Leeds today: alien invasion, wine coolers, treasure, library, dash, BANG!

The alien invasion has begun! Well, perhaps. Star Jelly has been found in various places on the Moors around Huddersfield, reports the Examiner. Seven year-old Ketan Jalota found some when out walking on Marden Moor over the weekend, which is thought to be the remnants of meteorites, a fungal mass, toad regurgitations or algae. Or is it?

A silver wine cooler – somewhat different to your average high hat – has been saved for the nation by LCC for Temple Newsam after a massive fundraising campaign (BBC). The cooler, which is big enough to sit in (although we wouldn’t advise it), was originally bought by a private collector in July last year, but museums were allowed to purchase it if a matching bid was found. Funding from the National Heritage Memorial Fund was forthcoming and the cooler will go on display at Temple Newsam House.

In a similar vein, Friends of Leeds Museums and the Leeds Phil & Lit are trying to raise funds to protect the West Yorkshire Hoard for the City of Leeds. The Hoard, made up of seven objects found in the same spot over 2008 & 2009, is “treasure” and so finders keepers applies. It has been valued at around £170k, and Leeds Museums have been offered first refusal.

It seems somewhat odd that these fundraisers are happening and yet the Yorkshire Libraries and Information Music and Drama collection is going to close. Wakefield Libraries manage the collection on behalf of the whole of Yorkshire, but because of reduced numbers of people using the service the collection will have to close as it currently stands. Honestly, this is the first time I’ve ever heard of this service and I can think of plenty of people who would use it if they knew about it.

Applications for the Abbey Dash have opened! The annual event is a 10k flat road run from the Town Hall to Kirkstall Abbey and back again. The run is a great excuse to get into shape and raise some charity money (although if you just want to run, that’s also fine), and is always very popular.

Friday sees the Halloween season kick off with The Haunted Exhibition at Temple Works, a haunted house and party for those unaffected by ghosts, puppetry and experimental electronic devices. This ought to be fun.

There’s a real treat in store for those of us who like things exploding. All-round good guy Mike Hoyland wil be presenting his annual fireworks lecture on Nov 3rd at the City Museum. This is a great evening of bangs, flashes and funny smells; recently you may have seen him on The Great British Bake Off demonstrating how dangerous a fire in a flour mill could be. Get there early.

A conference about comics? Yes please! The Comics Forum is having their annual conference at the Leeds Art Gallery, November 16-18. This also ties in neatly with Thought Bubble, with the usual cavalcade of events backed up with the comics fair running over the whole weekend instead of being on the Saturday only.

Urban Sprawl, Yorkshire’s only homeless theatre has got two events coming up in November; a fundraiser called Day of the Dead on November 12th at The Well, and Wrecked, an original show is on at Seven Arts in Chapel Allerton on Nov 25-26.

Speaking of Chapel Allerton, the Clandestine Cake Club is meeting again there on Nov 21st. The theme is “Nostalgia”, and is fundraising for a good cause.

Finally today, East Street Arts has published it’s programme of events for the upcoming months; the Thought for Food programme contains some thought-provoking and interesting sessions just from the titles, and more details will be forthcoming as time gets closer.

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