Programme Blogs

Chris' Film Club: Amores Perros

West Herts Drivetime - Wed, 27/07/2016 - 6:30pm
Today's Film is 'Amores Perros' Number 193 in the IMDB top 250.

The 2000 Mexican drama directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu is told as a triptych - three separate stories connected by a car crash.

Stars Emilio Echevarría, Gael García Bernal, Goya Toledo and Álvaro Guerrero

 
Categories: Programme Blogs

Today on the Drivetime Show - Local Award Winning Author Angela Clarke @TheAngelaClarke

West Herts Drivetime - Tue, 26/07/2016 - 6:37pm
We were joined once again by the wonderful Angela Clarke to talk about all things thrilling and book related in the lead up to the release of her second crime thriller novel, 'Watch Me'.

Dated to release for the 3rd November this year, Angela explained how previous loved main characters, Freddie and Nas are making a return to 'Watch Me' to continue the crime thilling series that saw her debut novel 'Follow Me' in great positions on Amazon charts and shortlisted for the Dead Good Reader Page Turner Award 2016.

She then continued by hinting that a third book will close the trilogy of crime genred novels in May next year! However for now, the audience are left with a gripping teaser of what awaits them within pages of 'Watch Me', which can be viewed here.



You can find out more information about Angela's writing on here website, Facebook and Twitter page.



Categories: Programme Blogs

Chris' Film Club: The Green Mile

West Herts Drivetime - Tue, 26/07/2016 - 6:30pm
Today's Film Club looks at Number 39 on the IMDB top 250 film list, 'The Green Mile'.

A 1999 Frank Darabont film, based on a Stephen King book, it tells the story of a death row guard (played by Tom Hanks), and the supernatural events he witnesses on the job.

Also stars Michael Clarke Duncan, David Morse, Sam Rockwell, Bonnie Hunt and James Cromwell.

Categories: Programme Blogs

Science with Sam @smrolfe - Tim Peake, Ozone & Flying Ants

West Herts Drivetime - Mon, 25/07/2016 - 10:55pm


Tim Peake returned to Earth from the ISS after a six month mission. The space probe Juno arrived at Jupiter and successfully entered into orbit.

Flying Ant Day

Royal Society of Biology

Is there a specific, nationwide flying ant day? Hive mind?

Most ant colonies start with a flying ant - when young queens leave the nest to found their own colony.

2012 The figures show that one-fifth of sightings happened on Tuesday 24 July 2012 with another fifth being recorded two weeks later on Wednesday 8 August 2012.

In the time between the two peaks, an area of low pressure moved across the UK.

2013 had four main peaks. The 'ant season' was also longer, with the last flying ant day in 2013 two weeks after the last one in 2012.

2014 There were two flying ant days, compared to four days in 2013.

2015 No detailed info, but seems there were also a few peaks across the summer.

Overall conclusion: there is no flying ant “day” but several days, apparently dependent on weather.

Interested in biology and nature – Biology Week begins 8th October 2016. Google “Biology Week”

Sources: https://www.rsb.org.uk/get-involved/biologyweek/flying-ant-survey and links therein.



Ozone Hole – update



Have you thought about the hole in the ozone layer recently? No, me either. It is still there. Ozone helps protect us from harmful UV rays from the Sun.

https://www.sciencenews.org/article/despite-volcanic-setback-antarctic-ozone-hole-healing




Scientist of the Month

Henrietta Leavitt (1868 – 1921)



Worked at Harvard College Observatory as a computer (one who computes), examining photographic plates measuring and cataloguing the brightness of stars. Originally she was not paid because she had independent means, but later received $0.30 an hour for her work.




Night Sky this month

The Perseids meteor shower is peaking over 11-12th Aug, with up to 90 shooting stars per hour. Peak will occur after the Moon sets after midnight.

Venus and Jupiter (the brightest planets in the sky), will be approximately one-sixth the apparent size of the Moon apart in the sky on 28th Aug.



www.meteorwatch.org
Categories: Programme Blogs

The Radio Verulam Film Guide: Friday 25th July 2016

West Herts Drivetime - Mon, 25/07/2016 - 8:19pm
I should probably explain why this post is so late in going up. Basically, Simon kidnapped Danny and myself and left us trapped in his basement for three days. In Simon's defence, I don't think it was intentional. He invited us around to his house after the show on Friday for a Sandra Bullock movie marathon. When we arrived he led us to his home theatre, which we later discovered also acts as his personal panic room. After starting the Speed, Simon went to get everyone a refill of the popcorn, and while he was gone something tripped in the house's electrical wiring (which we also later found out Simon had wired himself). The security door locked, and Simon promptly forgot about us. We survived on stale popcorn and the DVD casing of All About Steve.
Ok, that was a lie, but Simon was in the studio to talk about the UK box office, new releases in the cinema, and his pick of films on TV for the coming week. 

