Archive for May, 2005

Bongo Mike and Extremely Frank Jeremy

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Friday night shared a packed train to Clapham Junction (where it terminated due to a incident at Streatham Hill) with Bongo Mike and Extremely Frank Jeremy. Madly I bought one of their CDs for £4. They played such classics as ‘If you can’t have a shave in a toilet, where can you have a shave?’ and ‘It’s a crime to play music in the streets’. Oddly when I put their CD in iTunes went and got all the track names! Here’s a website about them where you can see a video.

My mum’s review of Episode III

Sent to me in an email today:

Good but still not as brilliant as the first ever one when you were little.
Light sabres, AT AT’s, storm troopers were all so novel then it was quite
brilliant. However, there was not one free seat in the cinema and when it
ended there was a round of applause. Pat and George thought it was
brilliant and Pat now felt his life was complete as he knew how Darth Vader
was created. You should see how little Yoda battles on – bit like me really,
small but feisty!

All in all for me, too much modern technology with too may airships floating
around – obviously no air traffic control in those days. And Orlando Bloom wasn’t in it?

Love Mum

So there you go, the thoughts from my mum and her friends. I can’t believe she’s seen it before me! Like all good Mum’s she took an interest in what was interesting me as a child, namely Star Wars, and so now is has tonnes of Star Wars facts in her head, for example she not only knows who Lando Calrissian is, she can spell it too. And although Orlando Bloom has taken over in recent years as her movie beau, I’d still put money on her in a Star Wars Mum Quiz off…

BBC pickets in action

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So this was the sight that greeted me as I approached work this morning. It all past off rather well, if slightly awkwardly.

I’ll be back out at lunchtime to see how they’re doing.
Later: I went at lunch at met some other friends who were on the picket line. In all I think some members of New Media were present at the Broadcast Centre through out the entire day, rather than all at home or shopping. Despite the good nature of the protest the entire thing has left a bad taste, I didn’t really enjoy being in work today, I didn’t even do a huge amount of work, and found that when I turned to a team member to ask him about something, he wasn’t there.

The whole day was generally unpleastant, and the office had a hushed and sombre tone to it. Not all parts of New Media Central were like this. The main editorial services that I work in, namely homepage, BBC 1,2,3,4,tv, search, H2G2, feedback, were pretty empty, but interactive TV for example was practically fully staffed.

And I had a right shitty commute home too. Well, I better get used to it, as it’s all happening again for 48 hours next week. One other thing, I watched a bit of the Chelsea Flower show coverage this evening, despite it being one of the programme affected by the industrial action, it still went out. The Titchmarsh could hardly hide is hatred of Dye-a-mund Gavin and most of the high profile talent that were supposed to be supporting the strike seemed to be there rather than outside TVC. Sigh.

Guest Editors – BBC strikes – Soho Rooftops

Another excellent editorial from Pete Clifton inviting ‘readers’ to submit more ideas, photographs and abuse. I’ve got to hand it to Pete, he’s really trying through that weekly column to address the issues people send in.

In particular he’s taken the brave step of addressing his own role, by inviting people to be involved in the editorial process. The Guest Editor is something I’ve thought about on the BBC homepage. Initial we’d perhaps start with BBC talent and let them choose the main link and the subsequent 5 supporting links. I mocked up these examples of what it might look like were Vicky Pollard and Adam Hart-Davis in charge as part of rolling week of ‘guest people’. We actually sent these examples out to the disparate tribes that form the BBC’s new media divisions, and got a good response. Imagine if a Dalek were to edit the page… However it sort of stalled. But I’ve been working on a bit of an idea that might start things up again, more of that in a week or so..

Back to the BBC stock photography debate. This blog’s been pinged by laughing stock, another website addressing the sometimes odd captioning and image selection that BBC News journalists come up with. Personally I think the BBC tries harder than most in it’s output. It often tries to illustrate every story, even when it’s something a bit of obtuse like ‘people are drinking more milk’. But it’s a testament to the openness of the BBC that Pete’s able to address these public concerns and opinions online, and actually covet feedback. It’s a further leap to actually invite readers to submit stuff too. There’s few other news gathering organisations that would do that…

In other news. The sight of Saddam in his pants had cause a storm, who’d have thought that the currant bun of all papers would have broke the story, and it’s going to have consequences on any form of trial. It’s odd too how it’s gone down in the middle east, I found some interesting pics on the wires of everyday Iraqi’s watching the Sun page on al Jazeera and laughing about it, not that that’s indicative of how the Arabic world think, but it must be odd to see a leader/dictator (delete as applicable) in his pants. After all, we all got embarrassed when Tony Blair got a bit sweaty.

