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Laser Engraved Safari Dice Commission

Laser Engraved Wooden Safari Dice Commission

While exhibiting my portfolio of laser engraved work at the 2015 Derby Mini Maker Faire, I was commissioned to recreate an old dice game. My client had moved to the UK from Kenya in her late teens and during this move all of the family’s childhood memorabilia was left behind. My client had vivid memories of playing this Safari Dice game with her brother during their childhood years and had done her best to find a set as a present for him but so far, to no avail.  After months of searching all that was found was an entry of the ‘Safari Dice’ on

Having seen my bespoke and intricate work, the client realised that laser engraving would be a far superior option than hand-carving the designs onto some wooden dice she had bought.

Using GIMP on Ubuntu I prepared the 6 designs (Giraffe, Rhino, Elephant, Buffalo, Lion & Hunter) my client had provided and I was able to then translate into vectors in Inkscape, ready for line engraving onto the dice. I developed a custom jig to hold the dice in place to ensure each image was perfectly central. To minimise the scorching and any smoke discolouration I applied “application tape” (aka masking tape) prior to engraving.

My client was delighted and couldn’t wait to see her brother’s face when he opened this unique Christmas present.

Laser Engraved Wooden Safari Dice Commission


BarkEng Mad Shop on Folksy is now open

Find Me On FolksyTo make the purchase of my products a little easier for some and to increase their visibility and reach, I have opened a Folksy shop.

After many conversations with my customers and other makers, suggesting that I put my products online on a shop like Esty, I found a more suitable alternative.  Folksy focuses on UK makers and is a small company running out of Sheffield. Although their fees are slightly higher, it felt right to be supporting a local independent set up.

I would still prefer if people to buy direct from me, via phone, email or in person, so I can minimise my fees and involvement with PayPal. However, I understand there will be situations where buying via Folksy makes more sense.

For now, I have put a few laser engraved skateboard concept designs and baby sheep mobiles on their.  As and when I have time, I will be added other appropriate items for people to find.

Go check out my new Folksy Shop 🙂


Open Hardware Robot Army

Create your own robot Army!

I can not wait to see the results of this open hardware project. The interactive light art installation is going to be spectacular. It wasn’t clear whether this project was open hardware or not, so I contacted artist Sarah Petkus via kickstarter to find out, as below…

Love it!
On completion of your light art installation, will you open sourcing all your hardware and software? Especially as your project can be made using a 3D printer, laser cutter and arduino. Perfect project for any hacker or maker!
Stick the open hardware logo, arduino and Creative commons and get it posted on somewhere like you should get a good response from the free culture community.
Enjoy, Engage & Share 🙂

Sarah replied:

Yes, after we complete our installation we’ll be making all of our hardware/software open for people to hack and play with. I really encourage others to build their own armies. Every home should have a few cool robots in it. =]
I guess adding the open source logo would be a good idea, I can’t believe I overlooked that. Now that we are halfway through our campaign, we’re tweaking our PR strategy a bit- so I’ll plan on reaching out more to the DIY/open source community.
Thank you for the suggestion!

Remember, if you don’t ask, you don’t always get, so if you are a free culture advocate, then be sure to request it. And if they do open up the source files, then be sure to back the project, even if it just for £1.


Open Hardware Feb 2014 Update

I have compile this post with more open projects that may be of interest to you hacker and makers out there.

The stool that rocks
This cool stool was launched via Kickstarter earlier in 2013. What is particularly interesting about this project is that the stool is local manufactured to the buyer. This is the distribution model I am planning to use with my open source LED Clock. You can still buy the stool at


YaCyPi is simply a raspberry pi with a YaCy preloaded on it, you can get 2 versions.
– YaCy Server, of which you put on your local network and it will give you access to the YaCy network.
– YaCy Crawler, of which will contribute to building the networks searched content

If you are unsure what YaCy is they you need to watch, or at least listen to the video below.


