Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Title

And?

This is quite a badly written piece as well by the BBC journalist and the same four-line quotation is repeated twice in five paragraphs. If the Beeb does have to sack 1,800 journalists, and if Jonathan Ross really is worth 18 million, then this writer could well find themselves clearing their desk.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Around Every Corner

I thought this picture was a rather extreme example of some of the terrifying sights the service personal encounter in Iraq on a daily basis.

Friday, December 07, 2007

God Bothering

I’ve read some pretty barmy stuff in my time but I think this story about a judge in India ‘summoning’ two Hindu Gods to help in a legal dispute is the most preposterous and ridiculous thing I might have ever read. It is made all the more brilliant by the BBC’s utter lack of humour and completely straight reporting.

When you look at the details of the story it takes on an even higher levels of incredulity. I quote: “The gods have been asked to appear before the court on Tuesday, after the judge said that letters addressed to them had gone unanswered.”

The letters went unanswered? How surprising. But the reasons for this are that, “Judge Singh sent out two notices to the deities, but they were returned as the addresses were found to be "incomplete".

What on earth ‘did’ he put on the envelopes?

So he has taken out an advert in newspapers – because all deities read the news – although surely being Gods, they know everything anyway? Unperturbed the notice states:

"You failed to appear in court despite notices sent by a peon and later through registered post. You are hereby* directed to appear before the court personally.”

That will definitely work.

The year 2007 – legal disputes between Gods and priests – letters and adverts to the Gods asking them to appear in person in court sent by a judge – unbelievable.

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*The spelling on the BBC website is herby.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

It's Not News

A learned friend of mine recently wrote a blog about the low-level news reporting that takes place on BBC News in the mornings. Today I saw a piece that final did for me in my frustration at this version of ‘news’ they offer us.

They had KT Tunstall (looking utterly mental in big owl glasses, and wearing a spangley black and silver top – at 8am!) "teaching" their sports reader (??) to play the guitar on the basis it linked in to some new initiative. They showed some pre-recorded footage of her teaching him some chords (it was even less exciting than it sounds) and then in studio, live on-air, while I was getting ready to go to work, they spent about 2 minutes fawning over her and him as a teacher / student dynamic and then he proving what a good teacher she was by playing the ‘E’ chord, very badly.

It's 8am! All I want is travel information from the local London news, and some good, crisp news reporting and comment on stories that might be worth knowing about. I don’t mind hearing about a new music initiative, but only a) if it’s one of the lighter, last stories in the bulletin, and b) it doesn’t involve celebrities (Why do we HAVE to have “celebrities” for everything?) and c) if you have to have inane froth save it for BBC News 24 which is a joke of a TV channel anyway.

Yes I could listen to the radio, but I shouldn’t have to choose. I don’t like the radio in the morning; I find it hard to concentrate on, too noisy, and impossible to pick up a continually clear signal. Plus there is no guarantee you will escape this banality there - see.

In short: No KT Tunstall teaching sports presenters the guitar at 8am when they should be reporting on stories such as, the government in disarray, police officers getting away with crimes, and the ‘best story of the year’.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Comment, context and criticism

Morrissey’s response on the Guardian blogs section is very interesting – for many reasons – but for me the most interesting side is his very cutting and succinct arguments on why the NME is a pathetic shadow of its former self, full of “cheers mate, got pissed last night, ha ha” interviews.

It’s a pretty fair summation and is very interesting coming from a man who has appeared on the cover, and even been awarded their “God-like Genius” award. Mercifully he turned it down.

Whether or not he answers the accusations of racism is up to you – perhaps Morrissey was merely stating a few home truths in relation to the past and the present? Or that perhaps what he was saying was neither a Black or White statement but merely a ‘shades of grey’ comment on the changing face of British society? That these changes have brought positives and negatives? That perhaps looking at his comments in the context of history would put them in perspective – and let newspapers like The Guardian provide better coverage of the whole self-indulgent affair then they did?

Perhaps, but context, history, and ‘shades of grey’ are never good for selling newspapers and getting website hits.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Can bites Dog

I mentioned two posts previous that the picture of dogs in garlands was my favourite BBC news story picture. Well it has been well and truly surpassed by this fantastic effort. Is it worth a BBC News Online entry? Probably not, but it’s great.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Free Rice

This is a great example of the power of the internet. Just by playing a game to increase your vocabulary you can be actively helping to donate rice through the UN food programme for affected parts of the world. A look at the ‘totals’ page makes for interesting reading too as you can see how the game has been gradually picked up around the net which has led to higher and higher donations of rice.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Money Makes the World go Round

Guinness has unveiled their new advert that cost 10 million pounds to make. 10 million! And it’s not even that good. (I can’t link to it as work have banned youtube – you can’t blame ‘em, they want to make money).

It’s a horrible thought - all that money being spent on something which is just a giant dominoes game with cars, hay and books. Dominoes are hardly an original idea either. And this is probably before the ad agency even picks up its fee. Guinness is hardly a struggling company. I wonder how much money was given to the random Argentinean village that it was set in.

And then as if that wasn’t heinous enough a restaurant in New York has launched a pudding that costs $25,000. It’s just not necessary. Anyone spending that amount of money on one piece of food should at least match the amount with a donation to charity.

I’ve nothing against free market capitalism at all, but surely basic decency and restraint could be shown? If that has made you all down then at least read / look at this story about dogs being treated really nicely – for one day at least. (The picture I have used is possibly one of my favourite BBC news photos of all time.)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Old News

A nice story here on the BBC website about children who were born when the BBC launched its internet site ten years ago thinking up how the news might be delivered in the future.

My only query is that for a piece all about new technologies and fancy news delivery services is why on earth does Picture Eight show a piece of paper pegged to a line with two odd pegs and written with a pen that was clearly low on ink. It's hardly high-tech.

Even in ‘my day’ we had blackboards and didn’t rely on washing lines and pegs.

Monday, October 29, 2007

A Toast to Planning

Why would Tesco produce a toaster that doesn’t accommodate a normal size piece of bread?

If you are manufacturing a toaster surely the most fundamental design element it needs is the ability to house the bread, followed by the ability to toast it. I mean for a toaster that’s pretty much the main two objectives: 1) accept bread, 2) toast bread.