Friday
The Bourne Identity
9.00pm – 11.20pm
ITV2

Saturday
The Wedding Video
9.00pm – 11.15pm
Film4

Sunday
Unforgiven
10.0pm – 12.40am
ITV4

Monday
Open Range
11.05pm – 1.50am
ITV4

Tuesday
Let him have it
9.00pm – 11.00pm
True Entertainment

Wednesday
Filth
11.10pm – 1.05am
Film4

Thursday
Unknown
9.00pm – 11.15pm
Film4
Categories: Programme Blogs

Chris' Film Club: Interstellar

West Herts Drivetime - Mon, 25/07/2016 - 6:30pm
This week the Film Club theme is 'the IMDB Top 250', starting off with 'Interstellar'.

Number 32 in the list, the 2014 Christopher Nolan film is about the Earth dying and a group of astronauts are sent through a wormhole to find a new place for humanity to live.

Stars Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain, Anne Hathaway, Michael Caine and Matt Damon.

Categories: Programme Blogs

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West Herts Drivetime - Mon, 25/07/2016 - 6:28pm


Tim Peake returned to Earth from the ISS after a six month mission. The space probe Juno arrived at Jupiter and successfully entered into orbit.

Flying Ant Day

Royal Society of Biology

Is there a specific, nationwide flying ant day? Hive mind?

Most ant colonies start with a flying ant - when young queens leave the nest to found their own colony.

2012 The figures show that one-fifth of sightings happened on Tuesday 24 July 2012 with another fifth being recorded two weeks later on Wednesday 8 August 2012.

In the time between the two peaks, an area of low pressure moved across the UK.

2013 had four main peaks. The 'ant season' was also longer, with the last flying ant day in 2013 two weeks after the last one in 2012.

2014 There were two flying ant days, compared to four days in 2013.

2015 No detailed info, but seems there were also a few peaks across the summer.

Overall conclusion: there is no flying ant “day” but several days, apparently dependent on weather.

Interested in biology and nature – Biology Week begins 8th October 2016. Google “Biology Week”

Sources: https://www.rsb.org.uk/get-involved/biologyweek/flying-ant-survey and links therein.



Ozone Hole – update



Have you thought about the hole in the ozone layer recently? No, me either. It is still there. Ozone helps protect us from harmful UV rays from the Sun.

https://www.sciencenews.org/article/despite-volcanic-setback-antarctic-ozone-hole-healing




Scientist of the Month

Henrietta Leavitt (1868 – 1921)



Worked at Harvard College Observatory as a computer (one who computes), examining photographic plates measuring and cataloguing the brightness of stars. Originally she was not paid because she had independent means, but later received $0.30 an hour for her work.




Night Sky this month

The Perseids meteor shower is peaking over 11-12th Aug, with up to 90 shooting stars per hour. Peak will occur after the Moon sets after midnight.

Venus and Jupiter (the brightest planets in the sky), will be approximately one-sixth the apparent size of the Moon apart in the sky on 28th Aug.



www.meteorwatch.org
Categories: Programme Blogs

Interview with Wendy Howson from St Albans Rotary Club

West Herts Drivetime - Thu, 21/07/2016 - 6:34pm
St Albans-Verulamium Rotary Club President Wendy Howson was our guest on the Drivetime this afternoon.

Wendy is the Local Rotary Club's recently elected First Female President, and she discussed her long past in aid working that includes work abroad such as helping establish Radio Stations in Africa, and fundraising here in the local area to support projects in poorer countries.

On top of this, she talked about 'Harpenden Spotlight On Africa', the Rotary Club partnered charity that hopes to bring long-term development to the poorer parts of Africa.


 To donate or find out more about Harpenden Spotlight on Africa you can visit their official website here
For updates from the St Albans-Verulamium Rotary Club click here to visit their website.

And if you missed the interview you can listen to it by visiting http://listenagain.radioverulam.com/ and navigating to today's show from 5.30

Categories: Programme Blogs

Chris' Film Club: Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me

West Herts Drivetime - Thu, 21/07/2016 - 6:30pm
The Final entry to the Film Club this week is the 1999 comedy sequel to 'Austin Powers.

Mike Myers returns as the international man of mystery Austin Powers, who teams up with an American spy (Heather Graham) to stop Dr. Evil (also Myers) who has travelled back in time and stolen Austin’s mojo.