SketchChair is a nice piece of open source software to help you design and create your own CNC’able chair. This was a success kickstarter project back in May 2011.


Strawbees are a super simple cool construction kit for kids. It is quite amazing how many nice objects people have come with using strawbees.


I saw the MicroSlice at the 2013 Derby Mini Maker Faire, of which I exhibited my LED Clock. Its a great little device and is proving to be popular in Kickstarter. Maybe there is still time to get yours.


uArm is desktop open hardware robot arm, inspired by industrial pick and place robot arms.


Unlocked Furniture is an interesting CNC furniture project, although not open source. Maybe they will see the light and liberate there designs.


SmartScope is cheaper and more elegant solution to your oscilloscope needs, plus it open source 🙂

Thats all for now… If you discover any new open hardware projects be sure to email me with them

Enjoy, engage & share!

Welcome to Code Club…

Today, I will be starting my first after school Code Club where I will be teaching Year 4, 5 & 6 students at Milford Primary School in Derbyshire, how to program.

Getting ready for my first cod club session...

Getting ready for my first code club session…

Code club is a really important organisation that is going to get the UK’s children creating and sharing computer programs, instead of just consuming them.

Watch this short fun video that one of the Code Clubs has created…

If you have programming skills and would like to share them, then maybe you could become a code club volunteer and work with a local school. For more detail on how it was set up and what it is about watch this video of a lecture explaining all.

I will keep you all posted on how I get on throughout the term.

Enjoy, Share & Engage… 🙂

Cheers, Morgan Barke

OSHW teaching aid, plus other projects

Hopefully you have read this in time to support this cool educational project… I have already contributed, to  help support this important project and to get the source files to build my own. I really like the super simple programming interface for the younger kids and can’t wait to see how the open source community will hack this into their own projects.

Here are a few extra cool free culture, open source projects…

Ever wondered what your brain patterns look like. Maybe you want to control your project with your mind.. Well now you can with this Open Source Brain Computer Interface.

Time to updgrade your 3D Printer with this profession hotend.

Make your hand gestures in to funky sounds with Vectr – Open Source 3D Sensing Gesture Controller

Its great to see more and more free culture projects out there. If you want to see more, be sure to support, even if it just a quid, at least stick on your social media of choice.


Enjoy & Share! Morgan.

Derby Mini Maker Faire 2013

IMG_2762 blog

Wow, what a day! As you will see in the time lapse video the Derby Mini Maker Faire was absolutely buzzing, all day.

I was fortunate enough to have my own table exhibiting the latest versions of my clock, amongst the Derby Makers. In the time lapse video you can see all the Derby Makers in our orange hi vis vests, along the wall to the right, busying about.

I created additional hardware, consisting of an LCD screen and 3 rotatory encoders, so people of all ages could interact with the clock, changing the RBG values of the hour marks. I created a simple tutorial, so people could read the RGB values off the LCD screen, update the code, creating their very own colour combinations for the hour, minute and second hands. I will publish the code and respective documents for this tutorial as soon as I get chance. I still have a few changes I would like to make, from the feedback from the Maker Faire.

Rise and Shine LED Clock Tutorial

I had load of positive and constructive feedback on my clocks, of which I am currently implementing. As, I was telling those interested on the day, I will be running a workshop at the Silk Mill in the new year, of which I will announce officially once I have completed my circuit design and tested the workshop out on the Derby Makers.

As a part of the Derby Makers, Amanda & Pam ran a jam and chutney stall, with about 20 recipes to taste, one of which I had contributed. I posted the recipe for my Gujarati style pear chutney on my personal blog, which was apparently loved by all those who tried it… 🙂 All the recipes have been compiled into a Derby Makers Recipe book, of which I will update with the link as soon as Amanda has published it.