But for some reason the toaster we now own in our new house doesn’t do this. Despite using a slice of highly mainstream and commercial bread – a good staple size to test against I would have thought – the toaster is unable to accept the bread horizontally so it must be placed vertically. This of course leaves around 1/8th, possibly 1/10th, protruding from the toaster which means you either have to waste the aforementioned size which doesn’t get toasted, or keep and eye on the bread-becoming-toast, to turn it around to try and ensure both ends of the bread are toasted – which means the middle becomes more toasted than either end, giving rise to a slightly disconcerting taste sensation whereby the toast start mildly toasted, becomes moderately toasted before reverting to being mildly toasted again.

The whole point of a toaster is to remove the element of watching, a-la the grill which requires constant supervision, but with this method you are once again chained to the kitchen watching the toaster, wasting time when you could be doing other useful 'morning' things. And all this because the 'geniuses' who designed these infernal contraptions didn’t think to measure the average size of a piece bread before they started mass-bloody-producing them.

Every little helps? A little bit more thought would help a lot.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Troubled Bridge Over Water

Having lived in Cardiff for four years I can only agree with the sentiments made in this story about the toll charge only taking cash. Some of the comments below make interesting reading too.

It’s so pathetic and bureaucratic that in the year 2007 when people can now pay with a VISA Paywave system in shops for payments under £10 in 10 seconds people can’t pay by chip and pin on a major bridge which deals with 10 customers a second roughly.

Futhermore as many people say in the comments there isn’t even a cash machine for people to take cash out on site. Instead they are made to drive back to England to get cash – with the effort of closing two directions of motorway east and west to escort the car across the road – including if you have £5 and not the final 10p that was added on recently.

The answer here is for drivers to form an unspoken system whereby if someone in front can’t pay the fee the person behind, or nearby, pays the fee, they exchange details and send the other person a cheque for their help.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Nonsense

The stupidity of the modern world is almost funny. Almost.

Wanting a loan from Barclays to pay off a career development loan I have, with Barclays, was met with the information they don’t give out a second loan, even if you are going to use it to pay off the original loan that is at a higher interest rate. So even saying, “you realise I’ll just go to another bank and they will get the money instead?’ is met with a cheery “oh yes, it’s just company policy.”

So to Bradford & Bingley – a company I’ve long thought was above such random stupidity, but alas, no. Firstly they wouldn’t give me a loan because I hadn’t ‘started’ work yet – even though I had proof of upcoming employment. Then, after starting work, moving to London and sort myself out, I give them a ring, they’ve changed the system. You have to be 23 to get a loan. Why? Just new policy (admittedly I didn’t really push for a full answer but that was the gist). So despite being able to afford the repayments I can’t get a loan – they are now losing out on the money I wanted to give them instead of Barclays.

Isn’t that ageist anyway? Not giving me a loan I can prove I can afford because of my age? Probably not. But it still makes no sense to me.

What was it Jarvis Cocker said?

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Captivating

This story - although confusing to read with all the mad acronyms flying about - is a really interesting example of just another way the internet uses the power of sheer numbers of people to get a task done. Wikipedia is the people’s encyclopedia and now, for example, if you wanted to comment on this blog post, you could be helping to transcribe an ancient text to the internet by typing in a blurry word - which I think is great.

Friday, September 21, 2007

My Mate Dave

A brilliant piece of rebranding here. The confusion that comes from a sentence like this - "The head of Dave, Steven North, said:" - is fantastic.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Catch-up

Sorry all. Lack of internet and a new job have meant little to no blogging action. Relax though as all is well and I am fine, very much enjoying London and my new job. London is a fine old place – although the tube strike was not much fun, and the tube is expensive, as are most things, but so far I like it. It’s odd when the tube stops and there isn’t a sound from 100 or so people. I wonder if it was like that in the early 1900s.

I have already been getting busy at work, phoning MDs and doing interviews and had a nice trip to the Dorset offices too.

Journalism wise? Well shorthand is useful and I have had the pleasure of some very helpful PR people, so far…Free papers are everywhere but you have to give them some credit, they do cover all the main stories reasonably well and come 5:30 most people I see are reading them avidly, what it will mean for the future of newspapers I don’t really know though.

Lack of coherent structure here probably indicates it’s lunch time and I am just getting a blog done. I shall hopefully return to normal (ish) ways sooner rather than later.

Friday, August 31, 2007

(No) Logo

I'd rather this man's logo was used instead of the rather less attractive official logo. Sausages will always be in fashion but new-rave will not.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Another Start

Well I haven't written on this for while have I? What to say...

Well I start gainful employment on Monday in London with a company called Hemming and I will be working across a few of their magazines and doing a bit of everything by the sounds of it.

This blog, which was started as part of a course assignment, will remain much the same, but will now be written from the perspective of a full-time Londoner (as if there aren't enough of them) and full-time journalist.

I wonder what will have changed by next September...

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Hidden Histories

On ITV last night, at 11pm, was a program entitled: "The War on Democracy"by John Pilger. It was one of the best pieces of television I have seen in a long time.

It dealt with the various regimes the USA has helped install in South America since 1945 and how, by and large, these were undemocratic regimes, which installed puppet dictators, such as General Pinochet, in power at the expense of leaders who had originally been democratically elected - Salvador Allende - by the peoples of the country.

The program also highlighted the USA's support of the failed coup d'etat which took place in Venezuela in 2002, during which Hugo Chavez (interviewed in the documentary) was over-thrown, but then re-instated when the population of Caracas marched on the presidential building and demanded his return. Chavez is a man who, despite unrelenting media criticism (likening him to Hitler on many occasions), has overseen the setting up of a constitution for the first time ever in the country - something which those ordinary civilians interviewed by Pilger made clear was something they held to be highly important for them, and their children, if the future of Venezuela was to be secure.

The coup sought to remove this security and the US government went on record - a clip was shown from the press conference - claiming to be in support of this new government. Presumably because the new government was full of business tycoons who would ensure good business for the USA.

The most shocking part of the entire program was when a former CIA chief Duane Clarridge not only ignored Pilger's hard evidence, that thousands of people had been tortured and executed in Chile after the coup, by many men trained in the USA, but when he then claimed Chile was better off for this in the long run (i.e. Life's Cheap for Oriental / Latin American): Pilger then interviewed a woman who had been kidnapped and tortured, and known pregnant friends to be murdered, a man who was 18 at the time and had been beaten, alongside hundreds of other prisoners of politics at Chile's national stadium, and then a couple living in poverty on the outskirts of Santiago who saw little benefit from the regime of Pinochet.