Rob Lowe from the West Wing features as Past No. 2, and it also stars Michael York, Robert Wagner, Verne Troyer and Mindy Sterling.

Categories: Programme Blogs

Chris' Film Club: Wall Street

West Herts Drivetime - Wed, 20/07/2016 - 6:30pm
On today's Film Club, Chris chooses 'Wall Street' from 1987.

Martin Sheen plays the father of Charlie Sheen’s character in this Oliver Stone film.
Charlie Sheen plays a young and ambitious stockbroker, Bud, who goes to work with Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas), an unscrupulous money-driven man. Bud is then forced to choose between money and family.

Also stars Daryl Hannah, John C. McGinley, and Terence Stamp.

Categories: Programme Blogs

The drivetime sessions with @ThePaperSnakes

West Herts Drivetime - Wed, 20/07/2016 - 6:28pm




This week on the Drivetime sessions we were reunited with the paper snakes who have previously featured on the show but have even more exciting news this time around.Th first original song performed by Chris and Paul was the beautifully sombre ‘On my own’ which was followed by ‘Hold on’ which provided an upbeat contrast to their opening track. Finally they ended the session with an immensely energetic cover of the song ‘Monkey Man.’

If you’d like to hear these unmissable tracks from the paper snakes as well as Chris, Paul and Danny reminiscing about their memories of retro recording methods and the upcoming events for the band then you can check out their facebook page www.facebook.com/groups/thepapersnakes/

The session will be available for a week after broadcast at www.radioverulam.com/listenagain by navigating to Wednesday at 5.30pm.
Categories: Programme Blogs

Bake it Easy with Lucy Clark @heavensacupcake- Millionaire Shortbread

West Herts Drivetime - Tue, 19/07/2016 - 6:42pm
Today we were joined by Lucy Clark from @heavensacupcake and she shared with us her recipe for Millionaire Shortbread.

Ingredients:

For the shortbread:

225g/8oz plain flour
175g/6oz unsalted butter, cold, cut into cubes
75g/2¾oz caster sugar

For the topping:
150g/5oz butter
1 x 379g can condensed milk
100g/3½oz golden syrup
350g/12oz dark chocolate, or a mixture of dark and milk, chopped into small pieces

1. First, preheat the oven to 160C and mix the flour, caster sugar and butter together in a bowl.
2. Rub the mixture together with your fingers and thumbs until bread crumbs form.
3. Then put the mixture in an inch deep baking tray.
4. Lightly brown the crumbs for 20 - 30 mins.
5. Put ready made caramel, condensed milk, brown sugar and butter in a saucepan. Simmer for 5 mins, and then drop the heat.
6. Pour this mixture over the crumbs.
7. Melt the chocolate in microwave. Pour this warm chocolate over the cool caramel and then let it set in the fridge until cool.





Categories: Programme Blogs

Chris' Film Club: The Infidel

West Herts Drivetime - Tue, 19/07/2016 - 6:30pm
Continuing with this weeks focus on the cast of 'The West Wing', today's Film Club looks at 'The Infidel'. Richard Schiff plays Lenny in this 2010 British comedy.

Omid Djalili plays Mahmud, a British Muslim who discovers he was actually adopted at birth, and is ethnically Jewish. To reconnect with his birth father, he must find his Jewish roots.

Written by David Baddiel, it also stars Matt Lucas and Amit Shah.

Categories: Programme Blogs

Slug challenge & Festival of Wildlife

Environment Matters - Tue, 19/07/2016 - 8:12am
If you missed the show and would like a 15 minute update on sustainability and the environment in and around St.Albans, listen to or download this week’s podcast now

And you can subscribe to receive our podcasts directly into your inbox on the Radio Verulam Website

Australian man gravely ill after eating slugs 'for a dare'

Students from Sir John Lawes School visited local Thrales End Farm and Rothamsted Research to help them learn about the problem that slugs pose to farmers and possible solutions. They then developed and presented solutions of their own. The challenge was the brain child of the charity Farming and Countrysie Education and it is hoped that similar projects will now be rolled out around the country. 

If you’re plagued by slugs you might like to know that on Saturday 30th July 10.30am – 12.30pm Hammonds End Farm, Harpenden AL5 2AY FoodSmiles St Albans are organising an introduction to organic pest control for vegetable growers.  As well as covering some of the most common / damaging pests and ways to minimise their impact, the session will look at growing to reduce damage more generally.  

FoodSmiles St Albans is a Community Farming Group based in Harpenden.  With 30 members who have joined the group for: organic produce, physical exercise and fresh air, to learn new skills, social and community interaction.

