May 2005 Archives

May 31, 2005

Haunted Canterbury

Over the bank holiday weekend the wife and I headed out to Canterbury for an overnight stay, and a visit to some reputedly haunted places in the town. Canterbury does in fact have regular ghost walking tours on a Friday and a Saturday, but sadly we went on the Sunday, and so with a little bit of internet research we rolled our own mini-tour of spooky hot-spots. Our first stop was naturally the main attraction of the city - Canterbury...
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May 27, 2005

Changes To The BBC's Weather Forecasts

I'm sure the press tomorrow will be full of the news issued by the BBC's Press Office today that from Saturday 28th there will be changes to the new weather presentation introduced a fortnight ago by 'Project Storm'. The BBC will introduce a change to the perspective of its new 3D weather map after carefully assessing feedback from viewers. The move follows comments from viewers that the map gave too much prominence to the southern part of the country. The...
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May 26, 2005 Coverage of Liverpool's Champions League Victory

Two things of note in today's online coverage from the BBC of Liverpool's sensational Champions League victory. This afternoon the homepage went into breaking news mode to cover the return of the sporting heroes to these shores. Secondly, the BBC Sport site had a photo-gallery of how the match had been reported in the UK press. I couldn't help notice that the pictures used were not of the same crisp standard of image you get from the regular BBC News...
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May 25, 2005

Liverpool Are Unwelcome European Champions (to UEFA anyway)

Astonishing scenes tonight in the Champions League Final in Istanbul. Winning the 50th European Champions Cup is an achievement in itself, but Liverpool coming back from 3-0 down after 42 minutes was nothing short of a footballing miracle. I can't be the only person who got a wailing text message from a mate who had given up watching at half-time, only to find they had missed the most sensational of European Cup Final comebacks. I also felt for the guy...
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Olympic Unveiling Ceremony at the BBC's Broadcast Centre

Yesterday I got a shock when I went in to work, to find that the side of my office which had recently gained an Olympic Plaque on the wall, had suddenly been covered up by a flag. In fact it was shrouded in preparation for it being formally unveiled in front of BBC Director General Mark Thompson, and President of the IOC, Jacques Rogge. The plaque commemorates the 1908 Olympics held in White City, and also the centenary of the...
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The White Horse Bridge at Wembley

Yesterday the London Development Agency announced that following Radio Five Live's online vote, a new footbridge at Wembley will be known as 'The White Horse Bridge'. Not everybody is happy: FOOTBALL fans last night slammed the decision to name the new Wembley stadium footbridge after a HORSE. Some suggested Scottish supporters backed the nag in a vote - to ensure the structure was not named after any England soccer heroes. It will be called 'The White Horse Bridge' after a...
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May 23, 2005

OFCOM advertising (020) 3

I saw on the tube this morning that Ofcom have started an advertising campaign to back-up the roll out of new London phone numbers starting with the digit 3. Perhaps this will help to dispel some of the mainstream media disinformation about the issue of new numbers in London....
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May 22, 2005

Please don't cross the picket line

On Monday, for the first time in my life I will be on strike, and on a picket line. The BBC management and the unions recognised by the BBC are in dispute over a "cost-saving plan" that will see at least 3,500 jobs lost, and further outsourcing and privatisation of the corporation's staff and assets. That means changes affecting one in five members of staff. Given the public negotiating stance of both the BBC's management and the unions I find...
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BBC schedule change warnings

This evening, in anticipation of tomorrow's strike action at the BBC, the BBC's TV, BBC One and BBC Two sites all added a disclaimer above the schedule information warning users that: We're sorry but our published listings are currently subject to change. This is because of industrial action by some members of the broadcasting unions....
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Four radios and a wedding

Yesterday, instead of being on the annual F.A. Cup Currybet fancy dress pub-crawl from which this site takes its name, I was at an old school friend's wedding at Lympne Castle in Kent.    Many of the guests, myself included, also had a keen interest in events in Cardiff - and so once the ceremony finished went scuttling off to find any scraps of news about the match. I had bought my trusty radio, and I wasn't the only one....
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May 21, 2005

London phone numbers change again, according to the Daily Mail

I've written about this before, but yesterday the Daily Mail again reported the inaccurate claim that "London is to have its fourth telephone number shake-up in 14 years" Sean Poulter's article states that: In 2000, London codes were changed again to 0207 for inner and 0208 for outer London. David Edmonds, who was the head of telecoms regulator OFTEL at the time, said this system was 'as future proof as possible' and there would be no need for any more...
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May 19, 2005

Vote to name the new Wembley footbridge on

Whilst I was away my team have helped BBC Radio Five Live put together the online vote to name the new footbridge at the re-built Wembley Stadium. The open suggestion submission process has ended, and Five Live are asking listeners to choose between a shortlist of five entries - Sir Alf Ramsey, Sir Bobby Charlton, Sir Geoff Hurst, Live Aid and The White Horse. The LDA reached the shortlist using a selection panel which included Jonathan Pearce, and of the...
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May 18, 2005