The whole point of this program was to show that America is no "Champion of Democracy" at all. It is infact a champion of it's own interests. Democracy / Dictatorship - which ever suits the US government best is what will be looked for. So if Cuba turns Communist they launch the Bay of Pigs invasion. If Chile elects a man who doesn't conform to their ideals - who sets about introducing land reforms that could damage US imports, then they remove him, through a puppet, and then either ignore the problem or deny it ever happened - or even worse, claim it was for the best anyway.

I suppose the length of this post underlines how frustrated I felt that this type of history goes so unreported and unknown in the western world. I also felt the documentary should have been shown a lot earlier, with far more advertising, and with the premise of the show stated clearly. If they repeat this show, or release it on DVD, I urge you to see it. If Michael Moore can make documentaries that people rent out, then this is also worth your time.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Good or Bad?

This article here about Facebook and it's creator is very interesting but it is the final quote at the end that really hits you: "Adds co-founder and VP of Engineering Dustin Moskovitz: "I have a note on my account that says Facebook will saturate the world population by 2010. It's not a joke."

Which is amazing as it means one company, almost one person, would in theory be able to contact the vast majority of the entire world. Even the president can't do that at present. But some mid 20s guy from Harvard could potentially write what he wanted on the news feed and we'd all be able to read it - and we probably would.

Of course if it became controlling then people could easily move away and find a new site, but it is an astonishing thought that one website could feasibly contact the entire planet's population - or at least those that have access to a computer and are on Facebook - and with $100 laptops in production and Facebook being a fully open site, that's not as impossible as it sounds.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Better late than never?

So did the Olympic Committee not notice the pollution when they visited some eight years ago? Did they just say someone was having a bonfire? One year before in 2007 and someone asks, "Er, why can't we see the sky?".

Monkey News

I love stories like this - Passenger 'hid monkey under hat' - and mainly I love the captions. You just never know what you are going to have to write next in journalism. It said he came from Lima, Peru so the hat they used to smuggle in Paddington Bear must have been massive.

Monday, August 06, 2007

R.I.P. T.V.

T.V. is dead. Or at least linear T.V. is dead. T.V. that involves sitting down at a set time of an evening and gathering around together. Why bother to be a slave to the clock after work now we have Sky Plus or Virgin OnDemand? Just record it and watch it whenever you want. Watch the most violent film ever at 7am, or Doctor Who at 3am after a night out (bit sad though)...Or even watch it online via Youtube or Google Video - and now the BBC's iPlayer thing they have launched is the latest of these gizmos.

Interestingly my parents believe this is a "bad" thing. I suppose they could be right: the loss of a communal, national, conscious for a truly great T.V. program - Pole to Pole in the early 90s maybe? But the fact remains it will become a rare event. Not that rare, but not common either. The other day I watched all six episodes of The IT Crowd on Google Video over two days because I could. I didn't have to wait six weeks for an entire season. Peep Show series four was on at 9:30pm on a Friday evening. Now I missed most of them because of this as I was out. But by Sunday they were online and I was able to watch them and discuss them on a Monday morning.

Perhaps another reason for this death of linear T.V. is that the companies themselves seem fully of aware of this. Or at least, this must be the reason, surely, for the utter dross that is on every night at the moment? The summer season might not be the best for T.V. but even this year is a new low. Baby Ballroom? Big Brother 8! The BBC is just churning out cookery show after cookery show - although whether or not we should trust the BBC that these people are indeed cooks is another point entirely...

Still though, if T.V. does become a format that becomes random and unscheduled - perhaps all shows just being made "available" at some point during the week - what will this mean? No advertising? Less money? Or more specific shows for more refined audiences? Well, who knows just yet, but like the advent of colour and then extra channels this could be the start of a new, significant chapter, in the history of T.V.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Catch-Up

More than a week since my last entry is a poor effort but in my defence I was in London for a good part of last week - and an interesting time it was too. I've mainly been just freelancing and applying for jobs.

I finished The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins which I really enjoyed but must be honest and say the whole Harry Potter saga held little interest for me: it's meant to be cool to like HP, at any age, but the guy sat next to me on the train who had taken it out of its cover obviously didn't think so.

I saw The Simpsons movie on Sunday and thought it was great. Having been long claiming it's a series that could have been possibly THE greatest TV show ever had it not been for the noticeable and sad decline in quality to a low standard, I thought the movie really alleyed the fears I had it would be the final nail in the coffin. Bart's naked skateboarding scene is hilarious.

I also saw a trailer for the first part of the The Dark Materials trilogy which looked pretty amazing. Hopefully it will do a Lord of the Rings and become a great winter movie trilogy which tells a great story well - and I hope they don't change the content and message for American audiences (those who have read it will know what I mean): Watch Below:

Monday, July 23, 2007

New Technologies Opening Avenues

This idea of having videos submitted to ask questions to candidates in elections is a fascinating idea into the new ways the web can and is affecting the political arena. It's very easy to mock or ignore Dave Cameron's web cast, or even Ann Widdicombe's, but at least they are acknowledging that these forms of communication are out there and are what millions of average people are using - for many reasons - day in, day out.

And surely in the future when my generation, or the generation just above ours, have become the leaders of this country we will want them to be technological savvy? To demonstrate they are intelligent, capable people who grew up understanding and participating in the technological advancements of the 2000s? I know I would much rather a prime minister who knew how to access his email or work a mobile phone in 20 years time than one who didn't.

And does this mean in 20 years time the prime minister will have an ancient Facebook account full of (potential embarrassing) photos and videos? Or will his spin doctor have ensured it was deleted a long time ago? I'd like to think the former...

Friday, July 20, 2007

Public Enemy #1

As a resident of Cornwall - have I mentioned that before? - I am fully aware of the problem of seagulls. This news story - which shows that a seagull has started stealing crisps from a shop in Scotland -seems to suggest those interviewed find the seagull an interesting novelty. Well I think it's just the next stage in seagulls evolution into rabid killers. Daphne Du Maurier, a Cornish gal, probably wrote The Birds as a warning to us.

In St Ives there are warning signs to mind your food as seagulls have been known to swoop down and take it. If they nest in your house you can expect to be bombarded if you walk to close as they think you are after their young - and yet trying to exterminate the pest often results in being reported to the police / animal services by some nosey moron. And while we are at it, let's kill wasps too. They serve no purpose and did we really evolve for 4.6 billion years to the top of the food chain just to let some black and yellow stripy bastard ruin an outdoor pint or picnic?