Please do come along for this informative session.  Numbers are limited to 10 so booking is advisable, please email Foodsmiles.info@gmail.com.  Suggested donation £3 per person.  The session will mostly be indoors but please wear shoes suitable for the garden.

The Festival of Wildlife is fun, free and for all the family. You can find out more on the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust Website.


Categories: Programme Blogs

Chris' Film Club: Juno

West Herts Drivetime - Mon, 18/07/2016 - 6:30pm
The Film Club is back! This week Chris has chosen the theme of 'The West Wing Alumni' to look at, starting with 'Juno'.

When teen Juno (Ellen Page) becomes pregnant, she chooses a failed rock star and his wife (Jennifer Garner) to adopt her unborn child. Complications occur when Mark, the prospective father, begins viewing Juno as more than just the mother of his future child, putting both his marriage and the adoption in jeopardy.

Allison Janney plays the stepmother to the pregnant teen with Michael Cera, Jennifer Garner, JK Simmons, and Jason Bateman also starring.

Categories: Programme Blogs

#BeesNeeds and Unique Furniture

Environment Matters - Tue, 12/07/2016 - 7:21am
If you missed the show and would like a 15 minute update on sustainability and the environment in and around St.Albans, listen to or download this week’s podcast now

And you can subscribe to receive our podcasts directly into your inbox on the Radio Verulam Website

 

 

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We revisited the idea buying pre-loved furniture rather than new. Rob got in touch on environmentonrv@gmail.com and pointed out that there is also an Emmaus furniture store in Harpenden. He also suggested the Recycling Centre for Harpenden (which is in Southdown, adjacent to Grove School) has linked to it a Sue Ryder outlet – and there are loads of chairs and many other things there. If you have reuseable furniture and other stuff you can drop it off en route to getting rid of recyclable stuff. Rob says  he  knows the St Albans Recycling Centre has a walk-in container for ‘good stuff’ but it is not very large or visible.  The Southdown site has a lot more space and is pleasant and clean enough to be a substitute for going to IKEA.

 

I spoke to Chris Pearce, a local man who, with the help of the Recover charity in Welwyn Garden City, has used gaining upcycling and renovation skills to help his recovery from addiction problems. So if you need some furniture and would rather give your money to a young chap find his feet and get his business off the ground rather than a faceless multinational, then take a look at Chris’s Facebook page – Unique Furniture in the UK.

This is Bees Needs Week, a week of action for our pollinators initiated by the government department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs, DEFRA. I spoke to Sabiha Rumani Malik, founder and president of the World Bee Project to find out more. Sabiha explained that Defra recognise the importance of bees and the urgency of their plight, and want all of us – individuals, farmers, gardeners, landowners – to take action now.

We’re asked to

  • plant flowering plants, shrubs and trees
  • leave areas wild
  • leave areas undisturbed as hibernation sites
  • mow our lawns less frequently
  • avoid using pesticides

Find out more here.

Sabiha also suggested we follow #beesneeds on Twitter to be part of a growing group of people who want things to be better not just for our pollinators but for ourselves too. She explained that the World Bee Project recognises bees as a connection between biodiversity, poverty, and health and tackles all these problems with bees.

Perhaps you might find some bee friendly tips at the next Transition St.Albans Open Garden this  Sun 17th July: 27, Glenferrie Road, Fleetville, St Albans, AL1 4JT –Drop in any time between 3-5pm. This is a medium sized garden with interesting shrubs and plenty fruit and veg – including a pomegranate tree! Is that the only one in St.Albans? Tweet us @rv_environmentmatters if you’ve got a pomegranate tree too. I wonder if it has any fruit? Get along to 27 Glenferrie Road on Sunday to find out.

Black bin

Finally, Remember that if you are in one of the areas where the new recycling regime for St.Albans has been rolled out then there are 4 key changes that you need to remember

  • Do not put landfill rubbish into your black bin.Plastics, cans and glass can now be mixed together and put in the black wheeled bin. Paper and card stays in the box.
  • Non- recyclable landfill waste goes into your a new, slimmer brown wheeled bin.
  • Don’t put food waste into your green bin anymore, instead put it into your new food caddy and it will be emptied every week.
  • And if you have any batteries and small electrical items pop them in carrier bags next to your other containers and they’ll be collected weekly too.

Go to our blog and listen to last months’ show labelled New Waste and Recycling Regime for St.Albans where Louise Palmer the Waste and Recycling Officer for SADC explains everything.

