Leeds today: Library, councils, empty homes, wet computers, Dalek, Aire St, buskers, Transform and Foldageddon.

How can it be nearly March already? Have we missed a week, or something?

A new report holds up examples of good practice in northern councils, suggesting that the ‘north of England needs to find its own, new way of delivering public services’, given the recent cuts. We’d suggest seceding, but nobody cares enough to do so. Frankly I’d be very happy to declare the Social Republic of Yorkshire.

With council tax rules to change soon on payment for empty homes, and the current concerns over empty bedrooms, an empty homes week seems a timely campaign for Leeds, to be held on 18-22 March.

Scientists in Leeds have developed a ‘wet’ computer – the first of its kind. In fact, BGL has taken a pretty close look at this system (as part of the day job) and was very impressed. There’s a more information and a video that’s worth watching if you want to see someone dunk an iPhone in a glass of what looks like water, and then call it.

Residents of Bridgewater Place (aka the Dalek) were apparently mistakenly informed that the building was standing on the construction site for HS2. Two things jump out at me here: first, this building is no more important than any other, so why the assumption that it would be a mistake – others must be equally devastated at losing their homes; second, no one categorically states that it was a mistake, instead saying ‘No decision on the northern route will be taken until after the completion of public consultation, which begins later this year’. Many people’s lives must be blighted by this lack of information and decision at the moment.

However, it is always good news when a listed building gets a new lease of life. I’ll be honest, I thought 1 Aire St was all part of the Queens Hotel, but apparently not. The planning application has been in since last October, and doesn’t give much detail but we like art deco here, and keeping it is a good thing.

There are some seriously talented buskers around the city centre, and the Trinity shopping centre is looking for 10 to perform at their opening.

Leeds List has a preview of Transform: My Leeds, My City. Transform is interesting; it can be quite hit & miss, but sometimes you get proper gems. Seeing what happens this year will be worthwhile.

Wendy has given us her weekly list of things to see and do… (we love Pops for doing this)

Tonight Foldageddon is back. 6pm in The Light to begin folding all those cranes for the Hiroshima/Nagasaki memorial, held every year in Park Square.

Also tonight is the For Books’ Sake quiz, held to raise funds for Leeds Ladyfest, at East of Arcadia in Meanwood at 8pm. There’s more about Ladyfest in general on Culture Vulture.

Finally, if you ever want to find me, this is where I’ll probably be. I’m always astounded that anyone in Leeds hasn’t been into the private Leeds Library on Commercial Street to have a look round. Don your smoking jacket and light your pipe (okay, not really, given the amount of paper), and take a step back in time.

Until Friday!

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