School, the MAP Consortium and C&T) scoop the awards in their categories. Very deserving wins, we reckon. Not that we’re biased or anything, we just did the e-marketing and some print for The Big Picture and James is on the board of C&T ...

Anyway, here are the Audiences Central team, along with Kerry Endsor (who project managed The Big Picture) and the ladies from Rewired PR, celebrating their big win with bevvies at The Radisson!

A very civil evening

On thursday night we were very honored to be invited to be part of the judging panel of the Birmingham Civic Society’s Next Generation Awards Programme. The project has involved over a thousand young people in several schools across Birmingham. Teams are made up between 6-9 pupils and are asked to consider life in Birmingham 20 years from now, the social issues Birmingham may face and what they might to do to solve the associated problems.

The final was made up of the top four winning teams from King Edward School, Baverstock School, Priory School and Small Heath School who each made a presentation to the panel. Issues covered litter, graffiti, and the environment however it was Small Heath’s presentation on the elderly that came across as the best thought through, most personal as well as most entertaining - suggestions included more bungalows, Nintendo Wiis and better anti-wrinkle cream!

We were joined on the panel by Rob Langley of Clarke Associates and (the recently graduated graduate-apprentice) Jason Norris now of Deloitte. It was a very different way to spend an evening anyway, brilliant fun, and reassuring to know Birmingham will be in safe hands in years to come - and a free Nintendo Wii on retiring is a great prospect.