The Derby Maker Faire was such a success, there is already talk of a summer event next year. I will keep you posted…

More Cool Free Open Hardware

Since my recent blog post on the best free & open hardware projects I have found additional projects that are are worth sharing. Each of these projects are currently crowd funding for money to get their projects off the ground. This is a great way to build a successful open source project and respective community.

At the time of writing this post, all of these projects are live in Kickstarter and still accepting contributions. For your convenience I have included both the video and the widget…

Howler Open Source Arcade Controller

If you are a true geek then you will either have or at least want your own arcade machine. The Howler Arcade Controller is designed for so you can add controls for 4 people with more than enough button, all with RGB lighting. This is ideal if you have loads of games so you know which buttons can be used. It also has an accelerometer built in so you can nudge the machine when playing pinball games. I will be definitely making a full size 2 player arcade machine for the Derby Maker Space at the Silk Mill of which I will publish the CNC designs for the cabinet. Both the drivers, code and hardware. I think he is only creating the driver software in M$ Windoze, but as it is open source, I am sure someone will be able to port it across to linux…

1Sheeld: Replace your Arduino shields with your smart phone!

This is a great product for testing your arduino ideas and code, without having to have all the electronics on you. This also allow 2 way communication to your arduino, so you can control your project from your phone and visa versa. I have ordered mine and will adding it to one of my LED Clocks as soon as it arrives.


QuickStack: Let’s make it easy!

This is set to be a great alternative to the Arduino, but without the pin limitations. It also looks easier to code when requiring multiple operations at the same time.


Lenzhound Wireless Lens Motor Control System

This wireless lens remote has so many applications when recording video. I think that at the moment it is only the code that is open source, as is based upon Arduino. Would be great if they open source the hardware, but we will see if they do…

Pedal Power — Human Scale Energy For Everyday Tasks

I love this project. While I don’t this pedal power is a practical energy source for many operations, but I do think there will be many that is. If everyone had something in their house that was pedalled powered then I think we would think a little more about the power we use. I do think that it is sometimes a little too easy to just switch something on.

CNCing Flexible Plywood

I have seen many examples of materials being laser cut to provide flexible properties, as can be seen here on a hackaday post.

Laser cut flexible box

Laser cut flexible box for arduino project – Hackaday

However, today I saw an implementation of this design technique, but on a CNC router that I thought was worth sharing…

The Belin based design and manufacturing  company flxble has created a bike wall mount using this technique. Here is a video from their website…

Enjoy & share if you like…

LED Clock circuit design on Fritzing

Today, I have published the circuit diagram for the Rise and shine LED Clock. Initially, I have completed the circuit design on the breadboard interface on Fritzing, as you can see below.

LED Clock breadboard circuit diagram on fritzing

Breadboard layout of the Rise and Shine LED Clock, designed on Fritzing

I am going to work on adding other components, such as a mircophone and light sensor before completing the schematic and PCB layouts. I will add and upload the fritzing file to the next iteration of the LED Clock code.

I have used the open source Fritzing circuit designer, as this is great place to start for your arduino and other maker/hacker projects.

My LED Clock at Oggcamp 13


This a Last weekend I attended Oggcamp 13, the biggest and best open source & free culture conference in the UK. I took this opportunity to exhibit my LED Clock and demonstrate to the free & open source community what I have been upto and hopefully get some direct feedback…

The John Lennon Art and Business Building Rise and shine LED Clock stall at Oggcamp

Oggcamp 13 was kindly hosted at and sponsored by The John Lennon Art and Design Building, a part of Liverpool John Moores University. Oggcamp is an unconference focused around free culture and open source software & hardware. The Oggcamp 13 tag line sums up what its all about perfectly… “Learn/Teach/Play”.

