Atomium Escalator: Travelling through hyperspace in the Belgian tourist attraction
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Choc Edge has often proven itself to be one of the more unusual tangents my freelancing journey has taken me on and this week was no exception. When BBC Radio 1's Academy asked Choc Edge to participate in its week-long series of workshops in Exeter I jumped at the chance to organise our day there and get one of the DJ's involved with 3D chocolate printing for some unique on-air content.
My pitch was simple – print 2D chocolate portraits of all DJs present (which only required a photograph) and a 3D chocolate head from a scan of one of the DJs that they could be presented with on their show. The Radio 1 Academy producers liked the idea and from there it was only a matter of getting the chosen DJ Scott Mills scanned in 3D with the help of Exeter's Fab Lab.
In the end the scanning happened on the day prior to the event leaving me with only a few hours to process the 3D scan and make it suitable for chocolate printing, but I managed to create a trio of 3D printed chocolate Scotts.
The tasting seemed to go down well on air, providing a rich source of inspiration for Scott's legendary innuendos. The joke was that he was expecting a life-sized clone of his head in chocolate but instead got a more bite-sized version. Social Media also seemed to enjoy the reveal which proved to be one of Radio 1's most popular tweets that day.
Getting to create such fun content for a radio show I'm a fan of and in a building where I hangout and work was an exciting experience, and it was great to meet and see the response of the bright young people attending the Radio 1 Academy.
Although 3D printing or the company wasn't mentioned on the show I've optimised the full story on the Choc Edge blog to make sure that anyone who searches for Scott's chocolate head will be able to find out where it came from.
The case of its vs it's leads us on to the next rule of writing. Learn to recognise when a word needs an apostrophe to indicate when something has been omitted by a contraction.
Maybe it’s the Shakespeare in the air this week, or maybe it’s the tested.com Still Untitled podcasts I’ve been listening to where I first heard this story, but I’ve been thinking about the meaning behind names – specifically WD-40.
Firstly I’m a WD-40 fan for many reasons; for being a joke in King of the Hill, silencing squeaks, removing the left-behind sticky from sticky labels, and most recently for loosening a stiff lock.
For all the time I've had a can in my toolbox though I never really thought about where its name came from.
Turns out it stands for “Water Displacement perfected on the 40th try” as it took the three people working at the Rocket Chemical Company forty attempts to formulate the ubiquitous lubricant, for use in the aerospace industry.
It’s a pretty interesting story for a cool name that sounds like it could be a Star Wars robot. And like so many products a bit of research reveals it’s a common household essential that has its roots in a very specialised industry. In fact it was first used to protect the USA’s inaugural Intercontinental Ballistic Missile from rust and corrosion – thankfully since then it has been used as a solution for peace, if only by people with high-pitched hinges.
Check out more WD-40 trivia on the official site.
This weekend inspiration for a new website logo coincided with free time so I decided to sit down and make it.
For a while I've wanted something simpler and more reflective of what my site is about now, rather than the mishmash of ideas and cartoon dog avatar (from one of my first writing jobs) that I'd rushed out before. The old logo was a stopgap when I was still unsure how to boil down the website into a simple image.
My goal was to design something that centred around copywriting but also hinted that I create more visual content as well. My new idea was that I should depict a pencil in the middle of a camera aperture, which references nicely a couple of my favourite logos – the Dharma logo from LOST and the Aperture logo from Portal.
So that's basically what I did, adding a distorted "MJM" in the centre. I started with a rough sketch on a bit of scrap paper, worked it up as a vector design in Inkscape, and did the final bit of processing in Photoshop.
I'm certainly no graphic designer but I find exercises like this fun and always learn something new. In this case it was how to create the camera aperture segments and getting them all to line up nicely, starting off with simple geometric shapes - an octagon and a circle. I thought of a better and more accurate way of doing it after I was finished but this is the result:
I've always enjoyed the way logos can instantly make an organisation seem more real in fiction, whether it's in the form of shadow case across a detective's floor in a Noir movie or mounted on the wall of a subterranean hatch.
While mine's just going to sit in the top left-hand corner of my website I still get the sense of it making the site feel more authentic, plus it doesn't look too bad as a favicon.
Mark is a freelancer who specialises in creative copywriting and content creation. Starting out as a freelance blogger he's experienced at putting his copywriting skills to work on a variety of subjects and can easily turn his hand to different styles. In his years as a freelance writer he's always brought a creative edge to everything he's written.
In addition to being a freelance copywriter and a hard-working wordsmith Mark had also forged other forms of content for the web and print working as a photographer, video editor and a general content creator on a freelance basis.
Based in Devon Mark lives within questing distance of the UK's Middle Earth aka Dartmoor. He likes his detectives hard-boiled, his eggs runny, and his time travel non-paradoxical.
These are the freelance content creation services available from Mark:
If you need a freelance writer, photographer, or video editor get in touch with Mark to find out how he can help:
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ebooks written by Mark: