Sep 12

A week in Scotland

A lot of photos were taken last week; they’re all up on Flickr and also photoblogged with comments over on this blog. I found it easier to load them up to Flickr and then blog directly from there instead of loading up the images to the server direct, especially as I had little software on the laptop to reduce the size of the images.

Sep 12

Back

Finally back. Benbg outside for most of the day and working longer hours than usual means I’m really tired. Just marked over 2000 posts as read on the aggregator (no chance to catch up with those) and need to admin for the rest of the day.

Sep 04

Scotland Again

Well, I’m going to be in Scotland for the week. Unfortunately the hotel does not have conenction from the rooms. But the pub next door does! So guess where I may be spending a little of my time ;o)

I’m here working (sort of) and will be blogging the rowing stuff over a the other blog.

Sep 03

Broadcasting

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin gave an interview with WWL-AM, which can be found a HREF=”http://www.zen41771.zen.co.uk.nyud.net:8090/WWL-AM%20Interview%20Nagin.mp3″>here. He gives a passionate plea for help and slams into the different levels of government he sees as not helping; it ends with both Nagin and hte interview lost for words, sounding as if they are in tears. Even in the midst of his anger and frustration, Nagin remembered he was on air, and his expletives were restricted to the odd dammed and frickin. But apparently even these are being bleeped out when the interview is being rebroadcast.

Via Boing Boing, there is another tale of self-censorship. Kanye West strayed from script when presenting an NBC telethon, declaring “George Bush doesn’t care about black people!”. It seems that his outburst is being broadcast on CNN, but censored by Comcast who carry it.

Sep 01

London 2012 again

After the announcement that London had got the 2012 Olympics, a series of celebrations were planned. They never happened; we were bombed and things had to change. But today, there was a little get together in Trafalgar Square. Speeches by Ken Livingston, Tessa Jowell and Seb Coe were followed by Heather Small giving a live performance of Proud. The budget for bits of coloured paper had not been exhausted and bits were blown everywhere.

Confetti.jpg

After the song, there was the obligatory interviews and photocall. Here’s one of my efforts of the three speakers..

2012_VIPS2.jpg

More photos over on Flickr

At the moment on the telly, there’s a Channel 4 programme about the London Bombings. But these are the bombs of 1974 and 1975, when the IRA exploded 40 bombs in a year, when the city felt under siege and bag checks and high security were constant. They were using grenades and machine guns as well. Nothing Changes, there’s always someone.

Sep 01

Melting

We’ve had no airconditioning in the office all week; leading to them, for the first time, opening windows up on the 6th floor here. Fans have appeared but it’s been way too hot in a very hot week. We had a new chller put in the other week – I guess they are having some problems!

In the meantime, why does chocolate take longer to cool down than to melt. I put a bar next to the PC, not noticing it’s actually next to the heat vents. So now I have a bar of liquid that is not setting again! I need my chocolate ;o(

Aug 30

Gratuitous Blonde Joke

The BBC are reporting that a lorry load of Hydrogen Peroxide crashed and exploded on the M25 in Middlesex. Reports that a group of blondes wearing short skirts and white stillettoes were busy heard to complain about getting the map upside down were dismissed by police.

Sorry…sorry, it’s that kind of day.

Aug 27

Autumn TV

It’sBank Holiday Weekend , whoch means the BBC/ITV are running previews for the autumn TV. And both are doing exactly the same thing, a 30 second montage of dramatic clips from the new programmes set to uplifting music. So whilst I’m greatful we do not get the US version of never ending trailers for weeks, sometimes months in advance, the clips don’t really tell me anything. But I bet the internal marketers were really chuffed!

Oh, sorry – it does tell me one thing. Oh God, it;s AUTUMN!!!!!!!!!!!

Aug 22

Six Feet Under

Dear 17674 American bloggers who have posted about the season finale of Six Feet Under. Stop – or at least mark your posts with big spoiler warning. Some of us who live in other countries haven’t seen it yet

Aug 18

A levels

It’s that time of year again – the release of the A level results. The media continue to spin two messages:

– the exams are getting easier, the grades are being inflated, the pass rate massaged
– don’t worry if you fial, they;re only exams and there are plenty of things you can do.

The mixed messages and the impact on people who don’t get the results is ignored; meanwhile the TV stations continue to embarass select pupils by making them open their results live on TV.

Aug 14

Blogging and the Observer

The Observer have an ar ticle about bloggers from the emergency services. A mainly positive piece, there’s a little bit about how ‘dangerous’ blogging is with a reference to Jo Gordon’s sacking from Waterstone’s, but no reference to the fact he got another job pretty quickly, which included blogging.

There’s a glaringly obvious error in the report though

Worldwide, there are now more than four million blogs – online diaries – where people post their thoughts about anything from politics to housework.