How unoriginal to call the seagull 'Sam'. Steven would have been better. Steven Seagull, menace to society.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

News - it just keeps on coming

Watching the Alistair Campbell Diaries on BBC2 the thing that struck me most (aside from the incessant 'epic' sounding violin music), was just how much goes on in the world. This does sound a tad ridiculous from a journalism student, but when you look again at everything that happens you wonder how the world is still going: Foot and Mouth, the fuel crisis, Ron Davies and a mad moment, The NI peace process, Bill Clinton's affair, Kosovo bombing by NATO, Cherie giving birth to Leo, John Prescott punching a member of the electorate...and this was just in one of three shows covering the Blair tenure.

Apparently John Prescott (or" JP" as Campbell referred to him - which I kept thinking was Jacket Potato...join the dots) - said it was ridiculous he should have to apologise for retaliating after being hit in the face with an egg from one yard. I think he is right. Just because you are a politician doesn't mean you are not a human being - and it doesn't give people the right to attack you, physically, without fear of reprisal.

I am aware of the irony of this given what newspapers inflict upon politicians on a daily (mail) basis. A point nicely illustrated in tonight's show when Campbell highlighted that TB (Tony Blair) went out with a mug in his hand after the birth of Leo, still not understanding just how the media would jump on any little thing he did - and then turn it into a "PR" decision by Campbell.

Queen Rhaps BBC

The BBC looked really f*cking stupid today after having to apologise to the Queen after they portrayed her as having a strop during a photo shoot - which wasn't true. I simply cannot begin to understand how the edit which implied she had stormed out got from the first stage of editing in a cutting room somewhere to being shown to journalists from national newspapers. I mean seriously, did no-one at any point realise what people would think from the video? Heads will roll, heads will roll.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

What are they feeding him?

I think they might be giving this dog too much respect - the headline is slightly sensationalist . But then again I wouldn't want to get on the wrong side of it.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Black Eyed Pees (too easy really)

I should point out this is an old story I stumbled across. I don't think it's current.

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It must have been hard for Fergie's PR people to find a way out of the (rather damp and warm) situation she got herself into, if the news that she wet herself at a gig is true - and the pictures would suggest it is. You can't call it a wardrobe malfunction but a 'body malfunction' maybe? Implies she doesn't have control of her own 'needs' though which could mean they have to put her in some sort of home. Or maybe the backstage toilets were just so revolting she would rather be laughed at world wide? Probably not. As it turns out her PR people have claimed it was just sweat. Ahh, yes. Very unusual place for such a distinct sweat pattern, especially as the rest of her is so, er, not wet. She should have worn black though so people's eyes wouldn't have seen the pee. See what I did there?

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To make it "news" - wasn't Live Earth a bit rubbish. Musicians shouting about, "making a difference" and "saving the world" is always embarrasing. I thought Kasabian were suprisingly good though.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Delicious

So Charles Kennedy was caught smoking on a train? A great story that could only have been made funnier (and into a tabloid headline writer's dream) if it had been Kennedy's predecessor who had been caught...

Spicing Things Up

So the Spice Girls are returning to the musical scene. And with Take That (sans Robbie) also returning to the air waves it really does seem as if we are back in the mid 90s.

It’s a bit sad that these groups reform, both for them as entertainers – who have clearly never been able to repeat the success they once had so have to return to their original roots – and it’s sad that we, the 'great' British public, are strange enough to want them back.

The record executives know our misplaced (and probably non-existent) nostalgia for the likes of ‘Sporty’ or ‘Ginger’ will lead us to head for the nearest supermarket and part with our well earned cash. So please, let’s make a stand, and not give in to this shameless cashing in on a product we already turned our backs on once before.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Number Crunching

I was in London for a job interview the other day and afterwards I went for a wander around the Tate Modern which had a very interesting exhibition about cities around our planet. The best statistic that was on display was this:

"Sao Paulo has a tube network 40km² for 18 million people, while London has a tube network of 140km² which serves 8 million people" - which is pretty staggering if you think about it.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Something in the Water

Car adverts have gone mental. Fact. There's the one for Skoda where they build a car out of cakes (with that grating song by Julie Andrews - not one of my favourite things), the one where a 'giant' skates a car around a city like a skateboard before parking it with a 180 spin twist thing and then there is the one where cars float around by being attached to helium balloons. But the one where a man is besotted with his 'baby' which is actually his car takes the biscuit - presumably from the Skoda.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Contradictions

The recent furore surrounding Salman Rushdie's knighthood has thrown up some bizarre contradictions that those "outraged" don't seem to realise. The First Deputy Speaker Mohammad Reza Bahonar in Iraq was quoted as saying, "The British monarch lives under this illusion that Britain is still a 19th Century superpower and that bestowing titles is something still deemed important." - So if it isn't important any more why are they all getting so annoyed?

And then the Pakistani religious affairs minister said, "
If someone commits suicide bombing to protect the honour of the Prophet Mohammad, his act is justified." - So which is more evil and more worthy of condemnation? Writing numerous books which bring pleasure to millions or condoning suicide bombers purely on the basis someone disagrees with your 'belief'?

But since when do people like this ever stop and think for themselves before they open their mouths to spout violent rhetoric against things they don't really understand?

Monday, June 18, 2007

Title

I was a bit hungover on Saturday having attended the Cardiff Ball so watched the film Mean Girls which was on S4C. It wasn't bad. But my main point was that at a couple of points during the film some Asian students' dialogue was subtitled and on one occasion it said "Your the slut!" - not "You're..."

Now this does make me sound like a pedant, but surely someone at some point in the long movie making process would have noticed this? You would have liked to have thought so.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

So...what now?

So that's it for my student years. After the hardest, but unquestionably most enjoyable, year of education on a journalism course I am now out there as a qualified journalist. I've learnt shorthand, interviewed jazz musicians, gone bell ringing, cycled the Taff trail, and many many other things.

This blog was started back in October when the end was a mere dot upon a huge horizon, and now the horizon is behind me, and there are now the giant letters J-O-B buzzing away like a neon sign.

Here's passing that landmark sooner rather than later, and to the continual writing of this blog - however many (or few) people come across it...

Monday, June 04, 2007

100

I wrote a post when I had posted 50 posts (mmm post...) and now it's up to 100...So with 100 blog posts to my name on the internet let's see how many other things of 'me' are out there...

