Friday, November 23, 2001
Copy editors of the world-- unite and take over!

Just make sure you've got the skills.


Wednesday, November 21, 2001
Blogger seems to be suffering from some sort of data-constipation and is holding an entry in its little hopper, waiting to release it. I'm posting this to see if I can push it out.


Tuesday, November 20, 2001
According to this article, my e-mail writing style puts me in the denture demographic... Can I help it if I like capital letters?


Sunday, November 18, 2001
Saturday: drove van (on left-hand side of road, thank you very much) to IKEA to pick up loads of furniture for Dan's new flat.

Problem No1: The store is gargantuan.
Problem No2: The store does not seem to be able to keep very much in stock.
Dilemma No1: Nearly half of the items we wanted were either entirely, or in part, missing by the time we finished.
Solution: Set up a bank of monitors, similar to what airports use to give details about Arrivals and Departures. On these monitors, display a continuously updated list of all furniture items (in order of cute, Swedish-sounding nonsense names) and the number of each piece left in the self-serve warehouse.

This way, if a customer is dying for an IGGESUND, he/she can see if there's one available.

See, no more crushing disappointment?


Thursday, November 15, 2001
Despite the 'dot com bomb', there is ample evidence that the Web is more robust than ever. Will there soon come a time when companies that retreated from the Internet with their tails between their legs recognise the opportunities they've left behind?


Tuesday, November 13, 2001
While programming for the majority represents an aesthetic averaging that might eventually sap the excitement out of public radio, at least WAMU is now rid of the interminable 'Bluegrass Country'.

Nothing convinced me to change the channel faster or more efficiently than the sound of a banjo and a man with three teeth singing about his chickens.


Friday, November 09, 2001
Since so many people keep asking me this, I thought I'd write it all down.

Why I like Buffy The Vampire Slayer
1. It is a show that refuses to let you pigeonhole it. It's part drama, comedy, action, horror, fantasy, witty social commentary, and very often, all of these at once. [Oh, and add musical to that list, after this week's episode in the US.]
2. It is incredibly clever and well-written, packed with hilarious and sophisticated subtle references to literature, music, film, television, and sometimes, itself.
3. The plot is always compelling.
4. The acting is really extraordinary. As proof of this, see 'Hush', an episode with no speaking for nearly 2/3 of the show. It's one of the very best episodes. Damn scary too. [It gave someone (maybe me) nightmares.]
5. The show isn't afraid to develop extremely complex story arcs throughout and across seasons. Somehow, they all develop independently and yet in tandem with the rest of the story.
6. It is a gorgeously shot show. The night interiors are all bathed in deep yellows, reds, and tans, giving the show real warmth-- something most Directors of Photography haven't figured out how to do in more expensive programmes.
7. The characters are so well-developed that they have major and minor attributes and not just loads of quirks (cf. Ally 'Love Me, Love My Whining' McBeal).
8. It is immersive and transportative and instantly engaging-- it's 48 minutes of pure escapism.


Wednesday, November 07, 2001
I guess if freakishly Mormon Orrin Hatch can write and record a CD of music, this shouldn't bother me. But really now... Cornel West?


Monday, November 05, 2001
When parents reject a plan to allow their children to borrow a laptop computer for a few weeks each academic year, something is really wrong. Apparently, the parents in question are cavilling about their children being divided into 'have' and 'have not' groups, based on which students' parents purchase laptops for them, to go along with the lending programme.

What's being missed here is that stratifications of students with/without lots of money already exist, and giving poor kids a chance to take technology home won't reinforce this any more than expensive shoes or game consoles will.


Friday, November 02, 2001
When I lived in DC, I had a daily subscription to the New York Times and would spend about an hour every day reading it, except on Sundays, when the paper demanded more time than a needy toddler.

Since coming to the UK, I've kept up with news via direct newsfeeds from Reuters and UPI and have mostly eschewed the good old NYT, which is unavailable over here (in print form). I'll usually go to the NYT website and read the Sunday magazine, but the days of spending time with the Old Gray Lady are gone for me.

Except that now it seems I've got an option to bring her back into my life...














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