Franz Schubert vs George Formby

This is why a public service broadcaster needs a stable online archive. A year ago I blogged a really lovely Radio 4 programme about Schubert’s C major quintet and linked to the show’s RealMedia stream. I assumed at the time that the stream would be overwritten in a week or so and, sure enough, if… Continue reading Franz Schubert vs George Formby

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Fantasies of control

Does anyone know how much David Blunkett’s ID cards are going to cost? No. Doesn’t look like it. There are no costs in the draft bill (PDF) and only some misleading estimates of how much you’ll have to pay for a biometric passport and driving license on the otherwise excellent Home Office ID cards page.… Continue reading Fantasies of control

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The food industry is not the enemy

Ad people are clever – problem-solvers by nature. Stopping them from using celebrities to promote food to kids is dumb because it’s just another creative constraint and ad people eat creative constraints for breakfast. Likely net effect on the sales of high sugar, high fat food to kids? Zero. A clever approach would exploit the… Continue reading The food industry is not the enemy

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Abu Ghraib Reading

Susan Sontag on the Abu Ghraib torture pictures: “The torture of prisoners is not an aberration. It is a direct consequence of the with-us-or-against-us ideology of world struggle with which the Bush administration has sought to change, change radically, the international stance of the United States and to recast many domestic institutions and prerogatives.”. Mark… Continue reading Abu Ghraib Reading

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Ivan lives

Ivan and I were partners for years – we started a web site design firm called Webmedia together. Later he went mad and spent three or four years in a bath chair spitting and making inappropriate suggestions to the nurses. Apparently the electric shocks have been working, though, because he made it to Blacks for… Continue reading Ivan lives

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Staff development

The thing about those Mirror photos, I think, is not that they always looked like fakes (which they did) but that they really looked more like pages from a training manual: fig. 12a: (humiliation) correct technique for urinating on detainees, fig. 22b: (coercion) use of rifle in producing confession, fig. 31f: (disorientation) use of hemp/hessian… Continue reading Staff development

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Invisible content

Try this simple test. Go to the BBC Radio 4 web site and find the RealMedia streams for Misha Glenny’s excellent series of talks about European expansion, Brave New Europe. Start with the alphabetical list of Radio 4 shows. Now try browsing to the right section of the site (news? Factual? History?). No luck? Now… Continue reading Invisible content

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But is there a redemption penalty?

I can’t tell you what a relief it is that God has finally entered the highly competitive sub-prime lending market (from today’s slightly-more-entertaining-than-usual spam).

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My Mother-in-law

I’m not saying she’s strange, but it turns out she’s been keeping a collection of battered 1970s American license plates in the loft. Nobody knows why… And while we’re on the subject, here’s a marvelous license plate site.

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Passenger information

Paul complains that I don’t provide a link to a timetable in my entry on The North London Line – so I’ve added one (although the Silverlink web site is a framed nightmare and Paul would certainly be better off using Matthew Somerville’s excellent accessible version of the stupid National Rail timetable). Of course, since… Continue reading Passenger information

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