408 tagged photos on Facebook
59 photos on my Flickr
19 Youtube videos
12 pieces of online work

Here's to 150...

The Week

I bought The Week for the first time the other day and thought it was pretty good. It's nice having all the best news, reviews and opinions from the British papers brought together but I preferred it even more for reading comment from overseas which is something I read far less - even though the internet makes it far easier to do so.

I can see why, in our mad-paced world, a magazine which puts all the best bits into one nicely designed and easy to read format is doing well on the stands.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Shut It Man

This video of William Shatner "singing" Rocketman is utter genius. You need to watch it all to really appreciate the work that must have gone into this.

When he sings about "all the science I don't understand" the look of confusion is unbeatable. And when he answers his own singing...oh I do love YouTube for throwing up these gems.

Monday, May 28, 2007

The Bigger Picture

Reading this story - link - made me think:

Perhaps a purple "bear" with a TV in its stomach and an a triangle on its head should be troubling the Polish government more than the notion it is homosexual which, after all, is a lifestyle choice the children of Poland might come into contact with and have to deal with in their lifetimes.

But I'm sure the Polish government know what they're doing...

Sunday, May 27, 2007

A News Link

Religion yet again shows it's ugly side

Some News

Been too long since I updated this. Saw this story on the BBC News website, it's all very funny, but you have to feel for the banana growers.

I'm not really sure of the legality of internet TV, but it is fantastic. This website is just fantastic for it. I've been able to watch the American Office, the finale of season three of Lost and have started watching Heroes.

I saw Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End on Thursday night. It was quite good. It's so utterly mental though that it almost makes the first two look like documentaries.

I had serious deja vu during the Champions League final between AC Milan and Liverpool.

Why are there so many bank holidays at this time of year?

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Wembley

The FA Cup was rubbish. The Conference final between Exeter and
Morecambe was not. Wembley stadium is amazing. Here are some observations. The skyline is dominated by the arch and it really is an impressive site. One person on the tube into the stadium was heard to remark, "Is that the stadium?" to which her dad replied "No that's Tesco, it's behind that." Another person, who I was travelling with asked, "So where's the old Wembley then?"

For some reason the 'Waste management' guys have to wear luminous pink blazers. Seems a bit mean really. The view from my seat (pictured left) was fantastic and the sound really does stay inside the stadium as
the architect Norman Foster designed it to do.

Exeter lost which was a real shame but it was a fantastic day out and a fitting stadium for the home of football.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Self-glorification

Yeah it might be a bit self-centered but after almost 100 posts, and finishing my journalism exams, I think it's allowed - Here is a link to me playing my birthday present, a mandolin. It's a lot of fun.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Ten Tors forced to stop by Torrential Rain

I did Ten Tors 45 miles in 2002 - a fantastic weekend it was too with a real sense of achievement afterwards. My brother (currently cycling his way around the delights of southern Europe and north Africa) went one better and did 45 and 55 and he too was proud to have completed such a difficult event.

Therefore I can empathise a lot with the youngsters who were taken off the moor on this years' event after terrible conditions forced the army to abandon the event.

There was a piece in the Guardian's G2 section today - you can read it online here - extolling the merits of the fact in todays' health and safety world people still challenge themselves to do things like this and although I know all the people who trained so hard for this event will be bitterly disappointed I am sure most will be back next year determined to finish off their hard work.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Style over Substance?

Jakob Neilsen is a bloke who think he knows the internet better than anyone else - and has come out and criticised the latest Web 2.0 phase for being too design heavy. Well you certainly couldn't accuse his own website of being too well designed...

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Quote Unquote

I've started reading Andrew Marr's book My Trade: A Short History of British Journalism and there are some great quotes relating to my chosen profession:

'Perhaps the most desirable quality in a journalist is that he should be a good mixer, a sociable soul'
- Teach Yourself Journalism, 1951

'Only a blockhead writes - except for money'
'Round numbers are always false' - both by Sam Johnson

'We learned shorthand - still, in my view, invaluable to anyone in journalism'
- An extract that seemed pertinent after some of the debate on my course this year.

The Impersonal Touch

So I didn't get a job I applied for. I'm not bitter. Really. I'm not. But I am annoyed at the continuing way in which we our treated in the procedure.

Kept in the dark for weeks, then suddenly called for an interview from a personal email address, everyone is 'matey' and friendly, and then abruptly sent an impersonal email from a generic address (human resources) telling us we have been unsuccessful but without any indicators as to why.

Friday, May 04, 2007

NetVibes.com

My new home page is Google, and YouTube, and Wikipedia, and FlickR, and my Hotmail account. How you ask?

www.netvibes.com is the answer. An amazing site which allows you to collate all your favourite bits of the web onto one page.

It automatically up dates any sites which are on an RSS feed (Really Simple Syndication) so you don't have to constantly remember to head to each site individually to see if its updated. It also hosts Google earth, MSN Messenger, the weather in your area, and a host of other clever little features.

With programs like this the internet is becoming ever more simple and stream-lined. With TV shows becoming increasingly available online and the music industry pushing sales through iTunes more and more you have to wonder just where the internet revolution will end.

Perhaps one day TV, Phone, Music, Internet and other technologies (toasters? kettles?) will all becoming combined in one large all-encompassing piece of super-technology that will make mobile phones or high definition TV looked outdated and redundant.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Some Good Writing

A very controversial post attacking Mother Teresa here.

And an even better article here published after those anti-Islamic cartoons caused controversy after being published by a newspaper in Denmark.

Incidentally both are written by Christopher Hitchens.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

The Best Video on YouTube

This video is great - out among the majority of crap on YouTube you find things like that: Just a guy who saved up money and traveled to everywhere he had ever wanted to go. How else could this video have become so popular without such technologies as YouTube? We are the creative generation.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Hugh Grant Gets Mean(z)

Well who would have thought Hugh Grant liked beans so much? And hated the papparazzi so much? I feel sorry for him having to deal with people snapping him all the time but he shouldn't have snapped out. Not the first time he's been in trouble either eh?

The trouble is give it a few months and Grant (or any other attention starved celebrity) will be thankful for someone taking a shot of him doing some mundane just so it can grace that weeks gossip mags. But with the privacy laws in a changing state perhaps the age of endless shot of celebrities buying cheese, or picking their nose, is coming to an end?

Saturday, April 21, 2007

All in the Past

I finished my work experience at BBC History Magazine yesterday and an enjoyable time it was too. I was given copy to write, facts to check, pictures to research, people to phone, books to log, and others things besides.