Oggcamper checking out my LED CLock Oggcamper engaing in my LED CLock

Exhibiting My LED Clock and getting direct feedback was a very rewarding experience.  I displayed the current 2 versions of my clock, where the LED strip is facing inwards and where the LED strip is facing outwards. As my outwards facing clock was open and incomplete, it wasn’t perfectly clear of the effect it could achieve, especially in such a very light environment. Once I had chance to explain the effect the clock will achieve when complete and in the correct environment, peoples interest and enthusiasm suddenly went to the next level. I had some great thoughts and ideas shared with me of how the clock could be hacked, in terms of both software and hardware, which is exactly what this project is all about. As and when I have time, I will write up all those ideas and add them to the development list, for either myself or the community to implement.

Morgan Barke at Oggcamp 13 exhibiting his LED Clock Free Pizza for all those Oggcampers

Lunch on both Saturday & Sunday was kindly provided for free by the sponsors of the event. There was a party on Saturday where a free drink and food was put on by the sponsors, of which was greatly appreciated by all.

Oggcamp 13 Raffle Ubuntu vs Firefox OS for phones

There were a wide range of talks, covering topics such as why free music, Ubuntu vs Firefox OS for phone (as pictured above), how to build your first quad/tri copter, git basics, introduction to werewolf, Raspberry Pi Jam, and so on… I now look forward to next years event and would highly recommend it to anyone who is wanting to get in touch with the inner geek! 🙂

Updated Rise and shine code to v0.24

After buying a new laptop and installing the latest version of Arduino (1.0.1) and uploading v0.23 to test my com port, it didn’t work. But as you can see in this video, it’s not a bad thing…

At the time I was listening to “Summer Stepping” by Dr Meaker at it seemed to fit perfectly. Check it out…

While it doesn’t actually dance to the music I am playing, only looks like it, it shouldn’t be too hard to hack in a microphone to do exactly that… Maybe you might have time to hack it before I do… If so, be sure to let me know… 🙂

I have now updated the code so the LED Clock now works with arduino v1.0.1 and onwards. You can now download v0.24 from sourceforge, of which I have also added the menu flow diagram.

I will keep you posted when I get chance to add the music dancing functionality… 🙂


After posting this video on the “FastSPI_LED Users” Google+ community (this is the LED library I use), I received a variety of potiential ways of implementing the sound/music reacting functionality.

Here is someone else’s implementation…

I have ordered some sound “arduino sound sensor modules” of which run off 5v and I should be able to combine with the Arduino FHT Library from Open Music Labs. I will post an update as soon as I get the clocks dancing… you know, really dancing…

Best free open hardware projects

oshw-logo-800-pxAs with free and open source software, free and open hardware are key components to a sustainable and enriched future for all. We are all faced with a wide variety of environmental and social problems, of which the current closed and proprietary based economic system has little chance of solving. The inefficiencies of consumption based economics contribute highly to both these issues. The mass majority of designs and patents are owned by companies, with their primary interest is of selling you more products. Therefore it is not in their interest to design and create the best, long serving, repairable & upgradable products.

This is where free and open hardware comes to the rescue… If the consumer take responsibility of these products, longevity, upgrades & maintenance will be inherent in their design and creation.

It is early days for the free & open hardware movement and it needs your support, so I have compiled a list of what I currently believe and am aware of, the best and most important free and open hardware projects to help you understand what it is all about. These are not necessarily in order of best, as they all hold their own in their respective field. I am sure I have missed some other worthy projects out there, so please update me with them.

By reading the following and watching the respective videos, you should have a good understanding of why I and so many other people are excited and engaged in the open hardware movement…

Arduino Programmable Board

The Arduino is the perfect platform to get involved in programming and electronics. A lot a new open hardware projects involve Arduino’s, as they are so versatile and accessible, including my Open Source LED Clock which is based around the Arduino Nano. The first video should give you what it is and what the Arduino can do for you. The second is a 28 minute documentary that explains the initial journey of the Arduino and why it came into existence and if you want to get a deeper understanding of the open hardware movement, then this is well worth watching.


Open Source Ecology

This in fact encompasses a wide variety of projects, needed for a modern society, from a brick maker to tractor.


