BUSY(NESS) BEE… As marketing gadgets go, this one for Bright Building is causing a bit of a buzz. Virtual reality headsets from developer MSP, themed around the Manchester trope of the bee, were sent out this week, preparing the city for what a “hive of activity” the new offices will be. The video shows the new building, home of tech incubator Mi-IDEA, with lively bees zooming around the camera lens. Successful applicants to Mi-IDEA will be guided by mentors and given the tools needed to help their business grow. To continue this metaphor, the instructions for the virtual reality headset were even printed on seed-filled paper intended to be planted for the enjoyment of bees – just don’t blame Mi-IDEA if you get stung.

STREET ART… Crewe’s Market Square hosted award-winning artists’ work in its ‘Chalk it Up’ project last weekend. The artists were designing art on the pavement while competing for the Alice Colman Screever Awards, named after the world’s first female pavement artist, as 8,000 visitors came to view the chalk-works over the two-day event. The 22 artists from across the globe worked on 12ft by 16ft spaces, and Ruben Poncia, from the Netherlands, won the ‘best original art’ award for his ‘Lady of the Lake’ piece.  

Crewe Street Art

Ruben Poncer’s winning piece

NATURAL HISTORY’S FUTURE… If you’ve ever fancied reliving your inner child and exploring bugs and worms, now you can. The revamped natural history gallery in Chester’s Grosvenor Museum opens tomorrow, Saturday 2 September, featuring a range of activities to engage all ages. The original gallery was last updated 23 years ago in 1994, and the £47,000 refurb was funded by Arts Council England and the Grosvenor Museum Society, among other partners. Centred around four key areas of natural Cheshire, the mid-Cheshire ridge, the River Dee, Delamere Forest, and Cheshire gardens, the new gallery offers visitors the chance to dress up as a naturalist, explore wildlife with help from Chester Zoo, and even see extinct tropical seabirds.

Natural History Gallery 4

CHOPPY COMMUTE… If the tram’s too busy in the mornings, why not try a different way to work? Waxi Manchester, the wettest way to travel, has added more stops on its journeys. The yellow boats will now navigate to additional places, including Waterside in Sale, the Bridge Pub, Edge Lane in Stretford, the Trafford Centre, Hotel Football, and Castlefield. The water taxis cruise through canals to the various destinations, or also offer private tours. Each boat has wifi and refreshments, and tickets are bookable online for both weekday and weekend services so there’s no excuse not to try it! Not sure we’d want to risk getting seasick at 7am in the morning though… 

GHOST TOWN CREEPIES… Abandoned places might feel eerie, but City Base Apartments has found the scariest from around the world. Such fear-inducing ghost towns include Pripyat in the Ukraine, which was evacuated after the Chernobyl nuclear power disaster close by. Tourists can now, however, embark on guided tours of the town as radiation levels have dropped substantially. Copehill Down in Wiltshire also made the list. It’s a military facility which operates solely as a mock-up of a town to provide a built-up area to train in, so it’s not technically abandoned, but still disconcerting. For those not quite sure whether they’re ready to visit such places, Google Street View is always available…

Copehill Down

Copehill Down

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