It was very interesting seeing just how much of our course is directly relevant to the real world of magazine journalism and the concerns and discussions that I heard while working there were very much those that have been brought up by lecturers and ourselves when working on our own magazines.

I sat in on a meeting with Nick Brett where they went through the April issue (pictured) and that threw up some relevant points too. The tone of the meeting was positive but it was interesting to see just how many concerns and opinions there were on each page of the magazine.

The best thing about all this though, aside from being treated like a competent person who they could rely one, was that it underlined that I have made the right career choice. Magazines, with their professional but informal approach (I only wore a suit on the first day there...), the importance on design as much as content, and the notion of writing what a reader wants to read, not what they need to (i.e. newspapers), all remain things I can see myself doing for a living.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Popworld Pulped

I'm really not surprised this magazine lasted two issues, the front cover is terrible and it just sounds really badly placed in an already straining market.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

An All Encompasing Umbrella Blog

Owing to the joys of dial-up internet I am going to try and cover several topics in one go as I cannot tolerate the long loading times it would take to post these separately
I'm back in Cornwall, the weather is amazing, the sailors have been freed, and journalism is going well so life is just ticking along nicely.
I passed my Public Administration exam with a good mark (71 - it was on Council Tax, Ombudsmen and Homelessness Provisions...), I spent a very enjoyable and useful week working at Cornwall Today, and have several pieces going in over the next few issues, including some with my own photography which I am most pleased with.
The world of television is continuing to pedal telephone vote shows, which I am most displeased with, and I still don't get The Apprentice. I just can't enjoy a bunch of arrogant, opinionated morons telling us how amazing they are and then displaying total ineptitude at the simplest problem. (Except the blonde female who went to my old school, she's alright).
ITV surprised me by producing a genuinely enjoyable and moderately intelligent show in the form of Mobile. Meanwhile American TV continues to grow with Lost really hitting its stride with some brilliant writing and plot twisting. Where the show will end I, and almost everyone else, have no idea.
The cricket world cup is starting to get interesting for the right reasons, not Bob Woolmer's death, which, tragic as it was, is still no reason to stop an international tournament, it would be like giving in to terrorism.
Crowd trouble is flaring up again on the European stage and I feel undecided as to my stance. I'm sure the fans are correct when they always say the police react "heavy-handedly", but then, reasoned and intelligent debate is best saved for the WI, not for drunken football supporters. And I doubt many of them speak Italian or Spanish. But it does take two to tango, so I can't believe it is entirely the fault of the fans either. The only certainty here is that UEFA will handle the situation about as badly as they can.
I am off to BBC History magazine on Tuesday which should be another very interesting and useful experience. A real chance to put many skills into use and be part of the top end of the magazine industry - for a short while at least.
I will end now as I doubt many people will read all of this - I'm hardly adhering to my own "less is more" mantra regarding blog posts.
When broadband returns to my life, blogging should return to normal.
P.S. - the picture was just meant to draw you in, it has no relevance.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Freedom?

Adam Curtis's recent documentary, "The Trap: What happened to our dream of freedom?" was one of the best pieces of intellectual television that I can remember for a long time. It gave no pause for breath and required your attention for every second, but it was worth every second of your attention.

The arguments put forward are too complex and intricate to detail in a single blog post, but I would urge anyone with an interest in politics, society, history or just the world at large, to watch this programme if and when they can.

Sign of the Times

Sitting on the bus to the train station to begin the epic journey home (see post below) an amusing incident took place that I thought nicely summed up just how de-sensitised our society is becoming.

Two young children got on, no older than eight, and sat at the back, “Mum”, they shouted, “come and sit at the back with us.” The mother replied, “No I want to sit down here at the front.” Quick as a flash one of the boys said, “But what if a peado gets on and snatches us away.”

Rather than stunned silence or outrage there was a general sense of amusement.

Three trains and a bus

Just to say I took three trains home and a bus from Cardiff to Truro; off at Bristol, off at Tiverton to the bus, Plymouth to Truro on final train. The amazing thing was that it ran like clockwork. Every section. Our much maligned transport network deserves some credit when it does deliver its promise.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Wild Issue Two


Issue two of Wild was finished last week.

Features on camping in the Gower, skiing, The Menai Staits and mountain boarding, helped make it a bloody good read.

The website is now up and running and looking ace too.

Have a look around and see what you like. Enjoy

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Scraping the Barrel

More proof, if it were needed, that Simon Cowell is an idiot.

And staying with the pseudo-musical theme, Britain's entry to Eurovision was announced as "Scooch" who look, and sound, truly terrible. To think Morrissey had put himself forward to be our entry and was told he would have to go through the qualifying procedure (read, money making format) is disgraceful.

But then who really cares about Eurovision. It is one of the biggest non-events of the TV calendar...

Saturday, March 17, 2007

More or Less

We had the pleasure of a talk from the Real Life editor of More magazine, Helen Roberts yesterday. The main things that came out of the talk was her obvious enthusiasm for her job, but more so was the ruthlessness with which she does her job and the underhand tactics required. Be that from drinking alone in pubs to try and get talking to Kerry Katona's friends or lying to people to guarantee stories.

The moral issue of all this is debatable. But if people didn't want their stories published then people like Helen wouldn't have a job. Journalism has many strands. From the FT, the Guardian, Word Magazine, or More; each does its job for its audience as well as it can. It depends on the strengths and desires of the journalists who work for them.

It was a very interesting afternoon and underlined the hard work required on any type of magazine, as well as the diversity and satisfaction the job can provide.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Hamster

Crazy Story time

And special note to this part of the story.

"After the RSPCA failed to reach him, help was sought from two council wardens who tied a number of hamster ladders and Curly Wurly bars together."

Where did the two council wardens get the Curly Wurleys from? Were they in the van? Or did a kind local shop owner donate them? And what the (expletive) are "hamster ladders?" Are they specially designed for this type of emergency? So many questions...

Another good quote from the story...

"Finally, a narrow attachment on the vacuum was used to retrieve him."

So that's what those attachments are for...

Friday, March 09, 2007

A Rolling Stone Gathers No Joss

A brilliant review here from The Times on Joss Stone's new album. I think the following line might just be one of the most cutting, accurate and downright brilliant put-downs of an album and its potential market:

"Let’s not deny, then, that fortysomething female marketing executives in elasticated trouser suits need something to listen to while they wait for their M&S Gastropub meal to ping."