RepRap 3D Printer

Localised manufacture is key to a sustainable future and the open hardware movement. The below video was released about 4 years ago and has become a great success. The Reprap project has now evolved from the original reprap to a variety of new designs all that are all free to download and make yourself.
On the left you can see one of the original designs (RepRap Mendel) and on the right one of the latest( 3DR RepRap Delta printer).
RepRap Mendel 3DR RepRap Delta printer


Lasersaur – OS Laser Cutter

Laser cutters are becoming an important tool in the makers and hardware hackers arsenal. They allow for cutting and etching of a variety of materials, such as paper, wood, textiles and even light metals. Here is an open source laser cutter which is very close to an official release. Meanwhile, with a small donation you can access the beta files and get building.


Kikori CNC Router

Inspired by the Reprap, Judah Sher designed a free and open source CNC router for his final year project at Uni. It is predominantly made of 18mm Plywood components, of which can be cut on itself. This project was successfully funded in Kickstarter giving Judah the time to complete and release the designs into the community. Judah no longer has time to further develop the Kikori, so it’s now over to the open hardware community and is certainly on my projects to do list…
Kikori CNC router


Wikihouse Open Source Construction Set

Its all very well having all of the above open source tools, but what if you don’t have a workshop to house them? Well, now you can build an open source one, using the Wikihouse constructions set on a CNC router like the Kikori. Wikihouse is a construction set designed for anyone wanting to build their own timber framed home (or workshop). All the construction components are cut out of 18mm plywood which can be easily sustainably sourced.


Open Hand Project

I recently supported this project on Indiegogo and thought is was well worth adding to the list. This project is a open source prosthetic hand that open/closes when the user tenses their forearm muscle. A large proportion of the components can be printed using a 3D printer like the RepRap.


SmoothieBoard – OS CAM Control Board

Smoothie is a control board specifically designed for open hardware manufacturing tools, such as 3D Printers, Laser Cutters & CNC Routers and Milling Machines. The current design can handle up to 5 axis machines.


Parallella Parallel Computer

This is a powerful new parallel computing platform, design to run GNU/Linux. For certain computational tasks a regular desktop computer is simple not powerful enough and doesn’t have the correct type of architecture to get it done efficiently. Parallel computing is a subject in itself, but this video should give you an idea of why it important.

CNC Routing of Draycote Water Signs

Last year I was apart of a consultation to see how Severn Trent Water (STW) could enable its signage to be manufactured in house, as at the time it was outsourcing it all to an external company. STW owns lot of managed forest that surround its reservoirs, yet the timbre used for its signs in and around the public accessible areas was oak sourced from all the way in the United States. STW has it own saw mill capable of processing green freshly harvested timbre, along side a full equipped work shop and willing staff to manufacture their signs. The only issue was they lacked someone with the necessary skills, training and enthusiasm to create all the CAD files and operate the CNC router, and that’s where I came in. As and when required I work on site to complete my part of the sign manufacturing process.

Shortly after it was establish that it had become feasible to create any signs in house a new project emerged consisting of large welcome road entrance signs for the 6 largest public access sites.

Draycote Water was the first to be completed in April 2013, just in time for the re-opening of its renovated visitors centre. Below you can see the road entrance signs, each consisting of a Severn Trent Water logo, large “Welcome to…” and 4 icons representing some of the key activities of this site.

Dracote Water Left CNC Sign Dracote Water Left CNC Sign

Both Draycote Entrance CNC Signs Dracote Entrance with Car


Within the visitor centres their are several maps to help visitors navigate the facilities open to the public.

IMG_2024_web IMG_2025_web IMG_2023_web

Beneath the visitors centre are icons to highlight the restaurant, toilets & shop.

IMG_2030_web IMG_2034_web

At the point of publishing this blog post Foremark Reservoir & Carsington Reservoir have now been completed and installed. The final 3 of 6 of this initial signage project should be installed before the end of the year. I will add photos of these new installations soon.

