Blair, Brown, Bartlet and Blaine

Tonight we watched The West Wing (the Xmas episode in which Toby is reunited with his convicted felon dad) and Tony Blair’s speech at the Bournemouth conference. We’re about 90% convinced that Blair’s speech writers are watching The West Wing too. His speech was honest, gutsy, rhetorically sophisticated and beautifully timed ? a piece or… Continue reading Blair, Brown, Bartlet and Blaine

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Your licence fee in action

Over at BBC Radio 3, they’re having an Architecture Week and they’ve dug out a lot of interesting archive audio for the web site including, among other things, lectures by Rem Koolhaas and Daniel Libeskind, interviews with IM Pei, Renzo Piano, Nicholas Grimshaw and several interesting documentaries, including one about Le Corbusier.

RIP

They don’t have much in common, but they’re all gone and the world is measurably poorer without them: Johnny Cash, Hugo Young and Edward Said (an outstanding and honest obit from Christopher Hitchens in Slate and another good one from Malise Ruthven in The Guardian).

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Keeping London’s motor running

From The Economist a few weeks ago (so this is for the outboard brain), an excellent leader and cover story about immigration – particularly to London. As a London fanatic (living in the outer suburbs) my greatest fear for my favourite city is that it should stagnate, slow down, dry up. Immigration has kept London alive… Continue reading Keeping London’s motor running

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Are chat rooms public places?

What are you really doing when you close a lot of hugely popular chat rooms? Looking for a real world analogy: are you just shutting the high maintenance, low profit caf? full of dodgy looking old geezers and annoying kids that you’ve been itching to kick out for years or are you doing something a… Continue reading Are chat rooms public places?

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I’m trying not to develop a Nectar Card obsession

Retailer loyalty schemes don’t work ? research shows that they attract ‘card collectors’ who are, by definition, loyal to no one ? or to everyone, which amounts to the same thing (how many loyalty cards do you have in your wallet?). They produce oceans of largely redundant data that can only be processed at margin-sapping… Continue reading I’m trying not to develop a Nectar Card obsession

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19:57, Sunday 21 September 2003

Galileo just made its final plunge into Jupiter’s frankly unwelcoming gaseous heart – vapourised, sterilised and thoroughly mashed up as it did so. Goodbye sturdy traveller! We all got pretty misty-eyed about it round here (but not as misty-eyed as we did when little Sojourner was left behind on Mars). While reading up on the… Continue reading 19:57, Sunday 21 September 2003

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Keeping track of your favourite newspaper columnists

I feel I should point out that Mr. Gyford‘s Byliner just gets more awesome and probably ought to be my permament browser homepage. Why hasn’t someone snapped it up and added it to their site ? someone like The Guardian, for instance? Are you listening, Simon?

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Facial hair?

I’m thinking of growing a moustache.

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