Thursday, March 08, 2007

T.V. Pickings

The recent scandal over the fixed phone-ins on quiz shows highlights some of the problems of this supposed new e-democracy we've heard so much about both in mainstream media and on our course.

It's all dressed up as "audience interaction" and "you, the VIEWER, are in control" but in reality, as now shown, it's nothing more than the continual control by the media barons. (Hmmm I have a feeling I've typed this sentence before...)

However, is this a cloud from which a silver lining shall emanate?

If these T.V. shows can become a thing of the past then perhaps those in charge will be forced to spend some more time in board rooms high on the 14th floor of river fronted buildings actually commissioning new, dynamic and intelligent shows. The less of Fame Academy, X Factor, Dancing on Ice, Strictly Come Dancing, When Will I Be Famous, I'm a Celebrity, Love Island... the better for everyone.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Kernow Bys Vyken

A happy St Piran's Day to one and all. I wish I was at home today so I could celebrate with a proper pasty...

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Art

I watched the BBC show on L.S. Lowry and they showed a clip of the video for the song Masterplan by Oasis. It's a mix of Lowry scenes and styles blended into a moving video image of the band's rise from the streets of Manchester to the world stage. It's bloody brilliant.

Word Play



How to confuse people, and possibly yourself, with one word...

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Born to be Wild...

We finished our first edition of Wild magazine today (the website should be up by Friday) and it's a great feeling. After several weeks of gathering stories, taking photos, getting quotes, facts and information to finally see all that work beautifully laid out in colour is very satisfying.

From the initiation of the concept, the first meetings through to the final page being proofed and finished, for about the fifth time, it's a long process, but hugely rewarding. And we're already designing the pages for issue two which features mountain boarding, skiing, rambling and camping.

Given that we have made this entire 28 page magazine without any finance or backing and all without being able to promise outside contributors any visible means of their help apart from on the website, it makes me wonder how good it could be with financial revenue and a published product...

Thursday, February 22, 2007

An Unclear View...

Alan Rusbridger, editor of The Guardian, was this weeks (very well attended...) lecturer on the R&R series.

Although he too spoke about the threats to print from online and UGC he did it from more of a perspective of someone at the very top, the front line and who was as in the dark about the future as anyone else.

He was open and honest on both the opportunities this new wave of Web2.0 has created for the media, and the downright annoyance at the loss of the old, top-down and basically all-powerful media world that existed just five or six years ago.

From the dramatic rise of The Huffington Post in the USA, a website with a far higher hit rate than the NY Times website, (and which bizarrely was started on May 9, my birthday, and features a blogger named Dan Worth, my namesake...), to the Independent's re-interpretation of a newspaper as a "viewspaper" it was an interesting look at the changing world of the newspaper. A world on which even Rupert Murdoch has said "I can't predict five years ahead."

He discussed the unique perspectives offered by their "Comment is Free" section and the way the instant responses that can be posted on commentators posts has helped improve the quality of journalism. The instant response has created a fear of being jumped on and criticised by the mass army of readers and bloggers out there who are just waiting for a reason to attack.

The newspaper people shifted uneasily at his frank and discomforting reply to a question about being worried at the decline of newspaper sales with the response of "Yes, yes I would be worried."

On one level it was a fascinating look at the future, or possible lack of, for newspapers and on another it made me glad I'm studying magazine journalism...although it's not all good news for magazines either...

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Nice...

Last night I got to interview the jazz pianist Jack Reilly. It was a highly enjoyable interview and it was fascinating to be able to chat with someone who has led such a rich and varied life.

From touring with John Cleese, dining with Bob Hope and releasing his own CDs, it was a constant series of interesting stories, ideas and opinions.

Before interviewing Jack I was off taking photos of a fellow course member dry slope skiing for our course magazine WILD. It's a busy life, but a varied one...

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Hot Fuzz Review


Turning to the film world...

Hot Fuzz, the latest effort from the team that made Spaced and Shaun of the Dead, is a cop-buddy movie with a classic, rural, Wickerman style spin. (The classic, British film, not the bizarre, bee based, American remake...)

Full of comedy violence, a la Final Destination, great dialogue, homages to numerous films in the same genre, namely Point Break, and yet all driven by the unique style that Simon Pegg has created and used so well throughout his career, it's the perfect comedy/ drama mix.

Timothy Dalton is superb as the blatantly evil, and yet somehow charming, supermarket owner, while Nick Frost is perfect as the slightly incompetent yet likable sidekick to Pegg's character, Nick Angel.


Some have criticised Pegg for playing such a straight character, but by the time he's leaping through the air to kick an old lady in the jaw, and the audience react to this with laughter and even cheering, it's hard to know just how straight his character really is...

On another point it's nice to have a film that manages to mix violence, comedy, good characters, a far out storyline and great scripting and still treat the audience with a level of respect and intelligence. So many "comedies" these days are nothing more than a pathetic plot, stretched out with tired and predictable sexual jokes and gross out scenes.

And special mention must go to the Swan which plays a minor, yet vital role, throughout the film...

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Just when you think you've know it all...


Horizon
Originally uploaded by Dan Worth.
Isn't the internet fantastic? It still amazes me.

Not only can you order food, DVDs, CDs, and anything else you could possible think of from eBay, you can also upload photos, tag them, share them with the world, click on a map where you took them, and then, just to get really fancy, you can export them to your blog, write the blog post on another page, and it will post it for you. Phew...

Thursday, February 15, 2007

6.07am

Today was the second lecture from Richard Tait. And very insightful it was too...

He went into great depth about the Andrew Gilligan, BBC, Lord Hutton, Dr David Kelly, 45 Minute "sexed-up" claim and the rather shocking failings that led to the BBC being dragged across the coals in the Hutton inquiry.

It was fascinating hearing how a short "two-way" between Gilligan and John Humphreys at 06.07am on Radio 4 led to one of the most dramatic examples of shoddy journalism being uncovered and held to account in recent years. Despite the report essentially saying the Government lied about the 45 minute claim, at no point did anyone actually ask Gilligan if his "source" (which we now know was David Kelly) had explicitly said "45 minutes".

As it turned out of course, it was an inference, not a quote. And from this, as Richard Tait said, a potentially award-winning piece of journalism which uncovered serious misgivings from several senior intelligence sources about the Iraq dossier, was instead responsible for Hutton inquiry and all the upheavals the BBC suffered as a result. All because Gilligan went too far with his story.