George Galloway in the USA Senate and on the District Line

I've no great love of George Galloway, and from what I understand the election campaign that ousted Oona King was pretty unsavoury, but I have to say I thought he was very impressive yesterday in his appearance before a USA Senate sub-committee. Last night the red button on News 24 had an unedited video loop of the whole proceedings, which I turned on in the background out of vague interest, and ended up gripped. It isn't available on DSat anymore,...
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May 17, 2005

The 1908 Olympics in White City

Another thing that happened whilst I was away from work was that the BBC's Broadcast Centre got a wall display about the 1908 Olympic Games that were held on the site. As I approach my office every morning I cross over a marker on the ground that shows where the finish line of the 1908 track was placed. (Sometimes, if I think nobody is looking I approach it in a faux slow-motion run whilst whistling the Vangelis theme tune from...
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First day back

So today was my first day back at work at the BBC after a month off - and what did I miss? The site finally got a BBC logo favicon - - it probably doesn't meet the absolute letter of the law of the branding guidelines, but then they probably weren't written for a 16 pixel by 16 pixel graphic. After all even the pulsing TV advertised logo of the website wasn't made with the practicalities of putting it...
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May 16, 2005

Two wheels good, four wheels bad

So this weekend the wife and I bought ourselves bicycles. We'd been thinking about it for a while, specifically to get practice for hiring bikes when we are abroad, and getting more exercise, and chiefly (on my part anyway) since Kraftwerk made an album all about the joy of cycling (so it must be good). [1] We bought them from a small cycling shop called Everything Cycling on Forest Road, which was quite an experience. The somewhat singular owner doesn't...
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May 14, 2005

Backstage at the BBC

Whilst I've been away the BBC has finally given birth to, a place where the corporation is making available feeds, and eventually API's, to allow people to "use our stuff to build your stuff". It was an idea first formally put in front of the public in November last year as part of Governors Response to the Review of The BBC will support social innovation by encouraging users' efforts to build sites and projects that meet their needs...
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May 13, 2005

Q: When is a band not a band

A: When you end up unsure if it is the band you wanted to see I went to the last night of Club AC30's three-day Reverence 2005 stint at The Water Rats, to see Czech band Ecstasy of Saint Theresa. (This unofficial site has a little English on it). I have one of their records from back in the early nineties - but to be honest they looked so youthful and sounded so different from what I was expecting that...
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May 12, 2005

A day on the District Line

Yesterday I took a day trip exploring the branches at the Western end of the District Line. Bits of the District Line form some of the oldest parts of the London Underground system, with steam-hauled services between South Kensington and Westminster starting as far back as December 1868. The first branch I headed down was the Wimbledon branch. This allowed me to have a look at the South London Tram system, which I've not seen before, and then gradually make...
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May 11, 2005

Listening to iPods can make you deaf

A wonderfully sensationalist front page splash from the Standard today to point out what man has known since the invention of the headphones, that listening to music loudly for a long time damages your hearing.    It wasn't quite clear from the article what was so product specific about this type of hearing damage to warrant billboards proclaiming "IPOD HEALTH ALERT". Maybe the Standard knows that the AAC compression recommended by Apple emits additional ear-destroying sonic frequencies which other mp3...
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May 10, 2005

An Elusive Camel and A WEEE Man

I went into town today to meet my wife for lunch at The Elusive Camel on Tooley Street. It's a very nice pub that we have visited before, but today I found that it has veered very much into gastro-pub territory - we even had waiter service at the table. I thought that the menu was a bit over-fussy, but we opted to share a Meze of continental meats and cheeses and some potato wedges. I'm glad we opted to...
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May 7, 2005

Claudia Brücken, Andrew Poppy and Paul Humphries at Sister Ray, and a trip back to The Blue Posts

On Friday I went to Sister Ray in Soho for a CD signing by Claudia Brücken, Andrew Poppy and Paul Humphries. I've been a big fan of Claudia's for over twenty years since her early days in Propaganda, so it was nice to meet her. She's recently been working with Paul Humphries, once of OMD, under the name OneTwo - who I saw play live in Islington last year - and has also put out a cover versions album accompanied...
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May 6, 2005

Champions League qualification farce

The F.A. have announced today that regardless of who wins the Champions League in Istanbul on May 25th, it will be the team placed fourth in the Premiersip who qualify for next seasons competition. I can't blame the F.A. - they don't set the rules for the Champions League - UEFA do. I can't blame Everton for wanting to claim the place, as Alan Hansen pointed out, at the start of the season everyone knew fourth place meant Champions League...
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May 5, 2005

Vote today - Hellfire tomorrow

I got up nice and early today to walk down to the Polling Station with my wife on her way to work to cast my vote. I've been taking lots of photos throughout the election campaign for Flickr's UK General Election pool - not, it must be said, to universal acclaim: I know that politicians interact with the general public as little as possible. and I know that public meetings are rare and that politicians sneak 'sorry you were out'...
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