The author, Jo Revill, either missed out the ‘teen’ on the word four or failed to find a key report from Technorati:

As of the end of July 2005, Technorati was tracking over 14.2 Million weblogs, and over 1.3 billion links. Interestingly, this is just about double the number of blogs that we were tracking 5 months ago.

.
It’s a pity there’s such an error, as The Observer definitely has one of the best news blogs around,

Update: Suw also has a comment on the Observer article, regarding her quote and a clarification of what she said during the interview.

Aug 13

Tourism

I spent yesterday wandering round the Natural History Museum; obviously they have not yet cuaght up with prevailing trends in the US as evolution was the only thoery discussed throughout. It’s interesting seeing the different halls and stages in development of the museum. In the older section, it’s full of panoramas, stuffed animals displayed in ‘natural’ settings with painted landscapes. The newer sections have more opportunities to display good information and combine different exhibits to explain things. My favourite section was the Hall of Ocean Life, although golf-ball size sapphires are good to look at as well 😉

The museum was full of parties of children, usually in matching T-Shirts displaying the name of the dayschool/scheme they wre from. Obviously this is so the carers can try and keep an eye on them, but given the number of missing/found children scares I heard going round it’s difficult to keep track. As RFID costs go down, I can see a use for it here – provide each party a bunch of specific tags and then you can keep rack of those kids who wander away, or get lost in contemplation of T. Rex.

More museums and walking today (as long as the feet hold up) and I now have an extra 24 hours due to flight cancellations so not travelling back til Monday.

Aug 12

Evolutionary Design

I can’t help but notice the current education debate in the US regarding the teaching of evolutionary theory vs ‘intelligent design’; the first being development based primarily on small selection pressures with an element of randomisation and the second based on the premise that something, somewhere had a hand in guiding the development of life, because obviously humans are far too perfect to have got here by chance 😉 In Kansas, the Board of Education has formally voted to include alternative theories in their teaching of science, no doubt encouraged by President Bush’s enthusiasm for the idea.

I thought that in the US the church could not influence the state (hence such things as removing school prayers), but what do you call this? And do other countries teach alternative views of evolution based on their religious preferences?

Aug 12

Stop and Think

If today was your last day, did you do somethng you’d be happy with? A thoughtful post from Evelyn Rodriguez about making sure your life is worth living.

Aug 10

Overload

I take 2 days with limited time and minimal access to the web and there’s far too much to read. But it looks like AOL start an interesting sweepstake in the US tomorrow, giving away $20k in gold bars, $75k in cash and a 2003 Hummer, all of which were seized from spammers following court action. I can see the gold making an conversation piece for the lounge! There’s probably a link somewhere, but can’t find it yet (via USA Today)

Aug 07

News Snippets

A few thngs in the news caught my eye today.

Scientists can read minds
. Or at least work out, after a lot of practice, which of two pictures the brain is looking at, or where about in a film the subject has reached. The BBC report on 2 papers that have been published, indicating that brain wave patterns/activities are different depending on what we are watching and more importantly, they now have the tools to measure it.

Sub gets rescued. This time, help was called in earlier enough and the Russians were able to rescue the crew of the lost sub; everyone appeared to be OK.

Robin Cook dies. At the young age of 59, Robin Cook dies after hiking in the mountains. This caught my attention as Cook is the one politician I have actually seen in person (although I could have seen a lot more and never recognised them). He was sitting on a Tube, politely dealing with tbe 2 or 3 people who came up to him thanking hime for his stance on the Iraq war. He always seemed one of the more sensible and principled politicians.

Aug 04

Always wanted to emigrate?

Here’s your chance – and you don’t even have to move out of London. Danny Wallace has taken his dream and declared himself King of a new country. No need to call in the movers, his territory consists of his flat in Bow, a decision made after a failed attempt to invade Eel Pie Island, a small patch of land in the middle of the Thames. He’s now calling for citizens to join him and over 3000 have signed up. However, finding somewhere to sit to watch Danny’s coronation may be difficult – the flat is the size of a squash court. Never mind, it has a map, an army and a budget; looks like it’ll go far. There’s a BBC2 programme that goes with this as well.

Aug 04

Police Overflow and Paper charges

The police will be everywhere today – has anyone else noticed they appear to be going round in threes?

Update: counted 45 police around Waterloo, up from last week.

The Independent is starting a new Bridget Jones Diary, from Helen Fielding. I was going to read it, but it’s behind a paywall…£1 to pay. £1. The paper only costs about 40p! So I don’t think I will be reading it.

Jul 31

Small World

In the chat yesterday I realised that I’d sent off an email to one of participants, Ethan at The Vision Thing, a few hours beforehand. Then I went and signed up for a dinner in August and realised I had met the rest of the people signed up to date.