And I hope we don’t pay a bloomin’ quid next year to Eurovision as it should now be called Eurasia-vision, I’m waiting for Georgia, Tunisia and hell, the USA to enter next year.. it’s all about block voting now, and what little of western Europe made it to the finals, (and then only by paying for it all) came out last in the voting, namely the UK, Spain, France and Germany. I don’t know why they bother doing the score in French anymore. Well next year Eastern Europe can cough up for it… we wuz robbed.

More seriously though, on Monday morning I’ll have to cross a picket line as the BBC staff strike is going ahead. Interestingly a poster went up in the kitchen at work showing the actual voting results of the ballot. Only half of Bectu’s 5000 members voted, it was actually 49.5%, and of those 77.6% voted to strike. So the 1925 or so people who voted yes have decided the action, despite being the overall minority of bectu members. It’s hardly the ‘ringing endorsement’ described by Mr Crawley I would have thought, also why did only half the members vote? Abstention or apathy? I never thought at the age of 30 I’d have been made redundant twice and would be crossing a picket line… I’m really gutted about it to be honest, and never thought it would come to this. It’s certainly not what I joined up for. I hope it all passes of peacefully, but this first day will set a precedent I believe, the BBC will gauge how seriously it service are disrupted, and it will make a decision about the next proposed ‘double day’ strike near the bank holiday. That’s the real event.

Wired: The Beeb Shall Inherit the Earth

Article here. At last, some good news. It talks briefly about the use of users photography, which is something Pete Clifton, News Online Editor, has talk about here in his weekly ‘desk dispatch’. The call for images of Rover cars yielded some good results.

In fact the whole In Pictures area of News is coming on strong, wonder how long it’ll be before users start sending in little video clips from their phones? Actually that was tried during the election I believe, with different voters around the Country sending in opinions on the main parties and issues, I reckon we can expect more in the future.

It then goes on to list some of our new ‘apps’, namely creative archive and backstage, both of which seem we received. The closing paragraph also made me smile.
The greatest irony here is that it takes a publicly-funded broadcaster from a cozy liberal democracy to teach America’s lumbering, anti-competitive Hollywood dinosaurs what a real, competitive offering looks like.

Ahh, nice to bask in the sunshine of positive feedback, but what’s this? Storm clouds brewing over the new weather symbols. Hell’s teeth there’s nothing that riles middle England more than the weather, they just have to no if they might get a tiny bit wet in the 5 second trip from the backdoor to the 4×4. Most of the vitriol is along the lines of, ‘Scotland’s too small’ or ‘Britain is rendered brown, BROWN! That’s the colour we use for maps of Iraq, not this Green and Pleasant land’ and ‘Dear BBC, who dare you innovate or change anything, ever, put it all back how it was now’ The weather message boards are at boiling point! Riot! Revolution! Boycott! I reckon there’s been more of a reaction and feedback to this that there was during the election.

Talking of boycott’s, the strike day looms nearer, and suddenly some very serious HR & Management emails are coming round. Friends and colleagues are starting to looking nervously at each other. One kindly took me aside yesterday and asked how I would feel if I saw them protesting outside against me going inside, I said I wouldn’t be offended. I think the whole thing is a real shame as it’s effectively creating a civil war feeling between the staff who strike and those who don’t. I believe (and hope) the protest will be directed against the Organisation and the management executive rather than fellow team members who choose not to strike. All the union members have been told by the union in the strictest terms that to stop anybody from entering the workplace or to abuse anyone who does so may constitute an offence. So hopefully that means I won’t be pelted with eggs and abuse… We’ll see.

THe last shop on the High Street

Now that all the butchers, bakers and greengrocers have closed, and the war effort is going nicely against the banks, where’s left for the supermarkets to go? Estate agents!.

Crystal Palace has had TWO new estate agents open in the past 3 months… Is there that much property?! I reckon more and more people will buy through the internet than traditional estate agents soon. Most of the estate agents we tried to use were idiots, basically there to open the door while the vendor was at work. In the end we used and will probably use them or one of the other online places when we come to sell.

Could Tesco’s do any better? Who knows, but if I were them I’d get into surveying, that’s where the real easy money’s made.

Interesting images from the newswires

Thought I’d share some of what I found in my daily trawl of the newswires today. There’s an eclectic mix of subject matter, composistion, and perspective.


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These are my personal views and not those of Channel 4 or the BBC
May 2005
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