He, ironies of ironies, sexed-up his own piece of journalism, and in a profession in which "words are precision tools" and there is "no tolerance for error" he paid a heavy price.

A sobering reminder of one of the first, and most basic, rules of good journalism: Check your facts...

Monday, February 12, 2007

Freelance? Who's he and why is he in prison?

Freelance is a funny old game. Putting in numerous hours for no money and often for a tiny piece that gets edited to within an inch of its life. So why do it?

Last night I got to interview Andy Spence, a member of New Young Pony Club (second in from left), and then watch them live on the NME Rave Tour. It was a very enjoyable experience and nice to chat to someone involved at the heart of the ever changing music scene. Here is the review, and here is the interview...and the single review...it's like I'm their personal reviewer...

I suppose freelance is done for all the obvious reasons -the freebies, for the portfolio etc. - but I think partly it is done for the chance to get out, meet people and do things, that you just wouldn't usually get the chance to do.

However, I don't think anything will quite beat the feeling of getting an article published and getting paid too. If anyone wants to help me experience this feeling, please don't hesitate to get in touch...

Thursday, February 08, 2007

A Weekly Round Up

Almost a week since the last entry seems too long. So a few brief sentenes on some of the events making the news:

Snow: I like that the country still struggles with a bit of snow. Something endearing that in this 21st Century of non-stop 24 hour techno jargon we still get a bit hampered by some snow. And passing snow(men/people) on the street always raises a smile.

Football: The demise of the arrogance and hype surronding the England football team since the world cup has been a joy. Watching McClaren try to justify yet another pitiful excuse for a performance as "Yeah I think we learnt some useful lessons from the game," has become something of a farce. Only one man has said what no-one else seemed capable of doing - and he's anonymous. Drop Lampard please...

Rugby: Not much left to be said about Jonny Wilkinson. Simply outstanding. If the over-payed Prima donnas who play football had the same level of desire and heart we might have at least made a good effort at the World Cup.

Bird Flu: Hmmm. Well we were scared by it last year. And then it just went away. So when it came back the attempts at hyping it up again fell a bit flat. Still would be darkly humerous if the docile and beleaguered turkey was to cause a mass outbreak of illness of plague like proportions.

There were plenty of other news stories, obviously, but these were the ones that I found most interesting. On an unrelated note I was ill this week. It was not fun. Not really news but it's my blog so I can break the rules if I want...

Friday, February 02, 2007

On the Other Hand

I (finally) passed my Teeline 100wpm shorthand exam today. Many people on the three options at Cardiff have taken the shorthand course. Some gave up soon, some gave up after serious trying, and some are still going. But even the best, those that passed in November, have been asking: "Is shorthand really worth it?" (see image)

In the media world is there any excuse for not using a nice shiny digital dictaphone which is almost irrefutable evidence in a court of law? Will a series of rushed scrawls on low grade paper really look very impressive in the face of the stern law system where accuracy is vital?

Well I'm still not sure. Part of me wants to think shorthand is necessary, is useful and will provide me with an 'edge' in situations when others there don't have it. But then another part of me knows I will use dictaphones on almost all occasions to ensure perfect clarity on any transcriptions that need to be done.

Perhaps, as one of my course colleagues frequently says: "It's nice having a secret code that most people don't understand." With this I can only agree...
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Added 09/02 - Confirmation of pass - with "Credit" - nice...

Thursday, February 01, 2007

The All Purpose UGC Blog Entry

Today's talk from Chris Shaw was another trawl through the merits and pitfalls of UGC and, in particular, how Five News now pays upwards of £100 pounds for "Your News" stories.
It was interesting to hear about Five's individual stance on the benefits of UGC but I'm sorry to say it was a case of "heard it all before."
Therefore I present the catch-all guide to what most big-wigs in the industry make of UGC (words in bold are the buzz-words you should use in order to pass yourself off as knowledgeable on this subject).
"The opportunity for community involvement that UGC, or 'citizen journalism', presents is one which media companies must recognise - in all multi-media formats. Although we're not sure why yet."
I shall refer any further UGC relevant talks to this post in future.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Crash Bang Wallop - What a Video


Something pleasing about footage of Richard Hammond's crash having more viewers than the non-event that is the 'Celebrity' Big Brother final.

Richard's obvious modesty and humility at such praise even Clarkson gave him was clearly sincere - indeed he said he "didn't want the crash mentioned ever again" and you got the impression he was genuine. Compared to the vacuous (possibly racist (who knows how they edit it...)) morons on CBB it was positively refreshing.

Some people are either very bad at understanding comedy, or take themselves far too seriously.
By showing the crash, Richard and Top Gear were showing that what they do is dangerous, and that despite all the jokes they knew he was very, very, lucky to be there with everything as good as normal (despite a bizarre new taste for celery).
I fail to believe people who watched that crash thought: "Wow, that just made me want to drive more dangerously and carelessly."

Well people who watch Top Gear and not the CBB final...

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Classic


In the modern world of ever changing logos, slogans and mission statements it's nice to see that some things remain the same.

The BBC homepage had this image as their picture link to the latest FA cup scores.

This image is something I can remember from my childhood. Nice to see that not everything has to be constantly updated and changed.



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N.B. If this in any way infringes copyright I apologise in advance and will take it down if prompted to do so.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Here's another slide...


So R&R renewed today. That's Reporters and the Reported for those who don't know. And we were graced with Ian Hargreaves.

I'm afraid to say it was a fairly ominous start to the latest series of lectures. It basically consisted of: "Here is another slide showing information which is irrelevant, not left up long enough for you to read and impossible to decypher. And here is another one..." - This was made doubly painful by the fact that the first half consisted of findings from a survey in 2002...

It's nothing personal. It is clear from his C.V. that he is a 'proper' journalist; The FT, The Independant, The New Statesman. And he was a former member of staff here at our beloved JOMEC. But as a talk it was, frankly, boring.

If the only worthwhile tangent I can take from it was that young people are fairly uninterested in politics you can appreciate the struggle....

I suppose the only thing I thought was this - we are well aware of the disengagment of today's youths and politics. But if, say, 65% are uninterested, then 35% must be interested. Maybe we should find out why they are interested and work on that. People will only come to politics if they deem it be to 'cool'.

You can't make people realise something is 'cool' by saying: "Honestly kids! Politics is so hip! Don't be a square...VoTe!"[Sic.] They will just roll their eyes and flick over to MTV.

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