Derby Makers at the launch of Proud of Derby campaign


Being an active member of Derby Makers (a collective of individuals who share an interest in making, modifying and improving anything and everything), I helped out in representing at the launch of a new campaign by the Derby City Council “Proud of Derby”.


At this event Derby Makers shared a stall with Derby Silk Mill, of which we displayed just a few of the projects that the Derby Makers members have created. One of which was my Arduino powered LED clock. This was the first time my prototype has ventured out into the public. My objects of the LED clock project is to create a open source, hackable clock, as an educational device to encourage people interested in technology to learn how adapt and improve something for there own needs, of what hacking is all about. I still have some improvements to make before I will be have to officially launch my open source LED clock, along with creating the tools to encourage a thriving community, so watch this space…


Here you can see rope being made using Mark’s rope making machine, of which he has used on previous occasions such at scout meetings to engage and educate.

Below are a few links to press releases about the launch of the “Proud of Derby” campaign if you wish to know more…

BBC Video News feature

Derby City Council Article

This Derbyshire – Derby Evening Telegraph Article with video

Free & open source 2D Inkjet Printers

Free and open source 3D printers have really taken off in the past year, most likely based upon the Reprap. All the press will have you believe that 3D printers will be in every home, just like we have 2D inkjet printers! I am still not 100% if that is a good thing or not, of which I will get into in another post at some point…

Yet, there isn’t a suitable open source 2D inkjet printer out there (well, at least that I could find). There seems to have been a few attempts as the video below highlights, but this hasn’t created any traction in creating a viable open source option to replace what HP, Canon or Epsom have to offer.

You can find the components here on thingiverse, to make your own.

This article is worth a read, on open sourcing the inkjet scam discussing the options of hacking the inkjet printers to circumvent the chips that force you to buy new cartridges, rather than re-filling them.

But hacking the chips doesn’t really solve the core issue, of that we don’t have an open source 2D inkjet printer alternative, that could ultimately provide us with a repairable, upgradable and in the long term a cheaper method of home printing. There is no doubt that open source 3D printers will further advance, along with the growth of open source hardware community and hopefully the public will take notice and action that these big corporations are just ripping us off.  So maybe we will have run, then learn to walk, by in the future taking few steps back, designing and creating a viable 2D print in the public domain.

UPDATE: The Light Bulb Conspiracy is great documentary that explains planned obsolescence, of which can be solved by the free culture community. Here is the featured youtube video about The Dirty Little secrets of Inkjet Printers.

Didnt post correctly, so try try try again

It posted to twitter just fine, but posted to my personal facebook page, instead of the Barkeng Mad page. Let me try again…

Auto Posting to Facebook and twitter using Social

In order to get my posts automatically on twitter it seems to be best using the “Social” WordPress plugin. This also has the feature of linking to Facebook pages, so I have disabled the “Add link to facebook” plugins, so not to duplicate posts… Lets see if it works…

Auto posting from WP blog to facebook and twitter

I am in the process of configuring my wordpress blog, so it automatically post to facebook business page and personal twitter. It looks like I will have to manually update my and Google+ accounts.

Once I have it all set up, I will post here on how I have done it and why.

Lets all get Britain cycling

I finally got out on my bike this weekend. 38 miles on the road on Saturday and 7 miles off road on Sunday christening my new (to me) full suspension mountain bike “Keith”. I am looking forward to getting out lots this summer.

I have just signed the e-petition on improving cycling on Britain’s roads. I suggest you watch this video and sign it too if enjoy cycling…

Here is the link to the e-petition….

Wirksworth Foot & Cycle Paths

During the recent Transition Wirksworth organised talk about local transport, a need for a detailed map of Wirksworth containing all the foot and cycle paths was highlighted.

Over the weekend I made good use of the fine weather to walk along some of these footpaths, then this morning updated them onto the Open Street Map.