 

We always love to hear from you :


Categories: Programme Blogs

Heartwood gets wildlife award and new competition for u18s

Environment Matters - Tue, 05/07/2016 - 9:49pm

 

If you missed the show and would like a 15 minute update on sustainability and the environment in and around St.Albans, listen to or download this week’s podcast now

And you can subscribe to receive our podcasts directly into your inbox on the Radio Verulam Website

 

Heartwood Forest Bluebells

(Photo Woodland Trust)

Heartwood is an area of land owned by the Woodland Trust just to the north of Sandridge and is being planted up to form the largest new woodland in the country. It’s open to everyone, there are public footpaths throughout it and linking it to St.Albans and Nomansland and it has a public car park which you’ll find down a driveway on your left just after Tara’s Retreat on the road between Sandridge and Wheathampstead.

Not only is it a beautiful place to walk, but it is great for wildlife, and this has recently been recognised in an award. I spoke to Hollie from the Woodland Trust media team to find out more. You can also join the fun of this year’s Heartwood Festival on Saturday – see what’s going on here.

A combine harvester in use

(photo Wikipedia)

Summer holidays will soon be upon us, and If you’re under 18 and looking for a bit of a challenge, then Rothamsted Research have just announced a new competition. You can find the details here.

 

Getting them to Take photos can be a great way to keep kids interested when you’re out for a walk, and with a competition to enter – well that’s an added incentive.

And if you fancy a walk this weekend then you could join the HMWT butterfly walk at Balls Wood and Hertford Heath on Sunday 10.30-12.30. Butterfly Conservation’s Andrew Wood will be there to point out some of the spectacular and unusual butterflies found there. Booking essential on the HMWT website.

 

We always love to hear from you :

 


Categories: Programme Blogs

The Radio Verulam Film Guide: Friday 1st July 2016

West Herts Drivetime - Fri, 01/07/2016 - 7:00pm
So it's been a little over a week since Britain decided to leave the EU, and Simon is doing his best to be proactive about it. In fact he has set up a new country, and already applied for membership to the EU. There are a few practical problems with the country so far, such as it covering only the length of the street he lives on (which has annoyed some of his neighbours), the fact that it's only exports are love and Simon's homemade sloe gin, and that's he's already tried to invade the neighbouring street. We wish him well in his endeavour.

Ok, that was a lie, but Simon was in the studio to talk about the UK box office, new releases in the cinema, and his pick of films on TV for the coming week. 

Friday
Taxi Driver
12.40am – 3.00am
Film4

Saturday
Speed
9.00pm – 11.15pm
Film4

Sunday
Pitch Perfect
9.00pm – 11.10pm
Channel 4

Monday
Lincoln
9.00pm – 11.10pm
Film4

Tuesday
Terminator 2: Judgement Day
9.00pm – 11.50pm
ITV4

Wednesday
Bobby
9.00pm – 11.20pm
MovieMix

Thursday
State and Main
1.55am – 4.00am
Film4
Categories: Programme Blogs

The Winter’s Tale by Breakaway Theatre Company @BreakawayAmDram

West Herts Drivetime - Thu, 30/06/2016 - 6:21pm
Today on the Drivetime show we were joined by some of the cast and crew members from the Breakaway Theatre Company!

Jill Davis, the Director for 'The Winter's Tale' production, Simon Ellis one of the lead actors of the production king of Scicillia, Leontes and Margie Skinner who plays the Shepard for the production. The Shakespeare play will be performed in the open airs at 'Inn On The Park' within the luscious greenery of Verulamium Park.

Famous for its stage direction: "Exit Pursued by a Bear...", The Winter's Tale is also a compelling story of love, jealousy, loss, atonement, and moving on.

You can listen to what Jill, Simon and Margie had to say on the show here and check out more information about the Shakespearan production here.


Categories: Programme Blogs

Annie Lawrence- BAFTA Young Game Designers Awards @annielawrencee

West Herts Drivetime - Thu, 30/06/2016 - 5:30pm
Today Danny talked to Radio Verulam's very own Annie Lawrence, who aside from being a studio assistant here at Radio Verulam, has also entered the BAFTA Young Game Designer's Awards.  Annie is studying Computer Science at A-Level and entered the Game Concept Award.  She is currently a semi-finalist, and if selected will be one of 50 finalists who will visit the BAFTA HQ and attend the award ceremony.  If she is one of the 4 winners, she will visit Google HQ and many other places within the gaming industry.  She has been selected to be a semi-finalist out of entrants throughout the country.  While talking to Danny, Annie stressed the need for more females to become involves in STEM fields, where there is a severe lack of women.  Annie said that one of the reasons she entered the award was to encourage more young women to get involved in computer technology.   If she wins, she will be only the second female ever to win the award in her age category.  
Categories: Programme Blogs