The Open Street Map is an ideal tool for the Transition Wirksworth to use, as all the data remains in the public domain, so anyone can use it without the copyright issues. unlike using Google or OS maps.

As and when I have time, I will continue add more paths and the respective detail. I encourage anyone else to join in editing the maps and if you are struggling with the technical side of things, I would be happy to help…

View Larger Map

Static home with separate blog page

As you may know, I use a WordPress site for my website, as it is free & open source software, easy to configure and customize, with a great community for support.

I am in the process of updating my site, so it has the look and feel of a regular custom website, rather than a WordPress blog, plus is more professional in it appearance.

The most significant and recent change is that I have swapped the default homepage article feed, to a static page, and moved the article feed to a “Blog” page. This was relatively easy, by following some simple instructions provided in the work press support wiki I also installed and activated the “Exclude Pages” plugin allowing me to easily resolve the duplicate “Home” menu item issue.

All is left to do is to create some interesting and informative content…


Free Transcendental Meditation

I have moved this post to my personal blog…

Scientific & Medical Network Meeting

This Saturday I attended a very interesting Scientific & Medical Network Meeting (Yorkshire Group). For those who have not heard of the SMN, it is a network of professionals (active and retired) in fields of science, medicine, philosophy, alternative medicine, etc… Several times a years each local group meeting up to listen to related professionals (normally about research they have done or are doing, or about a book they have released) after which the group discusses with the speaker.

If you think this would interest you, I would suggest you check out their website and perhaps attend your next local meeting.

Earlier this year I held a talk for the Yorkshire SMN Group on my personal research into higher states of conciousness achieved while listening to high end hi fi. Below is what was written in the SMN newsletter…

“Morgan Barke gave a talk on ‘Multidimensional Listening and High End Hi Fi’. Starting from the technological and financial complexities of modern state of the art Hi Fi equipment, he went on to explain that it produced sounds which were beyond the range of normal human hearing: sub-sonic below the normal threshold, and hyper-sonic above. Strangely hyper-sonic sound is registered though it is not heard. The question is how? Experiments show that such awareness does not come through the ears, and if registered, hyper-sonic sound may be working through the sub-conscious mind. Furthermore the degree of conscious attention nevertheless increases the perception of the signal conveyed by hyper-sonic sound.

This raises the whole issue of the relation between the mind and digital electronic systems. The Princteon University (PEAR) experiments showed that conscious choices can effect random number generators., irrespective of time & space. If so, mind has access to quantum space, which is something beyond every day space and time. This may explain the ecstatic state of mind attained when the listener is totally lost in the music and feels that he is the music. This may be psychic space in which musical composition occurs.”


This weekends morning talk was by David Barrow on using Tai Chi for rehabilitation for heart conditions. He had performed scientific research, comparing against the normally prescribed cardio weekly work out, randomised and with a control group. His research, partnered with Sheffield Hallam Uni, demonstrated that with the replacement of Tai Chi over the regular cardio workout, provided measurable, greater benefits for the patient. More information can be found on his website…

David runs one of his private classes on a Thursday evening, of which I am planning to attend, on my way home from Leeds to Wirksworth. I have done Tai Chi and really enjoyed it, but at the time it didn’t fit in with my schedule, so stopped going. Hopefully I will be able to fit into my routine and make a regular thing, as I do with Transcendental Meditation.


The second talk was by Sue Armstrong, a vet practising homoeopathy. Sue’s talk was about her professional experience of the emotions of animals and how she uses homoeopathy to treat animals with both physical and emotional ailments. Sue has extensive experience with race horses, improving their livelihood and athletic performance. I questioned Sue about the validity of homoeopathy, as it has been under much scrutiny in such publications as “Bad Science”, of which she is going to send me some links of some of the latest research and findings. I will add them here once I have them.

To find out more about what Sue does check out her website…


Over and out…



Here are the links…


This article is well worth a read….